30 June 2016. Today marks the inauguration of our country’s 16th President and 14th Vice President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo, respectively. I was up almost as soon as the alarm on my phone went off and started preparing breakfast by the time the 6AM news coverage on the inauguration started. I can’t recall ever waking up early in the past, although I do remember watching certain parts of the previous Philippine presidents’ inauguration address. In fact, this must be the first time I have learned of the symbolisms used on such occasions, including the going up and down on the staircase of the outgoing and incoming presidents.
It’s a good thing that we’re homeschooling and my girls, especially my 7th grader, are now old enough to pay attention to the program. I honestly wouldn’t take it against them if they prefer to do other things, even if it concerns the country’s history; I know I’d rather play or read a novel if I were their age. Thankfully, I didn’t have to force them to sit down to watch. My 4th grader even got inspired to create a Philippine flag out of paper and balloon stick as she listened/watched the program.
I must admit that I had mixed emotions as I watched former president Noynoy Aquino left the Malacañan Palace. I’m sure he has done his best despite all the criticisms his administration had to endure. We can’t expect him to be perfect and solve all the nations’ problems, can we? And you’ll have to agree that we have started to regain the respect of other countries, our economy has improved, crime incidents became fewer, etc. Well, you get the point.
I never thought that I would actually appreciate Noynoy Aquino as a president. I must say I was only following what is taught to us at our Christian church–to pray for and support our country’s leaders, especially the president, and that’s probably how I started to appreciate our former president. I remember even campaigning against him in favor of his cousin Gibo Teodoro, who was also running for the presidential post then.
This year, I didn’t vote for the new president either. I had thought about voting for him, I really wanted to vote for him, but I couldn’t. I had found myself willing to turn a blind eye on his rumored extra-judicial killings, but not on the joke he made about the Australian female missionary who was raped and killed. You simply do not joke about such things. If you are unable to feel any sympathy at all–which makes you a beast, I suppose–or simply do not know what to say, then just shut up.
Nevertheless, I find myself now wanting to believe that our new president would be right for the job regardless of his unorthodox ways. God allowed him to win after all, and by a huge margin at that. Who would dare doubt that he, indeed, was the nation’s choice? Once more, I find myself praying for a president I had refused to vote at the last election. Once more, I shall be asking God to help me support this leader and believe that he will do great things for our nation. Our journey has just started; it can’t be that bad. If Davao is any indication of what our president-elect can do, then we can all truly hope for a better future, I guess.
As for our country’s new VP, I could only hope and pray that she would make herself worthy, over and over, of the trust I/we have given her and that the new president would be more than willing to work with her in bringing positive and lasting changes to our country.