July 23, 2024

IN A BIG University – some years back, were jesting two members of Faculty: Drs. Julius Salerno and Emil Michs.
THEIR TOPICS BORDERED on New Years, Birth dates, Politics, and Luck – in general. I was their uninvited listener; I was sitting at the far-end of the long no-drawer table, checking some papers. Began Dr. Michs:
“EY, CAES (DR. Julius’ nickname – maybe ‘shortened’ from Caesar(?).. I was guessing), good morning. You got anything ‘new’ to share.. tell me?”
‘SURE, DO, ZAPATA (That’s how he addresses his friend, Dr. Emil. Some peers of theirs call or directly address him as: ‘Dr. Emiliano’ –[maybe..] you and I have seen at one time or another – in the movies, the renowned Mexican leader, Emiliano Zapata? I was guessing again, as) they continued. Dr. Emil:
“INSTEAD OF GOOD Morning, we should be greeting each other: ‘Happy New Year!, don’t you think so?” Caes’ answer came – a flat:
‘NO, I DON’T THINK so! [diphthongizing] the two “o”s so they sounded like: Neu, I deunt, etc. And Dr. Emil countered with a:
“AND, WHY NOT? (giving /a/ an undiphthongized sound while /o/, the almost-rounded rendition]. They both smiled. Then, Caes again:
‘MY NEW YEAR begins: during the first day after my Birthdate. Like,
‘YOU ALREADY KNOW I was born on a July 29; so, I start counting.. July 30, as my Day one in this world.. and so on!
‘CANDIDLY, I CAN’T assure myself if it is correct to greet (or celebrate) with ‘everybody’ January 1st as: [Happy] ‘New Year!’ Don’t you think that’s for those who were born December 31st of the year previous?’ Dr. Emil smiled.. then soon, cast aside the smile.. He was thinking and decided to change gear:
“SAY, CAES.. YOU were born on July 29.. Many claim that in certain instances, one’s character, success, achievements, line (the thin red one), etc., will be parallel – if not similar, or duplicative(!) of those who were born on that date – or thereabouts?”
[DR. CAES WAS TAKEN aback with Dr. Emil’s pronouncements, et. al. question.. in this rarest of few times.. but still shot close swing a:
‘AND YOU BELIEVE that so? By the ways, who in-mind is the great one you wish to allure semblance of my birthdate, and..
“GENGHIS KHAN – THE greatest Mongol in History.. he was born a Leo – in the Zodiac Sign.. and you did mention his name once or twice – in a Conversation like this.. not so long time ago,” came the spontaneous and speedfast reply of Dr. Michs.
[THIS TIME I looked at both of them – trying to be neutral-natural in my Gesture, but anticipating some ‘changes’ in their segmental supra closeness. Then, I ‘noticed’ Dr. Caes’ smile, or – grin.. to Dr. Emil’s words; he was as if trying to inch out some intentims of malice – or fun, from his friend.. but he shook his head then spoke]:
‘THERE YOU GO again, Zapata. Are you serious? Though Anthros may classify my black hair, pointed knees, and Epicanthic Fold as of that great man’s race, I am no descendant – like you are not(?) of the Gobi desert riders and conquerors. But, I can tell you this – mi amigo de Caboloan; (“My friend where once flourished the bolo bamboo”; or) Bambusa Vulgaris – as Prof. Vic Lamug would identify it scientifically. ‘Mi amigo’, resumes Dr. Julius:
‘THE WINDS OF the Gobi Desert may have blown(!) dusts or ashes in this direction of ours.. and the same gusts of air ended up in our oxygen atmosphere reserves that our elders everyday breathed.. so breathing in and out these oxigusts, we got geo-genetically ‘ingrediented’? Ah, the stories of earth movements, winds and dusts, etc., they give us some ideas of amongst-peoples’ inter-influencing phenomenal results! [L-o-l-s, or ‘Lots of Laughs’, from both of them]. Dr. Michs again:
“CAES, I WONDER.. If we, here in the Philippines, were to choose – formally and finally, our own Filipino greatests – in the likeness or semblance of what we, a while ago, were saying as the Mongol greatest in history.. who could we..”
“YES, WHO COULD it be? Adds up Dr. Julius. “In the USA, they have George Washington; in England, Winston Churchill; in France, ahh, so many of them: Napoleon I, Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motrier – Marquis de La Fayette, or Gen Louis Joseph de Montcalm, and so on.. but in the Philippines..”
‘SO MANY OF them too! Lapu-Lapu, Daguhoy, Diego Silang, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, Generals Antonio Luna, Gregorio del Pilar, Emilio Aguinaldo, Miguel Malvar; or even the later Presidents: Manuel Quezon, Sergio Osmeña, Manuel Roxas – our leaders, all Filipinos, and Contemporaries of the WWII, USA greatest general: Douglas Mc Arthur.
“INDEED, SO MANY of our leaders – ‘greatests’ during those times.. you didn’t ‘look for’ them.. they just came a-sprouting.. as the years rolled.. as decades passed by..
‘AND JUST A few we were able to mention a while ago..’ [like apologizing Dr. Caes was].
“OUR COUNTRY – AND our people were much luckier those times: They had had strong, decisive, foresightive leaders – heroes all: amongst them. Now..”
‘NOW, IN THESE times.. we got still ‘natural upcoming leaders.. yes, in our very own midsts’. The only difference now is: they have to submit themselves first – for “assessments”, to the people.. by means of.. you thought right: by Election, Woe! If they lose once or twice, and they lose flare to run again, we miss their potentials. Woe, anew!
“YES, ZAPATA. NOT many of them make it with continual good-old Elections. Like how the Cordi song goes: wada’y swerte, wada’y malas! (Free transl: “Some are luckier, some are not!”).