Issue of January 6, 2019

71th Courier Anniversary Issue
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3 King Kongs – a New Year story

The three have always been at odds, but things got out of hand when Butangero was elected village chief.

Even now, the village drunk, while making his way to the corner sari-sari store to buy himself a bottle of comfort that would hopefully obliterate painful memories of a once glorious past, Butangero calls him out.

“Hey, drunk,” he yells, “where are you going? The nearest precinct is in the other direction, so why don’t you turn around and surrender your pathetic self to the station commander.”

“With you in prison, us village folks can sleep easier, given all the noise you keep on making about ousting me from my post and putting the village back on its feet while you walk on all fours.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“Me in jail,” the drunk shoots back, “you should be the one behind bars. All the village kids are scared to death of you, with many of their friends buried in the cemetery, shot dead because they fought back, so say your tanods. A likely story, wouldn’t you say.”

“Hey, even their moms are deathly frightened of you. Gender means nothing to you, and your claims of once pawing your labandera in your younger days smack of a maniac on the loose.

* * * * * * * * * *

Quick to anger, Butangero threatens Propesor, the drunk’s nickname in college. “Before the year ends, I shall have wiped out all your ilk, and not one, not even you, will be left standing.”

Ironic, isn’t it? For someone who can’t even stay on his own two feet.

* * * * * * * * * *

The village medicine man can’t take it any longer and plants himself between the two.

“You shouldn’t be quarrelling,” he gently tells them, “Remember that we are all children of God, and we all should love one another.”

Look who’s talking, Butangero sneers. The guy who loves himself more than his flock, enjoying the fat of the collection plate, while his so-called children of God suffer from hunger and poverty.

Learn your math first, padre, no such thing as 3 in 1, except Kopiko coffee.

* * * * * * * * * *

Propesor laughs aloud, “For someone who went to a Catholic law school,” he scoffs, “not only is your grammar back, your manners and demeanor are even worse.”

I may not believe in God, but calling Him an idiot is blasphemy, or maybe it takes one to know one.

But surely you believe the devil. After all, he has four of you in his pocket.

Four of the world’s biggest leaders, all of them Satan pawns; and only because all four are consumed by power.

* * * * * * * * * *

What is it about power that it seeps down even to small villages where small folk like you act like they own everybody’s souls, incapable of caring for others?

Suddenly, the skies break open, followed by lightning and thunder.

As everybody looks up, balls of fire begin to fall, but soon stopped.

People come out from their cover, amazed that no one was hurt.

* * * * * * * * * *

Listening to CNN news later, it was reported that Donald Duck was one of the fireball casualties, including a certain Vladimir, and that there was much rejoicing in China because a billion Chinese had at last found freedom.

Butangero, Propesor, and the medicine man were nowhere to be found, but these were stories of many going out in puff of smoke.

Somehow, after centuries of waiting, someone got God’s gout, and that, dear reader, is the end of our New Year tale.

May 2019 bring happiness to all Filipino households, may more lives be safe, may someone, if he has not gone out in smoke, be more enlightened, and become a better person.

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