June 4, 2023

The foul weather has been here for so long, I have lost count of the cold nights and days that have gone by since the rains came to visit and decided to overstay its welcome.
As if playing along, the sun too is making fun of us, peeking out of the skies when least expected, only to disappear just when you are bringing out the wash to dry.
Does the sun even know that its rays are what make newborn babies healthy and elderly folks strong and active?

There was a time in my early days of law practice that the sun didn’t show itself for 63 days. (We all counted).
And remember when this mountain resort 5,000 feet above sea level got flooded, our famed Burnham Lake overflowed its banks with the excess water covering the whole of Lower Harrison Road and extended all the way to the old Tiongsan Bazaar.
It took about a week for fire authorities to pump out the overnight swimming pool at the basement of the Maharlika building.

When Mother Nature gets freaky, it’s time to blame the illegal loggers; the commercial establishments that cut down trees to expand their business; City Hall for neglecting to modernize the city’s ancient drainage system; and a population that has ballooned to over a quarter of a million residents, not counting the students and the unregistered migrants.
God’s wrath? He can do worse, but He has nothing to do with the pandemic.
The Chinese? Who else?

At 80 years old and nearing senility, most of my spare time is spent reminiscing about the good old days.
Would you believe that in my freshman year in Diliman, a meal of rice and three viands costs only 80 centavos? With 10 centavos you can wash down the food with Coca-cola (ngan-toy cokes mo, tu orange?Anshi, 7-Up mabalin?).
Ten centavos was also the fare for a jeepney ride that would take you to the business district coming from any point; also, what an Ibaloy would pay you for shining his muddy combat boots; the same “amount” that my dad would fork over for a copy of the Midland Courier.

And unlike before when a million meant a nice house located only a kilometer or two away from Session Road, a brand new Ford or Chevy, with more than enough left for the college education of the kids.
Today, you can’t even buy a brand-new SUV with just a million.
Hey, if you have a pretty daughter, have her join a beauty contest.
Rich DOMs are always in the hunt.
Morals? Show me one with it and I will apply for priesthood.

I have always been skeptical of sports judges in the Olympics. It seems to me they lean more in favor of athletes of the host country, perhaps by way of saying thank you for everything.
This is particularly true in gymnastics, wrestling, judo, and boxing.
Take the championship fight between our own Nesthy Petecio and Japan’s Sena Irie (what, not Yuko or Watanabe?)
The technique is to make the favored boxer win the first round by a big margin (all 10 points for him or her), judge the second round even, so that the other can only win by knockout in the third and last round.
The Japanese are as fair and as honest as they come, but not so with the judges from Europe and North America.
I think the same fate will happen to our Paalam against his Japanese opponent. Maybe even to Marcial, a boxer from a third world country.

My Melpether, a producer of Fox Sports, says however, that Nesthy lost because she was clinching too much. But my Marc Benedict, a keen sports enthusiast (he knows why the Suns lost to the Bucks, also why Pacman won’t win against Spence), says that was the strategy of the Nippon boxer – to clinch everytime Nesthy would go on the attack and neutralize her game plan and punching power.
Me? I blame the lady referee for allowing the clinching any longer than it should, instead of breaking up the fight as soonest.
“Hindi nga naman halata kung kanino siya.”
On the other hand, my eating buddy says it’s the Baguio curse.
Nesthy should have trained somewhere else.
Malaysia, maybe?

Our friendship with Gen. Rogelio “Roger” Aguana goes all the way back to the early days of Martial Law when he was chief of police and later on provincial police chief superintendent long before the Cordillera region came into being.
Roger’s concepts of love, life, the law (after a year of Law school, Roger said he was ready to take the Bar), and governance never failed to tickle my funny bone, but when he got serious, run as fast and as far away as your feet can carry you.
A gentleman and a military officer, Roger was.
Diyos ti kumuyog, old friend.