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As a physician, I have treated patients from both sides of the fence. I also took the Hippocratic oath where I shall serve my patients regardless of  class, color or creed. That is why in public, I am unabashedly apolitical and keep my political colors in the shades of gray or neutral but never black and white. So it is accurate to say that I have no political color. I am apolitical, I am invisible except on the day, on the minute, on the second on election day when I tick off my candidates in the check list on my ballot as dictated to me by my conscience.

I say this because despite everything that is said about it, politics has always befuddled me. The way someone said  with temerity that’s where much money is made the easiest. I cringe at the thought and dry the tear drop that fell on my income tax returns form.

But I am going to write about politicians anyway. Those not within the radius of my clinical practice and social life.

Of  all the politicians, I have reserved my fascination and loathing for members of the House of Representatives. I have to exclude  my husband’s friends  and classmates in UP Law out of respect, because as I know them, they are worthy of such, except if  they feel alluded to.

I had the chance of having been invited to a party with so many politicians in it and it wasn’t even a political party or rally. The Vice President was there, a handful of governors, representatives of local officials and my pet peeve – congressmen.

As there was assigned seating, I found myself  in a table alongside local celebrities garbed in Inno Sotto,  Rajo Laurel, Debbie Co, maxis from Chatuchak market in Bangkok and perhaps some rentals shop because I saw some of the women though not remotely looking like peacocks, looked straight out of  Flores De Mayo in an effort to gussy up for this grandmother of all parties. I was among the  handful of least fancily dressed, playing it safe with a black lacy Catherine Malandrino cocktail dress and a gold minaudiere, my hair in dainty ponytail.

But despite the boring suits these congressmen wore, they were the most interesting characters. In our table at least.

I say this because they never had it so good – whispers among guests of which starlets were hanging out in their offices, how they have been elected to the office after their parents’ terms expired etc etc.

What I found most odd however was that, where during congressional sessions and hearings these congressmen belonged to what their constituents considered as ‘Silent Night’, they were the loudest  in the table that night.

It was not inebriation because wine and sparkly were not yet served at the time. It was the topic du jour that made them so animated. They were comparing notes about their toys. The veritable toys for the big boys. Make that toys for the big moneyed-pork barreled boys. It was, so to speak, one long pissing game. So much for games that big moneyed-pork barreled boys play.

At one point they were talking about their Ducati’s. And then the topic shifted to Corvettes, about how fast they could run theirs in the streets of Manila.

As a person, bereft of the restrictions of my profession,  I also have friends on both sides of the fence. As the congressmen were discussing their luxury cars, the bee-line among the poorest of the poor for cheap NFA rice came to  mind. This party happened at the time of  ‘fake’ rice shortage during the term of the ‘fake’ president. I’ve never stabbed at my steak with the knife more forcefully than that night. As I chewed  slivers of the medium rare steak, I was seeing red. As red as the incongruous red Corvettes racing in the crowded streets of Manila. (Is it any wonder how the tires did not melt in this tropical heat? Or perhaps their garage have 24 -hour airconditioning too?)

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