The Anointed. The Chosen. The Lesser of Two Evils?
The one who will continue to propagate, in his own words, the ‘daang matuwid.’ (Incidentally, ‘daang matuwid’ is hypothetically long and narrow; with forks and potholes, realistically, along the way. Is he prepared to roll up his sleeves and go through the long and narrow literally?)
If it was the father running for President, I would vote for him in a heartbeat even if I knew him only from the Gerry Roxas medal in my treasure chest. But for the son, the recurrence of another Blue Moon won’t make me wax nostalgic and wish that the qualities of the father had been passed on to the son. No, I am not settling for the lesser of two evils, the self-described ‘vanquisher’ of the kampon ng mga korap. Because he himself is part of the clique he calls kampon and the korap are not limited to the three, now two, senators in detention for the Napoles kingdom of the damned.
To be fair, he was ‘simpatico’ during his early years as a young technocrat, projecting the image of a man to the manor born bidding to live up to the illustrious family name by ‘dirtying’ his hands as a working dude, as it were. But somewhere in his climb to the top, his personality changed. Or, perhaps, by trying too hard, the opposite of ‘simpatico’ came to the fore – which is just as well because the discerning voter can see through the whole song-and-dance rigmarole anyway, and those who are ‘walang dating’ stay that way no matter the hundreds of billions in propaganda money.
‘Walang dating’ is a phrase that I often hear from friends and acquaintances – and yes, taxi drivers – when describing Mar Roxas, and I am somewhat surprised that I am not alone in my impression of the man, or the lack of it. Even more so,‘walang dating’ (no charisma, translated loosely) is exacerbated by the fact that ignominious words come out of his mouth every now and then in a free fall to the hall of shame. As far as I am concerned, the turning point came on the day he cursed the mother of his erstwhile boss in front of a presumably stunned crowd, captured on national TV and recorded for inglorious posterity.
It was hard to reconcile the perceived image from the actual sound bites, and the crisp expletive resonated like a presidential candidate’s worst nightmare. Was it a spur-of-the-moment thing or a deliberate act designed to make the ‘rich kid’ appear ‘masa’? Did it succeed in bringing him on a level with the man on the street or did it alienate him from the discerning populace? How to undo an undoable PR bugaboo? Let the incident pass like it didn’t happen and hope that people will forget sooner or later.
But then, more bugaboos materialized one after another – adding to the legend of the wayward orifice. You are a Romualdez, he is an Aquino. Bahala kayo sa buhay ninyo. No response is fast enough. Looking for survivors (under the rubble) is not a priority of this government. And so on, and so forth. The worst communicator ever in this land overflowing with so-called communications specialists, with a wife who is supposed to be a multi-awarded broadcaster. Couldn’t she tutor him on the fine art of thinking on his feet and speaking with a lucid mind?
I guess an impressive CV and Ivy League education does not necessarily equate with good management qualities or the makings of a country’s leader. Destiny and the ‘it’ factor are part of the equation as well. Of course, one can chart their own destiny by dint of hard work and perseverance but trying too hard also has its pitfalls one of which is rubbing people the wrong way. Damn if you do, damn if you don’t? Either you have ‘it’ or you don’t.
It is indeed a puzzlement why name recall doesn’t seem to work in his favor since he possesses one of the most revered names in Philippine politics and his business pedigree connotes ‘old rich’. Then again, the negative imprint reflected in surveys, credible or not, is largely of his own making. To quote an ancient poet, carve every word before you let it fall. Once spoken, cannot be unsaid. What cannot be unsaid remains in eternity. Already, talks are rife that he can only win if the electronic voting is manipulated. As the neighborhood swarding would say, he is in a ‘Lot-lot’ situation. This early.
Self-destruction, like selfie-ing, leads one to a terrifying cul-de-sac. How does one get out of a dead end? Stare at the blank wall and turn back. Yield. Cede. Quit. And accept the hard, albeit painful, reality that it is not meant to be. There is honor in acceptance and, who knows, redemption might come ‘sa tamang panahon’.