General Admission

The best and the worst

By Al S. Mendoza 


WE love to say that each time a calamity strikes, the best and the worst come forward.

Whether typhoons or earthquakes, fires or plagues, two sets of people raise their hands—ostensibly to serve with all their hearts and minds.

Usually they are the good—and the bad.

Never mind the ugly.

Happily you will be pleasantly surprised that the ugly, in most times, would prove to be the good kind.

Never judge a book by its cover, right?

Anyway, it is happening again.

With the Covid-19 pandemic gripping the globe grimly, immediately stepping up are both the heroes and, well, the heels.

The valiant as well as the villain.

It is so easy to distinguish the good, valiant.  They are now our so-called front liners.

Speaking of our front liners, two of them come from Dagupan City: Doctors Patricia (daughter of Alfie Fernandez) and Leandro (son of Dimples).

They are the grandchildren of Comadre Mina, the widow of my beloved, sorely missed buloy, Al (the great, former mayor of Dagupan City).

Let us always pray for the safety of Drs. Patricia and Leandro, please?

Such Godly citizens.

Several of our doctors have already succumbed to the vicious virus, not to mention a number of our nurses and other medical front liners also offering their lives for the almost thankless job of conquering Covid-19.

My own classmate from Grade 1 to fourth year high school in our hometown of Mangatarem had passed on.

Renato E. O. Valdez fell victim to the virus recently.

Like others before him, it was unfair to lose him as he was in the pink of health when Covid-19 struck him.

I saw him last in October 2019 in New York City.

At the Staten Island Mall, Renato treated me to a Korean lunch, one of the best lunches I’ve ever had in years.

We couldn’t seem to end our trip down memory lane so that by mid-afternoon, Renato brought me to Shake Shack for the biggest hamburger of my life.

Before parting at nearly sundown, he bought me a pair of high-cut blue and yellow basketball shoes.  Make that Under Armour.  Plus a New York baseball cap.

Little did I know that that would prove to be our last meeting.

Renato was our salutatorian in high school.  Bye, my dear friend.

Now, who’d emerge villains amid the pandemic?

Sadly, again, they are some of our public servants themselves.

They steal government money intended for our less-fortunate folk, behaving as our low-life flock deserving of our mock.

Abhorrently, they either steal or slash the aid reserved for the needy in our midst amid the pandemic.

Not content, they pad the list of barangay beneficiaries with persons long dead.

Said deceased are listed in the payroll as beneficiaries, allowing evil-minded officials to collect the loot.

Some of them are now behind bars awaiting trial.

If found guilty, God forgive them as they might yet rot in jail—if not devoured by Covid-19.

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