Discovering Erap's true purpose...

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» Thailand > Angel > Erap's dharma and the stages of bereavement

Erap's dharma, e-lessons, and the five stages
By Angelica Bautista Viloria
May 31, 1998

" Isa-isahin, himay-himayin ang
kanyang mga pagpapadala.
Sa pagbabalik-diwa, mamamangha
na lahat nga naman sa buhay ko
at sa buhay mo ay biyaya. Pati
na yaong lihis sa ating mga
hiniling, sa pagbabalik-tanaw,
higit palang magaling. "

-- Onofre Pagsanghan

This highly dramatic (yet one of my all-time favorites) quotation may not mean too much to you at the moment but believe me, there will be some use for it later. Anyway, I'm sure we're all still caught up in election fever, that nothing that happens or is said nowadays, ever really makes much sense.

The inevitable has happened. Erap appears to be well on his way to becoming President. Not even Madame Auring (there goes her credibility again!) predicting that Fred Lim would eventually win could stop it. Being President is Erap's dharma, his reason for being, so to speak. It is our drama, on the other hand, to be his constituents.

Always looking for some lesson to be learned in anything that happens in life, there must be some gems carefully hidden in those ballot boxes filled with Erap votes. Lessons like:

Plan over the long-term. Slowly but surely, we saw Erap's ascent to the Presidency as he ran for mayor, senator, and then Vice-President.

Know your strengths. Acknowledge and accept your weaknesses. Do not waste your time going after the A and B classes when you already have the "masa." Talk in basic, easily understood terms. Make fun of your English. Delight in jokes about you. Talk about your vices. Package yourself properly. In the end, it is all a marketing game. Cigarettes are bad for the body so why do they sell?

You cannot get everything you want in life. This is simply not the way the world works. Disappointments are as natural as breathing and sometimes, we are better off as a result. (Think about the earlier quotation now. I told you there was a point to be made here.) Imagine a world where you can get everything you want. Things would be too easy. Nothing to work for. The worst part of it is you have nothing to complain about or criticize... you'd be like... dead.

So much for the lessons. I know it's hard to accept that your bets aren't winning. You go through five stages as if facing impending death. What are the five stages?

Denial: Exit polls mean nothing. We have not yet tallied even 1% of the votes. This isn't real. The trend is still reversible. Miracles can happen.

Anger: Why did my bet not campaign hard enough? How can people vote on the basis of popularity or name recall? Why don't I have a US Visa?

Bargaining: Just let my bet win and I will be a better citizen. I will not litter the streets with candy wrappers. I will not try to beat the red light. I will not complain even when stuck in traffic. I will pay the right amount of community tax when applying for a residence certificate.

Despondency: It's hopeless. Things look pretty bad but maybe everything will turn out okay. (Gulp. Sob.)

Acceptance: I voted for Erap.

The people have spoken. We may not like what they say but our leader for our Centennial year has been chosen. We have the President who will lead us to the next millenium. Life goes on...

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Erap's dharma, e-lessons, and the five stages
Written on May 31, 1998
Copyright © 1998 by Angelica Bautista Viloria of

Angelica Viloria is a Filipina mom, living in the Philippines, who works in a credit rating company, and occasionally posts articles in her family homepage at