A Stroke of Genius
September 30, 2010. That was the day Carlos Celdran unfurled his banner, replete of any fancy decorations, save for one word which would encapsulate the pro-RH battlecry: DAMASO.
Technically speaking, Celdran and the RH camp were wrong with the Damaso usage, if they wanted to portray the Church and the clergy as the bad guys; in the novel Noli me Tangere, it was actually Padre Salvi who was the bad guy. But, the media being on their side, there was no room for deep thought nor analysis in the soundbytes that come from the pro-RH side. They weren’t really after accuracy. They were after the mud-slinging, and character assassination. The way they dismantled Senator Sotto’s character is a testament to how dirty some people are willing to play just for RH to pass.
On the other hand, in a way, these guys knew what they were doing. With the media at their beck and call, and knowing Pinoy’s tendency towards demagoguery, all they had to do is to incite anger towards the Church. All they had to do is to rouse the crowd and make them angry; the truth is always the first casualty in a mob rule. And so Celdran being Celdran he went ahead with the Damaso tag anyway. It turned out to be a stroke of genius on their end because they achieved what they wanted to do, which is to cast the Church in a bad light. Who would not admit that people is being used the tag today?
“Damaso” was a very successful tag because it reminds people of the friars and econmienderos of old that our historians paint in such a bad light: that the Church is medieval, out-of-date, irrelevant, lacking in justice, and sexually perverted. This is why the “Damaso” tag is still being in use today. Never mind the literary nor historical accuracy of the claim.
Fast forward to 2013. The Diocese of Bacolod, under Bishop Vicente M. Navarra, D.D., posted a large tarpaulin in front of San Sebastian Cathedral that we now know as Team Buhay/Team Patay. This alarmed many of those who are running for elections and supporting the RH bill. Many of them cried foul over this tactic. They will not admit it, but the poster got them where it hurt the most. These politicians have been gloating that there is no such thing as a Catholic Vote, but were clearly the first to cry foul over this poster that will surely galvanize Catholics into voting against these RH backers.
It took a frail, old bishop in the person of Bishop Navarra to issue the battlecry of the Catholic Vote via the Team Buhay/Team Patay tarp. And it was a cry heard all around the country! Many dioceses have already pledged their support and their commitment to follow Bishop Navarra’s example and to snowball this effort until we finally have our Catholic Vote.
Far from being simplistic, the Team Buhay/Team Patay is a masterstroke of genius comparable to the Damaso tag. Now our campaign against the anti-life forces finally has a name, first of all. Second, the Team Buhay/Team Patay tag is easy to remember. Third, the said tag encapsulates all of the sentiments of us pro-lifers and Catholics: you voted for RH, you pay for it. Your campaign is officially dead in the water. If you stand for life and true progress that does not and will not compromise our values and morality, you’re part of team buhay. Mabuhay ka!
We have just delivered a critical blow to the campaign of these anti-life forces. The Diocese of Bacolod delivered a crunching haymaker to the gut of our opponent, but our battle royale is by no means over. We must continue pushing and campaigning for our candidates, especially Lito David, JC delos Reyes, and Atty. Marwil Llasos for Senator, and Ang Prolife for partylist. Our senate and congress have long been waiting for the likes of these men who have dedicated their lives for this nation to see the light of day. They are, by all means, Team Buhay.