April Fools’ Day today

By Herbert Vego

TODAY or every April 1 each year has been celebrated worldwide as April Fools’ Day. Beware because the tradition allows playing hoaxes or jokes that could make you cry, not laugh.

There is no historical document to show how this “unofficial holiday” started. One speculation is that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, coinciding with the spring equinox around April 1.

April Fools’ Day usually coincides with the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature “fools people with changing, unpredictable weather.”

“Do not lend money on April 1,” we Filipinos are told. “You will not be paid.”

Even the newspapers, radio and TV stations have willingly participated in the tradition of reporting outrageous stories aimed at fooling audiences.

In Philippine setting it’s not only on April 1 that the Philippine media fool hearers, viewers, and readers with daily doses of misinformation, as in magnifying results of political surveys with Ferdinand “Bongbong” or “BBM” Marcos leading way ahead of nine other presidential candidates.

The latest Pulse Asia (or “False Asia” to unbelievers) gives BBM 60 percent of the 2,500 survey responders while runner-up Vice-President Leni Robredo comes far second with only 15 percent; Isko Moreno Domagoso, 10 percent; Manny Pacquiao, 8; Ping Lacson, 2; and the rest, 1, a fraction of it or even zero.

This is very mysterious when one recalls that Leni clobbered BBM, Chiz Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano in the vice-presidential race of 2016.

There is no logical explanation whatsoever on why BBM has become preferable to Leni this time.

BBM’s running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio has a majority of 53 percent against her nine opponents for the vice-presidency.

The other commercial pollsters – SWS, OCTA Research, Publikus and Laylo Research – show more or less the same percentages being made to mirror “nationwide snapshot”.

Methinks that the late Sen. Miriam Defensor was correct in junking the commercial surveys as “paid” mind-conditioners.  Doesn’t common sense tell us that, no matter how “scientific,” the so-called 1,200 to 2,500 unidentified responders could not predict the pulse of more or less 66 million voters?

The nerve! Somebody from Laylo Research was on TV snobbishly saying that the sea of hundreds of thousands of “pink” people swarming Robredo’s rally could not affect the surveys. Why, are they not of voting age?

Yesterday I heard Manila-based broadcaster and blogger Percy Lapid calling the surveys “pre-paid” and therefore could not deviate from the agreed monthly results. If BBM and
Sara are “meant to be” by the grace of Smartmatic and the Commission on Elections (Comelec), they could not be repositioned.

Have you ever wondered why, despite the visible “show of force” during the Leni Robredo-Kiko Pangilinan rallies and motorcades, it’s always the BBM-Sara team scoring and soaring to 55 percent or more in the surveys?

Hmmm, call it “insurance” in the sense that even if one or two of their opponents withdraw in favor of Leni, the BBM-Sara tandem would always keep the majority of 55 to 60 percent.

Oh, April Fool’s Day, what a day to realize that those in power are fooling us to the max!



IN this corner recently, I lauded MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) for the successful installation of its new 33-magavolt transformer that replaced the 20-MVA one in the Iloilo City Proper substation.

As a result, according to MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro in a message to this writer, “The feeders of Molo, Jaro and Lapaz Substations that temporarily hosted the CIty Proper’s load are now back to their original load. So far, all substations and feeders are operating normally.”

No wonder power interruptions have gone fewer, and only during emergency repairs, as in accidents.  A freak one occurred recently when the lifting belt of a tower crane working on a high-rise building of Megaworld brushed against MORE Power’s high-voltage line, automatically locking out substations to prevent further damage.

But more need to be done to achieve sustainability. The ongoing replacement of thousands of dilapidated primary poles is no joke.  Some of them, along with distribution transformers, also have to be relocated to adjust to road expansions.

Unfortunately, despite the rush jobs being done by linemen 24 hours a day, there are still consumers who raise hell in the event of power outages.

But as the saying goes, “Kung may tiyaga, may nilaga.”



JIMMIE ELIZALDE, 67, is running for the first time for Sangguniang Bayan (SB) member of San Jose, Antique.  How is it possible that I consider him “experienced” in the legislative role he seeks to fill?

By the way, I have not met him in person yet.  I simply assume that he is as brainy as his brother Winfred, my college classmate and retired regional manager of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

His dad, the late Francisco “Kit” Elizalde, had been my fellow journalist.

As to why the first-time SB candidate is “experienced,” it’s because, until his retirement a few years ago, he had served as secretary of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Antique for27 years, serving six vice-governors.  He was Legislative Division chief when he retired. In those long years, he had assisted SP members in crafting resolutions and ordinances.

He had also worked for private corporations, notably the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), as accounting clerk.

At present, he is vice-chairman of the Antique Waterworks Service Corp. and a board director of the Antique Provincial Government Multipurpose Cooperative.

He is a graduate of three courses – Bachelor of Laws, BS-Accounting and MA-Public Administration.

You can read more on Jimmie from his leaflets that are now being circulated in San Jose.

According to his recorida jingle, Jimmie would concentrate on filing resolutions and ordinances aimed at giving farmers, fishermen and tricycle drivers in San Jose opportunities for sustainable family life.

Handsome Jimmie Elizalde is happily married to the former Emelda Familiar.  They have four children.