My dearest Mr President,
This will be a hurriedly-written birthday greeting to you. And what’s more, it’s going to be a belated one.
I had a full working day yesterday that started at 8am and ended at 11:30 (the sweet respite was I managed to have dinner with a friend). And today, my work day starts at 7am. And I can see it ending at 10pm if I am lucky.
I miss my children. I miss my husband. I miss sitting to dinner with them and hearing my big baby damulags tell me how their days went. I miss me shaking my head in utter amazement and gratitude at having birthed and raised such funny, compassionate, smart kids. How did I get that done?
I miss my dogs.
I miss how Lily looks at me like she’s starving to death –with that big soulful eyes of hers that I can’t stop looking at so I don’t notice how she must be the fattest pug on earth.
And I miss how Jack my lab does the same so it’s like I have 2 beggars by the table and how since Ive had this 2 furbabies in my life, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a meal completely because their sad, hungry eyes bore they way through my soul. Even that I miss.
And I miss how my Nancy softly tells me of the latest neighborhood gossip while she washes the dishes and I drink my evening tea. And I miss how they all come to me—each of my kids—to tell me one thing or the other that they need from me. “I have Frisbee tomorrow till 6.” “Guess what N said to me, mom?” “You should watch this. It is so funny. Hold on. Let me show you.”
The little things I miss.
Last night on my way home, I could hear on the radio how you were being vilified in EU for something you said that I know perfectly well got twisted to suit the agenda of your powerful political foes. I had to laugh softly. If they can do it to you, of course, they’d do it to me.
The prostituted press that turned a blind eye on the grieving farmers of Hacienda Luisita—farmers who’d been used like beasts of burden and paid 38 pesos a week—thousands of them!—such a riveting story, right?
And yet they kept silent. Not a word about these farmers.
Not one word about the horrific abuses heaped on our farmers that they suffered in the hands of Noynoy Aquino’s minions. Not one mention of Noynoy Aquino’s name. Can you imagine that? How they love the indifferent, greedy bastard.
And yet they wasted no time to seize on my one sentence and the herculean efforts they applied to twist it to make it mean what they want it to mean—the better to suit whatever nefarious agenda they have. I mean, seriously, despite all the shit, it makes me laugh. (That headline of me telling “Trillanes to bake a cupcake” had me in stitches.)
Ahhh birthday boy, the oligarchs will give us hell for wanting to free a people they have abused for all time.
I remember how, during your campaign you said, “I want the abuse of the Filipino people to stop.” And I blinked back tears when you said this because this was exactly what I had despaired for in a leader—someone who would come between the Filipino people and her abusers.
So I look at the shit thrown at me. It is nowhere near the tons of shit they throw at you and have been throwing at you for 9 months now. And I look at your face. And I like how you hold your frame—that macho stance. And I like the grim expression of focus on your face. And then, how, like the energizer bunny, you just keep on keeping on.
You show me how to get this thankless job of serving country done and I hope, like you, done magnificently well.
Thank you for giving me this.
The driver is arriving any minute now. And I gotta go.
Happy birthday to a most loved president. The one who is shaping up to be the best president this country has ever had. The one who will get us on high ground. The one who puts on his battle gear each and every day and unsheaths his sword and slays dragon after dragon for nothing less than love for the Filipino people.
It truly is an honor to serve under you, sir. And if I take a few hits here and there for you, what of it?
I am serving my country under the leadership of a man whose heart beats in tune with mine for love of country.
God, what an honor!
Todos saludos, Mr President.