CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/17 August) — Senior citizens, the elderly in our society, are the longest living Filipinos on earth. In their heart, mind, and spirit are the collective sentiment, wisdom, and knowledge of our nation. Their scars bear witness to the memory of our historic struggles. They are living testimonies of our race, what greatness we can claim, what mistakes we deplore, what traditions we inherited, what ideals we aspire to.
We are inheritors of the sights, the sounds, the literature, and the art forms our senior citizens preserved, refined, and packaged for the generations to savor or further refine and expand for all time. The man-made beauty, the delicacy, the joys that are all around us, we owe to them. We are beneficiaries of the honor, the dignity, and the greatness of spirit that their striving for excellence produced in all fields of endeavor. We have them to thank for all these. And thankful we must be.
Our seniors have had the best experiences a Filipino can live through, as well as a taste of the worst. The oldest of them know the hardships of being a victim of foreign aggression and oppression during the Second World War. But they also know what satisfaction and peace there can be from defying such aggression and oppression.
There are a few who still remember the days of Spanish colonial rule and how it changed with America’s takeover. How cruel it must be to them that our leaders seem bent on testing Manuel Quezon’s bravado about it being better to have a government run like hell by Filipinos than a government run like heaven by Americans!
Does it delight our leaders to subject senior citizens to the indignity of living in a society full of selfish ambition, reckless corruption, and shameless dishonor?
Those who wallow in indecent Pork and persist in dynastic monopoly of politics ought to cower in shame and be mortified in the presence of senior citizens. A true Filipino reveres the elderly. A Filipino honors the memory of his ancestors. And a Filipino believes in an honorable life as a prelude to a heavenly reward.
Why would a Filipino leader stain the honor of public office and that of his ancestors by being ignoble in politics and economics, plundering, thieving, aggrandizing? Why would anyone detract from the glory of a society and nation carved out by his seniors? Such a one is not a patriot but a selfish, thoughtless ingrate who knows not the meaning of patriotism or integrity.
It would serve our society well for our senior citizens to stand up and raise their voice against political corruption and dishonor. Their presence and participation in their respective communities—their barangays—would be especially valuable to the cause of good governance and righteous politics at the grassroots.
Let us call on the senior citizens of every barangay to mobilize their ranks to ensure that youngsters and the trapos will refrain from dishonoring them and their legacy to our freedom and democracy!
Senior citizens can ensure honest elections in the precincts of their barangay on October 28 by being present, watchful, and alert to vote-buying and flying voters. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Manny Valdehuesa writes from Cagayan de Oro and is the president and national convenor of Gising Barangay Movement Inc. He can be reached at email@example.com.)