This morning, I had an interesting ym conversation with Fr. F. He used to be a UP chaplain but he is now based in the States. I'd like to refer to him as the modern Rizal due to his radical ideas. He never fails to inspire me.
me: what's your take on Fr. Panlilio's plan to run for president?
fr. F: ideally, it's not such a bad thing. realistically, i'm not so sure.
me: why not?
fr. F: he needs to leave the priesthood first.
fr. F: then i believe he can, and perhaps should run.
me: so you think he can institute some much needed reforms in this country?
fr. F: i think seen from any angle, it's just the right thing to do.
philippine politics is a very odd beast.
reforms? i really don't know donna.
me: but at least, he's the lesser evil... not necessarily the better alternative
fr. F: isn't that sad. why do we have to constantly settle for the lesser evil? where are all those young people who were with you at UP? or those who were once young at UP, Ateneo, LaSalle, UST, etc.? Whatever happened to the "pagasa ng bayan" I wonder.
i think we know the answer.
they've become the very persons they once despised.
but you're right. why not panlilio?
maybe he's not the savior the country's been waiting for.
but maybe he can get the ball rolling.
maybe we'll get there one day, not too long after him.
me: i hope so.
pero ang hirap nga talaga father.
fr. F: don't be discouraged. no system is perfect.
me: being in the system for almost 5 years now, i still keep on asking myself why I'm here. what's the purpose?
fr. F: even here in the u.s., the supposed home of democracy,
things are not as easy as we sometimes think.
me: have i changed something? or has the system changed me already?
fr. F: we do what we can.
fr. F: good question. as long as you're still asking it, you're still ok.
fr. F: once you stop asking that question, i think you need to get out of the system.
me: okay. i'll keep that in mind.
fr. F: i know that one day, titino rin ang bayan natin.
it's not an empty hope.
i believe it very strongly.
me: sana nga.
fr. F: if you try reading rizal very carefully, you'll see that even at the end of the Fili, there's a faith in the indestructibility of hope.
the night won't last forever.
me: sometimes, its so hard to keep the faith. especially if the situation seems so hopeless
fr. F: that's why its important to find like-minded people.
who share our hopes.
and who strengthen our faith.
i do believe with all my heart that there are more good filipinos
that there are far more honest and decent filipinos than those who aren't.
me: yeah. i do too. the silent majority who's just watching and waiting.
fr. F: they're out there. what we need is not really a savior, but a lightning rod.
someone or something that will finally connect all these anonymous good and decent pinoys.
to connect and network them with each other.
how that's going to happen, i'm not so sure. gk is a start.
me: yeah, well.. i do hope that lightning rod would strike soon before the situation gets any worse.
fr. F: i meant lightning rod in terms of something that will collect and connect all that power that's just sitting out there and channel it.
pinoys don't need a savior, they need an inspiration.
obama won because he managed to tap into some deep seated psychological need of people here, especially young people.
if panlilio can serve as an inspiration, he would be good.
filipinos need to be inspired. not saved.
they can do that themselves.
but someone has to inspire them.
and be willing to do it without getting anything in return.
me: then, i do hope he can be that inspiration.
its already starting
anonymous people are donating for his campaign
fr. F: that's good news.
if the level f interest can be sustained, i think it can be done.
that's how obama won you know.
ordinary grassroots work of ordinary people like you.
two years ago nobody even took this guy seriously.
and now he's president
me: musta naman po ang peformance niya so far?
fr. F: he's doing very well
very sincere person.
for once, the u.s. actually has an intellectual for president.
but fr. ed has to leave the priesthood.
that's the only way it will work.
that's a sacrifice he has to make.
me: but looks like he's not willing to give it up:(
fr. F: now that's going to be a problem.
even i won't vote for him.
no one can serve two masters at the same time.
plain and simple truth.
he will have more credibilty if he leaves the priesthood
and consider it the supreme sacrifice of his life for the sake of the country. if that is in fact is his motive for running.
he will lose credibility with the catholic intelligentsia.
thoughtful catholics will have doubts about him.
i believe they would rather that he sacrifice his priesthood and be sincere in his desire to serve in public office.
they'll probably vote for him still.
fr. F: but the doubts will linger, and that's never good.
me: haay, difficult decisions. and his opponents are not taking this sitting down. they've been hurling black propaganda against him as early as now
fr. F: that's to be expected.
filipinos play dirty.
that's the immaturity of our culture.