MORE symbolisms from and thoughts on Wednesday’s inauguration of Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III as the country’s 15th president:
--Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. A smile was perpetually etched on her face, but she’s no robot. We know how humans feel when faced with the reality of leaving. She may have been successful in hiding her feeling from the public, but I am sure that her relinquishing of her power after nine years of wielding it pained her.
In that passing-of-the-baton ritual, the then outgoing president was made to go down a Malacañang stair, one of the many symbolisms in the event that organizers of the inauguration ceremony insist on pointing out. But people can actually discern many meanings in that “descending” scene.
Stepping down from power is the most obvious. But it can also mean going down from a higher position (president) to a lower one (congresswoman).
There were instances when I did pity Gloria. To be fair, she did turn over power to Aquino peacefully, although the act may not have been a product of goodwill but forced upon her by circumstances.
--Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. He was made to sit in an area that was visible from the frame of the cameras of media people covering PNoy’s oath taking before Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales. That was an awkward moment for Corona, who traditionally should have been in Carpio-Morales’s place---and that showed on his face.
But one should give it to the High Court top gun for showing up at the inauguration despite Aquino’s act of bypassing him for that important inauguration role. That was one humbling experience that I think earned for him a good number of pogi points in the eyes of some sectors.
--Vice President Jejomar Binay. He did the right thing in taking his oath of office together with PNoy, who belongs to another political party. His decision to ride in an electricity-powered jeepney (e-jeep) was also good. But his timing was poor.
I mean, Binay left Manila Hotel and arrived at the Qurino grandstand when PNoy was already going through the motions of escorting the then outgoing president Arroyo around preparatory to sending her away for good. Binay’s colorful e-jeep thus got stuck by the roadside in the middle of the inauguration venue, momentarily making the vice-president a bystander. Sign of things to come?
--Noel Cabangon. The activist singer did what the Apo trio of Jim, Boboy and Danny failed. He forced the guests at the grandstand, notably former president Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Estrada, to raise their hands and pledge to be good government officials and citizens. They did look awkward that time.
--Charice (Pempengco). With members of the National Historical Institute hovering around, Ryan Cayabyab as guide and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra accompanying her, the rising international singing star had no wiggle room to improvise.
She sang the national anthem the way it should be sung: marching and swift, and no special vocal calisthenics allowed.
By the way, I remember that suggestion to change the last line of the Pambansang Awit from the non-combative and passive “Ang mamatay ng dahil sa iyo” to “Ang pumatay ng dahil sa iyo.” What’s your take on this?
And while we are still at it, the line in the popular “Bayan Ko” song that goes, “Ibon mang may layang lumipad, kulungin mo at umiiyak” should be changed to, “Ibon mang may layang lumipad, kulungin mo at pumipiglas.” As they say, don’t cry. Fight.
(firstname.lastname@example.org/ my blog: cebuano.wordpress.com)