Friday, March 27, 2009

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


I don’t think God will allow fire and brimstone to rain over the Philippines despite the corrupt ways of her leaders. There are still a few good men and women who can save her from total destruction.

During my recent stay in MetroManila, I received a gift of two books written by Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel and his wife, Bing, that put God first in their life. Sen. Pimentel’s book , “Invoking God in a Secular Senate” and that of Bing’s “True Love Within Our Reach” are both their true life’s experiences testifying about God’s greatness and love through His Son, Jesus Christ.

I believe there are more Filipino national leaders and their families like the Pimentels that would stop a Sodomic disaster to happen in the Philippines. That is what God wants from his creation: praise, worship and adoration. It’s that simple, my fellow beings, isn’t it? And you’ll be blessed and be saved from damnation.

Yet the reality of man’s wickedness seems to be out of control for now. That’s the way it is anywhere in this world. I don’t know why God allows Satan to rule for just a little while. But I really don’t need to reason why. Only God knows what He’s doing. What I can do as a Christian believer is just believe and hold His hand. For in the final conflict, as it is written, Satan will be chained and thrown down to the bottlomless pit. This is the quintessence of Christian Faith.

Not getting younger caused me to reminisce about time past:

After the Americans rescued Marcos from the wrath of the Filipino people during the people power revolution in 1986, Cory, the widow of the assassinated senator, Ninoy Aquino, became the revolutionary president.

Cory later went to Washington, D.C. and spoke at a joint session of the U.S.Congress. Herbert Rickman, then Special Assistant to New York City Mayor Ed Koch, talked to me in my capacity as the Mayor’s liaison to the Filipino community in the city and expressed the Mayor’s interest to invite Cory to New York as a conquering hero. He wanted to give Cory the symbolic key to the City of New York as a recognition of Cory’s restoration of democracy in the Philippines.

The event turned to be one of the most spectacular events in the history of the Filipino community in New York that paved the way for the annual Philippine Independence Day Parade and Street Fair in Manhattan.

Before Cory’s visit to New York City, the Benigno Aquino Triangle was already in place. The New York City council passed the legislation naming a public vacant land after the assassinated senator who died for freedom and liberty. Mayor Ed Koch signed the legislation also to honor the contributions of the Filipino community to the city.

Before the Council approved the legislation, I and the late Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations had to justify before the Committee on Parks and Recreation the importance of granting recognition to the Filipino martyr who used to stay in Queens, New York before he returned to the Philippines n 1983.

By the way, I must say that remembering the past helps a person prepare for the future. And past events normally cannot be erased from the mind.


Friday, March 20, 2009

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


The Pilipino language based on the Tagalog dialect as spoken by majority of Filipinos in the Philippines nowadays has turned out to be a hodgepodge of words from other Filipino dialects, foreign languages, and coined words.

Here’s a sampling:

The English word “every” such as in everyday translated into Tagalog as “bawa’t” is now translated as “kada” from the Spanish word cada.

The English word “evacuate” translated into Tagalog as “ilipat” is now translated as “ilikas” borrowed from the Kapampangan dialect.

The English word “homosexual” translated into Tagalog as “bakla or binabae” is now translated as “bading” perhaps a shortened combination of words.

The English word “impression” translated into Tagalog as “palagay” is now translated as “dating” used to mean arrival.

The English word “outing” translated into Tagalog as “pasyal” is now translated as gimmick borrowed from English that means a deal or a ploy.

The English word “business” translated into Tagalog as “pinagkakakitaan” is now translated as “racket” borrowed from English that commonly means criminal activity.

I have no idea whether these changes in the way today’s Filipinos speak is a sign of progress or otherwise. But what has so grammatically changed based on the BALARILA, the Filipino national language manual is the common use of the Tagalog pronoun “siya” to refer to all kinds of persons, objects, and things. The pronoun “siya” originally pertains only to people and the pronouns “ito” or “iyan” refer to animals, objects or things.

In so doing, there is no more distinction among people, animals and things in the universal use of the pronoun “siya” .Is this the way Philippine culture goes?


By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


I just watched President Barack Obama on Jay Leno’s late night talk show at Channel 4. He seems to be a regular open-minded American guy devoid of any pretensions despite the awesomeness of his presidential office.

I believe it is not right to judge the newly-elected president’s performance at this time whether it’s good or bad. Let’s give him some more time to adjust to his new role as President of the most powerful country in the world, the United States of America.

I can’t wait knowing how he plans to do with millions and millions of undocumented aliens especially those who came to the United States when they were still minors. This special group of aliens known as “refugee children” has grown up in American education and culture in thought and in deed. How can America, land of the free, deport these Americans whose only deficiency is lack of immigration documents?

Anyway, what caught my attention during President Obama’s appearance on the famous late night show was when he went to pick up Jay Leno’s coffee mug a few seconds before the first commercial break. Jay Leno signaled and pointed to his mug he put on the other coffee table. Well, he’s just like me and any other person who makes silly mistakes.

Now, do you believe God put Barack Obama at the Oval Office to rule over the American people? I believe so. As the Bible says, the first shall be the last, and the last shall be the first. For I think Obama was the last person thought by most Americans before last year’s elections to win the presidency.

In the Philippines, who do you think God will put in Malacanang Palace in 2010 to reign over the Filipino people? President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo believes God put her there in 2001. That’s why she refused to give up power despite her high public disapproval rating.

I think what we can do in this imperfect world is just to live or cope with things and events that an individual cannot control. That leaves to the Almighty God full control to see to it that justice ultimately prevails.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


The Bible says “all things work together for good to them that love God…”

Well, I’ll say emphatically I do love God, my Creator. So my losing in the last congressional elections for the second time was good for me. God knows best.

It was good because I found time to take care of the land I inherited from my late father, Gonzalo J. Policarpio, Sr. of Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. As a footnote to my father’s first government job, he was the Civil Registrar of Cabanatuan City when the Japanese invaded the Philippines during the second world war. I was only a few months old. To add color to his shortened stint at that job, he officiated at the emergency wedding of the late Sen. Hermogenes Concepcion, Sr. to his second wife.

For almost a month away back home in the Philippines, I spent my time with my only living brother, Conrado, nephews and nieces from my deceased siblings examining land titles some of which apparently have been mysteriously transferred from my father’s name to that of another person. We also agreed to develop more than a hectare of land in Sumacab and turn it into a Policarpio Manor as a tribute to my late father Gonzalo and late grandfather Julio. We still have to petition the Department of Education to rename the Talipapa Elementary School after my grandfather Julio who donated the land.

I visited the mausoleum of my late brother-in-law, Cecilio T. Marcelo, who was married to my eldest sister Felicisima. My sister passed away long time ago. It was located at the spacious Baliwag Memorial Park in Bulacan that he owned. He also left to his second wife and children an educational legacy - the St. Joseph Academy of Candaba, Pampanga that he founded. He is an example of a Filipino who accumulated lots of assets and wealth through hard work and sound investments and not through corruption.

On Valentine’s Day, I hosted a get-together party held at Aberdeen Court in Makati to assemble most of my nephews and grandnephews and nieces and grandnieces to meet and know each other. I learned that they have never met since their childhood days. I never thought MetroManila is too big for them.

Now they know that one of them owns a fleet of 250 taxicabs called EFE. Now they know that they have an Uncle who ran for the U.S. Congress and lost twice and another Uncle who is retiring from the Court of Appeals this coming May at age 70. His name is Edgardo P. Cruz, said by the media to belong to the group of four Court of Appeals justices who are not corrupt.

In another occasion at Serendra I where my son Jason and his wife Mariliz took over the condo unit they bought, a relative of Mariliz who teaches piano in Quezon City proudly posed with me in a picture taking. She said she will tell her friends that she met the father-in-law of Rowena Arrieta who is married to Jason’s elder brother Jonathan. I never thought that Weenie is still a big star in the Philippines. It’s time to hold another concert in Manila.