Sunday, June 21, 2009
Of Fathers and Presidentiables
June 1981 when I was first qualified to vote but I dropped the chance. As a child, I was already attracted and exposed to editorial cartoons and caricatures from the pages of Philippine Free Press,- an anti-Marcos magazine, from my paternal grandfather’s shelf. "Papang" worked as chief medical technician in Malaria Control Unit of the Department of Health in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro in the late 40's up to early 70s. He was updated in anything about Philippine politics. My grandpa taught me to love books and journals. He even had a scrap book of people behind the news then such as Ninoy Aquino, Imelda Marcos, Bernabe Buscayno, and mind you,.. even Dovie Beams.
Together we listen to the fiery radio commentaries of Damian Sotto during the pre-Martial Law days. I was only 10 then and 8 years after, as I told you, I waived my supposedly first exercise of my right to vote. I am fully aware that Marcos’ just fielded Bartolome Cabangbang of the Federalist Party and former Defense Secretary and former Bulacan governor Alejo Santos of the Nationalista Party (NP)for that bogus election. Allow me to remind the “EDSA babies” of today that Cabangbang and Santos were just sent by Marcos into the political ring due to the absence of credible opposition that time. As expected, Marcos got 92% of the total votes and 3% and 5% for Cabangbang and Santos, respectively. And then came the Aquino assasination and EDSA 1 and the rest is history.
That was long ago when my grandfather and father were still alive…
I was so amazed about the news I stumbled upon Thursday,- June 17, 2009. Nicanor “Nick” Perlas III, an activist-environmentalist just presented himself as an aspirant for the presidency. According to Perlas, 59, “There are many Filipinos who have grown tired of elections where there are no real choices. We are tired of always having to choose the lesser evil. This is why I am announcing my intention to run in the 2010 elections.” But he emphasized that he is open for a selection process as long as it is credible and geared towards unification of the so-called “third force”. I admire Perlas as a propagator of sustainable development and a social activist, a writer and an internationalist.
I have a confession to make. I included three virtually unknown senatorial candidates last 2007in my ballot. Even they did not make it, I am proud that I voted for them. They are Zosimo Jesus M. Paredes II, Adrian O. Sison and Martin Donato Bautista of the Ang Kapatiran Party (AKP). I came to know them in a candidate’s forum over ABS-CBN News Network or ANC. I was so impressed not only with their political platform but their integrity, honesty and credibility. I was so sure that they have a zero chance of winning. But more importantly, those are votes came from the bottom of my heart, my intellect and my sanity. Just like Perlas, AKP believes in the Church's Social Teaching or CST.
I will not vote for traditional politicians. I am for anybody from the so-called “third force” even if they only have a very slim or even zero chance of winning. But my vote, if I may repeat, will come from the bottom of my heart, my intellect and my sanity.
My late father, a lowly pump tender or laborer of Salt Industry of the Philippines in Barrio Bubog, used to scold me with these(more or less)words, specially when he’s tipsy and me in the middle of quitting on something, “Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” And I remembered his "nugget of wisdom" through the years only to find out that it was George E. Woodberry who first said it. My old man taught me how to fight, both literally and figuratively.
Yes, "particles" of Papa and Papang live inside of me,- in my heart, my intellect and my sanity that grew since I became a father myself more than a decade ago.
Happy Fathers’ Day everyone!...
(Photo of one of the books of Nicanor Perlas entitled "Elite Globalization" from the SSC File)