Tired, old, and quite frankly embarrassing. That’s what’s become of the whole yellow motif of the Aquino clan and its circle of business cronies, relatives, “shooting buddies”, lackeys, Media outlets, and cadre of bloggers, publicists, and “social media activists”. It was the primary colour of a successful propaganda campaign that started in 1983, peaked in the mid- to late-1980s, then settled into a slow decline that lasted over much of the 1990s and the early 2000s and then got a brief burst of a boost when presidential son, now Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, was, as state mythology would now have us believe, given a mandate by God himself to be leader of the Filipino people.
Yellow has thus become the colour of the Filipino “Laban” (“fight”) movement over the last 28 years. This “Fight” Movement has since become more of a “Fight” Club (or, more appropriately, “Fight” Club Inc) under the campaign and now the administration of President Aquino for reasons that are now quite evident to the average Filipino.
Unfortunately the Philippines’ Fight Club does not conjure images of Tyler Durden in the Fight Club of Hollywood. Brad Pitt who played the iconic character wouldn’t come across as a convincing prize fighter in a yellow outfit, for starters. And in Durden’s line of work in the movie, waving around a hand gesture that, to the rest of the non-Filipino world, stands for Loser is likely to be a career-limiting thematic choice.
So 28 years is an astounding amount of time for a large chunk of the Philippines’ “politically passionate” classes to be sporting a yellow motif and dancing around waving a set of fingers shaped in the likeness of the letter “L”. For those of us who were teenagers in the 1980’s that amount of time offers us a useful perspective. That perspective, tragically, is not accessible to the average 20- to 30-year old Filipino today. I’m talking about a whole generation of young Filipinos who had a first experience of awakening to political awareness that involved jumping into a bandwagon for an 18-month ride over much of 2009 and 2010 campaigning and sloganeering under the yellow colour while sporting the Loser salute. It’s the political equivalent of a sexual awakening in the expert hands of professional sex worker.
That’s a national tragedy to the tune of 40 percent of the electorate who (according to “surveys”) supposedly voted an unqualified, unmotivated, and now uninspiring man into the highest office of the land. The 2009 to 2010 Presidential campaign gave witness to stupidity on a scale that is unprecedented (well, maybe if we discount the ascent to power of former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada). Young Filipinos today are likely to later on look back to 2009 and 2010 and shudder while thinking “What was I thinking?” Simple, my young compatriots. Perhaps you weren’t thinking at the time. But that can be forgiven. My generation, after all, sported mullet and cobra hair do’s and wore stone-washed jeans in our youth. Now that is what is unforgivable.
I therefore support a movement initiated by Definitely Filipino called “Pilipino ang kulay ko” (“Filipino is my colour”) to call on President Noynoy Aquino to ditch the colour yellow. The real national colours after all are Captain America’s red, white, and blue, if I recall right so re-visiting our country’s true colours is a worthwhile initiative to take if we are sincere in aspiring for real unity. Twenty eight years is a long enough time to forget your primary colours. But it is never too late to remember.
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