Parrots and aliens

Senator Grace Poe may appear as the frontrunner in current surveys with many businessmen reportedly gung-ho about supporting her, but we know of at least several who are hesitant to throw in their lot with her because of several gentlemen identified with her. Teodoro Daniel Misael “Neil” Llamanzares, better know as the husband of Grace Poe, is identified with San Miguel Corp. and there are “concerns” that she could be influenced by SMC boss Ramon Ang—something that her supporters told Happy Hour is ridiculous, pointing out that the lady is “her own man” as seen in the way she stood firm on the Senate findings that said the president must bear responsibility for the Mamasapano debacle.

Some of our buddies with overactive imaginations figure that the SMC connect must have fueled the “lasengga” rumors propagated by certain groups that must be so afraid of the lady senator derailing the chances of their preferred candidate. Some bright boys are encouraging the disqualification case against Senator Grace hoping to use it as a leverage to force her hand into agreeing to slide down to VP for 2016—but wouldn’t that disqualification case also apply even if she scales down her political aspirations and throws her lot with their preferred presidential candidate?

While there are many who are sympathetic to Poe (we Filipinos usually have a soft spot for anyone perceived to be the underdog or getting persecuted), we know of quite a number who are also bothered by the thought that she could be an alien—not the ET kind of course but as an American citizen. Although the burden of proof lies in the accuser, an interview with her son Brian—who is described as a broadcast journalist--left many (purists most especially) uncomfortable when they heard the young man speaking in Tagalog with an “accent.” Sure, many rich kids who grew up with English as their “native tongue” also have a funny way of pronouncing Tagalog words but hey, what’s the likelihood of them becoming “First Children”?

On the other hand, the prospect of Mar Roxas as next president is not also a comforting thought to many, and for obvious reasons. The poor guy (we don’t mean literally of course because he comes from affluent clans) seems so lost trying to find his own identity, our heart sometimes just melts in sympathy. After Mr. Palengke, nothing seems to have really worked. Boy Bawang? Boy Barker? Boy Pukpok? Naah…

This time though, it looks like Mr. Roxas has just acquired a new moniker as Mr. P--not Mr. President although his Liberal Party rah-rah boys are tickled pink at the thought. His statements at the recent Philippine Sugar technologists Association in Cebu brought tears to our eyes (as we rolled on the floor clutching our tummy) when he opined that traffic congestion is a sign of prosperity and economic activity. Try telling that that to the millions of commuters who have to waste hours waiting in line for a ride on disreputable, claustrophobia-inducing MRT and LRT trains and chances are, you’d get lynched. Or what about passengers who get stressed when they see the clock ticking but they’re not moving an inch and the thought of missing their flight becomes a certainty?

Somebody better give the Interior Secretary a copy of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) report that says P2.4 billion in terms of productivity is lost every single day due to traffic, and that the hours wasted on the road are also taking their toll on families with parents unable to spend quality time with their children because they arrive home late and beat due to traffic, then wake up early the next morning while the children are still asleep because they want to avoid being stuck in traffic that now seems to happen regardless of the hour.


Cheers! to our buddies in Quezon City who can afford to loll on the bed for a while longer because today happens to be a special non-working holiday in commemoration of the 137th birthday of Manuel L. Quezon, who was our president from 1935 to 1944 during the Commonwealth. Quezon had a lot of quotable quotes, the most popular of them being “I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans…”

But before you roll your eyes in disagreement, remember the other half of the quotation that goes: “Because, however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it.” Yup, let’s count the days until May 9, 2016 when we can truly feel the power of Quezon’s words. Or as Obama said, “Change, we can!”


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