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Dec 21

A Calabasa Christmas

Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I received a Christmas present from beyond the grave. Now I normally don’t receive many presents to begin with, but there’s one that I’ve always looked forward to as it would arrive without fail and would always be delicious -Vigan longanizas from Vicky Quirino. Her annual gift indeed arrived -weeks after she’d been laid to rest. They made for a particularly poignant breakfast this morning.

A couple of days ago, word started filtering out that the Legion was preparing to march again. Today’s papers confirm the proposal. Except this time around, the effort would be geared towards a unicameral presidential system. An impeachment-proof presidency that never has to worry about an upper house, in other words. When I asked lawyers and such about the prospects of this latest mutation of the people’s initiative, the consensus seemed to be that there was a lack of material time, and furthermore, the Supreme Court might be inclined to throw it out because unicameralism, to the minds of some justices, represents a revision and not amendment of the Constitution. As always, my attitude is: let’s assume nothing is impossible.

Mike Defensor’s trying to play interference has also made it to the news today. He says any effort at amendments before the elections would be a disaster, and broadly hints at a cabal egging on the President.

I also tend to think that the Daily Tribune’s flogging a dead horse with its reports on plans for martial law; to be sure, the prospects of some kind of emergency rule did come up before last Sunday; but if anything good came out of the rally turnout being disappointing, it’s that a pretext for a state of emergency would be hard to manufacture at the present time.

Incidentally, Connie Veneracion presents a proposal for what she believes would be authentic grassroots democratic participation. I do agree with her that as it stands, the people’s initiative provision of the Constitution (and the accompanying law providing for its mechanics) is virtually impossible; but I am more confident about its practicability in a local, even provincial, context.

Straight from the horse’s mouth: Lito Lapid’s running for Makati mayor.

My column for today is A Calabasa Christmas.

Alex Magno points to gambling and drug lords as the kingmakers in local politics. Conrado de Quiros points out the President, next year, is due to mark the longest tenure of any post-Edsa president. Tony Abaya says time has run out to educate a new generation of leaders. Greg Macabenta on what Filipinos learn in America and Alfredo Rosario on how the electorate will never give up its right to vote for a chief executive.

Charter change, Thai-style. Pending questions the Thais are pondering, according to Suthichai Yoon.

And relaxing holiday reading: Vanity Fair on how Archie comics have endured; an amusing American take on having a Filipina for a wife; how Inca Kola beat Coca-Cola colonization (sort of) and how Fanta is a legacy of Nazi Germany.

In the blogosphere, An OFW Living in Hong Kong says the effort to revive the Charter Change effort is a smokescreen to disguise the President truly becoming a lame duck. The view of Alternation 101 is that the President’s recent about-face suggests the real game plan: to turn Charter Change into a campaign issue in May: but the counter-issue is electoral reform, first. I have a feeling many groups will be pushing electoral reform after the New Year.

Toots Ople says the Legion’s return from the dead is like a bad film sequel.

Mountaineers conquer the Sierra Madre.

A new blog is born, by a Czech journalist who loves the Philippines: In Blumentritt’s Shoes.

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18 comments

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  1. Arbet

    Brilliant and funny column today, sir! A collection of Calabasa stories in the works, perhaps? *hint, hint*

  2. manuelbuencamino

    You called someone an idiot. Expect a subpoena under your christmas tree.

    You didn’t name him? You didn’t have to. Everyone knows there is only one idiot around who, despite his mental handicap, always seems to know how to make money. Of course, being an idiot, he forgets where he deposited it and under whose name.

  3. cielito

    i enjoyed reading your latest post! She really must consult a speech therapist!

    Happy Christmas!

  4. nash

    there are actually two idiots – Injustice secretary Gonzalez and GMA boytoy Mike Defensor….

  5. jhay

    Hear! Hear! They’re all idiots, each and every one of them.

  6. realist

    On Lapid for Makati Mayor:

    “Lapid admitted being more comfortable in a local executive position, because he found it hard to get along with Senate colleagues, being only a high school graduate.”

    Just shows you what a dumb-ash this guy is. Go to night school, you idiot!

  7. baycas

    sa Makati, tapatan ng tapang…tapang sa tapang…‘pagka’t ang pagbabalik ni leon guerrero ay aabangan sa Mayo…

    hinihintay na ang pagsuyo niya sa mga taga-Makati: ako’y ibigin mo…lalaking matapang…subali’t dugong aso: mabuting kaibigan, masamang kaaway…

    patigasan na ito…kungdi, baka sa Mayong bukas, babaha ng dugo. lisensyado siya na maaaring lumaban, siya’y da best in the west (part 1 at part 2), ‘ika nga…na ang laging bukambibig ay kasangga mo ako sa huling laban…

    siya’y nagmula sa lupa, tumira sa kastilyong buhangin sa san basilio, mula sa angkan ng siete reales, isang batang salabusab nguni’t ngayon ang sisiw ay agila. bagaman abandonado, siya’y isang alakdang bato at hari ng gatilyo…bayaning a la Lapu-lapu. tatakbo siya bilang alkalde ng Makati – matapos hirangin ng alas at reyna…

    kaya’t siya’y nagpapaalala: masikip na ang mundo mo, labrador…este, Rambo…pasasabugin ko ang mundo mo…huwag mong ubusin ang bait ko!…sapagka’t hindi lahat ng ahas ay nasa gubat…mayroon din sa Makati…at walang piring ang katarungan…kaya’t ibabaon kita sa lupa…kahit singko ay di ko babayaran ang buhay mo.

    nguni’t bago ang lahat, yaman din lamang na malayo pa ang Mayo…atin munang tangkilikin magmula sa Disyembre a-beinte-singko…ang mas pinakaaabangan…sa pinilakang- tabing: TATLONG BARAHA ng mag-aamang Lapid.

  8. camry

    mlq3,

    I love your column “A Calabasa Christmas” period.

    Wow.

  9. camry

    Tony Abaya says on his column that “time has run out to educate a new genation of leaders”.

    It was too late to sow the seeds of moral values to the youngs of the Philippines. One reason for this is the continued flow of OFW’s at the expense of the family. Once a dining table is imcomplete of the entire members of the family, growing children are deprived of the love of the absent parent. Material things are not enough to raise a child morally.

    I saw myself in the community where I lived so many broken families as a result of workers going abroad. This trend is aggravated by the corruption in government.

  10. hvrds

    I could not resist this

    To all those who take up the GMA talking points about how briliant she is in promoting economic growth, the stock market stronger peso and other so called benchmarks. (How come the Thais organized a planned-poisoned pill-devaluation of their currency which they believe will benefit them in the long run?)

    I heartily recommend Muqtada al-Sadr , Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq as economic advisers for Neri, JDV and GMA for fostering an explosion of economic growth under harsh wartime conditions. The Iraqis owe a debt of gratitude also to ‘stuff happens’ Rumsfeld, and the stability of instability according to Rice. Their economic growth rate it seems is three times the Philippines growth rate. They seem to be growing faster than India and China. Neri, JDV and GMA have been trying to organize the 747 program. Time to contact the architect of all this in Washington. Remember ‘mushroom cloud Rice’s advice ‘do not settle for false stability. There is stability in instability. For the coming year make sure there is a lot of instability. The economy will respond accordingly.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16241340/site/newsweek/?GT1=8816

    “Civil war or not, Iraq has an economy, and—mother of all surprises—it’s doing remarkably well. Real estate is booming. Construction, retail and wholesale trade sectors are healthy, too, according to a report by Global Insight in London. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports 34,000 registered companies in Iraq, up from 8,000 three years ago. Sales of secondhand cars, televisions and mobile phones have all risen sharply. Estimates vary, but one from Global Insight puts GDP growth at 17 percent last year and projects 13 percent for 2006. The World Bank has it lower: at 4 percent this year. But, given all the attention paid to deteriorating security, the startling fact is that Iraq is growing at all.” —sounds like the Philippines

  11. Jeg

    To quote another Lito Lapid movie: Oh my God, save the babies!!

    All the best this Christmas and in the coming year to you and yours.

  12. ronin

    to baycas:

    ang galing! saan mo nahalungkat ang filmography ni lito lapid? 🙂

    sa galing niya sa action, dapat ibato siya sa mindanao, hindi sa makati! hehehe.

  13. Cabagis

    hvrds,

    The political and economic stability we now enjoy under GMA’s watch has allowed investments to flourish in diverse industries including those that are export oriented.

    The Thais devalued their currency to make their products more competitive against exports from the countries Philippines, Vietnam and China.

    How GMA responds to the Thai lead is anyone’s guess but the point of the matter is that foreigners are choosing products produced by OUR know-how over others and that can only be a GOOD thing, whether you are pro-GMA or her basher!

  14. Cabagis

    Previously posted in “Second Wind”.

    In case people do not get to read it…

    To All Filokanos,

    Naimbag a Pascua ken Naragsac nga Baro nga Tawen!

  15. Cabagis

    translation…

    If you did not understand the meaning, then it’s time you started learning the TRUE FILIPINO language! 🙂

  16. jm

    Dec 22
    Hi MLQ III, Greetings to one and all!

    So, the fight for the Constitution is still on but this time ‘with more vigor’ as GMA herself has declared and ‘against all odds’ as some proponents would like the administration to commit. Both sides should be gearing-up for a showdown, GMA’s Deceptive Cha-cha vs the Church’s Truthful Character Change. People could be more familiar about charter change, by now, than about character change. A campaign therefore is necessary and programs such as http://www.charactercounts.org/defsix.htm could be very helpful.

  17. john marzan

    Alex Magno points to gambling and drug lords as the kingmakers in local politics.

    true. arroyo’s buddies bong pineda and chavit singson will be the difference maker in 07.

  18. baycas

    ronin, sa imdb (the internet movie database) site ko nakuha. thanks.

    …that’s a tribute to lito lapid for his many years in the world of entertainment…a place where he RIGHTLY belongs (i.e., according to some…for i’m no fan of him)…

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