December 18, 2008

All I want for Christmas...

Something Like Life
Dec. 19, 2008

ONCE a year, I usually try to get other people to do my job by asking them to contribute their thoughts for my Christmas column...hahaha. This time I’ve asked a number of friends here and abroad to tell me what they wish for this holiday season. Not that I’m in any position to grant any of them.

A few of them are new friends and familiar names you read in our “very interesting, award-winning paper” almost every day. Others, meanwhile, are friends from way back whom I’ve been able to reconnect with via Facebook. (Okay, here I go again, but as Pangs would say, “If you’re not on Facebook, you don’t exist!” And no, Connie, I am not spending too much time on it that you should look for a boyfriend for me. Then again, sige, look for a boyfriend for me, or at least a part-time lover, preferably 30 years young and below, nyahaha!)

So I asked if they had any wish, and barring any thought to the cost of the gift, what would they want to receive this Christmas? I told my friends it didn’t matter if it was something as simple as the new Apple iPhone 3G or as fantastic as a ride on the space shuttle, or perhaps an audience with the Pope or the Dalai Lama and, while we’re at it, how about a house in Alaska so you can see Russia from your backyard?! The thing was to just take the question and give me answers off the top of their heads.

I also strictly instructed them that they not give me any “let there be peace on Earth” answers, or any response that would be worthy of a contestant in the Miss Universe pageant (or worse, the Bb. Pilipinas...oops!). Of course, there are still those who persisted in gunning for the Miss Congeniality award, but most let it rip and thought out of the box.

(Chef Sau del Rosario)

So Merry Christmas everybody! Read on and find out what’s on everyone else’s wish list this Yuletide season.

• Sen. MAR Roxas II, Liberal Party presidential candidate for the 2010 elections

A few days rest in Baguio, a good book, a fireplace to read by and Korina beside me.

• Chef Sau del Rosario, culinary consultant and owner, Kingdom, a Thai restaurant in Angeles, Pampanga

Can I ask for a driver as a Christmas wish? Okay, somebody give me an iPhone since I cannot afford it anymore after paying all my staff and chefs their 13th-month pay and bonuses. I still own this old Sony Ericsson P910i which I lost in Cebu and was returned to me—maybe because it is too old to keep. Hahaha. Seriously, can I get a driver, Santa?

• Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Government Service, media darling

Get a job abroad with a good retirement plan; get off the fast track in my public career; my only grandkid will be driven by less demons than I have; my second grandkid coming next year will not suffer hang-ups over me; and that I shall die ahead of everybody else I love.

• Rowena “Weng” Orejana, ex-reporter of ABS-CBN News and recently landed migrant in Auckland, New Zealand, with husband Gene Orejana and their four children.

I wish for a job this Christmas. Hahaha. But seriously, I need one so I can get my permanent residency here. It would give us the stability we need.

• Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr., head of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

My Christmas wish is to be able to wake up and watch the sunrise with my wife, Elma, on Christmas Island in Kiribati, the first inhabited island where the rays of a new year strike, because I would always want to begin the day with her.

(Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr. and wife Elma)

• Neric Acosta, former congressman of the First District of Bukidnon, now professor at the Asian Institute of Management and environment advocate

I’d wish for WATER, WATER, WATER...fresh, clean, gurgling, abundant, life-giving concretely, I’d ask for a thousand indigenous tree seedlings for every village to plant in a watershed area. I saw this flourishing in the Greenbelt Movement of Kenya when I visited with Prof. Wagari Maathai in 2005, the year she won the Nobel Peace Prize. If each village planted hundreds of trees every Christmas, we’d be healing a battered Earth and reaping the bounties of a greener, cleaner country for years to come. Oh, and one more Christmas gift: a ticket to witness the Obama presidential inauguration.

More star-studded Christmas wish-lists next week...

(My column, Something Like Life, is published every Friday in the Life section of the BusinessMirror. Photos, except for Chef Sau's, are courtesy of the profiled interviewees.)


VRG said...

Can Chef Sau be my Chrismas present? He looks cute!

Stella Arnaldo said...

He is! Sige tatanong natin...haha.