“Make My Day” is the name of the column that Hilarion M. Henares Jr. wrote daily for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and is chosen as the title of his first book of collected essays.
Larry Henares discovered that “the high and the mighty do not mind being feared, do not mind being hated — that is the price they pay on the way to riches and power. But they hate to be made fun of and to be laughed at, because this lowers their self-esteem.” This discovery by a writer who was intimate with the powers-that-be as a friend, business colleague and relative, financially independent enough to resist any bullying, and with a unique talent to move people to tears and laughter — gave birth one of the most unique newspaper columns in journalistic history.
The first piece in this book about the small size of Major Jejomar Binay of Makati, describing him as a tadpole born of constipation, and baptized with a drop of water and a grain of salt, is a classic long remembered with belly-aching laughter. Former Labor Secretary and now Senator Blas Ople is presented as a patriot but only when he is drunk and watering potted plants in hotel lobbies. Vice President Doy Laurel is pictured as a political bungler with a smile that is halfway between a snarl and a smirk. Likewise, the readers are served with a Central Bank governor as a pompous ass, a Defense Secretary as a duck with a penchant for self-destruction, and a economic czarina as a screaming banshee who blows cigarette smoke at protagonists in TV debates.
Yet Henares can move his readers to shed tears unashamedly at the death of a friend, as he did with Elvira and Tito Manahan, Lando Olalia, and Rrex Baquiran. His hospital drama, “Maxicart! Maxicart!” is a classic long remembered by doctors. His essays on the Filipino male as a lover, on The Kiss, the art of insult, the negro race, the Great White Father — all included in this volume — are replete with original insights and unparalleled mastery of subject and style.
The other books by Henares released simultaneously are entitled “Nice and Nasty,” “Cecilia My Love,” and “Sweet and Sour.”