Last night I watched the live telecast of the inauguration of the 44th and first African-American President of the United States – Barack Obama. I shared the excitement of the millions around the world who witnessed this historical moment.
May mga nagtatanong why I get thrilled about Barack Obama becoming President of the US. Simple lang naman sagot ko, I have no illusion that American policies affecting the world will change overnight, even with Obama as President. The US still needs to preserve its global posture as a Superpower to protect its economic interests.
Ang buod lang naman ng aking kagalakan sa pagkapanalo ni Barack Obama bilang Presidente ng US ay dahil sa historical significance na dulot nito. Lalong lalo na sa mahaba, madugo at malungkot na kasaysayan ng pakikibaka ng mga itim sa US. Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon nailuklok sa poder ng kapangyarihan ng US ang isang African American. Ang lahi na dati rati’y ay bawal umupo sa bus na para sa mga puti. Ang lahi na dati rati’y ay binibitay sa puno, pinapatay at tinatratong parang hayup ng mga puti. In this backdrop, it would be an understatement to say that Obama’s victory is simply inspiring . It is more than inspiring. It is an affirmation that indeed Change can happen, if there is a will. It gave meaning to the early 60’s religio-protest song, “We Shall Overcome”. It echoes the voice of Rosa Parks, of Malcolm X and the illustrious and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. Obama’s victory is not his alone, it is the victory of the long struggle of the African-Americans.
I just hope Barack Obama can live up to the promise of Change the world is anticipating from his administration. Kasama ako sa milyon-milyon ka tao na nananalangin na sana sa pag-upo ni Barack Obama, magkakaroon ng bagong kaayusan ang mundo para sa kapayapaan at katiwasayan ng lahat.
I am not for Mc Ain’t not only because his supporters hyped his being a POW war hero. The kind of hero who carpet-bombed civilian villages in Vietnam that killed thousands of innocent lives. I am for Barack Obama simply because I believed in the call, “Anybody but a Republican.” Of course, Obama being an African-American challenging a white dominated politics of the United States is an added value for my stand. His victory had surely sent shivers down the spine of the Grand Wizard and the whole Realm and Empire of the Ku Klux Klan, and of course its other derivatives and cousins – like maybe the NRA.
It is without doubt that Obama’s victory is something to be celebrated about. It was a culmination and pinnacle of a long history of struggle of African-Americans. Rosa Parks sat down in order for Martin Luther King, Jr to march; and Martin Luther King Jr. marched in order for Barack Obama to run…and ran he did and he won. Now the highest position of the land of the free and the home of the brave is held by an African-American. What more inspiration can one ask for.
But when euphoria subsides, reality seeps in. Barack Obama is now faced with a monumental task, especially that these tasks are coupled with high expectations drawn form his promise of effecting change that we need. He had shown the world that He Can win, now he must prove the world what He Can do.
I don’t care about how he would tax the US rich in order to feed the poorer section of the American population before they start shouting slogans like, “Eat the Rich!”. I am much awaiting for his policy positions on the US inovolvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the Philippines, and its continuing militarist foreign policy and relations all over the world.
What will become of Barack Obama being the 44th President of the United States of America remains to be seen, and the watch begins on his inauguration day on January 20, 2009.
When Bambit and I started building our family, migrating abroad became a very enticing idea. We were in agreement that the situation in the Philippines has gone from bad to worse. Philippines has become a place not ideal for raising children. I need not elaborate on this. Never mind reading Dante’s Inferno, you just have to watch, read or hear the daily news about the Philippines, and you’ll know what I mean.
Having this thought doesn’t make us less nationalistic. Migrating abroad doesn’t necessarily mean we’re giving up our nationality and identity. Not an iota of this thought occured to us, especially me. I love my country so much that I had given my share for its sake by spending two decades of my life in a movement that wanted to bring radical change to its society, without effect. I have no regrets about it though, and I have to move on.
With a family of my own, what I wanted now is to find a nice and peaceful spot on earth where I would spend a life of joy and peace. Definetely its not the US of A, Canada, not even Europe or the U.K. Bambit and I agreed that if we ever migrate, we will move to New Zealand. Without even discussing about why New Zealand, we just agreed with the idea of emigrating New Zealand. Perhaps its the peaceful aura and projection of the country that allures us. Perhaps because both of us had watched and liked the movie, The Piano and the Shire on Middle Earth of the LOTR, or maybe because its a safe place to live.
But before we can learn how to perform the Haka, we first have to scout for employment in New Zealand. This is the first step we have to do, before everything else becomes yet another pipe dream.
If Ariel Pineda made it as lead singer of the world famous rock band, Journey, via the internet, you can also have the same fate and share the same limelight for fame.
If you are young and beautiful and aspiring to become a model or beauty titlist, here is your chance to be known the world over. You need not participate in an embarassing beauty contest or audition in a gruelling modeling search. All you have to do is press the right keys of your computer and go to http://www.lookoftheyear.com
There are places that I wish I could still visit in my lifetime. Most of these are islands, or places along beach fronts. I am not much of a beach bum, in fact, there is a little loathing in me about seas and other bodies of water. I have friends whose lives were taken away by these bodies of water. But there is a certain aura about beach fronts that give me a natural high. Its the breeze, the changing hues of the horizon, the palm trees, the sound of water splashing and hissing, the sunrise and sunset and the calm, simply uplifts my spirit.
There are many of these spots in the place where I came from in Mindanao. But a grand vacation comes to mind when I’m fancying an island life or a beach escape. An island life without the threat of being kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf. A beach escape in a pristine and not a tourist infested beach.
My day dreaming takes me to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. There I would bask in the sun, walk barefoot on its sandy beaches, climb its mountains and pay a visit to the graves of Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brell. Mexico offers good spots too, and I have read that Cabo San Lucas is one of the best destinations. Being a tourist spot, it offers good Cabo San Lucas accomodations like Cabo San Lucas Villas or for Cabo San Lucas Vacation rentals. Thailand also has good beaches and islands if you plan of following Di Caprio’s movie, The Beach. And lastly, but once again, the islands in the South Seas, where the late Marlon Brando hoped to build his paradise.
Call me old fashioned, but perhaps the movie South Pacific, the original one, had made such a great impact on me.