eK! is electronic Kabalen, a web-exclusive Kapampangan journal of ideas

wilfrido david
wilfrido david OUR MINDS are filled with "What ifs." It is a second thought, something that is holding you from making a decision, an option that begs consideration and further deliberation. "What might have been" becomes a correlative phrase, rather, which is more of a rueful aftermath as against one that is yet to happen, left pending by indecision. Kuha niyo?

What if the NBN-ZTE deal went through? Benjamin Abalos would have become a billionaire, and millionaires out of Jun Lozada and Romulo Neri, as well as Joey de Venecia, if only they went along with the deal. Let us not even talk about GMA and the last first gentleman's fingers in the pie. Sayang na sayang. Well, win some, lose some. Jun Lozada's tears were well worth shedding. All told it would have cost the government billions of pesos for technology that is, for all intents and purposes, obsolete by now.

What might have been? GMA would have been impeached and the first gentleman, et al., in jail had not Merceditas Gutierrez sat on the case for three years. She sat on her eggs for three years and they still wouldn't hatch. What does that make of her? She is an overaged hen, not even fit for frying! Pang-tinola na lang, kailangan pang i-pressure cooker.

What if China didn't pursue its prurient interest in the Spratlys Islands? What if the other claimants just gave up their stakes? What would the Philippines' primary plans for this little piece of property be? First, Ayala Land Corp. or Henry Sy of SM Megamalls would be offering to buy the islands. They would be putting up luxury communities or shopping malls. Some Filipino transportation genius would propose a building, a railway system connecting Manila to the other islands, or perhaps a ferry from the Luneta to the islands? Does the government even plan oil exploration even as the big international fuel companies can make huge profits from smuggling? Oil exploration is an expensive undertaking with no guaranteed positive results. In other words, we do not have the funds, unless China decides to pitch in, which would further complicate the issue. What if the United States rented the islands to put up various manufacturing concerns or call centers to outsource jobs meant to benefit its only true ally in the Far East, or even just to spite China on the huge trade deficit between the two super powers?

What if the RH bill was passed. Would that significantly improve the general health of the average Filipino woman and prove effective in controlling the population growth? Would it have displeased the church so much that President Noynoy would again be called anti-Christ or, at the very least, declared persona non-grata? Would the government build warehouses to store condoms and birth control pills? Would the PCSO order ten years' worth of stocks just to guarantee a constant supply?

What if there was no election cheating in 2007 and FPJ was elected to the highest office in the land? What if he hadn't die and got to serve his full term? He would have given President Erap a full pardon without being asked. After all, they were such great friends, they even had twin houses in an upscale community in Baguio. FPJ had Erap to thank for all his campaign expenses and he would have been beholden to him and he would just have been a figurehead. His First Lady Susan Roces would have stood right behind him all the way, a morale booster to FPJ's shy demeanor, short of delivering his speeches for him. (Shades of Imelda Marcos.)

What if Erap won the presidency in the 2010 elections instead of PNoy? He would be back in the saddle and firing his six-shooters in every which way, but taking extra care in not hitting GMA by mistake because he would prefer doing it pointblank, in his own sweet time. What if Erap exacted his own brand of revenge on GMA, filing all sorts of suits, would the Arroyos accuse him of getting even like they accuse PNoy of doing? So sorry, Erap, if GMA stole the presidency from you, she has already spent it and it's unrefundable.

What if retired General Angelo Reyes didn't take his own life? Would his testimony have helped in the senate investigations on the AFP pabaon at pasalubong scandal? What if Colonel George Rabusa didn't come forward with his expose? Certainly, all those generals are still filling their pockets with funds meant to improve the military, arms- and benefits-wise. The generals' wives would have continued buying real estate abroad. Why, they could have bought Hollywood, too.

What if Mideo Cruz hadn't come up with his artwork at the CCP? What if he chose President Noynoy as his subject instead of Jesus Christ, would we have heard at least a peep from the president? Kris Aquino would have been outraged to the point of having the CCP razed to the ground, and Mideo Cruz would have ended up painting itlog na maalat in Navotas!

What if, at the prodding of VP Binay, President Noynoy gave in to the Marcoses' request to have President Ferdinand's body interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani? Would it have endeared PNoy to the Marcoses or would they insist that they are entitled to the privilege? Something should be done about the issue soon. President Marcos is starting to smell. After 25 years of not showering, even you would smell! Imelda was trying to preserve her looks during their heyday at Malacañang, undergoing all sorts of plastic surgery, and in the process is now looking more like zombie. She smiles a lot (she thinks), and the only sign that she is alive is when she blinks her eyes. She could lie next to the corpse of Marcos and look like they both died at the same time. But that doesn't mean they could be both interred at the Libingan.

What if jueteng was legalized? That would be the end of extraordinary ties among the local police, the DILG, and others in government. Bet collectors (cobradors) do not have to watch their backs anymore, and once and for all, the sham of sporadic "raids" will no longer be staged. What's more, the BIR will be collecting the proper taxes, even it means "kung walang korap, lalong dadami ang mahirap!" in this particular instance. Retired Archbishop Cruz would have one less doorbell to answer.

What if they passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriages? It could be the start of something good in the entertainment field. It is a given that countless celebrities engage in "unconventional relations" anyway! Why not end the charade, come out in the open, and declare their God-given freedoms? No doubt, in same-sex relationships, reproduction is completely out of the equation; thus, it will have the same effect as condoms and birth control pills and other faith-driven methods. Engaging in sex will be guilt-free, unless, of course, your are cheating on your partner.

What if the Philippines finally had the means and the technological know-how to build it's own rocket/spacecraft to send a man to the moon? Do we have qualified airforce men to train as astronauts? We are likely to find some in the senate or congress, or even retired AFP generals?! No, not Senator Ponce Enrile; he will be using most of the craft's oxygen supply, and he might get lost in space! How about Ping Lacson? He has traveled a lot and probably knows his way around. Even space. The ex-First Gentleman Mike Arroyo is recommending a Chinese firm to build the aircraft, but it will have to be brokered by Benjamin Abalos. Calling Jun Lozada!

This is not a "What if"! The world will certainly know if a Filipino has landed on the moon, but not where the US and Russian spacemen have landed before. You know how the Filipino likes to be thought of as "different"! He chooses to land on the dark side of the moon, where no one has been before. First thing he will do is to put up signs firmly on the moon's surface:

"Bawal magsende nang elaw deto": He wants to conserve energy on the light posts he put up himself.

"Bawal omehi deto": Obviously a sanitation freak.

"Ang maholi, potol": Or an ex policeman.

"Bawal magtapon nang basora deto": Worked at city hall before he became an astronaut.

"Notario Publiko": A man of vision, already thinking of the future Filipino moon community.

"Tumatanggap din nang labada": Or squatter area.

Great! A Pinoy astronaut! Only problem is, he forgot to fill up before he ventured into space. His fellow Visayan astronauts will have think of something to bring him back.

What if our Miss Shamcey Supsup, the third runner-up in the recent Miss Universe pageant in Brazil got married to her suitor, Bilawal, son of assassinated ex-premier of Pakistan Benazhir Bhutto? She will have to think twice before assuming his family name. Otherwise, she will be a.k.a. Mrs. Shamcey Supsup Bhutto!

What if GMA and FG Mike Arroyo negotiated with the Aquino administration to drop all the charges against them, offering to return all the money they have accumulated throughout the GMA years in Malacañang, including their foreign bank accounts and real estate investments here and abroad? It would be a windfall for the government, practically a year's budget, and then some. Well, for now, it's a just a pipe dream!

What if Manny Pacquiao became president one day? This early, he is already talking about the governorship in his home province, and of the vice-presidency. Quite an ambition for a small guy. But then, he knows only too well how easily celebrities can get elected into public office. And he couldn't be any more right! Wang-wang, I see the first mother in the backseat in the presidential limousine. Mommy Dionisia waving to the crowd with a tiara on her head. Where's Jinky? Well, she's had enough of the Pacman's not-so-secret love affairs, and no more cover-ups. She's now with Freddie Roach!

What if the new tourism secretary decided to go all out to change the Philippines' image here and abroad? It entails hiding the poor communities from public view, like they do in China! As it is, the first thing you see as your flight starts its descent in the Paranaque area is the dark dirty bay water and the squatters' shanties and the community of rusted tin rooftops all around the general area of the airport. After you get out of the airport, wayward children on the streets rap on your car window with their open palms, young boys sniffing glue in small bottles, all within sight of sweaty security guards and policemen. What a first impression! Then your car gets caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic towards your first-class hotel. Yes, people smile at you, but that's not what tourism is all about! It is, mainly, beautiful scenery, secured and hassle-free transportation, sufficient water and toilet paper in public toilets, and unaccented English-speaking tour guides. The tourism industry, aside from our OFWs, is one big source of income that keeps our economy afloat. Let us support it by being tourists in our own country, not mere Balikbayans!

What if I just shut up for 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: 5:00 PM 9/25/11 | More of this author on eK!