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If I Were President

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Noynoy Aquino

Right off the bat, I will convince myself that the presidency is best not made a career but a lofty mission to change the world. A personal sacrifice, not a privilege nor entitlement. I will be a servant leader, not a leader of servants.

I will set ambitious goals to uplift the lives of our countrymen. This will be the baseline of our long term vision, untethered by the limitations of common wisdom.

I will look for the idealistic, the selfless—the best and the brightest—to form a think tank to assess my long term vision and scale it down to realistic, doable, attainable goals for the short term. I will then recruit driven, honest, the best, and the brightest into operational teams to ensure that vision becomes reality within a set time frame.

I will lead by example and be one with our constituents, the majority of whom live in poverty. By living a humble, spartan lifestyle, I will gain their trust through empathy by letting them see that I am in the same boat as they are. I will suffer with them during bad times and celebrate with them in good.

Transparency and meritocracy will encourage investment inflows that will provide jobs. I will strive to maintain a high trust rating. This will give me the political capital to convince everyone to paddle the boat in the same direction. I cannot do it alone. Leader is a misnomer if he does not have followers.

I will share my dreams, both the lofty and the realistic, with my constituents. I will tell them what sacrifices we have to endure to make our dream a reality. We may sacrifice, but our children will reap the benefits. This is where trust will come into play for without trust, my people will not be willing to sacrifice.

I will find symbols that our nation will unite behind. That symbol could be a phenomenal athlete like Manny Pacquiao who put the Philippines on the world stage, or a crisis like Ondoy that will bring out the best in us. A galvanized nation united by an inspiring leader is a great one waiting to be unleashed.

Being a public servant with ideals is easier said than done. Like a kid in a candy store or a horny, dirty old man in a harem, it is difficult to say “No, thanks.” With power comes temptation, for did Adam and Eve not bite the forbidden apple?

But that should not deter us from dreaming that one day, a white knight willing to sacrifice himself and purge our nation of the infamy of corruption will come. Even if it costs him, he will save our children’s children from the burden of poverty. Hopefully, that day is not far into the horizon but just around the corner.

Print ed: 06/10


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