Change We Live

Yes, they can. And so they did. Barack Obama will be the next US president. His supporters are happy; the world watches in the coming days and we shall see whether there will be true and lasting change in America or elsewhere.

I am envious though. The US had two very strong presidential candidates and the winner was known in such a short time. McCain has graciously accepted defeat.

In the Philippines, in 2010, I can bet that practically everyone's uncle will want to be president and even among the handful of bets to choose from, we might not even find one worth voting for. It will take days, weeks, and months to find out who won (or who appears to have won) and everyone who did not win will not admit to have failed but will say that he or she was cheated!

I haven't lived as long as Ms. Cooper and her 106 years but going through five leaders here in the Philippines (Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo), I suppose that is long enough. I've seen the peso depreciate big time. I have gone through Edsa 1 and 2. I've survived an energy crisis and have tolerated numerous political crises of our own doing. I've seen corrupt individuals go scot free and watched several Senate investigations yield no result in the end.

But even if I am Filipino, I find comfort in the line from Obama's speech: "while we breathe, we hope." (Habang may buhay, may pag-asa).

This is an interesting time to be alive even if there is melamine in milk. Even if we do not know what 2009 will bring given the global financial crisis. Each day brings change and the opportunity to change things for the better, whether you are the president of the US, or the Philippines, or an ordinary unknown citizen.

Each day brings us the hope that in time, we will find the change we need and the change we can only dream of.

Note: It was interesting to remember that I had written about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton gunning for the US presidency way back in January 2007. Here's what I said about Barack Obama briefly then. And look where he is now!

[By Angelica Viloria | Saturday, November 8, 2008]


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