A Farewell to a Childhood Hero, Miram Defensor-Santiago

tumblr_mpr1r9tEGj1qa9m5wo1_500Like a columnist curating published write-ups and turning it into books, I think it is also wise to curate old facebook posts. After all, since I quit blogging, this social media platform has served a similar purpose.

My political awakening started early; perhaps too early for my own good cause it tends to make one a cynic. It was Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s bid for a senate seat in 1995 when I get to know about her. I didn’t know that she lost to Ramos at that time. She had a certain aura that commands TV audiences to take notice and when she started her spiel with that Ilonga-English accent, she casts a net that captures hearts and minds.

The post below was written and posted on September 29, 2016, when news of Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s passing shocked the country even though everyone knew she was battling cancer. I guess everyone was hopeful that a fighter like her would survive the battle or that perhaps the gods will be kind enough to bless our champion with more years of good health.

What to do when the people you look up to are gone? What do you do when the people who made you hold on to your hope of a better society amidst the grim and chaotic realities of politics? What do you do you do after crying a river for your loss?

My political awakening started early and Miriam has always been someone who astonished me. She is a class of her own in an arena of boring and shady political figures. At times, I hated her for he positions but she always found a way to capture my heart once again.

I can still remember the high I got when I saw her in person at the Maasin City Gym when she ran for senate after losing her son. I can still remember feisty old madam senator in her highs and lows, at least the ones covered by media.

Needless to say, this is a dark day for me. Dark because, I still don’t know how to come to terms with losing one of my personal heroes and where to grapple to keep my faith in my country’s political destiny specially now when the rules of law is taken more like a suggestion by someone I have to live with for 6 more years.

Goodbye my imaginary mentor and friend. Thank you for fighting the good fight for us.

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