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wilfrido david
wilfrido david THERE'S A new kid on the block. It's Noynoy, his hand held by his oldest sister, followed by Kris and the rest of the sisters. Kris is jumping with obvious glee, and she shouts at the top of her voice, "My brother is now President, my brother is now President!" Her older sisters are eyeing her every move, afraid that she is going to cause a lot of trouble for Noynoy if she keeps on behaving this way—prima donnaish, outspoken, reckless—even with the thought of apologizing later if things did not turn out her way.

President Noynoy, even as he is yet to be inaugurated, has unknowingly shown indecisiveness in that he made a big deal of the fact that he didn't want to be sworn in by GMA's last ditch appointment, in the person of Justice Renato Corona, and remarked that he would rather have a barangay captain administer his oath of office instead. Then, oddly, he stated he did not want to live in Malacañan but wanted to use the Aquinos' New Manila residence to hold office in. Would it really make a difference? Perhaps he is getting too much advice from his sisters, and it confuses him in the process?

It seems that Noynoy is starting on the wrong foot. The media itself has sensed in him a cold attitude towards his elected Veep, probably hurting from the unexpected defeat of his running mate, Mar Roxas. It does not bode well for a good working relationship with his "assistant" (as the word "vice" implies) because, whether he likes it or not, they have to work together to at least present a semblance of unity. But then again, it is traditionally accepted as the rule rather than the exception that the Chief Executive , for the most part, does not see eye to eye with his Veep. Despite this damper, well, it remains to be seen anyway that, for all we know, they might yet make good on each their campaign promises.

Suddenly Noynoy is overwhelmed with people claiming to be his friends or volunteers who had a hand in his victory and with old classmates, who didn't think much of him as a student but are now backslapping cronies (shades of the Erap Era). If he doesn't watch out he will find it easier to make enemies than it is to make friends—fair weather friends, as we might call them. It would be sound advice for him to forget about trying to please everyone, or else end up pleasing no one. I do not take issue with his sisters watching him and giving unsolicited advice, however they deem it necessary. The sisters' exercise of temperance is of utmost importance. Stop, look, and listen only when you run out of ideas. After all, advisers, more often than not, cause the ultimate downfall of an otherwise good leader.

Of course, it is Noynoy's sole prerogative to decide who to retain among the PGMA administration's holdover officials (who we might now refer to as "victims") regardless of their performance records. That, unfortunately, is how politics can change fates. Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff Bangit, who was recently promoted by PGMA, has learned it the hard way—he will soon be twiddling his thumbs if he doesn't get to sit, at least, in the board of some other government agency.

It is fun to see Kris Aquino go out of her way to seek out the best of the best in the glamor business to apply the ultimate "make-over" on her brother, Noynoy—as if to say that he does not look "presidentiable" enough. If the President-Elect is happy with his looks, why bother at all? Isn't it like dressing up a doll? Or maybe she is just giving in to a burning desire to make him look like some movie star with whom she is used to working? Give an ordinary looking man a good bath, a decent haircut, a whiff of cologne, and a nicely fitting barong or a perfectly tailored suit, and teach him color coordination—and voilà!, you have a man fit to go up the podium and make a State of the Nation Address. But that is if he doesn't have a lisp and speaks fairly grammatical English, which, woefully, politicians are prone to mangling. I think Noynoy's tendency to speak in Tagalog in his TV interviews is quite admirable, if only to be patriotically correct.

It is fair to say that Noynoy won the Presidency hands-down, even as he initially felt like being nudged and then pushed into the venture, with "allies" whispering into his ear like Judas (if we must give it a Biblical color). The handlers and operators knew that all it took for a win was by foisting the prestige of the Aquino blood in his veins and employing enough persuasion to egg him on. Mar Roxas (bless him) knew this for a fact, and was pounded by them harshly until he finally saw the light. We don't want to call them "opportunists," but they really recognized a good thing when they saw it.

Poor Manny Villar had to spend millions in the race, with his mother as his main supporter. Even with the promotional skills of Wowowee host Willie Revillame, Villar still ran a poor third to Erap, who, surprisingly, still had a huge following despite being barraged himself by negative campaign publicity.

All the other presidential candidates are now mere "also-rans," mulling over their experience as "losers." They will have their chance perhaps in another time. Some will have learned their lessons well—that is, not to overrate one's self or indulge in illusions of grandeur, even if for the noblest of intentions. Ultimately, it is a matter of the electorate voting according to their minds' dictates.

Although now that the elections are over and done with, the dust hasn't yet completely settled. An occasional breeze stirs the ashes and blinds the protester, who thinks he was cheated, into further pursuing his cause—even if, alas, it will be all for naught. That, for all intents and purposes, is the stark reality in politics.

We hope to see less of Kris Aquino talking about his brother or the other sisters being interviewed on media that gives the impression that Noynoy cannot rule on his own. By all means, let us see a concrete change in governance after PGMA's unpopular two terms. Having two successive Kapampangan Presidents doesn't necessarily mean an improvement over the other. It comes with a relentless watchfulness.

Good wishes on your inauguration, Mr. President. May you be everything that PGMA wasn't. Amen.


[About the author. Wilfrido David first retired as Computer-Analyst from the Ayala Group of Companies. He immigrated to the US in 1985, worked there for another 25 years in the Medical Field (Medical Lab Tech), until he retired for the second time. Sometime ago, he was involved with FAANM (Filipino-American Association of New Mexico) as correspondent-contributor-writer-editor, publisher—all rolled into one. He says about that stint, "I ran out of energy, patience, and money but kept on with my duties until the next set of association officers were voted in." The earliest writing he did was for his high school paper in Holy Angel University. His present writing derives from the perspective of a Filipino expat in the US who faithfully keeps up with what's happening in the home country, as gleaned from his Filipino channels on DirecTV, aside from CNN and HLN.]

-Posted: 7:20 AM 6/21/10 | More of this author on eK!
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