Vision, Not Division: One State, One Spirit, One Struggle

MANILA: Last year, on 11 October 2015, I wrote, "Why Leni Is My VP," saying (A Magazine Called Love, blogspot.com): "Leni believes in marriage between a man and a woman under the Roman Catholic Church – and there are no equal rights there! (No, there are not even equal hugs.)" But I changed my mind a few days ago, 4 months later, and now I'm going to tell you why Leni is no longer my VP. That was when Leni Robredo said she favored same-sex marriage after Manny Pacquiao had compared the same-sex people "making love" as beastier than beast – "masahol pa sa hayop" is what he said. Note: Pacman was condemning the sin, not the sinner. 

I agreed with Manny; I disagreed with Leni. I had misread Leni Robredo, or did she change her mind just to get votes from the LGBTs? For going public against the tide favoring special rights for LGBTs, Manny Pacquiao became my #1 Senator. (For more on Pacman by me, see "The Incredible Manny Pacquiao," 16 February 2016, A Magazine Called Love, blogspot.com).

When I decided to junk Leni as my VP, I looked at Bongbong Marcos first, not the other VP candidates, because I know Bongbong has government managerial experience that the others don’t' have; he has been Governor of Ilocos Norte and been good. How did I know when I was almost 500 km away, Manila to Laoag City? Every once in a while this Ilocano read about what he had been doing, and saying, in the papers. He knew what was good for his province.

But then I also learned that Bongbong was in favor of same-sex marriage, so I said, there goes my vote for Marcos as VP. So whom to vote for: Escudero? Honasan? Trillanes?

The wide reader that I am, I read further and then I found something I wasn't looking for, serendipity, in a VP: Vision. And I found it in Bongbong Marcos.

I saw in the report by Jaime R Pilapil who said, "Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr vowed to put an end to political divisions that he said had hindered the full development of the country" (09 February 2016, "Unity key to progress – Marcos," Manila Times, manilatimes.net). Vision, not division. "The younger Marcos said the country's leaders should have one vision and a concrete plan to help the poor." Music to my ears!

The Bongbong-Miriam image above comes with the report of Ariel Paulo Tejada on the launching of their campaign for the top positions of the land, she for President, he for Vice President (09 February 2016, "Ilocanos welcome Miriam, Bongbong in Marcos bailiwick," Philippine Star, philstar.com). That was in Batac, Ilocos Norte. On this occasion, Miriam did not talk platform of government. Bongbong spoke of the Solid North, to introduce his advocacy, which is "to bring back unity among Filipinos" (I am looking at what they wear on their necks as the Flower of Unity.)

Tejada quotes Marcos:

'Yan po ay aking sisimulan na isang kilusan na pagkakaisa ng buong Pilipinas, nang maramdaman ulit natin at masasabi ulit natin na tayo ay isang bansa, tayo ay may isang diwa, tayo ay may isang gawa.

(My translation: That's what I'm going to start with, a movement to unite the whole Philippines, so that we will feel again and say again that we are one state, one spirit, one struggle.) Note that Bongbong says it twice: "maramdaman ulit natin" and "masasabi ulit natin" – Again and again. His father, President Ferdinand Marcos (FM) had the same slogan for the New Society: "Isang Bansa, Isang Diwa."

FM's Presidential Proclamation 1081. Truth to tell, I was both uneasy and happy during the Martial Law years, 1972 to 1986:

I was uneasy because I had been an activist myself, joining important rallies, like against America's Vietnam war, and the Philippines Free Press published my poem in my real name about the My Lai massacre (I don't have a copy of that anymore). I also wrote an open letter, which i cut on stencil myself and signed with a stylus my real name, 10 October 1967, against the much-revered celebration of Loyalty Day by the UP College of Agriculture. In 1918, the whole faculty and most of the students of the Cow College had volunteered to fight in Europe – but the war ended before they could finish training. It was the spirit of heroic volunteerism that they were celebrating. Some 46 yearly celebrations later, I argued in my 1967 open letter, "What Did You Do In The War, Daddy?" that the volunteers did not show loyalty to the Philippines but rather loyalty to America, because the Philippines was not involved in that war (World War 1) – it was the Americans who founded the Cow College, and the faculty was American. I had committed a grievous sin against a sacred tradition. Written as a correction of popular history, that letter made me persona non grata to the Los Baños Science Community, all of them. So I was among those being watched – the UP Los Baños security boys made that plain as daylight. I was forced to leave the Cow College, the next year, 1968, as my appointment as Instructor was not renewed. The College of Agriculture of Xavier University under Fr William Masterson accepted me. (Many, many years later, I realized that I was wrong about Loyalty Day. Finally, I saw it as a celebration of democracy; the staff and students in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines had volunteered to fight in Europe to show their loyalty to democracy. But the harm had been done, on them and me.)

During the Martial Law years, I was happy because I felt safe against rogue elements; there was curfew at night – and most of all, science was flowering, especially in Los Baños, where I had gotten married, went back and settled anyway, was raising a family, and worked as information officer at the Forest Research Institute (FORI). I worked my ass off slaving for FORI, with only the typewriter and the camera, 1975-1981, campaigning for forest conservation, for the sake of my country, 40 years ago. I thank FM for having created FORI. (About Ferdinand Edralin Marcos being the Father of Modern Philippine Science, that is a good chapter in my book Soldiers & Scientists of 205 pages, 2012, unpublished. I have also blogged a little about it; see my essay, "The Son Also Rises!" A Magazine Called Love, blogspot.com.)

So, I look at Martial Law with a sigh and a smile. And now I see that Bongbong is continuing the better legacy of his father – at any rate, you cannot deny your father, no matter how hard you try. (That also applies to Grace Poe.)

Bongbong was saying in that rally in Batac, no more political subdivisions. Vision is what we need desperately today, so let us have a common one. And yes, we need more heroic volunteers.

And so it comes to pass that only Bongbong among the presidential and vice presidential candidates has a vision for his country, which is? Unity for progress. Am I'm offering a Slogan in English: "One State, One Spirit, One Struggle." And of course we of the Solid North all know that Bongbong wants to be President next time around.

A final word on presidential & vice-presidential candidates:

If your candidate has no Vision, your people will perish!



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