Edge of Broken Promises?

“Daytoy baro nga tawen, agbalbaliw ak,” (This new Year, I promise to change), Berto Sandoval from Baguio City, summed up last week a hope of many in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Region 1 desiring to veer from crooked and branched paths towards a straight way.

We blush over this display of resoluteness when, comes every New Year, many sober up and inwardly examine whether a pressing need exists to re-evaluate past activities by reviewing the indicators of their life’s outputs or outcomes.

Many set a challenge or new goal – and just as often, miserably fail to achieve it. And we end up trying to convince ourselves we’re not just ready yet, that we’ll do it next week, next month . . . next New Year, because we believe the road to success is always under construction anyway.

Or we try to convince ourselves that behind every success were lots of unsuccessful years.

Other may want to console themselves that to win a new year’s resolution, we need three bones: a wish bone, a funny bone and a back bone.

If Ah Kong remembers his psychology classes, “Our perspective for change rests on necessary contradictions of human nature and grounds for lucid hope.”

“There can be events in our lives that seem redeemable, events in which grounds for gratefulness and hope have ebbed so low we have ceased to believe they exist”.

“Yet, we have within us the absolving capacity to rise above those moments and contemplate a bigger picture in all of its complexity, correlation, its progressiveness and its temporal sweep , and determine in what we see not illusory consolation but straightforward comfort there is : that of perspective”.

Now, Sandoval howls: “Sannamagan, Ah Kong, maawatam ti explanasyon mo idiay paragraphs 4, 5 ken 6 nga inadal mo iti psychology? (You unnnerstang what you’ve written in paragraphs 4, 5 and 6?).

“You make your readers uncomfortable reading your psychology gobbledygook about change when firstly; you were an utter failure in your psychology classes!”).

Sandoval explains that what Ah Kong says in paragraphs 4,5 and 6 is that in a nutshell, all of us aspire for change, from worst to better, if not the best. Good intention, indeed. The road towards it is often rocky and rough. Many stumble.

Odds of actually keeping a New Year’s resolution is a see-saw battle, to say the least. Even Ah Kong, the laziest person in CAR, has yet to carry out a New Year’s perspective with tangible results.

But give it to Mayor Mauricio Domogan, when he extended his family’s wishes to all last week. “Kariten tayo ti bagbagi tayo nga agbaliw. . .” (Let’s improve ourselves without stepping on the toes of others).

One of these days, we gotta tote our lazy butts to City Hall, demonstrate a modicum of respect by doing Manong Mauricio a courtesy call and shake the hand of a helluva guy for giving good piece of advice to good-for-nothings like Ah Kong.

There, we may ask, “Hola, Hizzoner, if you may, what might be your personal New Year’s resolution, aside from what you wished for Baguio, eh?”

Without stepping on one’s shoes. Yup. Like quitting smoking, drinking, gambling and womanizing? Now, now Kabayan, why are you peering at Ah Kong like dat, like you got a suspicious mind, ah?

Your eyes are accusing me of being something, like a babaero, for example, when the fact is, when opportunity knocks, why not? Ehek! Ano ba sinasabi ko?

A girl Sandoval knows says that hereon, she is resigned to her belief that men are like commercials. You can’t believe a word of resolution they say.

Micheal Stalley, A British Army veteran, fought in Iraq and now happily married to an Ifugao lady, has these to say on change, for lying or cheating husbands/wives, stealing and drunkenness.

“May we never lie, steal, cheat or drink. But if we must lie, lie in each other’s arms. If we must steal, steal kisses. If we must cheat, cheat death. And if we must drink, drink like you are sober.”

On smoking, one said, “This year, I’ll be cool and not be a smoking fool.” Another promised, “I like smoking; it kills a lot of stupid people.” A girl resolved that,” kissing a smoker is like licking an ashtray.” Another said, “I’ll put it out, before it puts me out.” Still another says, “Tobacco companies kill their customers.”

On gambling, many are resolved that no girl or wife can endure a gambling boyfriend or husband – unless ni lakay mo wenno gayyem mo ket steady winner. But for most, they detest gamblers like they hate a babaero.

Some women are whetting knives and waiting for an opportunity – when their babaero husbands are drunkenly asleep – to unzip their trousers and . . . . and. . .

Now hold on a minute, Senora! We gotta ask legal opinion from friend Atty. Joe Molintas. Like, how are we gonna cut that thing, aber? Cut it a bit? Cut it in half? Or cut it whole? Questions along that line.

Because, you know. Women may pardon a butangero. But a babaero?

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