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[Ponderings] The Mockingbirds

By Philip Suzara

Pondering… as I sit here at the edge of my mythical life pond.

One can see many things happening at the edge of life’s pond, as in any pond. Decisions are made there, life changing decisions, defining moments… to get in the pond, or not. The pond is encircled by its edges in different forms and kinds: straight, jagged, rough, rocks, pebbles, sand, soil, or mud. Very much like people. No matter the differences we have, we all belong there… around the life pond, inside, outside, at the edge, but there.

Last week was eventful for the country; it was marked by the filing of the Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) of elective officials running for national positions. The prevalent mode of the public, in general, is festive, manic even. The Philippines, by some quirk of peculiarity, is highly political, electoral politics that is. Every Juan and Juana de la Cruz worth his/her Pinoy blood and salt has an opinion on anything and everything. Many evolve to being armchair political analysts who will opine with the “most sensible and salient” unsolicited advice. It can be fun. It can be exasperating, as well.

After having gone through our experience with this administration for the last five years, the national elections, where we get to vote for a new set of president, vice-president, and senators give us and our kababayans a fresh and hopeful boost. However you may look at it, it will be a frenzied activity for many; those in the “industry” primp up themselves to be both noticeable and desirable to the otherwise benevolent operators who are fixtures in the many electoral exercises. They promise to deliver votes to the candidates and other brokers. It’s become an operational business for these people. They usually have no qualms about whatever the background nor moral stature and managerial capability of their candidate – “just give me a good offer, some good sounding slogans, and I’m all yours!” -- No harm done, or so they believe.

The much awaited elections, with the sacred right of suffrage being both a constitutional right and duty of any law-abiding citizen – it is the hallmark of a working democracy. For many of us agents of change, it is the time when and where we find our efforts most crucial. The crossroads are once again in our face; while we are not expected to be the managers of the universe, neither can we just sit or stand quietly in a corner and helplessly watch things unfold before us. We have to be able to help ourselves and others chart our very own future, our children’s future.

Let me take you back to last week; the candidates went to the Comelec at Sofitel to file their CoCs, in a bizarre manner, it was a sight to behold – akin to a variety show, if you will – from the sublime to the ridiculous. This is also an event where people await to see the serious candidates as well as those nuisance candidates and the wackos.

I was delighted to see VP Leni finally file her CoC, it gave me so much hope and promise – with just her very act of filing. That, to me, signalled the end of the despotic old man’s regime.

I was aghast at seeing Sen. Bato de la Rosa file his CoC at the 11th hour. From the way he was dressed up, it seemed to me that he was garbed in Sara’s colours – he was there to give support to Sara who was supposed to arrive and file her candidacy – she was a no-show. Cusi tells Bato that he has been chosen to run as president by their PDP political party – shortly before the day’s end of business for the Comelec. Really now, how low can they get Bato, in subsequent interviews, makes no bones about his hope that Sara will run – this, coming from a supposed presidential candidate. If they weren’t too tragic, they would be funny!

The PDP has been reduced to a pale shadow of its old institution, even for its fundamental raison d’etre of breaking political dynasties and other altruistic advocacies. That the party had just broken up into two factions is not really surprising, what with the sudden entry of the new breed of trapos who all don’t seem to understand, much less, embrace the true spirit and intent of the party.

Cusi tells Bato of the president’s wish for him to file his candidacy at the last minute – not an afterthought, he says of his being “the chosen one”, forgetting that there was no party consultation and neither a procedural party caucus – their president had spoken. The public awaits further substitution/s as they are wont to do other than passing on local leadership positions and keeping it within the family – they keep on doing such in Davao and they are trying their mettle here in the national arena now.

This whole political gambit smacks of their gang’s brand of arrogance and impunity; they are making a mockery of our supposed sacred right and duty. Many lives have been laid at the Altar of Freedom and Democracy for us to enjoy the promises of a democracy, their mockery diminishes the noble sacrifices of those who came before us. They think they were able to pull a fast one on us but these will all have its backlash, this mockery will make them fall flat on their faces. And I say it again, if they weren’t too tragic, they’d be funny!

I remember “I started a joke”, a popular song of the Bee Gees written in 1968. The lyrics of this song, and their meanings reverberate in our here and now.

Take on a reassuring journey with this number.

“I started a joke Which started the whole world crying But I didn't see That the joke was on me, oh no

I started to cry Which started the whole world laughing Oh, if I'd only seen That the joke was on me

I looked at the skies Running my hands over my eyes And I fell out of bed Hurting my head from things that I'd said

'Til I finally died Which started the whole world living Oh, if I'd only seen That the joke was on me

I looked at the skies Running my hands over my eyes And I fell out of bed Hurting my head from things that I'd said

'Til I finally died Which started the whole world living Oh, if I'd only seen, oh yeah That the joke was on me, oh no That the joke was on me Oh, no, no, no

Songwriters: Gibb Barry Alan / Gibb Maurice Ernest

Et tu Brute?

Pondering, as I sit here at the edge of life’s pond.

Philip Suzara

Creature of God. Child of the Universe. Global Citizen. Lover of Life. Freedom Fighter. Agent of Change. Lone Wolf. Occasional Consultant for Strategic Communications.

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