Friday, March 03, 2006
Thanks for all your birthday greetings. When I was younger, I always looked forward to my birthday which also happens to be the anniversary of Edsa People Power 1. February 25 was always a holiday, in other words, no classes! Yahoo!
Twenty-something years later, I never had so many people greet me a happy birthday. That was last Friday when my birthday celebration in Magandang Umaga Pilipinas was cancelled due to a coup plot. The morning show was suddenly pre-empted with breaking news, but at the same time an announcement of my b-day celebration in MUP was being flashed continuously on the screen!
As expected, I was the butt of jokes in the newsroom. It couldn't have come at a better time. I ended up in the streets of Makati as Tita Cory reiterated her call for PGMA to resign. I interviewed Senator Jinggoy Estrada who seemed disappointed at the low turn out of people in Makati. If not for Satur Ocampo and his group of rallyistas, it would've been a sorry sight. My personal estimate is that there were only about 4-5 thousand people. But then again, thousands more were reported to have been blocked off from all directions.
In the midst of everything, the presence of Kris Aquino and boyfriend James Yap was the talk of the town. Not too long ago, Kris openly endorsed GMA for president but recent events proved blood is thicker than water. Kris said so herself, she was there because of her mom. What is not clear is whether she also supports her mom's call for PGMA to resign.
As I was leaving Makati, an English-speaking teenager approached me and introduced himself to me saying he's a college friend of my brother in Ateneo and that he's been to our house. He spoke well and seemed mature for his age, probably 19, just like my brother. I thought hey, this kid is cool, he's young and trying to get involved.
The next day I was surprised to find out from my brother that he is the son of a military officer, Col. Ariel Querubin, who was mistakenly (according to the military itself) identified as being part of Friday's attempted coup. So, what was the son doing there in the rally at such a sensitive time? The next day, there was breaking news of a be-medaled Marine officer protesting against the relief of his Marine commandant, Maj. Gen. Miranda, in Fort Bonifacio. The officer asked for the support of civilians, and that they come to Fort Bonifacio - a virtual call for people power. I was surprised when I saw the officer's name flashed on screen - it was Col. Ariel Querubin.
Of course all of you know what happened that night, and what happened to the officers after that. I was able to catch the footage of Querubin's farewell message to his troops as he was being relieved of his command. It was so touching -- his men seemed to be sincerely affected by his leaving. He strikes me as a very decent and principled man. He said he is ready to face the consequences of his actions -- I guess he had always been ready to pay the price for standing by his convictions. I would say we need more men like him -- but would that be considered inciting to sedition?