A mother's post-election hopes for the Philippines
By Featured Blogger Tina Santiago-Rodriguez Updated Tuesday May 17, 2016 - 8:38am

Philippine flag. Pixabay

To say that it has been an emotional week for us Filipinos is probably an understatement. The whole nation - including our fellow Filipinos abroad - has been monitoring the ongoing tally of votes for the 2016 Philippine elections, and many of us have been posting our own thoughts and opinions on social media.

In fact, the weeks leading to the elections have seen a lot of us "campaigning" for our selected candidates both online and offline, often resulting in division among friends, colleagues and even family members.

Now that the elections are over, and the votes are being counted, I find myself thinking of what has happened and - most especially - what is to come. As a mother of four children especially, I cannot help having my own fears and hopes for our future as a nation. I don't want to appear pessimistic here so I won't touch on my fears here in this article, but I would like to share with you, our dear readers, some of my hopes for the Philippines. Perhaps you can relate somehow.

I hope that we, as a people, can start moving forward again. Despite all our differences and our favored candidates not winning the elections, let us focus on being united. Let us extend our hands to one another, for the greater good of our country.

I hope that we can learn to forgive those who may have wronged or offended us during the campaign period, prior to the elections. May we strive to be the "better" man or woman, and look beyond what has been said and done to us. Instead, may we be models of mercy and compassion to our neighbors and even our "enemies."

I hope that every Filipino - including myself - will be aware of our country's history, and never forget the "sins" of our past leaders. Yes, we must forgive them but we must never ever forget the sacrifices made by brave Filipinos in the past - especially those who have given their lives for the sake of our country's freedom.

I hope that we will be one in promoting peace and goodwill in our country and beyond. I hope that we Filipino Christians especially live out our vocation to "be witnesses and missionaries of the joy of the Gospel, in Asia and in the whole world," just as Pope Francis said last year when he came to visit the Philippines

I hope that we adults can teach the young how to be good Filipinos by being good Filipinos ourselves. I hope that we can be the change we wish to see in our country and in the world, by abiding by the law, and encouraging others to do the same. 

I hope that our new leaders will truly have the good of our country in mind; that they will genuinely promote all that is true and just; that they will put others first before themselves. I hope that they will be good examples not just to our children, but to us adults as well.

I hope that our new leaders will come up with programs and solutions to the problems that we Filipinos face every day, and especially keep in mind the plight of our countrymen who are living in poverty. They form the majority of our population, and they deserve leaders who will fight for them and their rights, and do whatever they can to meet their needs.

I hope… I hope… I hope… I have many hopes for our country and for our people. I don't think one article is enough for all of them, and I am still trying to process what has been happening since the elections. I would like to end then with this version of the Panatang Makabayan, in hopes that it may kindle (or rekindle) a burning love for our country:

Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas

Ito ang aking lupang sinilangan

Ito ang tahanan ng aking lahi

Ako ay kanyang kinukupkop at tinutulungan

Upang maging malakas, maligaya at kapakipakinabang

Bilang ganti, diringgin ko ang payo ng aking mga magulang

Susundin ko ang mga tuntunin ng aking paaralan

Tutuparin ko ang mga tungkulin ng isang mamamayang makabayan at masunurin sa batas

Paglilingkuran ko ang aking bayan nang walang pag-iimbot at nang buong katapatan

Sisikapin kong maging isang tunay na Pilipino sa isip, sa salita, at sa gawa.

?Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! 

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