Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What you consider as yours and what He considers as His are two different things: a comic report

A Philippine-American military exercise (photo from

DEAR lords and ladies of JoJolion’s Diet. Today I report to you this:
    I, Josuke of JoJolion, was there to personally hand to the King of the Philippines our Emperor’s invitation to visit the Empire of JoJolion immediately after that very period of His Lordship’s visit to the Empire of China. In all honesty, I was sent by our Emperor for the simple reason that I could speak English and some Tagalog and fully understand Tagalog and Bisaya; all of these three languages being what His Lordship the King has at His disposal. You also all know I know nothing much about Philippine ancient history, and I know that some of you have stated on Tokyo television that you would rather that the Emperor sent somebody else. Thankfully, my lords and ladies, you might like to know that while I know nothing much about Philippine ancient history, well, neither does much of the Filipino population! Anyway, my lords and ladies, that night in China when I watched and then sat with His Lordship the King of the Philippines, I was sipping tea and listening to him speak.
    "Today I announce my separation from the United States," said King Rodrigo I of the Kingdom of the Philippines that very night of October 20, there speaking at the court of the Empire of the Communist Partisans of China. Incidentally, my lords and ladies, the 71-year-old King said this between the 70-year old Philippine-US relations and the 72nd anniversary of General Douglas MacArthur’s Landing in the Barony of Palo on Leyte Island on October 20, 1944, whatever all those numbers might mean to you. I just came to learn about this from my Joestar family.
    Well, I am also happy to report that there is one thing you don’t know about this King, my lords and ladies. He actually likes the country music of Freddie Aguilar! As well as guns, of course. That makes Him a sort of cowboy in a Western film, doesn’t it? He even asked the Filipino country music singer to rewrite the lyrics to one of his songs so it can serve as a theme song for His reign, a fanfare of sorts to be sung by electronic minstrels wherever he goes. But here’s my question: Is superior love for Freddie Aguilar's country music enough to substantiate the King's claims of supreme love of country? For it seems he has a knack for claiming this. A knack, Anak, get it? [Pause here in case The Diet laughs]
    Anyway, my lords and ladies, after the King’s appearance at the court of the Empire of the Communist Partisans of China, we went to the balcony of the Imperial Communist Hotel to join a bevy of Filipino journalists on separate tables.
    “Naaalala ko ang lahat ng tinuro sa akin sa elementary tungkol sa mga pinaggagawa sa amin ng mga Amerikano at ako ay galit na galit hanggang ngayon,” whispered the King to me in a Tagalog with a Visayan accent that I could fully understand. We were seated at a merienda table full of what our Chinese chef called His Lordship’s Favorite Fried de-Lima Saba (all in all, five saba bananas on each plate, each banana halved right down the middle and fried and cinnamon-flavored).
    “Ang di ko maalala ay yung mga sinabi ng Nanay ko tungkol kay King Ferdinand of Marcos noong Queen Cory lady pa siya,” the King continued. “Di ko na nga rin maalala kung totoo nga bang si Queen Cory ang nag-appoint sa akin kaya naging Officer in Charge ako ng Duchy of Davao Siti (better known in all the Kingdom by the acronym DDS), wala na talaga akong maalala tungkol doon.”
    “Basta ang alam ko lang,” he continued, “salbahe talaga itong mga Amerikano. Bakit ba nila pinatay si General del Pilar, ang bata-bata pa noon at masunuring bata sa mga utos ni King Emilio del Aguinaldo, isa pang idol ko. Grabe talaga.”
    I attempted to ask the King details about the names he mentioned, but he was quick to follow up with:
    “Pero itong si King Ferdinand of Marcos, ha, di naman siguro totoo na salbahe ito kasi sa tingin ko kung naging salbahe man iyon, malamang dahil sa mga utos ng mga Amerikano, kasi salbahe talaga itong mga Amerikano, naalala kong turo ng mga titser ko sa elementary,” he said, looking at his plate of de-Lima Saba. I here again attempted to ask who---
    “Naalala ko rin yung sa collegium pa ako . . . iyan, mga classmates ko sa Ateneo de San Beda yang mga secretary ko na yan sa kabilang mesa, mga honor students yan silang lahat, gustong-gusto ng mga praile ng San Beda yang mga yan, sus ginoo. Ako 75 lang palagi,” he said, expecting laughter, which I promptly gave him and his joke.
    You laugh, my lords and ladies. But I expected that, that refrain of His Lordship’s overplayed song: “ako 75 lang palagi.”
    Anyway, after a pause I again attempted to ask about where Ateneo de---
    “Naalala ko, . . . ang daming rally noon dito sa Duchy of Maynila (better known throughout the kingdom as DOM). Kasi, siyempre, kaya siguro kami pinag-iinteresan ng mga Komunista noon kasi nandito kasi ang mga Amerikano, salbahe talaga, tsk,” he said, shaking his head.
    There was, again, a bit of pause here as the King rolled up a sleeve and reached out for a fried saba on my plate while side-glancing toward a female journalist. I felt like peeing from all the many cups of tea I had drunk and there stood up, and---
    “Kaya sabi ko, . . . para di na kami pag-interesan uli ng mga Komunista, pabalikin ko na lang si Joma, yung Robin Hood na titser ko, naalala ko, tapos makipagkaibigan kami with the Empire of China and KGB tsars-ruled Rusya, para wala nang gulo ba, o di ba? Mag-share na lang kami sa West Philippine Sea na yan. Tapos, laswik, pumunta ako ng Vietnam ni Bảo Đại, isa pang Komunista yan. O. di ok na ang Pilipinas, di ba? Sus ginoo, believe me.”
     At that moment I wanted to ask permission to go pee, but---
    “Kaya, sabi ko, itong 2016 Philippine-American military exercises, this will be the last, kasi mga salbahe talaga itong mga ito, naalala kong sabi sa akin ng mga titser ko sa elementary. Dito na lang ako sa Empire of China at sa KGB tsars ng Rasya---baka mababait pa itong mga ito, sabi ko, kasi biruin mo binigyan pa nga kami ng perang pangtayo ng drug rehab centers dito sa, saan ba yon? Basta meron dyan. Isipin mo yan! Saan ka ba---” I couldn’t understand the rest of the words he was munching on at that moment as he chewed on more saba. “On the other hand,” he continued, after wiping his mouth with toilet paper he got from one of his pockets, “wala talaga akong maalala na may ginawang salbahe sa amin itong Tsina at itong Rusya o Rasya. Wala talaga. . . . Well, wala akong maalala. . . . Ang parating naaalala ko ay itong Amerika. Sus, ginoo. Elementary pa lang ako, salbahe na talaga ‘to, putang ina!!!”
    I ran out to pee.

WHEN I got back I saw the King winking at a female journalist. I said to Him:
    “My Lord, can we get serious about this?”
    He looked at me as if to say he is always serious about anything and everything under the sun, even when he’s joking.
    “Let's say your Kingdom becomes more pro-China and -Russia than pro-Westeros from this moment forward,” I said, “okay, but what do you give away and what do you get?”
    A lady at a nearby table with her back turned to us almost half-turned at that moment, as if to listen harder to what might be the answer to the question I just threw at the King.
    “Let's do some real math and realpolitik here, my Lord,” I said. “Your subjects are warring with each other on abstractions like ‘sincere leadership’, ‘His caring presidency at the Presidium of Lackeys’, ‘nationalism’, and ‘independence’, which are---for now---still really nothing more to most than noisy, empty kettles of nice words they can't get water from for a jasmine tea of substance.”
    I didn’t notice Prince Wilfredo of Gallinero, son of the King’s estranged brother, sit at the table. He proudly swung the saba on his fork from left to right as he loudly, sarcastically said:
    “Instead, let us ask the former satellites of the KGB-Tsardom of Russia why they broke away from the USSR. Why the Tibetan Empire, The City Formerly Known as Her Royal Highness’ Hong Kong, Bảo Đại’s Vietnam and the Kingdom of Tungning (oh, Taiwan to you, ser Josuke of JoJolion) do not like mainland China. Why not ask millions of Chinese émigrés scattered around the globe why they ran away from their homeland? Why not ask millions of later Chinese and Russian immigrants to the United States of Northern America the reason why they chose to live there instead of in China or Russia? Why not ask Guaicaipuro’s Venezuelans what they got from switching sides? Why not ask Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar’s Cubans if they think they do deserve a 2016 Ford Everest instead of a vintage Chevy Cadillac?”
    Ser Dexter of Amoroso, son of a cousin of the King, was now also at the table. He said, joining the conversation, with the King not minding anyone as he busied himself with his saba, “If we are allied with the US of North America and the KGB Tsardom of Russia starts war, China as our ally would most likely be in charge of the Pacific front and use our islands for bases. And having the US of NA as our ally, well, they’d most likely request use of the burghs of Clark and Subic. That would make us a primary target, and same goes with the Empire of JoJolion and South Goguryeo.”
    We all stared at him, even the King.
    “Well,” ser Dexter continued, “if we are allied with China, same goes din. Either way, no choice. Two-edged sword ang pagiging strategic ng bansa natin. Di ba, My Lord?”
“A, ewan ko sa iyo; not my cup of tea,” said His Lordship, who quickly went back to winking at the female journalist while he sipped tea.
    “So, siding with China is safer with that Pacific front scenario?” I asked ser Dexter, in my English with a Nihonggo accent.
    But before ser Dexter could answer, ser Wilfredo there addressed the King, again sarcastically: “Just asking, my Lord, but why are we so hyper about changing our status quo? Our big problem before was Drugs and Corruption. Now we are so involved in geopolitics?”
    “I think they belong to the same category, ser Wilfredo,” I hastened to offer an explanation on the King’s behalf, who might find the good ser not his cup of tea of a conversation mate. “One seems eager to sacrifice all geopolitical complexities in exchange for rehab centers.”
    I couldn’t believe that that was what came out of my mouth. The King there turned to me, stared at me, but soon smiled and moved back his stare to another female journalist at whom he also winked tirelessly.
    “And as for the corruption of others,” I ventured to utter a joke, sensing that the King was up to receiving jokes at this hour of the night, “I dunno if theirs are bigger corruptions than the rumored one that says One actually got his prime campaign money from the AIIB.”
    Sers Dexter and Wilfredo looked at me, shocked, then giggled. The King turned to me again, stared at me, but after four seconds on a grandfather clock smiled at me for having the ambassadorial charm to crack such a joke, only to be frightened by the Kingly stare, haha. He threw his cooking oil-stained fork at my livery, over which act s
ers Dexter and Wilfredo LOLd.

SER Wilfredo was saying: “China will deal first with JoJolion, South Goguryeo, HRH Australia, Bảo Đại’s Vietnam, and most likely the rajas’ India and Indonesia. If we remain neutral it will be worse. Warring factions within our country will be armed by each’s opposing powers. We become like Syria, killing each other 'til the fight between the superpowers end.”
    I suddenly realized that Ser Hubert of Posadas, a freelancing knight of sorts, had been standing behind Ser Wilfredo, holding a cup of tea. He said then, “I do not think there is an exit from this. We have always been primed for proxy wars, so either end of the situation we will still be like Syria. We cannot escape playing the geopolitical game at this point in history. We have to at least take initiative, or be, as always, victim to the external manipulation by foreign powers. And how could we not, with our strategic location and weak military? The end goals, gentlemen, however you play it, are 1) industrialization while expanding our agricultural base, 2) equitable growth, 3) a strengthened local military’s technical capability, and 4) unified internal warring factions. The homework is more internal, regardless of the externalities, because once we achieve internal technology to a level of sustainability and equitably utilize our resources, we can then start to assert control of the strategic location that we have been blessed with by the Lord Bathala. Play them against each other is what I say. Eh, my Lord King?”
    But the King was suddenly not there. Ah, he was now standing in front of a bunch of seated and smiling journalists.
    “Why not concentrate on improving our economy to solve our poverty problem?” asked ser Wilfredo, turning to face the freelancing knight. “We are rich in everything. All we need to do is manage it well and share it fairly among us. That is how our leadership should show genuine love for its people.”
    “Yup,” said ser Hubert, “but as someone exposed to risk organizations and the intelligence community, that is the crux of the problem. If you try to do exactly that, foreign special interests and powers will neutralize you. This is well documented in our own Alexandrian libraries, and if you talk to any careerist in the NSC and NICA or even ISAFP, they will privately say so. It’s just that we are so enamored with our relationship with the US of NA and, as ser Josuke of JoJolion has been wont to point out, the internal colonizers are easily swayed by US of NA companies, Indonesian big money, China money, Malaysian money, that you will find that goal unattainable. Many have tried and literally died.”
    Everyone stared at ser Hubert, shocked at the reality bite he shared, their hands stopping short of bringing their sabas to their respective mouths.
    “The SOP,” ser Hubert continued as he strolled around the round table, “and I have worked with mining companies and contractors, is to start with AID while they steal the land, and many times stealing the health of the community as well. If the community is not compromised, brand their leaders as communists and place them in the OB! Then it will be easy to kill them.”
    Everyone slowly pushed their sabas to their mouths, still eager for ser Hubert to continue.
    And ser Hubert continued. “The AID, he said, is used to get baseline data and a social survey. Third parties then use bribery to buy the local dukes, extract resources. All standard playbook procedures.”
    Everyone slowly chewed on their sabas, looking down at the linen of realization on the table of globalization, as ser Hubert moved on to another table.

I DIDN’T know it was Lady Melanie of Victoriano at the nearby table. She swung around and asked: “So, ser Josuke of JoJolion, what items are on your ‘give away’ and ‘get’ list?”
    “Sa Those Chinese-American Companies In Manila That Cannot Be Named na lang ako manghihingi ng get list ko, ma’am Melanie,” I said, smiling, as I struggled to flaunt my Tagalog with an anime accent. “As for King Rodrigo I, I think rehab centers okey na sa kanya; yun lang yata hinihingi niya, simpleng probinsiyano lang naman daw siya. Tsaka isda promdi Iskaroboro?”
    She smiled and turned back to her table.
    Ser Wilfredo said: “We give away our natural resources and we get low-paying jobs as promoters of their products at the expense of our Overseas Filipino Workers.”
    I said, “Your country is so used to doing those, ser Wilfredo. What's to stop your lumpenbourgeoisie from giving away the same to a new colonial party? :)”
    He smiled and returned to his saba.
    Lady Melanie turned back again, saying: “We won the case at the inter-nations arbitration table, didn’t we? The King won't even get what is ours?”
    “Madame,” I said, “I think what you consider as yours and what He considers as His are two different things? And I think His definition of ‘bayan ko’ is not so different from the definition of it by seemingly China-funded Bayan Muna? A China-centric Asia Union would be their definition of a supreme bayan, different from your definition of the word, true?”
    “Hmm,” she said. “Do you think His ‘Bayan ko’ (pre- & during the election of Kings) is different now, now that he is the King?”
    “Rumor is creeping in, my lady,” I said, “that what we're witnessing now are the repercussions of that equally rumored pre-election Rodrigo-AIIB connection.”
    Ser Wilfredo looked up from his saba, saying, “Silk road, too, eh?”
    “Silk bridge,“ I said.
    “AIIB controlled by China,” ser Wilfredo continued, glancing with a tinge of bitterness towards his Uncle, “will finance that ambitious bridge project. All member states' banking and private sectors will put in their share. Most material and labor will be from China. It is business as usual for China. They have to think faster because their temporary prosperity is diminishing. In the long end, it will be faster to spread their products throughout the continent. Sounds good, but are we sure China will not use that leverage against the AIIB’s member states? As far as we are concerned, what do we need them for? We have more than enough wealth for every Filipino. All that this wealth needs is proper management!”
    He glanced bitterly towards his Uncle, there flirting with the media.
    Suddenly, Ser Raymond of the Red, the jester-puppeteer, passed by our table, saying to us as he danced to Freddie Aguilars music, “One for you, one for me. Two for you, one, two for me. Three for you, one, two, three for me . . .”, as he disappeared into the crowd of standing and talking journalists, among whom was the King, dancing with His cup of tea.
    And that is my report to you, my lords and ladies! Arigato! Heres hoping you will have use for it before His Lordship arrives for his visit! Just remember this, though, my lords, my ladies. To the King of the Philippines we are a friend. We are not the anime. Get it? Not an anime at all, hahaha. Kanpai!!! [S / -I]

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