In the 60’s, I always heard my late father litanized that life’s hard.
It’s now my turn to say that refrain over and over again. We are faced with the same ogre that never dies.
Our government is an entanglement of craft and contraption. Our nation is mired in eternal search for the ideal leader. Sir Thomas More never found his Utopia. Neither the Chinese their Shangrila. We grapple with the monstrous Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes.
Marcos was the first President to come to my consciousness. After 20 years, he turned out a failure. Then Cory, who arguably turned out to be too trusting; then FVR, who was enmeshed with the missing the Fort funds, centennial expo mess, etc; then Erap who earned the distinction of being first Philippine President to be convicted and was a court declared plunderer; and now GMA, with subterranean approval rating in the dying days of her term, and with a looming string of criminal prosecutions after her watch.
Nothing is far different from the US experience. Or our immediate neighbors. With Clinton going down with Monica and Bush together with his Darth Vaderesque Cheney. Just barely a year in office, Barack Obama is now fair game to the annihilists.
The Koreans and the Japanese have their own carousel of disgraced national leaders.
Why don’t we, as fresh start, look at things from their point of view, and try to plumb why their executive or personal decisions drifted in every which way. Of course you and I can’t be president anymore or 95 million others. It looks like we enjoy seeing a President going down in flames. While Magsaysay met that fiery fate literally, we hail the man as a hero because he didn’t complete his term.
In any election year, everybody in this country acts or speaks presidential. This, I think, is the carry over of the Lotto mentality. In every draw, each one of us feels like a millionaire. Nowhere in our history ever occured when punditry reached its heights than during the Erap administration.
While we hail Time Mag’s 100 influential people, we have forgotten the Filipino. We smirk at BF and look at his accomplishments with jaded eyes. What BF did to Greater Manila is to GMA’s credit because BF is in her team. Woe to us all after BF. His successor suffers the sad fate of comparison. BF will be sorely missed. The guy does not stand a chance to becoming our next president. As an electorate, we are a little bit sentimental, if not a little bit rock and roll. Never are we a serious employer.
But we root for the hesitant or accidental leader. We had enough of Marcos who, from day one, designed his road map to Malacanang and refused to be evicted. Noynoy appears to be our ideal leader and best replacement of the overstaying tenant in the Palace: unassuming, shorn of hubris, hesitant yet perfectly melds with the apocryphal Philippine maelstrom.
Even in death we pit Aguinaldo against Bonifacio or Rizal or Mabini, and the discussion seems endless.
Haven’t we reached the point of fatigue bashing the Pinoy for 100 years?