Tita Pacita Is Not Dilawan

Don't be fooled by the chic mustard yellow color of my website, or my blonde-IRL-but-yellow-when-interpreted-in-a-graphic-art hair. I’m not dilawan nor am I a die-hard LP fan. It’s called branding.

September 21, 2017 has been declared National Day Of Protest, whatever that’s supposed to mean, be it an encouragement of chaos to justify a possible declaration of martial law, or simply one of Duterte’s sudden, bright ideas.

If you can’t win them, join them, they say. And it is perhaps his way of softening the blow, an attempt to lessen the impact of the noise because after all, he "allowed" it, encouraged it even. In many ways, Duterte or his strategists, are scheming and clever, but we should not be fooled.

I write this today out of many reasons, foremost because I love the Philippines and would not like to flee it and migrate. But also because of the crazy ridiculous turn of events that one simply cannot ignore–from the series of killings of the three teenage boys (and more), to the unwarranted bag searches along Katipunan, from Farinas’ entitled demands, to the rise of everything fake: news, social media accounts, bank accounts, what have you, the list goes on.

Here’s where I try to organize my thoughts and feels on all that’s been happening, and hopefully, help you, too, dear reader, understand where to place yourself and to relieve you of the headache you’ve gotten from reading the comments section.

 

IT’S NOT A CASE OF POLITICAL PARTIES

It’s not about being dilawan, red, or blue. Or green! (hi, La Salle friends) Or maroon, even.  It really doesn’t matter. The opposition is often accused of being dilawan, which I'd like to think is a bullying tactic that makes us easy to hate, especially by those who are uninformed and quick to judge. Because if they insist, then it's equivalent to accusing the sun as dilawan, citrus fruits as dilawan, Tita Pacita as dilawan.

Likewise, opposing Duterte’s decisions doesn’t automatically mean we are elitist, or that we are rebels, or that we are pro-Aquino. I mean, I love Kris Aquino and her self-produced videos (with occasional appearances of Biiiimb!!!) but only for its entertainment value. Back in high school, I enjoyed wearing a permed wig and impersonating the late Cory Aquino in class presentations. But all these don’t mean that I’m a fan of their family, or that I applaud how P-Noy run our country during his term. In fact, I don’t.

Last year, I thought Roxas was the lesser evil of all the candidates running for president. I say this because while I recognize that he is well-meaning and matuwid (although TBH, during the campaign period I thought he lacked in personality, and it's the "Only Binay" song that's stuck in my head to date), I do think he is lost in touch with the hearts of the masses or lacks the experience of our country’s lowest of the low to truly understand their plight, which for me isn’t really his fault. 

But I recognize that that is Duterte’s strength... or so it seemed. At the very least, he has successfully made the drug war and corruption his campaign slant, which had Filipinos including myself believing in him. His strong ties with the Marcoses was drowned by news on his trash-talking, offensive remarks, you know it.

Although he did give additional pension for seniors and made government procedures quicker and more efficient, to name a few. He made pauso rolling up the sleeves of his barong Tagalog and wear them with jeans.

 

IT’S NOT ABOUT HATING THE PRESIDENT

It's shallow to say we are hating on him. If anything, we would wish to spend our time elsewhere, but when the Dutertards, his allies, the auto bots and trolls, and the Marcos apologists, keep trying to brainwash our youth, then yes, we will drop whatever we're doing, however important, and try as hell to put a stop to this kalokohan.

It's not about "hating" him because, really, who's got time for that? It's about speaking up when there is a need, plain and simple. And when the unlawfully rich and powerful family are still persistently trying to force and pay their way back in, and the president is playing along, we will go beyond hate. We won't back down and we won't forget.

 

IT’S ABOUT FIGHTING AGAINST A TUTA AND A TRAPO

Tell me if I’m jumping to conclusions. The late Marcos buried at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani At Isang Magnanakaw, the appointment of cabinet members and leaders with whom he has personal connection to or are have a shared family history with, the election into office of unqualified celebrities, and the attacking of political enemies on a personal level that’s disgusting to the core.

I can only think of two words and I’ve mentioned these in the subhead. I don’t know about you but during the recent elections I thought Duterte was subversive and unlike the rest, and in fact his demeanor appealed to me for quite a bit, to the point that I nearly ~considered~ voting for him.

But thank goodness I didn’t (not that it matters now) because the president we have today turns out to be the most trapo of them all. And a tuta, too, and it’s not the cute tuta of a pet we’d make memes out of to brighten up our day.

Call me names, but I sincerely hope that Duterte will one day act on his own accord, and allow himself to be led by the love for his country and fellowmen which I know he has deep, deep down in his heart (or so I’d like to believe), that he forget family history, political connections, money and power, but truly act for the better good of our country, if that’s even possible in Philippine politics.

In this nasty, cruel world where John Lloyd Cruz and Duterte have gone haywire, and have messed with our minds and hearts and peace at night, I believe we should unfollow, on Instagram and in principle, the wrong leaders. 

 

IT’S NOT ABOUT THE INABILITY TO MOVE ON

The Marcoses have done us wrong, have stolen from us, have led the country’s demise and downfall, and most of all, have been the cause of many unjust deaths, torture, and arrests. They took away our rights and freedom. That’s a fact and it can never be changed like the earth being round despite many who still insist we’re standing on a flat earth. Ugh.

Enough of the highways and bridges built, his brilliance, and Ilocos (even if it is truly beautiful up there). If I may borrow from their usual defense, these may as well be considered “isolated cases”. Lol.

Also, my lolo's province is in Ilocos but I am not pro-Marcos.

Oops, I rhymed.

If anything, it’s the Marcoses who are unable to move on because at the very core of it they want history revised, they want to restore their good name and reputation, and they want power and fame back. And surprise, they are really out to make it happen. With gold bars (some of which they are willing to give us back like sukli) and hidden wealth like theirs, it seems as though they still have a lot in stash to fuel their puppets, in social media, in showbiz, in Malacañan. 

It may be their brilliance working, or they've hired very skilled strategists. Not that we care, but the point is, they obviously aren't resting on their laurels. And if they are dedicating what's left of their lives to revising history and making us believe their lies, then all the more we should be vigilant and speak against this. You and I don't need to be law-abiding and taxpaying citizens to care, as most would often claim. I think being a mere human being, a Filipino with a heart (confidently beautiful or not), in his right mind, and with values intact, is enough reason for us to care, take action, and pledge to never forget.

 

IT’S ABOUT DOING OUR PART AS TRUE FILIPINOS

If you're not earning enough yet to pay your parents back for the tuition they spent on you, now's the time to give back and show them they've done well. Do something to make sure that the real history you learned about the Philippines does not repeat itself. I repeat, it should not repeat itself.

No matter our age, popularity among our peers, and IQ level, it is our responsibility to never forget. And for us older millennials, it's that the generations younger than us know and take to heart our true history. When Marcos was buried “like a thief in the night”, we went out the streets to protest. And I was asked by my younger friends, why?

My answer is because it felt like the right thing to do. I knew it was the right thing to do. If only we can dig up his grave out of due respect to the rightful ones buried there, we would. But like a job you left or an ex you’ve broken up with, even when faced with uncertainty of a bleak future, it’s the right instinct in your heart that leads you to act. You know what to do.

And as your tita, I am absolutely enabling you to make noise. Despite being the quiet type, I choose not to be this time.

 

IT’S ABOUT ACCEPTING THE LOVE WE THINK WE DESERVE

And nothing less. Duterte may be as well-meaning as Erap was, as GMA, or even Marcos when he was just beginning. And I know that you and I cannot expect him to be a hundred percent perfect leader.  Like office politics, I know we can never take away the politics out of politics.

I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve tried to like him as our president, tried to see how he feels so strongly about drugs and how it destroys lives and such, tried to see that barong and jeans make a fashion statement. I thought to myself that since he is the president the Filipinos want, we should be united in supporting him.

But enough is enough. I don’t like hearing statements that are to be taken back the day after. I don’t like being played and cheated on and led on. And I’m sure you feel the same way, too. Don’t settle for funny, charming, or a man who has a way with (swear) words. What we need and want is a leader who inspires, looks after the good of his people, and is a man of his words. What we need and want is a real president and not a tuta, because we already have one in our homes to feed.

We are human beings who can tell right from wrong. We have reason, a sense of purpose, we are able to love and fight for it. And for the love of God and the Philippines, please do not allow our people to be treated like $h!+ and make the country a playground for crazy minds, selfish interests, and manipulative leaders. Because the Philippines, no matter how resilient and happy its people are, is not a joke.

We can do better than be "loved" today tapos babawiin bukas.

 

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Patti SunioComment