Today’s Sunday mass for Jun Lozada exceeded expectations in more ways than one. It was attended by more than 5,000 people–more than double the organizers’ estimate of 2,000. It attracted people from all walks of life but the overwhelming number belong to our country’s middle class–both the old, local-based middle class and the newer group of overseas Filipino workers’ families. It also was a unified group with a clear stand on the Lozada issue but the surprise was the predominant sentiment to sustain the call for the resignation of president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Earlier, it was observed that the commingling of office employees in the Makati friday rally lent the rally its numbers and established its peaceful and colorful conduct. The Philippine middle class is awakening from its seeming political lethargy–a lethargy that was not of its own making but that of its failed anointed leaders.
Time and again, these leaders have betrayed them, bringing ruin to the country while lining their own pockets. The deep cynicism of those in the middle class regarding political “saviors” ironically led to their passive toleration of the present GMA regime.
Not today. If there is one thing that Jun Lozada did, it was to galvanize the middle class into rethinking their own mindset of political cynicism and passivity. Lozada as the middle class epitome of “everyman” was adopted by them as their own hero. Not an abstract symbol but a breathing, living human exemplar–with all the weaknesses of a human being.
In fame, he became more accessible to the middle class who showed him their sympathy and empathy–a Teflon-like proofing no telling and re-telling of his “dark” past by the Arroyo family barkers can dent. By their attacks, he became the underdog–a double-proofing that is giving him a 92 percent texted-in support in the “1 against 100 GMA mob” showdown sponsored by a media network.
But the story is not Jun’s–it is the middle class’ own epiphany. Events are now being dictated by the tempo of its own political advance. The specter of another middle class-led people power has arisen. The dramatic street play may or may not come to pass but all political actors are now constrained by the middle class’ political stand.