Shoutout for May

Lito A. Tacujan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — From a returning son, returning champ and a fallen king.

That should be the highlights of this sweltering summer.

If April is the cruelest month, May is the most exciting and exacting.

For those uninitiated what was served in the month was a smorgasbord of cliffhangers, thrillers and heart-stoppers in sumptuous offering rarely seen on the local scene.

It churned out sporting heroes and brought out partisan politics that enlivened the evenings with massive rallies made awesome with drone shots that swept through seas of red and pink.

But despite throngs of cheering supporters Veep Leni Robredo was buried in a landslide of 15 million votes on the May 9 national election as her cash-strapped camp reeled from the impact of BBM’s unrelenting “golden” offensives that opened the gates for the return of the son of the strong man.

“A weak leadership,” said outgoing President Duterte, noting that daughter Sarah, who was elected vice-president, gave BBM the decisive edge in Mindanao.

And despite the millions of supporters as pros, workers, and students that manned the ramparts, BBM would complete his family’s return to power.

In the end, they acknowledged BBM’s well-funded campaign, and Robredo accepted defeat despite the anomalous vote buying that cast some doubts on the state of the nation’s electorate – is it matured or can be bought?

There were questions asked if we would last the next six years under Marcos Jr.’s stewardship, considering the epic task of recharging the economy stymied by the siege of pandemic.

Robredo, bless her heart, wouldn’t heed the call for mass action and instead announced her social program in her Thanksgiving Mass at the Ateneo grounds that Friday (May) the 13th.

There was some heavy presence in most of Leni’s volunteers and supporters. It turned out the crowd was grieving over the overtime loss of the Blue Eagles to their neighbor UP Fighting Maroons just hours ago.

That was a gut-wrenching playoff that played to the hilt its “Dynasty vs Destiny” theme. The Eagles were gunning for a four-peat, only to be ambushed by the scrappy Maroons as JD Cagulangan fired a pressure-packed trey that swished through the net in overtime as the Maroons returned as varsity kings after 36 years. The last time they gained the feat was in 1986.

There were some close games in the NCAA but the Letran Knights proved a notch better, retaining their crown over the Mapua Cardinals in the “Battle of Intramuros.”

As the month neared its end, there were the golden efforts by the national athletes led by the five-gold haul of world gymnast champ Carlos Yulo that gave Team Philippines a fighting fourth-place finish in the Hanoi SEA Games.

But the Hanoi Games will be remembered for the disastrous finish by the Filipino cagers who were outhustled and outgunned by the Indonesians, 81-85.

The Filipinos lost a winning streak that lasted 33 years.

That was the only glitch in the merry month of May.

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