PORT DE BRAS (por d brah) – “carriage of the arms”; it is both the general arm movements of a dancer and the designated set of exercises designed to make the arms move gracefully and harmoniously with the movements of the legs.

The arms should move from the shoulder and not from the elbow and the movement should be smooth and flowing. The arms should be softly rounded so that the points of the elbows are imperceptible and the hands must be simple, graceful and never flowery. Exercises on port de bras can be varied to infinity by combining their basic elements according to the taste of the professor and the needs of the pupil.

***

I’ve read about various stories on diplomats in books, from encyclopedias to cheesy Suzanne Elizabeth Philips paperbacks.

As I understand, they’re statesmen who build relations, spark up trade and sign treaties, and maintain peace through diplomats of other nations. Diplomats, who have been around for ages, are said to be “tactful,” and are said to be experts on “international affairs.” Whatever those are.

Well now.

Now there is another free-for-all job opportunity besides call centers, and it has been under our noses all along.

Who would have thought it, but Filipinos are actually experts on diplomacy.

That with the word being the new superfluous counterpart of being “plastik.”

“Orocan” and “Tupperware” are ancestors of their clan, while Backfighter and Two-Face are the distant relatives. Smoothie and Apple Polisher are even the cousins.

Especially now with Christmas fast approaching.

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My friend, Japanese Frog, even said that diplomacy, as we put it now, can no longer be removed from anybody’s way of life.

Everybody has experienced becoming this “diplomat” and has pulled it off quite well.

Maybe the government has been secretly training us all to become diplomats by slipping some secret ingredient to edible products in the market. Either to boot us off to some alien place like Kyrgystan or Pluto, and establish relations there, or do some “link-strengthening” (sounds like hair). Or maybe they think it’s the better option to mass genocide—something many have been mulling over for decades now, to stop our diplomatic ruckus.

***

My recent maiden trip to the infamous Divisoria was appalling. Not because of the dirty streets, or the crowd I had to squeeze though, but because almost 90 per cent of the stall owners were not Filipino.

Just imagine: the whole of Divisoria might be earning tens of thousands a day, but the money fails to go into the pockets of those who have every right to benefit from this country, more than any other person.

This has obviously been happening for a long time now, but nothing has been done about it.

Just another proof that the country may well go to the dogs soon, no matter what the government—who do not have the guts to stop its corrupt cohorts—says.

***

Many thanks to Pamela Dizon from the College of Nursing for understanding the Varsitarian’s need for urgency and accuracy. Cooperation, even with one’s own student publication, is sorely lacking nowadays, but she’s definitely an exception.

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