On March 2008 I wrote how amazed I was at Carlos Celdran but I was one of those lazy people who couldn’t lift their asses long enough to join his tour. He found my blog post and answered with this:
I joined his terrific Imelda tour and met him. I met him a few more times after that once sitting beside him and exchanging small talk about music of all things, to pass the time at an event for bloggers sponsored by a telecom company. I was still writing for PDI at the time.
When all the crazy shit happened before, during and after the 2016 elections I watched how much hate he was getting online and possibly offline. Fake news was in full effect and any time you lean towards anyone against the current administration it was an invite to a hate, cursing and just wave after wave of unrelenting hostility and nastiness the likes of which I had never seen before.
As we know now it was all funded and choreographed action targeted towards influential people such as Carlos and he took a beating.
He disappeared for a while and reappeared recently in Spain. I continued to follow him of course. There were still haters but to some people’s credit some were actually apologizing to him, admitting they were wrong and that events have proven he was right. I saw him accept apologies graciously and just went along his way. Then I heard he died.
Back in ’13 I wrote about him again and I said this:
Way after we’re all gone they’ll be putting up a statue of him wearing his weird hat and holding a worn out clear book, for pigeons to sit on and tourists and history buffs to mull over. He’s the real deal. A man out to change the world.
Today I am more than convinced this is true. It is true of two people, Carlos Celdran and Senator Leila de Lima.
These are the two people history will judge as the true Filipino heroes of the first quarter of the 20th century.
They are the ones who have displayed more patriotism, more love of their country and love of the Filipino people than anyone else. The people who are in power hate our country and do not care for its people, their own people. They recognize Celdran and de Lima as threats, and because of this they have sacrificed and suffered the most. One died in exile away from the country he loves and the other languishes in unjustified incarceration.
As such they fit the template of the hero of the Filipino people just like the heroes of old, who bravely fought the powers that be and also sacrificed and suffered as a result. It is not only fitting but inevitable that history books will recognize them and educate our children and their children’s children as the people we should look up to. The people whom we want our future generations to be like.