Monday, March 24, 2008

Political Apathy's Demise

At first blush, my family name would evoke assumptions from people that I am a scion of an elite clan in the Philippines and while I was growing-up, I have been queried innumerable times "So how are you related to the rich _____es of the South?", to which I would retort back in the same exact manner that my Dad had always perenially responded - "I am a member of the poor _____es of the North." Well actually, they weren't really impoverished. My Dad came from landed gentry who through a series of misfortune lost most of their wealth. My Dad and his siblings were left with just their ancestral house, a couple of rice fields and their college degrees. As a child, it has always intrigued me that my paternal grandfather was called "Don ____", as none of the trappings of luxury I as a child equated with a "Don" were evident to me. Unbeknowst to me, before my birth he was indeed a "Don" in the real sense of the word.

My parents started their life together equipped just with their innate intelligence (both graduated with law degrees) and tenacity; and ended up living an upper bourgeousie life. We lived in an exclusive village, attended private schools, enjoyed country club memberships, were given the best of what my parents could offer, as our Dad worked hard as one of the top honchos of one of the group of companies owned by a Marcos crony and our Mom worked at as is wont to ensue, my parents were "Loyalists". My sisters and I though were of a different lot (our brothers were still too young during those "yellow" times). Blame it on St. Paul's, St. Scholastica's and U.P. We were at the opposite fence - where the color yellow was predominant. Of course we supported our Dad emotionally, especially during those grim times when he would be grilled by those horrible U.S. lawyers about those cronies' ill-gotten wealth. My Dad was indeed a member of top management but he was still in reality a mere peon of the dictator and his ilk! For all the stress and sleepless nights they gave my Dad alone, not to mention the bigger picture of their rape and plunder of the country, I despised the fleeing Apo and his rats! In retrospect though, the events nudged me out of my political apathy at that time. The storm came to pass and we went on with our bourgeois life, but the seeds of political awareness have been planted.


Anonymous said...

one good thing that came out of those rats' reign of terror was that they made the youth of that era politically aware and not shielded in their blissful bourgeois existence.

jingo said...

I will NOT thank them for that!!