At last we, Bicolanos, have someone who is said to be “one breathe away from the Presidency”.
Never in the history of the Republic a fellow Bicolano has been placed in this lofty position. Many had dreamt and tried in the past, but failed. Today, by the grace of God, we have a sitting Bicolano Vice President.
Bicol Region has had many notable and distinguished Senators and Statesmen. In fact, it has produced more Senators than the “Solid North”. Sadly until now Bicol Region has never had a President of its own and continues to linger as one of the poorest regions in the country.
It is well known that regions became prosperous because the presidents coming from those places make all government resources available to them—North had Presidents Quirino, Marcos and Ramos; Central Luzon had Magsaysay, the Macapagals father and daughter and the Aquinos mother and son; Western Visayas had Roxas; Central Visayas had Garcia. NCR had Estrada, and Davao has the incumbent President Duterte. All these mentioned regions are experiencing economic dynamism.
It should be noted that Central Luzon have the most number of presidents—five, and they also have the most number of first-class highways and extensive infrastructures relentlessly constructed in the last 20 years. The growth of this region is phenomenal which is attributed directly to the full support of the five presidents.
Bicolano politicians are divided to the core; unity is far from their world of reality—the singular reason thought to be the political malady of the Region. They are content with just a tacit acquiescence of oneness but confined only to their individual territory, it doesn’t go further than that. Their reluctance to coalesce with the destined leader who is presently in the high seat of political hierarchy—considered by many to have a plausible chance at the very helm of the Republic—is an indication of their abnegation of collaboration that extends to the persistent economic plight of Bicolanos.
Unlike politicians from the North where political affinities and personal differences are easily set aside and resolved when the interest of their region is at stake, Bicolano politicians are of different breed. They would rather deprecate the political ascent of the shinning leader—their fellow Bicolano who can certainly be at the top—than the political expediency it offers for the common good if only they can bond together.
This is also true with other significant and not-so significant narcissistic and wannabe famous Bicolanos who shriek instantly with indignation every time the name of the VP is mentioned owing to their personal antipathy and self interest and nothing else.
They would rather throw their support to the recipient of the multi-billion dollar loot who until today, after more than three decades, continues to fight it out in court to acquire it all—the man who hails from the North who would surely rewrite history if bestowed with power and make his father a hero than a despotic president and election cheat that he was. Now, he is trying to fool everyone else including himself by professing as champion for honest election. Is he their sorry choice for a leader instead?
The VP has weaknesses and shortcomings too; there is no denying that. Who would not have one as a person? But they are Venial to the Mortal sins of the known competition. But these inveterate and bitter Bicolano critics would quickly jump and sensationalize these inconsequential flaws and propagate fake news just to demonize and paint the VP in bad light. For what it’s worth, it’s for them to reason this out.
The irony of it all is, these are the same people who complain and lament the loudest the depressing state of the Region they live in—the dilapidated South Road as the only road to Manila from Bicol; jet-incapable airport in the Heart of Bicol, the absence of essential infrastructures to attract other industries aside from Agriculture and Service sectors; the high rate of unemployment and underemployment; the neglected “Bicol Express” which ceased operations for more than a decade now when it is supposed to be the catalyst for progress, and many more.
Thoughts to ponder: would a president from the North or from the South care at all of what we have and don’t have to go forward economically as a Region when we, Bicolanos, could not even support the good-hearted leader we already have today who is almost there in the pedestal of power?
We have the best chance to reverse these misfortunes that befell our beloved Region. We can attain the elusive leadership in the country that we have failed to realize since the birth of the nation and progress from there. We should not let this slip out of our hands—stop being anti-Bicolano if you are from Bicol because it’s now or never!