When I need a good laugh, I turn to Miriam.

I love her ♥ I do. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago never fails to make me laugh. She provides so much comedy and wit that anytime I need a good laugh, I just turn to her and my day is dandy!

Here are my favorite quotes taken from the online dictionary of the fiery Senator Miriam:

On Aliens and Alien Legalization

“Sir, I remind you that as the Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation, I represent the majesty of the Republic of the Philippines. You have the obligation to show respect and courtesy to me. Now shut up, or I’ll knock your teeth off!”

(To an alien criminal suspect who raised his voice to interrupt her during a televised press conference.)

“It looks like there’s a rocky road ahead for the alien legalization program, despite its obvious merits. It will reduce graft in CID, earn billions of pesos for the national treasury, and focus limited law enforcement resources on alien syndicates specializing in heinous crimes, like drug pushing or pedophilia But I failed to convince the Senate, possibly because the IQ in this room is higher than in the entire Senate combined!”

(At a press conference with the CID press corps.)

On the Commission of Appointments

“If I don’t get confirmed, I intend to stop inflicting myself on the public. I intend to stay home and learn how to crochet. I’ll sit on a rocker, and watch my garden grow.”

(After the Commission bypassed her appointment.)

“I am surrounded by idiots.”

(Overheard, while being questioned by several members of the Commission, whereupon she opened her paperback A Brief History of Time, and proceeded to read it as an act of spite against her tormentors. The book is about quantum physics. The photo of Miriam reading the paperback at the confirmation hearing was published on the front page of a metropolitan newspaper.)

On Congress

“FUNGUS FACE!”

(Of a certain congressman who delivered a privileged speech against her in the House of Representatives. Miriam’s phrase delighted the nation, and he never lived it down.)

“There’s no intelligent life down here. Beam me up, Scotty.”

(While riding the elevator in Congress, using a common expression in the popular TV series Star Trek.)

On Crooks

“Those crooks exhibit the epidermis of pachyderms. But I am prepared to fight them. I have cultivated intestinal fortitude.”

(Of CID employees who announced they would stage a demonstration and burn her effigy.)

“Discombobulated moral retardates!”

(Of a few Department of Agrarian Reform employees who, upon her assumption to office after the Garchitorena land overpricing anomaly, immediately organized against her.)

On Death

“I eat death threats for breakfast!”

(To a journalist’s question: “What is your reaction to the many death threats received by your office?”)

“I refuse to die at the hands of those intellectual pygmies!”

(Of alien criminal syndicates reportedly putting out contracts for her assassination.)

“I have no intention of floating in the Pasig River!”

(To a question in an open forum of the Lions Club: “Are you looking after your personal security?”)

On Enemies

“I will not spend my adult life answering obviously false charges. But I will exert every effort to resist the charge that I lack sex appeal.”

(Of the charges filed against her by several CID employees whom she disciplined for graft and corruption.)

“Since you apparently refuse to get the point, I would be happy to educate you.”

(To a hostile TV talk show panel host.)

On Family

“Alexander, finish your dinner, or I’ll prove to you that God exists!”

(To her son Alexander Robert, when he was six years old, and during her stint as Immigration Commissioner she went home late and found him still at dinner. As a dilatory tactic, he attempted conversation by saying: “Mom, I’ve lost my faith in God. The problem is that there is no proof.” [This was recounted by Archie to a journalist.])

On Graft and Corruption

“Head-bashing is the best strategy. Sometimes I have to splatter their brains on the pavement.”

(After she was asked for the best way to fight graft.)

And my most favorite of all:

“I am not afraid of death threats, but I am appalled that so many people are capable of so much wrong spelling and fractured grammar!”

(To a question during an open forum at a convention of nurses: “Are you not afraid of death threats?”)

Sunsets and Miriam rhapsodies

In the last two weeks or so while I was on stalker mode, I’ve seen two pictures in Friendster where two people were against the backdrop of the bright sunset glow. Obviously, they seemed very much in a romantic mood that even when you couldn’t see their faces, you could very much tell they were in love. Or that’s what the picture suggests. Just tonight, as I was checking a friend’s album, I saw it again: a couple in silhouette, enjoying the romantic sunset like there was no tomorrow. It almost got me in the mood of sentimentality (dreaming of my own sunset scene, or a walk in the beach) but then I thought, “ano ba yan, ang excited naman mag upload sa Friendster. Di na nakontento sa iisang picture, nakuha pang gumawa ng isang buong album para lang sa sunset. O-A ha.

I get that they’re in love, and I’m pretty sure people around them know it. And yes, I do get the romantic vibe they’re trying to express; 20 sunset pictures are more than enough to tell me that. But taking picture of the same sunset over and over again is a little too…corny. I mean, it is the same sunset. Shooting at this angle or that angle wouldn’t make it any more romantic than it already is. “Ano ka ba, bitter ka lang. let them enjoy, moment nila yan eh,” my friend told me. “Eh ang corny eh, pa sunset sunset. Eh kung mag break naman yan, o anong sinabi ng sunset nila?” Yeah. It might just be my aversion towards PDAs because unintentionally, they remind me of my sunset-less moments in life.

Moving on. You know the latest entertainment I’m enjoying? Watching and hearing Senator Miriam Santiago’s endless tirades and periodic flare ups.  Para sakin, siya talaga ang pinaka matapang. Hamunin ka ba naman ng character assassination at ethics? On the Euro generals controversy, she has this to say to Versoza and Puno: “I will know where it’s coming from and I assure you gentlemen, you try again and assassinate my character it might be possible that I shall defend myself with [the full force of the law] that you can even dream of. I shall defend my reputation to the death. I challenge any of you, just lift a finger, lift the phone, call your PR persons, call character assassins and we shall see an ethics problem.

To the death, daw! Didn’t she say before she was going to jump off a plane if Erap gets removed from power, and then later on recant with that infamous, “I lied! Hahaha!” And how could I forget that time when she described less educated Filipinos as “species of lower life forms”. Ah, the condescending Miriam. I don’t necessarily think she intends to offend people. People like her, who graduated with an almost perfect QPI at UP Diliman, whose verbose rhapsodies are favorite quotes of the media, who has been tagged as ‘crazy, lunatic’ and at the same time, ‘genius, extraordinary’ make government life and politics more interesting. There are people who don’t need to exert any effort being funny because they just are, in an unapologetic way. I’ve always considered her as the stand up comedienne and fighter in the Senate. And though at times I disagree with her method of communication, remembering how she criticized China as the one that “invented corruption for all of human civilization”, my superficial dream still is to one day be able to attend a Senate Hearing with Miriam at the grilling table. Educational entertainment!

**

It’s almost 1:30 in the morning, and in 5 hours, I need to wake up and prepare for another Education Summit at Manggahan. So let me leave you with these concluding thoughts:

Politics isn’t all that bland. Not when Miriam is around.

A sunset is the daily disappearance of the sun below the western horizon. Its shades of red blue, violet and orange are more vibrant than sunrise, and its timing varies with the time of year and the latitude of the location from which it is viewed. Used as a noun, it can mean a decline or final phase. It is a symbol of west, old age, ending, and closure.

So there you go: sunsets are closures and endings. They’re not necessarily happily ever-afters.

In that case, I’ve had enough of sunsets. :-)