November 30, 2022

(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 Nov. 22, 2015.)

Even during my grade school days, pretty classmates always caught my eye, but I only took serious notice of girls in my senior year at the SLU Boys’ High, considering that skirts and ponytails were the hot topics among bigger schoolmates who loved to bully smaller guys like myself.
Quite a few of the girls I took a fancy to became my girlfriends, but I do not think any of them got to find out about it.


In those days, walking the girl of your dreams home was the dream itself, and while holding hands wasn’t exactly taboo, any part of a girl’s anatomy was forbidden territory.
And for those whose hearts were bound together, kissing was done on the sly, but only lips to lips and not tongue to tongue.
It was the weird belief that smooching could make a girl pregnant. The unluckiest and most painful thing that could happen to a girl then was to get pregnant before tying the knot. At the first sign of bloating and throwing up in the mornings, the girl is soon bounced out of house and home by her own family, if not exiled to a remote barrio where she can give birth in secret to a baby boy or girl, a foundling who could later on be adopted by a childless couple.
In the meantime, mum was the word.


Today alas, unwed mothers go on TV proclaiming themselves to be single moms, as if it was a badge of honor and not a shameful past.
And unlike before when looks was an important factor in the choice of a mate, girls are now smarter and more practical. Preferred lovers are those who can provide them with the luxuries of life – a nice flat or condo, a brand new car, and money for shopping and weekend sprees.
It matters not if the guy is married, in fact, even better. To be honest about it, husbands, more often than not, take their wives for granted, while mistresses are spoiled and pampered no end.


As for the men, marital status is not a prohibition, and a beauty queen is a prized catch, escorted and paraded around to make friends and onlookers green with envy.
And if she can be entertaining and artful under the bedsheets, well, that’s a bonus.


And now the bad news and more bad news.
The bad news is that the dark side appears to be winning the war bewildering the good guys with their merciless violence, killing innocent people even as Satan rubs his hands in glee, whose greatest weapon is religious conflict.
If Paris isn’t safe, how can we be safe? But then we were never safe from ourselves.


The other bad news is that a foundling might be elected president, who exposed her ignorance of the law and the Constitution with her little tirade against Justice Antonio Carpio, and will not brook any disagreement with her feelings and decisions.
It seems her Marcos blood is beginning to show.


Okay, okay, you want to hear the good news too.
Baguio was teeming with tourists last week, consterning us highland folk with traffic and other woes. Well, the more traffic, the better for business.
Only 32 days to go at Pasko na. Only eight months more for the daang matuwid that never was.
Hopefully, the moon will not be turning red in the near future, not while a black man sits in the White House.
Hillary Clinton would make a great American president if she were to adopt some of Trump’s crazy ideas. Belated birthday greetings to our inaanak Gladys Vergara, (my Minda is her baptismal godmother) who became a golden girl last Nov. 17.