Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Those nasty State Visits

> Contrary to its glamorous exterior, a State Visit
is a very nasty affair. Not everyone in the official
entourage can share the limelight with the President
so some of the personalities whose job descriptions
relegate them to behind the scenes can get to be
pretty vicious, perhaps out of sheer envy.But don't
get me wrong, there are many loyal bureaucrats who
dread the kleigs and are happy enough to stay in the
People who will never make it to any official
list, in any administration are often the most
ubiquitous; they either pay their way in or spend a
lot on intelligence work because before the
Presidential aircraft even touches down, they are
already assembled at the hotel lobby acting as if they
were they some sort of advance party.
> If they are from the private sector,
> spending their own private funds, then it can be
> argued that they are simply practicing and enjoying
> their right to travel. But, if they are government
> officials, whether appointed or elected, their
> presence at a State Visit will always be questioned,
> if not criticized by the public.
> One evening during a State Visit, I remember
sneaking into the ballroom of the hotel where the
State banquet hosted by our government was to take
place. Previous experience had taught me always to
check if my name card had not been purloined by a
vicious staff member who coveted my cabinet position.
Curiously, all the elegant name
> cards, mine included, were firmly taped on the
damask table cloth and as I bent forward to take a
closer look I heard a masculine voice telling me that
he had taped everything so ” you know
> who will find it difficult to shuffle or remove
place cards."
> Actually my penchant for checking place cards
began at another ball room of another
> hotel during an earlier State Visit when President
J.Estrada was scheduled to meet the Filipino
community. As we cabinet members arrived to take our
places on the dais, behind the presidential chair, we
noticed that all the seats had been occupied by some
unofficial members of the entourage, mostly friends of
the wife of a senior cabinet member. She was probably
claiming her share of the limelight . Of course there
> was a fight between husband and wife later in the
> evening; cabinet wife hit Mr. Secretary on the head
> with her fan.
> There were two elected officials whom we secretly
called limpets when we were being polite. They were
the bane of the protocol officiers of the host
countries because they always tried their utmost (but
never succeeded) to squeeze into the official convoy
in a Jaguar or Mercedes hired for the occasion.
Sometimes, we got veiled threats about losing the
budgets for our respective departments; I guess they
were taking it out on us.(gemma601@yahoo.c,

1 comment:

unheretic said...

most blogs are still very secular in approach and don't seem to give weight to the Fatima story, Papal encyclicals and Aposatolic Letters, the unnoticed effects of motu propio. How many are aware of Saint Bonaventure's Theology of History? Read 1Maccabees2 to get an idea of how our current generation has been prefigured by such story...quite very accurately.