June 21, 2024

When a fight erupts on a busy backstreet where the shirtless hang about all day long drinking gin, while swapping naughty stories, and the favorite past time is “tong-its” or catcalling every pretty girl passing by, all the neighbors rush out of their enclaves shouting and screaming “away, away,” particularly so when the fight is between a bully and a former bully aching to get back on top.


Nothing excites the peasants more than two or more rumbling giants – the bigger the protagonists, the louder the spectators cry out for blood.
But in its current battle to stay alive, ABS-CBN, a come-backing bully during the Aquino mother and son years, the network has its hands full trying to ward off a bully born to be one – a congenital bully, to borrow a line from Marcos.
Or, in the more colorful language of the great unwashed, a butangero, no less.


But because it was ABS-CBN, which provoked the fight, siding with Mar Roxas in the 2016 presidential elections – that is the bigger sin, not the network’s failure to air Duterte’s political ads – it was time for Duterte to get even.
ABS-CBN really didn’t make a bad choice – Mar was the fair-headed boy of then President Noynoy, with all the resources of the government at his fingertips, plus some.
And while the one million vote lead of Bongbong Marcos over Leni Robredo was wiped out overnight, there was nothing that could be done about Duterte’s landslide victory, a whopping six-million vote margin.
No way ABS-CBN would be singing “Happy days are here again” for the next six years.


Still, ABS-CBN went to plan B.
It offered to return Duterte’s money, and apologized for its oversight.
Duterte accepted the apology, and shook hands with the ABS-CBN executives.
A poor judgment of character, alas. First, the Lopez family should have apologized, not their subalterns.
Second, unlike in other civilized countries where a handshake writes “fini” to a feud or misunderstanding, that is not the case with us.
Handshakes are just for show and mean nothing, like a politician’s handshake while campaigning.
“I am the President of the Philippines and you send your lieutenants to extend apologies. You insult me, and you add one more insult.”
Have you ever seen a bully apologizing to another bully?
No sir. Us Pinoys, we take our grudges to the grave.


It seems, however, that anyone of some importance is coming to the aid of ABS-CBN. Please, the letters do not stand for “Alak, Babae, Sugal, Come Back No more.”
All are mouthing the same lines, “An insult upon press freedom,” “Stifling the voice of democracy,” etc.
Even so, the law is not on ABS-CBN’s side.
“No franchise, cease operations.”
Congress is being blamed – you think Speaker Alan Cayetano, still nursing presidential ambitions, would dare go against the wishes of his benefactor then, now, and after?
And while the courts are open, unfortunately, there is no status quo to grant.


ABS-CBN thus stays closed, to the delight, I suppose, of GMA 7. I can picture Atty. Jimenez, GMA top honcho, rubbing his hands in glee, his natural 9 winning over the other’s natural 8.
“Paano po ‘yan Atty., nahihirapan tayo, walang sabong, walang casino.”
Ako po, I console myself with the fact that at least for a time, I won’t be seeing Boy Abunda and Vice Ganda on TV.
By the way, does Covid-19 also affect the mind? I am watching Willie Revillame do his antics on TV, and I fear he has been infected with the virus.


We are in the month of May, and we all anxiously await the 15th.
Having grown tired of being stopped at checkpoints, and now being required to show permits or other papers before being allowed to pass, we can only hope that the “second” Japanese occupation will be over come the 15th.
Since three months ago, professionals, particularly lawyers, have not been earning income with the courts closed – “walang appearance fee na pamalengke.”
Food and grocery prices have soared, take-out and delivery even more costly.
Some courts have reopened, but no seniors allowed.
Flirting with a doctora in blue uniform while lining up in one of the malls, she completely unhinged me when she said, “Sir, buti pinayagan kayo lumabas.”
And all the time I thought I look younger than my age.


My married son Melpether worries that his daughter might be thinking that there are only three people in the world, cooped up as they are at home.
He fears that eventually, his baby girl might freak out a bit when her lolo, lola, aunts, uncles, and bigger cousins will want to hold her.


Should we really blame for our present woes?
Or do we blame ourselves for having elected world leaders who appear to most as the devil’s “diablitos”?
Putin, Trump, Xi, our own Rodrigo, these people fear not God, and even think of themselves as gods.
Time for the Good Lord to smite all evil, starting with government officials and the fabulously wealthy, who act as if there is no God.
Come to think of it, aren’t us Pinoys diablitos” too?
Anak ti Diablo!