Philippine politics and the cartoon Shadow Raiders.

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Raiders In The Shadow
By Angelica Bautista Viloria
November 09, 2000

A gambling lord is in the US for a hair transplant. The ledger lady fails to testify in the Senate because of hypertension. A senator tells the president to dump his women. Five climbers unfurl a banner as they hang from a flyover. A senator alleges that the administration has a P1 billion fund to stop the impeachment proceedings, the basis for the accusation being text messages. The administration and the opposition both claim credit for the stock market's best performance in the last 13 years. We Filipinos live in interesting times.

I did not vote for Erap. Neither do I like him. But asking him to resign is another thing altogether. We might as well be jueteng for Godot (pun intended), waiting for something which may never come for in the Philippines, all effort is taken to win an election, cleanly or otherwise. Therefore, it seems very hard to imagine someone who is already in power, giving up his post, particularly if he is an elected official of the land.

Looking around, sometimes I feel like I'm watching a bad movie. With an actor for president, and actors and popular people for senators, mayors, and councillors, what can we expect? This is turning out to be one sordid drama and we know how Filipinos love soap operas and tele-novelas.

With such things happening, it is easy to be carried by the tide of depression and feel beaten. Manny Villar, House Speaker, attributed our situation to thinking negative thoughts. "Stop negative thinking!" he proclaimed. I could hardly keep myself from laughing and writing him to say, maybe you mean: "Think positive"?

All the politicians in our country say they're not so much anti-Erap as they are pro-Philippines. Funny, but in a country with so many patriotic Filipinos, we find ourselves in our situation. Then again, there's a lesson somewhere which we refuse to learn so our take-off has just taken a little bit more time. As for me, I have to make an effort to stop myself from doubting our leaders (and I mean, all of them, political, religious, or otherwise). I shouldn't look at them and think that they're all just jockeying for position, aiming to preserve their political careers or power, over anything else.

I need to change the way I think and only cultivate positive thoughts (as we all should during these times). I was watching Shadow Raiders last Sunday (at 8pm, Channel 9) and a character there spouted the line: "All battles are first won in the mind." We have to collectively desire a better country, a brighter tomorrow for all. It is time to harness our efforts, not for promoting division or anger but for working towards a just society which our children and grandchildren can inherit.

Shadow Raiders is an interesting show. The graphics are all computer-generated (which is why my husband watches it). It is about several planets (e.g. ice, fire, stone) who have to work together to beat a common enemy. Based on research done by my husband on the internet, it was originally planned to have about 40 episodes but it was cut short because the toys did not click. So, it ends prematurely at about 20 or so episodes, with 4 planets united but not yet licking the common enemy.

United opposition? Common enemy? I don't know about you readers but united opposition sounds a bit like an oxymoron to me. Anyway, like Shadow Raiders, we don't know how this Philippine show is going to turn out. Will our economy click soon? For our sake, I hope it does.

It's not so much the choice that counts but the choosing, another character in Shadow Raiders states. As for me, I will be choosing only positive thoughts as I continue from day to day. "All battles are first won in the mind." I know that the Filipino will overcome this situation that we face at the right time. The shadows will not be here for long. If they linger longer, it is to teach us something. Everything that happens, serves some purpose, seen or unseen. Realized or unrecognized. I am still proudly Pinoy, with or without Erap.

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Raiders In The Shadow
Written on November 09, 2000
Copyright © 2000 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