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wilfrido david
wilfrido david DELICADEZA, as we know it to mean, involves a great deal of self-restraint, a sense of propriety, and it is a calculated nicety practiced and dispensed with in our day-to-day lives. Without it, there will be hurt feelings, real or imagined, and could be the cause of friendships ending abruptly or aborted potential love relationships. It is like body odor shifted by the wind where you get an unwelcome whiff of it. It is like a fart in church where the culprit alone is guilty but nevertheless makes everyone suspect. It is what makes a successful PR man: you say what is proper under the circumstances and you do what you would want others to do. Wait a minute. I am getting carried away and seem to be making no sense at all. All I am saying is delicadeza is like a cellphone in your pocket that is to be used when called for. Wala pa rin?

Getting to the point, the archbishop who asked GMA for a birthday present in the form of an SUV, or whatever for that matter, had a lapse in delicadeza. In the first place, you don't ask someone for a present. You either wait, or rely on your gut feeling, or make a hint about your birthday appoaching. But you don't ask for, short of demanding, what you would want for a present. Sadly, this practice seems to have become a norm in societal or family structures: asking for a present, to the extent of specifying what you deserve exactly, according to you. What a pity, nawawalan na ba tayo ng hiya?

Unless, of course, you feel that it is "owed" to you in exchange for favors done in the past. The archbishops, either intentionally or unintentionally, who were put in the PCSO scandal scenario by Ms. Margie Juico, the current PCSO chair, who in her attempt at shedding light on where unaccounted funds were disbursed by the past administration came up with Pajero SUVs being distributed to regional archibishops. The archbishops, realizing the mistake in accepting them, chose to return them instead of trying to explain what is clearly unexplainable. What is left unsaid is they were given the SUVs as payback for supporting a presidential candidate of their choice during the 2004 elections—and that is, impliedly, electioneering. Ms. Juico later insists that the SUVs were not necessarily Pajeros but rather just high-end models of different makes. She later explained that a Pajero, to a layman merely meant an SUV, as much as we used to refer to any camera as Kodak, or toothpaste being Colgate, or a refrigerator as Frigidaire. Anyway, the SUVs became a non-issue as it was satisfactorily justified to the committee that they were not for personal use but a means to help the priests perform their clerical duties. Amen.

I hate to be in Rosario Uriarte's shoes, which are too small for me anyways. She literally shrinks in her seat whenever confronted with toxic questions from the panel. To all appearances, she is the sacrificial lamb of the past administration and she is slowly realizing the gravity of her predicament. She was advised by her lawyer to invoke her fifth amendment rights against self incrimination to the frustration of the investigative panel. She tries to be strong, but buckles down when she has to an answer with a yes or no, sans explanation or justification. But when she makes an attempt to earn the audience's sympathy by relating the hardships and the shame her family goes through because of the public airing of these investigations, she gets a resounding boo! After all, who enjoys her current lifestyle, her bank accounts, her rise in fame and fortune but her immediate family. As a natural consequence, they should share in her downfall as well. Delicadeza should leave her family out of this mess she's in.

Delicadeza dictates that Zaldy Ampatuan should not turn against his father and brothers just to get himself out of their fix. What kind of family values have been ingrained in this unfortunate soul? None. Zero. Zilch. Nil. Growing up in riches acquired through their affinity to GMA literally made them lords in their province. Being Muslims, one would think they were above finger-pointing over the Maguindanao Massacre. Now Zaldy drags Lintang Bedol, a former election official in their area, into his personal quagmire, sourgraping over the fact that GMA is washing her hands off the case. Delicadeza rules over GMA's thoughts on this matter and rightly so. Let the people decide later on.

Delicadeza prompts Susan Roces, the late FPJ's prim and proper better half into not saying anything beyond that the truth will come out and hopefully, and eventually, her FPJ will be declared, even if posthumously, president. What an irony. Erap and FPJ being great friends, and both robbed of the presidency. But as fate would have it, Noynoy is now president and delicadeza should keep detractors from downgrading his attempts at being a good one. He cannot be labeled as a tried and true leader until he is past his time.

Delicadeza should make Manoling Morato think twice before taking a defensive stance in the PCSO investigation. Forgetting perhaps that he is inescapably tied up with the past PCSO administration's malpractices. He is unconsciously second-guessing the panel and tries to answer a question that has not been put before him but only in his mind. Complicated? Well, imagine yourself being involved in hanky-panky and when your mom questions you, instinctively, try to explain your way out.

But surely, duty sometimes overrides delicadeza. Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ping lacson seem to have an easy time asking pointed questions about prurient behavior in handling the national coffers, or about missing persons and mass killings, but the audience has an uncomfortable time of it. It all depends on how much you choose to ignore, otherwise just let it ride.

GMA's one glaring mistake is in admitting calling Garcillano about the election returns in his area of responsibility. Delicadeza could have saved the day. There are things that are better left unsaid, rather than being intimidated into saying them. This lapse is now one big thorn on GMA's side. Saying "I am sorry" with an obviously practiced remorseful expression doesn't cut it. Conversely, it stuck in people's mind and now she is doubly sorry for it.

Delicadeza—how many marriages have been wrecked because of it, or the lack of it. How many relationships have been put to the test when we fail to use it. You do not say that your wife is fat. That she has lost her sex appeal through the years, or say out loud that your sweetheart's hairdo or dress doesn't become her. This is one time that lying is called for, otherwise just keep your opinions to yourself.

Delicadeza is sending me a signal to say goodbye, here and now!

[About the author. Wilfrido David is a resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1985. He is an avid news consumer, habitually tuned to global TV via satellite. In turn, he occasionally comes up with spiced up essays and anecdotes liberally sprinkled with his wry humor, at times irreverent, oftentimes as corny as corn-on-the-cob, but nontheless thought provoking. He thinks of himself as a "junior senior," a mature gentleman with very active brain cells but a waning testosterone count. He is an American citizen by necessity, not by choice, as he so aptly put it. He is as Kapampangan as sisig, no more, no less.]

-Posted: 6:47 AM 7/22/11 | More of this author on eK!