‘Presumptive’—I have a problem with that word | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

The beat goes on!

My goodness! It is almost June. Half the year is gone.

I must say it has been a wee bit stressful, and not dull at all. There were many deadlines. I was not sure I could meet them, but I did.

There were a few rough spots, a short bout in sickbay, but all told, I had more than my fair share of bright moments. My sister came in. That was spectacular. My projects are done. The book is finished. Vacation ahead. Hallelujah!

And don’t forget the elections. It was exciting. We ran the gamut of seesawing emotions. Tempers were hard to check.

Depending on your choice, it may have affected your state of mind. Sunny dispositions turned sour.

Today the vociferous critics are worried. Others are in shock. But I also see happy smiles. Some are smirks. Go figure.

Election Day was three weeks ago. At lunch the other day the ladies shared sighs of relief that it was all over. Good, bad or indifferent, whether your candidates made it or not, we all agreed it is time to move on.

But some are not too sure. They ask: Is the counting finished? Are we really done? It doesn’t look like it.

Truth to tell, in contrast with the angst and passion during the campaign, it suddenly seems too quiet. If I didn’t know better I would think that people have actually lost interest. A few of my friends simply shrug it off and roll their eyes, saying “whatever!”

That’s not a good thing. We shouldn’t stop caring.

On social media, even the haters and bashers seem to have taken a breather, although I do still see some postings dripping with venom. Even now there remain a few nasty and mean-spirited trolls online. I itch to engage but have opted to abstain.

I heard that legitimate PR outfits here and abroad were hired for the purpose of demolishing and destroying the good name of anyone or anything related to or that looked like an adversary, and made a killing.

I have visions of these online character assassins today lolling in the lap of luxury, enjoying an exotic vacation on some romantic island while their victims reel from the assault on their integrity, still wondering what hit them.

In the meantime, we are learning interesting things about our “presumptive” president. I have a problem with that word.

The dictionary defines “presumptive”: “Of the nature of a presumption; presumed in the absence of further information.”

Its synonyms include conjectural, speculative, tentative, probably, likely, supposed, expected as in “the heir presumptive.” I don’t think there’s anything tentative or speculative in a landslide victory.

And then it says that “presumptive” is another term for “presumptuous”; and that “presumptuous” is the readiness to presume in act or thought, as by saying or doing something without right or permission. It also means impertinently bold, forward.

At any rate, I am uncomfortable with presumptive anything or anybody. Nothing personal.

By the way, when is it correct to say President-elect?

We read about the appointments of “presumptive” Cabinet members. I like one of them. He is Christian, principled and every inch a gentleman. I believe he will do us proud. Former SEC chair Perfecto Yasay as secretary of foreign affairs? Bravo! But why is it only for one year? Just asking.


Now the fun begins.

Family is ready to descend on Manila. We expect cousins, nieces and nephews from Australia and the United States and other parts of the world. Some of them I have not seen in years, too many to count. Others I will meet for the first time.

It will be an incredible reunion, a time for gathering as one huge family. I look forward to the telling and retelling of old stories, jokes that still make us laugh, even as we try not to cry when we miss those no longer with us.

I can’t wait. Every conversation will start with “remember when” or “when we were little.”

It is quite daunting to realize that I am a remnant of the oldest generation in the clan. There are only eight of us left, and two can’t come. Nevertheless, it will be a joy to remember, and yes, a surprise that indeed we can.

Have you ever tried to organize a family reunion?

You need patience. Especially when you have the brilliant idea of color-coding each “tribe.” If you do, get ready for remarks like: Why blue? Why not burnt orange? I don’t have a single pink dress! I look horrible in red. Why must I wear green? I went to Ateneo.

And now I find myself buried in lists of who is coming and who needs bed and breakfast. Help!

At last!

My long-delayed vacation is here. First Atlanta, then hopefully Florida, and on the way home, I will spend a week in Seattle where I have three grand and three great-grandchildren.
Can you think of a better reason for a visit? I hope to be there before it gets too cold. These old bones aren’t ready for colder than sweater weather.

Ah, but in the arms of those little ones, it will be spring and summer all at once.


I leave before dawn on June 30. A few hours later P-Noy leaves office. I think I am in denial. I so hate to see him go.

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