PRESIDENTIAL Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Rep. Rose Marie J.
Arenas, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., US Embassy Deputy
Political Counselor Matthew Cenzer, Philippine Red Cross Governor
Rachel J. Arenas, US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Klecheski
MANTRA for the week: “Positive changes are now occurring in my life.”
Why do we attract negative situations in our lives, even when we believe that we are thinking positively? It happens in activities that we don’t consider negative:
1) Smoking. In IAMISM, it means creating a smoke screen for something one does not want to see or show, which is usually negative. Also, we all know that smoking can cause cancer.
2) Overeating. It does not only run havoc with our digestive system, it also promotes obesity and, ultimately, diabetes and other physical ailments.
3) Alcohol and drug addiction. Please consult President Rodrigo Duterte about this matter.
4) Keeping company with negative, depressed, unhappy and mass-mind-thinking people.
5) Sex compulsion. Which begs the question, are you really horny or just lonely or feeling empty?
6) Workaholism. Are you really that industrious, or are you running away from a problem, or maybe you are trying too hard to prove your worthiness?
7) The “I can’t” attitude which leads to lethargy and complacency.
8) Worshipping the God of other people’s opinions
9) Forcing yourself to stay in an unhappy situation
10) Relentless criticizing
11) Spreading bad news
12) Minding other people’s business
These 12 activities, when discarded, open many doors and opportunities to attract blessings of all kinds in all the areas of our lives—health, finances, relationships and our successes.
Meeting VP Leni
Last week, my social calendar was extraordinarily busy with invitations starting with lunch Monday at the Frazzled Cook with United States-based Loida Nicolas Lewis, who was here for a few days to experience Davao and meet President Rodrigo Duterte.
At the Frazzled Cook, we ran into Yoly Villanueva Ong, who I discovered was Vice President Leni Robredo’s campaign “manager.” Yoly excitedly told me that her group blasted online my column on April 18, in which I mentioned that after April 23, Leni’s birthday, she would zoom to victory.
At 3 o’clock that afternoon, VP Leni arrived to meet up with Loida; it gave me a chance to, at last, meet the VP personally. She did remember that when I sent her my books on April 30th before the elections, I dedicated them to “Madame Vice President.” Happily, a photo op followed.
Baby A hosts lunch
After lunch, I was pleasantly surprised to get a call, after quite a spell, from the irrepressible Pangasinan 3rd District Representative Rose Marie Arenas, Baby A to most people, inviting me to a small intimate luncheon at Sage in Shangri-La Makati, in honor of the new Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Perfecto “Jun” Yasay, whose wife Cecile is a cousin of Baby.
I had not seen Jun since our dinners at my restaurant, Stars of Giorgio, in the late 1990s. Thereafter, he had to leave the country quickly after being a star witness in the Estrada impeachment trial.
He did come back for the 2010 elections where he ran as Vice President of Eddie Villanueva and apologized to Estrada for “hurting and offending him” but clarified that “this was not a retraction of his testimony.”
As Baby promised, the luncheon was, indeed, intimate and also served as a despedida for outgoing Deputy Political Counselor of the US Matthew Cenzer, who is scheduled to return to Washington at the end of August.
With us was Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Klecheski, who is married to Eloisa, a Filipino from the prominent De Leon clan. The charming gentleman said, “I’ve only been here for a year and am overwhelmed by the many relatives I am meeting.”
Arriving a bit late was Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sal Panelo. Many see him as Mr. Duterte’s alter ego; he is reputedly able to read the President’s mind, enough to elaborate on his many startling one-liners.
Panelo’s relationship with Mr. Duterte has been likened to that one of Benjamin Rhodes, who plays Advisor on Strategic Communications to US President Barack Obama. Sal can now breathe a sigh of relief after letting go of the task of being the lawyer of Andal Ampatuan Jr. which earned him the ire of many journalists.
Aside from former Representative Rachel Arenas, her brother, Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) president and CEO John Arenas, joined the lunch. We got to talk of marriage and love; John was rather surprised that I have a license to perform marriages, and yet I discourage people from getting married.
I explained that I believe that love is a gift and not an obligation, and when a piece of paper like a marriage contract comes into play, love begins to feel like an obligation. Observe that many married people in this country are obliged to stay married while having mistresses and lovers on the side.
Our luncheon for eight, with half of the people meeting each other for the first time, was so warm, cozy and cheerful—we owe it all to our ebullient host, Baby A, who makes sure that whatever she does is “Class A.”
‘Pagdating sa Dulo’
On Wednesday, I attended the World Premieres Film Festival Philippines 2016 at the Cinematheque Centre Manila. It opened with National Artist for Film Ishmael Bernal’s “Pagdating sa Dulo,” his first film.
It features Elvira Manahan in her first starring role. She is at her classiest and most beautiful as wife of a film director played by Eddie Garcia. Their residence in the film was actually the Manahan mansion in Forbes Park, now the residence of the French ambassador.
After the screening, I was introduced to the audience for a Q&A and to give the history of how this film came about. The interview was filmed and will later be annexed to the film.
It took four months to restore this film classic produced in 1971 by Frankesa Films, which I headed. If I may say so myself, “Pagdating sa Dulo” is worth watching over and over again—for it is art imitating life, imitating art, imitating life.
“Pagdating sa Dulo” will have another screening on July 5, 3 p.m., and July 8, 5 p.m. Kudos to Briccio Santos, chair of the Film Development Council of the Philippines. The film industry will forever be grateful to you.
I dedicated my whole Thursday to the Ro-Ro (Rodrigo-Robredo) inauguration—a prediction come true. Let the Change now unfold!
E-mail the columnist at [email protected] Visit www.GeorgeSison.com and www.iamism.org. Listen to his “Positive Session” radio program on DWIZ 882 AM every Saturday, 9-10 p.m.