NO LESS THAN divine guidance. That's devoutly to be wished for us voters while many politicians go hell-bent to sweep us off our feet with their devil-may-care compulsion for the nation's cruxifixion. Here's my Lenten-themed column in the opinion page of Sun.Star Cebu (3 April 2007):
In the face of the faithless
When God granted free will to us Filipinos, did it seem like casting pearls before swine? Not if the outcome of the forthcoming elections, hopefully, wouldn’t again leave us heaving a sigh of whine until we’re fit to be tied, skewered, and roasted.
Now that not a few politicians impel us into pigging out on the slop of their self-aggrandizement, Lent does come in the nick of time to nudge us off the beaten track of the politically cynical and clueless.
In this year of the Fire Pig, will the elections—God forbid!—again leave us blood-curdled and curled over the coals?
Then again, no scenario is ever outlandish where the craven and the clowns take turn hogging our attention, unsettling enough to scare even our guardian angels to take absence without leave.
Sacred, our right of suffrage. But suffering fools gladly has been like a religion to us as we take the extra mile of masochism. Preferably on bended knees, yes. As if we’re out to prove—as if we don’t have a surplus of comic relief—that we are a nation of martyrs.
Consider and weep over how we continue to bear the cross brusquely hewn in the hands of self-styled redeemers.
Lest we lapse into the twilight zone of inertia once more, which is all some candidates need for us to fry in our own fat till we crackle under our skin, it’s about time we seize the day of our own deliverance. And that may be the closest thing we have to redemption by way of repentance.
Or else, there’s more hell to pay. So exhorts those who hold the candle in the face, crusted with callus, of our candidates.
Indeed, some priests have pushed their sphere of influence far into the fray of politics. A Catholic priest in Zamboanga City has resigned from the priesthood to run for mayor, and another man of the cloth is also seeking to be governor of Pampanga.
If we must burn, it better come from the fire in our belly along with the belief or leap of faith that we could still make an effing difference.
Thus the Cebu-based Dilaab Foundation (“a volunteer-driven movement for a transformed Filipino nation through heroic Christian citizenship”) sparks up its plug for us to take charge with its decision-making guide. Yes, so that we’d vote with the visionary light of LASER (Lifestyle, Action, Support, Election conduct, Reputation) and zap to zero the chances of undesirable or “anti-life” candidates with ill-gotten wealth and campaign money sourced from illegal drugs.
Also recently, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales urged voters to choose for “green candidates” as the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) released the “Ten Commandments for Responsible Voting.”
Hopefully, this will influence the electorate on “what to ask and look for from candidates in terms of environmental record and platform.”
It’s about time we save ourselves. And spare the next balloting time from the usual suspects who want us to swallow the staleness of politics microwaved with this advertising adage: “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”