Issue of March 12, 2017
Mt. Province

66th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Madam’s knockout punch!

Tomorrow, Monday, the 12th of March (U.S. time), the CBS America political drama TV series shown online on 123 movies or Netflix will have a Philippine, actually a Malacañang, setting. In the series, Madam Secretary is the shrewd, calculating, and determined U.S. Secretary of State. She, like Henry Kissinger, is an international diplomat. Like in this country, she battles politics and office intrigues but she has unusual ways as she circumvents and ignores protocol when negotiating worldwide issues with leaders. The President of the United States values her ability to not just think outside the box, but to not even know there is a box.

Monday’s episode will feature a lecherous sex starved Filipino president getting punched in the face but that is getting ahead of the story. The trailer of the forthcoming episode with the Office of the President seal and a flag reveals parallels with the incumbent Duterte who in the past was not able to control his mouth with inappropriate or sexist remarks, periodic lewd comments, and occasionally wolf-whistling at women. The story revolves around the visit of Madam Secretary to Malacañang and how the leader makes sexual advances to her. Madam responds in kind and punches the president, leaving him with a bloodied nose and there goes the Fil-Am friendship down the drain.

Madam Secretary is supposedly a fiction but the episode smacks of current reality and howls of protest from the President’s men have been forwarded to the CBS producers and even to Washington. The Philippine Embassy complained of a “highly negative portrayal” that “tarnishes the Philippines’ longstanding advocacy for women's rights and gender equality.”

The episode is close to home. Parang tunay na buhay sa Pilipinas, but mind you, parang tunay na buhay din sa America” and indeed, CBS should have used Trump and it would have been more realistic. Madam’s knockout punch has emphasized a new breed of women who do not take attacks on their person sitting down. Apropos, we just celebrated the International Women’s Day last March 8 where we were one in paying tribute to all the women of the world who can give male chauvinists a run for their money.

“Do a good turn each day” and last Saturday, the Rotary Club of Downtown Session led by president Orlie Tadeo in cooperation with Lafayette Luxury Hotels owned by philanthropist Paul Lalwani spearheaded a medical, dental, bloodletting, and legal aid clinic at the Malcolm Square. Support groups included Philippine National Red Cross, Globe, Musar, City Health Office under Dr. Rowena Galpo, Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Pines Estate and Gaming Corp., the Justice Moran Legal Aid Clinic of the Saint Louis University School of Law, and of course our law firm. More than 1,000 indigent patients were given tickets to avail themselves of medicines. It leaves a scar of my frustration in my heart to see how helpless our people are who lined up under the scorching sun to get medical attention which, in the first place, is an obligation of government. I am so glad though that we have friends willing to share their blessings just to give second or maybe a minute of attention to the less fortunate. We can only say thank you to the volunteer doctors, dentist, nurses, lawyers, health workers, Rotarians, and family who care. Mind you, a lot of those who helped were women and indeed women power was at its best. Sigh!

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