(A reaction to "Aquino wants to lower our expectations" in Better Philippines.)
Noynoy Aquino's nanny, Yaya Cora, was interviewed by ABS-CBN's Ces Drilon about her former charge's character and habits as a young boy and from start to finish, the whole piece felt like a PR job.
My neighbor, who runs a tailoring business across the street where I live, made the same observation and he remarked that perhaps the giant TV network is trying to consolidate its position further by eating up the meager audiences of the country's three government owned or controlled TV stations (NBN, RPN, and IBC).
The TV news feature presented by Ces Drilon portrayed Noynoy through the eyes of a very loyal member of their household and one who was jailed during the Marcos administration.
As support video, pictures of Noynoy as a young kid were shown. There were even pictures of him that showed an uncanny resemblance to one of his nephews, Bam Aquino. He was so darned cute!
Of course, why would anyone expect pictures of Noynoy as a kid in soiled diapers with snot caked all over his upper lip and drool dripping from the corners of his mouth.
And then came Yaya Cora's revelations about Noynoy's character as a kid. He was described as mabait or kind and easy to take care of. Yaya also said that he had been trained to be self-reliant and do things for himself.
But, perhaps, in order not to be accused of being overly positive and promotional or propaganda-like, Ces probably asked if Noynoy had any bad habits or bad traits.
Yaya Cora said that Noynoy was 'mahirap gisingin' or hard to wake up and he took such a long time to dress up. This minor misbehavior, as narrated by Yaya Cora, sounded so innocuous and even endearing -- after all, what kid isn't a sleepy head and prone to procrastination?
And then, something in the whole TV segment stuck out like a sore thumb and this was when a soundbite of Yaya Cora's interview was aired saying that "Noynoy always fulfills his promises" and also "Noynoy never forgot me, he introduces me to everyone."
My neighbor observed that Ces' interview wasn't incisive enough because it didn't tell people about a number of things, including:
- What age did Noynoy start smoking? When did he have his first 'buzz' or taste of alcohol?
- Who was the object of his first infatuation?
- Did he read any dirty magazines? Did he make silip any of the maids while they were taking a bath? Or more to the point, was he ever caught jacking off? Who gave him his first experience?
Stuff like that, my neighbor said, told more about a man than anything else.
(Of course, my neighbor definitely part of the masa because his concerns revolve around sex, food, and drinking beer.)
So, why bring up Ces' interview with Yaya Cora as a reaction to Better Philippine's view that Noynoy Aquino is lowering people's expectations?
Well, the work of deifying Noynoy will go into overdrive in the next few days and the expectations that Noynoy is said to be lowering won't be happening.
For some, and probably for a very few, their expectations need not be lowered because they weren't high to begin with. A number of people don't expect Noynoy to fulfill any of his campaign promises primarily because he isn't capable of leading a team (a very huge one at that) that will work to deliver his promises.
There was a news item quite recently that said that he is expected to reveal who the members of his cabinet will be tomorrow, Monday June 28. However, one has to keep in mind that forming a team is one thing and leading the team you've formed is another thing.
One way to think about this is taking into consideration the sort of thinking it takes to lead a dog-powered sled through the wilderness of Alaska. One would think that all you have to do is to harness a bunch of dogs together and lead them by tethers. But, that's where most people would probably be wrong.
First of all, you have to consider the temperament, endurance, and strength of each dog in the train. You can't lash together two dogs who are prone to fighting with each other and you can't expect the strongest dog to be at the lead all through out or do without planning for reconfiguring the whole team should the lead dog perform in an unexpected manner.
But even before you lash together the dogs, the one holding the tethers should already be well-trained in leading the particular pack of dogs and he or she should already know the route that he is leading them through by heart.
Anyway, apart from those who are expecting something from the Noynoy Administration are the one who expect that nothing will change. And basically, these are the ones who are benefiting from the status quo.
You don't have to be corrupt to benefit from the status quo, all you have to be is a government employee or be an employee whose company stays afload because of the contracts it gets from the government.
Imagine the collective shock of these people when they find out that the new administration has to cut down on expenses in order to keep itself from burdening the people with more taxes (Noynoy promised not to raise taxes).
This can mean government projects in the pipeline will probably not push through or will be delayed. And in the case of construction firms building roads, bridges and whatever else, this will mean no new hires for labor.
It can also spell disaster to people who have already started on a government project only to find out that funding for the project has been stopped. In most cases, these companies will have already spent a considerable sum -- such as the kick backs and grease money given to government officials as well as actual money spent on the project. This is because, as any government contractor will tell you, companies who get government contracts often have to perform the service or deliver first before they get paid.
Government employees whose jobs are contractual or temporary in nature will probably be jobless when the new Aquino administration declares a need to cut back on government programs.
Apart from those who expect nothing and those who expect little to change, there are those who expect a lot of change to happen. And this will be where the biggest disappointments will happen.
One of the people who commented on Better Philippines, one going by the name of "Dick Gordon", asked to ease up on Noynoy.
The "Dick" was basically selling a cop out interpretation of Noynoy's promise to eradicate corruption completely and lift people out of poverty -- "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap."
Here's one comment from "Dick" ( or as I suspect, Charlie from one of the Noynoy sites.)
The campaign slogan was “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Yun ang pinakanapansin kasi yun ang pinakarelevant given the corruption under Arroyo.
That said, I think the president-elect knows that fighting corruption is not the end-all to solve poverty.
Take, for instance, his stance on the RH bill. Or his pledge to increase spending in public works projects that give employment to many of the poor. Or his focus on area upgrading and in-city resettlement. Mayroon nang mga nakakasang programa to fight poverty.
(your readers can see more here: http://www.noynoy.ph/v3/covenant-urban-poor.php)
I agree na hindi matatapos sa paglaban sa corruption ang laban towards poverty alleviation, and I think the president-elect knows this too. How about reading his slogan from a different angle? Instead of interpreting mahirap as “poor,” interpret natin siya as “hard (to do).”
Without corruption, anything is possible.
Given the ambiguous nature of the Liberal Party platform and the slogans it carried, I'd say that it is very easy for Noynoy Aquino to weasel out of any of the promises made to the people when he was campaigning.
This is the problem one confronts when advertising slogans are treated like stipulations in a contract.
The slogan does not refer to a doer, a recipient, and action to be performed or goods to be delivered. All it is, IS an observation or a musing which can be true or false or meaningless, but does not bind anyone to perform anything but makes it seem so.
You'd have to consider if it is actually possible for both conditions to exist in the real world. Is there a place where corruption DOES NOT EXIST? Is there a place where there absolutely NO POOR people? Is there in fact a place on this earth where people are both morally upright and not poor?
You'd probably think of places like Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand. Countries that are perceived to have the least amount of corruption and whose people are mostly rich.
Now, since such a place is possible, the next question is: Can Noynoy Aquino lead our country to becoming like Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand?
I think Noynoy will probably rework his campaign promise (like all other Preisdents in Philippine history) and it will probably be...
KAPAG WALANG CORRUPT, WALANG MAHIRAP KAYA MAG-MIGRATE NA KAYO SA DENMARK, FINLAND, AT NEW ZEALAN!