Public service is about serving all the people, including the ones who are not like you.
— Hollywood actress Constance Wu
IT’S just a month away from Christmas Day and for most, the beginning of the Yuletide season has already begun since the so-called ‘ber’ months started way back September. And according to American billionaire Bill Gates, with Christmas just around the corner, it means a lot of people are starting to ponder and decide what they are going to give their loved ones amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
And the enigmatic co-founder of tech giant Microsoft says, “I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a good book.”
This I consider auspicious and really, really true . . .
When I was about ten, my mom brought me a number of pocketbooks—without even telling me what to do with them (although it’s obvious she wanted me to read them, which I didn’t). I shelved them and forgot all about them for a while.
Then years later, I somehow noticed them while digging into my stuff, and out of curiosity, I started browsing the more-or-less 4×6-inch pages of the pocketbooks until I began to enjoy reading them. Lo and behold! I found them to be interesting and I eventually delved into devouring the pages as I got into the stories narrated vividly of the American West when cowboys and Indians were the features of the day.
And from these first three Western pocketbooks (one, I remember, entitled Alias Dix Ryder and the other written by the prolific Louis L’Amour), I graduated into science fiction and fantasy adventure and especially heroic narratives—admiring the likes of ERB or Edgar Rice Burroughs in his Martian series and Tarzan novels, idolizing pulp fiction writer Robert E. Howards in his sword and sorcery tales and drooling over Michael Moorcock’s unbelievable epic saga and stories of gods and goddesses and forgotten heroes and heroines.
Reading them gave me immense pleasure and I felt like in a world of my own that was away from the boring humdrum of city life in this modern-day era of humankind.
This is why until now I love to read.
IN the past days or weeks (or even months), my readers may have noticed that I have been writing about a number of politicians who are now eyeing to be elected once again in next year’s national and local elections scheduled on May 9.
I wrote about pareng Tito (Sotto) and pareng Lito (Atienza), my close friend Benjamin Abalos and his son Benhur, pareng Egay (Erice) of Caloocan, the People’s Champ and Christian pastor Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao, former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, and even the good mayor of Manila Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso, who is now running for president.
I know I wrote ‘pro and con’ about all of them but rest assured that whatever I wrote—negative or positive—are based on incidents and occasions I personally experienced with them.
And this is the reason why I have decided to support and vote for some of them and to throw away the candidacy of the others I dislike because they remain in my mind as people whose promises are broken.
And I recently heard Partido Reporma’s standard-bearer, veteran senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson, remark about “walking the talk” after he voluntarily surrendered himself for a ‘drug test’. That’s one for the books as I know he’s got the balls to stand by his word as a former PNP chief and an officer and gentleman.
From what I saw, when I first met senator Ping—whom I got acquainted through then-senator Teofisto ‘TG’ Guingona III and immigration associate commissioner Arthel Caronongan—this guy, who has been exposing corruption and anomalies in government, is one mean dude when it comes to fulfilling his promises and standing firm about his advocacies and principles. Suffice it to say that this is probably the reason why my brother-general Guillermo Lorenzo Tolentino Eleazar has joined him in his quest to further serve the Filipino people.
But in “walking the talk,” what can we really say about the other candidates gunning for various positions in government? Can they do the same? Just asking . . .