Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Daughter of a Politician

No, I am not talking about a particular declamation piece here. I am talking about me, myself, and I. Yes, I am a daughter of a politician. But let me rephrase that, I was and perhaps would be a daughter of a politician again (my father did not win last election but planning to run again, that’s why).

DISCLAIMER: This is not neither a political propaganda nor a campaign piece.

Anyway, being a daughter of a politician is a combination of being fortunate and unfortunate. That sounds confusing, right? Well, I find it fortunate because of the popularity that you’ll get. The fact that your father was elected as a government official gives you a lot of privileges. Unfortunate though because of the criticisms you’d hear from almost every corner, also, the fact that you always have to do right or else, you might ruin the name of your father.

But nonetheless, everything was okay. I never really had any bad experience of being a politician’s daughter except the fact that there are just really some people that are hard to please. Anyway, I love being a politician’s daughter because I’ve learned how bad the situations of our poor constituents are, and that you’d learn to care for them along the way – as you get to know them. I love the fact that in one way or another, I realized how fortunate I am.

Though being a politician’s daughter requires a lot of things, I still love it. I love how busy we become whenever elections are coming. I love how we post election paraphernalia around the municipality, and giving out my father’s portfolio of achievements. Just for your information, believe me or not, it was only not during my father’s first time to run that we did give money (just to people who went to our home), after which, during the second and last term of my father as a municipal councilor, never did we vote buy again. Oh! But the cleanest election participation my father has ever gone through was last elections. He, not even a single centavo gave any, which apparently is the greatest factor why he lost. We have no enough machinery as well. Imagine, my father’s co-candidates gave 1000 and 800 pesos respectively while we gave nothing.

Anyway, being my father’s daughter allowed me to know the basics of how politics has become in our municipality, in our country. I was able to witness how dirty elections are. I was able to witness how cruel some people could be just to be in the position. I was able to see how other people can ruin their fellows’ reputation just to earn what they want, again, position in the government.

Also, I was able to learn how to deal with other people. How it is to talk to those underprivileged, and feel so blessed that you’re not suffering like the way they do. I was able to visualize how I could someday help my underprivileged fellows. I was able to recognize what the politicians should give importance to. I was able to realize how capable I am to make a difference someday. Oh wait! I am not planning to run – for now (hahaha).

Furthermore, more than the negativities that being a daughter of a politician could give, I always look forward to the positive side of it. After all, that’s what it should be, right? Actually, after everything has been said, the catch here is, being a daughter of a politician entitled me to know how it is to care and love your fellows especially those who are not as lucky as I am.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Share of History

I wasn't born during the times of EDSA Uno, not even during the 1983 Ninoy Aquino Jr.'s assassination. I was perhaps inside my mother's womb when President Corazon Aquino was inaugurated as this nation's 11th president. Not to mention, the first woman president not just in the Philippines but in Asia.

I grew up to become a person of principles. I have my share of opinions whenever relevant issues arises (meaning, issues that has something to do with our nation). I grew up with the teachings of my parents on the side: standing for what you believe and living for what is right no matter how much criticisms be thrown at you.

As an ordinary citizen who belongs in this generation, you may find me as too idealistic. Maybe, some would even raise their eyebrows and would comment something like, “Yuck! Napaka-nationalistic!” Well, to them I say, at least I care for this poor nation.

Anyway, when I heard about former President Aquino's death, my initial reaction was, “Oh my God! Patay na Sya.” Just like most of us, curiosity filled me. I was after the reaction of the people surrounding her, and the reactions of her critics from the other side of politics. I didn't feel the loss of a Filipino icon or something to that effect. It was indeed pure curiosity.

I got hooked with all the news about her. Seemed like it was another Michael Jackson aura. Most of news-related websites were talking about her and her death. They kept writing over and over again about who she is, and who she was. They kept giving tributes on how she has restored the democracy in this country. Still, I wasn't moved. Not that i'm insentive, it's just that I wasn't able to witness her presidency. Though I know the history as foretold during my early childhood down to my college years, still, I had no sad emotions about her passing away.

But everything changed came Monday, August 3, 2009. I did not plan to go out of our office building to witness Aquino's procession. I had no plans, really. But seemed like history told me to be part of it. Out of nowhere, I just found myself walking down the stairs from sixteenth floor down to the street. Not just that, some of my colleagues and I waited for almost two hours before finally, the convoy came.

I couldn't explain why, but as the truck carrying her body came, I felt a sudden heaviness. I witnessed really, a history. People around me were saying out loud her name, some wear yellow blouses and shirts, others with yellow ribbons and flag lets being waved, while others displayed the very prominent Laban sign. Yellow confetti were like rains pouring down from the sky. Very memorable indeed.

After witnessing such a historic event, I planned to go and pay my last respect to someone I don't personally know but has enough knowledge on her contributions to my beloved country. Apparently, though I had the willingness, the heavy rain stopped me. Instead, I just kept myself updated through the internet and watching television news programs.

Wednesday came, the burial day. I woke up just in time to watch the live telecast of ABS-CBN. Serenity is the perfect word – I guess – to describe the aura inside the Cathedral. Though I was not physically there, I felt how at peace yet gloomy the place had become. As the mass started, I kept singing along with the choir. Really, I was like taking part of the history even if I was just inside the four corners of our apartment.

The emotions were really felt. I appreciated the former leader more when the priest, Fr. Arevalo gave his homily. Wow! I was amazed with how she had lived her life according to what the priest had said. I was in awe when he spoke of the goodness of heart, the humility, the love, and the faith she had. I was like, could I be just like her? In spite of the gold spoon on her mouth, she lived a life of simplicity covered with love and her deep faith in God and Mama Mary. Then I thought, is there someone among the present queue of politicians that live with the same ideals? I don't know why, but as I looked on the list, I couldn't think of any.

I must say, she's not perfect. Perhaps she had her share of flaws during her presidency, but I guess, as a young Filipino - who just like many of my fellowmen - I believe we badly need someone who is like Cory who I must tag as someone who became a good example to the people. We need a leader who knows how to live in humility, has a great love for the country and its people, and has an undying faith in the Almighty.

Come 2010, we again are to practice our right to vote, our very right to elect our leaders. About nine months from now, we are going to put someone in power. As that day comes, as it approaches, I wish we could think of Cory, her ideals, her simplicity, her leadership, her faith, and let those be our guide as we select and elect.

As my words come to an end, let me say my own farewell and thank you to a woman who now I idolizes because of who she was and how she had lived her life. Allow me to utter my words of gratitude to someone who brought back the democracy and freedom that I am enjoying now. Kudos President Cory for a life well-lived.