A Tale of Two Presidents

A Tale of Two Presidents

Former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. waves to his supporters after delivering his inaugural address as the country’s 17th president. Standing beside him is First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos. (Photo credits: Bloomberg)

I believe in hard work, but I believe in vindication as well. You have a few nightmares, I imagine before you reach your dream.

— WWE professional wrestler Cody Rhodes

(Last of Four Parts)

CALOOCAN CITY, METRO MANILA — School often kept the boy Ferdinand Marcos Jr. away from the affairs in Malacanang Palace but on occasions, he was around when his father was busy in government affairs. By Bongbong’s own admission, he often listened to the seemingly endless discussions between his father and his Cabinet officials. He did this during the two short months between school years and only when he was in Manila since many summer vacations were spent at the Mansion—the President’s official summer residence in Baguio City.

As he grew into adulthood, the long meetings in the Palace which he listened began to pique his interest and eventually made sense, giving way to an insatiable desire to acquire knowledge and familiarity about his father’s job as president. And whenever there were matters he couldn’t comprehend but wanted to know about, he would ask his dad for answers which President Marcos Sr.—like a doting father—readily gave to his son and in a manner so comprehensible that Bongbong slowly grasped the realities of being a leader.

Because of those father-and-son discussions, it didn’t take long for Bongbong’s tatang to realize that his son had been eavesdropping on his affairs and it was something that got him aback but also gave him hope that his progeny would someday follow his footsteps.

And this hope was unknowingly favored by Fate as indeed the son has stepped into his father’s shoes to become himself president of the Republic. In entering public service, Bongbong had always emulated his roots, proving time and again that what he had learned from his father would someday guide him to where he is today.

Now mellowed by experience in public life, he has readied himself to continue what had been started by his dad—to lead the Motherland and gain prominence for the Filipino people. Come the 2022 elections, he had positioned himself to win.

Right from the very start of the election campaign, Bongbong endeared himself to his supporters and believers and complemented by the captivating, popular appeal of the hardworking lady mayor of Davao City, outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter ‘Inday’ Sara Duterte-Carpio, his equally charismatic vice-presidential running mate, Marcos Sr.’s son was favored to win and this by his refusal to engage in mudslinging and name-calling, as his rivals were in the habit of doing, especially against him.

Bongbong campaigned on his own merits and he promised hope for a nation afflicted by a myriad of problems—from the Covid-19 pandemic to economic distress and a host of other concerns that included illegal drugs, corruption, and inequity between the rich and the poor. And on a platform of national unity, economic recovery, and opportunities for every Filipino, his family’s name after 36 years of relentless demonizing by communists and other anti-Marcos elements both here and abroad, has been vindicated and the electorate expressed their anger over an unchanged political scenario that bred traditional politicians and oligarchs.

So on May 9, 2022, more than 31 million Filipinos made it clear that their choice was Bongbong as the 17th president of the Republic.

For a dedicated public servant, there is nothing more exhilarating than vindication from the Filipino people in whom sovereignty resides and from whom all government authority emanates.
And true to his promise of national unity, Bongbong has designated quite a number of previous non-supporters to key posts in his administration. This move is unprecedented in the annals of Philippine history.

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