Crash landing on who?
SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto P. Maceda Jr. (The Philippine Star) - February 29, 2020 - 12:00am

Those soap operas we’ve been binge watching on our smart phones, tablets, laptops? They were originally meant for a targeted audience of housewives doing laundry or washing dishes while husbands worked. It was a window to the establishment’s thinking of what women wanted. Ingredients: vida vs contra vida, indecisive men, crying ladies, arch portrayals, cliffhangers. Now, of course, the audience is more diverse. Lawyers, doctors, Congressmen and Senators, Justices and Cabinet members. Housewives and househusbands. 

Surely, escapism is one way to manage stress and fuel acceptable work-life balance. And it is film, as cinema or as content on the TV medium – as art or propaganda – that provides that needed equilibrium for many. In my own case, with an analogue mind, I can find a meager merger of balance in work when I enjoy legal writing (including my newspaper columns) while indulging an affection for fountain pens. 

The world stage triumph of South Korean tour de force Parasite may have surprised many in the West. US President Donald Trump couldn’t resist a whine out on Twitter to indulge a thinly veiled bigotry. But in the East, specially in the Philippines and in the ASEAN countries, the quality of South Korean fare is no secret. The latest, as we know, is the TV novella Crash Landing on You. Or as millennials term it, CLOY. 

Of course, ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal saga tops that. Same ingredients: vida vs contra vida; indecisive men; crying ladies; arch portrayals; cliffhangers, but all in real life. And crashing is a distinct possibility.

PLOY- not an acronym for anything. But it comes to mind when we see once mercilessly unmoving legislators do a Lazarus, proffering ostensibly merciful options to extend lifelines to the embattled giant media corporation. In truth, just a few days or hours prior, House sessions would convene only to be adjourned after roll calls. Such was the fear in their hearts. These Congressional antics earned them a moniker. The blockbuster Disney children’s animated movie Frozen? There you go –  a new identity.

Once again, House members were provided the stage to portray the many shapes and sizes of vacuity and acuity. And we’re just talking about the moves made out in the sun. What of deals concluded in the shadows? 

COY. If you’re still surprised at the challenges these days to our psychological health, try their 101 ways of saying NO without saying NO. The big NO is to the extension. The lesser NOs are on the consuelos of whether they can, at least, operate until the end of session.

Those with no reason to play COY have no hesitation to weigh in with their two-cents worth. And weightiest among them are the giants of judiciaries past like the erudite Reynato Puno, Chief Justice Ret. and the fearless Associate Justice Angelina Sandoval Gutierrez, Ret. who, in telling it like it is, confirm that its as bad as they say.

The VFA abrogation was a situation where government acted in the face of a clear gap in the law.  ABS-CBN’s dilemma, though less tragic, is also due, in part, to lacunae in the franchise statutory framework. On these searing issues, well meaning experts may differ. Opinions like those of Puno and Sandoval-Gutierrez supply clarity in navigating the labyrinth, help to avoid crashes and serve as bellwether of the temperament of judicial minds lurking down the path.

Breaker of chains. Re: VFA – our President feels more comfortable charting a national course unfettered by attachments. Despite the executive briefings and the contrarian advice from his military advisers so staunchly American, PRRD remains firm in his belief. No one knows more than he what the stakes are and what each player brings to the table in the matter of our defense, economic growth or national happiness. 

He believes that self reliance should be an end in itself. Why begrudge him this desiderata? Perhaps the more autonomous position on defense could be informed also by, or could herald a pivot toward, an equally progressive economic policy. 

Senator Bato de la Rosa’s visa may have been the trigger but the President’s gun was already loaded. The record will show that he has long advocated a more independent posture. Maybe its his way of leveraging the risk. With the choices at hand, he eschewed the more popular one. Not surprising that he would take that route. Once upon a time, that less popular choice was him.

Take a bow. You’ll get a kick out of reading Tim Tebow’s official stats on the website. Height: 6-3. Weight: 245. Age: 32. Born: ... Makati City, Philippines. This NFL superstar sacrificed a still sustainable career at top shelf American football for the chance to play the sport he loves more, baseball.  Now a member of the New York Mets organization, he is currently on the roster of the Mets club in the minor league Triple A (one down from the majors). 

Tebow has officially declared his availability to play for the Philippine Team in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers. Team Phl will see action against lineups from Panama, New Zealand, Great Britain, Spain, Czech Republic. Those that qualify will join powerhouses US, Japan, Dominican Republic, Cuba and others for the chance to be Champions in this “real” World Series of Baseball. 

Under the rules of the Classic, players can represent their native country. Like the principle of jus soli, this can mean the country where you were born. 

The phenomenally popular Tebow may be a provocative personality in parts of US with his kind of public displays of faith. But in the Phl, where he continues his well received philantrophic support for evangelism and other causes, he is a hero. 

For a while, he was best known for his on field genuflections in prayer during NFL games – an act which came to be known as Tebowing. Now, he is also known as the husband of Ms. Universe 2017 Demi Leigh Nel-Peters, friend to our Pia and Catriona.


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