As always, many folks expressed high hopes for the New Year with high explosives—because nothing says “a bright 2014” like a few missing fingers.
It’s never simply to ward off evil spirits or for plain fun. Some people set off firecrackers on New Year’s Eve to blow off frustrations that built up over the past year. Some may even feel momentarily powerful by igniting blasts that can deafen ears, gouge out potholes and blink out streetlights.
But dour yours truly prefers to spend the end of a year and the advent of a new one in quiet reflection.
For me it’s a time for acknowledging past errors not only to improve my work, but to also offer my apologies to those who may have been offended for mistakes that were made.
For example, I apologize to the beleaguered Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile for disparaging his best-selling memoirs. Upon second reading, I realized it’s truly a masterful feat of imagination.
So sorry for kicking Gloria Arroyo when she’s down. Should’ve done it earlier.
I shouldn’t have mocked the 33 percent of Americans who, a recent study shows, don’t believe that humans evolved from lower forms of life. I was wrong. They’re irrefutable proof that some actually haven’t.
I shouldn’t have criticized Sen. Bongbong Marcos for constantly defending a father that only his son could love.
I also apologize for stating that many of the Philippines’ Catholic bishops who passionately oppose the Reproductive Health law are trapped in the dark past. I’m a responsible journalist. Instead of unfairly using a bold brush, I should’ve accurately specified the relevant century. Mea culpa.
Here’s another bummer. I argued with colleagues that former Rep. Zenaida Ducut, who’s accused of demanding kickbacks from government pork projects, should legally change her unfortunate name. On second thought “Zenaida” is just fine although old school.
I was, sad to say, completely outdone by some intrepid INQUIRER reporters who revealed that a “Saro Gang” operated inside the Department of Budget Management, faking pork release orders in exchange for a share of kickbacks.
Just imagine, Saro gangbangers in the DBM?! (“Yo, wassup, dawg! Got that Special Allotment Release Order jakelooed?” “Chill, fool, we bein’ busted ayt? Better blow town.”) That’s big news. Who knew? I didn’t. My bad.
These unfortunate missteps, however, won’t stop me from making fearless predictions for the coming year. Here are some.
The Aquino administration will learn from its catatonic response to the aftermath of Supertyphoon Yolanda by being more lively in its confusion when the next one hits.
America’s religious right-wingers who accuse Obama of wanting to impose Islam’s religious Sharia laws will continue demanding that the Ten Commandments be recognized as the law of the US. In response, more American moderates will ask that the US send only “our Christian fanatics” to fight “their Islamic fanatics” and leave them out of it.
The Communist Party of the Philippines’ concrete analysis of concrete conditions will remain firmly cemented in 1968 (notice that I now specify the year). It also will continue to exhort the masses to overthrow the Noynoy Aquino government by force of arms.
The masses, meanwhile, will ignore the call because, what the heck, why sacrifice life, limb and liberty when the guy’s term will end in two years? In which case the CPP will demand that the masses overthrow whoever is president after him. This prediction is failsafe.
Sir Chief will not be careful with Maya’s heart and shock her with a request for an annulment because he wants to go to San Francisco to marry my husband’s lover. The Catholic bishops will go absolutely berserk. However, Pope Francis, a closeted quasi-Marxist Liberation Theologian, will send them all to reeducation camp.
Now, if any of these forecasts turn out wrong, I will quietly reflect upon them at next year’s end to make the appropriate apologies, which never fails to give me peace of mind.
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