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Kama, coma, comma by Reli German


By Reli L. German

Obviously in a jocular mood, President Duterte engaged in some semantics Wednesday last week, June 28, while speaking during the founding anniversary of the Presidential Security Group (PSG).

The President blithely denied that he was in a coma – a state of unconsciousness caused either by injury or disease. “Wrong spelling lang po iyan ng media – it’s really kama,” he cracked.. “If I’m not around and you don’t see me, sigurado nasa kama ako,” he jokingly assured his audience.

Okay, Mr. President, we take your word that you were not in a coma but was jut taking some private time in your kama. What he was saying, in effect, was that he had simply put a comma (or a pause) on his rigorous schedule of activities.

So come on folks, stop needling Ernie Abella, Jun Evasco, Bong Go and Mart Andanar. They’ve repeatedly claimed that their boss is very much alive and kicking, that he is simply tired and needs to rejuvenate. Ganito rin naman ang sinasabi ng iba pa niyang mga tagapagsalita, or apologists tulad ni Chief Legal Counsel Sal Panelo at maging si PNP Chief Bato dela Rosa di, ba? No problem about his health, they say.

Now, some guys are speculating that while resting kuno on his kama, Mano Digong may actually be trying to explore the teachings of Kama Sutra, the ancient Sanskrit literature of the Hindus that, Wikipedia says, is not really a discourse on sexual behaviour alone but is actually a guide on virtuous and gracious living.

Lest some over-imaginative minds put a malicious twist on the subject because of the word Kama, it is said that only about 20% of the work is devoted to a discussion on amorous topics and the pleasures of the flesh. The rest are highly relevant expositions on the three other main goals of life, namely: virtuous living, prosperity and liberation — again according to Wikipedia.

But so what if, while resting on his kama in his private time or during his mental peregrinations, the President’s mind wanders into the more mundane discussions in Kama Sutra? This shouldn’t be such a big deal really. After all, the President is now 72l. For that matter, it is said that men at this stage in their life are lamenting the inevitable depreciation of their once vaunted virility. Remember what they say about the spirit being willing but the you-know-what is weak? And whether German-cut or whatever, this is something inescapable once the rigors of age catch up with you.

Consider also that the physical, mental and psychological burden alone imposed by the Marawi crisis is enough to drain the energy of any leader, and perhaps dull, even temporarily, any yearning for earthly pleasures.

Of course, his critics and foes will be lighting fireworks if the comma that he has been putting on his sked eventually turns into a period as that would, indeed, mean wakas, tapos, finished, la fin, kaput or das ende (in German) — the end of the story, for this man they call Du30.

Now, here’s something for people to think about —. the figure 30 has been traditionally used in journalism to indicate the end of a news story. So I wonder if there is any subtle, unintended significance – psychological, metaphysical, transcendental or whatever – to the attachment of the figure 30, in the first syllable of the President’s surname.


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