(December 13 , 2014)

I was in Manila this past week and dropped by to visit my ” boss forever”  President Fidel V. Ramos at his 26th floor RPDEV office at Makati. I recall it was not that long ago that we last met.He was in Davao City the previous  month for the BIMP-EAGA event where he gave a big boost to the regional  gathering, not to mention his meeting with Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte that kept tongues wagging about the latter being a possible, probable  — but still adamant — presidentiable.

VIRGIN OIL — As soon as I stepped into his office, a hot cup of coffee, smelling familiar with a distinctive coco aroma was served. I used to get before  in my previous visits  steaming hot coffee  with a splash of local brandy (Matador or  Fundador)  that instantly warmed the cockles of the drinker’s insides.

But this new concoction was diffirent. I began to wonder.  Before I could take a sip, FVR shoved to me a xerox copy of a March, 2012 issue of the Philippine Star with a caption: “Virgin coco oil boosts sexual activitystudy“. Ah now that answered my curiosity. Just add a table spoon of virgin oil, he said nonchalantly. Virgin coconut oil or VCO for short, not only helps increase good cholesterol levels but also enhances sexual activity, wrote STAR author Ma. Elisa Osorio.

She further wrote:
“It was an interesting observation that 13 percent of the VCO takers experienced becoming sexually active during the whole durarion of the study”, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) said.

Obviously, 86-year old (but still active)  FVR took fancy at this study result. And he is not only trying it out but also spreading the gospel.  But I must confess though.  I was not so sure whether he was interested in the good cholesterol increase or on the other benefit: as a sex booster. When I asked, he did not answer but his familiar grin however gave him away! (Hahaha! )

MISUARI — During this visit, I  was in the company of JACK MOTALIB a nephew of MNLF Chairman NUR MISUARI from Zamboanga City  and another friend from Cotabato, LOWELL MACABANGEN.  When they learned that I was on my way to visit the former president, they asked if they could tag along. It was propitious. They somehow gave some  updates to FVR about some situations on the ground and about Misuari who had  a standing warrant due to last year’s Zamboanga City siege.  FVR welcomed  getting the lastest  info  on “Ma’as” (the appelation Nur is referred to by those close to him).

When Jack asked if he could take a phone call from “Ma’as”, FVR  replied:”Just don’t let me know his whereabouts because I am bound to  have him arrested”.  Although FVR  was saying it on a light manner,  he was obviously setting the proper parameters of the phone call with one who was  wanted by the law. Evidently, the nephew was contacting his uncle by phone and Misuari was waiting if the former president would take his call.

We all know the lasting  friendship and the long history that went between the two. Remember, they both got the MNLF Final Peace Agreement sealed and signed in 1996. But when the MILF’s comprehensive agreement for the bangsamoro was signed, Nur described it as “illegal” and  vowed to oppose it. He also declared that the MNLF would revert back to its campaign for Mindanao independence. He then secluded himself in a secure place somewhere in Sulu with a warrant of arrest on his head.

FVR got the phone from Jack  where Misuari was on hold and then  opened up with : “Hello Mr. chairman. How’s your health? I hope you’re okay. Don’t let them call you “Ma’as” anymore because it means “old”. We are not old yet, my friend”. There were initial exchange of pleasantries.

The conversation went on and of course I could not hear what NUR was saying on the other line. But there were moments when FVR listened for a long time and knowing NUR, he must have  said a mouthful about his angsts and complaints. The former president listened patiently.

After some exchanges, FVR said: “Mr. Chairman, we can still do many things together for peace and development in Mindanao as we did before. Let’s work together again for our people.” End of conversation.

I was of course curious what was the answer of Nur to the invitation to continue to work together. I didnt want to intrude by  asking FVR  but I could almost hear “Ma’as” promptly saying: “YES. MR. PRESIDENT! Knowing how both have common vibes, I am confident they can still both get together and work for Mindanao peace and development — just like old times.


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