Apolinario mabini PGis not yet rooted in the Philippines. A boss is usually expected to boss people around. If not he can be seen as weak. Señorismo among the urban upper class. Caciquismo among the provincial ruling class. The principalia that made a deal with King Philipp II to keep their datu privileges in exchange for subservience to the Spanish throne was the original sin of Felipinas, Felipe’s islands.

Jesus died to release mankind from original sin. Now how many have been martyred to release the Philippines, not from Cardinal Sin who was important for the EDSA revolution, but from the original sin of the principalia? The three priests called Gomburza, Dr. Jose Rizal, Heneral Luna, Ramon Magsaysay, Ninoy Aquino, Jesse Robredo? That should be enough already. Or not?

If religion does not work, look at management. There is a concept of leadership called Level 5 (link). It combines humility with professionalism. The stage before that is what usually passes for a great leader in the Philippines, a Level 4 or effective leader, then there is Level 3 or competent manager, Level 2 or Contributing Team Member, and Level 1 or Highly Capable Individual.

Humility and modesty? Isn’t that un-Filipino? I do consider Apolinario Mabini a great leader. Possibly because his physical condition did not allow him to go the usual Filipino macho way.

Of course he failed because those around him did not really accept him as more than an adviser. The culture was not ready for him, the sublime paralytic. I wonder how Lee Kuan Yew would have fared in the Philippine setting. His leadership was quiet and competent, not loud. He might just have decided to build malls and avoided politics. Is the Philippines ready for any real leaders?

Irineo B. R. Salazar, 19. February 2016, München