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The half-sneer



IF you pay attention, you’ll catch the sneer. But you have to look closely.

As the guy enters the room followed by his entourage, he’ll do the half-smirk. He wants everyone to know who he is, that he’s boss.

He used to be so unsure of himself, a promdi who wasn’t quite accustomed to the manners and movements of the Manila gentry. One could tell his uneasiness in the beginning. He was rough on the edges and all over.

He’s still coarse in many ways, but that was more pronounced at the start. It was like a roughhewn kid just landed in the city, mystified by the bright lights and the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.

He knew by the time he got to the city that he was in charge, that he’s the new tough guy around. It took some getting used to. But he knew it, he was the boss.

That’s why the titles and the honorifics made him feel uneasy. He told everyone not to call him this or that, just what he had gotten used to.

The large margin of victory over the next vote-getter helped give him a sense of who he is now. He had bristled at the snide remarks that his mandate wasn’t a full one, that it was less than a majority victory.

And so he equated the margin of victory over the next candidate as his mandate for a full victory.

In any case, over time he got more and more comfortable. He was the boss and that’s that. But the chip on his shoulder is still there, his resentments and grudges are still there.

Today he saunters in with his entourage along with the ubiquitous sidekick, the Silent One, the Sphynx who has found his voice lately.

Still, awkwardly, in his improper, very informal boots and rolled-up barong sleeves, he looks a bit more comfortable now. It helps that he’s boss.

Still, he can’t get as comfortable as he would like to be. It’s just not his natural milieu. He had said so from the beginning. All his life he lived in a very conscribed environment, with a domineering matriarch and rough surroundings.

He seems to have cut down on the expletives these days, although sometimes he just can’t help it, he just feels at home throwing out curses at people. And now, he’s aimed Upstairs with a capital “U,” heaping blasphemy upon the highest of the highest, provoking widespread condemnation.

It’s still not the way to do things, the coarse ways of a promdi. His maternal guidance had been very strict, although that doesn’t show. Once a rebel, always a rebel. Once a promdi, always a promdi.

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