AFTER 35 years of years of toiling in the courtroom, I have decided have I had enough of coping with judges with bad tempers and colleagues who seem to be always one step ahead of an aging warrior. In the Year of the Tiger, I am pursuing a new career path.

Obviously, I can’t say I have a wealth of choices because of my age. For example, I can’t cash in on the current marathon craze. That Kenyan missionary whose legs work like well-oiled pistons when he does practice runs at the Cebu City Sports Center oval would beat me big-time even if I were spring chicken.

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I can’t be a politician either. Tried that once before but was a smashed-up failure. Besides, while the returns are said to be good (10 percent cut on projects, a piece of the action in exchange for business permits and kickbacks from purchases, among others), the competition among aspiring thieves is stiff and there is the pesky, nosy and annoying media to contend with.

Thus stumped, it took me long to weigh my options until I realized that I can make a living out of telling people their fortunes. I lay no claim to extrasensory perception but I didn’t need ESP to tell my clients their case had a good future, did I? All it will take, I’m sure, for me to be a good psychic is a little practice.

So it was that one Monday of the year just ended, I opened the family’s only heirloom, an old kaban, retrieved my takoy pomelo-sized crystal ball, dusted it off and started gazing into the future. These are my bold predictions:

The weather: 2010 will mostly be cloudy with scattered rains.

On some occasions, these scattered rains will become widespread and heavy causing flash floods especially in those areas which do not have a sane flood control system. Otherwise, the skies will be clear, the sun will shine ever so brightly and the days will be hot.

On some parts of the year, the seas will be light and moderate but they can turn heavy especially when there is a typhoon which is certain to visit some parts of the country. I see vessels sinking, causing enormous damage to life and property, if they are allowed to sail during a typhoon.

World health: There will be world-wide concern on the flu virus, whether of the avian or swine kind. I see people who have colds and fever quarantined upon arrival at airports.

The HIV virus will remain a huge problem because of the curse of the original sin. There will be hunger in impoverished nations in Africa and Asia.

Personal fortunes: I see people making money during the elections. During the remaining parts of the year, those who work hard will not worry about putting food on the table.

National politics: I see a new president being elected if an election can and will be held (my crystal ball is hazy on this part). The name of the new president begins with either of the letters A, V, E or T.

I also see a new vice president getting elected and his/her name starts with either the letter R or L or B. I also see fresh faces in the Cabinet starting on July 1.

Local politics: There will be a changing of the guards in Cebu City although it looks more like a game of musical chairs on my crystal ball. We will have a new mayor and vice mayor but most of the councilors are old faces.

In the congressional race, I see a lady winning in the north district and a gentleman victorious in the south.

This was the last scene I saw when my crystal ball conked out.

That was December 28. I just remembered I have to buy a new battery.

(frank.otherside@yahoo.com)