So much has been said in all media about the third presidential debate. Allow me to add my two cents worth.
There were moments that made me proud. Okay, perhaps not of every candidate. All I know is that I recognized sterling statesmanship in spite of worthless banter and self-serving sound bites. I saw strength of character displayed without the tacky flexing of muscles or showing of fangs.
I don’t know about you, but in spite of a couple of near flare-ups, I detected a certain restraint in all five candidates. It was as if each one was pulling back, subtly avoiding any foot-in-mouth incident that could damage his or her chances.
To tell the truth, I was at once pleased and disappointed. I think that deep down inside I had hoped someone would come out swinging, not holding back punches, with guns blazing. I was almost eager to hear a few expletives. I wanted to unmask the clowns.
But it didn’t happen. Some issues were deliberately and clearly avoided. But it was good. Some say the best of the three.
I hear it said that this election has become the most divisive in our history so far. And that it continues to tear families asunder, destroying friendships, creating deep fissures even in close and intimate relationships.
My friend who is doing a house-to-house campaign for her boss tells me how many of their once fast friends have drifted or completely turned away. I pray the damage is reparable and that they find a way to heal the wounds when it’s all over.
This political exercise has become an impassioned issue. In the spotlight, on center stage, there for the world to see is our character, our principles and our values. The world watches as we choose our leaders.
Some are calling this a fight between good and evil; of bida versus contrabida. Many claim it is about the rule of law versus lawlessness. I hear people discussing a “lesser evil.” That’s not good.
I have talked with friends and we share the same feeling of uncertainty. We have sleepless nights. But we can’t afford to panic. We pray our people will choose wisely; that decency and true leadership triumph in the end.
Election day is almost upon us. Farfetched as it may seem to some, the suspense and waiting remind me of the travails of childbirth. The worst labor pains come just before a baby is born. It’s time for that one last excruciatingly painful push.
I remember the words of my late OB, Dr. Alfredo Jocson: “Until I hear my patient call out for her mother, until she cries ‘Mama!’—only then am I sure that the baby is ready to be born.”
We have eight more days of intense labor. Tempers are raw and tensions are at an all-time high. Already the news talks about market jitters and currency dips. Confidence is shaking here and abroad. These reactions fuel our fears.
Who do we call for this one?
His name is Jesus. We humbly seek His light and His hand to guide us in the right direction.
Preserve our sanity
For the next week, what can we do to preserve our sanity? As we pray, we will watch over one another and ourselves. We can’t change the hostile atmosphere. It is what it is. Let us not add to the tension and volatility of the events. In these times of stress and aggravation, we can be the soothing balm so sorely needed. Yes it is difficult to be calm when all hell is breaking loose. But we must try to rise above the storm.
Before you vote, ask yourself: Do I love my country enough to do the right thing?
What happens after May 9?
I have heard people threaten to move if it does not go their way. What will that solve, pray tell? Nothing!
Don’t just pack up and leave. Our country needs us to stay, pick up the pieces and move forward. Let us hope that regardless of the results, there is enough hope and faith left in the Filipino soul to rally to the call for truth and integrity.
We must remember that over and above our political affiliations and choices today, we are Filipinos, brothers and sisters, proud of our heritage, loyal to the same flag, and that this is home.
But enough about politics!
We went to watch Andrea Bocelli at the Mall of Asia Arena. It was exquisite. With him were Maria Katzarava, soprano; Andrea Griminelli, concert flutist, Carlo Bernini, conductor; and the Ateneo Chamber Singers. The ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra was impeccable.
But the showstopper was our very own London-based Christine Allado who, in a sparkling seductive red gown, briefly stole the spotlight from the “world’s most beloved tenor.” Fantastic voice. Excellent performance.
My sister and I loved every minute of the two-hour concert. And when Bocelli sang the tenor’s aria from Act I of “La Boheme,” we were lost in tearful reminiscing.
Mascara all ruined and fresh out of Kleenex, we had to wait almost an hour for our car to maneuver in traffic out of the parking lot.
But nothing could spoil our evening of beautiful music and memories of a time long ago spent backstage at the Metropolitan Theater with Mama, Lulu Corrales Razon, our unforgettable “Mimi.”