‘Kahit lalala ay puede na?’

By Alex P. Vidal

“How to win in life: 1. work hard; 2. complain less; 3. listen more; 4. try, learn, grow; 5. don’t let people tell you it cant be done; 6. make no excuses.” ― Germany Kent

WE noticed that not all lawmakers who came to Iloilo City to conduct a public consultation on constitutional amendments at the Iloilo Convention Center on February 13 were competent to talk about the Philippine Constitution, the fundamental law of the land.

Only a handful of them probably fully understood what they were saying; some of them really spoke with substance and sense and those were the lawyers and economists who had a sterling background in political science, social science, trade and industry, stock market, business, investment, and legal matters.

Even before they became members of the House of Representatives, these luminaries had already studied and, perhaps, taught in law and business schools, thus they were familiar with the nitty gritty of the charter and its provisions and could take either the affirmative or negative side in any debate. Two of them were the brilliant Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, the chair of the House committee on constitutional amendments and Iloilo 3rd District Rep. Lorenz Defensor, the committee senior vice chair.

Another lawyer in the team, SAGIP partylist Rep. Rodante Marcoleta was also good, but sometimes he talked like a hot-headed and incoherent politician; a rebel without a cause.

Some solons who are part of the nationwide consultation caravan may have the best intentions to help “reform” the constitution to make it more robust and attuned to foreign economic investments, among other major reasons, but they lacked the ability to elucidate the subject matter in the larger, more hypnotic, and challenging scale.


Many of them were there only to ensure the presidential table was fully occupied; and when given the opportunity to express what they knew, they just recited and repeated what had been said before by past movers of charter change like a broken record.

For lack of familiarity with the subject matter and poor background in legislative performance, some of them couldn’t hammer out fresh ideas and compelling arguments to convince the people of the need to place the constitution under the knife.

Take for instance Rep. Richard Gomez, author of House Bill 6805 or “An Act Constituting a Constitutional Convention to Amend the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Defining the Qualifications for its Delegates Who Shall Be Elected Simultaneously with the Next Barangay Elections, and for other Purposes.”

He only stressed the obvious when declared in a press conference that “all sectors of society, all levels of the working class can benefit. We must understand na ‘pag pumasok ‘yung foreign direct investments, it is the local government units that would benefit and the people…collected business taxes will be higher.”

Tra-la-la. Just like saying that if the moon is full, the fishermen will catch more fish; and more fish means a benefit for the fisherfolk and the residents who buy and eat fish. Buga lang nang buga? Kahit lalala ay puede na?

In the 80s, the late comedian Subas Herrero and his sidekick Noel Trinidad popularized the song, Kahit Lalala Ay Pwede Na, which became instant hit among both the singers and non-singers. Here’s how the talented duo belted it:

Kahit la la la la ay pwede na

Kung tanging ‘yan lang ang alam mong letra

Ang mahalaga naman ika’y masaya, ‘di ba

Kahit la la la la ay pwede na

Huwag mong isipin na ‘di mo kaya

Buga lang nang buga, ganyan lang ay okey na

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)