Saturday, September 5, 2009

Demystifying Noynoy Aquino

I think it's high time we examine NoyNoy Aquino as a man purely on what he has made out of his life, and not based on the greatness of his parents. If people look at him from this point of view, I think they'd be better informed on whether he really is fit for the presidency.

There is no doubt that Ninoy and Cory Aquino belong to the pantheon of great Filipinos. Greatness however is not inherited. It is something you make for yourself. Ninoy's parents weren't great. And Cory's parents were simple folks. But Ninoy and Cory grew up to be great persons. It would be ignorant and foolish to assume that just because they are great, Noynoy would be great too. Mahatma Gandhi became an Indian hero and a world icon for humanity. He had four sons. But the world doesn't really know what those sons did with their lives - because they did not inherit their father's greatness. John Lennon is a humanitarian and a musical genius. But his son, Julian, did not inherit his humanity and compassion nor his gift for songwriting. Dodot Jaworski did not inherit his father, Bobby Jaworski's shooting and passing skills in basketball. Kris Aquino is Cory's very own flesh and blood. But while Cory exudes dignity and class, Kris at times is crass and pedestrian. You either have greatness or you don't. Ballsy, Cory and Ninoy's eldest, at least inherited her parents dignified demeanor.

Now back to Noynoy Aquino. He has a degree of Economics from Ateneo De Manila University. It's a great school known for its graduates who went on to become great people. But Noynoy was not one of its great students. He wasn't even a student leader in his time. Noynoy went on to sales and marketing for two great companies: Nike Philippines and Mondragon Int'l. Sales and marketing, and for that you went to Ateneo? Those were the only jobs he held that he got based on his resume and not based on his parent's name. Because after those jobs, he went on to work for his uncle's company and eventually their family's sugar company at Hacienda Luisita. Even in private life, he used his family connections to earn a living.

He served three terms in Congress representing Tarlac, his family's district and for which he had great chances of winning because it is Aquino/Cojuangco country after all. People would be surprised to know that at one point he was Deputy Speaker, because he was barely visible, he barely talked and he barely sponsored bills. In effect, he was a forgettable congressman. He is now a Senator of the Republic to which he owes greatly to his own sister, Kris, and his mother Cory, who both used their popularity during the elections to campaign for a forgettable brother and son.

The presidency is the highest position in the country. It is not meant for people who are still on the OJT stage (on-the-job training). It is a position meant for great people. This country can only achieve greatness if we put great people on the steering wheel. To pass the mantle of greatness from Ninoy and Cory to a son who has so far haven't done anything great in his life would demean and cheapen the legacies that Ninoy and Cory left behind. Cory did not survive 9 coup attempts, and Ninoy did not breathe his last breath on a dirty airport tarmac for it to be used as their forgettable son's publicity tool for his presidential ambition.

This country is not that HOPELESS to settle for MEDIOCRITY.