June 4, 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 Feb. 8, 2015).

Letter of an unfaithful husband to his trusting wife
My dearest Nora,
Cebu is beautiful at this time of year, a little warm but only so, and it gets to be nippy and foggy in the early morning. Again I find myself wishing you were here with me so we can spend Valentine’s Day together, but you have yet to get over your fear of flying.
Our lawyer’s convention will last up to the 15th, although I am thinking of dropping everything and fly back to your arms this Saturday. But all the flights this weekend have been fully booked, so I will just have to suffer the solitude – having breakfast alone, watching television all evening long, or going to bed early with Grisham’s latest novel, about a hotshot attorney who makes millions in insurance practice.
Calling you would be quicker, and I am really excited to hear your voice, but isn’t this how we started out? Me making my feeling known in the paper airplanes I would send flying in our History class. Besides, letters last forever, unlike phone calls that you need to rush and soon forget over time.
But letters you neatly tuck in one corner, and when you are feeling low or under the weather, reading the letters over and over can cheer you up, like watching your Ateneo volleyball team clobber perennial rival La Salle in a championship match.
Given the turtle-pace service of our postal system, I send this letter via JRS, straight from my heart to yours.
Your ever loving husband,

Ramon nearly jumps upon hearing his mistress screaming at the bedroom door in the hotel suite they are occupying. “What are you doing,” the woman shrieks,” writing a letter to your wife? For a lawyer you are pretty dumb. Letters, or anything in black and white, can be used as evidence against us – did you hear me – us, us, so tear up that letter and throw the shredded pieces in the trash basket.”
Poor Ramon, he could hardly hear himself saying, “Okay sweetheart, good as done.” As his girlfriend slams the door shut, Ramon could only look up to the ceiling, muttering, “Oh God, how did I get myself into this mess?”

Dear Gretchen,
I write this letter only because you are not answering my calls. Are you with your lover again? Of our four kids, how many are his, or more to the point, do I have any?
When I told my friends 10 years ago that I was going to marry you, they all said to give the matter a serious second thought. It turned out, not just me, but all of us, were sleeping with you.
My mom is urging me to file for divorce, since she says probably none of our four girls are her granddaughters. Mine or not, I can only pray that “our” kids won’t take after you. You were born a whore, my darling, and because I love you I worry that you might die of AIDS or worse, at the hands of a jealous wife. Sure, sure, I know exactly what your answer to this one will be, “The pleasure was worth it, none of which I enjoyed from you. Mr. Cuckold.”
Please consider this letter as a notice for annulment.

Folding the letter carefully, a tear from Mario’s eyes stains it. “I should shoot myself,” Mario says to no one, “but that would only be giving my bitch of a wife her cake and eat it too.”
A flash report on the TV catches Mario’s attention. And Mario does a triple cartwheel when the newscaster blurts out the news that a certain Gretchen Cruz, allegedly married to one Mario Cruz, had been run over by a speeding truck, and that she didn’t make it to the hospital alive.
Mario cries aloud, “God is good,” falling to the floor on his knees.
I wish all my readers a Happy Valentine, even as I yield the next space to the new City Prosecutor, Elmer Sagsago.

Becoming the head of a government office is the dream of every employee. So it was with me when I joined the City Prosecutor’s Office way back in May 1984 as a legal researcher.
On Jan. 22, the President signed my appointment as Baguio City Prosecutor. With this, my younger sister, Amelia, chided me, saying “it is another bandana on your head.”
My appointment did not come easy. To reach the President, I have to go to “A”, who will endorse me to “B”, who in turn endorses me to “C” and who finally brings me to “D”. The combined efforts, good wishes, and support of all of these are what I am grateful. I cannot name all of these persons from “A” to “D” because of delicadeza arising from their office and/or who they are. But foremost, I am grateful to the Almighty for giving me this opportunity.
There too is my family, especially to my mama, who is now 80 years of age. They stood behind me, especially in my lowest point when everything looked gloomy. My mama has every right to be beaming.
I cannot of course deny that at the top of the totem pole is Deputy Executive Secretary for General Affairs, Atty. Popoy Pilando. The Pilando family and I have known each other for more than 20 years.
Then, there are Attorneys Pia Mallarie, my batchmates in law, my former students who have worked in Malacañang, and to Atty. Marie Rafael and her connections in Manila.
I am grateful also to three generals who did some “push” for me. My thanks go also to Dra. Amefil and Boy Alejandro.
Then there is also Therese, my sister in spirit, who did her own push for me.
My two former bosses, here is my eternal gratitude to you (by the way, you are always free to come and sit in my chair whenever you pass by the office). I want also to express my gratitude to the members of the Cordillera Legis Integrated whose silent prayers contributed to the boost which I needed. Finally, I want to make special mention to Joey Salupen in the Office of the Executive Secretary in Malacañang.
To all of them and to those whom I cannot mention here, my saying thank you is not commensurate to the support you extended to me.
Thanks Benny for accommodating me. Just come anytime to regale the office with your stories – true or half true.