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Home Sections Humor & Satire Lolo Bobby's Apocalisto
Lolo Bobby's Apocalisto PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Humor & Satire
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 10:22



T he "Apocalisto" is an offered street-smart solution for all the quarrels and in-fighting in the Filipino-American community, the Filipino homeland and even in distant places where there is war. How I thought of the solution? Please read on . . .


No, I have not gone into film production and produced a Filipino version of the Mel Gibson movie of a similar-sounding title.

I got the idea for this essay just yesterday from a Filipino-American friend. This pal always tells me not to divulge his identity, as he is also a friend of some of my foes in the premiere Filipino-American national federation.

When I met this friend yesterday afternoon, he asked me, "Saan na yong apo mong napaka-listo at napaka-guwapong katulad mo?" ("Where is your grandchild who is so smart and handsome like you?") I really like this friend, as he is so brutally frank and honest. Perhaps I will petition the Vatican to declare him a living Filipino saint.


Yes, people really like their grandchildren, especially when they are just babies or toddlers. Remember the comment of Andy Rooney? This "60 Minutes" pillar said, "There is nothing more peaceful in this world than to hold a sleeping grandchild in your arms."I wrote an essay a few year back about a Filipino adage: "Often people like grandchildren more than their children, as grandkids are like the interest earned from bank deposits. Grandparents appreciate more the interest than the principal." But I said also in the essay that after having studied in a Jesuit university, I practiced too what was taught as the layman's version of the religious order's apostolate (sic). When I became a grandfather, I realized the importance of this Jesuit concept of service to humanity, although I now spell it as "APOstolate." Yes, grandparents have become dignified baby sitters, bus (sic) drivers, shopping and museum-tour guides and what not.

But grandchildren can be nasty sometimes. I remember one of my six  (now seven as of Jan. 27, 2008) grandchildren telling me: "I hate you, Lolo." (Lolo is the Filipino word for grandfather.) I asked him why and he replied, "Because you are a liar. You promised to take me to Walgreens and you did not do it."

I replied to my grandson, "Even if you hate me, Lolo will always love you." But I did not explain to him the reason for not taking him to Walgreens. I had only a one-hundred dollar bill in my wallet. And I was afraid that I would be mistaken for a former NaFFAA national executive officer (NEO), Rodel Rodis, who was arrested by San Francisco cops for allegedly passing a bogus $100 bill at a Walgreens store.

My grandson later in the day embraced me. He said also that he was sorry for calling me a liar and that he loved me. Of course he said, "Sorry," and did embrace me only after I took him to the Walgreens and bought his toys, more pencils, more erasers and lots of candies.

After I bid adieu to my exceptionally-honest and very-frank friend, a great idea popped into my subconscious. Why don't I write a Filipino version of that book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People," and solve all the infighting among Filipino-American community leaders and even among politicians in the homeland? I can use a shorter title for my book. Why don't I call it simply as "The Apocalisto Solution?" Yes, Apocalisto -- from apo (grandchild) to listo (smart) -- can be like the street-smart solution for all the quarrels and fighting not only in the Filipino world but also in all the universe.

I got so excited about my book project that I phoned last night my literary mentor, Poet-pundit Fred Burce Bunao. He asked what in heaven's name is the "Apocalisto Solution?"

I said that if we can persuade people to treat their adversaries as their grandchildren, then there will be less quarrel in this world. I said that I should start calling Rodel Rodis and some of his fellow (and former) federation NEOs as my grandchildren. Then no matter how Rodis, et al, would write about how they hate me, I would always reply to them like what I told my grandson while he was having his tantrum. Yes, grandparents always love their grandkids even if their apo hate them.

Imagine the "Apocalisto" being practiced by Filipino politicians? Why, if Opposition Sen. Nene Pimentel would start treating Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) as his granddaughter, bipartisan cooperation would improve tremendously. If President GMA would in turn treat Opposition Sen. Ping Lacson or alleged coup plotter, Greg Honasan III, as her grandsons, then there would be lots of embracing and hugging back. There will be political peace in the land. If Speaker Jose de Venecia would only treat Rep. Francis Escudero, the minority floor leader, as his apo, then there would be no need for all those character assassinations, etceteras, etc., in Philippine Congress. All disputes would need simple family-oriented solutions.

Mr. Bunao asked if political leaders, especially those who are already senior citizens, would not feel offended if they were called as "apo." I said that it was just a matter of using the right accent. I remarked that the most-revered title of respect that Filipinos of Ilocano ancestry use is the generic word, "Apo" (accent on the first syllable). The Ilocano "Apo" is used in addressing the most-senior and/or most-respected leader. The Filipino universal term for a grandchild is "apo" (accent on the second syllable). When Filipino community or national leaders address each other as "Apo," especially in the written form, it will up to the addressee to determine which title is being used. After all, as in the NBA, "no harm, no foul."

Then I said that maybe because of this Apocalisto Solution, the golden rule could be changed. Perhaps, as amended, it would now read, "Do unto others what you would do unto your apo (grandchild)."The poet-pundit exclaimed on the phone, "My God, you hit again the bull's eye. Your 'Apocalisto Solution' may even solve the communist and Muslim rebellions." I asked the normally-irreverent Mr. Bunao if he were no longer an atheist, as he used the words, "God" and "heaven" in our telephone conversation. He said that he used it with a lower-case "g," as he does not usually take the name of the Almighty in vain. "The reference to heaven was just an idiomatic expression," he said. He corrected me also that he was not an atheist but that he keeps his religion to himself by avoiding public worship. He said that he goes only to three temples: The temples on the right and left side of his head and the FACLA Social Hall on Temple St. in Los Angeles.

A nd speaking of idiomatic expressions, Mr. Bunao reminded me how my federation foes were responsible for my coining a new English term. Remember how my federation opponents called me an "idiot" whenever I asked for a financial report of their events? Well, I said that they were using an "idiotmatic (sic) expression" in their retorts and that it could be a new English idiom (pun intended).

Yes, Mr. Bunao and I talked of how peace and order in the Philippines could be improved if the Philippine military top brass were to treat exiled Filipino communist supremo Joma Sison and his field commanders as the favorite grandchildren of the Filipino generals. The same "Apocalisto Solution" could be applied to the warring tribes and Islamic rebels in Southern Philippines. Imagine the impact when combatants would say to each other, "Even if you hate me, Lolo (or Lola) will always love you." Apocalisto would then become a term to mean, "Make love, not war."

At the end of our conversation, Mr. Bunao cautioned me that perhaps the former federation NEOs would reject the "Apocalisto Solution." The poet-pundit opined that perhaps my opponents in the federation would see the proposal as an indirect insult to them. Why? He said that Rodis, et al, may think that they are actually being dubbed the horsemen of the Apocalypse. And Mr. Bunao said that if that were the case, I would need like 20 to 25 horses for my federation critics to ride on. I said that they could after all ride on to the sunset. Or at least to Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. # # # 




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