From Rizal’s death in Bagumbayan to the waving of the Philippine flag in Cavite, it took the Filipino revolutionaries only 18 months of war to gain independence from Spain. With the help of American intervention of course. But how come it took these Filipinos 300 years before realizing that this land belongs to them and not to some Europeans? It’s not the indolence, it just so happens that it needs a great deal of time for this nation to produce such genuine revolutionaries as Rizal and Bonifacio. With these great men we are freed. Problem solved.
Fast forward 111 years. While independence is no longer the issue, this country is yet again in a state wherein a revolution is imperative. Not neccessarily an armed uprising, but a revolt from the old and rotten traditional ways of governance, a revolution from the obsolete and lowly standard of Filipino mentality to a bolder and more radical idealisms and political systems. Reinvent Juan de la Cruz thereby reinventing the government. The question now arises: who will rally this nation from the murky waters of kangkungan? Who will lead and make us proud once again? We came close in achieving a social revolution when we were blessed with the likes of Ninoy Aquino or perhaps Raul Roco. The best presidents we never had. They were the CHANGE even before Obama speak of the word to the American people. Who then, is that noble leader who will bring that change to this land?
Less than a year from now we will again troop to the familiar classrooms to pick our next president. And looking at the roster of candidates so far, I honestly believe that the list contains the same old politicians of yore guised in new faces. Some of them may be promising, say Mar Roxas or Manny Villar. But they too are sucked up in the old plays of traditional politics as can be seen from their early publicities. We have been through all these before and we always end up in one big misery. So, come election time, the thinking electorate will again be facing the bitter task: picking the lesser evil as the best choice of a leader. Or worse, resorting to the puwede na system in the choice of candidates.
23 years after toppling a dictator, 4 presidents and 2 uprisings, we can still find ourselves where we used to be: in full circle. The Arroyo administration is clearly, the best reminder of our delusions and false beliefs in the political sense.