Opponents of Senator Noynoy Aquino warn him that he cannot ride on the coat-tails of his parents and expect the voting populace to elect him based on that and not on his record in public service. Well, Senator Aquino’s campaign happens to be where it is now precisely and only because he is the son of Ninoy and Cory Aquino and his on-going efforts in winning the Presidency will continue along the path of reminding the Filipinos who his parents are (the highly exaggerated version of course): “patrons of democracy in the Philippines;” and, the father a “hero,” and the mother a “saint.” And based on that, he will most probably win in the coming elections or, at the very least, be the man to beat. Is that a rational way of choosing a candidate? No; but since when did “rational” come into the picture in our present level of electoral maturity? For our democracy to flourish and be more meaningful, we must first educate the minds of our voters not in “knowing” who to vote for but in knowing what to look for in a candidate. We are still in that stage where we, media in particular, can actually brainwash our people on “what to think” – as opposed to teaching them how to think — by manipulating their emotions, exploiting their frustrations, creating new myths and rekindling old ones, and generating unrealistic expectations. Only when we have reached a higher educational level (where the vast majority of voters are at least high-school graduates) can we begin to choose our candidates for the “right” reasons and even then, mistakes can be made. Meanwhile, we’ll have to trudge along with what we’ve got. So, “cannot ride on the coat-tails of his parents,” they say? Watch! Oh, and add to that, “brother of Kris” – how could we forget?
Among the four serious Presidential candidates (Villar, Gibo, Noynoy and Erap), we have two of them with wives that are Congresswomen, one whose girlfriend is a councilor, and a fourth has a wife that’s a Senator. But mind you, all are against political dynasties, in principle. Whatever!
The Lakas-Kampi leadership announced its Vice-Presidential candidate and running mate of Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, naming Edu Manzano as its choice. If this team were to win in next year’s May elections, then we would have seen the most dramatic come from behind victory in the entire history of Philippine elections. As Senator Gordon would say: Wow!! And that would seal Secretary Puno’s reputation as the most astute political strategist / campaign manager this country has seen in the last two decades or so.
During the question and answer forum held last Nov. 13, 2009 at the UST auditorium with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as guest of honor, a student asked Mrs. Clinton how much longer did she think it would take before a woman would finally get elected President of the United States. She replied, gamely, that “God knows I tried” but said that she should instead be asking us, Filipinos, the answer to that question and would herself like to know from us the “secret” in electing a woman President, having already elected two here in the Philippines. The secret, Madame Secretary? [Press: PLAY] “Hello, Garci….”
This month commemorates the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. That and the subsequent domino effect on the rest of the Soviet bloc countries of yesteryears has been one of the most dramatic if not glorious events of the last century. For someone that’s visited Berlin several times when the wall was still up, the fall of the Berlin wall has been an event many like us thought would never occur in our life time. Still, there are other walls to break, for sure, and not as visible and “concrete” as the one that divided the east from the west in the great city of Berlin. The challenge now for the world community is to continue to break down these other walls — “invisible walls” — that divide the rich from the poor, the educated from the illiterate, Muslims from Christians, and in still many areas, the women from the men.
Manny Pacquiao did it again. His display of amazing speed, awesome power, and focused determination proved too much for the Puerto Rican pugilist. Days before the fight, Manny had already booked an outlet at the Hotel of Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, for the evening of fight day to party with his friends and celebrate with a mini-concert where he planned to sing eight songs with his newly formed band. Pre-fight confidence? You bet! Mabuhay si Manny Pacquiao! Mabuhay ang Pilipino!
The impact of yet another Pacquiao victory has brought again a positive unified energy Filipinos could use in their daily lives to help our country move forward. It’s got greater power than we think. And…let’s forget what the politicians have to say about the Pacquiao win so as to keep the victory “pure.” You know what we mean.
Famous quotes of past and present Filipino leaders:
“There are many things we do not want about the world. Let us not just mourn them; let us change them. ” – Ferdinand Marcos
“The youth is the hope of our future.” – Jose Rizal
“Brotherhood is the very price and condition of man’s survival.” – Carlos P. Romulo
”The great ‘legitimizer’ of government is the ballot not the bullet.” – Ninoy Aquino
“Sue me.” – Congressman Mikey Arroyo