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Being Filipino

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Being Filipino
Ronald Roy — 2012 December 11

Juan Miguel Marquez did his homework; Manny Pacquiao didn’t. Marquez unleashed two sneaky Mayweather rights to Manny’s kisser, the first in the third round for a mandatory 8 count, and the second in the sixth round for the full count. The Sarangani Congressman who campaigned hard against the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill was out cold. If we go by tongue-in-cheek predictions, opposition to the RH bill in both Houses of Congress will be knocked out cold.

On the other hand, Bishop Broderick Pabillo had divined that the destructive rage of Typhoon “Pablo” was the wrath of God who was displeased by the opposition to the long pending bill—alas, an intimidating statement that the Lord would wreak havoc on the political fortunes of bullheaded candidates and their political parties!

I don’t wish to be disrespectful of the good Bishop, but to his caveat, I say “Poppycock!” lest I be misunderstood as having taken the view that the Lord is a wrathful and vengeful God who chose to give vent to his fury at the expense of thousands of hapless Mindanaons who had nothing to do with the bill.

The Most Reverend Ramon C Arguelles is no different; but first, a brief sojourn to the past.

Some 40 years ago, I read about a Nicaraguan atheist—an atheist is one who does not believe in God—who was the best loved in his community. He enjoyed helping others because their smiles of gratitude meant he had made them happy.

They often came to him for advice regarding problematic family and neighborhood relations, finding wisdom in his constant counsel that “being nice to one another” was the answer to their need for peace and order and development.

They held him up as a righteous and humble man who gave much of himself and thought least of himself. It was an outstanding trait, too, that he did not impose his will on others. He was an atheist who was admired and followed by a purely Catholic village.

His name escapes me now, so let’s call him Nicolas. Now wouldn’t we have a happy world if it were peopled by Nicolases? Of course the question is facetious since it trifles with a serious matter; but it does suggest that the voice of a Nicolas can drown out a Catholic stand on, say, a moral issue.

Personally, it may sometimes take an atheist’s opinion to count a great deal more than the misguided threat of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Arguelles that, because the RH bill poses moral issues, candidates supporting it stand to lose the Philippine Catholic Church’s support in the coming elections.

Pardon me, Your Excellency, don’t you think that intimidation is not exactly the way to win the hearts and minds of your flock? Decades back, Nicolas of Nicaragua was loathe to imposing his will on his fellow villagers. Why, Jesus of Nazareth was himself loathe to imposing his will on those who listened to him!

Greg (Villarica), if my training as a Catholic is correct, the Church (the Pope, in particular) is infallible on matters of dogma (e.g., that the Blessed Mother was conceived free of original sin in the womb of her mother St. Anne.) On matters of morality, it is sometimes infallible, such as in holding that abortion, being an act that destroys human life, is an immoral act. Like adultery. Like stealing.

It is my opinion, Greg, that life starts in a woman’s womb only upon fertilization of an ovum by a sperm. This being the case, the use of a condom between spouses is neither immoral nor anybody else’s business.  Also, dogmas are non-negotiable, absolute and final, unlike some moral issues in the very controversial RH bill, which are debatable and tentative until a consensus is reached.

Influencing in any way the course of parliamentary debate—such as by the presidential power of allocating pork barrel perks, as well as by fire-and-brimstone caveats from the clergy—are uncalled for. It is unfortunate for Pres. Noynoy Aquino, incidentally, that he is generally seen as already having clinched the bill’s passage by buying the support of some greedy legislators.

However, I don’t mind disclosing at this point that I am comfortable with the thought that he has not done an irresponsible thing like that, out of respect for the constitutional spirit of letting both legislative chambers freely determine public policy and enact laws.

Well, Johnny (Medel), I don’t blame you for calling Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago “irresponsible, a brilliant mind gone supercilious, elitist and utterly bereft of humility (hmmm, you sound like a lawyer, Johnny). Sayang”

What the Lady from Iloilo needs to do is to return to earth and do a reality check on two earthshaking statements she made recently, namely, that a great majority of the electorate are “not educated for voting”, and that if there was anything that the butt-baring Jennifer Lopez’s concert did, it was to prove that it fell short of her highbrow standards.

The Lady Senator forgets that it was the unwashed and uneducated masa who made her win in the presidential derby of 1992, her credible insistence that she was cheated by Fidel V. Ramos being beside the point, for, what matters is that millions of uneducated ballots were dropped for her in that presidential contest, as well as in all her other pursuits for public office.

Holy macaroni, Miriam! They grant you your supplication for votes, then you insult them for being uneducated in voting for you?! Hahahah x100!!!

But then, wait, I see now why you are a hit with the masa: You are funny! Even if you’re not doing or saying anything, when people see you, they laugh! They love you like they do some showbiz clowns who have made it to big-time politics through uneducated votes!

As for that J Lo concert, well, I commiserate with you for having been bombarded by the deafening sound system, the same way I commiserated with that impeachment private prosecutor who protected his eardrums by cupping his ears with his hands! And I wish I could be like you: a connoisseur of the arts! Wow! So, please teach me a little of your patrician taste by answering the following questions.

One, why did tenor Dave Brubeck agree to sing the famous “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”? Two, what inspired the French impressionist, Claude Monet to paint “Rondo a la Turk”? Three, is it true that hamburgers and frankfurters originated from Hamburg and Frankfurt, respectively? Four, was Beethoven’s Symphony No. 42 composed before he lost his eyesight? Five, in the opera Tosca, why did Rin Tin Tin growl at Cio-cio San?

Excuse me, Ma’am? You don’t have the answers to those questions? Well, well, well, welcome to the club, Senadora! But neither do your uneducated fans, nor I! Tell you what: Why don’t we respect and be nice to them? Like you and myself, they’re just being Filipino.

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