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Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako London's Olympic Games: My Take
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 19:25

 


By Jesse Jose

A Cup O' Kapeng Barako

  

I watch the London Olympics, do you? 

 

It's thrilling to watch the world's Olympians in action. It's awesome to watch them performing in their peaks. It's touching to see the winners' bright, happy smiles when receiving their medals ... and heartbreaking to see the open tears, flowing on the faces of the losers.  

 

I've also watched the opening ceremony, did you? 

 

It was daw a "hilariously quirky Olympic opening ceremony, a wild jumble of the celebratory and the fanciful; the conventional and the eccentric and the frankly off-the-wall...."


That's true.  It was a dizzying spectacle.  There was even James Bond himself escorting the Queen in a helicopter ride into the arena, then jumping out in a colorful parachute, from that helicopter when his mission was accomplished.  There was Paul McCartney, singing "Hey Jude" and leading the world's Olympians and spectators in singing that classic song of the Beatles.  And altogether, they swayed as one with the swaying tune of the song. 

 

Yes indeed, there was unity ... peace and brotherhood that day.

 

And Britain presented itself to the world as something it has often struggled to express: "a nation," it was said, "secure in its post-empire identity." 

 

Whatever that means, I dunno.


And, if, as New York Times columnist, David Brooks, puts it in his column, the Opening Ceremony "mimics peace," but the games that follow, "mimic warfare."  That's true.  Through fierce competition, the games separate the elite from the mediocre.  It's war.  It's country against another country.  And in war, heroes are born.  In war, the goal is to defeat the enemy. There are 204 countries involved in this war. And about 11,000 combatants. 

 

In war, as in the Olympics, the goal is not to win friendship, but to "demolish the enemy."  And, to win!

 

And, to get that GOLD!  Not the silver.  Not the bronze.  The Gold!  In a competition, there's only one winner.  The silver and bronze medalists are both losers.  Their medals are only pangpalubag-loob for their ferocious, but lost fight, against the true winner, the gold medalist.  The Gold medalist reigns supreme.

 

NINE GOLD MEDALS FOR CHINA: As I write this, three Asian countries are among in the top of the list who have who have won medals.  Gold medals, that is.  China has gotten the most, with nine.  South Korea, two.  And Japan, one. 


What have the athletes of the Motherland won so far?  I haven't even heard any mention of any of them, competing in any games ... and I think that's pathetic.  Kulelat na naman ba tayo?  I thought the Filipinos are "angat sa mundo"?  That's what we keep on saying and singing and screaming to the world. 

 

It would have been a good time -- the perfect time -- to show the world that the Filipino is "angat sa mundo."


Oh, well, how deep is the (Philippine) well?  So shallow naman.  Mas malalim pa ang baha....


O PENING CEREMONY: In the opening ceremony, I waited patiently for the Philippine contingent to appear.  I wanted to see the Motherland's athletes, how they look and how they would prance and dance, and proudly wave the bandila.  When the narrator of the ceremony started naming and presenting the countries that begin with the letter "P," I stood up and walked close to the TV screen, to see our own kababayan athletes better and to yell a cheer for them.


Finally they came on.  Now, you see 'em, now you don't.  For three seconds flat, a couple of athletes representing the Motherland were seen on camera.  I saw the flag being waved weakly by a kababayan, wearing a poorly-designed BarongTagalog, with a salakot on his/her head. 

 

At nakasimangot pa. 

 

I couldn't even tell if the flag bearer was a he or a she.  When I Googled it, I found out the bearer's name was Hidilyn Diaz, a she.  And a 21-year-old weightlifter daw. She should've waved that flag strongly, proudly and happily. But she did not. There were eleven Philippine athletes daw, but these eleven were not captured by the camera that I saw on TV.


Yes, now you see 'em, now you don't.  That's how the Opening Ceremony presented the Philippine contingent. How disappointing. The narrator of the ceremony mentioned the name of Pakyaw though. But what's Pakyaw name got to do with the Olympics?  He was not even a competitor.

 

BARONG AND SALAKOT: Also, why the Barong and the Salakot?  The Barong is a formal wear, worn usually in important social or official functions. And the Salakot is worn while tilling the land in the rice fields, under the hot, blazing sun.  To me, that's an odd combination of clothing to wear in presenting the Philippines. I am at a lost as to the symbolism of this oddly-paired attire to present to a world-wide audience.


Bonga ka, 'Day, they were not.


It was a drab attire, I think, and as I said, poorly-designed, compared to the attires that the other group of Olympians of other countries, had worn.  They all looked resplendent, their attires, I heard, designed either by Armani or by Ralph Lauren ... and check this out: Made in China, too!

 

Whereas, the Pinoys' attire, looked pathetic, made daw in the Philippines!  That's what I saw.  I didn't make that up.  I am not "Mitt, the Twit."  (Y'all know why Mitt Romney was called a "twit" by the Brits, when he was in London, right?)  

 

Oh well, how deep is the tweeting well?  JJ 



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