Your mantra for the week: “Everyone I meet feels my inner harmony.”
Most people claim they are in pursuit of happiness. But being happy is really a choice. And these are the types of people who have succeeded in making that choice:
1) Those who have brought to light their perfect self-expression—discovering their ability to love and channeling its full expression.
2) Those who have more than enough money for themselves—more than that of their friends, neighbors, colleagues, especially their enemies—but always remembering that money alone is not enough to bring happiness.
3) Those who have wonderful desires not only for themselves but also for others.
4) Those who have definite goals, aims and, most of all, a purpose which encompasses the betterment of one’s self, one’s community and, ultimately, the whole of humanity.
5) Those who are emotionally intelligent—the ones who have the ability to identify and manage their own emotions and the emotions of others, as well as harness their emotions and apply them to tasks, especially problem solving, and the capacity to cheer up people whose emotions have gotten the better of them.
6) Those whose parents had the good sense of training their children in self-expression, listening to them and working toward transforming them into extroverts, who have been shown to be happier than introverts.
7) Those who have found ways of changing their bad moods into good by watching a happy film, going to a concert, seeking out friends who make them laugh, using mantra beads or other forms of prayer which include meditation, visualization and pre-tending (tending if before the fact) like what the song “Pretend” suggests.
8) Those who believe they look good.
(To be continued)
Media people who were detained with me in Camp Crame like Amelita Reysio-Cruz, Louie Beltran, Amando Doronila, and other prominent personalities like Haydee Yorac, Jerry Barican and Joe Concepcion used to tease me about having been the cause of the declaration of martial law; because, as a columnist using the pen name Conde de Makati, I dared write the following before Sept. 21, 1972— that very dark day in our history, 43 years ago tomorrow:
“And from Pampanga comes this very interesting piece of news:
“The flood victims in a certain barrio, after seeing the relief goods stamped with You Know Who’s name, refused to touch the goods. Cursed a farmer angrily, ‘Tangna mamamatay na lang kami sa gutom at hirap, pagkakampanyahan pa kami!’”
(This practice has been institutionalized since then by our trapos).
May martial law never, ever see the light of day again, although Sen. Bongbong Marcos does not see anything wrong with what his father did. He is even considering running for higher office in 2016, and rumors have it that he has an overwhelming campaign kitty —even with no contributions from the binuenas na familia— to share with millions of voters.
If Senator Marcos does declare his candidacy, it will be a wonderful chance to see whether our people have changed consciousness.
Celebrating Abe’s life
Last Thursday, I was asked to do a eulogy for literary icon Abe Florendo, a dear friend and the gentlest soul I have ever met. I was a fan even before we met.
No one had introduced us, so I went out of my way to present myself and say thank you after he wrote a glowing critique of “Pagdating Sa Dulo,” Ishmael Bernal’s first film, produced by Frankesa Films, of which I was president.
Abe cited the movie’s theme, “My Bitter Black Coffee,” which I composed as an instrumental, interfusing the film into one poignant, heartrending encounter.
That is how generous he was as a critic, and even more so as a person. After that first meeting, we spent many a day exchanging ideas and comparing experiences, over bottles of red wine and gallons of coffee.
We also talked a lot about art—painting, poetry, music and whatever it was that refined our sensibilities.
One of our unforgettable experiences was when a Metrocom car decided it would send me a startling warning of some kind, suspecting I was the Conde de Makati, by driving head-on directly toward us as we crossed Aurora Boulevard.
Inasmuch as my American car was made of so-called sterner stuff, it was the Metrocom car that got the bigger damage.
It was on Abe’s side that we were hit, and I remember his glasses flying across my face. That evening I found out that his uncle was a general and the cops were obliged to apologize. He never heard the end of that from me. I always tease him about being a spy.
Of course, I was detained upon the declaration of martial law and was required to report to Camp Crame three times a week after my conditional release. I was not allowed to write or appear on television.
However, in 1979, Abe brought me back into the social scene by featuring me in Celebrity Magazine that covered two issues. The feature sounded like a biography.
In the 80s, Becky Garcia and I published a magazine, Career World, and Abe was our incomparable editor in chief.
In 2008, he wrote an article, “How to read George Sison’s ‘A Miracle Awaits You’”—which I incorporated in the second and third printing of this book.
It was such a blessing that our paths crossed in this lifetime. Rest in joy, my friend.
In a private survey before Sen. Grace Poe’s announcement of her intention to run for higher office, 40 percent would vote for her, 22 percent for Mar Roxas and 20 percent for Vice President Jejomar Binay.
After her breathtaking speech at the Ang Bahay ng Alumni of the University of the Philippines, the slogan I prepared for her last July, “Amazing Grace… Malinis, Matalino, Makatao, love ko POE,” has taken a bigger-than-life turn.
As for Sen. Chiz Escudero, I would rather go for heart.