April 21, 2024

(Editors’ note: The Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on Sept. 1, 2019)

Enjoy your promenade along heritage landmark Session Road, just like us friends and Boy’s High schoolmates often did in the old days, when Baguio was all peace and quiet, and not the filthy and bustling metropolis it is today.
Up and down from one sidewalk to the other, making pit stops at Plaza, Pines, and Session Theaters, checking out which movie was showing.
The Plaza Cinema was owned by the De la Rosa family, and featured mostly Tagalog or Filipino movies, i.e. “Badjao” which starred Rosa Rosal as a sexy siren, craved by leading man Tony Santos and other 15 years old like myself, reminiscent of the desirable Paraluman swimming in the buff in a movie titled “Elephant Girl.”

Pines Theatre was owned by Pampanga scions, the Mutuc family, managed by the Ramos couple, but actually being run by Art Avila – yes, Edgar Avila’s dad.
The Santa Marias were the original owners of Session Theatre, where I saw my first “James Bond” flick, “Dr No,” but my memories of Sean Connery were not as memorable as the images of theoretically sexy Ursula Andres running through my puberty mind.

Session Road was also where the Sky View was located, a famed beer joint rivaled only by the La Cosita Tavern of Mrs. Navarette – yes, the late University of Baguio Dean Badong Navarette’s mom, lola of artist Karen Anton, and daughter-in-law of spouses restauranteur Mike and writer Edna Anton, and whose grandson Iñigo, is currently the toast of the motor racing world.
Like father, like son. Edna, incidentally is a cancer survivor, but will be outlived by the family owned Sizzling Plate, albeit the old sizzle will always be there for both Edna and her steakhouse.

But it is the sizzle of Edna’s prayers that keeps her and her humor alive and well.
Close or open, the Sizzling Plate Session Road is home to both young and old who enjoy the sizzle of S.P. steak like no other.

In the meantime, let all the others suffer the horrendous traffic as a result, taking alternative routes to where they need to go.
Can you imagine a family making curses while on their way to church.
It’s just experimental, City Hall officials fumbly explain.
Make it permanent then, a once-a-week consternation of traffic woes is good for the soul.

And oh, speaking of the Almighty, tennis is His game – back and forth, back and forth goes the ball, just like us – at one time the devil has you and I by the balls, at another time in the comfort of God’s bosom.
Tennis is also the only sport where is often mentioned – 40 all, Diyos (deuce).
With the U.S. Open in full swing, I marvel at how Coco Gauff so far has managed to get to the third round, where she and other tennis sensation, Naomi Osaka, will knock each other out.
In tennis, the young stars, unlike many of our teen girls of today, do not get pregnant.
Only the 36 years old do, like Serena Williams who went on sabbatical during her pregnancy.
When I was still City Prosecutor, a mother came to me inquiring if she could file a case against a boy who got her 13-year-old daughter pregnant.
How old is the boy I ask? A 12-year old sixth grader was her answer.

Both my dad and younger brother passed on to the next world nearly the same age – 67 and 64, respectively.
And it scares me, both breathing their last in the month of August.
All of the month, I found myself in a depressive state – unable to think, or do anything right even when doing mindless activities. I keep fumbling for the rosary in my pocket.
Hopefully, with September coming along, I will feel much better – and useful. I need to make up for all the errors and mistakes in my life over the past month.
I guess it comes from age, with the fear of dying staring at you in the face.
Bad grass, aside from prayers, is my only hope for more years of life.