Off the Crossroads

by Colleen Calizo, Matthew Palabrica, Angeline Tupas

Good morning, Philippines! This is (insert name) and I am standing in front of you today, ready to be your next president! Today, we stand at a crossroads. Do we stay in this state of corruption, poverty, and economic turmoil at the hands of foreign powers? Or do we take a new path, one that is geared towards true freedom, self-sufficiency, and real progress?

You may ask, what is this real progress, and how is it different from the progress we are experiencing now? I believe that real progress is that which is experienced by all, and not just the rich. See for example, how condominiums are built every day for the rich to reside comfortably in while the poor still live in slums! Is that what you call progress?

With this, I humbly ask you all for the chance and honor to be your president. As someone who has integrated with the greater masses and thus has become aware of the true struggles they face, I promise you this: You will no longer be left behind by the march of progress; you will be at the forefront of it.  Now is the beginning of a new chapter. 

How can we achieve this? We can achieve this by empowering the marginalized. They will lead the way to progress. We will provide housing, distribute land to farmers, aid our fisherfolk, and raise the minimum wage. Through these steps, we will be able to create an economic system that prioritizes the interests of our own people and not of the foreign powers. Most of our budget will be directed to this aspect of the campaign. 

Furthermore, we will criminalize all forms of discrimination. Never again will our women, LGBTQIA++, and indigenous peoples be belittled, harassed, and commodified. Together, let us begin our path to true progress. As Martin Luther King once said, “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.” Thank you!

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