By Rafael Monday
26March2017 (BicolToday.com) – It seems like the world today is a stage play waiting for that much anticipated opening of curtains. The actors are ready, the stage is set, and the lights are lit. We are the audience but the only difference is that we are also part of the act.
Global movements and events of massive proportions are happening. The West seems to be under the illusory spell of populism and a false sense of fear of immigrants and religious fundamentalism.
The international community is in disarray and think tanks are even comparing our times to the turbulent decade of the 1930s. This concoction of global events is as always cooked up by the big players (USA, Russia, Europe, China).
However, surprisingly, unlike before, the Philippines is now pushed into the limelight and the world’s eyes are fixed upon us.
The recent presidential election brought us an outsider as president. Rodrigo Roa Duterte the former mayor of Davao City is now the 16th president of the republic of the Philippines. His personality is somewhat unorthodox and the same thing can be said about his political style.
The West branded him as the “Trump of the East” due to similarities with their larger than life persona and bravado. In less than a year he galvanized the country to pursue a relentless drug war and a shake-up of the political establishment.
Furthermore, a series of controversies continuously surrounds him from his supposedly misogynistic remarks to the endorsement of vigilantism and extra-judicial killings. These made the Philippine president a frequent subject and topic of international news agencies, intellectual communities, and the social media. He seemingly singlehandedly brought forth our country to the center stage.
People are suddenly interested in what’s happening in our part of the world. We, Filipinos, are talked about and not just because of our boxer senator.
There is genuine attention given to us by the world ever since the EDSA People Power.
I’m not saying that we should be proud that we are being known for issues and controversies. What I’m telling is that we have now the opportunity to show the world who we are as people.
If you could observe due to our sociopolitical situation more and more are now involved in public discourse. Also, big thanks to Facebook and Twitter, Millennials, Baby Boomers, even our lolos and lolas, the general public are now into what is happening in our country.
The people engaged in political dialogue and the expression of criticisms are vital part of nation building and we should foster it more. There is noise in our country and we have been heard.
Again, this is the most opportune time to let the world know who we are as people.
We are not simply a country of housemaids and boxers. We are more than what racial stereotyping brands us. We are a country of people who will not tire of incessantly scrutinizing every step and decision being made by our new administration.
We have a youth who are not only appeased by reality TV shows and K-Pop but a youth who answered the call of moral consciousness by going against the recently passed death penalty bill not only in Facebook but also in the streets.
The Philippine intellectuals from all sides of the political spectrum have now descended from their ivory tower and are now engaging and involving themselves in the public sphere. The main point here is that the Filipinos have now immersed themselves completely to civic engagement and are now a part of the analysis, construction, and deconstruction of national issues and agendas.
Let the world see how a democratic country is continuously built and made. Make them realize that we are not some little brown brothers of our former colonial masters. We have now the chance to show to the globe our national identity and the kindred spirit of the Filipino people.
The spotlight is now on us and no matter what act we will play in the forthcoming global show we can be sure that we will have a major part to play. We will not be lacking any air time or exposure. Now more than ever, as a Filipino, I proudly say to the world “Do you hear my people sing?” [BicolToday’s Contributor]