civil war is brewing in the Philippines. Not the kind of violent or destructive civil war that we have seen in many places worldwide. Rather, it is a war of colors – colors of the ribbon.
Last week, amid declining popularity as confirmed by recent polls, the beleaguered President NoyNoy Aquino appealed to the Filipino people to show their support for him and his administration by wearing yellow ribbons. The yellow ribbon has been closely identified with the political opposition in the country, especially during the time of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. Yellow was the battle cry of Cory Aquino who ascended to the presidency when Marcos fled the country. Her son NoyNoy campaigned on yellow of course.
But NoyNoy’s appeal seemed to have backfired. Not only are Filipinos not wearing as much yellow ribbon as Aquino would have wanted, but they are wearing other ribbon colors.
Those who believe that their loyalty is to the country and not to the president are wearing ribbons bearing the colors of the Philippine flag — red, white and blue. Others are urging their countrymen to wear black or grey ribbons to symbolize the demise of decency and honesty in the ranks of political leaders — from senators and congressmen to the president. Still, many are sporting peach-colored ribbons which they say represent the growing clamor to imPEACH Aquino for his actions recently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
In the last few days, many Filipinos have also been seen wearing rainbow-colored ribbons. At first, it was thought that they represented gay men and women who were against Aquino. It turns out these were folks belong to Catholic churches who continue to express optimism that when the dust settles and all the political conflicts are finally resolved either by the snail-paced justice system or through people power, the Philippines will be back to normal just like most other democracies. “Doesn’t the rainbow always follow a heavy downpour?” they asked.
So if you plan to visit the Philippines in the near future, you may have to pick your favorite color and hang out with others sporting the same ribbon that you have on your collar, front shirt pocket or baseball cap. No matter how you look at it, “It’s More Fun In The Philippines!”