Issue of September 2, 2018
Mt. Province

70th Courier Anniversary Issue
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A time to pray, and pray some more

With the 2019 Asian Games hosted by Indonesia coming to an end, the scoreboard tally, thus far, shows four golds, one silver, and a fair share of bronze medals.

In an apparent attempt to buoy up the spirits of a rather disappointed Filipino public because our country is way below the medal standings, but meant more really to cover up their shortcomings, our sports officials are saying, almost blazingly, that we fared much better compared to the 2014 Asiad.

Maybe so, but all the other Asian countries are likewise faring better than us. After four years, that’s supposed to be the case.

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Anyway, our junketing sports officials (I will bet they brought their families along, girlfriends maybe?) should thank the women for rescuing them from embarrassment, a debacle even.

But that’s only half of the story. Our female athletes won four golds and a silver, excellent in fields considered as the men’s domain. Weightlifting is a sport one can only be good at with power and strength, and there was Miss Diaz proving that maybe it is the men who use powder puffs and not the women.

Go around today and every golf course you pass has the men playing golf together, since playing alongside a woman who can’t hit the ball hard can be rather frustrating, but hey, the two of our gold medals were courtesy of the women.

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Skateboarding? It is a daring and dangerous sport and one can suffer injury with all its jumps, twirls, and curls. Women do not like indulging in games where they get hurt, but this wisp of a Cebu girl outclassed her rivals with her nearest rival not even coming close points wise.

Judo is a men’s sport, but the women take it up to protect themselves from male predators, not to win silver medals, but win she did.

Congratulations and our hats off to ladies Hidilyn Diaz, Margielyn Didal, Yuka Saso and her team, and Kiyomi Watanabe.

But please stick to sports. Politics is a game where even winners lose, transformed from beautiful to ugly.

But if you are a Miriam D, Bernadette P, a Winnie M, go for it.

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Here at home, people are talking about two women – in the news, so to speak.

When Maria Lourdes Sereno was appointed Chief Justice by Benigno Aquino III, she didn’t say “please,” not me, there are more senior associate justices ahead of me.” Instead she jumped at the chance.

Associate Justice Teresita de Castro, more senior than Sereno, bristled “the gall.”

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And now it is de Castro’s turn. Far from saying that she would only have two months to serve and maybe Duterte should look at someone else who will stay on the job longer and be able to make an impact reforms wise, she too jumps at the chance.

But wait, something good might come up yet. Since it is no longer Sereno but de Castro who is Chief Justice, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is next in line.

I may be biased, but I think Carpio will prove to be an outstanding chief of the Supreme Court.

Carpio is a man possessed. He will change the image of the Judiciary entirely, from ridiculed to admired, from bad to good – no more “agin lalaing” judges, no more arrogant magistrates, no more lagay lagay sa Appeal, and no more backlogs, and expect a trial system to be put in place that would expedite court trials and decisions made soonest after.

Today, judges are enjoying themselves. Tomorrow, they will be singing a different tune.

No more singing of happy days are here again.

Does the name Joseph Balabag mean anything to you? An engineer by profession and a wagwag magnate, Balabag is thinking of throwing his hat in the mayoralty race.

Good, the more, the merrier. His campaign manager? Who else but ‘councilor’ Abe de Castro.

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A funny but true story:

In 1973, at the age of 30 years, following the Bar results that came out that same year, and after taking my oath and signing my name in the Roll of Attorneys, I ventured into private law practice, with high hopes that I could make something out myself.

My neighbor, likewise at age 30, started his banana cue business at the same time.

Dressed in suit nearly every morning, I would chance upon him pushing his improvised cart, selling banana cue along the way.

Today, my neighbor has a house and store of his own, drives around in a brand new SUV, and all his kids are done with college, two or three of them working abroad, and the rest in Metro Manila, doing fine on their own.

Me? I still live in a family-owned two-story apartment, a retired city prosecutor lucky to be receiving a monthly pension with two sons still unmarried (my Melpether will still get married January next year) and my Marc Benedict sticking around to provide me comfort and solace with his funny jokes and stories, fixing my TV when it goes on the brink, tapes music of yesteryears for my listening pleasure when reading in bed.

When he feels I can exist on my own, he goes off somewhere with a pretty girl in his arms, married I think.

In sum, before I go riding into the sunset, I keep thinking maybe I should have sold banana cue instead.

I console myself that I wouldn’t be writing this column if I had sold banana cue for a living.

By the way, my would be in-laws are very nice people, polite kids, also all done with college. And as per my reading they have placed Jesus in the center of their lives.

They are teetotalers, and I had to ask their permission to serve liquor during our kids’ wedding reception.

They are from Navotas, and are into the fishing and gasoline business, suppliers of seafood to well-known restaurants and other eating places.

Their daughter is very pretty, the quiet type of a girl, deferring to her Melpether in matters of decision making.

My son is lucky, but during lunch at The Manor to finalize wedding plans, I had to run to the comfort room to wipe away tears because my Minda, had the heavens given her more life, would have savored the moment.

Our Melpether is every inch her son, very much like her.

I pray to the Almighty Father to likewise bless our Marc Benedict that he too will meet a girl who will love him with all her heart and soul.

Hopefully, all in God’s time. By the way, when is the next derby, Randy?

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