Monday, December 29, 2008

Over par and over the top

The Pinoy blogosphere is in an uproar over the recent fracas in the fairway involving a 27-year old small-town mayor, his Cabinet Secretary father and their bodyguards on one hand, and a 14-year old boy, his 56-year old father and his 18-year old sister on the other hand. As in any harsh conflict, there are two sides on the issue. The first side of the coin is narrated in a first-hand blogpost here, while a direct interview on the contending side is reported here.

It’s amazing how two directly-involved, first-hand accounts paint completely different versions of the same incident. As both of them cannot be truthful at the same time, it is obvious that one or the other is plainly lying through the teeth. One’s emotions will certainly tend to side with the kid and his quite elderly father, as a cursory glance on numerous bloggers’ entries and comments shows that public sympathy definitely goes this way. Which is not surprising, as one pictures the one side wielding guns and goons in a shameless and overpowering display of violent arrogance - against a hapless 14-year old kid and a 56-year old father. The mayor allegedly screamed: "Hindi nila kami kilala! Sabihin mo nga sa kanila kung sino ako!" - as he and his bodyguards reportedly proceed to beat up the kid and the father a second time. The DAR Chief however, denies this and says that it was the De la Pazes who “ganged up on him” (JR, his mayor-son). Lets see whose nose grows.

It started out as an altercation on golf etiquette. Simple fairway right-of-way and good manners. I can imagine the internal script that goes with the scenario:

"HEY, you do not have any golf etiquette, YOU @###$$!!!"
"REALLY?? It’s you who do not have any etiquette, you rude son of a @#&&#$!!!"
"Why you…"

It seems far-out to talk about golf etiquette when you see blood spilling after a misunderstanding on its meaning. These kinds of incidents make me wonder how far humankind has matured in its sense of civility, coming from its feudal or early mankind roots. I guess some things never change, from the prehistoric jungle setting to the modern, "civilized" setting. Maybe the title of this post should be: from golf swing to fist swing, or vice-versa.

I was just writing about the Beatitudes on my recent post. I guess some people never heard of the Sermon on the Mount, either. Or maybe they are just prone to quarrel violently over a dispute on the meaning of humility.


Anonymous said...

As Bagger Vance said, it's the only game where you can call a penalty on yourself. But some people's authentic swing comes with a fist, not with a grip. Don't they know that to real golfers course rules and etiquette are sacred? Perhaps they should take a mulligan.

- TE

WillyJ said...

You bet. Good manners and conduct cannot really be contrived, on or off the fairway.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Willy... The difference between a real public servant statesman and a lousy politician drunk with power couldn't have been clearer.

As a leader and public servant the mayor should have given preference to the citizen, regardless of who broke the golf etiquette. Leaders are supposed to know better. They are supposed to be magnanimous because of their position. Leaders cannot afford to be petty. Ano bang mawawala sa kanya kung paunahin niya yung iba?

There was a time when we had statesmen. They weren't perfect but they embodied public service. Remember Romulo and Magsaysay and Quezon? There was a time when leaders and public servants were more concerned about uplifting the citizen rather than showing him who's boss.

But as usual the one who resorts to fighting is the one who run out of arguments first. And it is also true that the one who needs to prove his superiority is the one who privately knows he doesn't have it. And that the one who demands respect doesn't often deserve it.

In your previous entry you talked about Jesus being a symbol of contradiction. Well, the mayor's behaviour showed just what kind of contradiction it really is about.

- TE

WillyJ said...

TE, you are spot on.