Dear Dr. Jose,
I write this to share my insights on how democracy in this country is and was since you left us in 1896. I would, as much as I could, abreast you with what has been going on since I was born into this republic you have sacrificed so much to be free.
First off, we have been granted independence in 1946, so that escapes your struggle for independence from Spain. We were sold to the Americans anyway. By that too, Filipinos now are more inclined to see through in the American eye, feel in the American way and live in the borrowed Levis than your brand of how true Filipino culture and democracy is and should be. We failed and I am sorry.
Second, we have seen great men rise and fall but only one remains mostly detested, Marcos! If you have seen his definition of democracy, some finer alterations were supplanted and thus born the First Filipino Society but I call that Filipino First society. We were one step closer to be equal in the world’s superpowers, gained the respects of the international community, even of Spain, Japan and America and the Holy See.
Third, people were empowered as you wished. They went to EDSA not to Luneta to set us free. Until now, I have no inkling why in 1986; Filipinos didn’t went to Luneta where you rest peacefully but instead, EDSA to protest and to pray. Thus in effect, history again deprived you of the chance to be honoured. Was it altered? I don’t know. By then, we gained independence, not from Spaniards or the Americans but from infamy, oppression and tyranny.
Fourth, a military man becomes president after a plain housewife rose up. A movie actor becomes president too, served and then further on served a jail term after a botched impeachment. He was popular as you were, perhaps, more but he was incarcerated not in Fort Santiago but in Tanay, in your name-sake, Rizal. Soon afterwards, a second lady becomes president and from the streets of Cebu to Manila, she served yet pleaded “I Am Sorry” for Garci. She is now under arrest for plunder and crimes and by the way, the son of the first lady president becomes the president now, and he sees to it, we are straightened up and our battle cry is “patungo sa tuwid na daan” and so I see.
Fifth, since you were gone, have these personalities I wrote ever visited you where you dispense wisdom other than ceremonial wreath laying or during your death anniversary? I would have loved it when they do. They can get as much inspiring anecdotes and wisdom on democracy, freedom, governance, accountability, transparency, creativity, civic service and patrimony.
A few months back Dr. Jose, I went to see your much improved cell in Fort Santiago. I was rather impressed; much has evolved since you left, Dr. Jose. Much have already transpired, much have gone. Intimately, is it what you truly desire Dr. Jose? Is this how democracy you foresee? Is this how we live your legacy which is minted in democracy?
Lastly Dr. Jose, I wished you bear witness to what is happening today. I would want an opportunity to see the Philippines the way you foresee it to be. We may have failed miserably but as what you left us, a legacy which embraces our inadequacies, our democracy is stronger as it will be. Well, I would wish to see you lecture on patrimony to us and everyone you see, in Congress and even to places across the Philippine sea. This nation would have been different when we see the country the way you foresee by living your legacy humbly as we can be.