Graduation and Politics?
I was watching the news last night and I learned that the DepEd warns schools not to let politicians take control of their graduation rites. It said that since graduation this year, which happens usually in late March, is close to election time, candidates might use the graduation for their campaign. Why not? You know these politicians. Give them a chance to talk and they will go on and on until kingdom come. Given an audience who will surely not leave their seats until their graduates have been given their diploma, candidates are sure to have a "captive" (or should I say "captured") audience for their propaganda.
Would listening to a candidate say his/her piece really that bad? I am not that certain, actually. I remember PGMA attending a graduation ceremony last year receiving catcalls and boos during her speech. It was a very humiliating experience for any public speaker, I'm sure. If my memory serves me right, the student was reprimanded. Of course, you don't humiliate your president like that. After all, she is the President of the Republic of the Philippines. This is not the case with candidates! Now, what if in spite of the DepEd's warning to schools and still a candidate finds his/her way to the podium in a graduation ceremony, we give hi/her the thumbs down io the middle of his speech? That ought to deplete his oversized ego, right?
I remember a story I read from Larry Henares' Make My Day when he still writes for the Inquirer a long time ago, which goes like this:
There was this president who went to a foreign land who, after the usual greetings, gave out a speech. During his speech, people chanted "Oooopah, ooompah". Not knowing what this meant, the president thought it was their way of welcoming a guest and that they were cheering and egging him on to continue. He really felt elated by this warm response.
Later in the day, the host president took the visiting president on a tour of the country. During the tour, they reached a certain ranch where hundreds of cows and horses were foraging. As they were walking, the host president said, "Mr. President, be sure to look where you are going or you might step on an ooompah."
So, should there be an unscrupulous "trapo" who uses a solemn ceremony as a graduation for his political campaign, let's cheer him/her on. Begin chauting: "ooompah! oompah"