Juan de la Cruz wore green today to Gibo Teodoro’s “Miting de Avance” at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The edifying reality was there for all to witness: for those who had long charged that Gibo Teodoro was being considered for president only by the rich and the middle class, the poor and the poorer than poor trudged cheerily into the stadium by contingents beating drums and playing other instruments — often homemade — from near and far. The “Jejemons” and the “Jejebusters” alike were in full force [ new kinds of Filipino youth; look up the definitions in YouTube ]. As evening came, Juan de la Cruz the true Filipino dominated the stadium’s 30,000 seats and +- 100,000 standing room, and the occasional rich and the well-represented middle class present were reduced to mere spreckles in that galaxy of Filipino economic reality.
In a stirring speech that did not promise more than what was actually possible, Gibo Teodoro again laid out his clear “roadmap” for Philippine progress: quality education for the nation’s youth, specially for the poor; quality medical care, specially for the poor; fair business opportunities for all, be they rich, middle class, or poor. In that enunciation of positive social change, he implied the destruction of the old, irrelevant, and shamelessly parasitical political order which has chained the Philippines to the cycle of poverty in all its facets — material, moral, intellectual, cultural, and others — for the longest time.
“Kay daming magagawa, kay taas nang maaaring abutin…” [ freely translated: “there is so much that can be done, and the heights that can possibly be reached…” ] Without sounding messianic in the least, Gibo Teodoro imparted a message of youthful hope coupled with proactive dynamism expressed in his characteristic “can do” attitude, words, and gestures. It moved me and not a few of us in the stadium to tears, not of sadness, but of a resolve to proactively change for the betterment of the country and our fellow Filipinos. It shot right through to the simple, honest, and sincere yearnings of the Filipino Everyman.
In essence, the presidential campaign of Gibo Teodoro was “a voice crying out from the wilderness” for Juan de la Cruz, the Filipino, to wake up from the apathy of the decades and the centuries and to galvanize him to effectively handle, and profit from, the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. Gibo Teodoro effectively showed that the “Filipino as victim” was no longer a valid concept nor even a reality by simply doing away with the cult of personalities; indeed he did not even mention the inadequacies nor the shortcomings of his opponents. He reminded us that the answer to our country’s forthcoming progress and development lay, and lay deep, in each and every “Juan” of us. It was a call to the soul of every Filipino. And it was a call that did not go unheard.
And so, the aspirations of the proactive realists, influenced by Gibo Teodoro, go on. And hopefully, someday, it will finally breed a generation of Filipino leaders who will collectively take this country to the heights it has aspired, and suffered, for so long.
The Philippines will never be the same after Gibo Teodoro.
WE will never be the same.
Something great has been put to motion: something greater than Gibo Teodoro, something greater than all of us. A new national consciousness of integrity, steadfastness, and patriotism has finally emerged. And like all the great countries of the world and their citizens, that national consciousness will permeate and dominate our lives and put the interests of the nation and the common good above all self-interests. And that will finally be the time when the Philippines can take its rightful, long-deserved place of honor in the community of nations.