It’s a guy thing.
It’s also a mid-life thing.
Buying the Porsche I mean.
The President, presumably as a Christmas gift to himself, purchased “an entry level”, 2007 “third hand” Porsche with 10,000 kms. for P4.5 million.
I must admit to having been taken aback by the news.
Not that he is not entitled to it. All menopausal men worth their salt dream of owning the car, the wind in their hair (or what is left of it), the Stones on the sounds, an attractive moll, preferably 20 years younger, at their side. Single, 51, independently wealthy, living rent free, Noy is within his rights to buy himself an expensive toy.
After all, if one excludes smoking and women half his age, the man has no known vices. Others have golf, he has guns and cars. He deserves some slack.
So it was not that.
It may have been the insensitivity. At a time when millions of Filipino are in poverty is tooling around in a flashy sports car a thing for a President to do?
Is the ostentation what our leader should display when we are struggling with a P325 billion deficit? (BDW, will Sec. Purissima sign off on the taxes paid by the original owner? P4.5 million seems a tad cheap for an ’07).
With global warming and carbon footprints, is gunning a gas guzzling, 300 HP projectile the right message?
Presidential spokesperson Lacierda, as he is paid to do, defended the President, saying he should not be scrutinized for his private actions. Lacierda forgets that as our elected leader P-Noy has no private space, that if he has food in his teeth we are entitled to tell him so. That is the price for living rent free.
But it is still not that.
What dismayed me , I guess, is that it is another confirmation of what I did not want to hear: This President is not the man I had hoped he would be.
When I voted for him, I had expectations of a leader that would live upto his legacy, commit himself totally to the struggles of his people. I believed that high office would elicit a commitment, a passion, in him to make the Philippines truly great.
I am afraid I was, partly, wrong. I still would have voted for him but not been as expectant.
The honesty is there but that seems the extent of it. Noy is a regular guy, born and bred into wealth, with limited range and a measured work ethic, guarded of his personal time and space. He is a good man, intelligent, occasionally funny, caring for his family, but limited. He just got stuck with the legacy.
I should have had an inkling when told of his passion for guns. In a society as violent as ours, for P-Noy to be so publicly and unashamedly enamored with an instrument of killing should have told me that my leader is into his own mind set.
For Noy the Presidency is a job, not a calling. He is seemingly mindless of the full responsibilities of leadership, of his being a role model for the nation. To him, the Presidency is divisible, that outside of the public domain he is free to act as he pleases.
It is not the President’s fault if I am disappointed with this revelation. He is who he is. The problem is not with him, the problem is with me.
I must stop hoping we elected a Messiah. I must accept the President does not have -nor care to have- a vision for this nation, is unprepared to give of himself fully to the task of leadership. I must recognize that progress will only come from self reliance, from every Filipino stepping up for himself, from understanding that our future is within us.
We must take responsibility for our lives. It is the sum of our actions that will determine our standing as a nation. It is our collective vigilance that will protect our society. We cannot rely on the President for that.
Ironically, over the long term, we may be better off for it.
Therefore if, in his private moments, the President chooses to actively date young fillies, shoot guns, play video games or buy himself a Porsche, I should let him be. The car might actually help him with the women, do for him what just being President may not accomplish.
So, Mr. President, congratulations on your acquisition.