General Admission

Happiness the Narvasa way

By Al S. Mendoza


HAPPINESS is Christmas, especially in the land of your birth.

And so, to Kuya Leonie (Galvez), my dearest friend from Los Angeles, welcome home after spending Christmas the last 27 years in the U.S. of A.

No place like home, Kuya.

No better place to celebrate the season than home sweet home.

I’m sure you haven’t forgotten that with the onset of September, Christmas songs start playing in radios nationwide.

September being the first of the so-called “ber months,” Christmas decors reappear, most of them dug up from the dusty baul.

But if there is happiness, there is also sadness.

I commiserate with the families of the 34-plus landslide casualties in the Urduja typhoon that hit Biliran in the Visayas.

Also to the relatives of the 45 others that went missing.

What a tragic thing to happen to a family losing a loved one during Christmas.

Snuffed out, almost, is the spirit of the season, which is supposed to be punctuated by joy, peace and prosperity in the run-up to New Year.

In Japan, where Catholics are but a tiny minority, Christmas is observed on a completely different mode.

“Over there,” said my Japanese friend, “it’s purely business for malls and other enterprises.  They decorate their establishments with Christmas motif to attract customers, riding only on the universal popularity of Christmas—which is basically buying gifts and giving them to relatives and close friends.”

He added: “There is actually no birth of Jesus Christ for us to celebrate because the Japanese mainly observe Shintoism.”

He said that during their weddings, the wedded couples do not even have godfathers or godmothers.

Yes, Christmas is celebrated different ways.

But as Kuya Leonie, who is only “ty-five,” loves to say, “the difference is the same.”

Thus, happiness or sadness in Christmas, “the difference is the same.”

Sad that Chito Narvasa lost his job as commissioner of the Philippine Basketball Association on Dec. 17.

But he resigned actually, having lost the love of 7 of the 12 PBA governors since October.

And, yet he did well during his two-year stint at the PBA helm, establishing record sales that kept the cash registers happily ringing non-stop almost.

But when Narvasa approved the deal to send the Fil-German, 6-foot-7 Christian Standhardinger to San Miguel Beer from Kia on the league’s Draft Day, the 7 governors accused him of committing an inappropriate move.

They wanted him fired but 8 votes are needed to either retain or remove a commissioner.

Seeing them fail in their oust-Narvasa move, Narvasa gifted them with his resignation. Just like that.

Narvasa’s sacrifice paved for the smooth opening of the PBA, in the process repairing the league’s damaged image as an offshoot of the 7 governors’ unsportsmanlike conduct.

That’s heroism per se, if not happiness in reverse for Narvasa?

Merry Christmas!

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