July 18, 2024

(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 June 15, 2008).

That was what they used to call us in the old days of my early years – a stubborn, almost rebellious defiance of the rules, and for no reason other than being young.
Nearly fifty years since my teenage days, and the kids of today are pretty much the same – rude, unpleasant, still defiant.
I used to live in a quiet neighborhood, a 10-minute walk to the center of town, or just a jeepney ride away.
But ever since Saint Louis University moved from its old campus along General Luna Road to its present site, things have not been the same in Barangay New Lucban, last refuge of the once landed Carantes clan.

Suddenly residential houses become boarding houses, and before long, every available space was converted into a barbecue or banana cue stand.
Vacant lots now housed eating places and beer joints, and the girls, surprisingly, can outdrink the boys at any time of day or night.
Teeming with students just hanging around till their next class, the thick cigarette smoke is equaled only by the endless chatter and the overly loud laughter, unmindful of the rights – or at least the dignity – of older folks like myself.

Being young once, I understand that youth itself is a kind of license to be boisterous, irrelevant, noisy, or generally making a nuisance of oneself.
But the youth also have their responsibilities – to tackle schoolwork in the best way possible, and always to be considerate of other people’s feelings, particularly the elderly.
I do not think however, that until the day I breath my last – hopefully years from now, even if the Grim Reaper seems to be setting his sights on lawyers at the moment – Rizal’s hope for the fatherland will mend their ways.

And, speaking of the messenger of death, he seems to have likewise taken a fancy to movie action stars.
First, the Philippine movie king himself, Fernando Poe Jr., and just recently, Rudy “Daboy” Fernandez.
But take a look at comedian Dolphy, already pushing 80, yet still in a happy union with his Zsa Zsa.
I guess being humorous is better than being serious, but it is hard to laugh in today’s trying times.

Prices are rising, and one can never have enough money to buy even just necessities.
It seems it is farewell forever to the luxuries of life, and pretty soon we will all we walking, given the spiraling gasoline prices.
And since even the rich can no longer really afford the costs of the latest designs in fashion, Yves San Laurent has decided to call it quits and gone to the next world.
But hey, Pitoy Moreno is still around, and so is his older sister, my old Humanities professor, poetress Virgie Moreno.
Some people live forever.

Although not as widely celebrated as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day today is reason to rejoice for all fathers, if only for that alone – being a father.
Fatherhood is the best thing that can happen to any man. A father sees himself in his son, and sees his mother or better half in his daughter.
The sweetest word in the world to a father’s ear is not sweetheart or darling, it is daddy, pop, papa, or just plain tatay or tatang.
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, and especially to mothers who are fathers too.