Like most every lay newspaper reader, I had my gum slightly burned upon reading that Senator Richard Gordon's proposed Ninth-ray to the Philippine flag has passed the bicameral body (that shadowy legislative backroom). My initial reaction was not about whether I agree or not to the proposal, but whether I should shudder in disbelief or quiver in disbelief. Yes I was surprised that there was even such a proposal and no, I don't blame Gordon's staff for my own failure to imagine that the Senator would gun for it.

Okay, simply put, our much cherished 8-ray sun Philippine flag will now sport a ninth ray. Such additional ray, according to Gordon, is “to acknowledge the courage, bravery and integrity of Muslim Filipinos who fought for the nation’s independence.”

If I remember my high school history right, the eight rays were supposed to represent the four Tagalog provinces and the four Kapampangan provinces which first rose in arms against colonial Spain.
Being the two ethno-linguistic groups most closely intimate with the inner workings of the colonizers, their revolutionary deeds, came to embody the Filipino's universal aspiration to be free from Spain. For this reason there was no need to add a ray each for every other Philippine province, or else the flag would be littered with 80 rays.

Looking at it from my limited old-school textbook context, I find no immediate logical excuse to add a ninth ray to the flag without deliberately mixing metaphors. So my rapidly developing interim opinion was one of disagreement with Gordon, who I happen to admire for his executive management skills.  

Apparently I was in  good company since the National Historical Institute also disagree with Gordon. And the Senator was fully aware of this as he told media...
“I don’t care what they think about it. Once it is signed, they should follow the law."

-Richard Gordon

If Gordon doesn't care what NHI thinks about the issue of about the Ninth-Ray, then how the hell would he care about what I or any other ordinary citizens think about the issue. And to think that he wanted to be president? I think one arrogant president per lifetime is enough. I could be wrong, maybe that's just his style. The snappy, bossy style. Not my type at all.

Now to understand where Gordon is coming from I dug out this precious little piece by Emmanuel Libre Osorio published last September 17 in the Manila Times. After reading it, I felt warming up to the idea of a Ninth Ray.

I realized, maybe it was a good idea after all. Try as I was, however, I couldn't warm up to the idea of a Gordon leading the country. 

Now frankly, I'm unsettled. And why should I not be? Gordon did not do his job properly, did he? If he only acted like a leader and communicated his vision to the populace, maybe, just maybe, he could get everyone to like it and admire him for it. This is, after all, legislated historical revisionism he is toying with as what Ding Gagelonia of FNN noted. Did it ever occur to Gordon that his colleagues at the Bicam just allowed him enough rope to hang himself before the electorate? 

Mindanao has always been represented by one of the stars in the flag, just as Visayas and Luzon were. If an entire star is not enough representation for Mindanaoans, what would a mere ray of the sun (which is just a star, really) do? 


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[Posted in JOURNEYIST]

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About the Author JOE VIZCARRA Google+

Joe Vizcarra is a Manila-based independent writer. With an A.B. degree in Communication Arts, his professional background includes writing for local TV news channels, a PR & marketing agency, and a national government agency.


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