General Admission

Meet Bert Bravo, a rarity from millionaire’s row

By Al S. Mendoza


I also have some bosom buddies who are rich.

That’s life.

You aren’t rich but you can still maintain friendship with the rich.

That’s life, too.

Now, if that rich is a filthy bastard, leave him.

You’d be better off tenfold being alone than being in the company of a rich sonafabeach.

Now this: I have a rich friend named Bert Bravo.

Just one of the few.

Several others insist on seeking my presence.

They love inviting me to their parties and other gatherings as if I’m one of them.

I’m flattered at times.

What have I got to deserve their attention?

I’m just an ordinary fellow, with nothing much to show, nothing much to speak of, nothing much to flaunt about.

They wish to lavish me endlessly with their praise, if not their precious gifts.

Sometimes, I don’t know how to react anymore.

Temptation is what drives one to indiscretion, I know.

Sinful we become once we surrender our tenets.

But I have endeavored to be not of the weak of heart.

And, most of the time, if not all of the time, I succeed.

I have this talent to distinguish the fake from the genuine.

Some rogue rich can be chummy-chummy to you only because he wants a frigging favor from you.

Old hat.

But the shrewd, as always, can be as tricky as your carnival magician.

I know a manipulator when I see one.

With Bert Bravo, it’s different.

Without a doubt, he is a wealthy man.

The giant U-Bix Corp. is his.

Turning 45 next year, U-Bix, the nation’s leader in the photocopy-printer business, is found in practically all the major cities in the country.

Why have I chosen Bert as my subject matter today?

Golf, the game you can play from age five to a hundred and five, brought us together.

It’s not a rich man’s game, contrary to what many say.

It is in owning a golf club share that truly makes one rich.

And Bert is a multiple member, one who is practically a member of all the country’s major golf courses.

Golfers that aren’t rich collect golf bag tags.  Like me.

Imagine my thrill when Bert invited me to play at The Country Club, the nation’s most exclusive club where only 400 comprise total club membership.

But his Manila Golf Club membership takes the cake.

It is not enough that you have P48 million to qualify you to buy a Manila Golf Club share.

You need the nod of the entire membership there for you to be accepted as a member.

Bert doesn’t treat the poor like rag.

He moves, talks and thinks like your typical man in the street.

Unassuming but articulate.  Gentle but with angelic guile.   Cool but confidently clever.

Humble to a fault.

Ah, Pareng Bert, when I get to play your brand-new Bravo Golf in Dumaguete City, I’ll make you proud of me.

I’ll make you a miracle to begin with.

And that’s planting my first tee shot dead center on the green—the first hole being a par 3 like the rest of the 17 holes.

Who said only Bobby Jones is capable of building a Par 3 course in Augusta, Georgia?

In Bert Bravo, he’s got company.

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