What a Filipino looks for in a president

Here’s my view on what a president should be; and it is a view applicable whether one is in the US or in the Philippines, or anywhere else.

1) Must have an inspiring vision of the world. A president is more than a political operative, more than a bureaucrat. A president should be able to inspire us to be better versions of ourselves, and as a result, inspire a country to be better than its self. A president should be able to mobilize our collective imagination in service of improving our lives and that of others.

2) Must be, above all things, a thinker. In addition to being a doer, too, a president should be smart enough to know that effective government relies not only on efficient action but more importantly on disciplined, strategic thinking. This is, after all, the purpose for high office: to move the body politic in a well-thought out, best possible direction given the many forces that obstruct the path. A statesman, unlike a politican, is a philosopher king.

3) Must live by a clear set of principles. Politics is a field so dirty and corrupting that it is easy, I would imagine, to be degraded by it, transformed by it and not always for the better. Religiosity is a good visible measure of having principles but not the most reliable. How many times have we seen the religious fall because of their lack of principles? A better measure is spirituality, as demonstrated by the way one treats others, ones relations, the company one keeps, the way one chooses to daily live life.


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