The words of 2022

Rain or shine, thousands flock to Leni-Kiko's Freedom Park rally in  Zamboanga

To me, in 2022 it was testimonials and simply speaking up, that spoke loudest to us all. A thread of spoken word. Once upon a time we campaigned in poetry, believe it or not. We sometimes still do, surprisingly enough. Every generation speaks –and is spoken to– in its own way.


As we await the last set of speeches –the Miting de Avance– we begin with the classical speech, so to speak. Words matter. And the first test of leadership is if they use words to clarify and not confuse, enlighten and not deceive.

The old ways still endure: the rhyme, to entertain, to engage in verbal pyrotechnics to inspire and enhance a sense of community spirit…

Sometimes the only words that need to be said are by way of identification: of themes, of yourself, or the group you belong to; a fundamental act of self-identification leading to community. (Music helps too)

The biggest challenge was to break through the barrier of fear and to prove by standing up, that a community already existed, it just had to recognize itself. Here those who dare, for a living, had an important form of bearing witness to undertake.

There too, is the telling of a story, of bearing witness in a different way: to rectifying the errors of the past, by testifying to what the real score was.

Another form of bearing witness is the testimonial to a leader’s actually matching their rhetoric with action.

And there is the use of celebrity to intercede, to appeal, to challenge, and enlist.

It is, particularly when everyone knows it was done out of a voluntary desire to contribute and without anything in exchange, effective as it involves a risk for the one delivering the message.

And this brings us back to the oldest form of all, the speech. From screen to stage to screen again: repurposed yet staying true; it’s power is unbeatable still.

You can even leave some things unsaid through the saying of it, combined with the seeing of it.

What words moved you the most?\

Remember. In the beginning was the word…

Miting de Avance morning…

Manuel L. Quezon III.

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