TODAY is a mere 24-hour gap for tomorrow’s choices. All throughout the campaign period, we’ve gone through a dazzling, dazed time, enduring the clowns and jesters masquerading as saviors of a people made to endure. And survive.
Truly, it’s about time we make the final push: Do we wish this country, this benighted, besieged ‘Pinas of ours just kicked once more in the gut?
Do we wish that Filipinos all over, not just here but elsewhere across the globe, to be merely eking out to survive, to make do with what’s there.
Do we wish once more that, as in years past, we’d again be made to go through the same debilitating reign, while traditional politicians — now derisively called out as tradpols — give us the usual hogwash of promises worn out for overuse, but seemingly working because we’re simply a people inured to it all?
Just to reiterate, at the very last moments of a campaign unprecedented in recent memory: Right here in Baguio, from where we’ve been, those of us who have had enough of many, many years of neglect and insensitivity, now denigratingly known as Baguio’s downward descent into depravity and degradation should have known better.
Indeed, our voting choices should be easily made by now. Actually, our choices can be simplified into a black or white selection.
No big deal, if we’ve been troubled enough that our beloved city has gone to trash these many times.
No big deal, if we care dearly enough what our city should be in the next 10, 20, 30 years, if we care badly enough for our children and their children, how they’ll made do in a city gone to waste.
Do we remember those fallen years? An environment on a perilous descent. Trees wantonly felled in the name of more development. Government services merely drifting along, coasting along — even more so when costing, not coasting, for reasons other than noble.
Roadways irresponsibly encroached upon, the right of way simply dishonored the wrong way.
Infra projects irresponsibly carried out in gay abandon. Riverways gone to worse, polluted day in and day out from deadly waste, human and animal. Government all ears and eyes out for transactions that leave the public good out for good.
The litany of failings simply lengthened through the years, because elections were more circus-like, more entertaining than ennobling. More promiscuous than promising. To use the age-old epithets: puro porma, walang plataporma.
Just three years back, we simply said enough is enough. Enough of the encompassing shame, because it’s always a shame, a slap in the face that as the only Christian nation in Asia, for us to shut our eyes to what is being seen, for us to feel always despondentas.
But now, despite what we have gone through, recovering our sense of what is right, what is urgent, we chose to do the right thing and entrusted the fate of a city, the destiny of a people in the hands of those eminently well qualified to manage city life.
Yet, this time, patronage politics has once again been besieging our sense of being right, casting doubts on the certainties that are being solidly offered by the better leaders, making scores of us get enthralled by promises of windfalls if the alluring words are spoken once more.
Right after Holy Week, we have implored, more from hope than frustration, more from confidence than carefreeness, that resurrection signifies rebirth which in turn directs us to a revitalization. But this course is getting assaulted by the kind of politics that has driven much of Baguio to the gutter during their unlamented stewardship.
Rebirth comes from having gone through the pitfalls of devastation, and wasn’t Baguio wrought in that mold in 1990, by the force of a language shaking mortals down on the knees, as if in genuflection?
Resurrection comes from rising anew on one’s feet and gloriously standing in equal measure, this time surer than ever, bolder than before, determined than the last gasp of breath.
And weren’t we given that lifetime of a choice, precisely to make us conscious to be better once risen, to be right at the crossroad of a choice, to be steadfastly up and about even as we wrestle with the very issue of survival, redemption, rebirth?
On May 9, let’s not get fooled, having learned from enough thievery, enough skullduggery. The choice is very clear by now: It’s BBM — not that one but the real, original nomenclature: Benjamin Banez Magalong. Standing up for him is standing up for a future of shared peace, prosperity and pride.