At Large

Envy games

/ 05:09 AM September 05, 2017

Do you still remember the “Game of the Generals?” This was a local board game popular in the 1980s, but it was also the name given to features on the lavish homes of generals favored by the Marcoses. Found in plush exclusive villages in the metropolis, reports on the mansions made for compelling reading, at a time before the internet and Twitter. Still, news of the generals’ residences, along with photos of the homes owned by the Marcoses and their cronies here and abroad, stoked the public’s envy, adding to the simmering public mood set off by Ninoy Aquino’s assassination.

Photos of mansions and other property belonging to public officials — including then Vice President Jojo Binay — would prove to be potent weapons against previously unassailable personalities. While documentary proof can make for powerful evidence, it takes photos of lavish homes, and such accessories as luxury cars, jewelry and, lately, designer bags, to solidify public opinion.


Taking a leaf from this book, President Duterte has gone on an extended tirade against Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog, whose “White House” has been the subject of much speculation, even a direct accusation of unexplained wealth by Mr. Duterte himself.

The President is well aware, I think, of the power of envy, of the anger churned among ordinary citizens who see “proof” of an official’s comfortable lifestyle even as so many Filipinos wallow in poverty. This he hopes to harness to either “shame” Mabilog into resigning, or rouse the people’s rage enough to oust him from office.


At this juncture, I have only seen photos of Mabilog’s residence, including a brief TV “tour” of the mayor’s new house. The interiors look sleek enough, but nothing about the home suggests lavish wealth or over-the-top ostentation.

Perhaps knowing the charges linking Mabilog to the drug trade would be difficult to establish, especially now with the fatal shooting of an alleged Iloilo drug kingpin and his son, the President seems to be embarking on a parallel drive to paint the mayor as a shamelessly corrupt official. This is an old tactic, and I hope the citizens of Iloilo continue to stand behind Mabilog and defy Mr. Duterte’s drive to punish him for denying him victory in Iloilo in the 2016 polls.

* * *

I don’t know where I read this, but it sounds true enough. The secret to a clean, youthful-looking complexion lies not in creams, cleansers or gels one slaps onto one’s face, but in one’s diet, exercise regimen and, to a certain extent, heredity.

The adage is true: The secret to youthful looks lies inside us, in the nutrients we take in, and the way we make use of them.

But we can’t all be harvesting vegetables, fruits, and other healthy foodstuff while traipsing on fields of green. Who has the time? And where do we find such a cornucopia of goodness?

Fortunately, there’s Novuskin Lift, a health product (its developers prefer to call it an “anti-aging food supplement”) that, in capsule form, “restores youthful skin in just two months of use.”


In a presentation to the media, Dr. Ellaine Joseph, medical director of Nutramedica, the company behind Novuskin Lift, detailed the findings of a clinical study on this supplement that went through seven years of product development before clinical trials and approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The study was conducted over eight weeks with 82 subjects aged 35 to 60 in a random, double-blind trial. The test subjects, who had been divided into three random groups—one taking the capsules once a day, another taking them twice a day, and the third receiving placebos—were tested at the conclusion of the study. Those on Novuskin Lift were found to have improved skin elasticity, increased moisturization and hydration, with no undesirable side effects.

That promises a new lease on life for women seeking to look younger than their biological age, given of course that they follow other common-sense guidelines to maintaining one’s youthful demeanor: a balanced, healthy diet; regular exercise; and avoiding bad habits like smoking, drinking and stress. And living and loving to the hilt, we might add!

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TAGS: At Large, Ellaine Joseph, Jed Patrick Mabilog, Novuskin Lift, Rina Jimenez-David, Rodrigo Duterte, war on drugs
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