It's Time


Our Times by Susan Ople

Red, blue, and white buntings declaring "Oras Na!" ("It’s Time!") with the Liberal Party logo decorated the Kalayaan hall of Club Filipino. Socially-relevant tarpaulins depicting scenes like a silhouette of a lonely soldier on a solitary trek with the words, "Honor and Dignity for our Soldiers," hanged along the sides of the wall. A huge video wall at the center of the stage was used before the high point of the program to show an audio-visual presentation regarding the history and personages of the Liberal Party.

Rich visuals, bold colors, and the theme of "Oras Na!" made the election of new party president Senator Mar Roxas a memorable event. Add to this, the gathering of friends and supports of the party and Roxas himself bolstered the impression that the LP has the capability of attracting a broad sector of society, including those with divergent views on how real change can come about.

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena, Isabela Governor Grace Padaca, Magsaysay awardee and Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, former Bulacan Governor Josie dela Cruz, Rep. Jose Yap of Tarlac, former Representative Lu Antonino of General Santos City, Leah Navarro, Enteng Romano and Dinky Soliman of the Black & White Movement, UNO Spokesman Atty. Adel Tamano, Ang Ladlad leader Danton Remoto, former Cabinet Secretaries, Rep. Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna, Rep. Etta Rosales of Akbayan, and so many others came together to witness the passing of the torch from former Senate President Drilon to Senator Mar Roxas as party president.

I was huddled in one corner with close friends and family of Senator Roxas listening to him take his oath of office before the distinguished Senate President Jovito Salonga, when we heard the quiver in the senator’s voice. Perhaps it was the crowd, respectful yet obviously in adoration of the party’s perceived standard-bearer. Perhaps, it was the oath itself, which in part, states: "I will uphold the Liberal Party-- its Constitution and its founding ideals of conscience over ambition, principles over glory, and integrity above power-- as our instrument to attain the paramount national interest". Or perhaps it was just that precise moment – when thoughts of his father, Sen. Gerry Roxas and his grandfather, President Manuel Roxas, crossed his mind. There will always be other parties for other people, but for a Roxas, there can be no other party except the LP.

For his acceptance speech, Roxas focused on the theme of change and renewal. Addressing his fellow politicians and civil servants, it was time, he said, for everyone to "come along, roll up your sleeves, open your hearts and re-discover that wellspring of idealism that first brought us to public service." The lawmaker from Capiz also stressed the need for critical yet constructive engagement. "Whenever policy is wrong, we are the party that will say No/, and make an honest and determined effort to provide solutions. As important as it is to know the "whodunit", it is even more important for our future to know the "how-to-solve-it."

And partly to answer the oft-repeated questions about 2010, the new party president intoned:" I accept the challenge of building a strong, united, and modern LP – rooted in its founding principles, sharpening its purpose – and leading it to victory in 2010."

The event ended well, with confetti and numerous photo-taking sessions, and a press conference ably moderated by former Bukidnon Congressman Neric Acosta. Rep. Erin Tanada, former Education Secretary Butch Abad, party treasurer and Quezon Governor Raffy Nantes. Seventeen-year old blogger Kevin Ray Chua was around to chronicle the event for Davao City Councilor and LP member Peter Laviña of met up with Kevin and chatted about political blogging.

The road to 2010 is still, as Roxas himself said, still "a ways to go." But I like it that we are not lacking in leaders who are strident about their willingness to be agents of change. It takes courage and a bit of zaniness to even consider being part of the body politic especially with our parochial way of politics. One needs a degree of self-flagellation to even contemplate a presidential run in 2010. People nowadays are quick to react, most of the time with little facts at their disposal, perhaps aided and abetted by the speed by which news travels.

The LP is the first party to have openly declared its standard-bearer in 2010. It would be interesting to observe and write about the forthcoming Nacionalista Party’s 100th anniversary dinner-show at the PICC. Like Christmas, the spirit of 2010 has started.

About The Blogger
Kevin Ray N. Chua

Kevin Ray N. Chua is a 19 year-old blogger from Cebu City, Philippines and an IT Student at Cebu Institute of Technology.

He is currently the Secretary General of the CIT-SSG.

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2 Responses So far
on December 12, 2007 at 5:01 PM  

It is time to have an Ilonggo President again. Just keep being humble Mar and Western Visyas will be yours. My link:

Kevin Ray
on December 13, 2007 at 12:11 PM  

Indeed Wangbu! Western Visayas and even the entire Visayas is a big target for the upcoming 2010 presidential candidates. You have the vote-rich provinces of Ilo-Ilo and Cebu that would really make a big decision in the upcoming elections. Once again, thanks for your support!

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