SECTIONS
Friday August 17, 2018
DAVAO

Estremera: One hour and 15 minutes later...

IT WAS going to be a normal day that will end a little later than usual as all top stories have to wait until the delivery of the State of the Nation Address (Sona). It was one of those lazy days, lazy because you are there, sitting in front of your computer, waiting for time. Except that, this time you weren't waiting for time...

Rather, you were waiting for how the happenings in the Lower House will be resolved and what time the Sona will start, most especially, what time we will finish.

There was an audible sigh of relief as the President emerged from the holding room.

Everything, however, was still so up there. My tiny brain can only think over what had just happened, how tired the President looked, and what really pushed a big group of legislators to jump into a circus right before the Sona.

I join the thousands, maybe millions of others, who are rolling their eyes towards that one person who caused this all. And it's not the President.

It's called leadership. Leadership of a body independent from the executive department. A leadership that calls for... leaders.

While politicians are regarded generally as corrupt and the congress as a circus, we know that individually, many of them have their own strengths and advocacies and desires and ways to serve their constituents. This brings to mind Mrs. Bank's song in Mary Poppins as she rallied for the right for women suffrage, the lyrics of which run: "Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they're rather stupid..." Change men to congressmen/women, and you get my drift. But, we are not naive. We also know that among them too are the corrupt and abusive. As I write this, one figure looms big in my mind, but I am not going to say who.

It's always eye-rolling that many still do not get it: the repeated warnings of the President "not during his watch". Many still think that proximity to the throne is a passport to getting away with their agenda fueled by avarice.

"Do not make it lonelier by forcing me to end our friendship because you gave me the reason to end it," the President said in his Sona, and I felt the loneliness there, the hurt.

There was a friendship there forged by the dream of federalism, but when avarice gets in the way, that too is swatted off.

There is this tiny space we are given to do something for our nation where government is willingly supporting and even funding. But many still cannot put their greed on hold just for a few more years, making hay even when the warning is repeated loud and clear. And so... friendships are broken.

One hour and 15 minutes later, the Sona started.. and so far, he has been sticking to the prepared speech. For this, I am already thankful. At least, even as the Sona is one hour and 15 minutes late, it will not drag on, and it didn't.

As I rush to finish everything before the Sona speech ended, I can't help but ponder on what this day is really all about. It's all about tempering the greed, it's all about doing one's job. Alvarez, Boracay, drugs, drug syndicates, disaster risk reduction and preparedness, rehabilitation, that lonely place called the presidency, and greater loneliness of losing friends because of their refusal to tamper the greed.

Let's just get things done within this tiny window destiny bestowed upon us.

saestremera@gmail.com


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