Visayan Daily Star, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012: “Token” This and “Token” That

There is a run taking place tomorrow, at 5 a.m., part of a charitable foundation’s effort to harness the MassKara festivities to a good cause.  Anyone can register, if they bring along a few children’s books.

The real difficulty will be whether self can get up in enough time so that she can make it to the race’s starting point (in front of the Bacolod New Government Center) by 5 a.m.

The driver, Joel, was hired by Ida Jinco, the family company’s secretary, or “Token Villanueva.”  This is still a feudal country.  Likely he passed on information about her to Ida.  Self sometimes wonders how Joel can live with himself, but figures that when you are poor, you can’t afford to feel shame.

Ida was hired by self’s Dear Departed Dad in 1973.  Recently, self learned that Ida has land, in Mambucal.  She also appeared on the slate of a retired general who is running for Mayor of Murcia (Murcia is where self’s family has their farms).  No wonder, the last time self had to bring piyaya and other Bacolod delicacies back to Manila for Dearest Mum, no less than a colonel accompanied her to her plane seat, toting the big, heavy, overweight box of delicacies.  Uggggh.  There was no way self could get away from this military guy’s oppressive presence.  He was quite overweight.   In Bacolod, why are so many people thin, and military guys so plump?  It turns out Ida, through her husband, has ties to the military.  Wow, way to show off your clout, Ida.  Yeah, let’s just send over more boxes of barquillos, caramel tarts and what-not to self’s loving Manila familia.

A writer from California cannot hold her own against this “Token Villanueva” with military connections.  The only thing she can do is blog.  Even the entire Daku Balay, with all its different branches of actual Villanuevas, are helpless before Ida’s relentless ambitions.

It’s wrong, self knows it’s wrong.  Even if she hadn’t spent the last 30 years in America, she would know it was wrong.  Oh, how far away fun trips to Dumaguete and Siquijor seem, at this very dark moment!

Luckily, self can still be distracted by reading the Visayan Daily Star.  On p. 8 is an article about a Bacolod singer, “Bacolod’s charity diva,” whose name, of all things, is Token Lizares.

Lizares is a big name in these parts.  Self wonders if the singer is exhibiting a wry sense of humor by choosing to call herself “Token Lizares.”  Or maybe she really is a Lizares, whose parents chose the name Token?

Ms. Lizares’s charity concert on Nov. 4 is to benefit “22 babies” recently admitted to Manila’s Philippine General Hospital and suffering from such ailments as “imperforate anus, Hirschsprung’s disease, intra-abdominal tumors, bowel obstruction, hypospadias, biliary atresia, gastroschisis, omphalocele . . . ” Self has no idea what those ghastly-sounding illnesses are actually like.

On top of everything, self is still sporting a black eye (Really, from falling asleep and having her face meet the sharp edge of a side table.  Self is not making this up!).  She has to wear these huge Jackie-O sunglasses, which a bellboy bought for her from a store across the street, for 100 pesos (around $2.42).  Today, she slipped up and answered a knock on her room door without putting them on, and the poor young waiter, who’s known her from all her previous visits, really could not restrain his shock at the black and purple and yellow colorations on the right side of self’s face!  The Man tells her she’ll probably still have the bruising by the time she’s scheduled to return home to California (What a comforting thought!)

Perhaps she should simply return to California, and spare the nice people of Bacolod from the extreme tension of having to decide whose side they are on:  hers or her putative family’s?  Gad, this is sounding even more dramatic than the second Obama-Romney debate!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


One response to “Visayan Daily Star, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012: “Token” This and “Token” That”

  1. Wow – I did not understand “Token V” until about half way into your post.

    Reminds me of stone inscription copier my father brought from Bagan (previously spelled Pagan) – well to copy stone inscriptions – for the Burma Historical Commission.

    He became a hard core party member of the 1962-1988 Burma Socialist Program Party.

    Now he may be part of the USDP (Union Solidarity Development Party) the Burmese junta’s party.

    Until 2010, they were called USDA (Union Solidarity Development Party) and called brown shirts – thugs etc as allegedly masterminded attacks on Aung San Suu Kyi in 2003 and on monks in 2007.

    And all I can do now is blog.

    I don’t suppose politics where you are from can be as bad as where I am from, but truly, your blog has made me able to write about things I could not before.

    Thank you.



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