POSTSCRIPT / December 14, 2008 / Sunday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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Makati rally served as a healthy release

BE SAFE: A holiday reminder to those who do a lot of highway driving:

Don’t drive faster than your Guardian Angel can fly.

Do you believe in Guardian Angels? I do. As firmly as I believe that there is hope in tomorrow, that we can find peace if only we prayed and searched hard enough for it.

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READ ON: Add to your Sunday reading this story that has gone around the worldwide web countless times. However busy you are, read on, even if you had read it before.

The Pink Dress

THERE was this little girl sitting by herself in the park. Everyone passed by her and never stopped to see why she looked so sad.

Dressed in a worn pink dress, barefoot and dirty, the girl just sat and watched the people go by.

She never tried to speak. She never said a word. Many people passed by her, but no one would stop.

The next day I decided to go back to the park, out of curiosity, to see if the little girl would still be there.

Yes, she was there, right in the very spot where she was yesterday, and still with the same sad look in her eyes.

TODAY I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl sitting all by herself. As we all know, a park full of strange people is not a place for young children to play or stay alone.

As I got closer I could see the back of her dress. It was grotesquely shaped.

I figured that was the reason why people just passed by and made no effort to speak to her.

Deformities are a low blow to our society and, heaven forbid if you make a step toward assisting someone who is different.

As I got closer, the girl lowered her eyes slightly to avoid my stare. As I approached her, I could see the shape of her back more clearly.

She was grotesquely shaped in a humped-over form.

I smiled to let her know it was okay — I was there to help if help is needed, and to talk.

I sat down beside her and opened with a simple, “Hello.”

The girl acted shocked, and stammered a “Hi” after looking deeply into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back.

We talked until darkness fell and the park was completely empty.

I ASKED the girl why she was so sad.

She looked at me with a wan look and said, “Because, I’m different.”

I immediately replied, “That you are!” and smiled.

The girl looked even sadder and muttered, “I know.”

“Little girl,” I said, “you remind me of an angel, sweet and innocent.”

She looked at me and smiled, then slowly she got to her feet and said, “Really?”

“Yes, you’re like a little Guardian Angel sent to watch over all people walking by.”

THE GIRL in the pink dress smiled, her face lighting up.

Straightening up, she opened the back of her crumpled dress, allowed her glorious wings to spread, and said “I am. I’m your Guardian Angel!”

I was speechless!

She held my hand and said, “For once you thought of someone other than yourself. My job here is done.”

I got to my feet, “Wait, why did no one stop to help or even just to talk to you, an angel?”

“With most people distracted by the material world, you were the only one who could see me.”

With that, she was gone.

And with that, my life was changed dramatically.

* * *

RELEASE: Now that the multi-sectoral rally against everything identified with Gloria Arroyo is done with, I hope most of the hate and virulence spewed out is swept away with the litter.

That spilling out in the streets that is now part of democracy, Filipino-style, could be good therapy — a release, a purging of sorts. In that sense, it is good.

At least it released some of the pent-up rage threatening to spoil our preparation for a joyous Advent.

* * *

NO EFFECT: Pity the politicos, especially those who fancy themselves as of presidential material, who waded through the crowd, showed their faces and raised their fists at the rally.

By attending (some of them reciting the same tired script), have they come out bigger figures? Did their mention in the news improve their political stock?

Check out the bishops and priests who pretended to be leading their flock at the rally. Have they grown in the esteem and affection of the faithful as a result?

The only positive effects devolved on the members of civic groups who learned from the experience about involvement.

(But ask the thousands who were stranded, the PU drivers on boundary, those who had to cancel important meetings and those who closed their shops because of the civil disturbance.)

*  *  *

RUSE: Did the rally nip the bud of Charter change supposedly being sneaked up on the population BEFORE 2010?

No, because there is nothing to nip. There is actually no possible Cha-cha BEFORE 2010 to be stopped by the public gathering of anti-Arroyo elements.

The badly written Constitution cries for amendment or outright revision. But such changes will NOT happen BEFORE President Gloria Arroyo steps down in 2010.

It is hilarious how supposedly wizened politicos and analysts have fallen for the Palace propaganda that Gloria Arroyo wants to stay after 2010.

Supposed term extension is just a ruse to forestall the creeping image of her being a lameduck president. She has to be projected as still being a political force to contend with.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of December 14, 2008)

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