Briones: Not my concern

Publio J. Briones III
·2 min read

DO I really care who will win the US presidential election?

To be honest, I haven’t given it much thought.

I live in Cebu City. I hold a Philippine passport.

I worry about the recent spate of road accidents involving buses. I worry about the growing number of beggars on the streets despite the City Government’s directive to “rescue” them. I worry about the people who have lost their jobs as a result of the world’s longest lockdown to try and contain the coronavirus pandemic. I worry about the typhoons that have yet to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility. I worry because I haven’t seen my cat and someone said he had been run over last night.

If I am going to show concern for any foreign power, it will have to be China. You know, our giant neighbor in the north with over a billion people.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think Beijing will be planting the Chinese flag on our shores any time soon. I mean, of all the countries in the region, why pick our archipelago?

The Philippines is prone to natural disasters. Volcanic eruptions, storm surges, devastating floods... name it, we have it. It has the highest population growth in the region. Or it seems that way, anyway. The disparity between the rich and the poor continues to grow. Corruption abounds. And the list of problems goes on and on and on.

So why do I live here?

Because I was born here. I grew up here. Even though I was away for 13 years earlier in my life, I always considered myself to be a Cebuano and Cebu City to be my home although Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania comes in a close second.

If my life had turned out differently, maybe I’d care who’d win between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

My sophomore roommate at Pitt, a very nice guy whom I still have contact with, is a die-hard Republican. My fraternity brothers are evenly divided between the “carrot top” of US presidents and the former vice president. And they all happen to be decent people.

I haven’t been back to the US for quite some time. My sister lives there, though. Has lived there for the last 25 years, in fact. She has only visited Cebu once in all that time. She is married to an American. She traded in her Philippine passport for the American blue a long time ago.

Obviously, she cares about the poll outcome. As she should since it concerns her and her family.

But trust me, we’d be wasting our time if we think, even for a second, that a Trump win or a Biden win would have any effect on our current situation here on the island.

Heck, the majority of Americans don’t even know where the Philippines is, let alone Cebu.