Monday, March 24, 2014


It is an old and odd food item that is curious in looks and in form. It invites children and adults alike to take it, eat it, and taste it. It has no smell really but comes in a strange if not rather offending shape. It is light in weight and easy to pick up. It is soft and crunchy. It is light and practically weightless. It is something neither necessary to have nor something substantial to eat. It looks interesting outside but altogether empty inside. It is neither worth keeping nor storing. But it is most distinguishing feature is that is has nothing inside but air – and more air.

Such us the funny and silly “Ampao.” Interesting outside but empty inside. It thus looks solid outside but it is in fact full of air inside. It looks heavy but it is as light as it can be. It is something easy to pick up but should be held with care. It can be readily thrown into the air but one should catch it with tender care – less it breaks altogether. Such as an “Ampao.” It can be described as wrapped air. The bigger it is, the more air in contains. In fact, air is its main ingredient, its biggest content. It is a deception! It is a falsity! It is a joke!

It seems that recently – apparently in view of the 2016 national elections – someone mentioned the word in public, loud and clear. Feeling he has done so well and so much, thinking he is the paragon of superb public service and wherefore deserving of big public gratitude plus great public recognition and admiration, the individual concerned bluntly gave the advise that people should not elect “Ampaos” as government officials – or something the like. Thereafter, with the standard enigmatic smile, he felt good with himself, probably convinced that he has been long rendering superb government service, and thus spole well and right – happy with the dubious belief that was no “Ampao.”

And come to think of it. He said it right – which is not often. He might know what he was talking about – which is nevertheless hard to presume. He could be in fact thinking about himself. But whatever it is, “Ampaos” have no place in the government; they are misfits in public service. They may carry a grand name. They may be known and popular. They may talk well. But once an “Ampao,” an “Ampao” he remains, and a disaster he is when elected into any public office, when entrusted with an elective government position in the local and especially so in the national level. This truth is neither difficult to understand nor hard to accept. It as its incarnation in the past four years plus two more years to come – if ever

Have an “Ampao!”