Manuel Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms. This article was published in Business Mirror, September 27, 2006 edition, p. A6.
Here’s another purloined page from the Queen’s diary.
I’m still dizzy from circling the globe.
I delivered ASEAN’S address at the Asia Europe Meeting, I reported the success of the Oceans Initiative which I hosted, I talked about my commitment to sustainable development, and I called for more research into alternative and indigenous energy sources to address global warming and to achieve world peace through energy security. I didn’t have time to share my vision of organizing an alternative energy cartel, OJPEC (Organization of Jetropa Producing and Exporting Countries), as a counterweight to OPEC, but I managed to assure the Europeans that more investments and trade with ASEAN will lead to more jobs in Europe. For supermaids.
Finland’s foreign minister sabotaged my three E’s agenda—environment, energy, economy—when he told the Asia Europe People’s Forum that the EU “want(s) to see an end to the political killings which still form a harsh reality of that country.”
In addition, the Europeans tried to make me join the ICC, the International Criminal Court where I don’t control judges. Consequently, I was forced to utilize two extra E’s, the Melo Commission ek-ek and the human rights monitors ek-ek, to foil further attacks on my human rights record.
I survived Europe. Barely. I arrived in England bloodied but unbowed.
Queen Elizabeth did not receive me, but she was gracious enough to lend her china for my tea at Buckingham Palace with Prince Andrew, the next in line to the British throne when Charles and his heirs decide to abdicate or die. Anyway, sipping tea from the same cup touched by Queen Elizabeth’s lips was like a beso-beso between the Enchanted Kingdom and the United Kingdom. It left me giddy.
Prince Andrew asked about setting up a Rolls Royce manufacturing facility in Clark Field, and I replied that I was looking forward to seeing Rolls Royces sporting “Made in Pampanga” emblems.
After the working tea with Prince Andrew, I went to visit 350 Filipina super-nurses employed by St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. Norbie Gonzalez, my national security adviser, tagged along because he thought we would pet Paddington bears afterwards. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Paddington Bears were teddy bears.
St. Mary’s Hospital was where Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. My husband was overcome with nostalgia when I told him about it. He said it brought back memories of his first encounter with penicillin.
I also saw the hospital’s royal suite where Princess Diana delivered Princes Harry and William who, unlike Prince Andrew, are the direct successors to the British throne. I felt giddy again and, just between us, Constitutional Democracy pined for Constitutional Monarchy.
From St. Mary’s, I went to the Filipino community reception at the Sheraton Hotel in Piccadilly. Norbie tagged along again because he thought we were going to the circus afterwards. I didn’t have the heart to tell him Piccadilly Circus is only a traffic intersection.
At the Sheraton, I was able to convey a message of “friendship and solidarity” to Prime Minister Tony Blair—through a kumare of the sister of one of the cooks at 10 Downing Street. “Back-channel Norbie” introduced kumare as “the commoners’ Prince Andrew”. “She’s plugged-in,” he assured me.
My last stop before enplaning for Cuba was Amnesty International’s headquarters. I arrived armed with the Melo and human rights monitors ek-eks, but I was ambushed with “international guidelines on commissions of inquiries.” Those goody-goody meddlers made me so angry I busted my spleen!
I was still fuming when I landed in Havana so I begged off from calling on Fidel Castro. Besides, I don’t enjoy swapping intestinal war stories.
George W. Bush was not in Honolulu to receive me, but he was thoughtful enough to send a welcome note. He also thanked Filipino immigrants for a century of canned pineapples on America’s tables.
I did not issue a statement upon my return because my achievements spoke eloquently enough. Unfortunately, and maliciously, I might add, the Inquirer took that as an opportunity to dismiss all my accomplishments with an editorial barb: “So what were the nine days of traveling about? Malacañang is still trying to figure that one out…. And there was no bacon to be had, much less to bring home.”
Why would I bring bacon to Malaca?ang? That’s like selling popsicles to Eskimos.
Well, I gotta run. I have to look for some other place to house Jovito Palparan because Norbie’s National Security Asylum is full.