Si Ondoy, Ang Power ng Media at Kung Bakit Walang Magiging “Magaling” na Presidente sa Pilipinas

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By Toni Cruz

Apat na presidente na ang pinagdaanan ko. Sina Cory, Ramos, Erap at Gloria.
Actually, lima. Isama na natin si Marcos although mashado pa kong bata nun so hindi ko na siya ika-count.
I was too young and too confused to know na may Martial Law pala.

I have this memory nung bata pa ako. Nakasakay kami sa jeep. Ako (around 5 years old), pinsan ko, Mama ko, Tita ko at Lola ko. I remember my cousin asking me: Kanino ka? Kay Marcos o kay Cory?
Ang sabi ko, Marcos! Tapos sabay kaming nag-chant ng Marcos! Marcos! Marcos! (with matching Marcos sign) Shempre bonggang-bonggang nagalit ang mom ko at sinaway kami! HAHA! Mapapahamak pa sya dahil sakin bilang nakatingin ng masama yung ibang tao sa jeep. Yes, isa akong pasaway na bata. Malay ko ba na marami palang naipapatay na tao nun at hayok sa kapangyarihan ang dating presidente?

Nagkaron ng snap elections. Nanalo si Marcos.
Nagkaron ng People Power. Naging presidente si Cory.

In fairness to Tita Cory, siya ang naging tulay ng pagbabago. From dictatorship to democracy.
Nagkaron ng boses ang mga tao. When I try to look back, aside from freedom, ano pa ang nagawa ni Tita Cory for the country? (Kuliglig sound effect). Maybe I was still too young to notice. Mahirap nga namang itayo ang isang bansa from scratch without knowing how to. She was shoved into the position of power. During her administration, nagkaron ng problema sa lupa (Luisita Tragedy) at coup d’etat attempts. Sa term niya, I wouldn’t say she’s a great president. But I would say she’s a brave woman and she has my respect.

Pumalit si Ramos. Ang presidenteng palaging may hawak na tobacco. I’m really surprised na wala siyang lung cancer or something (knock on wood) sa laki at dami ng tobacco na nahithit niya.
Under his administration, lumakas ang ekonomiya ng bansa. Naging “Tiger Cub Economy in Asia” ang Pilipinas. Ok na sana kaya lang nasangkot sa corruption aside from the human rights violation na ibinabato sa kanya noon when he worked under Marcos.

And then, Erap came into power….
Having him as the president was like being in a real-life telenovela.
With all the womanizing, gambling and drinking.
But to be fair, what’s good about him is, he surrounded himself with bright people.
Economy was good. Crime rate was down.
But he and his wristband had to do something stupid.
He would probably have gotten away with it if he were still the Mayor in San Juan (people there worship him) but being the president is a different matter. The country was divided. Being idealistic during that time, I joined the EDSA Dos rally and walked from UP to Ortigas. All the while chanting: “Sobra nang pahirap! Patalsikin si Erap!” And, “Pulis! Pulis! Sumama na kayo!”
He was found guilty of plunder but was later on granted executive clemency by the person who replaced him…

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Malamang marami akong mga kaibigang magbabato sakin ng kamatis, tabo, tsitsirya, tsinelas at kung ano-ano pang pwedeng ibato sakin pero I’m sorry… sa lahat ng mga presidenteng nabanggit ko, pinaka-nagagalingan ako kay Gloria. Totoo. Alam ko maraming may ayaw/galit kay Gloria. Marami siyang flaws and lapses in judgement. Not to mention, ang mga pinaggagagawa ng kanyang very “controversial” family. Pero sa tingin ko, what she has done and what she’s doing for the country outweighs all of that. I believe, most of what she’s been doing is for the good of the country.

Ano bang nagawa ni GMA? Maraming nagsasabing sa term niya ng panunungkulan, wala naman siyang nagawa, puro salita lang at mga pangakong napako.
Unang-una, hindi madaling maging presidente ng isang bansa. You have to be very diplomatic, lahat naka-focus sayo. Lahat ng major decisions, sayo. Lahat ng pressure sayo. Bukod dun, lahat ng mga congresista, senador, mayor, baranggay captain, etc kailangan mong mapag-work together para ma-achieve yung plans and goal mo. Yun pa lang, isang malaking hurdle na. What more kung may nago-oppose sayo di ba? And there’s always an opposition. Kahit sino pang nasa taas.

Pangalawa, sa dami ng dapat i-develop sa bansa natin, hindi sya kayang gawin ng basta-basta. Ang hirap satin, gusto natin agad andyan na. Napaka-jaded ng tingin natin sa mga pulitiko. Sometimes, without knowing, we’re asking them too much already.

Pangatlo, there’s nothing wrong with being an idealist. But at this day and age, you also have to be a realist. Oo, ok yung isang idea. Pero ano ba yung magagawa? Ano ba yung kaya lang?

If I were still in college, at bilang puro negative ang naririnig ko about her sa Media, I would probably also hate Gloria. I was an idealist.

Pero ngayon, after working more than 5 years in TV. After working 8 months straight like a machine, without any day off on a ship in another country. I became a realist. It’s hard to explain. Pero siguro, dahil sa ibang level ng hirap ng pagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa (now I understand what “Kayod Marino” means) at sa lahat ng iba’t ibang lugar na nakita ko, nabuksan yung mga mata ko. Nagkaron ako ng ibang perspective sa buhay.

Nakita ko yung power ng Media. They can make or break anyone if they want to.
And this power is scary especially if you factor in the ratings. Sensational ba kamo?

Nakita ko rin yung growth ng Pilipinas. Yes. Growth.
Under Gloria, nabawasan ang utang ng Pilipinas, nagkaron ng RORO, nagkaron ng SCTEX, naayos ang NLEX, inaayos ang SLEX, nagkaron ng Methane Power Plant (electricity from basura), nagkaron ng mga CCTV camera sa kalye, naging electronic ang pagkuha ng mga papeles, magiging computerized ang elections, etc., etc., etc.
Na siguro hindi na napapansin ng mga tao. Hindi naa-appreciate how good we have it here already.
And compared to other 3rd world countries? Trust me, we’re good.
What’s good about her projects eh long term. Pero sabi ko nga, she has flaws. She focused too much on economy na hindi na mashadong napagtuunan ng pansin ang Education at Health Care. Pero I can’t blame her because she’s an economist. And she can’t possibly do everything in a span of 6 years. Swerte siya dahil nadagdagan ng ilang years yung term niya. Naituloy niya yung ibang projects niya.

Tapos ngayon, eto tayo. Trying to recover sa tragedy na iniwan ni Ondoy. Sinisisi nanaman ang gobyerno. Kung ang Amerika nga na 1st world country, hindi napag-handaan ang Katrina with all their hi-tech equipments, tayo pa na jurassic ang equipment? Eto nanaman tayo. We’re expecting too much again.

Sana buksan natin ang mga mata natin.
Tama na yung batikos.
Lahat na lang ng naging presidente pinintasan, may mali.
We will never have a perfect president dahil hindi naman lahat kayang i-please.
Kung ganito ang mentality natin wala na talagang magiging magaling na presidente.
Palagi na lang yung negative ang mas binibigyang pansin.
Let’s just focus our energies sa ikabubuti ng bansa.
At sana kung sino man ang susunod na magiging presidente, mahigitan yung mga magandang nagawa ni Gloria at hindi gawin yung mga maling nagawa niya.

Let’s help each other.

————————————

To anyone who wants to help the victims of Typhoon Ondoy,
please go to this website: http://www.redcross.org.ph/
Or you can go to: ABS-CBN’s Volunteer venues: 1.) 13 Examiner St., West Triangle Homes, QC 2.) Jusmag, Sct. Bayoran near Alex III Timog.
Originally posted on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=749251843#/note.php?note_id=186414459688
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