Boxing Day: Remember The Poor

30 December 2012

LAS VEGAS, California. Last December 26 was boxing day. No connection to Juan Marquez's devastating 6th round KO of our Kamao ng Bayan... nor to Nonito Donaire raining on the Mexican parade by returning the compliment on Arce.

Boxing Day is a British tradition among the rich and those who have more in life to gather the excess festive food the morning after Christmas, and pack them for the poor.

It may not sound as noble and the living practice of Christianity. But think how many homes in Payatas would welcome the left-overs of the rich. Vicky Wienecke and her group have an all-year round ''Boxing Day'' gathering excess food from restaurants to share with the needy.

A step further is a lesson (learned from my mentor, Ambassador Gregorio Abad): An elegant lady guest insisted to give off her plate a piece of the foie gras, adding that she didn't want it anyway; Greg reminded that we should give only what we want for ourselves.

When President Richard Nixon made the break-through visit to China, Mao Tse-tung picked the best delicacy from his own plate and placed it on the plate of his guest. (Not being schooled by USprotocol boys on the supreme act of hospitality by his host, Nixon instinctively picked something from his own plate and placed it on the Chairman's).

BTW, don't miss the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. It sits in an 8-acre property and includes a restored modest farm house where Richard Milhous Nixon was born, including original furniture (piano, icebox, etc).

The Nixon Library is said to be a poor relation of the other US Presidents' (especially dwarfed by the Reagan Library in Sime Valley with his Air Force One). But it is an honest account of a high and mighty and his fall from grace: The campaign buttons of the Political Come-Back Kid, his famous kitchen debate with Nikita Khruschev, larger than life bronze of his giant contemporaries (Charles de Gaulle, Konrad Adenauer, Chou En-lai, Golda Meir, etc.), memorabilia (including a pearl brooch for Pat Nixon from Imelda), and Watergate. A late addition is the 16-seat Presidential helicopter on which he left the White House at his lowest point.

A similar collection for Ferdinand Marcos is in Batac, for Cory in Hacienda Luisita, for Fidel V. Ramos in Alabang, for Erap in Tanay. These collections should be available to our public. They should include not only the caricature of Imelda's shoes but also her beautiful ternos (some of the finest by Filipino haute couture) which were effective instruments of pioneering diplomacy.

There couldn't be a better account of contemporary history (which ought to be told objectively, without politicizing).

Post Boxing Day (and to mix metaphors with the ringside pugilists kind and in the spirit of the season)... why can't our politicians get along and observe the Queensbury Rules? Do not hit below the belt, and most of all, do not beat a man (or woman) who is down.

A very belated Merry Christmas and a Happier 2013 to Philippine politics! FEEDBACK: jaz_aide@yahoo.com