We hate to say it but the whole country is on deathwatch.
Even I believe that miracles do happen. But then again, as a nation, we should also start counting on ourselves to make real democracy happen. True, Cory Aquino is a living reminder that tyranny can be overthrown by the will of the good. But Cory is not the only icon of democracy. Like Ninoy, hindi rin siya nag-iisa.
Every person, dead or alive, who fought against the oppressive governments today and those that went before us, who shed his or her blood to achieve the gains we have achieved today, who walked the streets in protest, who cried against greed and corruption is also a symbol of democracy.
Democracy seems to be dying along with Cory. But it is not because of the former president’s deteriorating health. It is because many of us have lost interest in getting our voices heard, in walking the streets in protest, in fighting against the oppressors, the corrupt, and the greedy. We wait for leaders to emerge, yet believe that “‘pare-pareho lang naman ‘yan.” We wait for the bishops to speak for us, but they remain in conflict with our need for reproductive health care. We want to rid our country of corrupt officials, but we worm our way out of traffic violations or get business permits by feeding the greed of small fries. We’re a country of contradictions, and each one of us a work in progress.
So as many hold vigils for Cory, let’s not forget to hold vigils for our own country. Pray, not for serenity that lets us accept things we cannot change – we’ve had that far too long – but for courage, that we may change the things we badly need to change.
And pray for wisdom, to know the difference between Hacienda Luisita and the rest of the country’s agricultural land.