Tuesday, May 15, 2007

PMS-ing, but in a good way.

Can you fault me for bawling like a baby after reading these words?

Election's Over
by Martin Bautista, Ang Kapatiran senatorial candidate

The election is over. It is time to examine, and to both skeptics and sympathizers alike, explain my participation in it.

I gave up a flourishing medical practice in America, joined Kapatiran and ran for the Senate because I wanted not merely to prove a point, but to live by it.

And the point is this: we can change our country, help our people, not by talking or theorizing but by actually doing something about it. One cannot simply make a statement. He must apply it in his life, by example, by involvement, by action. Our political campaign was such a statement.

Did we succeed? We did not get enough votes for a seat in the senate. But we did get the attention of the electorate and, more importantly, we made people aware of alternative solutions, better political options.

We demonstrated that it is possible to conduct an open, honest, vigorous campaign on programs, not personalities.

We showed that there is no need for false promises, political gimmickry, immoderate spending; but that there is a need for continuing communication, defending and justifying our positions and priorities.

Our fundamental premise is this: Politics is not a means of livelihood. It is not an economic investment that will pay off in future material gain. Politics is a way of giving, of sharing, of helping. It is not soliciting support but providing it. It is not about rendering service in the senate when elected, but rendering service now, in the present, in this time and place, in one's capacity as a candidate, a citizen, a Filipino of compassion.

If we have, even in a small, tentative way, we have redefined politics in the Philippines, then we have been fully recompensed for our efforts. The accomplishments of our greatest heroes cannot be judged in the simplistic terms of triumph or defeat. Like Burgos, Gomez and Zamora, the Kapatiran candidates won no instant victory. But they achieved a beginning, advanced the cause for reform, and awakened a hope that such reform is possible.

A personal note of accountability. We received donations from many sectors of society. Added to our own private contribution to the campaign, the total amount exceeded our modest campaign expenses. The balance we shall turn over to Gawad Kalinga in accordance with our conviction that politics is not an enterprise for profit.

Finally I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to all the men and women of goodwill who stand with us in the common belief in a Filipino future. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.

Martin D Bautista, MD


Yes, I cried. I cried for the loss of this country. I cried because people are more willing to give their votes to coup plotters, Human Rights violators, actors, TV hosts, gambling lords, and shitty bastards who are all talk but have absolutely nothing to show for in their track records.

Initally, I was bitter. I was bitter because I thought, These very same people who complain about the corruption and katiwalian in this country, are the very same ones who eagerly open their arms to goody-bags of Quickchow and Ligo sardines, and willingly agree to bastardize their right to suffrage for a few hundred pesos. They complain about the bulok na sistema, and whine about how all politicians are alike, but don't have the balls and the initiative to look and fight for better alternatives. They poke fun at the clowns we have put in power, and think themselves too high and mighty to participate in such a dirty electoral process, and just content themselves by sitting in their high-chair of misled righteousness and apathy. Fug these people!

My insides right now are a simmering cauldron of emotions: grief, bitterness, sorrow, rrrage. But somehow, with Dr. Martin Bautista's words, I cannot help but also feel strangely hopeful and optimistic. This is sooo not me, I know.

Like I said, in spite of the dark storm cloud brooding over my head, I feel very light-hearted. Sure, I feel a tightening in the chest area whenever I see Ang Kapatiran's numbers in the poll results, but I am consoled by the thought that, at least, 3-4% of the population were brave and principled enough to take a gamble on these three modern-day Quixotes. There is still hope for my country.

But enough of the waterworks. Life goes on. We may have placed a couple more A-holes in Senate (and City Hall and SK), but I don't quite give a hoot. If there is anything my bajillion Philo classes have taught me, it is this: I am an egotist and an individiualist. I do not hold anyone responsible for my life. Leave the senators to their law-making and Blue Ribbon committee investigations, because I will make my own destiny. I will not wait on their promises of peace, security, housing, lower commodity prices, population control (although Ping just might deliver on that, *wink-wink*), zero-graft, etc. So while the rest of my fellow citizens look to the skies open-mouthed and empty-handed for rainbows and ek-eks and bloom-blooms, I shall hold my own.

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