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What have we become?

I used to be grateful that we did not have the Democrat vs. Republican feud here in the Philippines, like what they have in the US. Each state would be labeled as red, blue or swing. Even persons would be registered as Republican or Democrat. So, is that how far your personality goes? Are you defined and confined by a political affiliation? So, if you’re a Republican, do you have to subscribe to Republican politics all the way? Or do you naturally do? Does the same thing go for any Democrat? Of course, there are Americans who could switch party preference.

I believe the multi-party system works for us here (or at least, it did). The lack of polarity allows one and all to blend into different colors of the Filipino society after the circus of the campaign. After Duterte won, it didn’t matter much if you were with Roxas or Poe. We would be going back to our lives. When Noynoy won, we forgot that Erap ran again or green was Villar’s color. We went ahead from there. When GMA won, although there was buzz that FPJ was cheated and we were dismayed that Raul Roco didn’t make it, we generally carried on.

That’s just the way it is. Parties form coalitions. New parties are formed. Some parties split to wings. Then, they mesh together that they forget who’s with whom. In a way, it was beautiful the way it was.

The same was true with the voters. When Erap won, supporters of JDV, Miriam Santiago and Raul Roco in some ways continued their support, but gradually got mixed together in the social milieu. (Yes, former President Erap eventually got impeached, but that was about jueteng and other stuff.) After FVR won, I suppose supporters of Miriam Santiago and Danding Cojuangco continued their support on a low-key level. (Okay, that’s as far as I would go, because before that was a revolution which was preceded by a long dictatorship.)

But now, I guess that multicolor menagerie seems to be shifting and separating two opposing standards (with a little independent flags in the middle, which may gel with either color eventually. What have become of us? We have become mercenaries for either the House of Lancaster or the House of York, fiercely fighting to see the other side’s downfall. It seems that this time, lines are being drawn, drilled driven down deep.

I think it’s nice that Vice President Leni Robredo will continue that pink passion in the form of Angat Buhay Foundation. She certainly has had effective livelihood programs and relief operations during calamities. A nation that unpredictably faces disasters arguably more frequently than other nations could use that help. But it seems that the archers of the other house are so eager to put down the ship that has not even launched yet. Come on, man. What’s the problem all about? It’s not like they’re launching coup d’etat or something. I fear that this foundation and its eventual connections would be the new representation of what the administration would deem as opposition, or the Lord forbid, subversion. I pray that we would not see a day in which a foundation leader wearing a rosy colored shirt goes missing for some weeks and turns up lifeless, a victim of summary execution, liquidated by the house of the other rose. But on the other hand, why are they launching on July 1 which in case you didn’t notice is a day after June 30, which again in case, you don’t still notice, is the assumption of the new president to office. With all due respect, I kind of understand why some eyebrows go up foreheads. That’s like putting up a Jollibee directly in front a new McDonald’s place. In a way, I get why they’re clenching their fists. But then again, the other house is just putting up a fastfood place. It’s not like they’re poisoning your burgers or anything like that.

What have we become? We have become feuding fraternity rivals preying on the other sides’ ineptitude, professing against the rival’s aptitude, silently praying for the opponent’s downward solitude. Is this now how we define our own person? By political affiliation? By the standard bearer you rally behind? Is this your chosen advocacy of your life? Is this now the faith you preach? I have read of the Crusades on their cause, of missionaries dying for their mission. Is this now your cause and your mission?

At least the Republicans and Democrats are fighting for clear policies : conservativism vs. liberalism. But if Filipino society would go towards that polarity, what do we fight for?

“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,” -Proverbs 24:17


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