A Search for Filipino Versions of Moses (and Joshua, too)

by Bobby Reyes

“The Ten Commandments (1956 )” by Prayitno via Flickr/Commons CC BY 2.0

Part IX of an “EDEN America” series

This column has prophesied, nay proclaimed, Filipinos as “God’s Chosen People” by the 22nd century (or even earlier). Then there should be among them the equivalent of Moses. Yes, Moses led his people to the Promised Land that became ancient Israel. And look for at least a local version of Moses in every province of the Philippine archipelago. Perhaps also in every Overseas-Filipino community with at least 50,000 immigrants and workers from the Philippines.

Why the need for a Filipino Moses (or at least 81 Filipino-provincial versions of him)? Because many Filipino politicians, captains of industry, and even clergy members have forgotten the Ten Commandments handed down to Moses. Remember when …? “Some scholars propose a date between the 16th-and-13th centuries BCE. Because Exodus and Deuteronomy connect the Ten Commandments with Moses and the Sinai Covenant between Yahweh and Israel” (as Googled).

Since 2002, every time we celebrate Presidents’ Day in the United States (on the third Monday of February), I also remember Filipino President Ramon Magsaysay. Why? Because President Magsaysay was called the “Modern-day Moses” of the Philippines by then-Sen. Aquilino Q. “Nene” Pimentel, Jr., in a privilege speech on Aug. 28, 2001. To read in its entirety the address of Mr. Pimentel, Jr., please visit this link.

The “Moses of Mindanao”

Eventually, I described my political mentor, Sen. Nene Pimentel, as the “Moses of Mindanao.” When I wrote the tribute to Mr. Pimentel, he was the only senator from Mindanao at that time. It was unfortunate that Mr. Pimentel, who authored the law on cooperatives, the Local Government Code, and many important laws, never made it to the presidency. He also wrote about Federalizing the Philippines: A Primer, among other books. It is a pity that Nene Pimentel (now deceased) would only become the “best President” (sic) that the country never had.

In 2003 then presidential-aspirant Nene Pimentel asked me to join his party’s proposed senatorial slate. He planned to run for president in the 2004 election. (Senator Pimentel decided not to run; hence, he did not field a senatorial slate.) Poet-pundit Fred Burce Bunao (now deceased) joked that I should be called “Joshua,” for my being one of the faithful followers of the “Moses of Mindanao.”

“The more Filipino versions of Moses and Joshua, the earlier will the Filipino people reach their “Promised Land.” And not the “Land of Broken Promises” of the Filipino traditional politicians (the Trapos), as this writer quipped in 2003.”

Behold, on Feb. 19, 2011, my tocayo from Sydney, Australia, Bobby Mella-Lastica, sent me an e-mail about our proposed “BLeSSED” Program: “If you are the Moses of Bicol, let this humble servant become your faithful Joshua!” Egad, Nene Pimentel’s “Joshua,” is now also a Moses with a Sorsoganon-Australian friend as his own Joshua!

By the way, “BLeSSED” is the acronym of the “Bicol, Leyte, Samar and Sorsogon Economic Development.” The “BLeSSED Republic” became a Facebook Group.

Please read the Feb. 21, 2011 discussion on Moses and the Philippine Presidency at this link.

Looking for 81 Filipino Provincial Versions of Moses and Joshua

It is my humble opinion that after the May 9, 2022, Philippine national-and-local elections, the OFW-led federations and the “OFW/Overseas-Filipino Nation” must start looking for the equivalent of Moses and his designated successor, Joshua, in all the 81 provinces of the archipelago. The more Filipino versions of Moses and Joshua, the earlier will the Filipino people reach their “Promised Land.” And not the “Land of Broken Promises” of the Filipino traditional politicians (the Trapos), as this writer quipped in 2003.

“It may be the most incredible opportunity to honor God and my country. Reference books give us a universal definition of “Servant Leadership.” It is the approach to leadership promoted by the Scripture — according to Judeo-Christian traditions.”

Yes, it will not take 40 years for Filipino voters to elect those worthy of being called “Servant Leaders” — like those chosen by God as early as the 16th-and-13th centuries BCE. Because to reach the Filipino “Promised Land” and become God’s chosen people for the 22nd century (or even earlier), a new breed of biblical-like “servant leaders” have to lead our people. They should follow religiously (pun intended) not only the Ten Commandments but also the Beatitudes, as explained in the sermons of Jesus Christ. And the road to redemption will be easy to travel, if not to reach the ultimate destination in due time.

It may be the most incredible opportunity to honor God and my country. Reference books give us a universal definition of “Servant Leadership.” It is the approach to leadership promoted by the Scripture — according to Judeo-Christian traditions. Two of the most common traits are that servant leadership is “soft” management, and that servant leaders possess a martyr complex.

And since our Fellow Filipinos of the Islamic faith share common prophets and their teachings — with the Jews and Christians — it will not be hard to find a “Muslim Moses” (and Joshua, too) in every predominantly Islam province of the Philippines.

So help us, God. So help us, Yahweh. So help us, Allah. Thy will be done.

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