We Are Juan

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“A sense of shared destiny”

This is what I love about Miriam Defensor Santiago, and what makes her stand out from the rest of the presidential aspirants. She intends to inspire every Filipino to be part of nation-building, to be part of the solution. Not just bystanders watching from a distance, waiting for something to go wrong. Not just apathetic citizens just going about their daily lives, who couldn’t care less what happens to the nation.

Because it’s always the same story in Philippine politics: majority of the voters will choose leaders who they believe will save them, who will provide for their every want and need, who will make the country a better place. And when they see that they’ve been let down, they will hold mass rallies against that leader. And who can blame them? Most politicians will always try to win votes by promising that they will make everything better! No more taxes! No more crime! No more traffic! It’s like all they need to say next is ‘Just leave everything to me‘.

But not Miriam Defensor Santiago. The first time I heard her say the phrase ‘a sense of shared destiny’ was in the first televised Presidential debate. Of all the things that she said in that forum, this was my favorite:

“What our country needs really is a sense of shared destiny.”

Because truthfully, that is what the country needs right now. For its citizens to unite in pursuit of one vision, and not just wait to be saved by empty promises. To speak up when there is injustice and wrongdoing, not just dismiss them as ‘normal occurrences’. There are more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines (including the ones wrongly claimed by China), but for all our differences in belief, in faith, in culture, in language, we are ONE NATION, ONE PEOPLE. Divided, we can be easily broken. But when we are united, under one goal, one vision, one discipline, there can only be steady progress on the horizon.

P.S. Whoever wins in the coming election, always remember that we are all in this together. One nation, towards one destination. Choose wisely.

-Ed. E.

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