HAILEYSTONES| Decisions, Decisions

WHEN I was fourteen, my Mom and I used to play a game. On our way home from school, we would count how many “Through The Initiative Of . . . ” signs we would see. They were everywhere, from telephone posts to mini-firetrucks to engraved plaques on the sides of bridges. During one particularly entertaining election season, I counted a record 22 sightings on my way home. And that was just on my side of the road.

Now that I commute, it’s a different story. Through no fault of his own, there are so many “Rody 2016″ posters and signs everywhere. It’s almost impossible to get into a jeepney without it having some sort of sticker that proudly bears the image of our Mayor, looking every inch the straight-talking cowboy we know him to be. He’s also climbing up in the polls, with the latest Pulse Asia poll placing him among the likes of Erap and that other guy. You know him.

I envy those who are so decided on wanting Mayor Rody to run for President. For one, he seems to be the antidote to everything we don’t see in our government officials. He is decisive, willing to get his hands dirty, and has a sense of personal responsibility to his own constituents. We all know how rare that is, whether in politics or otherwise. So few of us hold ourselves accountable for our own mistakes, preferring to blame others. I like Mayor Rody. I respect him.

Do I want him to be president? I don’t know. Davao City is run pretty well. I can use my phone and tablet while walking down the street without the nagging fear that someone might try to grab it from me. The city is relatively clean. I’m not an avid drinker, and I don’t actually mind the speed limit. With my tendency towards car sickness, it’s actually a plus. I’ve lived here all my life, and I can’t complain when I see all these wacko politicians on TV doing all sorts of crazy things. We don’t have a lot of those in the city. No one has made a mockery of any local government office in recent memory, anyway.

Part of my hesitation to support him if ever he decides to run is because I can’t imagine him not being involved in the city’s day-to-day affairs. He’s always been around, like that uncle you don’t see often but here about at every family reunion. When you do end up seeing him, it’s almost surreal. He’s become such an iconic part of the city — not just as the mayor, but as a personality in himself — that to see him run for president seems strange.

He makes a strong case for federalism, and has urged the people to not jump to conclusions on important topics like the Bangsamoro Basic Law. If anything, his hesitation to even run for higher office just affirms everything I know and have heard of him. He doesn’t do things lightly. It’s always done with a boom. I have no doubt that if he does run, he will do so on his terms. Someday I hope that I could hold that same force of personality when it comes to making decisions.

Like him, I would have to make a few hard choices too. As a voter, it is my civic duty to really think about who I should walk up to the polls for. There are issues I care about, like women’s health and environmental conservation, that I wish would be addressed come election time. Voting isn’t futile, but rather a silent reminder to the people in office that I will be heard, one way or another.

To those who are imploring our Mayor to run, he’s hearing you all loud and clear. Let’s just see if he listens. Compared to everyone else who’s blatantly wanting to run for office, the apparent thought that he’s putting into it at least makes for one entertaining saga to watch on television.

Then again, if we go to our news stations and politicians for entertainment, then there’s something clearly wrong with our country. Maybe he should run for President, after all. He would look good in the headshots, at least.

Posted in Opinion