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Self-made

Netnet Camomot .

“SENATORIABLE” Bong Go has become a powerful man, and it shows in how politicians and political candidates are clamoring for photo ops with him. If this continues, he may morph from pambansang photobomber to pambansang president someday.

Go began as President Rody Duterte’s executive assistant in 1998. That’s 21 years of loyalty and selfless service, and if he can bring that to the Senate, will that spark joy for Pinas?

Lent began last Wednesday, with Catholics having their foreheads marked with an ashy cross. May that cross remind the madlang pehpohl of the cross they have to bear if ever they fail to vote for the right candidates on Election Day 2019.

That cross can be another round of martial law, Tokhang, extrajudicial killings, multi-billion shabu shipments, plunder, and other breaking news items that can inspire the Pinoy to exclaim, Que horror!

So, let Lent be the time to make muni-muni on the Pinoy’s past, present, and future.

Lent is also the best time for the Catholic to diet, that is, if Pope Francis has accepted the challenge of the Million-Dollar Vegan campaign for him to adopt a vegan diet during the 40-day Lenten season.

Yes, Lent is also a season like Christmas, only with less meat and glee.

A devout Catholic may have to shun red meat for 40 days. The not-so-devout may avoid meat on Fridays. And the lapsed can at least not eat meat on Good Friday. Operative words: at least. But there’s this Catholic who had Spam for breakfast on Good Friday last year, by the time he realized what day it was, well, it was too late. How to remove luncheon meat from the digestive system? That was the question.

Bonggang-bongga celebrations may also have to be toned down during Lent, thus, if Kylie Jenner were a devout Catholic, she could postpone the parties to Easter Sunday. She has been crowned by Forbes magazine as the youngest self-made billionaire at her tender age of 21, for her Kylie Cosmetics. Most comments on social media have enclosed self-made in quotes—e.g., “self-made”—since, for them, Jenner is not exactly as self-made as Oprah Winfrey, thanks to “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” which catapulted Jenner’s and her family’s fame and fortune to infinity and beyond. Try keeping up with them. Whew. Good luck na lang!

Mark Zuckerberg used to hold the record of being the youngest self-made billionaire when he was 23, which, by the way, didn’t elicit vehement reactions since he was truly self-made and everybody loved Facebook then.

There are many self-made taipans and politicians in Pinas although the cynical and skeptical may react to that with, Estoryahe! Same goes for the political candidate who seems to have appeared out of nowhere, so that you’re now asking, Kinsa diay na siya? Unless he has a familiar surname and you’re beginning to suspect he’s the relative of a politician, which could make him the opposite of self-made. Such as some of the Otso Diretso “senatoriables” whose surnames are making the Pinoy wonder if the Dilawan team is running out of new ideas. Aquino, Roxas, Diokno, Tanada. Déjà vu. “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” as the saying goes.

Even Pinas’ showbiz marketing ploys tend to stay the same as loveteams continue to go forth and multiply. The ’70s had Guy and Pip, Vi and Bot. Almost 50 years later, enthralled fans are hooked on JaDine, AlDub, KathNiel, LizQuen, etc.

Guy (Nora Aunor), Pip (Tirso Cruz III), Vi (Vilma Santos), and Bot (Edgar Mortiz) are still active in showbiz, proving that loveteams could be a good start for self-made stardom.

For now, it’s the self-made political candidate who has to face challenges even at the start of Lent. Fr. Erwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action, said that Ash Wednesday was “a temptation to candidates as it provides an opportunity to be seen entering the church to show that they are pro-God. People vote for those whom they believe are pro-God.”

But it was Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle who somehow confirmed our belief that Lent is the best time to diet when he said, “Let us take care of our health, our hungry neighbors and creation by restraining our appetite through fasting.”

Lent is also the time for spring cleaning. “Alms giving, fasting and prayer will help us leave behind unnecessary bags and baggage on our Lenten journey with Jesus,” Tagle added.

Political candidates should heed Tagle’s advice to “travel light” as they hop from one barangay to the next in their campaign sorties. Better the barangay than schools which the Department of Education has warned against having candidates as speakers in graduation ceremonies.

But a reelectionist’s worst worry for now must be the narcolist—Oh, no! Not another list!—which will be released next week as it’s expected to reveal the names of government officials who are allegedly involved in the illegal drug industry.

But no need for the reelectionist to be alarmed. If an ordinary Pinoy could survive a drug case without ending up in jail despite the evidence against him, a Pinoy politician, with all his connections, can easily justify his way out of an alleged drug involvement.

Still, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, “We cannot allow destroyers of society to run local governments, the barangays. While there is an individual right, this individual right must yield to the people’s right to public safety. It must yield to the people’s interest or the country’s interest.”

Good for “senatoriable” Bong Go then, for he tends to yield to the president’s interest. Surely that will morph into the people’s or the country’s interest once he’s senator.

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