Coming as themselves – Manila Standard


posted October 30, 2017 at 09:01 pm

Halloween celebrations, which have become increasingly popular in urban centers in the Philippines, temper the somber spirit brought by All Saints’ Day.

Children in scary or fantasy costumes walk the streets displaying what they wear and expecting a handful of candy besides. Grown ups’ parties meanwhile showcase the thought and effort put into showing up in award-winning, attention-grabbing garb.

The characters range from products of lore, to popular culture or literary icons, to politically tinged appearances.

It’s all good, clean fun—perhaps what we need in these genuinely scary, bizarre times.

Unfortunately, some of the characters our officials assume are not taken from myth. They look as though they are imitating someone else but in reality they are just being themselves.

Look at the comical individuals we have had to put up with over the past 16 months. They talk above their heads, confound us on why they hold the important positions that they do, and mangle our image before the rest of the world.

Make no mistake about it, however—they have the power over life and death of those not as prominent and influential and noisy as they. They can make or break fortunes and build or erode the confidence of tourists and investors.

The most recent display of character is the remark of Philippine National Police chief General Ronald dela Rosa. He promised to raise the pension of retired policemen—and said he would even quadruple them if he becomes president.

By now we know better than take the general, fond of bobbing his head up and down, playing Santa Claus and bawling during congressional hearings, at face value. He remains on top of an organization marred by excesses in carrying out the war against drugs and inadequacy in keep residents safe in their homes and on the streets.

We have five more years to this administration. We wonder how many characters —scary or bizarre or both—we must endure before we get the ones who are just themselves, doing their jobs without any fanfare.

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