July 15, 2024

By the looks of it, the Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte tandem will win the presidency and vice presidency in the May 9 polls and we hope that the non-believers accept the will of the people.
If at the minimum possibility and by stroke of fate and the blessing of the Almighty Smartmatic, he does not make it then God bless the Philippines and the Filipinos.
Now more than ever, this election has divided us and polarized relationships to the max.
Ours is a community coming from all walks of life, different political views, varied backgrounds, and even differing on religion and its beliefs. All have a common goal though, to make the world a better place for our children and theirs. Some may not agree on the choices of the others or on issues but we have tried our utmost best to respect each stand and offer nothing but understanding and kindness in our hearts for those in the opposite poles.
The time has come to move on though, and I can speak with authority when I say accepting the results would not mean accepting defeat, especially if deep in your heart, you and the electorate know who the real winner is.
Marcos Jr., or fondly called Bonget by peers, and I were together in the 9th Congress, and his mother, former First Lady Imelda, in the 10th Congress. Almost of the same age, we clicked it off and became friends and when he would come to Baguio we had dinner and a lot of small talk about mundane things, no politics.
Bonget wore no trace of having come from a royal family or an imagined Oxford accent. He was cool and friendly. When I became dean of the Law department of Saint Louis University in 2018, I first invited Atty. Lisa Marcos, then a professor in Northwestern University to teach here too. His wife Lisa practically grew up in Baguio and is Maggie Araneta-Cacho’s cousin, who hosted my visits in San Francisco but now running as mayor in Guimaras.
Almost every weekend, Bongbong would come to Baguio to make “sundo” to wifey after her law school class, and every opportunity to get together was taken, the last at Mario’s with the late Delfin Balajadia.
The First Lady, Imelda, was another story all over. She could not wipe out her image of beauty and power. She would invite members coming from the so-called Northern Alliance (Northern Allowance for then Speaker Joe De Venecia) to her suite at the Pacific Plaza in Makati and give out little “things” to show appreciation.
She was the epitome of grandeur. Now and then, she would give gifts, Valentine roses or any token to everyone in the House regardless of political color, and every opportunity she got she talked of her beloved Ferdinand.
Originally, I was going for “yorme” because of Rep. Cesar Chavez, then his chief of staff in Manila, and idol Lito Banayo, who was campaign manager. But when Bongbong sounded the clarion call for help, I responded in my own little way, campaigning, organizing supporters, spending on my own without any expectation in return. No return of investments here.
Personal relations prevail and the “walang iwanan” syndrome among true and loyal friends governs.
Bongbong has the character and I know he can unify the country and remove the barriers of red, pink, yellow and blue. We must heal the political rifts that have torn us apart over the years. We trust and pray that Bongbong and Sara will be gracious, good, and magnanimous winners and prove to the majority of those who voted for them they made the right choice.
Bongbong was a controversial candidate. Part of the reason that he won the election was that he kept his peace and sealed his mouth against everything thrown at him, and the silent majority of the voters who felt like he did not have a voice against the bashers showed empathy and identified with him. They had a legitimate fear that the hatred and division would never end and people were just tired of the politics espoused by hatred. He offered hope that we can unite as a nation and he now has an obligation to do everything to fulfill the same.
As to the local scene, believe me, Morris still fits the shoe!