Understanding his reasons for wanting to be the next president of the Philippines

I could hear incidental giggles of people around in the audio file of my friend, Rodelo Pidoy, while he was being interviewed by a journalist in the iReport CNN internet site. In fact the sarcasm in the voice of that journalist was too perceptible that I felt bad for Rodelo. But it seemed that my friends was unfazed.

He was his usual serious self, speaking as if whatever he said was of utmost importance. He could not be bothered by his mis-enunciation of most words containing the vowel ‘e’ especially the long ones and some schwas.

He sounded prophetic, and at times like my old professor when I was still an undergrad at the University of the Philippines.

For most people, Rodelo comes so close to the edge that separates the black and the white.  He transcends understanding because, unlike most of us, he neither seeks nor craves for it. The Comelec may simply refer to him as nuisance because it is meant to think that way – in simple terms. But Rodelo is unaffected. He is steely focused to a point of ‘rational’ obsession.  He shall be, according to him, the 15th President of the republic.

No one believes he will be. Neither do I.

But Rodelo is too proud to found his beliefs on other people’s faith. He’ll pursue his plans of becoming the next president, and in the event he fails, I know he would be able to find something grander to run after.

If only all of us were as brave as the guy to present an alternative way of looking at the world and challenging both its spoken and unspoken rules. Only people like him can create revolution.

“I love that article you wrote about me, only that the part that says we drank beer in the afternoon is too unbecoming especially that I am running for the highest office in the land.”

“So you want me to crash out that part?”

“No, just keep it that way. After all it’s already done.”

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For President of the Republic of the Philippines: Rodelo Pidoy*

Picture of Rodelo Pidoy taken this afternoon, January 6, 2010 at the parking lot adjacent to the College Union Building University of the Philippines Visayas, Miagao, Iloilo, Philippines.

Profile of the 51st Presidential Candidate and the would-be 15th President

Full name: Rodelo Suyom Pidoy

Nickname: Ugong

Place of Birth: Bugasong, Antique

Date of Birth: March 8, 1984

Present Address: Netura Street, Ubos Ilaya, Miagao, Iloilo

Home Address: Sitio Hines, Tagudtud South, Bugasong, Antique

Highest Educational Attainment: BS Biology UP Visayas

Parents’ Livelihood: Selling vegetables, firewood, and bamboo shoots

What he already did:

-Written more than 1000 poems

-First used cell phone in November 2008

-Sold more than 50 cell phone units as of November 2009

-Has bought and destroyed more than 50 units of AM-FM radio

-Repaired, modified, and sold electronic equipment after that

-Avoided using computers unless so necessary from 2000-2008. But as of May-June 2009 repaired, set-up, and sold computers already without using manuals (used electricity from relatives as own house has none).

-Was able to cure any kind of diseases (stroke, asthma, hypersensitivity reaction, colds, fever, insomnia, kidney trouble, stomach pain, canker, cancer, hemorrhoids, enlarged heart, toothache, goiter, eyestrain, migraine, skin allergy, chronic cramps, irregular menstrual cycle, child-bearing problems, depression, nervous breakdown, ulcers, bone fractures, and many more even those not biologic in origin – or that which are not caused by food or water taken.

-Did the healing without the aid of western medicine.

-Invented 50 inventions/gadgets; once made one invention a day for 30 days.

-Developed a technique for planting several millions of trees in one day.

-Planted 2000 trees in less than a minute.

-Made a device that can turn off neighboring FM radios

-Made a device that can control rains, typhoons, earthquakes, ice and hailstorms.

-Made a device that can pinpoint the part of the body that is weak and uses it as a diagnostic tool in treating patients.

What he can do and still needs to do:

-Intends to study at Harvard. He likes to take medicine.

-Will try to patent his inventions and mass produce some.

-Intends to sell his weather controlling device for a price enough to cover all the debts of the Philippines and with enough money for him to launch a national campaign; however, he thinks it is better to keep it into himself and use it for the country to develop for it might go to wrong hands and we will be victims. To utilize its potential, however, he needs to be the President.

-Likes to experience true democracy and not a false one.

-Can make the country be united as one and develop.

-Likes to create a million jobs the first month he sits in office.

-Likes the next generation of Filipinos see the Philippines as their paradise.

Before these happens, however, he needs to qualify as a candidate. He is only 26 by the time of the election and so he is disqualified. He needs to change the Constitution. He can do it alone. However there is not enough time. He needs the cooperation of everybody and the help of everyone who needs to experience true democracy and true freedom. How could we have true freedom to participate when one of the requirements for President is “at least forty years old at the time of election” while also having “be able to read and write as a criterion”? Most grade one pupils know how to read and write and so a forty year-old who has finished grade one only is allowed while a twenty year-old college graduate cannot?

The “be able to read and write” gives us a false feeling of freedom for it includes almost all of us. The “at least forty years old” however gives us a restriction. Therefore we think we are free but actually we are not. Age limit for Presidents then must be lowered. It must be lowered to at least twenty years old. If not, he will wait until he is old enough to be corrupted by the corrupt society he is in and become a corrupt president later on. The choice is yours. Now is the time to make history. Let us make democracy the rule of the masses – the poorer class – because we are the majority.

We are not having oligarchy as our type of government so at least one from our ranks needs to be the President. In that way elite rule will not continue. If it does continue at least we are not disenfranchised citizens. I did this because I was called. I have come upon your calling. And so recognize that I am the one whom you are waiting. Cooperate with my cause and I will cooperate with you. Together we can fight Global Warming, and warming here in our country due to much politicking. I myself if I will not contribute my help, this nation will be ravaged not only by war but by violent typhoons and strong earthquakes.

We need to participate in politics. I know you do not want to be dominated by evil men. Let me quote what Plato – one of the great Greek philosophers – “It is the price of good men who hesitate to involve in politics ruled by evil men”. Allow me to be your voice and your representative. This country needs only one man for it to change – I.

Say this also and together we will be united by the same belief. Only then will we be one.

Wish anything reasonable from me and it shall be done.

*The text in this post was taken verbatim from the campaign materials being distributed by Rodelo Pidoy. I am here to help a friend who needs to establish some presence in the internet.

One afternoon we drank Redhorse beer from plastic bags using plastic straws

After almost two years, I met him again three afternoons ago. I just finished with my writing class when I saw him waiting for something or somebody outside the library. He seemed not to have changed a bit. He was wearing the same black plastic rimmed eye glasses I remember he has been wearing six years ago when I first met him at UP.

He was then a senior BS Bio student; I was at that time a confused BS Bio freshman who was about to quit college because of another Math 17 (Algebra and Trigonometry) exam of which I failed, twice in a row. Instead of studying and doing practice tests, I was at the library that time reading the Diary of Franz Kafka edited by Max Brod. He approached me and asked about the multi-colored tubao I was wearing around my neck. He pointed out, in our first meeting, how I was so desperate in differentiating myself from the rest of the crowd by donning that dreadful piece of fabric like a noose. His nerve intimidated me. However, it did not occur to me to question why he was wearing a hat made from nipa grass which also looked funny on him. I saw him around the campus indifferently walking as if it was but natural to wear that strange-looking hat. And there he was, commenting on my tubao which I must admit, imbued on me a character of a jokester.

For me then, he was the most radical, the weirdest, and the most original student at UP. He set the highest bar on how far one can get in order to separate oneself from the brain-deadening crowd. He introduced me to the philosophies of Marx without him being a Marxist; to the value of a revolution that will change the entire Filipino mindset, but mind you, this revolution is mired with ironies as, according to him, the only necessary participant in this revolution is himself.

He is three years my senior but finished his bachelor’s degree in 2009 after changing his thesis several times, from the behavior of drones during mating, to some experiments on mud crab, and finally settling with something which he dubbed as groundbreaking—salinity tolerance of the larval stage of two species of crabs.

And three afternoons, after not having seen each other for almost two years, instead of the perfunctory questions about what adventures each has gone through during those years, we opted to forgo this part and decided to dive head on and tackle issues of import. We had a very long unplanned, almost meandering conversation about my angst and but mostly about his compulsion, no obsession, in transforming this world into a place for intellectuals. It has always been how he wanted it to become.

He’s considering the ‘public clamor’ for him to run for the highest office in the land; after all he is qualified, he said. He was so fiery while delivering his speeches. I felt like an insignificant mortal walking beside the next president of the country. Only to realize rather late that he’s only 27.

He ran for Barangay Captain in his hometown of Bugasong, Antique. Not counting the votes he got from himself (of course), his parent, and two siblings, he got two additional votes, which gave him seven votes, out of the 470 total population of his barangay. He did not view this defeat a failure. In fact he was happy because had he won in that election, he wouldn’t have finished university. Aside from being the most radical, the weirdest, and the most original, he’s also the most disposed to take the most favorable view of things. A true-blue optimist.

We walked under the intense afternoon sun to my favorite place famous for its batchoy and coconut water, where my best friend and I used to frequent during college. Unfortunately, it closed a year ago and in its place now stands a furniture shop. So in lieu, I invited him to drink softdrinks at OMPs, a local bar that faces the university entrance. But a bottle of cold Redhorse beer was more tempting than anything. He only gave me a smile when I asked the woman at the counter to pour the contents into plastic bags and asked for plastic straws.

Nothing beats a carefree afternoon spent conversing with an old friend, walking our way to an undetermined direction, and drinking cold beer from plastic bags and sipped the alcoholic content using plastic straws. This while the sun is radiating heat in full glory overhead.

Rodelo’s one of those few people I’ve met who has remained faithful to his identity, who has held on to what he has believed when he was younger, who has truly gone against the current of general hysteria and calming boredom.

Making me so envious, because I can never be like him.