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At Large

Simple joys

/ 05:06 AM December 17, 2017

I confess, I nearly teared up with the scene of Luke Skywalker looking at the sunset and suddenly disappearing,” my son told me. Usually straightforward and blunt, he is, however, a huge “Star Wars” fan (who named his firstborn Lucas Anakin).

So, watching “The Last Jedi,” the latest iteration of the “Star Wars” saga, was not just obligatory but also a ritual. That it was to take place in the middle of the frenetic Yuletide holidays was but gilding on the lily.

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But then, what would you expect? The hubby and I excitedly bought tickets for the first-day showing even if I had to bid a Christmas party an early farewell. “Star Wars” movies, as I had written previously, have served as guideposts in our life as a couple and a family. And I am so happy that “The Last Jedi” lives up to, and shows that it firmly belongs to, this “legacy” franchise.

There are echoes and faint flashbacks to the original “A New Hope.” And it is not so much the similarity of characters and plot arcs as the spirit of both films, the mix of humor and gravitas, the sense of paying homage to all who had gone before, and investing in the future, and even the naivete and hubris of the original.

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I know “The Last Jedi” doesn’t need any boosting from this corner. Count this, then, as a member of the faithful’s alleluia, aired in gratitude for not disappointing and for living up to the promise.

* * *

Jeane Napoles leapt from obscurity to notoriety with a series of posts in social media sites extolling the luscious details of her comfy life. But even as she recently dodged hidden-wealth and tax-evasion charges under the new dispensation, Jeane remains the poster girl for disastrous bragging.

Another young woman, who goes by the name of Isabelle Duterte, seems to be following the Jeane Napoles playbook. “Friends” of hers recently uploaded images of her predebut pictorial showing her in different ball gowns posing against the luxurious surroundings of… Malacañang Palace.

To be sure, the current occupant of Malacañang is Isabelle’s grandfather. And presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says the Duterte family members should be free to have a run of the place, especially since the paterfamilias has chosen not to live there.

Still, there’s something off here. Malacañang may be the “people’s palace,” but precisely because it is so, doesn’t it deserve to be treated with more respect and, uh, dignity?

I wonder which protocol officer okayed Isabelle’s pictorial and allowed her beauty and photography crew to run roughshod over the premises, even posing the debutante-to-be in front of the presidential seal and flag. Apparently, there are laws prohibiting the “undignified” use of such emblems. Couldn’t Isabelle’s father, Davao Vice Mayor Pulong, have just hired a luxury hotel for the purpose? Or has the sense of entitlement (and cheap privilege) pervaded this administration?

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The “Bulong-Pulungan sa Sofitel” recently held its Christmas party, and in keeping with tradition, handed out its “Exemplar” Awards to public figures deserving of recognition and who had previously guested in this weekly media forum.

This year’s exemplars are: Jaime Bautista, president and COO of Philippine Airlines; Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles, who did a yeoman’s job shepherding the “TRAIN” budget through Congress; San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, who has gained recognition for her excellent management of her beloved adopted city; and Andrea Domingo, chair of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., under whose helm the state-run gambling firm earned P55.06 billion, its highest gross income record.

All four “exemplars” are indeed models of humility and public service. And for both the “core group” Bulong members under the wing of our commander in chief Deedee Siytangco and our guests, the event was a golden opportunity to shed our working identities and simply mingle and anticipate the raffle prizes. May all our Christmas celebrations be filled with such simple joys!

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TAGS: At Large, Harry Roque, Isabelle Duterte, Jeane Napolse, Luke Skywalker, Rina Jimenez-David, Rodrigo Duterte, The Last Jedi
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