Political Antiques and Young Bric-a-brac

The Hell will I vote for them.  They’ve had their time.  They’ve failed.  They’re off to pasture.

They’re old.  They’re unattractive.  They have erectile dysfunctions.  They already smell like the earth which is eagerly claiming them back.

Why don’t they go on a “Wild Hogs” kind of adventure before they lay down and die???

I’m voting for The Young.  Yes, they will do the very same thing as their predecessors.  Lie.  Cheat.  Steal.  But at least they’re new, and so will their crimes.  Fresh winds, no matter how criminal.

They’re young.  Attractive [ for lack of better-looking people 😛 ].  Testosterone-laden, as in a Martin Scorsese film.

To settle for new criminality due to the dearth of choices.  Disgusting.  Absolutely.

Quo vadis, Philippines???!!!

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The Mug

Wiener

Little Girl

At the Manila Golf Club…

A grand lady and her equally grand friends were playing golf.  She was complaining that there were all these “new people” she didn’t know…

“Just look at that little girl there…  And all those bodyguards.  She’s so spoiled!!!  Really, the “nouveau riche” these days!!!  What they do to show off!!!”  ranted the grand lady.

Some of her friends knew better and just grinned.  They knew she could not see very well.

The little girl played leisurely, taking her time.  The others waiting their turn became impatient, including the grand lady’s group…

“My God!!!  It’s not like she owns this place!!!  These ‘new people’… such ‘maneras’ [ manners ]!!!”  the grand lady hissed and steamed, her blood pressure rising.

The grand lady was about to roar loudly about the little girl when her friend tugged at her arm and whispered:  “It’s the President [ Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ]!!!  Can’t you see???”

The grand lady was stunned.   She recovered her wits, put herself together, and walked over to the little girl and her posse of bodyguards.

She greeted the little girl warmly with kisses on both cheeks.  “Hello, Gloria.”

“Little Girl” indeed!!!

“Chicken Hawaiian”

Ecole Militaire

This is one of the funniest stories of Old, and not-so-Old, Pampanga…

After the war, the patriarch of a venerable family from Mexico, Pampanga decided that he would make a man out of his effeminate son and sent him to the Ecole Saint Cyr in Paris, the French version of the American West Point and the British Sandhurst.

Years passed and the son was due back in the Philippines.  The entire clan, led by the proud patriarch who was already ill and wheelchair-bound, gathered at the MIA Manila International Airport to welcome the new graduate.

In those postwar days [ indeed up to the late 1970s ], well-wishers gathered at a screened second floor lounge overlooking the tarmac from where they could see the airplanes.  There were no “tubes” and passengers alighted from the airplane on to the metal stairways driven to the arriving/departing airplane.

Everyone waited with bated breath for a tall, handsome, and dashing gentleman to appear.  The patriarch actually expected to see his “reformed” son in a military uniform… he even hoped that his son would become a fine soldier and eventually a bemedalled war hero…

Just then, a tall and beautiful woman with silky long hair alighted from the airplane.  She was wearing a wide-brimmed hat with silk roses, a beautiful and flowing silk floral dress which was unmistakably from Christian Dior’s very feminine and luxurious “New Look” line, and remarkably stylish shoes from the famous Roger Vivier.  Her unexpected appearance elicited gasps of admiration from the crowd.

Even the patriarch’s family was impressed.

“Dios co!!!  Calagu na!!!  Ninu iya caya???”  [ “OhmyGod!!!  She’s beautiful!!!  Who could she be???” ] an aunt gasped.

“Calupa neng Gre-heis Kehehl – hee [ Grace Kelly ]!!!” [ “She looks like Grace Kelly!!!” ]  a niece exclaimed.

“Ali!!!  Calupa neng Ha – ao – dree Eh – haff – vaaarn [ Audrey Hepburn ]!!!”  [ “No!!!  She looks like Audrey Hepburn!!!”  admired a cousin.

“Malagu iya.  Calupa neng Ree – eeta Ei – woh – art [ Rita Hayworth ].”  [‘She’s beautiful.  She looks like Rita Hayworth.” ]  grunted the patriarch.

In the Capampangan dialect, “b” becomes “v” and “v” becomes “b,” “f” becomes “p” and “p” becomes “f,” and “h” is not pronounced when there is an “h” but “h” is pronounced whenever there is no “h.”  *lolsz!*

The tall and beautiful woman smiled and waved at them.  They were thrilled and waved back.

The tall and beautiful woman smiled and waved at them again.  They were again thrilled and waved back as well.

“Yacu ini!!!  Yacu y ******!!!”  [ “I’m Me!!!  I’m ******!!!” ]  excitedly squealed the tall and beautiful woman, pointing to herself!!!

What???!!!  The entire family stared at her incredulously.  Then they stared at each other incredulously.

The expected military school graduate had turned to a soignee fashion plate!!!

The whole family felt like fainting!!!  Bwahahahahah!!!

That very night, the proud patriarch suffered a severe and fatal heart attack and died.  He absolutely could not accept that his son had turned into a beautiful woman.  Poor man!!!

The beautiful Pampango “lady” actually became the inspiration for Dolphy the comedian’s most popular “shoke” [ “fag” ] movies in the 1970s:  “Facifica Falayfay” and “Fefita Fofonggay”…  *lolsz!*

The last times I saw the legendary Pampango “lady” was on the ledge of the “Subway” Disco along Manuel Adriatico Street in Manila in the late 1980s.  “She” was dancing wildly to a remake of [ Gloria Gaynor’s ] “I Will Survive”…!!!  *lolsz!*

The Moral Alternative

The Pampanguenos are an interesting lot.  There is always something “cooking.”  I should know, because I am “100 % concentrated Capampangan with No Additives.”

So many people were surprised when Fr. Ed Panlilio, the very capable parish priest of Betis, Pampanga announced his decision to run for Pampanga Governor.  A great many people were elated, a great many people were alarmed.  But his candidacy brings the much desired “Fresh Wind” to Pampango politics, and most likely will, in the long run, “air out” the rotten core of Philippine politics.

Many “cabalen” are delighted because they now have a viable alternative to “Scylla and Charybdis”…

  

When closeness is a gift

Every year without fail [ even during the Lahar years ] during Holy Wednesday “Miercoles Santo,” the old Rodriguez Family of Bacolor, Pampanga gathers the various members of their clan from near and far in an informal and affectionate reunion.  There is a nice Capampangan lunch prepared, and “merienda” as well.  In the afternoon, the ladies and their daughters occupy themselves with leisurely stringing the “sampaguita” flowers to be used on the Rodriguez family’s image and “carroza” of the “Misericordia” [ a miraculous, 19th century image of the Crucified Christ ].  At 5:00 p.m., the able-bodied family members accompany the image of the “Misericordia” on its 1920s silverplated “carroza” to the Bacolor Church, where it is the main feature of the “Miercoles Santo” procession.  After the procession at 7:00 p.m., the family members return with the “Misericordia” to the Old House and they enjoy a delicious Capampangan dinner, accompanied by more affectionate banter.  The older family members start leaving at 9:00 p.m. and by 10:00 p.m., the Rodriguez family calls it a day.

I find it remarkable that such closeness and affection exists in such a large clan.  Absolutely wonderful!!!

Holy Week blues

It is my ambition to be a normal Filipino and flee the city during the annual Holy Week break and head off to some interesting and “happening” destination like [ the usual ] Boracay island, Bohol, Palawan, Camiguin, Siargao, Bali, Phuket, Chiang Mai, the Maldives, even Madagascar…

Or even to Sevilla, Espana to witness the hieratic “Viernes Santo Madrugada” Procession of the legendary “Nuestra Madre y Senora de la Esperanza Macarena”… 

Unfortunately, it just isn’t possible.  I am the one solely responsible for the maintenance of the family traditions during Holy Week in the Espiritu, Arnedo, Escaler, and Gonzalez hometown of Apalit, Pampanga.  If I don’t go, nothing will happen.

  

The Writing on the Wall

In the second week of March 2007, All Manila was abuzz about a most unfortunate incident that involved the “young” scion [ 51 years old ] of one of the city’s most established families, one of its great shipping fortunes. 

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