Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Lord's Prayer

In the King James Version: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen

Likewise in the Douay-Rheims; American Standard Version; English Standard Version it is for the forgiveness of our debts as we forgive our debtors. There you have it, the one prayer Jesus Christ taught us concerned with two temporal matters: food and debt forgiveness. A very old concept this debt forgiveness thing but one even the captains of industry have managed to convince church authorities to de-emphasize. Now we talk about sin and trespassing, we are made to recite innocuous words that do not accurately repeat what our Lord taught us. It was always about the forgiveness of debt. A reminder we shouldn’t make a killing out of lending money. The root of a lot of evil. A most effective system to keep nearly all the world working for a few. Certainly, even the most pacifist nations will go to war to collect debts, there is no question about this but we should all aspire for the new order that Jesus described so long ago and that time may be nearer than we think. Even Pope Benedict XVI is advocating for debt relief.

Since our country is greatly affected by this debacle, we need to take the initiative to propose new solutions, create novel schemes. We need to stop acting as if there is no goodwill left in our planet.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One Big Fight

From Inquirer: “The government spent P300.89 billion from January to April -- representing close to 90 percent of the total revenue collected during the period -- to service maturing debts, data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed.

The government collected P338.50 billion in revenues, such as from taxes and privatization of assets, during the four-month period.

Treasury data showed January-April debt service payments consisted of P191.74 billion of principal debts and P109.119 for interest.

Domestic debt accounted for P227.715 billion and foreign debt, P73.145 billion”

Now tell me if this is good news or what. The treasurer thinks this is good news because the figures already show a reduction in payments because of the improving deficit (which is primarily from the strengthened peso arising from vigorous overseas remittances). But 90% of total revenue? This is the ultimate human rights violation. Whenever our dynastic leaders allow this to happen and focus on impeachment, charter change and other self-serving topics that further their political entrepreneurial fortunes.

Anyone who runs a household knows that this form of credit-card living makes very poor economic sense. And who do you think pays taxes around here? Certainly not those big tobacco firms who always have the law suspiciously on their side when it comes to tax matters. Hardest hit are the industrious and law-abiding employees and those families relying on remittances. Meanwhile, educational opportunities dwindle further and healthcare, well there wasn’t anything much to begin with.

But why can’t we negotiate for interest payment deferments and reductions? Why can’t we automate the election process? Why is it that even the simple task of counting votes has become so complicated and corrupted? Why can’t I negotiate with the banks? Why can’t I take charge of the vote-counting system knowing I can do a better job than Abalos? Why am I not allowed to even ask these questions?

Because if you stay too long, your mind becomes conditioned to the passive acceptance mode that prevents us from moving forward. At the end of all our rants, we meekly take. We stop asking, we don’t do anything. Our country deserves so much more than what we have. We have millions of children who eat one inadequate meal a day. We tolerate pollution and we enable dishonest cops and government bureaucrats.

Get behind me, anonymous. I am not giving up. I have only just begun to fight.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

2 Weeks and Counting

50 years ago, it already took this long to count the votes. But just like we don’t care if people still died from tuberculosis in droves and 12 infants continue to die from diarrhea daily we have become so desensitized with this rotten political process we don’t really care that much anymore. The results will still be the same anyway, with a few exceptions. Yes we raise hell over scattered anomalous eruptions and we cry havoc over minor legalities but when do we wake up to the clear reality that these very same politicians are the principal beneficiaries to this corrupt system? They revel in this set-up, they flourish in these surroundings while we suckers make pathetic attempts to participate.

Our elections consist of 2 stages: vote procurement and vote protection. Traditional Candidates (TC) easily spend 200 million pesos for the first stage and double that amount for the second. Traditional Parties (TP) backing TC’s pour seemingly limitless resources on both stages. But do you hear anyone complain louder than Oliver Lozano? Why haven’t we automated this process? Why despite the intrigue and cheating the job of a COMELEC Commissioner remains the most secure sinecure in our country? As Pia Hontiveros says, nothing personal, it’s strictly politics. All these charges and counter-charges of fraud and mass murder are accouterments to an elaborate triennial play that is hyped to epic proportions but has consistently lacked a denouement. The ending never changes: we get screwed while the finest tradition of business as usual continues.

This is why I think it’s healthy for me to retreat to my fortress of solitude in Oklahoma periodically. You need to see a country that works in order to remain appalled at the spectacular loss of order, competence and honesty prevailing in our midst. If only we didn’t have such a lethal combination it would have been so easy to stay put.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Our Yard

This is the first time that I am uploading photos in this blog. These were provided by Ryan Matzek, aka "Dr. Paul, Doctor of Good Times" of Guymon, OK. These are portions of our award-winning backyard in Park Lane. My wife and I would make many trips to the various area nurseries and pick out the flora that would suit our garden best. In 10 years, we planted more than 20 trees in our house alone. The foliage is lush because of the compost that I painstakingly applied each year.

The third photo shows a small grill surrounded by benches. When the night would become nippy, we'd put a few logs into the grill and huddle around the fire. Only the greatest drinkers in the region have merited an invitation to drink around that spot. The top photo reveals the porch coming from the master bedroom where there are 2 fountains that provide the sound of falling water the whole day. The second picture gives a peek of the side wrought-iron gate custom ordered from New Mexico which leads to a pergola encrusted with wisteria vines that harbors a patio arising from our beloved library. I'd better stop before I begin considering a career with Architectural Digest.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Wedding Anniversary

Today is our 17th wedding anniversary. May 26, 1990 was a classic wedding day, if such a day existed. The ceremony and the reception oozed with simplicity. My wife designed her dress, a sister took care of her hair and make-up, I personally mowed and manicured the backyard of my grandparents, a cousin who was a Jesuit priest officiated, a classmate sang a few romantic ditties, and we prepared a native breakfast consisting of hot chocolate, puto, ensaymada, Vigan sausages and native ham. Took 3 weeks to plan and we invited everybody we knew. My wife and I paid for the whole deal. According to an uncle of mine: it was the most joyous occasion he had seen. We took a bus that broke down twice along the way to Baguio for our honeymoon and we stayed in the mountain for all of 2 days. We left shortly for the United States.

We had witnessed and we were going to witness many weddings that were super elaborate, requiring months, if not years to produce and we both agreed that such a project was not our style. A wedding was a beginning, it was not meant to be a lifetime achievement ceremony from whence everything would go downhill. Every couple needs to be able to pay for their own wedding.

Our elections here in the Philippines can be compared to a wedding extravaganza, only we hold these every 3 years. Surely we can’t afford them but hardly anybody makes a fuss anymore. We’ve accepted these national disgorging episodes as part of our lot. Totally irresponsible but the entire political fabric will definitely unravel if by some twist of fate we are prevented from exercising our destructive drives. As long as everybody seems to be having fun, why ruin a very good arrangement for our loving traditional politicians?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Stupid Rules

We have a law here that requires all motor vehicle drivers and all candidates for public office to submit to a urine drug screen. In Oklahoma, only applicants for commercial driver's licenses need to pass this test. Over here, the test is a total farce. You show up whenever you want and nobody checks if you give your own urine. The chain of custody in handling the specimen is riddled with defects. In short, in an attempt to emulate a procedure that should adequately screen for drug users, stupidity rules.

The critical feature in this form of screening is in the randomness of the sampling. What we have is an entirely money-making bureaucratic hurdle that significantly adds to the inconvenience without accomplishing its stated task.

An estimate recently came out pegging the cost of each law passed to something like 200 million pesos, factoring the number of laws passed to the budget consumed by both legislative bodies. This is an example of of such a 200 million peso law and people continue to ask me why I tried to secure a seat in the senate.

Monday, May 21, 2007

GMA's Golden Chance

This is GMA’s golden chance to do good to her country and leave a favorable lasting legacy. Now that she does not have to pander to anybody anymore, she is the only Filipino who can (just a partial list):

1. Definitely state that she will not extend her term of office by resorting to constitutional change because at the end of her term in 2010, she will have been the second-longest serving chief executive next to Marcos. She was elected to the Senate in 1992, she’s had more than her fair share of leading our nation, her husband almost died, life is too short, she should be eternally grateful.
2. Make Congress pass a bill that will abolish Pork Barrel. Legislators must stick to making laws and providing oversight. Public works should be the responsibility of the executive branch.
3. Make Congress pass an enabling law that will enforce the anti-Dynasty provision in the Constitution. She should provide an example and demonstrate her good faith by asking her 2 sons and her brother-in-law to immediately resign from their positions. That 119 families dominate this country is ridiculous and is clear evidence that this system is not healthy for growth and development.
4. Negotiate directly with the World Bank, IMF, ADB and other international banks for a 5 year deferment on interest payments in order to triple the budgets for health, education and infrastructure, recognizing that continuing down this path of borrowing money to keep up with interest payments is depriving our nation of the capacity to produce succeeding generations that will be able to effectively compete in a global economy. Implicit in this is the repeal of the Automatic Appropriations Law that handicaps our negotiating capability.
5. Automate the electoral process and join the world community in holding elections where the results are known within 24 hours.
6. Increase the taxes on tobacco products, SUV’s, gasoline and other products that harm people and nature.
7. Enforce the felony provisions on squatting that will disqualify violators from participating in the electoral process. This will not only emphasize the critical concept of property rights, it will also prevent traditional politicians from preying upon the poor and the dispossessed, from taking advantage of the vulnerable masses whose lives have remained mired in poverty and squalor resulting from the perverse preferential option practiced by trapos.
8. Call an immediate end to the all-out war on the NPA and seek the mediation-assistance of a Scandinavian country.
9. Mobilize a national research program that will harness solar energy. Lead a tree-planting campaign that will plant 50 million trees in 2 years.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Can’t deny the fact that we have a genius for getting things done when we want to. Fr. Ed Panlilio, erstwhile parish priest of Betis, Pampanga now the Governor of Pampanga province recounted in an interview how his opponents paid sums of money to people living in his hometown and in his bailiwicks so they would not vote. In exchange for the cash, registered voters voluntarily disenfranchised themselves by applying indelible ink on their index fingers on the eve of the elections.

In 2004, voter turnout in Pampanga was 75%. It was 61% for this election. In the end, despite all the malevolent machinations, Fr. Ed won by a little more than 1000 votes. It was close and we rejoice with the Kapampangans.

If only we could apply all these creative energies towards productive and honest labor. Instead we try our best to find means to get around immigration laws, licensing requirements, traffic rules, ethical business practices. We hurt our country whenever we avoid our civic duties. Part of the damage comes from the mentality that the poor who willingly sell their votes deserve their wretched lives. We no longer feel that it is our duty to be responsible for one another.

The struggle to retake our country will be long and difficult but it will be a meaningful one. We need to apply some of our genius on this struggle.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Liberation Theology

Pope Benedict XVI recently visited Brazil and clarified church positions on abortion and liberation theology. When John Paul II wanted to clamp down on what he considered a dangerous, Marxist-inspired movement in the church, he turned to a trusted aide: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now known as Pope Benedict XVI who once called liberation theology ''a fundamental threat to the faith of the church'' and a ''fusing of the Bible's view of history with Marxist dialectics” or declaring outright ''the theology of liberation is a singular heresy.''

In what is generally considered as a “softening” of the church’s position, no new warnings were issued and this can only be interpreted as a good sign. In the Philippines, over the past 25 years, as the Vatican fortified its conservative hierarchy, the socio- economic ills the movement focused upon have worsened. Now, more than ever, even conservative groups like Kapatiran include in their fundamental beliefs ''a preferential option for the poor'' because pretending that inhuman socio-economic realities do not exist has become an immoral act.
I personally find no problem in merging faith with works and I cannot agree with John Paul II’s observation that ''this conception of Christ as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive of Nazareth, does not tally with the church's catechism'' because Jesus did preach an entirely novel revolutionary ideology that totally rattled the Pharisees of his day.

There was no way I could have appreciated present day realities in the Philippines from the US. And this is from somebody who had been previously exposed. The situation has gotten worse and we have to try new ideas and solutions. We cannot expect European and American observers to tell us what the most appropriate course of action is because they will not be able to fully understand the depth of our problems. We urgently need to solve our problems according to our conscience and best efforts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I'm Here to Stay

92 days ago, I was totally unknown outside of my immediate family and close friends. Without spending a single cent on tv and radio ads I may just get a million votes, and in my heart, these are the votes that matter because none of these are “command votes”, none of these votes arose from political machinery, quasi-religious blocs, cash purchases, intimidation, fraud, misrepresentation. It will probably take close to 12 million votes to land a seat in the Senate and a million does not appear much but wasn’t it Fidel Castro who said that all he needed to take the entire Cuba was 70 men?

What I am saying is we were converting people at a rate of more than 10,000 each day, nothing to be ashamed about. Considering it felt like we were campaigning in the Soviet Union circa 1950’s at some places when supporters would confide that they could not be seen attending our rallies for fear of retribution, and not a few people would refuse to take our handbills because they were ordered by their religious superiors to toe the church line or face damnation, or be told by fearful government employees and timid school officials we were not welcome to address even small gatherings because of the pervasive fear of “electioneering” while the incumbent administration bets were campaigning with impunity all over the country. We are always proud to crow about our free press but this is far from reality. It is far from free. It is really very expensive. Wealthy traditional politicians routinely grace the front pages of the big newspapers with their carefully retouched mugs and get quoted with prepared material written by staff members.

No wonder we will never progress with this kind of an inefficient and corrupt system just as the lumbering Soviet bureaucracy sealed the fate of communism. What feeds this system is our choice to do nothing. It is from our choice to accept this scheme as our destiny and fate.

I have been asked what my plans are for the immediate future. This I know: I will not work towards any particular position. I thought that participating in the electoral exercise of 2007 was an effective way to render service to my country. I will find a worthy cause like a national smoking-cessation campaign, tree-planting or the eradication of tuberculosis in the Philippines. I am here to stay.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Election's Over

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. I received donations from many sectors of society. Added to my own private contribution to the campaign, the total amount exceeded my modest campaign expenses. The balance I shall turn over to Gawad Kalinga in accordance with my 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

Monday, May 14, 2007

D-Day Eve

I could never have imagined how this campaign would have turned out but I had to see for myself. No regrets. Got the chance to see the country, talk to a bunch of people. I was forced to think about the many problems that we have. Most important was I was able to validate the reality that there are so many people out there who agree that our country is in dire need of no less than non-violent revolution. If we hope to ever get out of this hole, conservative measures will not do.

I like to think that participating in this election changed some things for the better. Three months ago, I was wailing about a system that subverted the sweepstakes office into becoming a revenue source for the President, instead of supporting the anti-tuberculosis foundation that it was originally established for. Last week, the sweepstakes office was transferred back to the Department of Health. By putting more money into the effort to control TB, hopefully the 75 daily deaths will be reduced.

There was also some chatter about the debt problem and it was satisfying to get quoted by fellow candidates regarding my positions on healthcare and education. And though limited, there was a little debate on critical issues that resulted from this exercise.

Our final campaign day was spent in Cavite. Passing by the house in Kawit where independence was proclaimed 111 years ago made me think yet again of how we messed things up. Why could we not have acquired more from the many positive attributes of Spanish, American and Japanese cultures? Result is we have narrow national roads, entrepreneurship consisting of selling sachets of shampoo, youth aspiring to leave our country posthaste.

I will sleep soundly tonight. I need to keep my mind clear and my heart pure for the battle ahead.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Last Day of the Campaign

Close to midnight last night, amid a heavy downpour, I waxed nostalgic before a lively crowd at a tenement building in Santa Ana, Manila. I recounted how as a medical student from nearby Philippine General Hospital, I would participate in one of those mass circumcision drives. I asked for a show of hands from any remaining survivors.

What was sad though was the persistence of the same deplorable living conditions that existed 20 years before. It was as if no progress had taken place. I did notice a whole lot of young children and a whole lot of grandparents. Most of the parents must have been deployed outside of the country.

I left the Philippines in 1989 and I return to a place that seemed to have stood still. I told the crowd that our leaders appeared to have failed us. We deserved more than this keeping in mind the great sacrifices performed each day by the millions of Filipinos living overseas. When are we going to wake up? Living in the US provided me with a different perspective that enables me to ask why we can’t seem to aspire for a better life. Why do we have it so much better in the US and why do we have to keep accepting our miserable lot? Why do we chronically allow the same leaders to take advantage of our trust and allow them to get away with it every time? I think this same perspective made it easier for me to take on seemingly suicidal odds.

Today is the last day of the campaign period. Experienced handlers tell me the heaviest day of the campaign is going to be tomorrow. Many of the recent comments are filled with foreboding, like muffled drum rolls in the distance. Don’t worry, I am going down fighting with everything I got, just as they would say in Oklahoma. And it ain’t over by any stretch. Watch me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


You know times are tough when you can’t sing in the shower so you can conserve what’s left of your voice. Finding yourself at midnight in a squalid urban alley, speaking to a group of children (who are there for the movie to be shown after the speeches) and a few adults about why we need to change the way we conduct ourselves as citizens will certainly make you think hard and deep whether this is all worth it. When you find religious groups exhorting their followers to ignore a platform that seeks to return God and the good that He represents like truth, justice, love for the poor over likely winners who may return the favor in the future. When you constantly need to drive away hungry street urchins because you have no change left to give.

There is no way that you will complete this journey unless it completely becomes a faith-journey that is a work of grace, meaning God will do for us what we cannot do alone. But we must do our part.

It has been an extraordinary privilege, these last 3 months. Can’t say I could have spent this time in a better way. The educational experience is humbling. And there is so much hope out there. There are so many kindred spirits out there. It is only a matter of time before citizens of goodwill will join one another in peaceful reform. We cannot continue to tolerate all these human rights abuses without permanently diminishing our humanity.

Kaya’t huwag niyong aakalain na dahil ako ay napapagod at nanghihina paminsan-minsan ay handa na akong sumuko. Ngayong na-umpisahan ko na ito ay nananawagan ako sa lahat kayong mga Pilipinong nagmamahal sa ating Bayan na huwag mawalan ng pag-asa. Katungkulan nating lahat na pabutihin ang kalagayan ng ating Bayan. Wala nang atrasan ito.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Nobody Wants to Talk

Some opinion writers decry the absence of meaningful debate in this election. I agree, but let’s see who’s at fault. Which part of society has an obligation to promote public discourse?

We have a very bleak future staring at us if we continue down this course. We are not investing for the future. So far, the radio and television ads are chock full of accomplishments, laws enacted, promises and plans but there is no mention anywhere in these expensive promotional monologues about the crushing debt problem that we cannot afford to ignore any longer. Generations of politicians have come and gone and nobody it seems has any courage to confront this giant problem that is preventing us from providing meaningful educational, health and social services to our poor brethren.

Our leaders have thought of ways to cut services, raise taxes, improve collections, reduce graft but there appears to be profound fear whenever the issue of debt comes up. No serious questions are raised, no thoughtful accounting is demanded. Are our leaders afraid or simply lazy to confront this crisis? We just go on happily borrowing and paying off interest with whatever fresh loans that are strewn our way.

I am convinced that the debt issue is the single most important issue of our time. Because of this mindset, we have become an underproductive nation. We have lost national pride. We have become corrupt. The solution to this riddle is a political one. We will need a leader with a mandate to personally renegotiate the terms of our many loans in order that we may be allowed breathing space with which we can really grow our economy and begin substantially investing in preparing our youth so that they may stand a chance to compete in a bitterly contentious world.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Woes of the Poor

Seems like the harder we try, the less we get noticed. When you are after 43.8 million voters, there is just no way you can make serious inroads without mass media. And these guys know it. 2 staff reporters from 2 different major newspapers admitted to me that their stories about Ang Kapatiran, written after lengthy interviews were killed by their editors. Explains why during the last 3 months, front page fodder would consist of the most inane thoughts and activities of the well-funded candidates. Big media will not give us idealistic greenhorns even a small opening. They are squarely on the side of business as usual.

Voters are hungry for issues and platforms and yet, look at the top 10 candidates considered shoo-ins: 4 refuse to debate at all. They cynically stick to the proven “gold-standard” of collecting votes. We have to scrounge for those precious minutes of free airtime and we have been allowed only a few seconds every week. In this game, you don’t pay, you don’t play.

I take all these obstacles as character-building exercises. Nobody can ever accuse us of getting a free pass.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Cebu Post

I am writing this from an internet cafe in Mandaue City. Let it serve as part of the record of the final days of the 2007 elections. We have been campaigning very hard these past few days and we have met so many strangers who have expressed their support. Whatever happens, Kapatiran will have a greatly-expanded network of like-minded citizens who will need to get organized and pursue our platform with renewed strength.

I don't know what it is with the last 2 minutes but it surely stimulates adrenaline release. The faithful are acting with unbelievable fervor. What keeps me going is the idea that I cannot let all these good people down. I will work even harder. Keep the prayers coming.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Brain Gain

I am an example of what brain gain is all about. Learn, earn, return. I chose to return on my own terms when I felt I was sufficiently prepared to contribute to my country. That I chose to return after training and working hard to establish a successful practice when I could have simply taken it easy and begin enjoying all the fruits of my labor should be proof enough of the seriousness of my intentions.

To those detractors who view my exile in the US as a selfish period in my life, consider those thousands of nights that I was on call, drawing blood from patients with full-blown AIDS, inserting gastroscopes on patients with bleeding ulcers, intubating unconscious patients, removing foreign bodies from stomachs and other orifices. Consider the many racial slights I received, the verbal abuse I had to tolerate. To those who have never left our country, I want you to understand that the billions in remittances we receive from the millions of Filipinos in other countries is blood money. Since sweat and tears are condensates of blood, remember always that while you sit and whine that there are those of us who simply could not accept the reality that we could not maximize our potential here in our country and we were prepared to pay that price with our own blood.

Next time you appreciate that what is paying off all those debt payments come from overseas workers, make sure you have at least a plan or an idea on how to let our country continue to exist when these remittances dry up because it is only a matter of time. We are foolishly not investing on education and health care and nutrition and we have already begun to witness the emergence of a less-competitive generation. One day soon, our services will no longer be necessary.

I will admit that my first reaction to those who tell me to go back to the US is a mean one. But that would only mean that I actually care about your opinion couched in anonymous cowardice.

Itong pagpupunyaging ito ay mahaba at mahirap. Inumpisahan ko na at hindi ako hihinto hanggang mabawi natin ang ating Bayan. Kung sa Estados Unidos hindi nila ako mapa-alis (at mayroong mga nagsabi sa akin nito), dito pa sa aking Bayan.

I must leave for the Prayer rally at the Quezon Circle. Hope to see many of you out there. We leave for Davao and Cebu tomorrow. I am now campaigning 20 hours each day!