"The island resort has great new rates."
When I learned that a date had been set for the launch of my book—November 26, at Manila Golf and Country Club, courtesy of House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez—I had mixed feelings.
These questions came to mind: Whom will I invite? Will the greats and near-greats I mentioned all come? I hope they will accept my invitation.
My gulay, that’s not the end of my agony. Of course, the book will have to be marketed. That is the difficult part. I have seen books written by celebrities, politicians and pop stars gathering dust in many libraries. I am just a humble journalist-lawyer hoping to inspire the next generation of journalists.
In my Saturday column, I took time to express my eternal gratitude to all who made the book come into being. Due to space constraints, I was unable to express my thanks to a couple—Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar, both Palanca awardees, who helped edit the first edition of my book.
There are many more I would like to thank.
In my close to 70 years as a journalist, my dream has been to make a change, no matter how small it was, in this world. To a point, I believe I have, no matter how small. It seems to me “The Road Never Ends.” It’s an endless journey!
* * *
The national spectacle of the Barretto family, a controversial gambling personality and a former Caloocan mayor is food for everybody who wants to talk about the misfortunes of others.
More so, with the Barretto sisters having good looks and wealth, it is not surprise they became the talk of the town.
For ordinary Filipinos, this is also a distraction from their daily struggles in life, including their punishing commute, and providing for their family which thankfully is not as dysfunctional as the Barrettos.
It makes a good study of the Filipino character. It’s part of human nature that people are naturally curious about what is happening around them.
The problem, however, is that mainstream media—newspapers, radio and television—carry the story. I say, sobra na, tama na (Enough is enough)!
Santa Banana, we have so many other things to worry about! Leave the scandal to the tabloids!
I hate to say this but it’s media that exacerbate spectacles like this.
* * *
With the demise of Carlos Celdran, who died recently as a fugitive of the law to escape a forthcoming sentence against him for offending religious feelings, there have been some who have portrayed him as larger than life—even a hero of sorts.
But how could the erstwhile Intramuros tourist guide be a hero when he violated a provision of the Revised Penal Code against hurting religious feelings of people? Remember he dressed like Jose Rizal and went to church bearing a placard that said “Damaso” while an ecumenical mass was going on.
For that, he was brought to court.
Now, some sectors claim that the law is archaic. I disagree, not because I am a staunch Catholic, but because I believe that every right has a limitation.
Sure, Celdran had the right to protest. He believed that the Catholic Church should not intervene in the passage of the reproductive health bill. But that right is not absolute.
How many times has President Duterte also offended religious feelings?
I think the law remains relevant to this day.
* * *
Santa Claus comes early to the Balesin Club members, their families and guests, courtesy of Bobby Ongpin, chairman of Alphaland that operates and manages the Balesin Island Paradise Club.
There is an “Amazing Airfare Deal” for members and their immediate family. Round-trip airfare will remain at P2,000 plus VAT per person. For non-members, the same will be P5,000 plus VAT.
The new offer will last until January 31, 2020.
With these new rates, wedding and corporate events will also have a new set of rates. With the completion of the Balesin Marquee which can hold up to 600 persons for a banquet, and more than a thousand for theater-seated events, Ongpin’s team compared its rates to other high-end competitors in Boracay, Mactan and El Nido.
Incidentally, I was in Baguio two weekends ago and I saw another of Ongpin’s developments—the Alphaland Mountain Lodge. It was simply amazing!