The schoolgirl uniform is just one of the things I’ll miss about Gloria. Say what you will about President Aquino (P. Noy, or P-to-the-N-O-Y, whatever fits your fancy), but we won’t have a President who can fit into an Assumption College high school uniform.
I don’t even want to think of that in terms of Noynoy, and so should you.
My reputation online (which even the least envious people will find of no use to them) lumps me together with the “rabid anti-Gloria dogs.” I’m not anti-Gloria: where you cried, I have wept for her. Everything I ever said “against” her was tough love. It breaks my heart to see her back in a private car to start her new lease on life as a Representative of Pampanga. Yes, I loved Gloria more than you’ll ever know.
As we say goodbye to our nine-year relationship with the national ex-girlfriend, let me pay a fitting tribute to her: with the things I’ll miss the most about Gloria.
Here we go:
1. “Pangulong Gloria.” I love how that honorific – “Pangulong Gloria” – rolls off the tongue of many Cabinet members, Congressmen, and avid supporters of the former President (including the tongue of this avid Gloria supporter). “Dating Pangulong Gloria” doesn’t have a ring to it, and so does “Congresswoman Arroyo.” We’ve grown so used to her being President that it’s just impossible for me, at least, to refer to her as anything else but the President of this land.
2. SONA fashion. I always looked forward to SONA because it gives me a chance to see Gloria beyond the business casual she seems to live, breathe, and sleep in. Never mind that she comes off like a Santo Niño at times, but you have to admit that she does do her best to stand out from the crowd. P. Noy will come into his first SONA wearing a barong or one of those shirts with Philippine flags on them, but not GMA, whose applause every sentence is marked with the glowing and the shimmering of the sequins on her patadyong.
3. Acronyms for everything. One thing I’ll miss about Gloria is her penchant for acronyms, which helps us, in turn, understand her programs better. “Ginintuang Masaganang Ani” was clearly an homage to her, and rightly so: champion of land reform and agricultural improvement. Then there’s my favorite: BEAT THE ODDS, which stands for Budget reform; Ensuring education for everyone of school age, establishing conditions conducive to learning, providing necessary facilities and equipment; Automating elections for clean, honest, accurate exercise of suffrage; Transportation and digital infrastructure development; Terminating hostilities with armed rebel groups; Healing the wounds of EDSA; Electricity and water provision to every barangay in the archipelago; Opening opportunities for employment to some six to 10 milion members of the workforce; Decongesting Metro Manila, including decentralizing governance, in order to spread the positive effects of government to the various regions, and; Developing Subic-Clark corridor into the most competitive international service and logistics center in Southeast Asia. Awesome: acrostic poetry in the tradition of Poe (Edgar Allan, not Fernando, Jr.).
4. “Strong Republic.” I will look back with teary-eyed nostalgia at how Gloria used this phrase so effectively to define her administration, nevermind that she left a society so fractured and a political system so fluid (mostly because of anti-Gloria people who refuse to acknowledge her hardworking and prayerful virtues as the President of this land). Thanks to Gloria, we will remember this Mussolini-esque cachet as a remembrance of her dedicated administration. For she is, after all, an economist. That’s all that matters.
5. Those awesome pantsuits. Of course, Noynoy will wear pants. Yet in nine years of business casual pantsuits, Pangulong Gloria has reminded us of who wears the pants in this country. I’ll miss the drab colors of her serious, let’s-get-down-to-business gear: conference cream, battleship gray, and boardroom blue. Of course the Presidency is not a moment in Fashion Week, but we’ll one day see these pantsuits on sale in a Freeway series, along with quotable quotes like “Don’t say bad words in public,” and “pussyfooting.”
6. Boob jobs and groin cysts. We’ll miss the breast implants, which Noynoy will never get. We’ll miss the groin cysts, which will be too much information when Noynoy gets them. Yet her trips to the doctor, documented with widely-reported and widely-circulated briefs and chart entries on silicone enhancements and groin cysts, is something we’ll miss from her. Proof that the President is human after all, and we loved her all the more for those boob jobs and those Le Cirque dinners. Which none of you ever proved anyway in the proper forum.
7. Cuteness. Oh, the reason why everyone loved to destabilize her: cuteness. She was just so cute, so… Lilliputian, with a heart of gold and the temper of a thousand threatening and terrifying tempests. I can’t explicate it better than Quark Henares did, so please read on. Noynoy must, at the very least, muster the confidence required to wear form-hugging surfing gear.
Like you, I hope the Noynoyans of today – who are experiencing a political pole shift – realize the immense size of the boots their President have to fill in. In that occasion where Noynoy does something… dreadfully iniquitous (or perhaps markedly maleficent and inordinately unpropitious), we, of course, will be watching.
Until then, our prayerful and hardworking ex-President will be watching P. Noy, and maybe Oliver Lozano will stop thinking about the impeachment complaint and actually print out the pleading template.
* – Photograph from The Philippine STAR