Why I’m glad I’m not President

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By Nina S. Custodio


Saturday, August 2, 2014

WE ALL know there will be days like this. Days when nothing really special is happening. Boring days when you have neither cause for stress nor excitement. Days when you feel blah, unimpressed and unmoved by anything around you. Ehem.

I really do not like days like these. There is something about having all that down time to yourself, even when you do not really need it, that makes it a dangerous time for people who simply have the tendency to reflect, ruminate and to overthink. Like me. Sigh. If you are among “my” kind, good luck to us! It would seem like you have all the time to relax but on second thought, you would have all that time and that space in your head to consider “possibilities,” sadly, both good and bad. Hahaaay.

These are random thoughts of the weekend. The first five days of the week had been quite happily uneventful and sort of negative emotion-packed that I wouldn’t mind NOT sharing the thoughts I had with you at all. These “blues,” I would like to think, had nothing to do with the week actually being my birthday week but maybe, it does. Haha. Oh well.



So, there are 100,000,000 Filipinos. Wow. Scary. The first time I was ever aware of our population, there were only 48 million of us! It seems that the years have passed so quickly and now we have doubled in number! Has our country progressed in any way since or have things been pretty much the same? Whatever the answer might be, it must be hard to be the President of the country. To have all the eyes of your countrymen on you as well as pointing fingers and wagging tongues hot and ready to blame your leadership for the collective effort amounting to mistakes and misgivings made by government officials under your administration must be a cerebrovascular stroke waiting to happen. Such stress!

Watching the news in the evening of the SONA, I could not help but think about the glaring fact that the problems and the process of complaining about how badly run our country is, remains the same. People take to the streets, attempt to go through government barricades, burn effigies, shout complains and expletives--it is pretty much how I remember things to be when I was in college! Just a different leader.

I know, freedom of speech and the right to express how you feel but at least, please clean up the mess that you made!!! Do not leave the city streets unkempt and possibly posing public hazard! We always complain that the administration spends on things that are not needed, please do not add additional expenses for clean up AND by adding more to the garbage that is already polluting Manila’s streets! For crying out loud! I applaud the cause and concern but being such, we should also be responsible citizens who take picks up the garbage and disposes them properly so that we do not end up contributing to the causes of flooding when torrential rains besiege the metropolis! We all have to do our own part to make things happen. You want good governance, be good citizens. You want less flooding, clean up your mess as you go!

I did not watch the SONA. I am also wondering how many people watched and really listened to the SONA from start to finish. How did people watch the SONA? Did they try to keep an open mind and wait till the address was concluded or did they only decide to hear the parts they felt strongly favorable or adversely about? If we managed to single out all the sore points in the report, were we able to identify the commendable developments if any at all? Honestly? What was wrong with family members shedding tears? Wouldn’t you feel emotional too, if you had to witness an event when you have a family member bravely facing up to adversity and discontent? I would be scared sh*t. It is not the question of whether the family member in question is guilty of wrongdoing or not, the fact that we are human gives us the right to feel.

Why would anyone want to be President escapes me. Oh yes, there are obvious lucrative reasons but that being disregarded, why would anyone want to be one? If I had wanted to become President with pure intentions in my heart to serve, and win, I would probably be just about ready to quit and revert to my regular, uncomplicated life in a month! To be faced with national and international concerns, to have the whole country’s eyes on you and having a substantial part of the population just waiting for you to make a mistake and prove that they had been right not to vote for you, is stress beyond belief! It is a thankless job which most of the time has no permanent allies. It is like being Captain of the ship that will most likely sink. It’s one helluva job. Great power. Great responsibilities. Greater detractors. I am so glad I am not President. Of any country. To e one would take a special person, or a crazy one. Seriously.

But I will be a responsible citizen. I will try to do more than just complain. I will try to educate myself about the issues beyond what tongue-wagging people claim and REALLY try to learn about the topic beyond hearsay and taking into consideration all sides of the matter so that I can make an intelligible decision on my own volition. I will try to keep an open mind and even applaud good government performance, if there are any. Will try to have a little more faith, less disbelief. Maybe learn to cheer? Hopefully, I will have a reason to..no matter how trivial it may seem to me (or to most). If I cannot teach myself to segregate, I will at least, pick up my mess and dispose of it properly rather than hurling it over my shoulder hurriedly when I think no one is looking or nobody will see. You may have more to add to this list. Yes, we have many things to do. Just thinking about it can be exhausting.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 03, 2014.


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