G Spot

Kismet, Kermit and the Summit


By Virginia J. Pasalo

I HAVE no story today. I cannot pick up a coherent conversation from those who sat on the tables around me. They were all talking at the same time, animatedly, like frogs tasting the first drops of rain. The piped-in music also encroached on the conversations, weaving itself into the cacophony, along with the shrill cries of children, and mothers running after them.

I did not have a place to sit, so I asked if I could share the table with the only quiet person I found. She told me I can, since her boyfriend will arrive only an hour after. A few minutes of waiting and my favorite place was vacated. Patrick, the amiable waiter, took a little more time cleaning, as bits of rice and spilled catsup adorned the table, looking like an unfinished painting in mixed media. Underneath the table was more difficult to clean, as rice stuck on the tiled floor, having been stepped on by the children as they ran out, following the scent of their mother, smelling of Chicken Joy.

The day was bright, I was sitting in my favorite spot, and the kaimito tree stood there, elegant and graceful. I felt its energy breeze through the opening and closing of the entrance door, finding its way underneath the tables, warming my feet. It felt like a footbath, without the lavender oil. The smell of brewed coffee traveled into my nostrils, and as quickly as I dozed off, I was back to the reality of Kalayaan and V. Luna Streets where vehicles were moving faster because Malacañan has declared November 13-15 as special non-working holidays in Metro Manila and several other areas on account of the 31st ASEAN Summit. No, Prime Minister Trudeau will never drop by at Jollibee V. Luna, that is not part of his PR blitz, he will not stretch his charms this far.

I am not expecting much from the summit. I have resigned myself to the things that do not change, even with the change of Presidents, globally. They are not talking gut issues, and if they ever do, these issues will be left unresolved. Global waste will still be dumped into our shores. Human rights will still be violated. There will be more people crossing oceans to take refuge in Europe as war escalates to feed the greed of the powerful. More saliva will rain on the conference tables, the talks will go on, ad infinitum. When the Muppet Show ends, the Kermits will go back to their own countries, face their own priorities, and the summit agreements will still be “non-binding”. There, the inevitable kismet of the summit.

Like frogs tasting the first drops of rain, we croak. We might as well do the rain dance. Or send smoke signals to the wind. We might have better chances for resolution of issues affecting our fragile existence this way, than hoping to get it from this summit.


Summit dance

Dance me the agenda,

waltzing like Matilda

still moving, still undone


Praise me for Rohingya,

Praise me for Canadian trash

Praise me for the EJK

Praise me for the Shoal


Let me extend the Great Wall

from China to Mexico,

to reach the Wailing Wall


Spend the fifteen billion

depriving the poor zillion

Show “my” people what they haven’t got

Like they got them all!

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