Ladies and gentlemen, the much awaited circus, er, election campaign has begun! Who gets to team up with whom, who shall be the anointed one, who will go home luhaan — the best or worst is yet to come. But for the love of our motherland and all our kids and the future Pinoy generations, utang na loob, this time let’s show the world that we finally learned (the hard way) a thing or two about our choice of leaders or leadership. And may these lessons stick with us until after the Election Day is over.
1. Tell us who your PBB winners are and we’ll tell you who your leaders are.
What survey? No need to do one to come up with this shocking revelation: you can predict the kind of leaders we’ll have based on the winners of reality game and talent search shows on TV. It could be the most popular, the best-looking, the funniest, or the one with the saddest story. Don’t be surprised if text votes replace elections ballots someday.
2. Leaders lead the people, not their clans, to victory.
Contrary to popular belief, elected government officials should be working for the good of their constituents and not for their army of parents/siblings/uncles/aunts/cousins up to the nth degree of consanguinity holding or vying for public office. Of course, the ultimate clan of Binays—VP Jejomar, Senator Nancy, ex-Mayor Ellen, current Mayor Junjun, and Representative Abigail—may have a different perspective.
3. Performing on stage is different from working in public service.
As much as we love Pacman in the boxing ring, we can’t say the same for Pacquiao at the House of Representatives. Having stats of 57 Wins, 38 Knock-outs, 6 Losses, 2 Draws is one thing. Having the lowest attendance in Congress, i.e. 7/70 sessions, is another. Heart-breaking, we know, but we need to distinguish Manny the Pambansang Kamao vs. Manny the Public Servant and call for more from the latter.
4. Leaders are the people’s representatives, not our ninongs and ninangs.
‘Yung totoo, we vote for them so they can speak about our angst in the proper venue and hopefully do something about it very soon, right? So, stop being FC (feeling close) and pressuring them into becoming the principal sponsors every time a couple weds or a baby is born—you never know where they get the cash gift. Plus, they’ll forget their throngs of inaanaks once their term ends anyway.
5. When it comes to our leaders, forgive and forget…NOT.
To be martyrs or to be manhid—neither should be an option. C’mon, kababayans, we’ve been duped on too many occasions. Broken promises, stolen taxes, absurd speeches, and many more to mention! It’s high time we got angry and showed our lousy leaders that they’d pay for their wrongdoings. That one day, they’d soon taste the law of the oppressed aka batas ng isang api because hindi natin sila tatantanan!
6. Leader wannabes should have leadership proficiency and a platform.
Believe it or not, these are the basic requirements that we should be looking for in our future leaders. Even grade school students know this. Remember when we voted for that classmate who could easily quiet the whole class, who got the most excited when running the annual cleanliness campaign? See, it’s a no-brainer! Forget candidates who sing, dance, and act like clowns. We can always go to comedy bars.
7. Witty leaders will save the world.
This may be asking too much, but can we have more of the likes of Miriam Defensor Santiago’s working in the government? With the several boring senate and congressional hearings we need to witness as proactive citizens, there should be at least something to smile, or better yet, to laugh about. Someone who’ll dare state the facts, er, call her/his highly esteemed colleagues “fungus face,” “certifiable idiots,” discombobulated moral retardates,” and “talakitok” is most welcome.
8. Annoying leaders will find themselves in mocking memes.
Let it be known to all politicians guilty of telling wild lies and executing silly ideas (often at the expense of taxpayers) that they’ll go unpunished. To keep up with the digital age, we’ll create satirical memes about their misbehavior, which will be shared by our friends and friends of our friends and so on on Facebook. And they don’t have the right to be pikon in any way.
9. True leaders aren’t blamers.
Contrary to the “PNoy Governance” style, leaders don’t participate in blame games pointing fingers at past administrations and people who can’t get back at them (obviously because they’re the powers that be). Neither do they get carried away and turn irrationally snarky when everyone blames them for all of life’s miseries. Because they’re too busy thinking how they can solve the many problems of Pinas to make time for petty stuff.
10. We create our leaders.
Guess what? Not everyone who wants to lead is leader material. Simply because people are delusional about taking us to the Promised Land doesn’t mean that we should take them seriously. We already have enough comedians in the government and they’re not a teeny-weeny bit funny. So we might as well create the breed of leaders we want by stubbornly demanding from them the qualities that we deserve, e.g. impervious to corruption, yeah! Just pray we don’t create a Frankenstein’s monster.