By the end of June and if all things are well and peaceful, my country will have its 14th President. I didn’t vote for him because I’m the type of voter who looks at the person’s qualifications, character, and track record before putting him in my ballot. I’ve considered my candidate’s qualities, nobody’s perfect.
A president in the Philippines is always expected to solve ‘all’ of the nation’s problems from garbage collection to starting up the economy. Looking at the president-elect’s qualifications and track record, they are less stellar. He was elected into office because of his family name and through the support of the old elite.
There are two things that I’ve learned from this recent exercise:
1) Most Filipinos haven’t learned.
2) We repeat history and are doomed to fail because we haven’t learned.
The partial results would show that Aquino’s closest rival is former president Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada, the man who was ousted from the presidency in 2001. We haven’t learned during his term and we have forgotten what he did but by the numbers, his appeal is still strong to most of our star-struck masses.
There’s a saying that history repeats itself but the more accurate picture would be that we repeat history. With the way things are going, we are doomed to fail AGAIN. Poll results would show that the Marcoses are back; the senate will be filled up with the same familiar names and topped by two actors most likely to run for a higher field in 2016; and we have a newly elected president who was put into office because of sentiment and popularity much like Joseph Estrada.
Borrowing the words of National Artist Nick Joaquin, allow me to say this, “Is this our tragedy then: that at the climactic moment of our national life our destiny is in the hands of small men with little imagination?”
Is this our tragedy then: that at the climactic moment of our national life our destiny is in the hands of small men with little imagination?
I gave too much credit on the capacity of my countrymen to think things through before casting their votes. I also gave too much credit that the electorate has matured and that real change is coming in my beloved land.
They say that it is better that the sentimental vote won than a stupid vote. I say that in both cases, the nation loses. It remains to be seen if Noynoy Aquino is as good as advertised and if he can be able to make good on his promise never to steal and lead millions of us to the straight road to progress.
For now, I can only standby the proclaimed winner of this elections whether I like it or not, whether I see him capable or not. He will be my president and leader of 90 million Filipinos. I wish him luck because he will need it. His success is our success. His failure will also be ours.
Time to move on, time to start anew. Whether I like it or not. Not to expect too much from the new president, not to expect too much from my people. We still have a very long way to go before we can take on the world. All I can do now is live and make life better.