For the longest time, I’ve been a huge fan of Conrado de Quiros. The man is a brilliant writer and can turn a tidy phrase, and when his bile is in full flow, make sure you’re clinging to a huge rock lest you get swept away. He has been able to eloquently express whatever rage I’ve been feeling about this country and its government, and I’ve often thought of him as the paragon of sound thinking and judgment. He always came across as a no-nonsense man, who was genuinely sick of how things currently are in the country and was keen on seeing real change happen.
Then Cory Aquino died, and all hell broke loose.
He spoke very admiringly about Cory during her funeral mass and frankly admitted to being a former critic of hers. No problem there, but warning bells clanged madly in my head when he began to write about Noynoy picking up where his parents left off, and possibly becoming the next leader of this country. It was a laughable idea. Noynoy, president? All we knew of him was that he’s the son of Ninoy and Cory, with no impressive accomplishments and no fierce convictions whatsoever. What was a bigger surprise to me, however, was not that Noynoy was being floated as a possible presidential candidate, but that it was de Quiros who mightily championed it. A man who raged against incompetence in public officials and political dynasties, who sought concrete solutions to the Philippines’ many problems.
Now he’s rallying everyone to get behind someone who will supposedly continue the supposed legacy of goodness and honesty, to hell with actual experience and ability. It boggles the mind, and it’s hard to stomach, seeing a writer I greatly admired for his crystal-clear logic exhorting people to believe in someone because he will allegedly save us all. These days, he’s crafting articles bubbling over with praise for Noynoy and how he will rid the government of corruption, but he has yet to fully explain exactly why Noynoy is the best man for the job, apart from simply repeating statements like “he does not owe anybody anything” and “he has a legacy to protect.” It seems as though he himself as forgotten that corruption is not the only thing we’re grappling with in the Philippines, and that battling it is not the only task of a president. Thus far, he has likened Noynoy to Frodo, because like the latter, Noynoy supposedly did not want the job, but instead had it foisted upon him–complete bullshit, if you ask me, because if he truly did not want power, he wouldn’t have run for president in the first place–and Aragorn, because Noynoy can tap People Power “to fight corruption, and the summons will reach the farthest reaches of the forests to draw out an army, one ready for a long and arduous campaign.”
I suppose that’s what I get for believing there is someone out there who will always have the temerity to say what needs to be said.
My displeasure with de Quiros could easily be chalked up to the fact that we didn’t support the same candidate, or to an admirer’s disillusionment and disappointment with someone whom she once admired, or even to sourgrapes over a defeated candidate. But it goes beyond that. He could support Noynoy for all I care. I just wish he would stop writing about the man as if he were some savior we should all look up to and blindly support, and that he would be just as prepared to rip into Noynoy every time he does and says something stupid or detrimental to the country’s growth as he has been with Arroyo. Sure he writes editorials, and if his opinion is that Noynoy is God made flesh, there’s really nothing we can do about it but, well, laugh at him, an activity that has already commenced in earnest in many other websites. All I have to say is that if Noynoy ends up turning the Philippines into the Next Big Thing, I will gladly eat my words. But if he ends up running this country further into the ground–and I predict we are marvelously capable of sinking further into depths hitherto unexplored–then at least I will have something to laugh at, and that will be you, Mr. de Quiros, if you continue to cheerfully sing Noynoy’s praises while the world crumbles.