How we’ve grown.
For 100 days we were given a chance to microwave our frozen patriotic muscles. For 100 days we were pushed to decide which civic issues matter to us, which leader we would like to stand on global and daily local platforms before us saying straight to our eyes (via the TV) – “I am your President.” And I had this litmus test all prepared – I practiced saying each candidate’s name followed by a line. The personal speech (I encourage you to say this out loud) is as follows:
My name is ______.
I am a Filipino of sound mind and body; and _______ is my President.
He represents what is best about our people, will work for the interest of the greater majority, he will make the education of my less economically blest countrymen his priority.
He will provide options to people who didn’t use to have them.
My President will not appoint his children to plum positions nor give them key deals that will benefit them financially. I will go as far as my President will disallow his children to be in any government post while he is in office. That time can wait, there are other experts in the fields of legislation and judiciary – moreso for executive spots.
My President ________ will make sure negotiations with other countries remain transparent for as long as it does not jeopardize national security – an argument oft used as an excuse for thoughtless transactions but an argument that, when valid, is crucial to our growth and safety as a nation.
My President values regional peace over profits possibly made when a war is maintained.
My President will be comforting to see on TV should another natural calamity like Ondoy happens again.
My President will never utter the words, “We’ve got things under control,” because he is busy making it so. And he makes it so.
My President will not make me cringe or curl my toes when he speaks on my behalf – in any platform.
My President will do me proud when he represents me on the international scale.
My President has a family who will abide by a certain behavioral code befitting a First Family.
My President’s family will remember that the term “First Family” is just semantics and it does not mean that they will come first.
My President will not wield power to shield his relatives from the arm of the law.
My President is not ostentatious.
My President will trust the experts and give them majority of the floor when tackling an issue under the said field of expertise. Alongside this capacity to trust experts is the willingness to listen.
My President has accomplished many things before he became President.
He’d have had a dip into several roles of executive positions, know as full well as possible the intricacies of legislation, and should have a keen sense of pure justice.
My President should be strong enough to show his emotions in public when necessary and strong enough to hold back when asked of the situation.
My President will manage privacy but recognize that he is public fare while he is in public office.
My President will not need me to apologize for him.
My President did not cheat in the elections that put him in office.
My President has a plan and it includes me – and if it doesn’t include me – then at least it includes the welfare of people like our driver Mang Estong.
My President loves the Philippines more than himself.
And this is why __________ is my President.
And this, too, is why I stayed undecided for so long. How unnerving to be asked to lower my bar for who I think should be number one in the land.
On a side note: I want my President to know and appreciate art and music – for taste sensibilities in art usually sand out the rough edges of those who intentionally wield power.
Now – if majority of those lines can be said without flinching, then you’re well on your way. I know this is not happening for 2010 – but I am starting now to increase the chances of me saying these comfortably in 2016.
For now – I will shade the circle beside a name that won’t make me vomit.
This could very well be all the mandate he got from me.
We have lowered our bars, we can raise it again.
Rock Ed Philippines
8 May 2010