Cariño: Baguio Connections 78

Baguio Stories

LAST week, a battle between right and wrong as it raged in the Senate. This week, more about that.

The battle between right and wrong or good and evil is a recurring literary theme. Many of our favorite books and movies explore this basic struggle, with good more often than not ultimately triumphing.

Though not always, as in Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" and the "Orwellian" 1984, classics both. Closer to the contemporary, just look at the Star Wars saga. This is an ongoing story of, exactly, the battle between good and evil. Some episodes end with the latter in famous triumph, like in "The Empire Strikes Back."

The battle between good and evil is also a recurring theme in real life. As a matter of fact, we make multiple decisions in a day that are between right and wrong, some choices big, some small. I rather think we end up each night with some sort of a score sheet that our recording angels keep track of. I also fancy that they work hard to influence our choices, so that good, a word derived from God, triumphs.

Literarily, much is also made of plot, what happens in a story. Cinematically, more is made of plotpoints, those pivotal moments in a script that greatly affect the direction of the so-called action of a story. If one's life were a movie, those plotpoints would be the moments in time when major events occur that significantly affect the story of one's life. Many times, major life plotpoints are the big decisions, where to go for college, who to marry, or not, where to live, what job to take, or leave. And so on.

Sometimes, major life plotpoints are big ticket moments, big decisions.

Current Baguio mayor Benjamin Magalong, during one of the recent Senate hearings, spoke of how, before he submitted the now famous Mamasapano Report to Malacañang, sought counsel with Senator Panfilo Lacson, who advised Magalong that his was at that moment a choice between career and character. Or should we say "Career and Character." Magalong's choice was "Character;" that was a major decision and a significant life plotpoint.

Had he gone with career, it is said that he would have become the next chief of the Philippine National Police or thereabouts. And who knows where that track would have taken him? We all of us can only guess, because he chose to submit a report that called it as it was, with the President Benigno Aquino III painted in questionable light. Magalong says he was then "unceremoniously" relieved of his position and assigned elsewhere.

That track took him to perhaps uncomfortable places (?) for a while, but eventually to a cushy post-retirement job, and then to the helm of this our fair city. Which actually had myself and others, after all the election drama died down, relieved he made it.

About the decision to gun for Baguio's to post, let me perhaps next week give this column over to a good friend who knows all about that plotpoint.


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