By Anna Mae Lamentillo | Manila Bulletin
If he was given a chance to change a part of the Philippines’ history, presidential aspirant and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. (BBM) said it would be to do away with the Spanish and American colonization, which practically left Filipinos searching for their own identity, their pre-colonial culture, traditions, and heritage.
BBM said that Filipinos deserve better than to be second class citizens. He believes that Filipinos are the best — being kind, gracious, hardworking, and resourceful people. With the right support, he says, Filipinos can be good at anything
BBM also thinks that the Filipinos’ most remarkable character is the never-give-up attitude — resilient as others would define it — tough, but in a gentle way.
This is why he wants to restore in Filipinos the sense of pride in themselves and the sense of nationhood. He wants Pinoys to feel proud whenever they say, “I am a Filipino.”
BBM also stressed that Filipinos having that strong sense of nationhood is the legacy of his father, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, that he wishes to continue.
He had always been keen on this. When he spoke at the 2015 Asia CEO Talks, he delved into this topic as well: “My vision of our country is one that can overcome its economic and social challenges by drawing on our own strengths and drawing on our unity. It is a vision of the Philippines that is prosperous, rich in opportunity, and home to happy, morally upright, and productive citizens whose lives are meaningful because theirs is a just society, because theirs is a nation that has become great again.”
BBM grew up in politics. He was only eight years old when his father was first elected into the presidency.
At the age of 23, BBM became vice governor of his home province, Ilocos Norte. He also became its governor and congressman, before becoming senator of the Republic.
As legislator, one of the most important pieces of legislation that BBM authored is the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law (R.A. 9522), which defines what constitutes the Philippine territorial sea.
As governor, he turned Ilocos Norte into a first-class province. He did this by capitalizing on the strengths of the land and its people, and by showcasing the province’s natural and cultural destination areas. He looked for new and modern opportunities to develop the province. He modernized its agricultural and tourism landscape.
It was also under his leadership that Ilocos Norte became a pioneer in wind power technology, which sustains not only the energy supply of the province but also of other parts of Northern Luzon. He hopes to do the same for the whole country — ensure sufficient but low-cost power supply, noting that the country is rich in renewable energy resources that could provide more than sufficient power supply once explored and tapped properly.
BBM said he wants to restore the trust and confidence of the Filipino people in government bureaucracy, and he hopes to bring all Filipinos to work together towards a shared vision and goal, especially now that the country is facing challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
BBM believes that when Filipinos unite and work together, they can overcome any crisis: “Let us bring Filipinos back to one another in service of our country facing the crisis and the challenges of the future together.”