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Sections - Philippine Presidency
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Monday, 21 February 2011 16:04

 

By Bobby Mercado-Reyes of Sorsogon City

 

And the LORD said to Moses, (2) ‘Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy. (17) You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbor, lest you bear sin because of him. (18) You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD”.’ – Leviticus 19: 1-2, 17-18

 

T he First Reading in yesterday’s masses in Roman Catholic Churches talked about the message of the Lord to Moses. It was quite a coincidence as today is the Presidents’ Day of the United States.

 

Since 2002, every time Presidents’ Day is celebrated in the United States (on the third Monday of February), I remember also Filipino President Ramon Magsaysay, who was called the “Modern-day Moses” of the Philippines by then Sen. Aquilino Q. “Nene” Pimentel, Jr., in a privilege speech on Aug. 28, 2001.

 

On Aug. 30, 2007, we published in its entirety then-Senator Pimentel’s tribute to President Magsaysay, as readers may browse in this hyperlink, Remembering President Ramon Magsaysay y Del Fierro: A Modern-Day Moses

 

The Philippine Presidents’ Day

 

T wenty-nine months before we published Senator Pimentel’s privilege speech about Mr. Magsaysay, my friends joined me in celebrating the first-ever “Philippine Presidents’ Day.” We held the event on March 17, 2005, at the Filipino-American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA). Ms. Lee Cummings (now deceased) was the food sponsor of that maiden event.

 

Since then, we have celebrated annually the Philippine Presidents’ Day (PPD) in Los Angeles, California.

 

The Philippine Consulate General hosted the holding of the Second PPD at its premises on March 17, 2006. Then we went back to the FACLA for the years 2007 to 2009.

 

Last year, we held the Sixth PPD at the Kapistahan Restaurant at the Luzon Plaza, West Temple St., Los Angeles. The Asian Journal Publications, Ms. Princess Robertson and Ms. Elizabeth Watermeier co-sponsored the event.

 

We are scheduled to celebrate its seventh edition again at the Kapistahan Restaurant on March 17, 2011.

“The nation came to revere Ramon Magsaysay as a modern-day Moses who would have led his people out of the land of bondage and scarcity into the land of freedom and plenty . . . the principles by which President Magsaysay had governed his public life: dedicated public service, honesty in government and devotion to the cause of the common man live on to this very day. I can only hope that we, the public officials of today, will guide our public lives with those principles as best we can for the welfare of our country and the well being of our people.” – Nene Pimentel

My friends and I thought that the best date to commemorate the lives of the Philippine Presidents who have passed away is March 17, the death anniversary of Ramon Magsaysay. After all, Mr. Magsaysay remains the most-popular and perceived to be the most-honest President the Philippines ever had. March 17th is also St. Patrick’s Day.

 

This writer, as a budding Philippine-presidential historian (or at least a serious student of history) has penned also some articles that mentioned President Magsaysay. The links to some of the articles:

Reinventing the "Ramon Magsaysay Line" in Solving Philippine Political Problems

 

A Realistic History of the Barong Filipino

 

Where Have All the Filipino Leaders Gone? (With Apology to Lee Iacocca)

 

Even Presidents End Up in the Cemetery

 

Philippine Presidential Wit and Humor

 

Reinventing the Philippine Military to Prevent the Coming of a Junta

 

The Military Background of Philippine Presidents (Part 3)

 

How Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan Can Solve the Problems of Iraq, the USA, RP and the World

 

The SEATO Should Be Revived to Help Pakistan Secure its A-Bombs and Combat Terrorism

 

Three Events Lined Up at the FACLA Social Hall on March 17, Monday

 

The OF-led “ReVOTElution” Will Also Launch a “Wireless Revolution”

 

The “Moses of Mindanao

 

E ventually I described my political mentor, Sen. Nene Pimentel, as the “Moses of Mindanao.” When I wrote the tribute to Mr. Pimentel, he was the only senator from Mindanao at that time. I said that it was unfortunate that Mr. Pimentel, who authored the law on cooperatives, the Local Government Code and many important laws, never made it to the presidency. He also wrote about “Federalizing the Philippines: A Primer,” among other books. It is a pity that Nene Pimentel would only become the “best President” (sic) that the country never had.

 

In 2003 when then presidential-aspirant Nene Pimentel asked me to join his party’s proposed senatorial slate, Poet-pundit Fred Burce Bunao (now deceased) joked that I should be called “Joshua,” for my being one of the faithful followers of the “Moses of Mindanao.” (Senator Pimentel did not decide to run for the presidency and hence, he did not field a senatorial slate.)

 

LOL and behold, on Feb. 19, 2011, my tocayo from Sydney, Australia, Bobby Mella-Lastica, sent me an e-mail about our proposed “BLeSSED” Program: “If you are the Moses of Bicol, let this humble servant become your faithful Joshua!” Egad, Nene Pimentel’s “Joshua” is now also a Moses and with a Sorsoganon-Australian friend as his own Joshua!

 

Will miracles never cease!

 

By the way, “BLeSSED” is the acronym of the “Bicol, Leyte, Samar and Sorsogon Economic Development.”

 

But on serious note, President Noynoy Aquino and Filipino politicians that want to become President someday must remember the story of Ramon Magsaysay as the modern “Moses” of the Philippines. They can never go wrong if they emulate Ramon Magsaysay in bringing honor to the Office of the President. # # #

 

 


Last Updated on Monday, 21 February 2011 16:52
 
Comments (2)
1 Tuesday, 22 February 2011 09:09
Bobby:

You can call me what you want – provided it is out of love – that is from one kindred spirit to another.

Thanks a lot for citing some portions of that speech which was delivered some years ago.

Good to hear from you, again.

God bless.

Nene
Thanks the mentioning my name in this article about Moses and the US Presidents.

Remember the first chapter of Deuteronomy that recalls the story of the spies sent out by Moses to investigate and report on the Promised Land? When they reach the Valley of Eshcol and saw a good land, they refused to further up and consequently rebelled against the command of God.

Verse 1:38 records the report of the spies saying, “The people are stronger and taller than we are, the cities are large with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there!” Such was a sweeping report from those who have not even experience the subject matter of their investigation.

When a man sees a giant (stronger and taller than we are) when there is none, they are actually afraid of nothing. When another sees all cities and walls up the sky, they are actually blocking all the opportunities and possibilities that awaits them.

In short, men are mostly afraid to make things happen - afraid of the impending engagement or the challenges that lies between now and then. They are afraid of fear itself, FEAR being False Expectation Acting as Real. The antidote of fear is FAITH, which both Moses and Joshua have lot and in common.

Cheers amigo!

Bobby
Sydney, Australia

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