How P-Noy can become a great national leader
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-06-27

If President-elect Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) is to cross the threshold into being a great national leader - not just be a good president - then it will require more on his part than just addressing the problems of poverty and corruption.

If by 2016 P-Noy reduces to half the number of Class E households and if he also reduces corruption to tolerable levels - he will be remembered as a good president for curbing corruption and for improving the lives of many of the poorest Filipinos. But that will not guarantee his place in history as a great national leader.

Solving the current problems of a country is simply good governance and not necessarily the hallmark of greatness. A great national leader is one who solved the deeply rooted problems of the nation in such a way that ensures the long term development and the improvement of people’s lives as well as the promotion of nationalism. More than the solving of our current problems - it is the reversing of the counterproductive culture and mindsets that perpetuate the imbalance and exploitation in Philippine society which will make P-Noy a great national leader in history.

A good P-Noy presidency can easily be removed from national memory by a series of succeeding corrupt and inept presidencies. It is after P-Noy succeeds to instill a new productive national culture and mindset, which will henceforth prevent the ascendancy to power of corrupt and inept leaders, when he can be truly regarded in history as a great national leader.

As seen from the example of two of the world’s greatest leaders - Jesus Christ and Mahatma Gandhi - it is the ENLIGHTENMENT of a people that is the single biggest hallmark of leadership greatness. Gandhi did not really improve the economic conditions of his people during his era. In truth, Gandhi’s greatness had transcended quantification. It is measured more by the national soul which he had bequeathed to his nation.

Many of our countrymen become prey and victims because they don’t know and understand the dynamics of their exploitation. Most Filipinos do not even know the guilty parties that placed them in their sorry state and they even commit the mistake of electing their exploiters, time and again, to public office.

Filipino ENLIGHTENMENT can only come after Filipinos know their real history, after they know their real friends and enemies. The People Power legacy of P-Noy’s father and mother was almost forgotten because Filipinos have a very shallow sense of history and failed to contextualize the People Power legacy in their present lives and how it can improve their future.

If we are to truly emancipate our people - then we must teach our people their real history in the way history should be taught. Note how Filipinos can remember historical dates, the persons who figured in historical events and the general idea of the historical event. The problem is aggravated by pretenders who posture to explain history but only manage to share trivia that few Filipinos are interested to know - trivia that do not facilitate the forming of the big picture.

Many of our countrymen fail to realize, know and understand the significance of the historical events as these relate to their present conditions. History to most Filipinos is simply the narration of many past events but they fail to contextualize their predicament with their nation’s past.

To attempt to rectify this situation, the Eminent Professor Emmanuel Q. Yap formed the PPM (People’s Patriotic Movement) in order to promote Filipino awareness of our historical truth. The PPM aims to remove the biggest stumbling block to Filipino national greatness and facilitate the flowering of Filipino nationalism and patriotism. Their objectives are as follows:

1. Rewrite the history books being taught in all levels of Philippine education in order to make every Filipino learn and internalize his country’s real history. Prof. Yap has the library with which to research the historical truth.

2. Reform the way we teach history where dates and names are remembered but the significant lessons of history are hardly understood and internalized by Filipinos. Filipinos must be reconciled with their past, understand how their past shaped their present and how knowing the past is the key to their better future.

3. The teaching of history must have a return on investment and this is to make Filipinos proud of their roots, culture, national identity and their heritage. They should be inspired to be nationalistic and patriotic.

If you want to be a successful businessman, the first thing that you’ll do is to study the history of the market where you’re planning to participate, the brand histories of your rivals and the consumer behavioral patterns. If you’re a doctor and you want to cure a sick person, the first thing that you’ll do is to learn the medical history of your patient.

Here we keep returning to the same problems, albeit with a respite now and then from inept and corrupt leadership. Unlike China which had a Deng Xiao Ping to correct the national socialist mindset, we never really had such a national leader to positively reform our counterproductive culture, values and mindsets.

If P-Noy wants to attain greatness by being the leader who enlightened his benighted nation - then he must teach all Filipinos their real history. P-Noy must teach the historical truth which will set every Filipino free - not the history our former colonial rulers wanted us to know and not the history that bad past Filipino leaders polluted and corrupted in order to conceal their treachery.

Only the historical truth will unite our nation and allow it to withstand the pressures from powerful states like the US and China that have taken a keen interest in our natural resources and strategic location which are vital for projecting imperial power in this region. Sans the historical truth to unite us, the powerful states can easily divide us and then exploit us.

* * *

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

[Click here for the Archive]

Home | As I Wreck This Chair | High Ground | Career Brief and Roots | Advocacies | Landmarks Copyright 2006 The Chair Wrecker by William M. Esposo