September 30, 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 March 22, 2011.)

Back in the old days when your folks and mine were still walking the face of the earth, Filipino filmmakers and even Hollywood itself, the cinema capital of the world, loved to make movies depicting supposed real life, albeit with a fairytale touch.
And so it was that a rich man’s daughter would fall in love with the good looking family driver, or the sole heir to a large fortune would elope with the housemaid at the expense of losing his inheritance.
But that was yesterday.
Today both men and women are quite careful and more discerning in choosing lifetime mates, the men keeping in mind pedigree, education, and social status, while the women now care little about features, more concerned about security in life than anything else, and only power, money, and position – in that order – can provide that need.

For example, Manny Pacquiao is deemed to be one of the most attractive men in the country presently. Stripped however of his fame and fortune, he wouldn’t merit a glance from any girl – except Jinkee, Princess, and Queenie.
And President Noynoy Aquino is good looking only because he is currently the most powerful man in the nation today, able to dispense favors that would more or less make any woman happy.
The trouble is that Noynoy is beginning to think that women are at his beck and call, which is good for him, since his 50 years of bachelorhood appears to be an indication of how he rates himself in the courtship department.

Take note that at one time, the Nippon used to be the flavor of the month for many Filipino women, and why are the Chinese escorting many of our prettiest girls – rather cockily, if I may add.
You are right, it is envy that impels me to be critical of lotharios with money, but I am a proud Ibaloy, and I wouldn’t exchange faces with them for all the money and power in the world, even if I am no Richard Gomez, who, I am sure, would feel the same way.
Alas, however, in the skirt chase, I am about a lap or two behind, but I guess some men are born truly lucky. One can only blame the women for being too practical, but such is life.
In sum, if you are a half century old and still unmarried, it can only mean that you know nothing about women or just plain gay or both.
Incidentally, if you are a public figure and you date women openly, no way you should complain about the surrounding publicity.

Chavit Singson and Erap Estrada were spotted sitting and eating together during Doña Dionisia’s birthday bash in General Santos City. Smiling like old friends as if there was never any rift between them or were once bitter foes, everything seemed to be right with the world.
But any mind reader will tell you that is not the case. I do not know if the two shook hands, but if they did, one or the other must have washed his hands later with rubbing alcohol.
In politics involving wealth and power, the scars inflicted will not heal even if hell freezes over. Like Judas kissing Jesus, this is what Mafia godfathers do before they blow one another away to kingdom come.

What is it about old men that they can’t resist pawing younger women? Or what prompts a powerful political figure like Arnold Schwarzenegger to sire a child with the househelp.
I look to their wives for the answer. Don’t they get enough sex under the covers on the conjugal bed, do their wives treat them badly that they need to look for thrills and pleasures somewhere else? Or maybe that’s precisely what they are – just dirty old men.

What is Pacman up to? Already an eight-time world boxing champion, a congressman, and a certified cassanova with oodles of cash running into billions, also a part-time singer and movie actor, he now wants to prove that he has brains to engage Edsel Lagman in a debate over the RH Bill.
That’s pushing his luck a bit too far. Leave the intellectual work mister lucky dog Pacman to Edsel, all that bible quoting will not make even your die-hard fans believe that you are a “genius” as well.

Enough, enough, pretty soon you will be thinking of running for president. Sure, you can win, given the chemistry of voters this country has, but unlike boxing, winning is not the issue, it is leadership, but not of the Obama or Aquino kind.
Edsel and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, both University of the Philippines graduates, will tell you that the true mark of intelligence means knowing your limitations. For example, I know I will never become a world champion, a billionaire, or a congressman, but I know when to keep my trap shut – difficult as it is for a lawyer like myself to do that.
Hinay hinay lang champ, huwag kakagat sa pakana ng mga buwaya na naka-barong o bestida.