I WAS reading Julio Acofo's "Seeing With New Eyes" Saturday evening when I was editing the Monday edition of Sun*Star Baguio (which is one of my tasks here, aside from being the receiving end of a lot of criticism and negative reactions from readers and just plain critics).

Anyway Julio was talking about how regretful it was for Roy Manao, the erstwhile acting regional director of the DPWH getting the boot from a lowlander for the top regional post of the Highways Department.

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Julio said this was another example of how IP Cordillerans get the raw end of the deal for any top government position. I won't argue with that, that's his perception and he is entitled to it.

But I do believe Manao was the loser in the final interview for the Cordillera Administrative Region directorship.

Well, you know positions like this are very competitive and in my mind the final interview will really show a person's character and will reveal how a candidate will act when the situation gets really rough.

In 1995, I was also a beat reporter for this paper, aside from the additional task of layouting, proofreading and getting the editor's coffee (which is still black and no sugar but two tablets non saccharide sweetener tablet, my previous editor also wants his coffee scalding hot when it comes to his desk which he will allow to cool enough to put to his lips when he finishes his editorial).

It was during this time that I was introduced to the final question of the final interview of some departments.

Anyway the final question is posed only to the last three candidates and asked this simple question by the secretary of the department in the presence of all the undersecretaries and assistant secretaries, while the other candidates are not in the room.

The question is simply: "How much is one plus one." Candidate One usually replies: "Two, sirs!"

The secretary then would reply: "Very precise, we LIKE that in our candidates."

Candidate Two is then asked inside the interview room and asked the same question, to which he almost always answers: "Two, sirs! One for you and one for me!"

The department head will be shocked but will still usually answer back: "Very precise and accurate. We NEED that in the department."

Then enters Candidate Three and like those before is asked: "How much is one plus one?"

Candidate Three: "That's easy, sirs! Three! One for me and two for you!"

The secretary would then say: "You are not only precise and accurate, you are also very realistic. You're hired!"

Just goes to show no matter how qualified you are if you really don't know your job, you will never be hired.