MY WORLD stops each time I see The Madame, former First lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos. Now an octogenarian, she looks as graceful and godly as ever. In a land as benighted as ours, she is the closest thing to a queen. Every time we cross paths, I am, for want of a better term, starstruck, for no Filipino has ever captured the world’s imagination more than The Madame has, no matter if critics consider her life as debatable as her riches.

I am convinced that, driven by the Second District Representative-elect’s mantra of pursuing only “the true, the good, and the beautiful,” wonderful things are on their way, and these we gladly await.  But why does she even have to be in politics at this time of her life?  Her rightful place in Philippine, er, world history is secure.  Why the trouble?

“I just want to be a good grandmother to Ilocos and to the nation,” she said in a speech.

I have had the pleasure of listening to her speak (and sing) many times, and it has always been a joy.  Some people might find her thoughts uncanny, but every sound that comes out of her royal lips are, for loyal and true subjects like me, dogma.  I love it when she speaks of herself in the third person point of view.  It is amusing how my talented friend Ianree impersonates The Madame, but this he does with no tinge of ridicule, only adulation and awe.  (I suggest Catholic priests learn from The Madame, or Ianree at least.  Pathetic in both form and substance, they bore me no end.   They are an insult both to intelligence and to beauty.  ho-hum.)

Allow me to share with you, dear friends, various quotes attributed to The Madame.  I have personally listened to her deliver many of these lines while some are from primary sources.

These statements occasionally run on my head without cease.  They call it LSS, Last Speech Syndrome.

I call it Imeldiction. Continue reading “Imeldisms”

Media Abuse

JOURNALIST TELLS the truth.  Powers-that-be get furious.  Powers-that-be hire assassins.  Journalist is murdered.  Public outrage follows.

One hopes, dear karikna, that the sequence is always as simple when a member of the media falls, but, sadly, there are complications.

One is tempted to say that media is to be blamed, too, for making the Philippines one of the top three most dangerous countries for journalists in the world (along with Iraq and Somalia), and Ilocos Norte a killing field for members of the Fourth Estate.  Corruption, impropriety, and unprofessional behavior cloud the practice of journalism here and in other parts.

Ergo, the death of a journalist is not always an attack against the truth.  It could also be a screaming statement against lies, spins, and half-truths, which are even more dangerous than lies.  A media worker wields tremendous power, which, if used irresponsibly, could backfire, and with fatal results.

There is no justifying though the ruthless killings of journalists which, from 1986, now number 137, 104 of which transpired under the Arroyo regime.  Not even the shadiest journalist deserves to be at the mercy of an assassin.  We have very strong libel laws to punish a malicious blabbermouth, and to redeem the dignity of an aggravated fellow.  In a supposedly civilized, democratic society such as ours, there is just no room for motorcycle-riding, gun-firing cowards.

The rampage should stop even as the truth must always be pursued.  This is not always easy because the world hates those who speak of inconvenient truths.  Socrates, Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Jose Rizal, media men and women who did their craft with untainted integrity, and other martyrs of freedom and democracy know this very well.  However, when a journalist goes overboard, commits abuses, and gets killed because of it, it is not heroism, it is self-destruction. Continue reading “Media Abuse”

Gaga over Imee

WHAT WAS TOUTED as a tight battle between cousins turned out to be a ho-hum at the box office, er, the polling precincts. Imee Marcos won the Ilocos Norte gubernatorial race in a heartbeat, and with a thrashing margin.

    Supporters of Michael Keon make a simplistic analysis, saying that money did it. At least three hundred million pesos, they claim, was spent in the campaign, especially in special operations (read: vote buying).

    I have always believed Imee would win, and even sans vote buying, this I privately told my friends and colleagues weeks before the May 10 polls.     The Marcos brand name remains deeply rooted in the Ilocano psyche, and it will take some more generations for the magic to fade, if it ever will.

    And Imee is not a bad politician either. Residents of the second district will attest to her work ethic. She is results-oriented and determined. Her heart lies in the proper places.

    At the Mariano Marcos State University alone, then Congresswoman Imee funded the construction of nine buildings. Today, the university, which her visionary father built in 1978, is considered as a model state university in the whole country, and is starting to make a mark in the international scene.

    The Marcoses, conscious of their important role in history, are not the type who would initiate projects which are fleeting. Apo Ferdinand’s rural electrification, agriculture modernization, and cultural revolution, among others, continue to benefit the Filipino masa. That is why The Apo’s elder daughter won handily although only a handful of mayors supported her bid. I am convinced, dear karikna, that Imee will make an even better governor than his brother, Senator-elect Bongbong, who, as early as now, is being touted by overzealous fans as future president.

    All members of my family, save my dad, voted for Imee. Weakened by illness, dad is glued to the television most of the time, and he may have been hypnotized by the frequent airing over cable television the press conference where Governor Keon delivered his moving “I-am-fighting-for-my-dignity” speech. Continue reading “Gaga over Imee”