The Barretto Wake Brouhaha


The clan patriarch has just left the building– but its occupants continue their verbal tussle leaving the public obviously scratching their heads. Why is the public gaze transfixed with this issue? Is it because President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was there when these warring sisters–Gretchen, Marjorie and an obviously still distraught Claudine– came out with their sharpened, yet polished nails trained against each other? Is it because third parties bearing powerful surnames were involved? Or, is it because what happened at a wake normally happens even in normal, ordinary Filipino families? Seemed like it.

What is obvious from this is the fact that no one asked why President Duterte was there at the wake and why he even refereed the fight between Gretchen and Marjorie? Did one or all of the Barrettos forgot that Duterte presently sits as president and there are several protocols which they should have observed during the wake? I am not referring to the security protocols by the Presidential Security Group (PSG)– I am referring to the social protocols which are normally exercised by the Palace in practically all occasions where the President’s presence is needed. When former Special Presidential Assistant and now Senator Bong Go proxied as the President’s spokesperson and went before the media and narrated what transpired, Go was not possibly aware that he was referring to a president of a country acting as a middle man between two warring and possibly, blood thirsty sisters. Duterte has been known to really mediate between warring members of oligarchic families, such as in the case of the Yansons of Bacolod.

This is different because, instead of state matters,  a President has even involved himself with a celebrity clan full of beautiful Amazonas with powerful names linked with jueteng behind their backs?

All the elements of a usual Pinoy teledrama were there: a daughter long gone suddenly came back and fixed her strained ties with a grieving widow; a sister still smarting from the hurt her sister did to her when she reportedly snatched a boyfriend out of her bosom and another sister impregnated by a politician who happens to be in direct business competition with the boyfriend of another.

What makes this very interesting is the involvement of their own daughters who are obviously of age already to figure themselves in a fight. A niece blaming her Tita of boyfriend snatching; of another niece almost slapping another for exposing her mother’s trysts with a married politician from the Northern parts of Metro Manila and of a popularly known gambling lord curiously involved in all of them. Iba na nga naman ang matinee idol, huh, Atong Ang?

The nail scratching and bite biting incidents are only icings on the cake as one of the sisters even wheeled herself to a hospital just to get her arms and probably other parts of her body checked for bruises and bite marks. If you ask a cop, those bruises are signs of incidents of an extremely emotional kind that normally ends up in someone judge’s court. We still don’t know what’s the ending of all these.

Several thousand miles away, the very same thing happens with the Kardashians but they obviously don’t have the time to even scratch each others arms or face. They would probably just indulge in verbal assaults, but since they probably know the law, those assaults could probably just be described as hisses from kittens.

What can be gleaned from all these? Well, it seems that the level of decency or manners a person possesses does not depend on one’s beauty, social stature, riches or what. These are really taught at home and practiced as regularly as possible. I witnessed several wakes which involved people of a somewhat highly complicated personal relationships and no one bit someone’s arms or scratched another person’s face. And to think that these people are always being derided by society as “jologs”–a pejorative term which concerns one’s socio-economic standing, and which comments negatively on someone’s manners and lifestyle. Who’s the jologs now, huh, Barrettos?

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