Panjee Tapales on Nick Perlas “I Stand Tall and Ready”
Panjee is a mother, writer, Steiner/Waldorf Education advocate, PAGASA co-founder. I say yes to organic/biodynamic agriculture and yes to living sustainably and with maximum respect for the earth and everyone in it.I believe in truth-telling and truth-living as a way of healing and transforming our country and the world.
Who is Nicky Perlas? I was tasked to introduce him during the press announcement of his intention to run as president of the Philippines last June 17. I didn’t think twice about leaving out the qualifications because you only need to google him or go to his website (www.nicanorperlas.com) to get all that. I figured, the best way to get a picture of him is to talk about his “pagkatao”. It is easy to study in “universities that matter” or even find yourself in positions of power, but the “pagkatao” is what will dictate how you will fare wherever you are, how will you behave in any situation. I believe the best way to introduce him is to share the lessons I’ve learned in the decade or so I have known Nicky.
I learned many things from him and one of the most important lessons was this: the fastest way to heal is to engage in the world. I learned from him that what is most personal is also universal and that your personal life is intricately linked to the world outside. Since then, everything I’ve done, I’ve done not just for myself or my children but for the greater reality that includes country and necessarily includes everyone in it. It is amazing how your life changes when you begin to live in full awareness that everyday, you are contributing to the state of your country—whether you choose to give a cop a P100 because you took an illegal shortcut and he caught you, you lie in front of your child, or took a bribe no matter what the reason. The way you live your life impacts the state of the nation. It is so empowering to know that everyday, we have the chance to shape our nation. From the day I met him, Nicky has been doing this in his own life. Everyday, in everything he does, he continues to shape our nation positively, whether we are aware of it or not. He has been living this since he was seventeen.
I learned from him what unity really means because I’ve seen him listen so intently to groups and groups of people from different backgrounds and bring them all to a place of mutual and respectful understanding of differences. He is always able to bring everyone—no matter what religious, political or spiritual persuasion—to that space where we find what is truly common, without dismissing or marginalizing anyone. To him, the united whole contains all the parts in all their vibrant individuality and creativity. Indeed, to him, diversity is a potent force and gift.
His integrity is unquestionable. If there is anyone who can go into a system full of temptation in every shape and form and maintain his integrity and values AND clean up the mess, it is him. He simply cannot be bought because his love for country is authentic. He has lived his life out of this love and all those who know him see it everyday. I believe this is because he has a fully integrated spirituality. He is not one to hear mass on a Sunday and then on Wednesday lie, cheat or steal. His life is a living expression of his spirituality.
His understanding of systems and how they interact is simply amazing—deep, coherent, whole. Through him I saw that the main problem of this country is not JUST politics, not just economics but culture. What an interesting and accurate diagnosis. He can diagnose systems and patterns, connecting the dots and helping you connect the dots so that you can see the whole. How can one lead if one’s diagnosis of the current state of the nation is wrong or incomplete? How can one lead if he only knows how to address one or two aspects of the issues and not the whole?
His understanding of CHANGE is unparalleled. We all talk about change but everyone talks about it in broad strokes. It was only through Nicky that I realized that change happens in your heart, in your thinking, your mindset…before it can happen outside. He is the only one who helped me see exactly where and how true and positive change begins. There is a science behind change and he is well versed in it.
His qualifications are unmatched and you can just google his name and find out, or simply visit his website. It’s all there. But what I’ve shared with you are my own personal experiences of this man—a true leader, if I ever saw one. Because of him, I went to the Comelec office in Silang Cavite, and became a registered and sure-to-vote citizen at the age of 42. He makes me believe that I can see this country rise to its full height and glory again so that not just my children-but every Filipino child rich or poor– can be everything they are meant to be, right here in their own country. Because of him I know that there is true hope that no mother should ever leave her family again in order to make ends meet.
Before you shake your head and call him foolish or unwinnable, get to know him. It is with a full heart and the highest hopes for our country that I introduce him to you. Nicanor Perlas is a true Filipino leader with a clear and living vision of the emerging Philippines. If you have been longing for true change get to know him, put your money where your mouth is, and help be part of the change that is waiting to be born. The Philippines of integrity is ours if we choose to co-create it. Nicanor Perlas is the man who can make it happen, but change doesn’t rest on one man alone. Everyone has to stand up at last and be part of it.
I stand tall and ready.