Our Penchant for Politics

November 4th, 2015 · No Comments

Aside from singing, Filipinos like to dip their fingers in politics. It has become an alternative pastime. Perhaps because, politics brings a perceived sense of power which they secretly aspire for , or there is simply a lack of things to stimulate their minds with.   And in the Philippines, politicians and entertainers reign supreme.

With the 2016 Philippine elections fast approaching, facebook is in full swing with comments from all camps.  The ‘hopefuls’ have thrown their hats into the arena.  And in a poverty stricken country like ours, money will be flowing like it’s going out of fashion.

For us out here, we can watch amusingly from the sidelines and scream from a distance. Those with dual citizenships will have a chance to cast their ballots via postal votes.  The question is will the Google kids, Wikipedia graduates and YouTube masters be able to make informed decisions since they will be basing their facts from Facebook generated posts.

Bongbong_MarcosThe most gripping part in all of this election hoopla is the resurgence of the Marcoses. Despite rumours that BongBong, son of the former President Ferdinand Marcos was aiming for the top post of President, he has settled for the Vice President role in tandem with Senator Miriam Defensor, who’s running for President.   It’s the Marcos loyalists who suddenly have had a bout of amnesia versus the “Never Again” reformists.  It’s the Macoy propaganda versus the truth!  The posts on FB have ranged from outright lies to the horrendous and the ridiculous. There are those who deny that Martial Law ever existed and want to rewrite history.  Only the baby boomers painfully recall.  To the ankle biters of the 70s, they were too young to even know what it was like. The Filipino culture of “forgive and forget” is once again at play. Then again, so is “deny and deny”, is another Filipino trait.

Someone even had the audacity to quote “genetic fallacy” as a defence for BongBong.  Simply put: it means that the sins of the parents do not necessarily mean that they are the sins of the children; or to be more specific, the sins of the father are not the sins of the son.”   Agree!  But if we follow this trend of thinking then we must also say that BongBong may not be as intelligent as his father was.

Nature or nurture is the question. Each one is shaped accordingly. We learn from our parents and are also influenced and shaped by our environment. We cannot evolve from a vacuum.   We are the sum total of all of life’s contributing factors.  In our culture, where the family comes first, and the family matriarch is still alive, do we really think that BongBong would be his own man?  The more important question is:  Does he have the necessary qualifications?  Can you trust the man?  Can you really trust a man who tweaks his own resume?

For BongBong Marcos, all he has known is power and privilege.  He reeked of entitlement and flaunted it in public even in his teen years.  In my younger days, I would come across him at Circuit Disco and we would be asked to move from our chosen corner seats simply because it was his preferred seats.   Actually the word “asked” was too polite.  We more driven away from our seats.  It was a case of “get out or else…” There was also a time when they announced that he was undergoing military training, up in the mountains.  And yet, every weekend he was flown back to Manila by helicopter for his weekend disco.  Was he really in military training, who knows?!

What’s most repugnant about the Marcoses is their complete denial of the effects of Martial Law and the country’s loot they kept. They refuse to even acknowledge their sins and have remained unrepentant. They continue to feast on the good life while others are immersed in poverty, never knowing where their next meal is coming from.  In the words of BongBong: “Why should I apologise?  What for?”

If the die-hard loyalists would take time to dig up information, they will find the truth about Martial Law and its effects on the country and its people. It has been well documented.  It is pretty difficult to dismiss. It cannot be denied!  It was a time when freedom was curtailed.  The streets may have been clean but no one was allowed in it!  It was a time when you flourished only if you were on the right side and kept your mouth shut; or suffered the consequences if you were on the wrong side and spoke your mind.  It was a time of “Thou shalt not speak or think.”

As a friend said, “There is no one sublime.  They are corrupt, inept, or just plain ridiculous.”   Stay amused.  The circus has begun.

Tags: Grey Matter