Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

United, or just ‘Undivided’?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Remember that old saying we inherited from the Americans? It sounded so beautiful: “United we stand, Divided we fall”. I heard  that as an elementary school pupil, and never forgot it. I was told it was coined by the people of the United States, who had come from various parts of the world, formed groups later to be known as “states” and later decided to group themselves into one country to be known as the UNITED States of America”. Wasn’t that a beautiful idea?

***

United, indeed, they stood, and became one of the greatest, if not the greatest and most powerful country in the world. Its territory grew, but it was not selfish, because  our own country used to belong to them, but they set us free, declared independence for us, after rescuing us from the clutches of the Japanese Imperial monarchy that had invaded and held us captive for several years. And we were not the only territories so privileged, there were others, like us, that they later left to their own devices.

***   

Some succeeded, but some failed, but during the time we were under the rule of America, our leaders were itching to be free, to run our country by themselves and could hardly wait for the time of independence that the American government had promised. I still remember statements in my high school history books, where our Filipino officials, then under what we  might call the “advice and rearing” of the U.S. used to chafe and long for independence. One of our most famous leaders, and the one who became our first president, as well, issued that famous statement “I would rather have a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos, than one run like heaven by the Americans!”

***

And may the souls of those who had been involved rest in peace, but we were, indeed, run like hell for several years by inept and corrupt leadership with the people restless and grumbling against the graft and corruption that were rampant all over the land. The older ones kept reminding the late bloomers of that statement. Graft in government offices, cheating  in elections, with the poor becoming poorer and the rich richer, and progress a hopeless dream.

***   

And then came the “savior”, a rugged homegrown man from the provinces whose idealism was recognized by some of Manila’s young idealists, graduates of the best schools in the country, who recognized the potentials of this barrio boy, who did not even want to become president. But the young men from the best families saw his potential and pleaded with him to lead, until he succumbed, reluctantly. He was neither eloquent nor good-looking, but there was a simplicity and seriousness in his personality that drew people.

***   

I kept copies of the jingles that Raul Manglapus and company composed that caught the fancy of voters, so during campaign time, all you could hear from juke boxes and vehicles with microphones  were jingles like: “Birds they voted in Lanao/ And patiaswang pa daw/ Ang election lutong macaw/ Till Magsaysay showed ‘em how/ That is why, That is why/ You will hear the people cry/ Our democracy will die/ Kung was si Magsaysay!” Even my youngest brothers and all the kids in our neighborhood could sing them, and poor incumbent President ElpidioQuirino never had what they call a Chinaman’s chance in that election!

***   

The election was a model for following ones until the Marcos era, which, of course, most of our readers still remember. But no jingles or composers came up then, so the citizens itself took it into their hands to rid themselves of a leadership they could not abide. So came “People Power”, a Philippine-crafted model that several other countries copied later. These thoughts came to me as I continue watching on TV the developments in the United States that its own people have started re-naming the “Divided States” and some trying to save the name by suggesting “Undivided States” for it. The world is watching!

***

Despite the pandemic called COVID that has disrupted leaderships everywhere, we can be proud to say that our own Philippines, having learned its lesson after going through Martial Law, has been going on in what seems to be a more sober system than what is taking place in other, wealthier and bigger countries. I like to credit this to the fact that our people are more prayerful and have complete trust in God and His protection. Our officials lead us in putting their trust in God and serve as examples to their people. Let us all pray that that this will continue, now, and ever shall be.*

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
ARCHIVES

Read Article by date

February 2021
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728

Dear Visayan Daily Star readers:

Great news!!! VisayanDailyStar.com is finally back.

Register to get a headstart on the exclusive content and benefits.