Issue of June 10, 2018
     
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Kisses to dad on Father’s Day, and to the Filipino people on freedom day

How does the song go again, “A kiss is still a kiss,” where no one’s there but the two of us. Oops, I think I fumbled the line, lumping homes and houses with kisses. Barbara Streisand would not have approved.

Anyway, I had my first case when I was 16. After filching 50 bucks (a fortune in those days) from my mom’s purse, my cousin Robert and I hied off to the Hilltop nightclub along Ambuclao Road, where we “tabled” a couple of girls.

“Don’t’ just tell the stories, Robert, a veteran of the night life, advised me. “Go lips to lips, that’s what we are buying them drinks for.

I didn’t find it exciting at all, but later on, I found out that tongue to tongue was more fun.

* * * * * * * * * *

And why did a Filipina, married at that, agree to go lips to lips with President Duterte?

Like I keep on saying, women are attracted to power first, followed by fame, and next would be a toss-up between brains and money, with looks coming in dead last.

Our hero fancies himself not only as God’s gift to the Filipino people, but to women as well – unhappy wives, girls on the loose, or needing a break from a drab life.

Pudgy of nose and dark of skin, nothing excites a lawyer more than putting one over the mestisos, even while welcoming the mestisas.

* * * * * * * * * *

It all starts at Law school, when you feel carrying your books a certain way (close to your chest) sets you apart from the rest of the citizenry, like a T-square meant more for show than for use.

After passing the Bar, a lawyer gets to feel really cocky, and the first order of business is to get himself a car, if only to add to the aura.

There is something about a well cut suit and a stethoscope hanging from one’s neck that titillates the girls.

* * * * * * * * * *

Duterte’s first taste of power was when he was appointed a government prosecutor. It feels good knowing that the liberty – or even his life – is in your hands, not to mention some practitioners trying to get into your good graces whose clients are being charged with criminal offenses.

Unlike in Metro Manila where moneyed litigants have better chances of getting off the hook.

Here in Baguio, friendship is more persuasive.

* * * * * * * * * *

Graduating from prosecutor to mayor, Duterte needed to act tough and talk big.

Merely raising your voice sends shivers down the spines of underlings. And the only way to curb criminality is to eliminate the criminals.

Not too long ago, a newly elected mayor (Olongapo, I think) wanted the criminals in the city to leave town – or else.

Failing to heed the mayor’s warning, the bodies of so-called syndicate heads were later found on garbage dumps.

Today, with the sailors gone, Olongapo or Subic are peaceful towns.

It was even more so in Davao. Rebel and crime infested, Duterte transformed his Davao into a really crime-free city, and as his reputation grew, the mayor all too suddenly became a leading candidate for president.

Now, as head of state, Duterte thinks the same Davao formula will work for the country.

Alas, however, the people are still waiting.

But Duterte is right. Inggit lang tayo.

No, not because he gets free kisses, nor do we envy his horde of adoring women, it is the power that he wields, unbridled and shameless.

And our hero is savoring it. In truth, he is no better than any of us, and we can all feel we can do a better job, but first, you need to be elected, accidental or otherwise.

GMA became president because Erap didn’t watch himself, Cory, because her husband was assassinated, BSA III because of the death of his mother, and Duterte because BSA III wasn’t like his parents at all, and turn out to be a big flop, contrary to his belief.

We can only pray that Duterte has goodness in his heart, and that he really means well.

* * * * * * * * * *

On June 12, we will mark our freedom day anniversary. Alas, we are still the same people that we were 100 years ago. Loving ourselves, but not the country, loving our family, but not our neighbors, still undisciplined, still MBSS, still every man for himself.

God is not in the center of our lives, it is money. There are no more Jose Rizals, no more Andres Bonifacios, no more heroes whose hearts are in the right place.

God save us from the good intentions of our leaders.

* * * * * * * * * *

Speaking of leaders, look at the top five of our national leaders.

The top honcho is turning out to be a disappointment; the vice president is salivating to be president, being prodded by her lawyer who is salivating to be the next Jose Calida; the Senate president, a retired comedian who thinks too highly of himself, (never trust a politician sporting a mustache) not at all humble; the Speaker of the House is a self-confessed womanizer, the Chief Justice no longer sits as one.

Once again, dear God, we throw ourselves at your mercy.

Happy freedom and Father’s Day!

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