I started this on Monday, an important day for the country. My yaya came home from the precinct, proud to have voted. And when I asked her, sheepishly I must admit, whom she voted for, she answered “Taumbayan po.” It made me happy.
But she was a bit upset. Someone had rained on her parade and told her there was no way her choices would make it. I tried to convince her that she had every reason to feel good, no matter the results.
But in my heart I, too, felt disheartened. It takes very little these days to deflate our spirits.
I asked my friend who has always been active in any kind of political exercise if she had voted, and this was her reply, “No. No more circuses for me. All you get out of voting is a dirty finger.”
True. Quite literally, in fact.
And as the numbers started to come in, the final outcome became pretty clear. My group chat grumbled their disappointment. Some used graphic expletives.
Someone posted a Bencab painting, “Our Sad Republic.” And it brought tears to my eyes.
And then I read a post by a friend at the Inquirer, someone I respect and admire.
Alya Honasan said this: “This is my opinion. I went into this election with hopes, like everyone else. And although it’s so easy to despair and wallow in national self-pity, I am just renewing my promise to keep my own backyard clean and keep my part of the world good. Maybe that’s all we can do, for now.”
Truly the culture of hate that has taken root in most of us must change. And it starts in the heart. I think maybe that’s what “keeping your own backyard clean” means.
I am sorry for the candidates who didn’t make it this time. It seems their sterling qualities did not shine bright enough, or perhaps were eclipsed by the glint and glitter, or the smoke and mirrors of their rivals. But they waged a brave battle.
I suppose congratulations are in order for those who won. Let me remind them that the hoopla is over and that now there’s real work to do. It is time to rein in their egos and get busy keeping the promises they made.
With a heavy heart I read about the passing of Hollywood icon Doris Day.
I can almost hear her syrupy voice, “You sigh the song begins, you speak and I hear violins, it’s magic.”
And I imagine myself, so young, dancing cheek to cheek with my first love, under starry skies in the garden of a white mansion on Dewey Boulevard.
“How else can I explain those rainbows when there is no rain. It’s magic.”
Forgive me for going on this full rewind. If only one could bring it all back. What a shame to have wasted those beautiful moments. We thought they would never end.
Meet the press
I was invited to a press conference last week. This one was different from the ones I remember. Back in the day, these fourth estate gatherings were quite sedate and formal.
My most memorable happened a long time ago, when I was a society editor at The Manila Chronicle. It was for the premiere of “The Ten Commandments” and was held at the Champagne Room of the Manila Hotel. I have lovely memories of meeting Charlton Heston and calling him Moses. He had the clearest blue eyes and was so tall I had to stand on a step to pose for a photograph. He asked me what a little girl like myself was doing in such a rough business. I was in my late 20s at the time. I was star-struck!
I also met Jeff Chandler, who was here to make a war movie. He was warm and friendly. I was thrilled.
I recall being mesmerized and rendered speechless at a Q&A with Harry Belafonte. The man was gorgeous. I could only stare.
This recent presscon was the formal announcement of the presentation of “Binondo, A Tsinoy Musical” by the Maritess Alava Yong (MAY) Foundation at The Theatre at Solaire. Gala night is July 12 at 8 p.m. with other shows July 13 at 3 p.m. and July 14 at 3 and 8 p.m.
The press gathering was preceded by a sumptuous Chinese lunch served at the Café Lobby.
The MAY Foundation aims to “uplift the lives of economically disadvantaged members of society.” Businessman Micky Yong established it to honor his wife Maritess Alava Yong and “to continue her legacy of giving.”
I was in the company of the likes of Nestor Cuartero, Joe Barrameda and Jun Lalin, all stalwarts of the entertainment press.
We were treated to a sneak peek of the talented cast in full costume and listened to the music of composer Von de Guzman.
The libretto for “Binondo” was written by Ricky Lee from a story by Rebecca Chuaunsu. Douglas Nierras is choreographer. The inimitable Joel Lamangan is director.
Tickets are available at Ticketworld, tel. 8919999.
PS on ‘halalan’
Okay. I was not delighted with all the results. I am not enamored with the names in the winners’ circle. But I see a few rays of light in our gloomy sky. All is not lost.
I believe it is time to reach across the great divide that separates us.
It’s our move. Let us think taumbayan.
And trust that God is sovereign. He is the Healer of hurts, and the Changer of hearts.