Fetalvero: That certain smile

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By Noemi C. Fetalvero

Two empty bottles

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


TO A member of the Facial Paralysis Institute, being unable to smile is a great disadvantage because the institution considers smiling as the most important way people communicate with one another. Given this information, I am perplexed by what some Filipinos accused of crime are trying to communicate.

You may have noticed that Cedric Lee wore a smile on his face when he appeared before the courts in connection with the serious illegal detention filed against him by actor Vhong Navarro.

Senators Ramon Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, who are both facing plunder cases, were observed to be in a very good disposition and most often than not had smiles on their faces.

If I were the accused and innocent of the charge against me, I would be fuming mad.  I think that is a normal reaction from someone who is innocent. An angry denial is expected.

I had a domestic helper a couple of years ago who broke my antique telephone. She dropped it while cleaning it. I would like to believe it was unintentional. What made me angry is that she did not tell me that she broke the telephone. I had to discover it myself and when I accosted her about it, she simply smiled. She did not even apologize.  I was similarly baffled.

When people react outside of what is considered a “normal reaction,” we start asking questions. Is the smile a defense mechanism while trying to cover an embarrassment, a feeling of guilt or a show of confidence that sooner or later he will be exonerated of the charge?

A person smiles because he is amused, gratified, experiencing pleasure, or he is simply being friendly. However, a person likewise smiles in mockery or ridicule. Someone asked: “Is a smile a question?”

Generally speaking, a smile when sweet is a tell-tale sign that someone is happy.  In some instances when a smile is suspicious, it becomes bitter sweet.

ABS-CBN's summer advocacy features the smiling faces of Pinoys. Is it inherent in Filipinos to keep on smiling even after a deluge, an earthquake, a storm surge, a famine? I would like to attribute those smiles to their faith in the Lord, and that they will soon overcome the hardship because help will come.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 19, 2014.

Lifestyle

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