Issue of March 10, 2019
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Blondes, brunettes, pony tails, and change

Not too long ago, Baguio was the envy of the neighboring towns and municipalities, not just for its cool weather, but more because it was a city that was peaceful and orderly, its tranquility broken only by the ugly behavior of young punks whose idea of Saturday night fun was kicking trash cans and stealing traffic signs.

But Baguio’s near unblemished reputation was marred when one of the city’s finest was caught filching a pair of shoes while on guard duty at the market.

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Like all other “highly urbanized” cities, Baguio, in the early ‘60s, had its share of hooligans and gangs – the Kool Kats, Dragonals, the Jolly Hayans, and the Plaza boys. Their battles, however, limited to fighting one another – not really for turf, but for so called bragging rights.

As I recall, two sensational crimes had a curious Baguio public begging for details – the first involved a high profile couple where the cuckolded husband charged his unfaithful wife and her lover with adultery, caught by policemen while making love in the shrubs where the Children’s Playground is now located, both of whom were promptly pardoned by Malacañang, following their conviction by a court of law.

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The other was that of a son who connived with his friend to rob and kill his own father, so they could sell the P2,000 ring he wore on his finger, a fortune then.

Even so, Baguio was generally peaceful, green, with scented pine trees and flowers all over – until change came.

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For example, hair in the early days was either black or gray, depending on age.

Inspired by Hollywood beauties, women soon dyed their hair blond or brunette, and for the adventurous, a rainbow mix of blue, green, and yellow.

A magic potion also made possible a change in pigmentation – from kayumanggi to Caucasian.

Pony tails were now being sported by the men ala Steven Seagal, no longer by high school girls.

There is something about a lanky fellow with pony tail clad in an all-black outfit, taking to the dance floor with a lonely matron or unhappy wife, only too willing to part with their money.

Well, whatever makes one happy.

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Getting up in the world is a dream come true, and it wasn’t long when Filipinos became obsessed with money and power.

And the surest and easiest path to the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow is through politics.

No wonder you have six or seven candidates vying for the city’s mayorship, which means your choice is not the best one, but the lesser evil.

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Maybe I like Benjie Magalong but for all his medals and citations, his military background discourages me.

I think of Gringo Honasan who staged so many coups I have lost count; of Ping Lacson who went into hiding as a fugitive from justice rather than face the music as us ordinary folks do; of Antonio Trillanes, whose mindset and tirades irritates both Duterte and the Filipino people; of military officers who think they are far better than all of us put together. Once upon a time they were good cadets, now transformed into – in the eyes of money – never mind.

Also stricken off my list is this candidate whom the INC and the church should never endorse, because all his activities run counter to everything that is Christian, and like I said before, turn the city into a small Las Vegas (it already is, in fact, but on the sly) so he can benefit from the proceeds. Again, I repeat, if this hypocrite wins, I will leave the city.

I am happy to note that it is Avila and Molintas who are now hugging the inside track. Let’s hope they can sprint away from the rest of the field as election day nears.

I may like Jun Y, but let’s give the other ethnic groups a chance.

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As for Tonyboy Tabora, he hopes that the good luck of his wife, who has been promoted to a high ranking government position, which entitles her to a car plate with the number nine on it, will rub off on him.

For all our misunderstandings, it is a promotion well-deserved for former RTC Judge Mona Lisa Tabora.

Congratulations, your Honor.

Belated birthday greetings to restaurateur par excellence Art Nang, who celebrated his natal day on the second of March. Many more to come Artemio!

Also to my nephew-in-law, Ogie Cruz, who became a golden boy yesterday.

Fifty more to come, Ogie!

March is Women’s Month.

In this country, women rule, but only because the men are unable to rise above themselves. Salud!

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