February 1, 2023

(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 Aug. 5, 2018.)

No other people on earth are friendlier and more fun loving than Filipinos.
Good food, good company, and a good time is what us Pinoys crave for.


The truly wonderful thing about this so called “Pearl of the Orient” is that you need not go out of your way to enjoy your visit while here.
Good restaurants and other fine dining places are everywhere, offering both local and international cuisine, even as clubs and bars are open 24/7.


There are also casinos in every corner of the metropolis, but if you are not much into night life, from north to south of the archipelago are some of the finest resorts and breathtakingly beautiful beaches that world be the envy of Cancun, Malibu, Hawaii, and yes, even “Puckett”.
And if you are the adventurous type, scaling Mount Pulag can be quite exciting but be sure to bring thick and warm clothing so you won’t freeze to death.


And anywhere you go, you will meet a throng of smiling faces who will accord you a hospitable welcome and make you feel at home, and before you know it, as night falls, following the setting of the sun in red and gold, you will soon find yourself dancing and singing, surrounded by a truly friendly town folk, clapping their hands in tune with the music.


Alas, there are downsides, but that would be more the exception than the rule.
When in the big city, avoid people offering themselves to be your guides, and if you notice something suspicious, go or call the nearest police precinct.
That is not the case, however, along the countryside, where the locals are kind of heart, only too willing to lend a helping hand.


For the lonely and forlorn, Filipina lasses have their own comforting ways, and for the elderly matronas out for one romantic last hurrah, our Southern breed gentlemen can help ease your need. They may talk funny and sweet, but that adds to their aura.
And the men from the South? Stay away from them if you are carrying a fortune.
Joke only, but I guess you got the message. I refer actually to the big city gentlemen sporting mustaches and wearing barongs or classy attire, hobbled by too much gold and jewelry hanging from their bodies.


I was – or am – a big fan of Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil.
Back in the old days when columnists were feared but respected, during the heydays of Doroy Valencia and Joe Guevarra, Nakpil set herself apart from the rest.
While Ka Doroy was hard hitting, and black mamba Guevarra was humorous, Nakpil was funny, witty, and incisive.
Then and now, journalism is a field where the women truly excel.


In my nearly 40 years as a columnist for the Midland Courier, I do not recall any lady journalist to whom I didn’t deter to – well, okay, except for one who writes for a national broadsheet, soon to make with Stephen Baldwin.
As (former United States President Donald) Trump would likely say, mercilessly mimicked as he is by a Baldwin sibling, Stephen is a third rate actor.


Don’t forget there is Alec and Eric, but the movie will be good for Stephen’s career, soon to be the father-in-law of Justin Beiber.
But I have to hand it to Mocha, were it not for her unbridled idolatry for Digong, she writes pretty good, or not bad for a former dancer.
I say this only because as my late cousin RTC Judge Domingo “Roy” Masadao, Jr. used to say, “Those who love to dance have more brains in their feet than in their heads.”


But back to “Chitany” Nakpil on summer days that she was up in Baguio escaping from the lowland or Manila heat, I would stalk her all the way to Star Café. Where do you think Gemma Cruz got her six-foot frame and stunning beauty.
There aren’t just dirty old men, growing up boys are just as filthy, both of mind and body.
On her way up to Ilocos Norte accompanied by friends to attend the Marcos burial, Chitang and company decided to take lunch at the Riverview restaurant in Rosario, La Union, where my two boys and I were also having lunch.
Scanning the menu, curiosity got the better of her, she asked the waiter what the CPA was. “Chicken pork adobo, ma’am,” the waiter answered.
How can a literary giant like CGN not know what CPA was? Throwing her head back in laughter, she said to the waiter, “Akala ko Certified Public Accountant.”
And we all laughed with her.

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