For a nation obsessively in need of a hero, Manny’s defeat yesterday, had it occurred two or three years ago would have been catastrophic and irreversibly traumatic for us whose national psyche is too fragile it rests on one man’s ability to throw punches and draw blood from an opponent whose background is as sorry as ours.
The fewer number of Facebook status expressing dismay, hopelessness, and bitterness due to Manny’s loss to Bradley (at least on my page), compared to what I imagined it would be, had been glaring (at least for me). Have we become less sore of a loser? I have proofs to say that as a nation we still are.
Have the Filipinos become less interested in the legend of Manny? Have the Filipinos thought Manny has already become too moneyed they failed to see their hungry faces reflected in his?
Has his story gone too magically realistic it was rendered unbelievable and felt too scripted in a country were people eat magic realism for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Have we as a nation shifted our search for a hero to something else? Or have we realized we did not need a hero after all?
Have we thought maybe Manny is just too much of an outlier he can’t be a Filipino? Or has his career like the careers of our many local movie stars’, after having burst into a bright supernova, is now on a road to becoming nothing but a black hole, the star a has-been?
We seem to have cared less now because we realized it is not wise to gamble our national sanity on a champion who, vicissitude they call, will sooner or later face defeat, and that it is far wiser to gamble on our institutions, on our future together as one nation, on a shared belief that this nation is on its road to greatness.
Maybe having a hero was important. But as in all epics, it’s the members of the army who carry out and win the war.
I woke up very early, at 8. It was very cold. The first thing I did was to wash my face and brush my teeth. I gathered my whites and washed them at the basement. Then I went to the kitchen. There, my books and computer were waiting for me.
It was drizzling outside. A gloomy day. Rainy days vex my spirit.
I boiled some coffee. It would have been in a samovar. If I were in Russia. But I’m in America. So it’s a whistling kettle. Between a samovar and a whistling kettle. There is no competition. A samovar is poetry incarnate. A Whistling kettle is prose.
And how I detest conditionals.
I cooked a cup and a half of rice. I washed it first. Thrice of course. It should be that way. My mother said. The bag of rice was imported from Vietnam. It’s the best variety. A little sticky. Not too wet. Moderately soft. Bright white. My appetite wasn’t with me, though. I approached the table. Opened a book and read. I realized. It was already 10. I stared at the view outside. The falling rain water mesmerized me. I closed my eyes and said a short prayer.
The prosaic whistling kettle announced the conclusion of its reason for being. I poured its briskly boiling content into my cup. Where’s the coffee maker? I seemed to have heard. In case you asked. It’s cracked.
I prefer my coffee black. It’s less fattening this way. I don’t like my coffee bitter, however. So today, it’s black. With a dash of Splenda. I’m already fed up with all the bitterness. Including the bitterness in my coffee. A little sweetness won’t hurt. I guess.
It rained the whole day. I stayed in. I was alone. Everyone left.
To remind me if in the future this historic fact escapes me:
Senate votes 20-3 to convict Corona
MANILA, Philippines – Twenty senators, including Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, on Tuesday found Chief
Justice Renato Corona guilty of Article 2 of the impeachment complaint filed against him pertaining to his failure to disclose to the public is statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth.
Only three voted to acquit Corona and they were Senators Joker Arroyo, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr.
“The Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, having tried Renato C. Corona Chief Justice of the Supreme Court…have found him guilty of the charge under Article 2 of the said articles of impeachment,” Enrile said.
Enrile then directed the Senate Secretary acting as the clerk of court to give the respondent a copy of the resolution, as well as the Speaker of the House, the Supreme Court, the
Judicial Bar Council and President Benigno Aquino III.
Aside from Enrile, the 19 senators who convicted Corona were the following:
- Senator Edgardo Angara
- Senator Alan Peter Cayetano
- Senator Pia Cayetano
- Senator Franklin Drilon
- Senate Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada
- Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero
- Senator Teofisto Guingona III
- Senator Gregorio Honasan II
- Senator Panfilo Lacson
- Senator Manuel Lapid
- Senator Loren Legarda
- Senator Sergio Osmeña III
- Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan
- Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III
- Senator Ralph Recto
- Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
- Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III
- Senator Antonio Trillanes IV
- Senate Manuel Villar
Corona is considered barred from public office after senators voted to convict him on charges of betraying public trust and violating the constitution.
He testified last week that it wasn’t only him who is on trial and challenged all 188 lawmakers who impeached him to disclose their dollar accounts – but there were few takers.
The nationally televised 5-month-long proceedings gripped the nation like a soap opera with emotional testimonies, political grandstanding and a sideshow family drama.
Prosecutors, most of whom are Aquino’s allies from the House of Representatives, argued that Corona concealed his wealth and offered “lame excuses” to avoid public accountability.
Corona said that he had accumulated his wealth from foreign exchange when he was still a student. Rep. Rodolfo Farinas, one of the prosecutors, ridiculed the 63-year-old justice, saying he “wants us to believe that when he was in grade four in 1959 he was such a visionary that he already started buying dollars.”
“It is clear that these were excuses and lies made before the Senate and the entire world,” Farinas said in Monday’s closing arguments, adding that Corona had declared in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth less than 2 percent of what he actually owned.
Addressing not only the senators but a public hungry for transparency in a country where corruption is endemic, the rich and powerful rarely prosecuted and a third of the population of 94 million lives on $1 a day, prosecutors sought to discredit Corona’s defense with references to a lifestyle beyond the means of most of the people. With a report from AP
Originally posted at 05:07 pm | Tuesday, May 29, 2012
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