Home Opinion Paying the price of being ‘pogi’

Paying the price of being ‘pogi’


POGI WINS in Angeles City. Pogi loses in Arayat. Pogi did not run in Bacolor.

Three Pampanga politicians monikered Pogi had contrasting fates in the last polls. The first – Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. – re-elected by the proverbial Capampangan pibarilan range against the pretender to the mayorship. The second – Vice Mayor Sixto Mallari – could only manage fourth place and second to last in his mayoral run. The third – Nilo Caballa – rested after completing three terms as councilor, so I was told.

The three are by no means the only local officials to have appropriated the sobriquet “pogi” and parlayed it to political gains.

The original, so far as I know, was the dear lamented Apalit Mayor Tirso G. Lacanilao.

In his first run for the mayoralty in 1998, all his posters were plastered with “PANGIT” by his rivals. By aesthetic standards, Tirso was indeed gravely challenged. If only to spite his detractors, what Tirso did was to arrogate unto himself the very opposite of his countenance – appending “Pogi” in his posters.

He lived up to this new campaign character to the point of altering his middle name: Gonzales into “Guapo.” Hence in his stage intro: “Tirso G. Lacanilao, G is for Guapo. Ang spelling po nito ay G-A-G-O.”

Pogi literally clowned his way to three terms as mayor.

To politicians, believing too much in being “pogi” is perilous. As this old, old tale spun in this space shows. Thirteen years ago, we wrote:

BEING GOODLOOKING has its downside.

No, I do not speak from experience, having been deprived of the gift of a handsome face. So, I just write out of observation and the experiences of friends and acquaintances.

Being “pogi” is definitely a most valued asset. One is always lapitin, a magnet to the girls, truly a “ladies’ choice.” An overload of machismo there makes one supremely confident, inevitably.

“You’re so vain,” as Carly Simon crooned to the Hollywood lover boy Warren Beatty, pre-Annette Benning, that is. Beauty – in women as in men – is twin to vanity.

There is this mediaman-turned-politico, publicly acknowledged as guapo, who earned a reputation among the city’s masseuses for his apre massage antics.

To any attendant demanding payment for “extra services rendered” our guapo coos: “Nanghihingi ka pa ng bayad? Guapo naman ako, hindi ka agrabyado (You still ask for payment? I am handsome, you’ve not been disadvantaged.)

The quick retort: “Tarantado, walang guapo-guapo dito. Trabaho ko ito. Bayad ka (Fool! Pretty faces have no value here. This is my job. Pay up)”

Or that aged Lothario, a failed politico, among mediamen who takes any smile from any lady, known or unknown to him, as an affirmation of his handsomeness and his attractive pull: “Calian na cu. Mumuna guapu cu, cadua buri na cu. (She’s smiling at me. First because I am handsome, second, she likes me).”

Ah, vanity of vanities!

Still, our two examples above are nowhere near the rank of that elected local official who regards himself as God’s own gift to women.

He preens himself every time he gets to the public eye, be it in a media interview, on the legislative floor, even when just munching a Champ at Jollibee. Ever on the look-out for ladies’ eyes meeting his.

So it came to pass that our gigolo won the heart of a young barrio beauty titlist.

Mecua ya queng santing cu. (She fell for my looks).” So, he bragged to anyone who cared to hear.

Meuala ya queng cabobuan na. (He lost her due to his stupidity).” So, we heard next from a colleague.

And then the hush-hush scandal of our gigolo stalking his erstwhile ladylove, harassing her new boyfriend, even threatening her kin with physical harm if she won’t come back to his arms.

He just could not take, much less believe, how one as handsome as he could ever be jilted: “Queng santing cu, e maliaring lacuan na cu.”

Ah, the height of vanity.

A caveat to all pretty boys was the case of another handsome politico we hide under the moniker Johnny.

With his matinee-idol looks, Johnny had this reputation of being a dauayan (extremely attractive to the opposite sex). It was, mayhaps, because of this that Johnny found himself in deep sh…, okay, hole.

Johnny was slapped with a rape complaint by a 16-year-old student. No, the victim never said in her sworn statement that Johnny used brute force to enter where angels fear to tread. Yes, they did it more than once, the girl said. And yes, she was pregnant. So, why did she sue? Johnny refused to answer for the child he sired. He was “pogi” after all.

The attraction clearly made lethal – for Johnny – with the girl’s age. The case was settled, but Johnny was devastated by it, losing by the proverbial mile in his re-election bid.

Lesson for politicos as well as for all men who believe themselves gifted with the looks of Adonis: No need really to validate one’s handsomeness with the number of conquests among the opposite sex. And risk the high price of being a certified “pogi.”

Better then, for all of us not so blessed with good looks to just be content with the thought: Pogi naman ako, maski itanong niyo sa nanay ko. (I am really good looking. Go, ask my mother).

Asus, asus, asus.   


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