East and West
The Story of the Muslim Princess
Suppose that there was a Muslim princess from the flood capital of the Philippines, Malabon, who has just finished her degree in Mass Communications from the University of the Philippines with Latin honors (cum laude). Suppose that she decided to work for Discorama.
Remember the Saturday afternoon show on GMA Channel 7 with former Senator Tito Sotto, his brother Vic Sotto and comedian Joey de Leon as hosts? The Muslim princess was assigned to host the Tough Hits segment of the show. As Tough Hits girl, she did the weekly countdown of popular songs with bastardized lyrics to elicit cheap laughs. Her mother, who was an executive at the Philippine National Bank in Escolta, just shrugged her shoulders whenever her colleagues would ask about her favorite daughter’s TV show.
Soon, a female newscaster of a major TV network introduced the Muslim princess to her brother, a flight steward. After a whirlwind courtship, the Muslim princess married the flight steward who used to be a child actor whose only claim to fame was playing the role of a toddler Bongbong Marcos in a Marcos bio-flick. After a couple of months, the Muslim princess and the flight steward quietly separated.
But career-wise, lady luck smiled at the Muslim princess when she was given a big break by the major TV network. She bagged the plum assignment of delivering the evening news while at the same time hosting a successful TV magazine program which was pitted against a similar program in a rival TV network hosted by her former UP professor. However, the Muslim princess was such a perfectionist that it was reportedly not uncommon to see objects flying whenever she was unsatisfied with her TV staff’s work.
Later, the Muslim princess got married again, this time to a well-known local politician from a province south of Manila. The namesake of her father, her politician husband had grown-up children close to the Muslim princess’ age and it was being talked about that his first wife lived in the same condominium building where the Muslim princess and her new husband occupied the penthouse. The Muslim princess’ husband also reportedly decided to become a Muslim so that he could have more than one wife.
They were blessed with two sons.
The Muslim princess’ husband soon retired from politics and became contented with being a magician and a human toothpaste applier for his Muslim princess’ toothbrush. (Incidentally, the Muslim princess once appeared in a Close-Up Toothpaste TV commercial.) Now, the Muslim princess and her magician husband (He could make a big Coke bottle disappear
before your eyes.) are happily separated. Later, the Muslim princess’ husband was accused of being responsible for the disappearance of his close friend.
The Story of the Black Nazarene Devotee
Suppose that there was a Black Nazarene devotee from the tamaraw capital of the Philippines who claimed to have graduated with a business degree from the University of the East despite his critics’ contention that he just bought his college diploma from the sidewalk of C. M. Recto Avenue. He worked as a radio reporter for a major radio and TV network. With perseverance, he was given a Sunday morning radio show. Later, he would occasionally pinch-hit for announcers whenever they would not show up for their radio program. He also hosted a daily radio serialization of movies for a program dubbed as Sineradyo.
His biggest TV break came when a TV network hired him for a top-rated showbiz-oriented TV show called See-Tru. The show was hosted by gossip queen, Lourdes Jimenez-Carvajal who was more popularly known as Inday Badiday or Ate Luds to her legions of fans. The Black Nazarene devotee’s appearance was only through voice-over (and he was never really seen by the TV audience) and it was always preceded by his usual line: “Ate Luds,
may phone-in question po tayo rito galing kay…”. Yes, his job involved reading TV audience’s phone-in questions to Inday Badiday’s movie star guests.
However, despite the TV show’s enormous popularity, it was immediately cancelled after one of the show’s female guests hurled an ashtray at another female guest.
Later, the Black Nazarene devotee married a lady executive of the radio and TV network where he had moved up to become the host of its early morning radio show. They adopted a girl and had a younger son later.
Never The Twain Shall Meet
Suppose that the Muslim princess and the Black Nazarene devotee met in the same office where they both work. Suppose also that the Black Nazarene devotee personally chose the Muslim princess as one of the principal sponsors for his adopted daughter’s wedding to one of the members of the staff of his widely popular TV program.
Suppose further that both the Muslim princess and the Black Nazarene devotee became elected government officials and they both decided to run for the same government office on the same year. They both run for say, the presidency of the Philippines. No, that’s being too ambitious. Okay, suppose that they both run for the position of Vice President under
opposing political parties. Who would you vote for?
The Muslim princess or the Black Nazarene devotee?
If you would vote for the Muslim princess, you just wasted your vote.
If you would vote for the Black Nazarene devotee, you are good at spotting a winner (but it does not mean that you did not also waste your vote).
Because the honorary Muslim princess is former Senator Loren Legarda who lost her bid for the Vice Presidency of the Philippines in the 2002 national elections.
And yes, the Black Nazarene devotee who helps carry the replica of the Black Nazarene image barefoot and wearing only a white undershirt (sans bullet-proof vest) during the annual Quiapo procession as part of his religious devotion (yes, he still does it up to this day) is Noli de Castro, current Vice President of the Philippines.