In 1968, former President DiosdadoMacapagal, in a speech, asked
How does one make integration happen? How do you bring millions belonging to different ways of life into mainstream of one society,…without disintegrating those very cultures for which these millions live?…How do you become the brother of the Filipino Muslim without ceasing to be Christian, or obversely without ceasing to be Muslim? How do you bring the fruits of progress to the Manobo, or to the Negrito, the Itneg, the Ifugao, the Kalinga-Apayao, whose lives have been circumscribed by centuries of adverse conditions? How finally do you cause change to happen in the lives of members of cultural minorities without causing as well the break-up of their communities and perhaps their families?…
Sobering riveting stuff!
But how come in my time I’ve yet to hear my country’s leaders “on fire” in their speeches? It’s just too bad for my generation that rousing and inspiring speeches are now the domain of the librarian or the archivist.
Public leaders speak, but it seems to me their speech is hollow despite the warmth they force feed into it. The question, then, maybe, is, what would they rather, deep down, talk about? I’m a willing listener. Roses and guns? Guns and roses? Why ever not? I’m interested. I’d learn something at least, like new breeds of roses, the latest model. But more importantly they’d be on fire. But wait. Maybe, it’s the audience. Maybe, on the stand, looking out onto their audience, they see smiles that don’t really reach the eyes and hear hand claps that are not set off by the heart. Naturally, who is inspired by this audience?