Edit: Comments are screened. I don’t need inappropriate or irrelevant remarks on my post. If you don’t like it, then leave.
Now that the election is over I can share my sentiments.
I wasn’t pleased with the results, but it is what it is. My preferred candidate, Mar Roxas, didn’t win and I had a feeling that was the case during May 9. Shall I say why I voted for him? It’s because I understood the efforts and results the LP, no matter how flawed an lacking political party it is, had put forth towards making this country a little better again. There is always a caveat for mistakes and room for improvement, but to say that they have done jack shit is an insult to everyone morally upright who helped improve this country.
I digress. Last May 10 I watched him concede, second to the winning candidate with a margin of over 6 million votes. It was a punch to the gut, that’s for sure. I vaguely remember how it was: a very precise blade slicing through me and disemboweling me. An emotional kind of gutting. I still grimly remember how it feels–now it’s just a numb memory but the scars remain. A lot like betrayal, I suppose.
A day after he conceded, I wrote a letter to his campaign office email. There are parts that are personal so I will omit that, but the rest should be here.
Subject: A letter to Mr Roxas – from a casual observer.
Hello, Mr. Roxas.
I was on the fence sending you this email because I’m certain you’ll receive a lot of emails like mine–thankful, in general, and praising you for your demeanor as you accepted the results of the election. But I figured there might be something that you can find useful, or something that can lift your spirits even just a bit.
First I wanted to say that I tried not to cry while I was observing the election results, because the results weren’t what I hoped it would be. Late into the night I felt like being gutted–somewhat similar to how a samurai would commit seppuku–the blade slowly cutting across the abdomen. Except this time, it’s an emotional kind of gutting. I was mad, and still am. But I digress.
When I watched your presser yesterday I expected you’d do it, but I didn’t expect that *I* hoped you didn’t. But that’s you. Like many people who watched it, they were impressed with your graciousness in defeat, and how you encouraged others to fight for the country and support the obvious winner.
Well, that alcohol I drank in the morning certainly didn’t help to drown my sorrows, because I literally sobbed inside the office. Kinda embarrassing to tell this to the person who technically made me cry–but I didn’t cry because I wanted you to win. I cried because you embodied the ideals I wanted to win, but didn’t.
But more so: I know the media depicts you as calm and at peace afterwards. I’m not sure if you share the same emotions as I did, or even magnified, but I would be devastated even after graciously acknowledging reality.
Just a bit of personal story: [omitted]
Well, after seeing photos of you visiting Sweet Ecstacy [sic] in Katipunan I realised that it’s undoubtedly more painful for you than for anyone else. I can’t say I know how you think, or how you feel, but if it feels what I felt at that stage, I know it’s one of the saddest, most numbing, most gutting feelings in the world. That doing what’s best in an honourable manner doesn’t cut it.
I’m sorry because I feel like I’ve failed someone who’s earnest to help others. You know, I never felt any particular connection to the country as a nation. I always thought that this country is divided because of its regionalism (I’m sure you’ve read James Fallows’ The Atlantic article A Damaged Culture: A New Philippines). But I appreciate civil servants who work tirelessly to uphold the rights of its people, like you.
Of course I may be presuming that your suffering is painful when in fact you are content with the results. I apologise. In any case, exercise helps lift the mood or emotions, and I’m certain people are there to help you now that this is over. Pets are greatly comforting buddies too.
Thanks for all you’ve done, and if you ever find yourself again attempting to… do the same thing that’s rejected you several times, I hope you find yourself to keep trying while grounded in a morally upright ideology. I’m not the best person to say uplifting and encouraging words, but I tried because I know you’re going to help others a lot.
If you’ve read up to this point, then thanks for reading. I hope you don’t get depressed all over it, but if you do–please try to fight it. I hope you remember that you’ve inspired people, and they are ready to help you, too.
I genuinely wish you the best,
I hoped he’d get to read it, as I’ve seen someone mention that he does reply to letters–and he replies in person. Although I tried to minimise my expectations, there is always that glimmer of hope that he would.
Surprisingly, he did reply on a day that I almost forgot I sent my letter.
You didn’t fail me. I didn’t fail either. I take comfort in the fact that you support me not because it’s me, but because we have a common cause in our ideals. I consider it a victory that there are people like you who realized your love for your country as we went through this struggle. It is painful to lose, that I concede. But it would have been even more painful not to make a difference.
Thank you for writing to me. The wounds are raw, yes. But I didn’t give up. And neither should you. Failures are a part of life. Each failure may chip away at what you have and who you are, but each failure also leaves lessons. And victory cannot be sweet without the bitterness of defeat. Every warrior wears his scars proudly, because they are the story of what he strove for, regardless of the cost, regardless of the result.
That is why this humble warrior can take the sting of the fresh wounds. I know they will heal and scar over later. I will wear my battle scars with pride, knowing I got them with you by my side.
I am of the belief that it is easy to preach what should be done to improve the life of its people: it can easily be substantiated by studies made by experts. Honasan’s answers to the VP debates show this. Anyone can wave a research and say, “this is what we’ll do”.
It is different, however, to explain how it should be done, and the moral upbringing required to implement policies. Does it mean anyone who can parrot these ethical philosophies signify a morally upstanding character? Not necessarily. But it takes a certain kind of understanding at the core of your being to use this knowledge into steering yourself in what is morally correct. And that is what I understood better in him. Those words are not easily communicated and I am certain the rest of the candidates will find it difficult to express their ethical philosophy in this way.
Sometimes, when I remember May 9, I find it harder to swallow and my breath hitches.
It vaguely feels like heartbreak.