Philippine Daily Inquirer

After the ‘wangwang,’ add to the must-boo list: VIPs at Immigratio­n lines, jeepneys and tacky lampposts

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WITH THE POST-INAUGURAL PUBLIC so “ wangwang”-alert these days, perhaps this politician will no longer use the wangwang with a motorcycle convoy on his way to—hold your breath—the gym. Believe it or not, people in his gym’s vicinity have been used to seeing his convoy sweep up to the gym’s driveway in such imperial splendor (or shall we say, bad taste).

With the President setting the example for a simple, decent lifestyle, will this “ trapo” part with his wangwang? Again, don’t hold your breath.

The significan­ce of the banning of the wangwang isn’t lost on even the man on the street. Shunning it is not a trivial gesture but a repudiatio­n of the arrogant trappings of power which people have witnessed day in-day out. (Trappings are precisely that—trappings, so they can be done away with.)

Commuters sometimes literally applaud when they see cops apprehendi­ng vehicles with wangwang, like what happened in Muntinlupa. A jeepney of commuters watched and cheered as cops stopped a wangwang-equipped SUV.

Sharing notorious billing with the wangwang is the habit of “VIPs” or those “feeling VIP” to cut into Immigratio­n lines at the airport or to skip these lines altogether. “VIPs” are not supposed to fall in line, unlike ordinary citizens like us, but must be met and assisted through the airport procedures by airport hands.

That waswhy there was quite a stir in the airport last week when the Aquino sisters, Ballsy Cruz and Pinky Abellada, refused VIP treatment as they checked in on a flight to HK. They fell in line at the Immigratio­n, like everybody else.

“VIPs” cutting into airport lines—that should be the next item on the must-boo list of the public.

That and the passenger jeepneys which stop in the middle of the road to load and unload passengers or break just about every traffic rule. The jeepney is the Philippine pop icon, but it also symbolizes the Filipino’s penchant for flaunting the law.

Another on the must-boo list are the tacky overpriced lampposts that continue to mushroom from Manila to Tagaytay to Cebu. In Cebu, its purchase has been the subject of an anti-corruption case.

It’s bad enough that they’re overpriced and tacky; what’s worse is they’re imported by a country that’s being hailed for its artists. Filipino artworks now fetch a good price in internatio­nal auctions.

Filipino artists, including the sculptors, can easily design and build lampposts and other public structures at much cheaper costs—and better creativity. They must be given the opportunit­y to design for their environmen­t. And—at least public funds are used to support Filipino artists.

Then First Lady Ming Ramos did that when she tapped Filipino designers and architects to design the lighting of Manila bridges.

For a moment during the June 30 presidenti­al inaugural at Quirino Grandstand, there was confusion because apparently, some “fake” tickets were issued for the VIP seats, resulting in double seat-holders. Fortunatel­y, the inaugural committee acted swiftly and directed the guests to their correct seats. While the committee members were not crying sabotage, they were able to trace the source of the fake tickets.

Veteran fashion designers like Inno Sotto or Auggie Cordero didn’t join the designer derby at the inaugural, yet not surprising­ly, their vintage ensembles somehow stood out—for their elegant simplicity, correct silhouette and constructi­on. In short, they were appropriat­e.

Meanwhile, another veteran designer frowned at the temerity of a not-so-veteran colleague to steal his muse. The latter tried hard to ask themuse—a celebrity attending the inaugural festivitie­s—to let him make her gown. The veteran designer wasn’t happy at all to learn that. Fortunatel­y, the muse-grabbing didn’t succeed.

Smartmatic president for Southeast Asia Cesar Flores—the goodlookin­g Venezuelan who became a familiar name in the news and a familiar face on TV—is here to stay, for at least six months.

Over a relaxed dinner last week, Flores was saying how he’s come to feel at home in the Philippine­s. Not only does he enjoy Filipino food, the guy is also so familiar with restaurant­s around the metropolis. His favorite is Bistro Remedios, which he praised effusively for its local fare.

This bachelor sings and can perform with a band. If he finds a business partner, he wants to open a club that will have a live band playing jazz. He will call his band, he says, “Cesar Flores and The Spoiled Ballots.” The ever-chic Camille Villar is back in the social circuit. It was good to see Villar at the Bulgari launch last Wednesday, back from a brief vacation in the US with her parents, Sen. Manny Villar and his wife Cynthia.

Asked how she is now after a bruising campaign, the very down-to-earth woman who is the apple of the eye of her dad, said: “Oh, we learned many lessons.”

 ?? IMPORTED TACKY lampposts are not onlyamisus­e of financial resources, they’re alsomissed opportunit­y for the Filipino artists to showcase their creativity and vision related to Philippine culture and the environmen­t. Lampposts designed and built by Filipin ??
IMPORTED TACKY lampposts are not onlyamisus­e of financial resources, they’re alsomissed opportunit­y for the Filipino artists to showcase their creativity and vision related to Philippine culture and the environmen­t. Lampposts designed and built by Filipin
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 ??  ?? SMARTMATIC president for Southeast Asia Cesar Flores is staying put, and says he wants to form a band called “Cesar Flores and The Spoiled Ballots.” UNASSUMING and ever-chic Camille Villar
SMARTMATIC president for Southeast Asia Cesar Flores is staying put, and says he wants to form a band called “Cesar Flores and The Spoiled Ballots.” UNASSUMING and ever-chic Camille Villar
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