Balikatan, Jakenpoy

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Sunday, July 6, 2014


I UNDERSTAND that the US military has resumed its joint military exercises with our armed forces. Aptly called C.A.R.A.T. the drill will take the American sailors to Subic and Olongapo, known for their women of various karats.

One of the goals of the cooperative undertaking is to train our Philippine soldiers in battle strategies and acquaint them in the use of modern weaponry, certainly not against bomb-snipping Aetas as targets.

To test genuine partnership PAF pilots must be allowed to fly the other party’s jetfighters and helicopters. There is no better way to train our flyers than letting them handle the equipment and aircraft of the U.S. forces. It would be a spectacle to watch our PAF pilot landing an old (RP) helicopter on the battle ship US John McCain in Subic.

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In reciprocity, the US pilots shall be enjoined to fly our PAF aircraft to test and enhance their audacity under hazardous conditions. Not a few of our brave pilots had died while doing just that.

Even children at play usually swap bikes with one another. In the barrio, it is not unusual for someone to let another ride his horse while he would ride the other guy’s carabao. That is our culture and tradition. The practice is not done with wives, of course.

If it is not against the human rights and safety of the US pilots, requiring them to fly our “widow makers” would be the supreme gesture of camaraderie and their bravery.

Another test of friendship under the “Balikatan” is an exchange of provisions between the GIs and Filipino soldiers including the “boodle fight,” a hand to hand dining combat. Probably this is the only the battle that the fork-using GIs can’t win over the native soldiers who can eat a half-cooked bayawak as their counterpart eat a bloody (rare) steak.

For breakfast the US soldiers may swap their canned ration of Libby’s corned beef and Spam with our 555 sardines and local meatloaf. For lunch the visiting forces may be served mongo soup, fried GG and talbos camote. In reverse our soldiers may be served the American MRE (meal ready to eat) with its varied choice of ham, roast beef, turkey, plus desert.

One sure way to a man’s heart is through food. This is an effective strategy to win the friendship and loyalty of the Praybet Benjamin. It was proven during World War when General MacArthur, providing yummy C-Rations to our starving troops, fought to the last Filipino soldier, so the joke goes.

Certainly the local populace will be delighted to see US pilots in diving exhibitions as they fly our aging hand-me-down jet planes and helicopters. Prouder still will be our people knowing their air force pilots can fly F-17 jet fighters and Apache attack helicopters. Will the US military agree to this mutual cooperation for the cause of enhancing capabilities?

*****

Former Rep. Tarzan Lazatin has endorsed the possible candidacy of Sen. Lito Lapid for Angeles mayor.

This gesture of support by Tarzan has yet to be reciprocated by the senator.

In reciprocity, the guests at Tarzan’s birthday party expected Lapid to humor his endorser by raising Lazatin’s hand for a final comeback to his turf, the First congressional district. Nothing doing. Observers reported the smart actor does not want to commit himself to anyone this early.
From initial appearances the two veteran and shrewd politicos seem to be playing a game of “jakenpoy”. It’s a kids play for both of them, with Lito gunning for Congress (bato), and Tarzan doing a final comeback for mayor (gunting). Nothing is permanent in this world except the kibitzers (miron).

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 07, 2014.

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