When I woke up this morning, I normally check my Facebook. Not to chat or stalk, but just to make sure my mind is awake. You know that feeling when you wake up, but you know deep inside you’re still asleep, right? That’s an inner struggle, and it’s a risk if you close your eyes. That’s why I choose to keep my eyes busy with facebook (but sometimes it consumes 2 hours of my time hehe). Kidding aside, instead of fun and colorful stories shown on my news feed, it was filled with black and red photos of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, apparently she has passed away.
Among the photos that went viral, this one I attached in my blog struck me a lot (I don’t own the photo). She knew she was gonna die, but she wanted it to be classy and full of angst up to the last-minute. I know she fought real hard, she’s the most badass fighter I know. Honestly, I don’t know her works, her achievements, I can not win in a debate on why Miriam is an icon in the political history of the Philippines, but all I know is, she is influential, hard-working and a mother to this country.
When I was young, the memory I had about Miriam is very negative. I actually hated her. I remember her fighting the presidency against Joseph Ejercito Estrada, and she lost. I didn’t like her because she was loud, she seemed crazy and, as a child, I though she seemed not fit for presidency. She was also a very popular senator and I was wondering why. She was making headlines for making controversial one-liners. She was aggressive, that was the biggest thing I know about her. My perspective changed when her son died. I saw a mother mourning for the loss of her child. People were still scrutinizing her, and I felt her pain, I thought she didn’t deserve all this pain she was experiencing. She had my heart at that moment. And ever since, when I was growing up, I realized that what she was fighting for and her attitude was necessary to change the country and to shape this generation. She was on the right track all along. And when she ran for presidency this year 2015, I fought with her. I promoted her so much I had her face on my locker so everyone passing by would see her. Her face was attached on my ID so she was always visible, I was always talking about her and promoting her, because she was an underdog, she was behind her colleagues. But I didn’t lose hope because I knew the youth was with her, and the youth wanted a better tomorrow. Unfortunately she lost with now President Rodrigo Duterte, but she continued the battle with her health. She never stopped, she was a true fighter.
It was a long journey for her, it was colorful and bloody at the same time. She inspired me not just about politics, but about life in general. She taught me how to be strong, despite the criticisms she had. She taught me how to be firm even when the world was against her. She taught me how to fight for what I believed in even though no one wanted to support her. She taught me that true love isn’t only for the youth, but is also for the elders, and that I should choose someone who will love me unconditionally. She also taught me to be positive despite of the darkness around, that I should find the light that I will use, not only to guide me, but to guide the people around me, influencing not just a society, not just a generation but a country, as big as the Philippines.
The Iron Lady of Asia is no more, but her legacy will live forever. It is sad that we do not have her anymore, but I am happy because she will never have to be in pain again in this world, and, I know, she is now in heaven with her beloved son. I haven’t been as patriotic as she has been, but she enlightened me that I fight for mycountry and to do what is right. The Philippines has not just lost a president-that-got-away, a great senator, or a great woman, rather we lost a mother, a mother that the Philippines could have been with, nurturing us, loving us and fighting for us. There will never be another MDS. I hope and pray that her legacy will continue and the next generation will stand up and be guided by the MDS in all of us. Yes she will return, not in physical form, but rather the fire that she planted in all of us will soon grow, and each of us will be a torch this country needs to be directed in the path that she started. It is never the end, rather a beginning of a revolution, an MDS revolution!