Saturday, May 08, 2010

Why Noy

Back when I was still teaching, my faculty friends and I would occasionally get into discussions about what makes a good teacher. Everyone pretty much agreed that it takes a combination of competence and character: a good teacher should not only teach well, but also set a good example for her students. Everyone also agreed that if it comes to a choice between a competent but cruel teacher and an incompetent but kind teacher, we'd much rather take the latter. The inadequacy of an inferior instructor can be remedied; the damage inflicted by a malicious mentor may never be repaired. At the end of the day, even if the students learn less Math or English or Science, they'll learn more valuable life lessons from a teacher who sincerely cares about their welfare.

This same line of reasoning applies to why I'm choosing to vote for Noynoy Aquino for president in the coming national elections. His critics and detractors dismiss his ability to lead, belittle his political track record, and even question his mental health. But at this critical juncture, I believe our country needs, above all, someone who is not only competent, but also has character. Someone who can lead by example and is willing to serve. Someone decent and honest and true, more than someone forceful and shrewd and experienced. Most say poverty is the biggest problem plaguing the Filipino people; I say we are poor because we are morally bankrupt. There is no salvaging our economy, no improving our educational system, no building of infrastructure, no establishing peace and order when our government is rotten to the core. Only when we put upstanding, exemplary individuals in charge can we have any chance of curing our nation's ills and recovering, and among all the candidates running for president, Noynoy fits the bill.

I'm not saying Noynoy Aquino is a saint, the same way I stopped short of canonizing Barack Obama during his run for the US presidency. But I do think that like Obama, Noynoy inspires the same feelings of patriotism and solidarity and hope among a people already desensitized to a culture of corruption, feelings necessary to galvanize our nation toward change and progress. We glimpsed an upswelling of those very feelings when Tita Cory passed away last year. And those feelings have been reignited by her son, who has fast become the reluctant hero on whom many are pinning their hopes. That he is a reluctant leader is actually part of the reason I trust him. My brother summed it up nicely with a quote from the movie Gladiator:

Marcus Aurelius: Won’t you accept this great honor that I have offered you?
Maximus Meridius: With all my heart, no.
Marcus Aurelius: Maximus, that is why it must be you.

Moreover, it's only fitting that the son of a woman of undisputed integrity attempt to carry on and lead the fight for our country's future. I'm not one to advocate political dynasties, but there is something to be said about children of great leaders having more potential to become great leaders themselves, especially when they are raised with the same values their parents upheld. Noynoy would never betray the memory of his
parents, one who sacrificed his life for country, and one who devoted her life to it. And certainly we can expect the same love for country ingrained in him, woven into his very moral fiber. I have enough faith in Noynoy that he will stay true to the Aquino legacy, that he will be selfless, forthcoming and just, and that he will do everything in the best interests of his fellow Filipinos.

College degrees, financial success, political achievements... all these speak only so far as to what a person can do. Intangibles like scruples and principles speak to as what a person WILL do. There's more to a good leader than competence. Competence without conscience is useless. Aanhin ang galing at talino kung wala namang prinsipyo? Without a sound moral compass to guide his decision-making, even the most intelligent or efficient individual will steer off-course.

I go back to my teacher analogy. A well-managed classroom with a smart but morally questionable teacher may or may not produce successful students (and even then, success would be relative). But a not-so-well-run classroom with a well-meaning, loving teacher will always produce happy, well-adjusted students who will be far better off in the long run. Sometimes, meaning matters more than method. Sometimes, spirit is stronger than skill. And always, a good heart is worth more than a good head.

When it comes to such a vital position of power, where greed and ambition can easily corrupt the souls of lesser men, the best person for the job is the best person, not necessarily in terms of achievement or ability, but more importantly conviction and character. I believe Noynoy Aquino is that person. And that is why come May 10, 2010, I shall be voting for him to become our next president.


At Sunday, May 09, 2010, Blogger docpepo said...

Well said Miss Ailee... no doubt I will be voting for Noynoy.

At Sunday, May 09, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is that so?..what happened to the HLI? when it happened last 2004, Noynoy was a Senator..he asked apology for his family's behalf, thus admittance of the fault...he wants a "diretsong daan"..diretsuhin nya muna hacienda nla..ibigay sa mga magsasaka ang lupa na dapat sa kanila..being th VP of that family business, he should have done he wants to run our land? shame on him...

At Sunday, May 09, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Corruption is merely A function of what you have to do, and not THE function. If you focus your campaign solely on corruption, then you will just be a crime fighter or graft buster, and that is not what a president is." - from another presidential candidate

At Sunday, May 09, 2010, Anonymous Kris said...

no more choice... most people appointed are but made out of evil.

At Sunday, May 09, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ano ba 'yan, maninira pero anonymous. Stand up for what you believe in cowards! Sinong maniniwala sa mga paninira n'yo when you won't even name yourselves?

At Sunday, May 09, 2010, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

@ Anonymous #1: I personally believe the Hacienda Luisita issue cannot be resolved by simply handing the land over to the farmers. However I'm not saying I have the solution either, but I do trust that once Noynoy becomes president, he will find one, and implement it to the best of his abilities. Hopefully it will be one of the priorities of his administration, to prove his integrity and initiative.

@ Anonymous #2: I'm not sure what you're trying to point out with that quotation, but I do agree that a president is more than just a "crime fighter" or "graft buster". But I also think corruption is at the root of most of our country's problems, so attacking it should be a primary, though not sole, focus of the president.

At Sunday, May 09, 2010, Anonymous Cebu Real Estate said...

Although, I am basically not for Noynoy, but I would really welcome his presidency. He has fought a noble cause against the impeachment complaints of Danding Cojuangco-backed movement initiated by Gibo.


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