Thursday, November 8, 2007

Our Ilocano Presidents

Among the 14 Philippine presidents, five are of Ilocano descent. Four are Tagalogs (Aguinaldo, Quezon, Laurel and Estrada), three Kapampangans (Macapagal, Aquino, and Arroyo), one Cebuano (OsmeƱa) and one Ilonggo (Roxas). Some even claimed that Aguinaldo is Ilocano and is related to the Aguinaldos of Ilocos Norte but it was never proven.

The truth that five Ilocanos had run the country, we can see that Ilocanos has the capability to lead. As been proven and seen in Philippine history, many Ilocanos became great leaders of revolts and propagandas when the country was under colonizers. From unknown farmers in Dingras rebellion to the World War II guerilla leaders, from Pedro Almazan to Gregorio Aglipay,and from Gabriela Silang to Josefa LLanes-Escoda.

When the Philippines became independent, a new face came for the Ilocano leadership. Before, they lead people in advocacies, propagandas and battles. Now, its the country to lead against economic problems and toward unity and progress.

Ferdinand Marcos when he was first running for a seat in Congress said to Ilocos Norte people, "Elect me now as your congressman and I promise an Ilocano president in 20 years".

But before this was fulfilled, Elpidio Quirino of Ilocos Sur became the first Ilocano president in 1948 after the death of Roxas. He was elected as a president the next year in his own right.

When Quirino ran for reelection in 1953, he was defeated by fellow Ilocano, Ramon Magsaysay of Zambales.

Magsaysay died in a plane crash in 1957 and was succeeded by then Vice President Carlos P. Garcia of Bohol. Garcia is of Ilocano descent because both of his parents were from Abra.

Next in line was Ferdinand Marcos of Ilocos Norte when he won the presidential election in 1965, thus fulfilling his prophetic speech that an Ilocano would become a president after 20 years.

Fidel V. Ramos of Pangasinan became the fifth Ilocano president in 1992.

The terms of these Ilocano presidents bacame big marks in Philippine history. And a strong proof that Ilocanos are great leaders. In the past, today, and the future, Ilocanos were, are, and will be always be a good leader. A leader to himself, to a family, to an organization, to a community and to every part of society.

As GIs anf FBIs

In Pinoy slang, two acronyms refer or describe an Ilocano. GI and FBI. No. They are not to impose that Ilocanos are GI soldiers or FBI agents.
GI stands for Genuine Ilocano and FBI for Full Blooded Ilocano.Its usually the non-Ilocanos who tag an Ilocano with these acronyms.
Why genuine?
A jewelry is only precious when it is genuine. A money bill is only worthy when it is genuine. A machine is at its best operation when it has genuine parts.
Why full blooded?
A person who is proud of his race can be prouder when he is full blooded of that race. A royalty can be more majestic when he is of full royal blood.
Now, we get the implication why there is the emphasis that an Ilocano is a GI or an FBI. Are Ilocanos as precious as gemstones that they should be genuine to be considered worthy? Are Ilocanos can be proud to say "Royal is my blood!"?When is an Ilocano considered genuine or full-blooded? Perhaps when both of his parents are Ilocano. And even maybe when a person who has not a drop of Ilocano blood but was born and grew up as Ilocano. I think this is the right measurement of the genuinity of an Ilocano as Ilocano. His pride of carrying the Ilocano blood, his boasts of showing Ilocano traits and trademarks and his not forgetting his hometown wherever life may take him.