A MOTHER’S WORST FEAR

I don’t think you can find a mother who doesn’t want the best for her children. We may have different ways of showing it, but the driving force behind all of our efforts remains the same – our deep love and concern for our kids.

It’s almost Mothers’ Day. And just a day after that is the Election Day.

We will choose new leaders for our country. And just like with motherhood, we may have different, or even opposing, standards in picking our candidates. But the reason behind this entire political exercise is the same – our deep love and concern, this time, for our country.

As a mother to three beautiful babies, I have had high hopes for this coming election.

I was holding on to my belief that the Filipino electorate has, over the years, grown mature and discerning. That we have learned our precious lessons from the past. That we would take our right to suffrage (which is also a civic duty and responsibility) more seriously. That we would realize that the single vote we would cast has the potential to either make or break our country. That the repercussions of our choices could affect, not just the present generation, but also the generations that will follow.

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Photo credit: http://i.huffpost.com/

However, considering the various surveys’ most recent results, which, for me, are extremely disappointing, I am now growing increasingly alarmed and agitated. Not for my sake, but for my children’s sake. And for the sake of the millions of Filipino children that will most heavily take the brunt of our electoral choices.

I fear that each time they see or hear about a political candidate cussing, name-calling, using other foul and vulgar words, blatantly disrespecting people in authority, and degrading women, senior citizens, people with disability, members of the lgbt community, our kasambahay, and even stray dogs, the children will get confused about the value of respect and compassion.

I fear that each time they see or hear about a political candidate talking about killing alleged criminals and dumping their bodies in Manila Bay, the children will get confused about the value of law, justice and of life itself.

I fear that each time they see or hear about a political candidate hailing the late dictator as a hero, the children will get confused about the value of truth and the accuracy of history.

I fear that each time they see or hear about a political candidate insisting that he will not apologize for making a bad joke about rape, the children will get confused about the value of humility.

I fear that each time they see or hear about a candidate saying, “Sasampalin ko ‘yan ‘pag nagkita kami!” when criticized, the children will get confused about the value of freely expressing oneself without fear of retribution.

I fear that each time they see or hear about a political candidate claiming that it’s okay to be in row 4 or to copy from a classmate or even to get a failing grade, the children will get confused about the value of education.

I fear that each time they see or hear about a political candidate admitting that his wife left him due to his extra-marital affairs, or that he is now involved with more than one woman, the children will get confused about the value of love and fidelity, and the sanctity of marriage.

I fear that each time they see or hear about a political candidate openly kissing women-supporters, the children will get confused about the value of decency.

I fear that each time they see or hear about a political candidate turning a blind eye to all the violence, bullying and mob reaction that he himself incites among his legion of apologists and defenders, the children will get confused about the value of guaranteed safety.

I fear that each time they see or hear about a political candidate declaring that he will shut up about the issue of the West Philippine Sea for the entire duration of his presidency if China will offer to build vital transportation facilities and other infrastructure in the country, the children will get confused about the value of nationalistic pride.

I fear that each time they see or hear about a political candidate flipflopping his statements about his decision to run for president or cursing the Pope or having bank accounts not declared on his SALN, the children will get confused about the value of honesty, sincerity and integrity.

Ang sabi nga, sa mata ng mga bata, ang mali ay nagiging tama kapag ginagawa ng mga matatanda.

And so, even if we, the parents, have been patiently and relentlessly inculcating in our impressionable kids the ethics and positive values that our own parents have passed on to us, I fear that their constant exposure to these examples of immorality and indecency through various media would adversely affect them. Ultimately, the very fiber of what makes us who and what we are as a nation would be greatly compromised.

Therefore, as a mother, I hope and pray that all our candidates would clean up their acts. They should all set sterling examples for the youth and be part of the universal struggle to make the world a better place for them.

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