I found out only in the last couple months that Dick Gordon’s parents were also mayors of Olongapo City and that his dad died from an assassin’s bullet. I also googled around and found out that Gibo Teodoro is the son of former Social Security System (SSS) Administrator Gilbert Teodoro (Senior), a man I used to see quite a lot as a kid. And Manny Villar, a name I only came to know several years after graduating from university? Well, I have no idea who his parents are.
That leaves popular presidential candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. While I believe I can be forgiven for not knowing who Dick’s, Gibo’s, and Manny’s mommies and daddies are until recently (or not at all in the case of Manny), not knowing who Noynoy Aquino’s parents are even twenty years ago would probably have gotten me into serious trouble if I were a security guard.
Boss, no ID, no entry.
Noynoy Aquino (rolls down heavily-tinted window of his car):
Alam mo ba kung sino ako?
[Translation (from the cultural context): “Do you know who my mommy and daddy are?”]
Boss! (Snaps a salute and opens the gates)
Noynoy Aquino’s campaign is all about his parents — a stark contrast to the other presidential aspirants who are their own men. Their parents hardly figure at all in their campaign. Their campaigns are built upon their own essence and their own personal achievements. Even the liabilities they bring to their campaign are their own. And when these liabilities are scrutinised and brought to bear by their detractors, they own up to them.
So who is Noynoy Aquino? He is his parents’ son. Hmmm… ano pa ba…? Well, lemme see: He is all about being an Aquino. He is all about Edsa “revolutions” and some nebulous idea of “goodness” that he inherited from his clan — a “goodness” nobody can quite put their finger on without invoking an almost religious fervor that befits that of a medieval feudal society more than a modern 21st Century one. His primary liability — the Hacienda Luisita thingy — is not even his own. It is a liability he also inherited from his folks. Not surprisingly, when challenged with that liability, instead of owning up to it, he distances himself from it.
Manuel L Quezon III (I know who his grand-daddy is!) makes something of the final “home stretch” to the coming elections in May, quibbling around statistics on, say, undecided voters and “machineries” for delivering statistical outcomes and whatnot. But, really, if you step back, take a bigger-minded perspective and ask how different this 30-day “home stretch” actually is from the last eight to twelve months, the average non-“expert” (a badge of honour among those who beg to differ) would be left scratching his head. That’s because the “home stretch” is no different to the overall lead-up. Indeed, regardless of the timescale that frames one’s perspective, the whole thing is really just (a) Noynoy Aquino piggybacking his campaign on his pedigree, (b) all the rest chipping away at his “lead” in the “surveys”, and (c) hardly any real platform based on relevant issues and concrete vision presented.
Is the 2010 elections going to be about the future? I doubt it. Not if Noynoy Aquino dominates the popular sentiment and not if the words Edsa “revolution” still continue to find their way into the National “Debate”. For even a glimmer of light shed into the future, I’d look to the other presidentiables — even if I don’t know who their parents are.