They’re never gonna dine again…

18 08 2009

EARLIER THIS year, all I couldn’t help but do was scratch my head when I read in the papers about the lavish weekends and fat bonuses that top companies in the States showered their executives just right after they were bailed out of their financial hemorrhage by the government.  The uproar I expected.  The cry for blood?  I was kind of on the fence on that one.

As I flipped through the pages of the papers, I just consoled myself with the fact that at least, in the developing country that is my Philippines, there hasn’t been a similar, objectionable, coronary-inducing ostentatious display of insensitivity and irresponsibility of the lowest kind.

Alas, I patted myself in the back too soon.  I spoke too soon!  I totally forgot that there still is sitting in Malacañang the current president – with all her posse, minions, and sycophants!

I’ve kept my peace – again, by the skin of my teeth – from when the Le Cirque dinner “blow-out” created a ruckus.  But with each subsequent piece of news about more lavish dinners, I just couldn’t keep the lid on anymore on pent-up indignation that has been threatening to cascade down with scalding froth.

I almost hurled stuff at the television when the news drummed up the declarations – sarcastic at that! – by the president’s spin doctors, running the lengths of justifying the lavishness of it all, dropping names of “generous, big-hearted” hosts, and even insulting the media and the people by offering to pay out of “their own pockets.”  Really?!  Say what again?!  The spin doctors that they are, they should realize now that they have only been digging deeper into the rut they are already in.

And last night, when Prof. Winnie Monsod shared data on how much a “working visit” of the president costs per day, I almost fell off my seat that the cost of my previous one-and-a-half year assignment in California wouldn’t even be able to pay for one day for her and her entourage to wine and dine in the Big Apple!  And to think that with my own savings at the time, I was already able to wine and dine in Idaho, Nevada, and Illinois on special occasions.

I think her spin doctors better shut up, or if they insist to continue with their verbal diarrhea, they should at least devise a more sincere, empathic way to explain to a nation in hunger.  Apologize if they have to.  But, my golly, please do not let the country sit through another deadpan delivery of:


I…  am…  SORRY.


Tama naSobra na.  (Enough.  Too much already!)

I guess it’s just too much to ask from these people a little leadership by example.  Especially since, as one wise man had said, leadership by example means leading one’s self first.  But if the president has been much too busy to even hearken to the words of a wise man, she could’ve just popped into her player any one of the three-installment Spider-man saga and learn that “with great power comes great responsibility.”

But should they still insist to insult the intelligence of the Filipino people and make fun of our discomfort, I hope they will do so with much bravura.  I’m thinking a well-choreographed dance number to the tune of:

“We’re never gonna dine again  /  Guilty feelin’, got no more pork barrel  /  Though it’s easy to pretend  /  We know you are not fools…”




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