Don Bosco Philippines South Province

Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippine South Province FIS

So help us God

Like many of us, I have witnessed a historic moment when the new President, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III was sworn in as the 15th president of the Republic of the Philippines around noon time of June 30. Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales administered his oath of office at the highly yellow Quirino grandstand. The crowd was a mixture of the ordinary “masa” along with the rich and famous – all in the mood for celebration because this leader was chosen by the voice of the people. Though I could not be in Quirino grandstand at that time, I was at least in front of the television exercising my role as a citizen in accepting the new chief of the land.
We need to be good citizens by supporting our new leaders. I must confess that I did not vote for Noynoy. During the election my choice went to Gibo as President and Binay for Vice President as was the dictate of my conscience. But now that the winners have been proclaimed, personal choices will have to give way for the common good. The will of the majority has surfaced. Now it’s time to work together for the country’s welfare. It is God’s will that Noynoy has become our president.
I have no idea how unbelievers would make their oath of office. But Noynoy ended his solemn vow with the words: “so help me God!” It is customary to end an oath that way. At that instant I prayed for Noynoy while he symbolically placed his hand on the Holy Scriptures held by Fr. Catalino Arevalo, the family’s spiritual adviser. He will need more of God’s wisdom and insight to run our troubled country. When Solomon was a new and young king, the one thing he asked for was wisdom. He prayed for a “discerning heart” to be a good governor. For this God was pleased for he asked neither for wealth nor for long life. This too, I prayed for P-Noy.
I did not hear any mention of God in the President’s inaugural speech that followed, yet such an important beginning merits our collective seeking of God’s accompaniment for him and for our nation. Psalm 127 says “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” I do hope, deep in his heart, he is entrusting himself and his new role as servant-leader in the hands of the Almighty just as he started his quest for the presidency with a retreat. So help him God!
P-Noy’s speech was rich in promise. It carried all the yearnings of 90 million Filipinos clamoring for change. He practically made a vow to lift the nation out of poverty and wipe out crippling corruption that has marred our country’s progress. This fifty-year-old bachelor further promised to lead by example and not break the trust of millions of Filipinos who brought him to Malacañang. On my part, I see in it a sign of hope and a new opportunity for a new beginning. Minutes before the oath taking took place many well-known singers captivated the hearts of the crowd with beautiful and inspiring music that called for transformation. The inaugural song “Bagong Pilipinas” was a longing to set the nation right so we can move ahead.
The promise, though, seem to be an impossible dream. The President is facing such a tremendous and difficult task ahead. Now he has to walk his talk. He has to put the vow into praxis. Words will need to become actions for P-Noy is no messiah. What I found striking in his speech was his challenge to us all. He invited the Filipinos not to leave him alone. “The Filipino people should participate actively in effecting change.” One man cannot do it all. Change is a community effort and can only be achieved by team work. Collective strength and cooperation will move our country forward. Such “bayanihan” spirit will effect change to our land. But if we remain indifferent and continue our selfish ways nothing will happen. Nay, our country will continue to deteriorate and fall apart. As we pray for our new leaders we also pray for ourselves and own the “Panata sa Pagbabago” which different sectors of our society made in response to the president’s oath taking. We also make our vow to start the change in ourselves. So help us God!

Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.

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