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Saturday, December 16, 2017 26° Cloudy

The week that was


Jose Abeto Zaide

Jose Abeto Zaide

By José Abeto Zaide


Canada’s telegenic Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was a big hit with his Jollibee photo op with young fans. Later, at presscon with local and foreign media on the last day of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings, he revealed raising EJK and other human rights issues with his host. While Trudeau admitted that Canada’s human rights record is not perfect, he said President Duterte was “receptive” about the need to respect the rule of law.

But when asked about the Canadian leader’s account, PDu30 was visceral, saying he considered the approach to be “a very serious… personal and official insult.”

RETURN TO SENDER? PDu30 shouldn’t take these things personally. Trudeau also said he discussed the tons of garbage that Canada dumped in the Philippines. Had our President been better briefed, he could have told the Canadian PM that we had raised this with him in 2015, so PDu30 could have pressed this time to return the garbage to sender. Furthermore, PDu30 might have intimated interest in the exemplary Canadian work in the De-mining of Bosnia Herzegovina, in case we need the expertise for post-Marawi rehabilitation.

This is the story of missed opportunity, such as when we focus only on who can pee higher.


ANOTHER MISSED OPPORTUNITY. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern looked fetching in her ivory-colored Barong Tagalog at the ASEAN gala dinner, until her comment on the national dress. When asked what it was like, she replied, “I’m not going to sniff the shirt on camera,” adding the feel of the barong as “scratchy” and “quite starched,” as well as smelling like “pineapple husk.”

Please give her time. She’s only 37 years old.


President Duterte and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had a ceremonial launch at Malacañang of models for the Intramuros Bridge in Manila and the Pantaleon

Bridge in Mandaluyong. China is funding the building of both bridges.

Is this China’s way of making nice for the MRT cars we bought that don’t run?


BTW, does building two more bridges come with more roads? Or could we do better with mass transit?


Movie actress Maria Isabel Lopez confessed to trespassing on the lane for delegates of the ASEAN summit and is ready to face the consequences of her action. She was UP Fine Arts student and was Binibining Pilipinas, which earned her a ticket to movie industry playing steamy roles. Bold movies didn’t hurt, and she had many acclaimed roles (Golden Screen Best Supporting Actress Award in Brilliante Mendoza’s movie Kinatay). She won several more supporting actress or lead actress nominations and awards. This beauty and brains was a Secretary of the NCCA on visual arts and a line producer of independent films.


BTW, Maria has a 26-year-old daughter, Mara Isabel Lopez, who made Pinoy Playboy cover and did several acting roles herself. Does that make Maria Isabel a grandmother? Just you wait: Betcha, when she made that traffic lane infraction, she dared it to catch director’s notice and earn a sure bet for a new starring role.


Long-Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) is an ear-piercing “sonic weapon” used to disperse rallies. Gabriela party-list Rep. Emmi de Jesus said the sound cannon targeted against “democratic” protesters showed the “desperation” of government in handling the frustration of Filipinos.

Don’t be surprised, next time, if protesters of a platoon of deaf and dumb appear to break the police blockade.


GETAWAY. To escape the congestion during the ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings, we thought of escaping to Tagaytay to Gus Albor’s retreat, only to discover that many others had the same idea. When the queue at the tollway is a calvary long enough to say the five decades, isn’t that an opportunity for the “ambulant vendors” of tollway to sell subscriptions to the harried motorists, instead of the one-way trip tickets?

Moreover, why can’t the tollway spend a little more in high tech gizmo so that its machine counter reads our subscription without our cars having to come full stop? Just like they do elsewhere.



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