Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thanks For All That Matter

My birthday came and went like any other day.

And I realized all my birthdays had a lot of things in common. One, it is always sunny. I don't think I've ever had a birthday with rain before. I think it's probably because it's right smack in the last quarter of May but I'd like to think that I've been blessed that way -- blue skies n gentle summer breezes included.

I woke up late, and went to work. The mood I was in was just like all my other birthdays -- reflective, subdued, pensive. There's something about another year of life that gets recorded in the books that gets one thinking, well about almost everything. I look at how lucky I am to have lived this long because I've had patients younger than I, who had the misfortune of losing their lives to disease.↲

I've never made a fuss about the day itself. If I'd meet you in the hospital hallways or text me a birthday greeting, I'd be equally touched and happy that you took time to remember, but I usually don't go shouting it out to the world.

I say a prayer of thanks to Him who has blessed me with all I need in this life -- the grace of love, the safety of family, the company of great friends, the luxury of talent, the challenge of work, and all that matters. Some people search lifetimes for most of the things going for me, and I'm eternally thankful to Him for letting me get some glimpses of heaven here. Sure, I know there still will be tougher times up ahead, but like they say, these never last, tough people do.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Who Wants To Be A President?

Who do we choose as our next leader?

That question comes to the forefront of everybody's minds as they march to cast their votes at the polling precincts today here in the Philippines.

Sure we know all the candidates' platforms because these have often been recycled over the many elections I've had the fortune of taking part in during my lifetime -- create more jobs (how exactly they don't say), improve the economy (sure, sure), eliminate poverty (ugghh, how many times have I heard that). Do they really think they can do all these things and run a government of malcontents and selfish politicians only looking out for themselves? Or maybe they just want to think that.

But they are out there, asking for your votes and mine.

So we have the power to actually put someone in the driver's seat who steals and cheats the least.

So here's how I judge the candidates, not basing on their stands and platforms (because we all know that's crap) and not basing on achievements (topping a nationwide exam and passing or not passing a bill that doesn't make sense does not really count), but rather basing on the concrete things we know about our candidates.


COLOR: Primary colors are always a big hit in elections, in my opinion. They catch the attention of even the most dimwitted voter and perhaps sway them into thinking that because your giveaway (insert color here) shirts and wristbands match my (insert chosen apparel here), they'd be more likely to vote for you.

But the colors are important as often they symbolize some unattainable goal like, hmmm green for money, err, prosperity, or some save-the-environment cause, yellow for fear, err, freedom, democracy, red for bloodshed, err, power, and orange, well, I'm not sure what orange really stands for. How about a large-sized orange jumpsuit after your conviction?

3rd place: Orange, simply because it's weird and it would do well to serve as a warning to really be careful and not get caught so as to avoid having to dance Thriller and becoming the next Youtube sensation

2nd place: Yellow. Who doesn't like the bright and cheery yellow? Everybody seems so happy, and pretty and gay.

1st place: Green. It's the coolest looking color. It also provides the easiest defense for a color to the associated candidate -- environment, money and economy, development, and it makes a great looking wristband than a yellow one.

Point: Gibo

PARTNER: I don't mean the vice-presidency, because the Prexy and the VP relationship isn't what we would find in the dictionary right next to rock-solid. Ask De Castro. I mean the candidates' wives and girlfriends. It would help if you would have someone to draw the public's attention away from your receding hairline or your latest gaffe with a stunning and camera-worthy first lady/first GF.

The lineup would show:

3rd place, all the other first ladies-in-waiting.

2nd place goes to Councilor Shalani Soledad. Linked fo course to Mr Yellow Ribbon himself. Heck if she was running for VP, I'd bump Yellow Boy all the way to Numero Uno.

1st place to Rep Nikki Teodoro, who is fetching as the partner of Mr Green Himself. Not only is she a wife of the possible future president but a representative as well. Neputism all the way!

BEST SLOGAN: Catch phrases, rhymes, and really unrealistic claims plastered all over campaign posters hanging from our venerable electric posts and picturesque electric wires.

3rd place: Erap para sa mahirap. It brought him to power once, can it do it again? And that really is not a comforting thought.

2nd place: It's a tie! Toss-up between "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap" (True, true, are you?) and "Galing at Talino" (a lot of help if you don't want to get caught right?)

1st place: The Transformers. What can I say? You can't help but smile, stifle a laugh and imagine good old Mr Subic transforming into a bright yellow Camaro/Volskwagen and tweeting like Bumblebee. I'm thinking more Volkswagen for Gordon in Transformers 3 though.

THEME SONG: I'm a music guy so this one is a bit on the serious side so, let's go to the votes.

3rd Place: Rivermaya and Gibo with "Lipad"

2nd Place: If only for probably the only campaign song known to every kid in the Philippines, Manny Villar's Commercial comes in a close second. Now if only it had the slightest chance of coming true, I'd truly love this down to earth song and not treat it like another soon-to-be unfulfilled campaign promise. But when it comes down to it, I think the kids are singing for themselves and not for a particular candidate so, thank you Mr Orange Peel.

1st Place: I think the least heard campaign song is the best, and old Dick's supporters put this doozy of a song/jingle for Mr Subic. Enough to make me want to vote for the guy, who, realistically doesn't have a chance of winning (though a lot of people like him, they aren't voting for him, funny huh?)


All in all, we march to the polls today.

These criteria are shot. They really don't count. But it tells us that sometimes all that we have an idea about are the tastes of our candidates and what they're rolling out with to entice us to vote for them.

We know all those promises and platforms and programs aren't all going to come to fruition (hoping some of them do see the light of day), yet we hold on to hope and faith that somehow, someday, some President is going on that seat of power and realize that the Filipino people mean a lot more than just petty vote-buying and power-hunger, but people of a truly great nation.

Me? I'm voting for that guy named Wisely.