Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eulogy for Yoyoy (1980-2011)

Drat! When the news broke out, I could not get this queasy feeling in my stomach go away. Yoyoy was confined in San Lazaro Hospital because of leptospirosis and he was struggling to get free from it by trying to recover in the ICU. That was yesterday and got the full force of everyone in the clan (mostly present one way or another in Facebook) hoping and praying that he could hurdle the disease.

Today, noon time, Yoyoy took his last breath and bid this world farewell.

I was writhing in agony over a paper in front of my laptop when the news was relayed to me by my sister-in-law. The news was a shock that made my limbs quiver and lose power. If I was writhing in agony minutes ago about the paper that I was about to write, now I was writhing in pain and that stinging hazy feeling in my head got concentrated flavored with complete surrender to the helplessness of being mortals; and it took me two hours to get my eyes off the computer doing nothing as I waited for Doris to arrive so I could reload my cellular phone and make a call.

The earliest memory that I can recall about Yoyoy was when we were growing up under the wings of Ninong. He was the right hand of Ninong who had a handicraft business. We were the ones who worked for Ninong and when payday comes, all the workers (mostly cousins) would crowd the vacant room in the alley in Lucban and play pusoy. Memorable event was when Ninong took a sip of his San Miguel beer and muttered in aghast and surprise: Lasang ihi tong beer ko a! That made us laugh as Yoyoy came forward that he pissed in an empty bottle and that bottle got mixed up with those still had to be drunk. The grownups were growing and I just knew that Yoyoy was just there growing up in his own time.

The next time I saw Yoyoy, as we were already residing in Cavite, was he turned from a wiry teenager into a heavy young man; a la Bomber Moran with protruding chest and hairy beard going down to his neck.

He was my Christmas/Family reunion beer-buddy. The last time we had that celebration in the house, the moment he alighted the tricycle and approached me as I was trying to keep the coal hot under foiled bangus, he was already asking for one cold San Mig Lights. That was 9:30 in the morning and he was still smarting all he had drunk during Christmas (Christmas Party and Family Reunion in the house is held at 26th). One San Mig Lights that started in the morning before lunch turned up into a beer drinking binge as we drunk the whole day: Red Horse and San Mig Lights. We had a swell of a Christmas/Family Reunion Party. That drunkenness brought him giving me his black Gloc 9 t-shirt. True beer lover turned out to be better than me. At eight in the evening he was still up and going. I had to flee and get some rest in the house.

Now, Yoyoy is gone. But I can tell that he had a good life; an easy life that everybody can drink with him because he had no hang-ups about life in general. What is important is today, this moment. Not the future. Because if we only knew the future we will not worry about it; and I guess Yoyoy knew it.



So long insan.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Taking a Break


Writing for a blog is exhausting. I had to take a rest. A respite. A breathing space so my peripatetic mind can rest and empty itself from self-grandeur delusion.

The path that led me to blogging more than five years ago, I guess, was brought by listening to the radio talk show of Jessica Zafra in the now defunct NU107 station. And also from the accidental discovery of blogspot through the link of Palanca Awardee Dean Alfar when his story won a place in the said literary contest.

The succeeding years following the discovery of an online journal keeper kept me stirred up and alert that I have to compose at least one entry post in a week. Those were hazy days, considering that I need to smoke at least a stick of cigarette and catch from the slowly dispersing smoke the idea that I had to write for the day. I can call that ritual a playful mind joke euphorically and intellectually creating spiritual interpretation based from what I heard, seen, and read from books, radio, newspaper and magazines. So the tag literary mystic is fictitious and creation of an interpretative mind that needs to categorize everything in a box; yes, it is an illusion no matter how high is the pedestal the box have created for your self-centered ego.

Last I know, Dean Alfar has stopped or indefinitely took a break from his blogging activities. I don’t know about Jessica Zafra. But I guess she still continue to blog; ranting about life and childish wish for world domination is a good wishful thinking that can attributed to self-grandeur which she gets paid for. About the rest of the bloggers that I subscribed then I bet most of them have already taken a break to do some money-making activities.

Me, I’m still taking a break (but this statement will only force me to post something soon in this blog so don’t be surprised when another entry is seen after this).

Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Day of 2010 and Welcome 2011

This is the last day of the year 2010. And I think this is rather a long day, waiting to get inebriated to celebrate the coming of the new year. This is also the first time in years that I will be celebrating the end of the year with my family, my real family. No more boozing with people who are not in my immediate family. Last year, I celebrated Christmas and New Year with Doris in Tacloban. We just stayed home the whole time and enjoying the peaceful coming of the year 2010. Just two or three Red Horse while we watched the tube and nothing more. Now, we are already three because Ixtlan is already here. Just home and with the family.


Happy New Year to all!   

Monday, October 11, 2010

Orphaned Memory

“Lucia, would you please do me the favor of pulling up the curtains,” Gabino Santiago rasped on his bed. “I want to see the outside.” An ordered tangle of sensory cables and tubes connected to a pulsating machine at the corner, which gave readings in numbers, ran all over his body.
            “I’ve been expecting to do that as I have been doing for months, old Santiago,” the nurse said. She put his breakfast of oatmeal, glass of milk and a piece of banana on the movable table before him and walked toward the window and pulled the curtain. The weak natural light from outside washed into the room.
            “A favor for you, my love,” the nurse said in a tender, teasing tone.
            He heard how lovingly the nurse called him ‘my love’, but it did not matter a bit to him. All he wanted was to see the outside. He pushed a button besides the steel railing and his bed adjusted propping him halfway up. He looked beyond the glass window, over the spacious green lawn, at the line of old mango trees that hid by its rich foliage a creek, then past the shrubbery knoll to the jagged outline of the city. Soon the sun would rise over those glass and steel buildings and perennial light crafts zooming in and around the labyrinthine streets of the city.
            “Eat your breakfast now, my love.”
            He continued staring at the view outside, not hearing anymore what the nurse was saying to him, staring at the horizon until the blue sky turned lighter and lighter and he watched it with wanton pleasure knowing that he was visually feast on something beautiful beyond description was something he would never forget.
            He could have done watching the sunrise by closing his still sleepy eyes and mentally switching the nanochip in his brain and recall the same, familiar view. But why settle for something artificial when you can have the natural fresher one, he thought; every sunrise always brings a brand new visual experience, if one is only aware, more marvelous than the previous ones.
He squinted from time to time to absorb the invisible spirit of the view. He knew this occurrence will never be orphaned, relegated to a forgotten memory. He would always remember it the way he had experienced it the first time.
Everybody in the world remembers everything now, he thought, smiling bitterly.
            Anyway, the version of his nanochip memory was the still reliable Super MemSoft III that could store fifty more years of experience, if he ever reached that length. His wife had the latest PulseSoft version 6.0 which had a far superior storage capacity with features like capability to tap on its content so one can see her sensory experience and mental objects and mental formations during a specific experience in standard hologram media.
            He winced when he thought about the fact.
            In split seconds the sub-atomic circuitry in his memory chip calculated that it was almost five decades ago, or to be more precise 48 years, three months, seven days, 16 hours, 24 minutes and 45 seconds since the 27th of December of the year 2252. He was a century-and-a-half years old then, and around the globe during that time China suffered a death toll of two thousand who perished when a meteor hit their controlled colony in Mars; the Philippines signed a ten-year agreement with Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia on a space venture to explore Pluto for mineral mining; an earthquake with 7.5 intensity in the Richter scale hit Brazil that virtually severed the country into half as the ground opened a maw of twelve meters wide and several miles long with half a kilometer deep in the gash.
            It was during this time when an inexplicable obsession to recall something in his childhood forced him to consult a memory nanochip specialist.
            Dr. Artemio Baltazar, who sat at the other end of the table, shook his head with stoic, industrial coldness in his mien that could be interpreted as lack of interest in Gabino’s trouble.
            “There’s nothing we can do about it,” the doctor said, leaning on the backrest of his black leather swivel chair as if announcing a terminal verdict on the case.
            “Do you mean there’s no way to retrieve it?” Gabino asked, refusing to comprehend what he had just heard.
            “The problem is that the experience occurred prior to the implant,” the doctor said rocking gently on his chair, then added, “You must understand that the chip’s function is not to absorb and interpret your pre-implant experience. It just does not work that way.
            “There’s still no technology capable of decoding an already imprinted memory in your brain cells. Our science is still too young to pull that kind of thing.”
            “There must be a way, somehow.” Gabino mumbled feebly.
            “Have you tried the old science of regression? Practitioners of this ancient method are now rare. But I bet you can find one. As they fondly say: The soul remembers.”
            Gabino strayed off his sight from the doctor, on toward the wall where wooden plaques of scientific achievements by the doctor hung, and composing mentally the right words to express his sad, frustrated thoughts.
*
            “What I’m trying to recall is of no crucial circumstance to my whole well-being,” Gabino declared.         
“Then why the hell are you bugging yourself with it?” Dionisio Santos, his partner in the business of selling semi-conductors, said.
            “Because nobody longer remembers what it was, that’s why.”
            “I don’t get the importance of remembering whatever it was, kumpadre.”
            Gabino went for his strong beer and took straight gulps of it; his gullet feeling the bittersweet coldness ran inside.  Flustered more to construct an intelligible philosophy behind his concern than the effect of the alcohol, he wiped his mouth by the back of his hand and found solace in lighting a cigarette.
            Taking a drag and exhaling the smoke by which his mind could make out the shape of the mythological dragons, extinct elephants and lions to form finally as a cloud of forgetfulness in the air, he leaned his arms on the table and said:
            “Say, what if a year or ten from now, I tell you that I don’t remember that I mentioned something like this to you?”
            “It can’t happen. We remember everything now, Gabs.”  
            “No. Forget about the chips in our brains. Just for the sake of debating on the issue.”
            “You’re acting stupid,” Dionisio said. “Just enjoy your drink and the show.”
            “No, just follow my line of reasoning.”
            “Okay, okay. If you insist.”
            “So, a year or more into the future, I say to you that I never mentioned something to you about forgetting something and that this drinking session never took place.”
            “Then?”
            “What would be your reaction to it?”
            “Probably, I’d be baffled at your failure to remember it.”
            “That’s right,” Gabino said and taking another gulp for his strong beer and added, “And what if you enjoyed this night, met a girl here that you liked and cherished it.”
            “Then?”
            “Then I say to you in a year or more that I don’t remember that you met a girl here, never.”
            “What would be my reaction then? Probably, I’d be frustrated.”
            “That’s it. Because you’re the only one who remembers it.”
            “So what, at least I still remember it.”
            “But it comes to a point when you just forget everything about it also. And you sense that there is something that you just have forgotten.”
            “You’re twisting my brain, Gabs,” Dionisio said. “Let’s stop this thinking too much.”
            “That’s what happened to me. They are the first to forget. Now, even I can no longer remember what it was,” Gabino said.
            “If nobody remembers it including you, what is there to worry about?” Dionisio said, his nostrils flaring to put logic into it and added with the wisdom of a practical man, “Nobody’s bank account will lose money over that.”
            “I just feel the obligation to remember what it was.”
            “Nonsense. Just enjoy the show,” Dionisio said and trained his eyes on the stage and nudging lightly Gabino’s elbow, “Hey, Gabs. That girl in the middle sure has nice tits.”
            Gabino looked at the girls performing on the stage and took another gulp of his beer and thought, isn’t this obligation to remember that proved to be the push for the successful international law on compulsory implantation of nanochip memory in every human brain? When science discovered the elixir of youth of man by tweaking his human genome – the progress of aging relegated to history and extended the lifespan of man by more than three fold – man now has to face another challenge: the capacity for vivid recollection of his longer life, of his remote past. His natural ability for this task is doubtful, if not impossible. A century of a lifetime is a heavy burden for the natural memory to bear. What more two centuries? To clearly remember a century of one’s lifetime makes one a saint, he thought. Two centuries, with certainty, will send him to the madhouse. Yes, to the madhouse, and to this Gabino slightly wanted to smile at his new found wisdom. To the madhouse, he repeated to himself. Straight to the madhouse.
            “You think too much, Gabs.”
*
            “So what’s wrong with thinking too much?” Gabino said and guzzled the content of his can of beer, freeing his hold of the other end of the morning broadsheet that limped over his lap.
            “I didn’t say it’s wrong. Just occupy yourself with other important things,” Adriana said as she unhooked her bra in front of the cabinet dresser, the blue hologram light of the television, which showed the late evening news, an unstable flickering blue sheen on the skin of her back.
            “What do you suggest as other important things I should occupy myself then?”
            “I don’t know. Just stop burdening yourself with it too much.”
            “You’re saying that because it doesn’t and will never be of your concern.”
            “So, it’s my fault now, eh,” she said, now wrapped already in satin lingerie.
            He ignored what she said and continued reading the morning paper.
            She walked around to the other side of the bed and lay beside him, picking her electronic book on the night table.
            “Can we turn off the TV, hon?”
            “I’m watching.”
            “You’re reading the papers.”
            “Then I’m listening.”
            “Old man,” she mumbled and shrugged.
            He heard that. Old man, he repeated to himself. He furtively stared at her. Her face showed a twenty-something woman at her golden age. He knew also that he looked as a mid-twenty young man, able and brimming with energy of a youth. And nobody could tell that he was a century older than her. He kept staring at her and found the contour of her face perfect and that she was damn so beautiful.
“And will be beautiful for a very long time and never will she forget anything,” he said to himself.
            “What?” she suddenly turned to him.
            Gabino snapped out of his introspection, surprised that she noticed his stare.
 “Nothing,” he said.
            “Okay.” She put down the electronic book on the bedside table and looked straight in his eyes. “Tell me about it.”
            “What about?”
            “About what you are thinking,” she said. “I know you want to say something to me. But don’t talk any crap this time okay.”
            “All I think is crap,” he said.
            She snatched a deep breath, saying nothing for some seconds and then said, still looking at him:
            “Okay, then tell me about this crap you are thinking.”
            “You don’t want to hear anything of this crap. You want me to think about other important things, remember?”
            “Let’s forget I said that,” she said. “I want to listen to this crap you are thinking.”
            Gabino vacillated for a while, but finding an outlet for his thought said:
            “Then they were the ones who forget. Now, even I cannot remember what it was.”
            “That’s normal to happen in your generation: to forget.”
            “But I’m obliged to remember it. To prove that it happened. That it transpired and it was real,” Gabino said. “When nobody remembers it, it is not true. It never happened.”
            She looked at his eyes and put her hand on his then she held his cheeks with both hands.
            “Hon, don’t strain yourself too much thinking about it.”
*
            Dr. Arturo Villanueva entered the room without announcement. Though his presence was felt the moment he strode towards the bed where Gabino lay. The doctor’s white robe impressed in everyone in the room a sort of an apparition of salvation.
            “How are you, Mr. Santiago?”
            “I’m fine,” Gabino forced a polite weak smile at the doctor.
            “That’s good.”
            The doctor glanced at the machines beside the bed, reading the numbers and everything and then turned again toward Gabino on the bed.
            “Is his condition getting well?” Adriana asked sitting by the bed.
            The doctor kept his silence as if not hearing any word from her, going on reading the diagnosis in his electronic notebook. He remained mulling in silence, paying a look at his notebook then giving Gabino a gaze from time to time. Finally, he said:
            “Can I talk to you outside, Mrs. Santiago.”
            “Sure.”
            Gabino followed with his squinting eyes the two who proceeded toward the door and stepped outside, crossing path with the nurse who entered the room with her tray of medicines.
            “How are you, my love,” the nurse greeted Gabino.
            “I feel rotten, Lucia,” Gabino whispered on his bed.
            “Take your medicine then and you will feel great,” the nurse said.
            “How long do I still have to stay in this hospital, Lucia?”
            “As far as the doctor says so,” the nurse said handing to him an array of pills and tablets and added, ”Why, you no longer want to see me, my love?”
            “I miss the outside.”
            “Just follow the instructions of the doctor and your wish will be granted soon.”
            “Okay,” Gabino grumbled and took the medicine into his mouth and pushed them down with a glass of water the nurse had handed to him.
            “Good,” the nurse said to him smiling. “Bye for now, my love, as I have to attend to my other loves.”
            “Bye my love,” Gabino said feeling fine playing with the nurse.
            Adriana returned to the room alone, pushing her hanky inside the pocket of her blouse. She walked toward Gabino and planted on his forehead a tender kiss.
            “What did the doctor say to you?”
            “Nothing. It’s about the bills.”
            “You’re not being true to me,” Gabino said.
            “What do you mean?”
            “I know you are lying. Did he say I’m dying.”
            “Stop it, hon. He said nothing but the bills.”
            “I don’t care if I’m dying.”
            “Stop it.”
            “Probably it’s my time.”
            “Oh, please stop that nonsense.”
            “Okay, I’ll stop then.”
            “Do you want to take a rest?”
            “I can’t sleep when I know I no longer remember it. Nobody remembers it anymore and I keep that awareness to my grave.”
            “What are you talking about?”
            Nobody remembers. That’s what I’m talking about.”
            “Are we getting into this conversation again? I thought you have forgotten about it already.”
            “With a chip in my head I cannot forget that I can’t remember and nobody remembers. That an experience and what had ensued never really existed, never real, when nobody no longer remembers it.
            “And I will take that to my grave.”
             Adriana gazed at Gabino and said:
            “There are experiences meant nobody to remember.”
            “Really?”
“Don’t be a sad fool.”
            “I’m just am.”
            “No, you’re not.”
            “Maybe,” he said drawing near toward her to plant a kiss on her lips.
            “Tomorrow, watch the sunrise again. I’m sure nobody will forget how it is like.”
            “Yes, yes. What a good idea.”
*End*

Monday, September 27, 2010

Picking the Right Friends from the Madding Crowd

As we go along our life, we constantly meet different kinds of people. We talk to them, share lunch together, or join them in regular activities like weekend badminton games or movie watching. They most likely have smiles on their faces when they are with us. But the main question is whether we would embrace them as real friends in the truest definition of the term or treat them as mere acquaintances only. Remember our parents, genuinely concerned about our well-being, would remind us over dinner to wisely choose the people we would associate with? Failure to discern who you mingle with will eventually lead you to trouble or worse a miserable life due to bad company.

Yet, how do we spot who are real friends among the crowd that we come across with in our daily grind. How do we find the people who will be there beside us and honestly look after our welfare? The bad news is there are no books that give answers to all questions regarding friendship. Nevertheless, the good news is experience stands as a good ally coupled with common sense and an ounce of gut feel.

Know Thy Self First
Since what we are after are real true friends, we must understand that they are our extension. How many times have we heard the adage: birds of the same feathers flock together. Friends are our chosen family based on our standard emanating from our self-worth. To find real and true friends one first ought to have a notion of one-self. The individual necessarily has to acknowledge these innate prerequisites given about him:

Ø  He is important and has value – a person must know that no matter what his state in life is, he matters. His views, perspective in life and his whole being is of value.
Ø  He deserves to be happy – there are no signs anywhere that tells one must be miserable. He deserves all the opportunities by which he can be happy and fulfilled.

If one has already known these basic intrinsic rights, then he can proceed smoothly in identifying the persons whom he can call true friends. By then, it is automatic that he has a notion or a glimpse of what his objectives in life are. Establishing this set of intrinsic rights of his being, he should by then established a good self-esteem and confidence. That he is a ‘valuable cargo’ as one popular author puts it.

When one knows his value in life then it will be easier for him to discern who his real and true friends are. Not knowing one’s importance oftentimes is one of the reasons why an individual hangs out with the wrong set of people.

Signs of Who Your True Friends Are

ü  Life is wonderful when you are with them. Life as it is, is sometimes hard and difficult. But once you are with this set of people your problems seem easy to bear and are given solution. Have you noticed that there are people who make you weak and strong? The former are people called energy vampires. They suck your emotional energy by making you miserable one way or the other. The latter are the positive oriented people who are bearer of light. With these people the difficult problems are easy to solve; the impossible problems take time to be given solution.

ü  Your perspective are respected and understood. It is of course not always true that you are right about your views and opinions. But with true friends who are after your welfare, what you say has value, respected and understood before given indirect alternative views. When everything you say is always debunked, then these set of people do not treat you as their equals. Better stay away from them lest they imbibe in you that you are worthless.

ü  They are more goal-oriented. When you want to achieve something in life, hanging out with this kind of people more or less makes you more focused on attaining your goals. These people talk about action and applying it to their plans. It is better if you hang with them since they understand fully well what is in your head than not. More than that, they can even give moral support to whatever you want to attain.

These are NOT your Friends 

ü  After hanging out with them, you are more miserable and problematic as before. Time spend with these set of people can be a wondrous kind of experience. You may have had a fine taste of fun. Life can even be construed as wonderful as you mingle with them. But once you are home, you find yourself in state of deeper misery. Your problems are not even solved but even become worse. Better stay out of these set of people; these people are what the cliché says as fair weathered friends.

ü  Sowing emotional poison is more of a rule during conversation. When the people you are with talk most of the time about other people and pass on to you harsh criticism and bad gossip about other people inside and outside your circle, you better avoid them like plague. These people suffer in great misery. And what do those experiencing misery are inclined to do? They want company. So they spread emotional poison.

The above list points out several things that you may consider when looking for true friends. You can add more to the list based from your experience. What is important is that you have a set of standard of who you can call as true friends.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fun Runs, Nat Geo Earth Day Run, Phil Star Ngayon Fun Run, Running and Smoking

The Wisdom of the Action

Too old for my age to realize but too young at the same time not to pursue it with such passion and enthusiasm, I just learned that there are wholesome activities you can do that can put you in the right situation where the wisdom taught by many spiritual masters about the benefits of an action wherein the process of give and receive can be achieved. Now, do not think that I do not know this since my younger years but the only difference now is you are actually doing it and conscious of it.

For the last month, I have already joined two fun runs, all 5K in distance, and sponsored by Nat Geo and Phil Star Ngayon both with the aim of raising funds to financially assist environmental pursuits and charitable activities. I timed in a modest speed of 45 minutes, too slow for sure compared with seasoned runners but fast enough to burn some calories to make me physically fit than before.

I guess by the way I expressed the second paragraph of this post, you do not have to think deeper what do I mean by giving and receiving at the same time. You run to benefit some disadvantage people and at the same time receive the blessing of making you fit. Of course sometimes the action of participating in fun runs is motivated by the idea to literally have ‘fun’ and second probably the wish to help others. Yet, it can happen simultaneously.

But what is good about these fun runs is the effort you have to exert so you can participate in it more effectively. When I, with the prodding of Lil Feather, had the intention of being part of the Nat Geo Earth Day Run, I had to pursue it with such determination that I can run a 5K distance (though short really if I would say so). This means I have to allot time every morning to run and practice running at the nearest highway road. That means too that I have to cut down on my nicotine consumption – short for smoking – and make it sure that my lungs are pretty clear to last the distance.

Now to pursue the cutting down on my nicotine consumption, this act is something that would veer from my habit encouraged maybe as part of my writing rituals: coffee and cigarette before pounding on that keyboard. I say this is not easy. And for the first time it dawned on me, after running these two fun runs that writing and running does not fit so it seems. Writing is a sedentary way of life wherein most of your cardiovascular exercise is getting a puff of that cigarette as you let your imagination wander or some would say try to squeeze that juice in you while running is totally the opposite of it since you have to use that lower limbs of yours to get from point A to point B and nicotine consumption that clogs your air sacks is plain a no-no in this regard. (But I would say both have the same denominator of sort of being meditation techniques – do not ask me why since my reasoning for it just passed by almost eons ago and I have no intention of pursuing it.) Nevertheless, running makes me conscious to moderately cut down on my smoking which is good for the heart and lungs.

When all is done and you finished struggling to get to the finish line in these fun runs, when all the lining ups for the freebies and that ionized drink and burger have ended – and of course after catching to take your energy back by sharing time at the deserted parking lot with your wife – you know you have done something good to others that who have no way of repaying you back. Their research how to developed environmentally driven house may be will continue or most probably some youngsters out there will have finally a decent classroom to go to. And the thought of it is enough.

And when you go home aboard that jeepney going to the van terminal, the morning air touches your still sweating face and realized: you just have given and received something at the same time. You have done yourself good and same with the others.

A smile is enough to think about the wisdom of the action.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mental Health: 1992 and 2010 Election Campaign, Noynoy, Miriam Defensor and that Paid Hack

I just got up from bed from a late afternoon siesta and took a quick drag of cigarette in the kitchen when unmindfully I failed to take notice that I was already grinning from ear to ear over a delayed realization concerning the campaign strategy in this 2010 May National Election. It was like an enlightenment of some sort, kind of Satori, a heightened awareness of a vision that is more of a rendezvous with the past. I could not help but smile and say to myself: Not again.

The vision or the memory brought me back to the 1992 Presidential Election. It was the time when a brave, articulate, intelligent young woman with the name of Mirriam Defensor Santiago came into fame for her no non-sense kind of administrative leadership. Ms Defensor was something that we young people then wanted our next president to be: gutsy and with a lot of doze of political will to crush all the disease in the national government.

Ms Defensor on the onset of the election campaign was the obvious favorite. She was ahead of the pack that it would almost take a miracle to beat her in the election. She was the voice of the youth then. She was the favorite in every big and prestigious universities in Manila and the whole archipelago.

Then a political strategy, brought about by the usual mudslinging, sprout out of nowhere. There was an issue with Ms Defensor; she was insane and suffered a nervous breakdown during her younger years. Now, this issue of mental health is something Ms. Defensor failed to fight intelligently. Because of having a short-temper and impatience to hear this issue thrown at her, she committed the mistake by folding-up to the pressure when several campaign sorties in universities made her shout at a student who was asking a question.

Now back to the future which is now. Noynoy definitely and without doubt is the favorite and it would take a miracle to beat him in the national election. That is not a product of the imagination but the truth. Now if you are a political strategist and lessons need to squeeze between your ears is something on how to beat a candidate who is evidently leading the survey what should you think or make as a good model? The 1992 Presidential Election no doubt. And I think the thinktanks of a political candidate just thought of it.

And what is making me grin and almost laugh to the symmetry of the situation in these elections is the same participation of one columnist who then had also weaved stories about the so-called insanity of Ms. Defensor and who right now had just created a seamless story about the mental condition of Noynoy. I cannot forget this columnist. I just know now that she is really a paid hack comes election time. Check Philstar.com for her column.