Posted by: theboyfromsmallville | November 30, 2007

An open letter to Senator Antonio Trillanes

Senator sir.

Or can I call you Antonio? Tony? Trilly? Trillili?

See here, just in case you haven’t noticed yet, or if your people seem to constantly remind you that the whole anti-Gloria universe revolves around you, allow me to let you in on a couple a secrets.

First, it’s 2007 and really, this compulsive exhortations of a renewed society of yours? It’s starting to wear out people’s patience. No, it isn’t for the lack of good intentions. We all know you have them.

Then again, everyone seems to have one. In fact, if saints were fashioned out of good intentions, that little thing called Armageddon penciled into our future? Gross mismatch. Boston Celtics circa 2007 versus National U Bulldogs circa early 90s mismatch.

Second, you’ve really got this whole revolution thing wrong. In fact, you’ve fucked up revolution for the pure revolutionaries out there who know that yes, there is a way to carry out a cry for change without ending up in cowardly retreats.

You’ve shaped the definition of a revolution into one that flamboyantly hollers patriotic demands at authority but fails to address the one important question that a successful revolt needs to answer:

Once we’ve got people’s attention, what next?

Isn’t there more to post-inciting-to-rebellion-speeches than just making sure your hair stays put while you are being dragged by your belt into a bus that will take you to jail? Make up your mind senator. Antonio. Tony. Trilly. Trillili. Are you really clamoring for a revolution-whipped political transformation or are you just auditioning to be the next poster boy for hair spray?

A successful revolution can never be anchored on subtraction sir. You don’t fix a broken, fragmented society by ripping out the source of all these shortcomings, all these discord and then throwing it out the window. A successful revolution is anchored on replacement. You take out that thing that doesn’t work—in which case you seem to point to a certain head of state with a distinguishing mole on her face—and put in its place something that does.

Let’s just say you succeeded. Let’s just say Gloria did end her faux presidency. What next? In a society that has abused a hard-earned democracy and turned an ideal into a manipulative numbers game, did you expect to let the people govern themselves?

I don’t know what you were taught in school in Tra-La-La land sir but here on Earth, we were taught that a society cannot exist without leadership. A society cannot pretend to be a street basketball pickup game where fouls are called on the basis of honesty. As morally bankrupt as Gloria’s government is, it still assures us that we won’t degenerate into a society that functions on the mere impetus of avoiding post-game lusutan.

Luckily, this blown-up, dysfunctional tantrum of yours ran into a government dripping with a stupidity as thick as the calluses it has grown on its face. It ran into a government that panicked itself into committing mistakes that gave this little stunt of yours its minor victories.

First, Gloria and her goons ordered a curfew, thereby giving the middle class, that powerful yet apathetic voice that you should have made an effort to harness (at least, an effort beyond pathetic impromptu television interviews exhorting anyone interested to join you in Makati), a glimpse of what it is to have a snippet of its freedom curtailed. You should have seen the suddenly jampacked Shopwise center in Makati whipped up into a panic-buying frenzy by the thought of martial law.

Imagine if you had done this on a Saturday and there would have been no—gasp—Libis! The Fort! You would’ve roused the sleeping dragon that matters. But don’t worry sir, you caused a few but perceptible grumblings in its belly. Soon, that dragon will breathe fire.

Second, the cops handcuffed and processed the media people like they were petty criminals, thereby ensuring that while news desks were laughing at your little escapade and cracking punchlines over toasted glasses of beer at your expense, the opponent did not exactly earn brownie points.

But really sir, that kid in class who ended up red-faced because he said he and his classmates were sick and tired of his teacher’s consistently wrong grammar and when the teacher asked you and who, the kid looked around to see his classmates look in different directions away from him? That was you.

You handled this one wrong and you know it. I do not know much about revolutions sir. But a couple of friends and I once caused an entire school to walk out on its final examinations—including the graduating class that was desperately making a last ditch effort to polish up its college application—and demand a change in disciplinary policy.

Sir, we were merely sophomores then. But an entire school listened. And we did not have to hole ourselves up in the ritziest food stall in the campus cafeteria to get our point across. I mean really now, a posh Peninsula suite? As a revolutionary nerve center?

This isn’t the 1800s sir. Revolutions aren’t won by armed movements anymore. This isn’t 1986 either. You can no longer win on the strength of numbers. Against a government machinery that won’t hesitate to publicly stuff wads of cash into duffel bags and carrot-stick them to greedy lawmakers to cement a vise-like grip on Congress, you need a revolution anchored on principle.

One that a mere seven people who have never fired a single gunshot their entire lives can carry out in such a way that the whole country, and even the world, will listen.

Trust me sir, it can work. I swear on the graves of my departed kin and the lives of the people I hold dear, this revolution has a legitimate chance of working. I ran it by someone who knows about revolutions and the history of people effecting change in this country and even he thinks this could work.

I would’ve wanted you to join this revolution sir. But I caught a television interview where you were asked if you were willing to die for your cause. I caught the half-moment of hesitation. I caught the slight wavering of your conviction.

Which is too bad. Because this revolution that has the surest chance of working? This powerful call for change that is the most likely to be heeded? This requires you to die for your country sir.

No sieges. No pompous declarations of nationalism. No political overtones. Just a willingness to lay your life for your motherland.

The question is, are you willing to die for your country, senator sir? Antonio? Tony? Trilli? Trillili?



  1. Itago natin sya sa pangalang “The Thrill,” parang wrestling lang.

    Alam mo, mamigay na lang tayo ng maraming kopya nitong entry mo sa Makati. Ayun, siguradong magigising ang damdamin ng “powerful yet apathetic” middle class.

    At haha, winz ang analogy ng “ritziest food stall in the campus cafeteria.” Pag kami kaya nina Me-Ann nagrebolusyon against that section that must not be named, saan kaya kami tatambay? Sa Enseymada? Or sa Rockwell kaso medyo malayo na? Haha.

    Ide-dedicate ko na lang sa kanya ang awiting “Revolution.”

  2. Sa executive board room! tiyak, madaming makikinig. Hehehehe. Talahang that section that must not be named eh ano?

    The Thrill? hahahahaha… Puwede shang wrestler actually. Di nagugulo buhok eh.

    Nakakapanginayang lang kase misplaced na lahat ng idealism niya. Ang feeling ko lang talaga, everything he could have done, he should have done dun sa oakwood. after that, everything looks like a publicity stunt nalang.

    sayang, diba?

  3. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. – Karl Marx

  4. …and the third? Hehehe. I remember one of the labels our friend has earned: Serial seditionist.

    He must be proud, our Trillili.

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