December 30 was supposed to be just another ordinary day for me. However, the moment I went out of the room to eat my breakfast, I knew that something odd was going on.
My six-year-old niece was glued to the tube not in the usual Cartoon Network but to the ABS-CBN's live coverage of apparently a stand-off in Makati of then Navy Lieutenant and now Sen. Antonio Trillanes.
She asked me innocently who's Trillanes which made me think, Trillanes is doing it again. I mean, I could start a very long bravado of the "nation's hero", but then I don't think the six-year-old perspective of my niece would appreciate it.
What about, "Oh, you see kiddo, once upon a time the country was in distress. The government was not making much effort to alleviate the lives of soldiers and here comes the country's hero...Antonio Trillanes IV to the rescue." Uhm, I guess not that good enough...
Well, why not? Trillanes has that hero guise complete with manly image. Strong physique, attractive face and an intelligent standpoint, right?
But all hell broke loose when finally, it dawned to me what the "hero" was evidently doing. Shredding the "country-in-distress" into small pieces and feeding it to vulnerable state. Such a hero!
Later on as the stand off progresses, the more I grew agitated with the development. To put it frankly, I was fuming in rage with the country's supposedly "hero". How could he?
Watching soldiers surrounding the posh hotel in the heart of financial district in the Philippines made me doubt what the "hero" was fighting all about. When I heard gun fires from armored personnel carriers, I heard myself saying, "This is it. The ‘hero’ was about to be crushed."
To put it candidly, I wasn't really much bothered by the armed soldiers surrounding the classy Manila Pen but it was such an effort not to strangle my other 14-year-old niece shouting maddeningly to rebels because she couldn't watch PBB Uber in the nation's giant network.
You see, almost all regular programs were cut-off to give way to the national emergency. My niece was so infuriated that she was ready to choke the rebels with her bare hands. We tried to switch channels but regrettably the Philippines was such in a sorry mess that CNN and BBC deemed it necessary to air live.
On the upbeat side, my heart was swelling with pride watching a Filipino journalist, Ces Drilon of ABS-CBN, made it to the international network live covered in a hazy room. They were protected from tear gas with a wet towel.
How did the country's "hero" ended up in chaos? He repeated many times the 11, 000, 000 votes he got from the Filipinos but then that's a different story, right?
With due respect to the "country's hero" I was once his followers. I admire his idealism and concern to the soldiers. But, marching off the heart of the country's financial district guarded with armed soldiers and penetrating an innocent hotel-affecting the lives of thousands- made me think twice.
After seven hours, the crisis was finally over- not after more than a hundred personalities including media men were arrested and curfew was declared. Again, affecting more people because of the so called "constitutional mandate."
It was such a pity watching the "hero" being arrested with the sleeve of his jacket slipping off his shoulders and loaded into the bus. Where did the idealism go wrong?
Meanwhile, my six-year-old and 14-year-old nieces were then found up roaring with joy not because the national emergency was finally over but because they could finally watch again their favorite shows interrupted by the "fallen hero".