With the way, the Marcos family left the country that fateful February night in 1986, who would have imagined that, 36 years later, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. would break all presidential electoral records since 1992 to emerge triumphant in this year’s presidential elections.
By all accounts, it was a stunning victory. To paraphrase Senator Imee Marcos, what a remarkable opportunity for a second chance. That is so true.
It’s like being in the deepest part of a valley and climbing up to the highest point of the mountain.
What caused this shift in the family fortune? To be sure, this did not just happen overnight and the reasons could be a lot more complex than what people might be thinking.
It also involved a lot of hard work from the family.
For one, the Marcoses believed the Filipino people never abandoned them all those years even when the family was in political limbo.
That belief sustained them throughout their political battles.
It was not as if the electorate suddenly had a change of heart and from out of nowhere voted in droves for BBM to become the next president.
As one political analyst said, the Marcoses never left the political consciousness of the Filipinos.
In 1992, had the former first lady Imelda Marcos and Danding Cojuangco not both run in the presidential elections, one of them might have won.
Both halved the so-called Marcos votes and both lost as a result.
That was the time when Fidel Ramos won with about 23 per cent of the votes, one of the slimmest in our post Martial Law presidential elections.
BBM and sister Imee also both ran for national office and both were elected senators.
There has always been a big block of the voting public that never deserted the Marcoses all these years no matter what the current political narrative is or was.
One such group is the so-called solid north that has never failed to deliver for the Marcoses.
There were also the seeds that their late patriarch planted in his long years as a politician that are paying dividends for his children 33 years after his death.
Another reason could be that, after 30 years of different governments somewhat veering to the progressive left, the electorate started to shift to the right, beginning with the 2016 elections.
Perhaps BBM somehow benefited from the voting public shifting to the right of the political divide.
As we saw in the last May elections, those candidates who ran for national office who pledged support to the current president won and many of those who ran against did not make it.
The astute handling of social media may have contributed to the victory but cannot fully explain the entire reason for the landslide victory.
There are many other reasons why BBM won.
Not the demise of the progressives as some pundits are theorizing. But more of the shifting preferences of the voting public that normally happens in many countries around the world that have democratic elections.
Sometimes, the people can get tired of hearing the same story line or ideology and want to shift to another ideology.
This happens all the time in many regions around the world.
In South America, a region we somehow can identify with, countries there were ruled in the 1950s and 60s by the so-called military caudillos or warlords.
Later, many of these caudillos were swept aside with the tide of democracy that spread around the globe in the late 1960s thru the 80s that caused the emergence of many democratic forms of government.
Today, most of the countries in South America change their presidents thru elections except for a few who want to stay indefinitely with the status quo like perhaps Venezuela.
Maybe we are also in the process of shifting to the right of the political divide.
But for all we know, the BBM government may not be anything near the kind of government that we currently have.
It could be a hybrid between what we have and previous governments that we had.
I suspect that many may be expecting BBM to follow in the footsteps of his immediate predecessor President Duterte. But both are not made of the same stuff and come from very different backgrounds.
BBM is more circumspect and will almost certainly be more presidential which his predecessor abhorred by his own admission.
BBM will in all probability be his own man and will craft his own presidential style.
The best thing for the public to do is to wait a little before jumping into many theories about what will happen next.
We should just allow the traditional 100 days honeymoon period which is not such a long wait.