On William's Wedding, Merceditas Gutierrez, Pilar Pilapil, Willie Revillame, Astroboy, AJ Perez

What Royalty Means

A butterfly can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world. Prince William’s marriage has absolutely nothing to do with our own non-royal love lives, but human nature reveals the connection: our atavistic fascination with the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Royalty is a cherished English tradition, interwoven in the history of mankind. People of noble birth serve as a symbol to the rest of us: we aspire to be like them, even if we don’t have what it takes, or even deserve to.

We have seen how William gracefully play his destined role and grew up as a young man any father would be proud to have as a son.

I wish him and Kate all the best because even those mercilessly hounded by the voyeuristic media deserve a normal, happy life.

What The Ombudsman Did Right

History repeats itself. Nixon resigned in the face of impending impeachment in the aftermath of the Watergate cover up expose. Now, Merceditas Gutierrez did the right thing in resigning as Ombudsman, as she faces another impeachment, which this time is poised to succeed under the Aquino government – unlike the first attempt during the administration of her patron Gloria Arroyo, which was railroaded by her allies in congress.

The Ombudsman is constitutionally mandated to prosecute erring public officials but she established a solid track record of ignoring major scandals involving the allies of Arroyo, one of them is the unexplained wealth of Jacinto Ligot, the guy in charge of the funds of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and his wife Erlinda.

The Ombudsman ignored the case. Just recently, United States Ambassador  Harry Thomas handed to our government $132, 000 from the sequestration of the Ligot’s real estate properties in California, the worth of which cannot be justified by their income.

There are other things the Gutierrez did – or did not do – that brought shame to the Office of the Ombudsman. Here are just three:

Euro Generals.  In 2008, eight police officials were arrested by Russian Customs while attending an international conference for illegally bringing in 105, 000 euros. Police Gen. Eliseo De La Paz admitted he illegally took the money from police funds. The Ombudsman ignored the case.
Fertilizer Scam. In the 20004 elections, Agriculture Secretary Joc Joc Bolante took 728 billion pesos that was earmarked for fertilizers – then distributed the money to administration congressmen and local officials running for office. The Ombudsman ignored the case and the cases filed by the Senate and the House which conducted separate investigations.
Mega Pacific. In 2003, Benjamin Abalos, the then chairman of the Commission on Elections, bought automatic counting machines for 1.3 billion pesos from international consortium Mega Pacific. The Supreme Court voided the deal and declared it illegal. The Ombudsman ignored the case. The High Court directed her to act under threat of contempt. The Ombudsman’s report said there was a crime but no one is guilty.

When The Devil Becomes Flesh and Dwells Among Us

Age is only skin deep. I have always been attracted to women older than me. Pilar Pilapil heads my list of crushes even when I was in high school. That’s why I was so freaking mad when I heard she was attacked and left for dead.

She and her companion, Rosalie Jakosalem Peñas, were carjacked by two men at the Marikina Riverbanks. Pilar was stabbed several times and dumped in, of all places, my hometown of Antipolo.

The good people of Antipolo rushed her to Medical City, and the immediate medical succor saved her life, says her attending physician, Dr. Raymundo Resurreccion.

She is now stable, but the mystery surrounding Peñas deepens.

I want her attackers to die. No, not death penalty, but summary execution. Thieves do not have the right to live. They are nothing but human trash.

Pilar, 1967 Miss Philippines, multi awarded actress and Born Again Christian, was “Upbeat, strong-willed,” says her brother Leo. “That’s because she’s always mentioning about the Lord, and the Lord really saved her.”

Where Willie Went Wrong

There’s an overwhelming tide of public derision against Willie Revillame, host of the Willing Willy variety-game show, especially after a young contestant named Jan Jan, did the body wave on national television.

I’m not joining the demonizing bandwagon for the sake of following the crowd, but for the record, I don’t like the way he goaded the boy into doing it again. He should have known better and acted responsibly.

At the same time, I’m looking at the bigger picture. Here’s my Facebook update forApril 7:

We Filipinos see the tree but we don't see the forest. We see a 6-year old boy gyrating like a macho dancer in Willing Willie. But we don't see what the frenzied enthusiasm of the mother and the audience reveal about us as a people

Heart of A Hero, Soul of A Saint

We belong in this endless galaxy. Astroboy was trying to find his place in the world, just like all of us. Heroes, sad to say, soon discover that trying to fit in is more complicated than they thought.

But Astroboy, a robot, has more decency and humanity than most of us, and he soon learned what he was meant to be – a hero.

Astroboy is one of the favorite cartoons as a kid, together with Superfriends and Superbook.

On StarMovies last week, I saw the film version, and it was unexpectedly heartwarming and much better than I imagined. This is the best animated movie I’ve seen since Up, and it brought back memories of innocence and my happy childhood.

The Other Side of Tragedy

The quest for the fountain of youth is timeless. There is magic in being young, a season of promise, a time when all the world seem to lay before you whatever future you may desire.

The death of teen star AJ Perez is tragic – 18 years old, on the brink of manhood and on the verge of stardom.

But it was also poignant – a life cut short but has been lived to the fullest.

Death, paradoxical as it may seem, holds the key to immortality. AJ, like fellow young actors Rico Yan, Miko Sotto and Julie Vega, has now become forever young, achieving mankind’s deepest, most fundamental, most elusive dream.

 This week 2Rivers also features:



JonathanAquino said…
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“You cannot count on the physical proximity of someone you love, all the time. A seed that sprouts at the foot of its parent tree remains stunted until it is transplanted. Rama will be in my care, and he will be quite well. But ultimately, he will leave me too. Every human being, when the time comes, has to depart to seek his fulfillment in his own way.”