“Courage,” Glenda Gloria in her Rappler post “Mar Roxas: His Own Enemy” wrote, “Takes many forms.”
“Roxas,” Ms. Gloria reported, is “not for the sound bites. He’s not the bombastic type. That’s true, and for that he’s liked by certain sectors. But courting votes also requires one thing: courage. The courage to make a clear stand even on things that have not been clearly thought out, the courage to differ with an Aquino policy and spell out why, the courage to spill words that don’t necessarily follow the Daang Matuwid script.”
- Note: This post originally appeared on my Facebook as a note. Errata: “Gloria Glenda” appeared in the original version of this post. It should be “Glenda Gloria”. My apologies to Ms. Gloria.
True enough, it takes courage to take a stand. It takes courage— as Arbet Bernardo eloquently puts forward in “Elevating the Public Discourse” for a candidate like Mar Roxas to go against the common sense expectation that voters are dumb, and really delve and explain the issues of the day. It takes Courage to champion Daang Matuwid (The Straight Path).
What people like Glenda Gloria don’t seem to get is that Daang Matuwid is not merely a slogan that PNoy and his campaign team put together for a single election. “Daang Matuwid,” as Mar Roxas has explained, “is a philosophy of governance.”
At the core of Daang Matuwid is a belief that power and responsibility is shared; that the needs of others— in this case the needs of the public, and of the country takes precedence over one’s self, and with the ultimate goal of helping people and others develop and perform as best as possible. Simply put, Daang Matuwid is a philosophy of governance that is about duty, honour, country.
Why then would a man like Mar Roxas disassociate himself from Daang Matuwid?
Glenda Gloria— and i’m not singling her out here because there are many who share that same belief as Ms. Gloria. There is a crowd that seem to think that Daang Matuwid is a failure and that is reason enough for Mar Roxas to disassociate himself from PNoy. And for some, Roxas’ association with Daang Matuwid seem to be the one thing that prevents them from supporting him even when they know in their heart and in their mind that Mar Roxas is the best person to lead.
Perhaps this line of thinking is reinforced by the fact that governments in recent memory have been elected or formed on the basis that the previous one was a failure. For the first time in so many decades we have a Candidate running on the platform of Continuity. It is a beast so distinct and so new, people have a hard time wrapping their brains around it.
The media in general have also hammered and yammered on the story that the Administration is an abject failure. That’s not entirely true. We are experiencing an economic boom that our country hasn’t seen in 40 years.
Hey, numbers are good, you’ll say, but how does that translate to people? An example is the little known fact that 80 of the Pantawid Pamilya graduates have made it to the University of the Philippines.
This morning a friend of mine, Tess Viterbo, messaged me. She said, “Coy! I attended a Yes to Mar-Leni talk last night. The speakers were Sec. Babes and Sec. Dinky. Just found out Sec Babes, in 5 years has constructed more roads than Marcos-Cory-FVR-Erap-GMA COMBINED.”
I didn’t know that either!
Why hasn’t a journalist picked that up yet?
The question before voters this election cycle is the Courage to take on Continuity. On trial before the ballot box is Daang Matuwid. For the first time, in probably forever, we have a candidate who is less about personality and more about the issues. Mar Roxas is the unlikely choice. He isn’t popular. He started this race at 3%— and media and arm chair political analysts (cough social media people cough) have said as much: Mar Roxas can’t win. By the same token Leni Robredo finds herself in the same spot: bottom of the race. But by the time Mar Roxas filed for his certificate of candidacy before the Commission on Elections— he had beaten Vice President Binay in the rankings.
Daang Matuwid 1.0 is PNoy establishing the foundation. It was about structural reforms. It was about laying the foundation for the future. By every metric, the Philippine economy is doing great, and envisioned to do better. The country is growing, and the birth pains associated by that growth is being felt across every strata.
It is a nice problem to have.
Daang Matuwid 2.0, if Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo are fortunate enough to proceed with, will be about the Filipino Family in focus. For the first time, in a long time our country has the means, and the will, to effect many changes, and many of those changes are already in play from Daang Matuwid 1.0. It is now time to bring more and more families out of poverty. If you need a hint, the roadmap from the Dream Plan is one aspect of it.
And Mar Roxas— fresh from his humiliating defeat in 2010, and Leni Robredo— recently widowed, now a single mother to three brilliant young women took courage to say, “Yes, Mr. President, we’ll continue Daang Matuwid.”
Duty. Honor. Country. Daang Matuwid. That’s what Mar Roxas, and Leni Robredo have the country to say yes to.
Courage takes on many forms. It takes courage to beat the dark nays, and the negativity down to take on hope, and champion a philosophy of governance that the loudest voices have been screaming, “WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!” It takes great courage to say yes to Duty. Honor. Country.
It is far easier to be for one’s self.
On the 12th of May 1962, a great General by the name of Douglas McArthur spoke before West Point, to the United States Marine Corps. It was an acceptance speech. On that day McArthur was being given the Sylvanus Thayer Award. McArthur spoke about Duty. He spoke about Honour. He spoke about Country.
“‘Duty,’ ‘Honor,’ ‘Country’—those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be,” General McArthur said. “They are your rallying points to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”
It takes courage to be for Daang Matuwid. It takes courage to take on Duty. It takes courage to be Honourable. It takes courage to sacrifice for Country. Mar Roxas has courage in spades.
Banner image credit: The Philippine Daily Inquirer
Long delayed road project is a screenshot from the Philippines’ Official Gazette.