December 5, 2023

(Editors’ note: The Midland 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 Oct. 8, 2006.)

It is just another interpretation of the Golden Rule, only more wicked, that what you do unto others comes back at you twice or three times over, perhaps more.
Like if you fool around with another man’s wife, some married DOM (dirty old man) will later run off with your 17-year-old daughter who is the apple of your eye.

Here then are the rules to follow if you happen to be something or another.
If you are a congressman, be faithful to your friends, but even more so to your constituents.
In other words, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
At the moment, the congressman is getting along just fine even with his most severe critic, namely me.

If you are a mayor, be faithful to your allies and colleagues, but more so to your spouse.
In short, keep your enemies close, and your (girl) friends closed.
To paraphrase an old saying, those who do not learn from Bong Karno and Nguyen Van Thieu are condemned to suffer the same fate – eaten by fire-snorting dragons wearing skirts.
Aren’t Dragon Ladies suppose to be things of the past?
If you are a vice mayor, never try to make Solomonic decisions on your own.
If you do, the sun will never come out of the clouds to spread its sunshine, and the ensuing darkness will not be good for your political agenda.
Avarice is truly a deadly sin.

If you are a councilor of the portly or diminutive variety and a lawyer as well, shy does not constitute a lack of social graces, but rather keeping everything for yourself, including what should be shared with another.
If you shy someone, the favor that you got will almost certainly be the last one.
In sum, never make a promise that you have no intention of keeping.

Again, if you are a councilor deemed to be the hope of the Cordillera, it would be unwise to stray beyond the mahjong table.
Words spreads quickly, and contrary to your ambitions, the road to Congress is not paved with gossip that makes for interesting conversation.
Romance and under the bedsheet wrestling matches can tucker out your body and pocket.
When you come charging, do so in shining armor a riding a white steed, with the other half by your side and clinging to your arm.

And lastly, if you are a lawyer with eyes that stray from skirt to skirt, best – as the Bible says – to pluck out your eyes before you forget yourself.
Besides, all the family courts are clogged with annulment cases.
If you like, embrace Islam and repent later.
Remember too that in life, we all have our eyes and serpents.
The secret, however, is not to partake of the forbidden fruit.
Like Pat Boone croons, “Be faithful darling”.