After the funeral of Jesse Robredo and the appointment of Lourdes Sereno as chief justice, I looked forward to the luxury of a good night’s sleep. Surely nobody appreciates a good night’s sleep like seniors.
We’d been keeping late hours since Robredo’s plane went missing, been in awe of the whole funeral rite, and touched by the great outpouring of love and grief, in particular from a president who stood close by overseeing the search himself and kept him company until he was laid to rest.
And the young surviving Cabinet was to me a confidence-inspiring revelation. It’s a Cabinet that feeds off his example, a family like no other Cabinet I have seen before (oh, and have I seen a number!)—one of common values and ideals, a band of brothers.
Used to telling their generation, our children, what to do and how to do it, and looking now at the president and his Cabinet, we are being shown up, it seems; they’ve come on their own as the long-elusive alternative to the dynastic and trapo leaderships that have come and gone and come again.
And all this seems to me to show itself in this one moment of camaraderie in grief.
For some reason I was especially moved by the supreme effort Mar Roxas made to control his grief, turning away from the television camera at one time to a map behind him to point to the possible place his friend Jesse’s plane had gone down—his eyes, hidden from view, certainly wet, judging by his cracking voice.
I’ve been taught that it is at times like this precisely that one’s education and sense of propriety are tested, and that the gravity of true grief is inversely proportional to its public display.
Compared to the copious tears produced by a senator in front of television cameras as he delivered his own moral word, plagiarized and twisted as it happened, against the Reproductive Health Bill, what contrast, indeed! Surely it helped that he was once himself a television and movie performer. We may expect more tears from him as he continues to play the role of victim in what he calls “a demolition job [by] cyber bullying”; he has indeed become a favorite target by bloggers, taken on for his dubious self-righteousness and for not only copying verbatim without attribution a blogger’s piece, but also taking it out of context to serve his purpose.
The blogger has called him a “lying thief”; I shall call him by my grandmother’s kinder term for the likes of him—pobre inocenton, which seems to me to suit the idea that he may have played doctor once, and now finds the experience handy and blames the death of his infant on the oral contraceptives his wife took.
Notice how clean his hands are in all this? His research and ghostwriting staff is taking the fall. I only hope he can produce as many tears as can help him float out of the hole he has dug for himself.
Before bedtime, I directed my thoughts to the lady now at the helm of the Supreme Court. She’s something to smile about, given other characters on the shortlist—although, still, I’d have preferred the one from academia, who did not even make it to the list.
But I’m fine with Sereno. Eighteen years yet to the retirement age of 70, she will be chief justice beyond my own lifetime, unless I dodder on past 90. Anyway, by then, I’d be grappling with more desperate problems like staying awake, lest I sleep on to kingdom come. At the moment, I’m just looking forward to a good night’s sleep and a new day.
But, as fate would often have it, I picked up the wrong book and took the worst author to bed—“Mere Anarchy” by Woody Allen. Not only did it keep me up, it had me rousing Vergel for laughs too good to pass up.
I had stopped reading Woody Allen and watching his films after what he did to Mia Farrow—running off with her teenage adopted daughter, a Korean. I think I forgave him after the first sentence.
The problem with Woody Allen is he just won’t quit. After his description of a bad band as “a pet shop on fire” and a date who “facially resembles Louie Armstrong’s voice,” he now introduces me to “a midget in denial.”
Eventually, at any rate, joyous exhaustion gave me my sleep.