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wilfrido david
wilfrido david ACCORDING TO the Mayan Calendar the world will end on Dec. 12, 2012. In fact, the movie "2012" released in 2000 was a blockbuster; it was so thought-provoking I found it almost believable. Just to be on the safe side, I went to confession this morning. It took me about an hour reading the list of sins I have committed for the last 25 years. I could sense that my confessor behind the screen was getting impatient, so I skipped the minor ones and just merged the major ones into one big whopper. It's just as well, because all he gave me as "punishment" were three Hail Marys and three Our Fathers. Easy enough, in exchange for the privilege of being spared on judgement day.

Therein lies the quandary on who can predict the end of the world and be successful enough to scare people out of their wits. Is it the Mayans, or Nostradamus, the Bible, or just one's own natural naiveté?

Seriously now, the end of the world happens quite often to people who live in their own small worlds. The rich and famous whose worlds collapse when they divorce their spouses and are slapped with huge settlements. It is the end of the world, literally, when a wage earner with mouths to feed loses his job, the family whose house is burned to the ground and loses family members, the happy couple who loses his or her spouse in some tragic accident, the parents whose child recently graduated from college gets murdered, and an average family whose house is burglarized and their life's savings stolen, the victims of the last typhoon that hit the Visayas and Mindanao, and last but not least, the poor government employee, the struggling businessman, the lowly farmer, and the average family who do not know any better, being victimized by the Pyramid scam.

The beginning of the end of the world has already started. It is called Global Warming, better known as climate change, and the irony of it is that nobody seems to care. It seems to be the least of the world's problems, even as we see it happening everywhere. What we really concerns us is the world economy, the current peso-dollar exchange rate, the RH Bill, the FOI bill, PNoy's smoking and lack of a lovelife. Well and good. The world will last on it's own sweet time. Let nobody tell you otherwise.

In the Time of Nick

Christmas is just around the corner. It's time once again for St. Nicholas to be fulfilling children's dreams, delivering gifts from his "carriage" down the chimney and being caught by the kids kissing their mommy. (Daddy won't believe it anyway). What silly things our parents made us believe. A white-bearded chubby old man in a red suit, delivering gifts to those who were good but not to those who were naughty and bad, but which we got anyway just by pretending to believe, and so all the more reason to ask for our toys of choice. We got what we wanted, all is fair and square.

Santa Clause still exists, but in a different getup. He wears a business suit, takes a beautiful girl to Hongkong or Europe on a vacation, buys his girl a beautiful mansion, sends his male "in-laws" to college, thinks nothing of spending thousands on his girl's face and body lift, buys her a beamer, and even shows her off to his friends. He is either a chinky-eyed tycoon, or he works at the BOC or Pagcor. The children have changed as well. They are now grownups, either as starlets or wannabees, and the little boys now prone to give in to gay St. Nicks. Times change and people change.

Enough Already

Why is it so hard to believe that Pacquiao has at last met his comeuppance and defeated beyond the shadow of a doubt? Manny himself said before the TV cameras that he was overly confident and that he got a taste of his own medicine, smashing his opponents faces and maiming them like crash-test dummies. Boxing is like war, kill or be killed.

Mommy Dionisia blames her son's new preoccupation of being a wannabee pastor and also his lack of adequate preparation, maybe even complacence in the belief that he was a better man than Marquez. I find it rather odd that he has a whole battalion of assistants running with him everytime he goes training. A private cook, several trainers, bodyguards, and plain hangers-on, which certainly is not the the case with other boxing greats.

Well, if one must find excuses for the Pacman's defeat, everybody knew that he was becoming sloppy and that the fatal day was imminent. For one thing he wears too many hats, and he didn't know which one to wear at the proper occasion. He is a neophyte congressman, but only by virtue of his popularity. He is a TV entertainer, having his own game show where he finds time to sing and dance on. He is an entepreneur, and then still lately started to wear an imaginary stiff white collar, evangelizing at every opportunity.

It is enough that Pacquiao has put the Philippines on the world map, giving his kababayan expatriates pride, that we should consider him a hero and, as such, give him a fitting welcome. The so-called hangers-on will still be there, because they still have the opportunity, although now warily, to make money off of him. Enough already, but Arum alone has the last say on it.

The "Fiscal Cliff"

In America we are getting a daily dose of a bitter pill, the controversial "Fiscal Cliff." If we have our telenovelas in the Philippines that keep the housewives glued to their seats, neglecting their household chores in the process, we have here the "Fiscal Cliff" taking a lot of valuable airtime in TV and radio as well as in the print media. As the politicos put it, "It's about the economy, stupid!" Actually, it's about many things that affect the average Americans' lives. It's about taxes, the budget deficit, social security, Medicare and Medicaid, and what ultimately boils down to why the jobless remain jobless—entitlements!

Generally speaking, the minorities and the underprivileged are the thorns on the nation's side. They are gripers and they blame their situation on the government. Some potential workers prefer to take advantage of their unemployment benefits (about $600 per week) on what used to be a six-month entitlement, which lately has been extended to up to a year. There are long queues in soup kitchens, with the unkempt homeless making a living out of panhandling or mooching, mendicancy, and unbridled intimidation of passersby; not to mention the long lines and waiting in government agencies attending to the needs of the unemployed, the "unwed" mothers who are seeking benefits of as low as $200 per month per child for their brood, $500 aid to those who can prove that they are living below the poverty line, and food stamps for as much as $200 per month per family for as long as they qualify for it. There are even cases where these benefits are readily given even to illegal immigrants, such as Medicaid (medical assistance covering basic illnesses for those who have no medical insurance) and subsidized housing (called "Section 8") for the underprivileged where they are only required to pay 20 or 30 percent of their apartment rental.

These entitlements are, directly or indirectly, supported by the poor and struggling workers' taxes. For the most part, beneficiaries of these entitlements are undeserving. They are just taking advantage of the government's ill-conceived idea of helping the poor. If you were an employee receiving the minimum wage, would you really be looking for work when you can live comfortably on your weekly unemployment checks for a least a year? Entitlements do more harm than good, if only in the sense that beneficiaries lose their motivation to rise above their lot.

America, to the Pinoys, is like a Rich Uncle, who gives you an opportunity to live with him, giving you a good life and make something out of your skills and talents, and your willingness to be what you can be. The America of the present is still the Rich Uncle and prestigious world community leader. But it now finds itself in a crisis to keep and preserve that image. Unless he watches out, his equally wealthy Chinese Macho neighbor might just succeed in running away with his wife. Where does that leave us?

Why Romney Lost

Kaawa-awa naman si Romney. Ang dami pa namang stateside na Pinoy na sumoporta sa kanya. Pagkatapos ng ginastos na milyun-milyon sa kampanya niya, sayang! (Kagaya ni Pacquiao naging kampante siya.) Akala ni Romney, dahil sa kompiyansiyang ipinakita ng mga kapwa Republicans at iba pang supporters, in the bag na ang Presidency!

Tayong mga Pinoy, mayroon tayong bansag sa personalidad ni Romney. Mataas ang lipad, malakas ang dating, mukhang suplado, pogi pero hindi simpatiko—in other words, mabigat ang dugo. Palaging kunot-noo, salubong ang kilay, at masyadong pustorioyoso. Mayaman nga siya, masyadong malakas ang cologne (sa isip ko lang), at matalino. Pero simple lang ang dahilan ng pagkatalo niya. Walang charisma. Para siyang babaeng walang sex appeal—walang "IT".

Si Obama naman, nanalo dahil nais gusto ng mga botante na bigyan siyang second chance. His fans thought it was not wise nor practical to change horses in midstream. Bagama't mukha siyang may B.O. o may bad breathe, gusto ng mga tao ang kanyang "demeanor." Smart, a go-getter, decisive, a great family man! Yung iba, ang gusto lang sa kanya ay ang style niyang straight ang mga braso niya sa harap kapag bumababa sa Air Force One na parang nagbibisikleta. Yung iba naman napopogian by his own kinky-haired way. Bagama't ander de saya siya, hindi masyadong halata.

Tignan lang natin kung may magagawa pa siya sa apat pang taong inibinigay sa kanya.

[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: 8:00 AM 12/12/12 | More of this author on eK!