Home > Ronald Roy > A long, long winter awaits us, unless

A long, long winter awaits us, unless

October 25, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

A long, long winter awaits us, unless…
Ronald Roy  -October 25, 2007

        The immortal Joey Bishop, the last of the Rat Pack headed by Francis Albert Sinatra Sr., is dead at 89. Back in 1966, in the main dining hall of the glitzy Waldorf Astoria in New York, I sat four chairs away from Bishop at a long table ordered arranged by the “Chairman of the Board” so that all nine of his male group could eat lunch together. From my own table, I easily recognized Bishop and Peter Lawford but didn’t know the rest. I’ve been a Sinatra fan since I was thirteen, so it was my greatest thrill to sit beside him on this occasion—he had wanted to speak to a Filipino—and to ape him in his rendition of September of My Years and my own lyrical Jack-the-Ripper spoof of Stranglers in the Night. “Blue Eyes” was convinced we sounded “awfully alike”, to quote him, although seventeen years separated our ages. But that’s a forty-one year old story which my readers need not believe. Anyway, they can ask Maricris Vermont, Pilita Corrales, Tricie Cepeda Sison, composer-arranger Louie Ocampo and Joey Albert, among others, who could certify I might have done much better as a professional recording Sinatra mimic than as a lawyer.

       So there’s your answer, #7196, who have heard about my hobby as a singer. Icons are mere mortals, like Pavarotti, Deborah Kerr and a host of other international celebrities. It’s no great shakes to me, really, because I don’t look up to icons. I only look down on idiots, especially of the four-foot-two-inch variety. History’s greatest leaders have come and gone, just as their counterparts in Adolf Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte and their likes have come and gone. And the homegrown small despot is no exception. She too will perish, will be consumed by maggots and will eventually join her blasphemous ranks in the scorching furnace that Hades is. Like all other tyrants, Gloria has used religion with unmitigated impunity to further her evil reign, ever declaring that God would insist she remain in governance notwithstanding her fervent pleas to step down for the sake of national reconciliation kuno. If that blasphemy is not the unpardonable sort against the Holy Spirit, I don’t know what is.

       Incidentally, #7196, thanks for asking me to distinguish between extra-sensory or psychic experiences and instincts. An instinct is an impulse or a reflex reacting usually to a harmful environmental stimulus; and the strongest instinct known not only to man but also to the lowest forms of life is the instinct of self-preservation. Then of course there is the collective instinct of an entire people whose most precious freedoms are being taken away by a ruthless despot. And it is this sovereign instinct for survival, mind you, that will in the end prove superior to the vast arsenal of the runty dictator. In the tumultuous aftermath of Glorietta 2’s tragedy, we are still asking the most moronic questions, running circles like headless chickens, and advancing outlandish theories in the wild and wooly guessing game where the runt has all but defocused our attention on what should be the immediate restoration of our democracy. And she and her gang are benefiting from the political noise of our own stupid making, while we are made to believe that we are making great headway in our search for answers to countless vexing questions over the current political horizon. We must really be nincompoops for allowing her to outsmart us again, what with her latest scheme to complicate the guessing game by making it appear that the Glorietta bomb blast was an accidental chemical explosion for which the Ayalas must now be held criminally and civilly accountable. On this score, nothing prevents me from smelling a post-blast script between the Ayalas and their benefactress, and that’s why these Peninsulares have chosen to remain “quiet”.

       Why yes, I agree, #0031, that it will be useless for Catholic prelates to demand the puny ruler’s eviction from where she squats, if they cannot even speak with one voice. I do not agree, however, it will help our cause any by persuading Speaker de Venecia to join hands not only with the opposition bloc in the House but also with opposition forces throughout the land. That strategy, if one can call it that, will only wilt under the pressure she is known to generate by reason of an incredibly bottomless pit of wherewithal, namely, our money, yours and mine. We have learned once too often that she always wins where the stakes are high, where money is her reliable exterminator, figuratively and literally.

       Do you know why we are out of synch, #0031? Because we refuse to learn from past mistakes. As in chess, we have not learned to go straight at the heart of an exposed queen instead of grabbing a gambit rook. Over the sixty-four-square board, we cannot afford simple blunders, let alone monumental blunders. Well, former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada has just inexplicably capitulated to the offer of a full and unconditional pardon from the queen, Mrs. Arroyo, where incidentally the endgame is played under her own rules. It is a horrendously ill-advised blunder, because even if he’ll be home for Christmas a free man, he will become the biggest disappointment in the lives of innumerable masses who made him their champion by voting him into office in the largest ever landslide in the history of presidential elections in this country.

       As this comment is being typed, I continue to receive email and text messages and cell phone calls from here and abroad, with over sixty percent expressing anger for having been abandoned by a coward, or words to that effect. I have received from Filipino communities abroad (e.g. Canada, the US, Spain, Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc.) messages showing they are generally unsupportive of Erap’s withdrawal of his Motion for Reconsideration of the Sandiganbayan’s guilty verdict. Perhaps their underlying sentiment is this: “Erap, during EDSA Tres many of us died fighting for you. Now that the usurper’s end is near, you have forsaken us. Who will lead us now?”

       Also disenchanted are those, like myself, who believe Gloria’s regime can be toppled only with American help. The mutual defense and trade agreements inked by GMA with Beijing are the principal reasons the US State Department remains on the alert for the most favorable time to order a strike at the despot’s citadel of power. There are of course a number of ways of doing this. In my opinion, however, the Americans will choose that mode of intervention that will least expose themselves as outright interlopers. For instance, they could quietly opt to finance a mass-based EDSA Kwatro uprising. That should be easy for them. A few years ago, a retired American CIA officer became an undercover agent with assignments in the Philippines and one or two other ASEAN countries. After “backgrounding” me, he introduced himself and told me, “We have long agreed with your published stand that coups in your country cannot take place without some form of people power supported by the Catholic clergy. Only a determined massive civilian movement in the streets can restore your cherished freedoms, Ron, and we hope to see it happening soon.”

       Eventually, I was convinced he was not a prankster when I saw him being snappily saluted by U.S. Embassy guards on Roxas Blvd. It’s been almost two years since I last heard from him, but that doesn’t mean their plans have changed. The current confluence of political events and incidents suggests Gloria’s fall will occur not later than November, even if Erap’s request for a pardon has disillusioned most of his followers. But without an EDSA Kwatro before next month’s end, we will all be in for a long, long winter.

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