Columnists, Contributors and other authors who get published on this page take their clues from the editorial guidelines: sexy, stimulating, survivor and sage.
There are, of course, many individuals who are hopeless wannabes. They are tolerated to peruse this page. No need to authenticate their worthiness. For all I know, they are borderline cases and reading this lifestyle page emboldens them to be sexy, stimulating, be a survivor and a sage. To verify, they can look at themselves in the mirror afterwards.
I read my draft several times and ask, do my contents, idioms and style suit the editorial guidelines? If it bores, it goes to the trash bin. I try again. Like I said when I accepted the writing job, deadlines are my aphrodisiac.
It’s easy to be a survivor and sage at my age (76 this February.) My credentials: I was a World War II kid, an extended victim of Japanese atrocities as a child, and a front-seat witness to the Huk communist armed rebellion in the early 1950s. I grew up orphaned. My father died of tuberculosis in 1937 when streptomycin wasn’t discovered yet.
Suddenly, I acquired eight siblings—five stepbrothers and three stepsisters. Inay Aurea married tio Sergio, a widower. Suddenly, we’re a big family during the Japanese annus horribilis. We suffered a lot. Food, shelter and clothing were extremely scarce. Survival was a daily grind. We worked, we skimmed, we shared the little that was available. We went hungry and sick. We endured pain and loneliness, amid death and violence.
Want to meet a hard-boiled sage and survivor? Just watch the CJ Corona impeachment on TV. There he is! Senate President Johnny Ponce Enrile, 87 years old, sprightly, well-groomed and straight-talking. His precise knowledge of the law and coolness under fire is reassuring. He spent his boyhood in rural poverty, went hungry and sick during World War II and had to drop out of school often because he had no funds. Johnny’s got awesome credentials— too checkered for comfort. He wears the armor of martial law administrator turned instigator of a mutiny against his boss and patron, Ferdinand Marcos, with power-wielding savvy.
Under the Cory regime, he got jailed for his alleged participation in coup plots. This man walked in the corridors of power, under democracy and under dictatorship by military rule. He served with consummate skill and aplomb in two distinct governments with conflicting ideologies. Now we all look up to him to lead the senate proceedings on the CJ Corona impeachment. We know he’s tough. We know he loves our country. He is a survivor and a sage. We listen to what he says. We learn from him.
The other survivor and sage I’ve seen and heard is novelist Francisco Sionil Jose, also 87 years old. I listened to him once analyze our downtrodden country, our stupid politics, and our defects as a people. Oh, boy! Frankie looked deliciously quarrelsome, pontificating like a rabble-rouser in his raspy voice, with his baby-cute trembling fat cheeks.
Frankie gave ’em hell! Hell for being backward! Hell for being losers! Hell for being culture vandals! Hell for being retarded in a world of dignity and honor. He lamented the loss of the Filipino soul—delikadeza, pagkamaginoo, karangalan at walang dungis ang pangalan.
F. Sionil Jose! This ambling, burly, wounded old lion growls loud for all of us to hear. His roar reverberates all over the island. He’s a survivor and a sage. His art is gigantic. His novels have been translated in 22 languages. He is today Asia’s best bet for a Nobel Prize award in literature. Cock your ears when Frankie Sionil Jose rants and raves.
How about stimulating? Who stimulates us now? Look no further! It’s media-driven. The 6 p.m. TV news and the Corona affair are full of stimulants, burning issues and assorted dramatis personae. The most stimulating are President Aquino who suddenly galloped through the main street like Wyatt Earp, hunting cheats, thieves and election robbers, his mouth-frothing, his guns blazing.
There’s Leila de Lima, riding as the bull-dogged, female version of J. Edgar Hoover, fast on the TRO but slow on due process. And, of course, Sen. Miriam “The Maid” Santiago, part fairy, part avenger, part Joan of Arc, part Cleopatra, part Maggie Thatcher, bursting into the senate hall to berate, lecture, and make eunuchs out of bug-eyed prosecutors who are blabbering bone pickers.
Today, President Aquino, Leila and Miriam stimulate us. They are bullet-biters.
And for libido? For the average man, a voluptuous, bodacious and buxomy woman is the cliché for being sexy. More so for ageing lotharios, DOMs and adulterous guys whose software are Viagra-dependent. Girls wielding big powers, as in Hilary Clinton, and women who exude supernatural charisma, as in Mother Theresa, are sexy, too, in the transcendent realm of femininity.
Today’s political turmoil gave birth to my concept of what is now sexy. Sexy is not a songstress, not a movie star, not a fashion model, not a socialite. And certainly, not a Vicky Belo retokada.
Hold your breath! She’s a legalist. She’s lawyer Karen Jimeno, spokesperson for the defense in the CJ Corona impeachment trial.
Lawyer Jimeno has that element of feminine totality. Hers is the sensuality of simplicity, clarity and believability.
I’m beguiled by her bright eyes, lucid talk, clear countenance and her Dresden-China complexion. Her dialogue is cool, reassuringly cool. Up in her brain is the high intelligence quotient (Harvard Law scholar), and below her black, open-neck dress is a creamy, white, smooth shoulder.
Further below, her tight waist is the most beautiful; round and creamy white knees, partly jutting out from her creaseless, black, short skirt, and her long legs crossed in a motionless mystery. Wow!
I haven’t seen anything like lawyer Karen Jimeno. She’s spellbinding.
Today, as far as I’m concerned, sexy means less is more. Less boobs. More brains.