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Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako A Pact with the "Devil," named Salvahey2
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Tuesday, 09 August 2011 20:47

 

By Jesse Jose
A Cup O' Kapeng Barako

 

He calls himself the "devil." I met him in cyberspace, many years ago. We battled there, traded blows and all. We used slings and arrows ... and invectives, too, the deadliest weapons of all, in cyberspace battles.

 

His pseudonym is SALVAHEY2, which he said, means: (S)aving (A)merican         (L)ifestyle by (V)irtue of my (A)bility to (Honor) and/or (E)mbarrass (Y)ou. The numerical "2" came from the Filipino word, "ito," shortened to "'to."

 

His postings and writings were made of fire and brimstone, yet sort of ERUDITE, too. He was full of IT, blowing them at me, from his mouth and nostrils ... well, like the devil himself that I pictured him to be. I got burnt, getting toasted like a slice of bread in a toaster.

 

I don't really remember what we were trading invectives for. But me, being only "human," lost the battle against this "devil." So I withdrew. He didn't pursue. I assumed we had a truce. I didn't hear from him again.

 

Several years passed. Then, like the Devil himself, he re-surfaced.

 

My story a couple of weeks ago, titled My Take on Jose Antonio Vargas, the Filipino TNT Pulitzer Prize Winner, perhaps kind of caught his attention while it was floating around in cyberspace that he e-mailed me and forwarded a comment from a Nick Vicera of Miami, Florida, with his own devilish comment, lambasting Vargas for his temerity in calling Americans as his "Fellow Americans." As we all know, Vargas is only actually an Illegal Alien here America ... or a "Tago Ng Tago" (TNT) in the Filipino vernacular.

 

Surprisingly, he agreed with what I wrote on Vargas.

 

If y'all have missed the comments of Nick Vicera and Salvahey2, you may read them in my follow-up story on Vargas that I wrote and titled, The "Noose Tightens" on Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer Prize Winning "TNT" Journalist

 

Here's what I told Salvahey2 when I received his email: "Long time, no hear. Buhay ka pa ba? I am responding to your email not to tangle with you and renew our battle, but to let you know that I wholeheartedly agree with you and Nick Vicera on your takes on Jose Antonio Vargas ..."

 

He answered: "Yeah, I am still alive and kicking. Always ready whenever there's something to be straightened out to protect the generally rightful issues for the American people. My mission is to put forth the recalcitrant and the ignorant in their proper places. I cannot tolerate them.

 

"I don't have any room for these people who, because of their limited or lacking in intellect, think they have the wisdom and capacity, not even knowing that what they have inside their 'coco (kuku) nuts' are the good for nothing ashes," he added. "Abo, Kapeng Barako! Talagang abo lamang sila. Isn't that pitiful? I need to embarrasss or chastise them so they will learn an eternal lesson. Jose Antonio Vargas comes close to that abo!"

 

Devilishly yours,

 

Salvahey 2

 

Devilishly yours? Hear ye! Hear ye! All ye Kings and Queens, Knights and Nobles ... and Barako Readers, the "devil" speaks!

 

A second comment came from this "devil," when Romy Marquez, a journalist in Toronto, Canada, wrote this in response to my Jose Antonio Vargas stories I've mentioned above:

 

"Pareng Jesse,

 

"I have some sympathy for Jose Antonio Vargas. However, what strikes me is his implicit disavowal of being Filipino. Itinakwil niya ang pagkatao niya at ang sambayanang Pilipino.

 

"He totally repudiates the land of his birth for the simple expedient of wanting to be an American. I was expecting that he would proudly proclaim himself a citizen of the Philippines but obviously he's so enamored with America!

 

"Now he declares himself an American by calling one and all "fellow Americans when he's not. Nick Vicera was right. What he's doing, says Vicera 'is NOT journalism and candor. It is opportunism and deceit.'

 

"It would be entirely different if he had acknowledged his Filipino citizenship and admit to all the wrongs he committed. But no, he believes his own lies, propagates them and tries to win our approval. From a Filipino like me, he'll never get one.

 

"Thanks for bringing up this issue. Best regards. (Signed) Romy Marquez"

 

"Pareng Romy," I wrote back. "Salamat sa comment mo. Para sa akin, Pilipino man o hindi, someone who 'propagates' lies and deceits, will never have my approval and sympathy either. This guy is a liar and a deceitful person, as you said.

 

"He broke the immigration laws of this country over and over again, and then after doing that for several years, he's got the temerity "to come out" kuno and say the the immigration laws of this country are "broken." And he wants to fix daw those laws. What a laugh!

 

"For a Pulitzer Prize winner, he's a moron, I think. Did he really win that? Or, was it just an accident or a coincidence. He was only A PART OF THE TEAM that investigated and reported the Virginia Tech carnage story, that consequently won the Pulitzer Prize for it. He didn't win the Prize solo, as most Fil-Am reporters erroneously wrote."

 

A nd, here's what the "devil" said, en toto:

 

"Well said, Kapeng Barako.

 

"Jose Antonio Vargas is a classic example of "adelantado." His misguided intelligence kuno made him think that he is a special person. In the USA, preferential treatment of a particular individual, is taboo., because it is against the tenet of fairness and equity for all. In itself, it is discriminatory and puts the non-preferred people to a disadvantaged position.

 

"Well-meaning legislations are meant to apply to everyone, not just to a particular person or class of persons. That's the very reason, even in the sensational case of Elvira Arellano, her solo plight did not matter. Her case did not change or avert the purpose of the immigration laws. Once the opportunity to apprehend her arose, she was nabbed, then escorted to the airport for deportation to Mexico. Her skirmishes did not work at all.

 

"Similarly and broadly, we all should learn from the legal doctrine that in the USA, the Constitution does not permit the granting of titles of nobility - as opposed to countries like England, and Thailand, where they still maintain royal titles like kings and queens, counts, duchesses, earls, etc. In America, we are past that stage of being mesmerized by the Cinderella, Snow White fairy tales. We are past that era of fictional story-telling about princess and princesses living-happily-ever-after. We are now in this stage of reality shows. Sana, ikaw Jose Antonio Vargas, magising ka sa hubad na katotohanan.

 

"Sabi nga sa kanta, 't don't matter.' It don't matter kung ikaw ay Nobel or Pulitzer Prize winner. It don't matter if you are the winner of a Best Actor Award from the Oscars. Sumunod ka sa alintuntunun. Follow the rules. (Signed) Salvahey2"

 

SUBSEQUENT CONVERSATIONS WITH SALVAHEY 2: Because this "devil" and his comments kind of intrigued me, I wrote him back. We battled no more.

 

We became allies. Here's what I said:

"Thank you for your comments. I liked what you said. Talagang salbahe. If you don't mind, I'd like to incorporate them in my next column, together with Romy Marquez's comment on Jose Antonio Vargas. Vargas will probably crap in his pants upon reading it, ha? Take care now, Salvahey2 and stay cool."

 

Salvahey answered: "Go ahead, what Salvahey puts out becomes public property.... I am always cool if I don't see a person worth chastising and lambasting to the hilt. Ika nga dapat "mata lamang ang walang latay" when the culprit receives the reformatory punishments that he/she truly deserves."

 

I told Salvahey2 that I'll be writing first about the Debt Ceiling, that I eventually titled The Debt Limit, A Done Deal! And, It Sucks!... then I'll write about him and his comments. I suppose he read my Debt Ceiling story so closely that he quoted a portion of that story and came back to me with this critical, but surprisingly, gentle remarks:

 

"A poll taken by The Washington Post and other leading mainstream newspapers of America have found that ...

 

"I hope your editor catches the grammatical error in the above. 'Poll' is your singular subject, therefore your verb should be has found, not have found.... Don't be misled by the prepositional phrase: 'by the Washington Post and other leading mainstream newspapers...' Even without this phrase, your simple sentence remains: 'A poll taken has found that...'

 

"Sorry, Barako. It's still part of my mission. (Signed) Salvahey2"

 

Editor’s Note: We made the correction, so that as corrected, it read: "Polls taken by The Washington Post and other leading mainstream newspapers of America have found that ...” Because there were several polls.

 

My response: "Hello Salvahey 2 ...

 

"Thanks for telling me. There's nothing to be sorry for. I am glad you told me. My editor was not able to catch the error. Perhaps he trusts too much that my stories would be error-free of simple English grammar.

 

"I consider myself blessed, not cursed and bedeviled that you have taken my writings under your wings as one of your "missions" in life. You see, I not only flunked math twice in college, but my grades in English grammar were all C's. C as in cool, that is. In Tagalog, camote. I was a "lakwatsero" as a student, kasi.

 

"I am working on my next column now, and it's about my point of view of you as Salvahey 2 and your intriguing comments. I'll send you a copy. Take care now."

 

The "devil" answered: "It was such a great pleasure for me to HONOR (not embarrass) your down-to-earth and humble admission of your shortcomings."

 

And yes, Dear Readers, in a way, I suppose I had a pact with the devil, named Salvahey2. He watches over me. But no, I am not a wanna-be "Dr. Faustus," who also had a pact with the devil, named Mephistephiles. I am only the Kapeng Barako columnist, a wanna-be satirist, who writes in bad English ... that's all. JJ

 



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