Ties that bind

February 28, 2019

 

Mama, a native of San Fernando in Ticao Island in Masbate, had set foot  in the capital  of her home province for the first time in more than 60 years last Saturday. The last time she was in Masbate City, she was a child. I intentionally planned their trip so she could have that sort of homecoming, although going to Ticao would have been easier via Bulan instead of Pilar, Sorsogon. 

 

I thought should see how Masbate City has grown into one of the more beautiful cities in Bicol and in the country--far from its poor and violent past.  

 

It is a sad homecoming however because she will be in Ticao to attend the wake of my maternal grandfather’s only sister, Lola Cantay, who once told me that we were lucky my Lolo Awel had been a maverick. Or his (my lolo’s) entire family would have not escaped the hard life in my mother’s hometown in the 1950s. 

 

When I visited my Lola some six years ago--a sidetrip from work-- she told me she was happy to hear that my Lolo and his family had a better life in Camarines Sur. The two siblings never saw each other again after my Lolo left for the NARRA Settlement in Tinambac many, many years ago, to find the proverbial greener pastures.

 

It’s true. Blood is thicker than water. When a relative passes away, a part of us always feels the loss no matter what. The ties that bind always feel the pain of losing a family forever.


***


Some rabid supporters of President Duterte are happy that very few people seem to have remembered the gains of People Power 1-- just because they despise the Aquinos and their allies. 

They  are forgetting totally that without the first EDSA Revolution, Duterte their idol, would never have risen to power.

 

Duterte is a product of EDSA. 

 

And we are free to hate the Aquinos and all the dilawans to kingdom come, but we have to admit that we won’t be here these days--freely ranting and speaking especially on social media--had we not toppled a dictator. Besides, the triumph of democracy does not belong solely to the Aquinos. It just happened that they were some of the people who were there when we needed faces of the revolution. 

 

Yes, the Aquinos and their allies have never been perfect. But they surely deserve some credits too. They lost a family member. They left their private lives and consequently exposed themselves to danger when they could have just chosen silence while living the luxurious lives of old rich people. 

 

Above all, however, is our struggle as a nation beyond the divides of politics .

 

Shame on us when our ideology is based on patronage of a President who is in power because of democracy, and on personal hatred for his opponents that has nothing to do with our Motherland.

Let the spirit of the first revolt in EDSA live on.
 

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