Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Honestly I like him.
I like Noynoy Aquino because he is unassuming. I like Noynoy because he presents himself as no one except himself. Although I do not know him personally ... nor have I been given the opportunity to really know him as a person (much less as a politico), I like him. I like him because he comes across as someone who is unrehearsed and unassuming. I like him because he does not give himself all that much self-importance.
Maybe I feel this way because I saw him at National Bookstore in Quezon Avenue some time ago and he looked like Joe Normal. He made no big deal about who he is as he moved between the shelves to make his purchase.
Well, he is not like the way his father was preserved or remembered in history. Noynoy is like his mother. He is very much like all the other children of Ninoy and Cory --- except for one. He prefers to keep it low-key, he does not care for flash and pompous rituals. In short, he likes to see himself, present himself ... and now sell himself as Everyman. He has none of the vanity or the pre-packaged, pre-sold persona that image-makers tend to create. Otherwise, how else can you possibly explain his hair-don't.
No one even considered Noynoy Aquino to be a presidentiable before his good mother finally passed on.
Although names of eligibles were shuffled and reshuffled, tossed in the blender of surveys and measured in various realms of public opinion, Noynoy was nowhere within that field of vision. Whether it is truth or urban legend, in the past every political move made by Noynoy still required the approval of Cory. Hopefully it is merely braggadoccio, he has a sister who openly announces that Noynoy needs her financial help in order to remodel his humble abode. Hmmm . . .
But honestly, I like him well enough to accept him for what he is. He strikes me as a good person whether or not he has national heroes for parents ... or he has a sister who is the most vocal of family philanthropists. However, we are talking politics here ... and governance and not a contest on assessing virtues or weighing popularity.
Amidst all the handshaking and horse trading, the Opposition cannot seem to get their act together. Yeah, yeah, yeah: there is that general sentiment about the Fine Diner who still lives in Malacanang as scandals unfold one after another and as she hops from one point of the world to another. There is that mood of anger and frustration, pushing people to undertake whatever measures necessary just to hasten 2010 and simply eradicate miscalculations from the past.
Yet those who want to provide the change are all too eager and gung-ho and running on maximum overdrive: for a country smaller than the state of Texas, there are just so many people dying to be its next president.
What a great nation this must be. For where else can you find more than eight people wanting to be president and trying to outnudge each other in a dance of political musical chair. Where else in the world can you find such a wide variety of rhetoric and a spectrum of patriotic declarations with undying promises of bring back greatness to our battered republic.
(It is as if being a resident of Malacanang is the only way to make any dent or help improve the condition of this nation and its people. But I guess being a His/Her Excellency has its perks including fifteen minutes with Obama.)
And then Cory died.
The nation wept. Hearts bled as what was due this simple woman pushed into the corridors of power to displace a dictator. Whereas Ninoy's spilled blood annointed Cory's rise to the highest position in the land --- the widow's casket laid to its final rest beside her husband's grave became the imprimatur to annoint her only son to carry on the fight. I am still trying to figure out whose great idea was that? Or was this spontaneous combustion --- like spirits rising from nowhere, the muses conjuring inspiration or the Holy Spirit suddenly dousing the population with the Gift of Tongue?
I wish it were as simple as that. I wish there were such miracles.
I wish life and its struggles can be so easily mapped out as a series of battles between good and evil. I wish the age of chivalry, the legend in the magic of noble blood ... the blessing and curse of heredity (even down the tradition of good old Harry Potter) can be so easily translated to the terms of real life. I wish it were that easy to find the happy endings --- by following the motifs of fairy tales.
Honesty I like Noynoy enough to worry if he has done the right thing.
The goodness of heart is sometimes not enough to change the course of nations, the treachery that fuels history ... or the cruelty that insures the power of some for some. Honestly I am not sure if people see Noynoy for what he is and rather prefer to deify him for who he is ... if only to serve their own particular purposes. It would be great to think that it is the for the nation.
Honestly, I hope it is. And honestly I feel bad for this man whose life has been so blessed as much as it is cursed, pressured by forces so large around him ... and living each day based on expectations of others rather than what he indeed wants for himself.
Honestly I like him ... but honestly too I doubt the promises of happy endings. Certainly, this cannot be found in a world where dragons and demons come dressed in either fine suits or the simplest streetwear ... certainly not in an arena that is discolored by selfish intentions and vested interests and prospects of positions of power. I have seen this happen before. I do not see why it cannot happen again.
Honestly, I like Noynoy Aquino and I do not wish that he become a sacrificial lamb, that one who has been bamboozled by the shouting of throngs and made to believe that this is Divine Destiny.