Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The 15th President of the Republic

I spent my morning live-streaming the Aquino Inaugural, alternating between reading my parasitology notes and checking if my browser was up and about.

The ceremony was at the Quirino Grandstand, a couple of minutes from where I live, but I preferred the comforts of my room over the over-crowded grounds. Still I felt the tremors as Philippine history unveiled itself, right before my eyes.

From my screen I saw a sea of yellow, people excitedly waving their banners, raising their hands with the iconic Laban sign, and chanting the name of the newly-elected President of the Republic. It was a touching show of solidarity, but I wondered if this support would be extended up to his last day in office. After all, our affairs with our presidents have always started well and ended up badly.

I couldn't make anything out of outgoing President Gloria Arroyo's facial expression as she went about the liturgy of waving goodbye. For a while there, I was hoping there wouldn't be an embarrassing moment, that people wouldn't boo her for the sake of courtesy, but that did happen, and her face was stoic, her smile was forced, and I was relieved to finally see her go.

While waiting for the actual swearing in, I enjoyed the performances of local artists. The Philippine Madrigal Singers rendered dinstinctly Filipino songs with the Phiharmonic Orchestra. The Apo Hiking Society did a number as well; the rap part was rather disappointing, but this was the Apo—they're so great they can get away with anything. Regine Velasquez and Ogie Alcasid rendered songs that were played during President Noynoy's campaign. But my favorite was Noel Cabangon who sang vibrant songs that sounded like poetry.

Vice President Jejomar Binay was then sworn in, followed by President Noynoy Aquino. This part ended rather abruptly. Both of them looked gloomy. They probably felt the weight of the world on their shoulders.

And then the newly sworn-in President took the stage. His voice was resounding yet controlled; his face showed sincerity. I had never seen him so composed and eloquent. And the country listened for possibly quotable quotes to be posted on Facebook and Twitter.

I liked the speech because it was short, straight-to-the-point, and devoid of unforgivable cliches that traditional politicians often use, but I hoped someone gave him water to relieve his cough and dissolve the spit bud forming on his lips. One can argue that there wasn't much into it, but the President only had a limited time. Any speech longer than that would have sounded boring. I liked it that he didn't give enough attention to himself, but that he trumpeted his need for the people's help.

I'm troubled when I hear people say that Noynoy is the hope of the Philippines. I don't think it's wise to entrust everything to him. To think of him as a superman is to disappoint ourselves. But we can always pray for him—that his government will value integrity, honesty, and responsibility, that he will address the most pressing needs of this country. It is, after all, God who put him there. It is God who will work through him to accomplish His purposes.

We finally have a new leader in Malacanang, but we will be watching closely and prayerfully.

2 comments:

  1. Lance,exactly mysentiments. I wish people would realize that he can only do so much.I'm afraid that if their expectations aren't met, they might try to remove him. Well written blog as always :) looking forward to the next one.:)

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  2. The content of Noynoy's message was ideal- full of hopes, dreams, and aspirations. its simple, yet intricate; subtle, yet clear. i just hope and pray that everything said will be done... AMEN for a better Philippines!

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