President BS Aquino The Last, I mean The Third, is now “Boy Sumbongero” for “making sumbong” to Pope Francis against Catholic Church leaders instead of delivering his welcome speech at Malacañang. Wait a minute! This doesn’t necessarily mean there’s now a change in the personality make-up of the Malacañang tenant. After all, he remains a “BS” as “Boy Sumbongero.”
“Making sumbong” is usually resorted to by aggrieved children who want sympathy and support. Now, just what had Church leaders done that he felt so aggrieved to bring this to the Pope’s attention? Certainly, the criticisms are not as trivial as comments on his hairline. Further, I still have to hear Church leaders comment that he usually can’t hold his head straight although he usually has his mouth open even when not talking. I’ve heard of talks on why the leader of the “tuwid na daan” couldn’t walk straight but these didn’t come from Church leaders either.
Obviously, BS Aquino The Last, I mean The Third, felt aggrieved that many Church leaders had faulted him for championing the cause of “pork barrel.” He has never found anything morally wrong with gaining political ascendancy thru this scheme.
For the life of him, he’ll never understand why Church leaders couldn’t appreciate his legerdemain in tripling the “pork” entitlement of lawmakers compared to that by his predecessor. Why should they consider it a form of corruption when he’s pursuing a “tuwid na daan? Neither could he understand why Church leaders doubt his oft-repeated claim of discomfort in the trappings of political power.
He wants the Church leaders to be convinced by his administration’s claims of economic progress and higher credit rating but what did they do? They want him to resign. This could have impelled him to make “sumbong” to the Pope. He felt unappreciated and I wonder if this had triggered an inner rage in him. After all, he’s known to be onion-skinned and for harboring grudges. “Balat sibuyas” and “mapagtanim” are the appropriate words in Pilipino to describe him.
But, did he get sympathy from the Pope for the perceived injustice committed against him by Church leaders? Obviously not for the Pope has spoken publicly against corruption and inequality, two of the many issues raised against BS Aquino by Church leaders. Now, if the President remains true to form, he’ll “make sumbong” against these pronouncements of Pope Francis but to whom? Who’s a higher Church authority than the Vicar of Christ? If there’s none on earth, then he could do so in the afterlife, when he meets his parents wherever they might be.
Heeding the Pope’s words
Those who gave great value to the Pope’s visit could manifest this more clearly if they heed his words, especially those against corruption in government. The papal visit should result in contrite government officials and more public activism against corruption. Short of this, the virtual adoration given to the Vicar of Christ in this biggest Christian nation in Asia will be meaningless.
Many said they feel blest by the Pope’s visit. This feeling of spiritual and moral transformation shouldn’t be a fleeting one, like what happed to many who took the Cursillo. Prove wrong dire predictions that a few week after the Pope is gone, things will go back to normal.
Incidentally, I think some government officials are going overboard in giving crowd estimates on those who had attended the Holy Mass celebrated by the Pope at the
Rizal Park. There’s no way the 60-hectare park can accommodate 6 or 7 million.
A maximum of three persons standing shoulder-to-shoulder can occupy a square meter. This means 1.8 million people standing shoulder-to-shoulder were at the 600,000 square-meter Rizal Park. Now, deduct the space occupied by structures and trees and the crowd estimate would become lower. It must be pointed out that there are many places at the Park where people weren’t standing shoulder-to-shoulder.
Some say the crowd estimate included those who lined up the streets. Okay, include them. Just determine the length of the papal route. If it’s more than 3 kilometers or 30,000 meters, add 20 persons per meter, or 10-persons deep per meter on both sides of the road and you’ll still get only 600,000 persons more. Ah, but if the estimate included those who were glued to their TV sets, then that’s another matter.