To tell you honestly, I was never a big fan of Joseph Estrada. When he became president, my middle class grade school sensibilities were insulted. I was young then, but not young enough to be immune to the bourgeoisie disdain everyone around me had for Estrada. With eyebrows raised, I watched his state of the nation address; carefully tallying his mistakes in grammar and pronunciation, real or imagined. You could say I was a really snobbish kid. In retrospect, I would have to agree with you. But I was a snobbish kid who could do nothing but turn up her nose at the president on television. I was powerless to do anything else.
We are a fickle-minded people. By the time I got to high school, people on the street were screaming for Estradaâ€
When Estrada stepped down, my bourgeoisie self was appeased. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo seemed a far better person. At least she went to college. When she came to power, we were all in high spirits. Finally, something would be done right in this forlorn country. At last, here was someone who was qualified to run our country. She promised us better governance, healthier industries and better social services. Moreover, she promised to be the transition into something better. And we, suckers that we were; believed her.
Now here we are, six years down the road. Our lives have not improved, our foreign debt has ballooned, and millions of our country men are starving to death. And letâ€
We need not look at the business pages to see how low our country has sunk. The peso-dollar rate only reflects how many have been forced to work abroad. It is no wonder that the peso is growing stronger, the scarcity of jobs in this country has forced the most talented and better educated of us to work abroad. No, the exchange rate is not proof of a growing economy. It is only proof of the dwindling opportunities in this country.
Tell me, after two EDSAs; did we get what we bargained for? Do we deserve another fascist regime? I may never have liked Estrada but I donâ€