Wednesday, August 20, 2008

An Open Letter to Michael Phelps

Just as I was eating my 3 day-old pandesal for breakfast today, a thought just came to me. Really. It has been at the back of my mind after watching the end of pool coverage and seeing lanky specimens out-swim competition, event after event in Beijing. That I may never be a able to witness my beloved country winning an Olympic gold medal will haunt me the rest of my spirit days.

Yet, here comes Michael Phelps who by sheer number of golds won may probably be the human equivalent of Fort Knox. Is there any man alive who is more apt to play the title role in a James Bond remake of Goldfinger? Michael Phelps truly is the man with a Midas touch. Touche.

So how many Olympic golds do you have now, Michael? Honestly, do you remember the significance of each of those yellow ornament now hanging in whatever part of your house as testament to your skill and discipline. Hell, you can even make a wind chime with all that if you feel creative. It may not sound pretty but definitely will remind you of the sound of bells clanging to signify the final lap, seconds just before touching the wall and then raising the fists in jubilation.

Compare that to us with no Olympic gold yet - where a medal standing is such a celebrated event that corrupt politicians stumble upon themselves offering all sorts of reward (pot of money or Knighthood of sorts) in the name of a nation's pride. Never mind if those really are public funds anyway. Can you fault us for sending a delegation where almost always, officials outnumber the athletes in every Olympics? I think it makes sense because scouting, you know, really is important.

So here is my plea. Michael. Would you, in the name of Olympic brotherhood be willing to donate one of your gold medals to the Filipino people? Aw, c'mon that wouldn't be so difficult. You can always get a replacement come 2012 if you keep away from girls and partying. Think hard about it. That would be better than all the media coverage you'd get from Baltimore. We'd even get you a place of your own to swim the hours away endlessly. We're not talking about square feet of gleaming tiles all around. We're talking about beaches, man and coral reefs that will bring out the merman in you.

We'll even throw in companions for you. Name it. Sea cow, dolphins even mermaids if you want as we have them on the daily telly every other year or so. Sharks? Better lay off that as we reserve them for our government offices to keep the crocodiles company.

And the perks - it will never end as it is far more than you and I could ever imagine. Just look it up. It's time you brush up on your geography and chill out for awhile. We're called Filipinos from that group of islands shaped like a maiden called the Philippines. Both a paradise and place of drudgery for several million cheery folks. Compared to other countries that are like big rooms in this Earth mansion, ours is the servants quarters. Lonely, lively and its got selfless service and hope written across its walls. Sad to say, there's little or no commercial value in it.

So, in case you grow a bit of conscience and true insight to sharing life's blessings, please consider this plea. We won't mind waiting another four years but you lay off throwing us a silver because that would be disrespectful to the Games and to the value of your hard work. And accepting that would remind us of a guy named Judas getting insignificant loot. You may want prefer to give to Africa instead or to some other cause but keep in mind, they will eventually get more golds than you. Ever heard of marathons?

Here's a salute to you Michael Phelps. May you ever be so gracious with what life has given you both in endorsements and Facebook friends' requests, of passing the haul of that wonderful mustache connected to face and a body, and quite possibly, successfully passing yourself off as a human and not being found out that you're actually a fish.
A goldfish, of course.

And in the remote possibility that Michael declines, Zaki - remember Daddy tried. Soon it will be your turn to get us one, legitimately.