How it was like the Christmas before Cory
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-12-24

The results of the October 22 to 30 Pulse Asia survey on the holiday season and the New Year did not surprise your Chair Wrecker who has been on this earth for over half a century and a decade. Despite the Ondoy and Pepeng calamities as well as the man-made calamities that have been with us since January 21, 2001 — 86% of Filipinos are hopeful that 2010 will be a better year.

Filipinos are an extraordinarily happy people. Puzzled foreigners who have seen first hand the inequities in our society wonder how come the Filipino nation is generally much happier than other wealthier nations. Surveys proved this to be a fact and not just an observation by a few.

We wonder if the “happiness” is not the result of the Information and Education Gaps — a classic case of a “happy” people not realizing that they don’t have a good reason to be happy. Indeed, if Filipinos knew the historical truth why they are in this pitiful state, they should be in a revolutionary instead of a happy disposition.

Others attribute the “happiness” to what the Communists say is the opium of the masses — religion. The distorted slant of Spanish Roman Catholic friars, who were partners of the Conquistadores in subjugating Filipinos, brainwashed many Indios that the poor have better chances than the rich of going to Heaven.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter paradise,” as said by Jesus Christ in the Gospel is preached to the exploited Indios so that they can appreciate their misery. Christ, the genuine revolutionary, never meant that to be an excuse for those who exploit others.

When the Pulse Asia survey on people’s 2010 outlook was conducted, there was no Maguindanao Massacre yet, no shocking developments in the Comelec that sends signals of the dreaded No-Election (NO-EL) or the failure of election scenarios and no fears of a buildup of a political climate to justify a nationwide martial law imposition.

But would these November and December developments have significantly altered the people’s optimism towards the coming New Year? Your Chair Wrecker thinks not. Even if Pulse Asia did that survey last week, the result would have remained pretty much the same.

Why? It is because the optimism is founded not on how bad things are at present but on the input that there is something good to look forward to in 2010. Your Chair Wrecker thinks that the prospects of change through the forthcoming May elections form the core of what Filipinos are optimistic about in 2010.

We had a similar experience in 1985, the last Christmas we had to spend under the Marcos dictatorship. Going into the last month of December 1985, the nation came from a three-year process of transformation following the August 21, 1983 assassination of former Senator and now National Hero, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

The Ninoy assassination triggered three realizations, as follows:

1. Filipinos realized that the Marcos dictatorship had gone too far and cannot be allowed to go any further if we are to preserve our country for our future generations.

2. Filipinos realized that they lost their best leader to succeed Marcos and went on search mode.

3. Filipinos, once cowed into indifference, realized that they had to get involved if the country is to be redeemed from the clutches of the Marcos dictatorship.

In turn, that realization produced — as if God sent — a new rallying figure in the person of Cory C. Aquino. By the last quarter of 1985, we were already headed for a Snap Presidential Election with Cory as our consensual leader.

That Christmas season of 1985 was one of the most vibrant and joyous ever experienced in a long time. Perhaps that was because Christmas is truly about real hope just as the first Christmas was in Bethlehem. It must have also been the mood of the Israelites Moses was to lead out of Egypt on the eve of their departure.

The dictator did try to frustrate that hope. There was massive cheating and a lapdog parliament proclaimed Ferdinand E. Marcos as the winner of the 1986 Snap Presidential Election. Cory did not accept it and challenged it. The people supported their woman champion and the February 22 to 25 historic People Power Revolution ensued.

Those were days when we were proud to be Filipinos. That must have been how the Israelites felt as Moses led them out of Egypt.

Thus, it was not surprising that many Filipinos wanted to relive that feeling when they came out in big numbers during the wake and funeral of Cory. Theirs was not just an expression of gratitude to Cory. Theirs was also a longing to have another chance to attain national renewal through a leader who can be like Cory. We wanted and longed for another Moses.

As now acknowledged by many, Cory in death still accommodated the great need of her people. In her passing, hope was borne and this hope is now embodied by Cory’s only son — Noynoy. God be praised. In our deepest moment of despair, we are gifted with real hope.

Here’s wishing a very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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