November 18, 2008

A Letter To President Barack Obama

President-Elect of the United States of America

Soon to be living in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington DC

Dear President-Elect Obama,

First of all I’d like to extend my sincerest congratulations to your election as the 44th President of the United States. What you and the American people have done was truly ground-breaking, considering the fact that it wasn’t that long ago that the concept of an African-American President can be found in a Chris Rock movie. It’s not that I have anything against Chris Rock, but you get the point.

Also, please forgive me if this letter may seem odd to you. To be honest I’ve never written to a President before, which is even made more complicated because you are not my President. Or to be exact, the President of my country. If you haven’t known it yet, I’m a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines. It’s a quaint group of islands situated near Taiwan, China, and Indonesia, but you probably know where it is already especially since you’ve taken primary school at Indonesia. You should try and visit our country sometime; we’ve got a remarkably nice place and we Filipinos always have time and a hot cup of coffee for well-meaning visitors.

Anyway, the reason I wrote this letter is because it has come to my attention that our President, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has been trying to contact you ever since you won the election. Now, I just want you to know in behalf of my countrymen that we don’t really mind if you don’t pay much attention to her for the time being. We know that you’re busy getting ready for your new job, and besides we don’t really pay much attention to Mrs. Arroyo either. I didn’t even vote for her during the last election, and I’m not even sure if the majority of Filipinos even voted for her at all (kindly ask your Ambassador here, Ms. Kristie Kenney, about the “Hello Garci” scandal for further details). Some people claim she was elected fairly, which could be true considering the fact that we really didn’t have much in the way of better options; aside from Mrs. Arroyo the other presidential candidates we had back then was an actor-turned-first-time-politician, a former cop with an alleged habit of whacking people he doesn’t like, and a crazy-looking guy with an even crazier-looking wig. One could say it was choosing the lesser evil, but that would be an error in so many ways right now.

I’m not really sure why our President is so eager to see you. Maybe she’s trying to score a PR bonus by meeting you in person (with an accompanying photo op, of course) to boost her sagging ratings back home. Maybe she wants to show her political opponents who’s boss by getting an endorsement from an even bigger boss. Maybe it’s because the Philippines is a long-standing ally of the United States, and she’s just trying to secure the support of your upcoming administration, given the fact that she was a staunch supporter of Bush’s. Or maybe just like most of her countrymen, she’s just really excited to see you and get your autograph, in which case I should also consider making my first letter to her as well and ask if she could get your autograph for me too

why doesn't he call back?

But enough of that; I’m pretty sure you’ve had enough of politics during the election campaign. I just wanted to say that we understand whatever decision you make concerning Mrs. Arroyo’s desire to make an eager acquaintance of you. Maybe she could even learn a thing or two from you and get us out of the economic, social and political problems we have right now. I think that’s a long shot though, but you’ve got me with the entire “hope” and “change” thing you’ve been spreading around.

And speaking of spreading around, I’d also like to take this opportunity to ask for your help. I know that this is embarrassing, as we Filipinos (contrary to what others believe) are a proud and noble people, and we try not to involve others into our own affairs. But for the past 300 years other people, including those in your country, have been involving themselves in our affairs (despite our occasional objections). In fact, Mrs. Arroyo’s groupie-like enthusiasm to meet you further shows that the United States still plays an influential role in Philippine policies. So I think it’s only fair, considering that my country has been faithfully backing up yours even when others are backing out, that the American people give a bit back.

So I ask of you President-elect Obama, can you please help us by declaring war to our country?

Right now you’re probably thinking, “Duuude…wait. What?” But you’ve read it right, and I want you to look at it little longer. I want you to declare war on the Philippines. A War on Corruption. Yep, a War on Corruption. Heck, President Bush waged a War on Terror in Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction that aren’t there, so why can’t you wage a War on Corruption in the Philippines because of graft, exploitation of power, and rampant dishonesty that’s there and will be there for years to come? Send in a battalion of auditors! A fleet of American government observers! For crying out loud, send us Al Gore!

I’ve heard that one of the core platforms of your campaign is to change the old self-destructive bureaucracy in your government into something new and better, so what better way to boost your foreign policy than to extend that platform to our government through such a war? How you will do that is up to you of course, though I have some suggestions which I have listed below:

1. Influence Mrs. Arroyo executive decisions and policies to support agendas that will improve the economy, increase jobs, and raise the overall standard of living.

2. Subject Mrs. Arroyo’s non-essential entourage who want to tag along on her official foreign trips to a full-body cavity search and intensive military interrogation before departure to discourage them from going.

3. Instead of money, supply high-ranking police officials (with or without their wives) with rations, medkits, tents, and other necessary survival gear when going on international conferences.

4. Post a crack team of Navy Seal auditors, accountants, and administrative conflict scenario experts in every major government office.

5. Overhaul the Bids and Awards Committees into resembling that of a military tribunal.

6. Coax delinquent senators, congressmen and other public officials to perform their duties in accordance with the Constitution and Civil Service regulations under the threat of a surgical missile strike.

7. On public relations, assign Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez to perform a live demonstration on waterboarding whenever he says something and promote Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago as special liaison inside Guantanamo Bay.

8. And as a special environmental advocacy, make Al Gore bitch-slap every bus and jeepney operator that violates the Clean Air Act.

Drop that fertilizer fund Mayor, or I will shoot!

The list which I have here contain some of the suggestions which I thought about, and you are free to modify them or create new ones should you decide to wage war on us. And don’t worry about the Filipino people retaliating to a War on Corruption. Sure, there will be a couple of demonstrators who will say that Americans are imperialist pigs, but they usually go home before Deal or No Deal is on TV, and if you play your cards right and keep to the game plan you’ve been showing us in your campaign, you might even win them over. Just make sure that you set an agreeable pull-out timetable though. Guests who stay too long are usually made to clean the dishes here.

So this is where I end my letter to you President Obama. I’d like to exchange further views with you regarding our countries’ relations and other matters, but I know how busy you are finding the right dog for your two kids in the White House right now, so I thought it best to let you focus on that. But I still hope (you really got me with that hope thing), that you would take my letter into consideration in your upcoming administration.

I give you the best of hope (damn, there it goes again!) and luck in your historic endeavor.



Guess what? I made a “Hope” joke:

Q: What would an Obama administration do to the tobacco industry?

A: When you buy a pack of Hope, you get Change!

Really, that “Hope” thing works in so many ways.


Internet Pollution said...

Obama replied to the letter of a Fil-Am girl from Missouri. she suggested that he ban unnecessary wars and make recycling mandatory. he said he'd think about it. :D

maybe you have a shot, with this letter. even GMA got a callback, eventually. :D

LeVamp Yigae said...

this is really funny...