Rant #6

It’s the Filipinos’ fixation on and reverence for politicians that has made them abusive and entitled.

For your child’s christening, guess who you are looking to get for his/her godparent? A politician. Si Konsehal or si Vice. (Why can’t your friend the schoolteacher be your child’s ninang? Because she doesn’t earn a lot. Wait, whoever decided that you should only get a rich ninong or ninang for your kid?) Or you’re proud because you know (or are friends with) the mayor’s son. Or whenever you throw a party, for a fiesta or a birthday or whatever, you need to invite Vice Gov as the guest of honor. Etc., etc., etc. You get my drift.

Politicians are supposed to be public servants; taxpayers pay them to do their jobs. We should not worship them. In fact, we should have a healthy disdain for them until they prove to us that they are not just in office to steal from the nation’s coffers.

I’ll give you a specific example. I know a lot of people who love kissing the ass of the current mayor of my hometown in the Philippines, Talisay City in Cebu. Why? Because, well, he’s the mayor. But how is he any different from (or any better than) other Talisaynons? Is the mayor any better than the guy who keeps my mom’s grave site clean, just because he’s mayor? Does he deserve the extra adoration, for example, more than my suki taho vendor because he’s mayor?

This misplaced fixation on and adoration for politicians has even afflicted people that I looked up to and considered my mentors. A professor in college who once fought Marcos during martial law ended up inviting Imelda to one of his events. Another professor who taught me a lot about activism became a fangirl of Digong, conveniently ignoring all the extrajudicial killings during his term, and even gushed at the opportunity to have a picture taken with him in person.

If Leni wins, I’ll be popping a bottle of wine to celebrate for sure. But no, I won’t worship her. Fuck that. Even Leni knows that this unhealthy adoration for politicians is a bane on this country:

“Pag kami po hinalal ninyo, ang aming aasahan sa inyo ay babantayan niyo kami na pag kami po nagkamali, hindi kayo matatakot punahin kami. Dahil kung ayaw na po naming makinig sa puna, pareho nalang kami noong ating mga ayaw na klase ng politiko.”


Now read this

Random Thought #7

A former colleague in a newspaper I worked for ages ago has been lamenting the U.S. media coverage of the Roe v. Wade case. He’s a conservative and leans right, and his issue is that the press – media outlets that he said he’s always... Continue →