Book 24: Salvation and Damnation

Foreword by Enrico V. Angeles, son-in-law


 

WHAT DO YOU TALK ABOUT WITH LARRY HENARES?
Introducing the Guest Speaker, Rotary Club of Makati, February xx, 2005

This was the dilemma I faced over a dozen years ago when my then-girlfriend, now my Ann Rosanna asked me to meet with her father.

I asked Rosanna… What do you think we can talk about?… Do we talk about Economics?

I’m not sure that’s a good idea, she said– he has a doctoral degree in Econ., was an economic adviser to Presidents Magsaysay and Garcia and Chairman of the National Economic Council, a cabinet position under Pres. Diosdado Macapagal all before he was 40 years old…

Maybe we can talk about business… I asked, I have a master’s degree in business, maybe we can talk about business—

Hmm then again maybe not.  He also has a master’s degree in business, in fact it’s a Business and Engineering degree from the Sloan School of Management at the MIT in Boston.

And what did you say, upon his return to the Philippines… he was made a dean of two graduate schools at what age?  The ripe old age of 25?

Ok maybe we can talk politics… I offered…

Rosanna says…ahmm… Did I tell you he has served a total of 5 Philippine presidents dating back to President Magsaysay and is still President Arroyo’s appointee as Presidential Consultant on National Affairs?

Ok, no politics… I conceded

I know we can talk about movies, that’s nice and light, we’ll talk about movies!

What?  He is a movie buff, and in fact made a documentary in 1957 that won the FAMAS Award for best documentary?…

Ok, let’s drop the movie idea.

We’ll just talk current events… you can’t go wrong with the news.

Well, maybe not.  At that time he was only the most read columnist in the highest circulated daily in the country.  In fact, he is the first columnist I can recall where the Inquirer, during his exposes, would start his column on the front page before continuing it at the editorial page.

How about literature?…

Better not, she says… He is a certified bookworm, and had he grown up in this current generation would have been called a nerd.  He was reading Chesterton, Dickens and Hemingway since he was10 years old and to this day can still recite whole verses of Shakespeare.  He is the most well-read person I know, and even now when he laments that his eyes get too tired to read a book, he has the audio version sent in from Amazon.

Ahh… How about technology I then asked.  I’m a younger guy, maybe he has not kept up with technology?

Well, I just want to warn you that computers are his current passion and in fact he just embarked on a grand project to put every photo, every long playing record, every audio tape he owns, and every book he has written into digital format… all by himself!

Ok Rosanna I GIVE UP I said, you tell me what I can talk about with your father.

Well Rosanna said, I’ll let you in on a secret… He loves toilet humor…

What?  What do you mean?

You know… the lowest, crassiest, most unintellectual foul humor you can imagine…

Is that all, I said, I can do that!  So after cramming in every Gary Lising book I can find and watching a whole week’s worth of Eat Bulaga, I was ready to meet Larry Henares.

I remember it vividly… It was 1992 and it was a few weeks before the hotly contested elections.  It was at his house and I had to fight my way through a living room full of politicians — senators, congressmen, and wanna bes, as they were scrambling for every last minute media mileage Larry Henares could give them in his TV and radio shows, and in his Inquirer column.

At last, it was just him and me in his office and we didn’t waste time… let the filth begin!  We got really low and dirty… regaling each other with humor only Tito, Vic, and Joey would love.  At the end of our bull caca session, we were in tears from so much laughter and he… was on his knees… begging me to marry his daughter!

Dear friends, fellow Rotarians, let us welcome a true Renaissance man, my favorite father-in-law, Mr. Larry “Make My Day” Henares.