Pondering on moments of disagreements while evoking gratitude for a life that Sen. Franklin M. Drilon dedicated to serving the nation.
“There is a time for everything. A time to work and a time to rest,” expressed Sen. Frank M. Drilon in the denouement of his farewell speech in the Senate.
“After being in public life for more than thirty-five years, I am stepping back to my private space to spend more time for myself and with my loved ones,” and looking back he added “what used to be pockets of time carved out of my schedule for [the] family will now be replaced by unlimited time at home. How time makes fools of us all.”
How fleeting is time, 35 years of public service summed up by few minutes of speech.
Reflecting on the essence of time, Sen. Drilon reminded me of the abundance of time that I spent on moments of disagreement. In the past, I found myself as a voice who assailed many of his decisions that run contrary to the perspective of the various progressive organizations that I led.
These actions manifested in many non-violent public protests and were demonstrated in critical opinion pieces, a phase when the time was lavish for writing columns. Although it expressed raw points of view, it was nonetheless formed from first-hand experience on issues that made life meaningful then and were mostly motivated by internal forces rooted in ideology and carried by the belief in a noble cause. Fortunately, it did not receive the ire of the person on the subject or unnecessarily perpetuated me to popularity through a libel.
My angry past has prevented me to have a photograph with him despite the various public and some very private events that offered an opportunity. In a much recent past, however, I mellowed down from two decades of activities that required political engagement and took the deliberate step to redirect my focus to more personal pursuits.
I have found myself bumping quite often with Sen. Drilon in the hall while pursuing projects that allowed me to view other facets of development that energize our society. These instances offered an unsolicited appreciation of many of Sen. Drilon’s efforts, especially in Iloilo.
Hence, we have found common ground in various advocacies like mobility and the arts and culture – areas where I currently drew vigor to learn new things and to process the recovery of unspent time on self-development which brings maturity.
Indeed, how time makes fools of us all Sen. Frank and I firmly believe that no single person can change the imperfections that are by nature systemic in government. But you’re right, there is time for everything, and as for me, your remarkable decision to retire offers the best moment even for the most critical adversary to express gratitude for the time you dedicated to uplift the lives of Filipinos for the better and preserve the interest of our nation.