December 8, 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 Jan.15, 2012)

In the good old days when honesty and morals were priced higher than gold or fame, a single mom would not only be banished by her distraught parents from the family home, but would also be forced into exile by an unreasonably irate community, whose idea of an upright woman was one who remained a virgin until she tied the knot. Moreover, single moms kept their fate secret, not blurting it out for all the world to know.
Mum, not mom, was the word.

Today, single moms go on TV to proclaim how proud they are of being able to raise kids without the help of the biological father, and in the same breath say that they have no regrets about what happened in the past, a remorseful mistake that could have been avoided.

Indeed, times are changing. Gays are clamoring for rights to marry one another, citing the fundamental law as a constitution for all, and not limited to two genders.
Even if the Church warns that gay marriages are destructive of the social order, the gays are quick to retort that what they actually want is a fusion of two souls sharing similar sentiments.
How funny that in the good old days I speak of here, the gay men kept their desires under wraps, pretending to be real men, while the thunder dames made a big show of their sexual preference by acting like men – wearing pants, smoking and drinking, and posturing like toughies.

But even the social and political scenery have likewise been affected by some kind of change, not just the weather. Justices then and other members of the judiciary earned their living by the sweat of their brow, and not from the grease on their palms. None of them lived in multi-million peso plush condos, albeit residing in respectable neighborhoods commensurate to their station in life.
For all their denials, today’s political and business leaders have become quite passionate about making (often wrongly) oodles of money, infecting even the military.

Oh, by the way, there is no truth to rumors that SM has no love lost for trees because it wants to cut down a whole orchard to give way to improvement and progress in the form of parking lots. No sir, SM loves trees, one kind in particular, and it is the so-called money tree. That kind of tree SM will never cut down, not with all its P and $ leaves.

The first month of 2012, the start of my 70th year here on earth, and I am both sick and healthy. I have a bad cough caused by phlegm in my lungs that I have a hard time getting rid of. I still have trouble sleeping with body pains and all, but hey, I have a voracious appetite and still ogling at the pretty girls, a little vice that my Minda closes her eyes to.
No, I wasn’t bidding farewell with my New Year greetings, it’s just that I hate sending out Christmas cards, and I do not know how to text.

My Minda is missing Lepanto because we haven’t been there since the early part of December last year, but I need to attend to some small legal problems of LMC here in the city. Hopefully, we will be able to go there in the second or third week of this month. We miss our kids too, both of whom are back in Manila, after the holiday break.

A new decade, but I am not about ready to ride off into the sunset. Besides, the dice of the Cebu Chinese temple said I still have a good 10 years – with fingers crossed, since after all, the dice have never failed in their predictions about me. Proof? Years ago, the dice said I had no future in politics, but things would turn up okay for me otherwise.
A loving wife, two wonderful boys who adore and respect me, supportive friends and relatives, a woman who hates my guts, (ditto, bitch), what more could I ask for?