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.

12 comments:

Rafa and Ene said...

We're sure you've heard all of this before. We just felt compelled to tell you personally that my wife and I admire what you and your family and your partymates are doing. As physicians in the US, we know exactly what you are giving up going home to our country. We are inspired by your sacrifice and feel that whatever the outcome of the elections - you have succeeded in making a statement - that the Filipino is worth coming home to and worth sacrificing for - and that it is time for a change in Philippine politics.

When we left for the US 5 years ago - we have always held on to the dream of coming home and serving our countrymen. Right now it continues to be a dream given our economic situation as we know you understand. But know that you are giving hope to many of us who continue to strive and train here in the US - and have kept our love of country alive. Maraming Salamat Po. We have mailed our ballots to the consul with our votes for you.
Godspeed.

Maggie said...

mabuhay ka dr. martin bautista!

naipadala ko na ang aking balota sa philippine consulate sa osaka. ikaw ang aking number one...

nawa ay pagpalain ka pa ng Poong Maykapal...

kelly said...

If I only had the means of helping with the campaign, I would have contributed in any way.

Right now, the best thing I could do is write your name on the ballot. I do hope you win, because it sickens me to think that for the next few years I might still be watching the rusty circus that is the government.

J said...

A great hungry world is waiting, eager to know what you will do after May 14. Many had come before you, and they, too, have not given up. Many more will come because of you, and even for that, your hard work will have been worth it.

You said that you met many kindred spirits along the way. If you will not give up, if you will pursue the mission of being a bearer of hope, a witness for what is good and noble, then you will be awed by the number and intensity of these kindred spirits.

The Opacos said...

To all Kapatiran ang boto ng pamilya ko ay nasa sa inyong lahat! Umaasa akong mananalo kayo!

Jaywalking Pedestrian Observer said...

Voting for popular "winning" candidates is actually a losers proposition, a vote for the trapos means voting for criminals.

Yes, you heard it right straight from the horse's mouth so to speak coming from Lady Miriam saying that the 12 senators who will win this election are criminals and the 2 giant network profiteers bastardizing the electoral process.

Bribing local officials to get included in their sample ballots, paying off tongelec officials of the backroom operator kind to ensure their win through padding better known as dagdag bawas is still the name of the game. they have broken the law on Campaign spending limit therefore they are criminals as Lady Miriam rants.

Voters should see the obvious that there is no other way but the Ang Kapatiran way......... onward brothers & sisters to a new beggining for a better Philippines.

Anonymous said...

Hello Martin:

I am a Filipino physician in the US, just as you were. I met you in the Owls Nest in Diliman.

I admire your courage and determination to get you ideas into action.

I know of many very talented Filipino American professional who are looking at your lead.

Your journey back to the Philippines is igniting the patriotism in many Filipinos everywhere is the world, that the Filipinos in the Philippines is worth fighting for.

Anonymous said...

You have my vote, be stong. You have fought well.

Anonymous said...

You have my vote and those of my family and friends. Be convinced that there are more like-minded Filipinos out there committed to change the rotten political system that we have. Go, Kapatiran, go! --Chris Z

Rak138 said...

Doc Martin Bautista,

I voted with my conscience and voted wisely. I voted YOU!!! I remain hopeful. God bless our country, The Philippines

Anonymous said...

Preliminary AMA votes show strong for Escudero, Legarda, Aquino, Villar......

jong lardizabal said...

the election is just the beginning of this good fight that you have chosen to take.

win or lose, you have entered the public realm. you have made your struggle public, and you just acquired a persona capable of sending public messages and actually getting heard. win or lose, people (especially media) will now listen to you. kahit maliit lang, your words and actions will be news items, from now on.

you just acquired a potent weapon. i hope you wield it righteously. i hope you develop it further and make it stronger and more effective.

(p.s. needless to say, i and my friends voted for you)