Monthly Archives: February 2014

A MUSICIAN’S LIFE

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He loved playing the guitar even as a toddler.  It was the first real toy he got from his father when he was five years old.  And it was a love affair that would take him to several places, several stages, several films in a span of almost six decades.  He was the country’s best guitarist for a long time.  He was the counterpart of the most precocious musicians that ever graced the planet and he was almost a perfect match for their skill.  For a time, he occupied the top of the music world as one of the most sought after instrumentalists in the country.

He is Benjamin Tesoro, the youngest brother of my father.  Personal equation dictates that I must be partial and patronizing to a fault because of relation.  But no.  The man has received enough accolades to be recognized and no amount of boot licking can erase his record.  I only want to record what could have been a significant footnote in the country’s musical history which has been overtaken by crass commercialism.

In the 60s, Ben Tesoro was a budding band member.  His talent however got better until he was literally shove to perform along with great performers and thespians during the period.  He was the instrumentalist behind the voice of Eddie Mesa, then the Elvis Presley of the Philippines.  He was the guitar soloist when the music of Ventures captured the air waves.  He was a constant band player strumming along with another great musician, Ramon Jacinto.  The latter would acknowledge the prowess of Ben and would hand over the medal for musical ingenuity to the former every time they would compete for guitar wizardry.

In the 70s, he was a familiar musician abroad.  In the 80s and 90s, he returned back to the country and once again guested in most high end casinos and hotels.  In 2000s his music precocity was subjected to various recording studios.  It was also during this period when the stress of nightly gigs would have a telling blow on his health.  Much of what he had accumulated went through hospitalization and recovery.  A few years later, he was back again on the stage regaling audience with his mastery of the guitar.

His generation defined the musical episode of the times.  It was a period of copying the best, venturing for originality, experimenting with other medium, exploring other sounds and a combination of native and electronic bytes.  Ben Tesoro has familiarized himself not only with basic musical instruments but has served as band leader and conductor, at ease in handling not only the lead, rhythm and bass guitar but also the entire harmony and arrangement for a song.

His period is about to retire soon.  There will be no more musical wizardry to watch and listen.  His performance could no longer be duplicated.  Skills and talents no longer are part of individual domain because of technology.  Eventually, gone would be those days when gigs and jamming were a part of a brilliant and competent generation.  The digital chapter and robotic phase have slowly been replacing human ingenuity.  Time will come when Man would just be a decoration to a highly technological world where electricity and capacitors rule the universe.

The music of Ben Tesoro however will forever be embedded in the consciousness of a generation that pursued sincerely the hallmark of true humanism.  Those days are about to end.

 

POSTSCRIPT:  Benjamin  Tesoro crossed over at the age of 68 last February 15, 2015, 3 PM in his residence at  Muntinlupa City.  His remains lay in wake at Divine Mercy Chapels, National Road, Tunasan, Muntinlupa City.  On those days, the best and the most prolific musicians of the country paid their last respect to one of their beloved peer in the world of Rock and Roll.  When I published the above article last February 26, 2014, he was very happy and inspired to have read it.  Government should have recognized him and his fellow musicians not only for their talents but for contributing to national consciousness the road to peace through music.

 

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PAULO COEHLO MEETS VEN JO TESORO

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It is not enough to meet a well-known author like Paulo Coehlo, a famous Brazilian lyricist and novelist, one of the most widely read authors in the world.  His works are translated in various languages.  His book The Alchemist has gone to sell more than 65 million copies worldwide, becoming one the best-selling book in history.  Once you read just one of his many books, you must have met him literally although not in the physical sense.  But meeting is certainly a metaphysical occurrence, hence my conference with the brilliant writer.

First off.  Coehlo is senior by a few summers than mine.  But we belong to one generation that understands eastern and western philosophies.  We were once a member of the flower people phenom in the late 60s although in his case, he lived through it.  In my case, I just coasted along.  He was in a way the counter part of Steve Jobs than me.

Secondly, Coehlo believes in the universe more than the generation that followed.  Those who would hear him explain this to the youth today would find it perplexing at first but would accept it as a profound explanation for a simple matter.  In my lectures, I find the same line worth discussing to the appreciation of a youthful audience.

Thirdly, my generation, this of course is virtually ruled by a precocious writer like Coehlo, fathoms the past and understand the future in terms of its raw beauty rather than in terms of crucial technology.  We are more than at ease with how we would eventually think than how subsequently would look like.  Ageing for us is more of an icing than substance.  The youth today would rather appreciate this on the basis of our composure.

Now, let us listen to our generation as Coehlo* would put it:

“And, when you want something, ALL the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

“Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.”

“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted.  DO IT NOW.”

“Be brave.  Take risks.”

“If you want to be successful, respect one rule.  DO NOT LIE TO YOURSELF.”

“The act of discovering who we are will force us to accept that we can go further than we think.”

“The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”

“Don’t waste your time with explanations, people want to hear what they want to hear.”

“Don’t give in to your fears.  If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”

“At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.  That’s the world’s greatest lie.”

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve:  the fear of failure.”

“When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore.  It is a decision.”

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

“It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

“You are not defeated when you lose.  You are defeated when you quit.”

*Note:  The above quotes from Coehlo were made possible by blogger Hristian Nikolov.

So you see, Coehlo’s thoughts reflect what we all along knew but could not capture in essence unless expressed properly.  It is there in our minds, it is there everywhere.  Ask those that belonged to a previous generation and they will also tell you the same thing.  I met this brilliant author through the past that we have trodden on.

 

 

OLD TIMERS ARE IN NOWADAYS

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I was in a small bar waiting for the sensational performance of a long time band.  They would come to play the music of my youth.  In my mind, these musicians must already be in their 70s if not 80s since I am already in my late 50s.  I ordered coffee to whiz my patience.  I was also looking on a window to catch a glimpse at the players.

A few seconds later, I saw a couple of slow moving personalities, white crop of hair, slim, shoulders stooping, bones on wrinkled skin showing while their protruding bellies project age related fat.  They must be in their 90s!

I thought they were there like me to watch a grand show of musical talent.  But Lo and Behold, as they entered the bar, they immediately unwrapped carefully some boxes, closely unzipping the straps  while adjusting their thick glasses, revealing what could have been a musical instrument.  Indeed, these old craps were the musicians I, along with others ogling at the stage, were waiting for.  Their ages, their gait, their unhurried movements indicated senior citizenship and that which they would do literally could unshackle whatever it is that joined their skins and bones together.

The lights were dimmed.  The old timers moved onward the stage.  They installed the cords and toned the speaker chests, then checked the microphones.  As they all aligned on the stage, one was motioning a waiter to bring up a stool on which they could repair after a number.  The announcement came.  They greeted the audience “those who will not sing with us are suffering from dementia!”  After a calibrated laughter from the audience, the drums rolled signaling a beautifully crafted combination of rhythm and base from guitars.  The organ was tuned to a trumpet and later adjusted as piano.  The song was from Motown; the top melody almost 30 years ago.

The audience got their adrenaline shot.  We were all singing with the singers.  Suddenly the old, creaking hags of men, who at first glance were ashen, zombieish, on the verge of withering, about to snap and get into the second layer of life in purgatory were all belting out melodies as if youth has never departed their souls!  They, and we in the audience, were all young once again.  In my case, I felt I was back in my elementary days.  The way they sing those olden songs transported all of us, in time machine fashion, back to those halcyon days of yore.

I went home satisfied, feeling youthful, dreamy eyed and full of vivacity and exuberance.  For a while, I was in a euphoric state.  Those old timers restored the beauty of time notwithstanding the fact that time has almost ruined their looks.  But their music remained untouched.

Back in my study, as I clicked the mouse of my computer to check what the latest news were, something popped out.  Old timers in film industry were all receiving recognition for their artistic craft.  Almost all awardees of Oscars(2014) came from the ranks of the oldies.

Indeed, the old timers have never passed their prime yet.  It is in senior years that one achieves what perfection is in this lifetime.  Cheers to ancient persons as well, they deserve the adulation in this world!

(Next time I see an old man, struggling to cross the street or perhaps crawling on some pedestrian lanes, I would surely be reminded of the great crooner who made a bunch of us, avid listeners, swoon to the beat of our juvenile years.  High respect I give for them with some genuflections at that.)

THE DAY PBA CAGERS SHOWED UP

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It is not a simple day when a group of respected athletes, gods of coliseum, legends in their own rights like PBA greats would materialize one sleepy afternoon in one government office.  But it happened.  It is not just one cager but the entire team.  If it is not a sports reunion of sort then it must be something else.  And it was indeed something else.  These PBA legends, whatever their purpose, chose to play with inmates in the maximum security wing of the national penitentiary.

For quite a while, the simmering heat, the congestion and security frustration brought forth a number of troubles and pocket distress.  The prison community was on the verge of exploding out of frustration.  One day they were enjoying peace of mind, in another feeling suspected for sabotaging peace.  There was an air of grief and misery.  This could lead to a bigger worry ahead for prison administration.  Law enforcement is enforced within the corrective domain and it breeds confusion not only in the ranks of prisoners but also a dilemma among prison officers.  The field is prepared if not ripe for a possible confrontation.

And then it happened.  A team of PBA outstanding cagers decided to challenge prisoners to a basketball game within the compound where prisoners were about to stage their collective frustration.  There were pissed off expression from a throng watching intently how another group would move towards their direction.  Frustration was also eked out in sun drenched complexion of a number of inmates waiting in the sidelines.

Security personnel were cautious because at any given instance, a simple hostility might explode into a camp wide conflagration.  As the sound of the referees whistle signaled the toss up, the PBA legends began to work out.  Inmate challengers were up in their respective formation in the court.  It would be a friendly competition and a highly entertaining medium for prisoners to watch live and in person those giants their generation had continually followed on boob tube.  Now it is for real and it is within their reach.

Anyone can call sports as an aimless pursuit only the physically fit and endowed could muster but so what.  It has become a significant part of one’s being, a template for action, a pattern for response, a configuration of personal posturing.  It is a stage on one’s adventurous period, an occasion for adulation, an instance of appreciation for what is exemplary.  Sports teaches the value of discipline, hard work and audacity.  It is the basic weaponry against adversity, against the elements that make man miserable.  It teaches courage, the raw and matured kind.

In prison, as the PBA great athletes played, they showed grace under pressure, patience, pondering and humor.  These are lessons imparted in a few minutes of shooting, running and jumping.  But what a lesson shared.  It is almost equivalent to a semester of indulging management.  And it cost a towel of perspiration only, more economical than a tranche of people’s money spent for a year of lip service on so called reformation.

In other words, in prison, sports create peace.

TRANSFER SENTENCED PRISONER

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The Indonesian government sent a delegation to the Philippines recently to discuss the merits and processes involved in the matter of transferring sentenced prisoner, specifically their fellow national, back to their homeland. And consequently, how Indonesia can facilitate Filipinos in their penal facilities who also wanted to the return to the Philippines, even if only to serve out the penalty in their country’s penal establishment.   Earlier, the Philippines have concluded specific treaties with four countries along this line.  There is an operational transfer sentenced prisoner agreement with Thailand, HongKong, Canada and Spain.  The government pursuant to a Department of Justice circular (DOJ Circular No. 90 dated December 6, 2010)  is encouraging similar arrangements with other countries also.

And here is the catch.  Any foreign national who has committed a violation of Philippine law and as such penalized to serve time (read: imprisoned) if allowed to serve time in his home country must as a rule serve the remaining part of his sentence pursuant to the same stretch required by Philippine law.  It is as if he is continually serving his time in the country, although in effect he is transferred to the penitentiary of his mother country.

The transfer of sentenced prisoner does not end with the transfer.  It ends after the Philippine government grants the release of the prisoner.  The arrangement is that the transfer strictly speaking does not amend in any way the period for which the prisoner will have to serve in his home country.  There is no such arrangement as conversion or even remission.  Conversion is when the authority of the  mother country would substantially alter the sentence of the prisoner.  In remission, when a portion of the sentence would be reduced.  It is only the country whose laws were violated and whose sentencing scheme that should be followed.

In the so called Larranaga case( where a local boy from Cebu, along with several juvenile, were all charged for the violation and death of another juvenile girl, and eventually sentenced to Life Imprisonment) , a situation arose where one of the convict is a Spaniard citizen. After the country has concluded a treaty  with Spain on transfer sentenced prisoner, his relatives immediately  petitioned Philippine government for the transfer of said prisoner to Spain.  After a series of evaluative conferences, coordination, linkages and submission of technical requirements from both countries, in about four months, the transfer was conducted.

According to DOJ files, there are several petitions/ requests filed by Filipino prisoners in HongKong for purposes of transfer.  When some inmates learned that HongKong corrective service is applying more days off from the sentence greater than that which Philippine government grants its inmates, some application for TSP were conveniently stalled by the petitioners themselves.   This of course is a misconception on the fine print of the agreement.  It is still Hongkong computation and releasing period that would be reckoned in the final analysis.

If this would be the corrective trend in the criminal justice administration of most countries specially those where a number of Filipinos are serving time, then it is signal enough to expand the penal facilities of the country.  As it were, it is already filled to the brim.

 

 

REVIVING DEATH PENALTY

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Anything that could compel anyone through some threats is called “sword of Damocles.”  Senator Tito Sotto called death penalty “sword of God” in reference to the issue of reviving capital punishment for drug offenders.  Accordingly, there are a lot of crimes attributed to drug abuse, hence the use of sword of God if only to check the increment of offenses.

There must be other compelling reasons however why drug abuse or violation of drugs law must merit considerable legislative anger to the extent that a prescription penalty on death is to be enjoined.  Criminality as an issue must however be secondary.  True, there are crimes committed by those under influence of drugs.  But there are more crimes committed by those under the influence of liquor.  True, drug abuse kills a user.  Recent Hollywood talents from David Carradine, Whitney Houston and recently Philip Seymour Hoffman prove the apprehension correctly.  But there are more deaths attributed to smoking.

Then, if the equation calls for a restriction on use because of the consequent effects, legislators should go further.  Let us ban drugs, liquors and tobacco once and for all.  It’s use must be prohibited and consequently its violation must carry the punishment by a death squad.

As it were, it is not enough to profess on something while distinguishing others equally liable.  It is unfair to attribute something grave on something while ignoring or pretending not to mind others similarly culpable.

If it is drug abuse and its consequent criminal effects that are being studied, the Scandinavian approach may be instructive.  In those countries, they have reduced drug abuse crimes to zero.  No, they have not sent to the gallows the offenders one after another.  They merely announced to drug users that it is safer, cheaper to procure drugs in government hospitals where they have a special camp for users until they kick the habits out of boredom.

If the issue is a cover just to introduce death penalty, then it is another story altogether.  There should be another paradigm to submit which must be based on reason.  It is not necessary to pursue the judicial move or legislative act just because it is purportedly a social response.  Question on its relevance must be addressed.  Like for instance, “Is it politically expedient to introduce death penalty?”  Will it lead to some expression of control which might lead to autocratic and totalitarian gesture?  Will it advance peace and order notwithstanding our desired international posturing on human rights?

There are countries in Asia which never dropped Death Penalty as a judicially prescribed penalty.  China, Indonesia, Singapore to name a few never even bothered to amend their basic law to accommodate a change in their legal prescriptions in dealing with heinous crimes.  It is there as a symbol of an efficient criminal justice administration.

As a matter of course, death penalty is a measure that projects the maturity of a State’s functional criminal justice system.  This is something we must reflect before we even go the extent of exploring its revival.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM FOR THOSE WHO CAN AFFORD

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There are those charged in court but has never been arrested yet nor placed under custody of law.  We have former General Jovito Palparan, former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes and his brother, former Coron Mayor Mario  Reyes, former Dinagat Island Rep Ruben Ecleo Jr. and Globe Asiatique developer Delfin Lee.  Before them, we have former Senator Ping Lacson who never allowed himself arrested and detained hiding from law until he was cleared by the courts.  There were familiar names that were likewise charged and are now in detention, like Napoles, Arroyo, Ampatuan.  While those at large are nowhere in sight, and others who merely reappeared at will after ignoring warrants, there are persons who are literally in custody but never subjected to the rigors of the usual detention experience a common detainee would usually undergo.  Not that these “influential” people ought to suffer congestion and related coercive expression of custodial officers but the leniency of space and related comforts they get should be the template ordinary detainees must also apply.

The Law must apply to all or it should never be applied at all.  If a person is to be detained in a special camp strictly for security consideration, let it be on the basis of risk assessment.  An ideologue or rebel for instance should never be mixed with those charged or convicted with common crimes.  Hence, a specific facility must be determined for this category.  Former MNLF Chair Nur Misuari, former President Joseph Estrada, Senator Jinggoy Estrada occupied the Sta. Rosa detention center and it is understandable.  But for Janet Napoles who was charged for illegal detention to be confined separately in a facility for ideologues is incomprehensible.  It insults intelligence.  It adds salt to an injured criminal justice formulation.  It baffles the principled mind.

Not that Janet ought to stay elsewhere and beat the lights out of her comfort but those detainees in sweat shop facilities must also be provided the same level of comfortable condition.  After all, the constitutional presumption of innocence is still there.  They are all innocents technically speaking and as yet to be judicially declared as guilty.  And even assuming that guilt has been the verdict, the same humane treatment should also be applied.  Remember that a person is segregated through incarceration as punishment but not to serve time under a regime of punishment.

Fair treatment for those under the criminal justice administration must be a consideration everyone must be able to reach, must be able to obtain, must be affordable to everyone.  Fair treatment does not imply leniency in the pejorative sense but for humane consideration.  If the system cannot duly exercise and apply this dictum, then we can just admit our failing and start ignoring international fora and turn a deaf ear on the requirements for and in the observance of the Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Persons Under Custody of Law.  At least we are honest in our declaration and more so, there is virtue in honesty.

The problem with criminal justice practitioners is that they do not exactly know the terrain of their territory.  They are simply blind at the weakness where there should be strength.  They presume that mere declaration is enough to outwit history.  They understand their role can easily be forgotten on the basis of the people’s short term memory loss.

That of course is not the true essence of criminal justice administration.  There is still a need to appreciate what that simple term fairness is all about for those who care.  But then, I oftentimes would hear just that:  Who cares!

 

IN SEARCH FOR REDEMPTION IN PRISON

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When we talk of prison reforms, we are not only contemplating on programs that would simply ensure   the upkeep of prisoners but also the need to impress the underlying disciplinary character of incarceration on top of security considerations.  That there is a compelling reason to build, organize and maintain facilities strictly to adhere to the principles of criminal justice administration in general and corrections in particular.  If we are there to consider this, we have a lot of assignments and considerations to accomplish as far as our correctional establishments are concerned.

First is the accommodation level.  If we there is a facility filled to the brim with congestion rate up above the rooftop then there is deprivation of an air of rehabilitation for its wards.  In effect, what is bred is a new specie of offenders.  If we are to believe reports that most of those who graduate from overcrowded detention houses turn out no longer as ordinary felons with past but hostile predators with potential for committing heinous crimes, then this is it already.

Second is how inmates are treated.  If we have a community managed with suspicion, administered through coercive means as foremost consideration in dealing with its denizens then prison officers are not only breeding sadism but propagating another type of offenders:  the serial types.

Third is how requirements are attended to in the prison community.  Inmates are a helpless lot when it comes to evaluating their conduct and institutional adjustments.  More so in technically handling the computation of period vis a vis that which they have already served.  If prison evaluators are indifferent, by way of negligence or plain incompetence, then another persona is introduced to a burdened inmate.  He becomes not only hostile on authority but his hatred goes up to political leadership and it goes without saying, to government as a whole.  This kind of inmate once released is easily absorbed in the mainstream of insurgency.

These three considerations virtually erase the quality of redemption the Constitution guarantees through the criminal justice administration.  Retribution, the opposite of redemption, never has left the system notwithstanding policies, laws and enunciations to the contrary.  Retribution defeats the very purpose of justice, overthrows the very principle of corrections.  Retribution becomes the order of the day.  We have congestion, maltreatment and an indifferent organization, and then we have retribution in full color.

Just what is redemption in prison really is? It is saving the humanity or what is left in the offender and restoring humanity back to him.  The prisoner, whatever his worth is a respected member of the State, with residual rights protected by law and is believed that a day will come when he may be reintegrated back into the mainstream of free community not only as repentant but with humanity back into his system.  It is the role of the State through its corrective service to reintroduce humanity back on an erring member.

Of course, it is an impossibility to redeem someone under a condition which does not encourage nor inspire positive change.  At best, efforts at redemption properly applied should lead to reform and not to deform.

YOUR REAL FRIENDS

friend

Ambet Antonio was a resident philosopher while serving time in the Penitentiary.  He was the fountain of wisdom for those fortunate enough to stay around during those nights when he could not find sleep.  Like National Artist Amado V. Hernandez and former Senator Benigno Aquino who were also incarcerated sometime past, Ambet was the constant figure for restraint and profound thoughts whenever engaged by his peers.

I had an occasion to listen to one of his discourses on friendship.  He’d ask how one knows if he has a real friend.  His response was easy.  “Knock at the house of someone close to you, at the dead of nighttime, and as soon as the door opens, greet your fellow nervously and whisper that you have a decapitated head in the sack you are holding and you intend to bury it in his backyard.  If he consents, then he must be your friend!”

Friends, it has been said, are everywhere one goes.  They appear in every form.  Some are neat, others in sheep’s clothing.  Some are simply there because of adversity, others because there is none.  Some would attend to you for your sake, others for their own sake.  Some are brought through accidents, others through sheer boredom.  Some serious relationships started as friends until serious incidents would wreck their affiliations.  There are shallow friendships that end in treachery.  In some other instances, friendship leads to betrayal and murder.

Egyptian Anwar Sadat knew so well that his soldiers were his friends.  During a victory parade, he was gunned down by one of them.  Mahatma Ghandi was waving to a friendly crowd after a prayer with his family and surrounded by his followers and friends when three gunshots were fired.  He died instantly.  King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was a well-loved monarch and his reign achieved popular adulation.  He was however shot dead by his friends led by his nephew.  Some historical events that linked friendship on the fate of a person.

It is the affinity, the personal proximity that encourages trust.  Trust advances towards respect.  Respect is everything what friendship stands for.  It is not sympathy nor concern, comfort and admiration that define friendship, it is more than that.  It is the way, the respectful way, by which understanding is shown.

In my estimation though, friends are those whom you have personally known since your formative years  up to early adulthood.  Those you would know later in life are no longer categorized as friends but mere acquaintances already.  They may be long-time or short-time acquaintances but never friends in the real sense.  They are there to fill up personal or social gaps.  Friends as a matter of course are part of your system, more family than your family, more private than what your privacy demands.  They are your exact replica, your silhouette, your other self.  They serve as the mirror of your soul.  A sage once expressed an adage, “birds of a feather, flock together.”   There is also a Confucian passage, “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.”

It should be impressed however that one need not look for a genuine friend, it is better to be one.

All of these indicate that unpretentious friendship is the highest form of relationship, stronger in bond, greater in spirit.  In John 15:12-15, Jesus said “Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

 

 

 

 

FAIR WEATHER FRIENDS

friendship

One finds amusing some people referred to as “fair weather friends.”  They are your company during times when there are no troubles, when the weather is fine.  They are those who would instantly encamp around you if you happen to have the goods available for them.  If you are nowhere near prosperity, you will never meet them at all.  But these fair weather friends serve as barometers for progress.  They are like moth to a lamp.  They pester you even if there is no need for them to be with you in the first place.  They are just there, instant as it were.  They constantly provide you with amusement.  They are easily accessible.  They are there at the moment’s notice.  But of course, you must be liquid or you must have the post necessary for them to squeeze something.

Their loyalty is to the interest not necessarily on the person they cling to.  They have no business hanging around if there are no businesses in the first place.  They merely borrowed courage from their host and if courage is no longer there, there are no more positions to be fret, then out they go to some other places in search for another host.

They are still friends one can bank and rely on.  They are more persistent and audacious than most acquaintances.  They are more perennial and tenacious than your regular barkada.  As a matter of fact, they are even more daring and bold than their principal.  After all, it is not their names or reputation at stake but their superior.  They are there to challenge the gods for you.  They are there to dare and defy, test and taunt.  Should they fail, it is not them that was defeated but their boss.  Inability to control this sector is usually the downfall of the leader.

They would come from nowhere.  To a certain extent, they are just there in the woodwork.  They have no ideology nor principles, no shadows and no values except to earn their upkeep.  Their cause is dependent on their host.  They are even more sensitive and unforgiving, more subtle and complex than their superior’s crop of usual friends and family.  What makes them different, a world different actually than their counterparts is their practicality.  They are not emotionally bothered at all to leave their host once nothing can be extracted.  They just walk away.

They are everywhere in the neighborhood and in the organization where one works.  They are not even aware that they are one.  They are simply there for the taking.  While your friends grieve for you, they are there prodding you to act your best.  While your family shares with your dilemma, they are simply there formulating a way to get back at your tormentor.  They are impatient and want some actions.  They are at the forefront of everything you intend or plan to do.  They are even given to accidents and misfortunes.  Worst however is that, it is an accident or misfortune charged to your account.

One can find them easily at the top or at the bottom.  They are bossier than the boss, holier than thou and more courageous to a fault.  They also are into a lot of sacrifices.  They invest more than anyone else around.  They are even affected psychologically during a mission.  And while they are socially distant and unaffected to a large extent, their proximity affords them a personal touch on anything that matters to the boss.  Their second nature virtually is to manage how the boss should think and anticipate.

Just like storms, there are so called friends when weather allows it.

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