Life’s Charades

Life’s Charades

By Apolinario Villalobos


Playing roles in life takes a lot of courage and determination but to be convincing is another thing. Man can never be free from playing different characters. For the sake of survival, it is understandable. Some do it for fame, some for money, still some do it to save their face at all cost. It is said in the Bible that when people start pretending to be God or Jesus, the end of the world is at hand. But when people start to put on a mask of innocence despite glaring evidences for the crimes he committed, there ensues a question on the Lady Justice’s steadfastness.


Government officials and politicians are fond of denying inadequacy in what are expected of them. It is a great game of charade that they play, much to the consternation of their constituents. Agency officials vehemently deny their innocence of shenanigans that involve corruption committed by their employees or worse, deny to high heavens their own involvement even though all evidence point to them. The denial is never complete without a big smile or poker face. Non-government personalities who are likewise involved in the systematic corruption maintain a face of virtuousness with a hope that they will not be forced to admission when pushed to the corner.


Some people are very good at looking happy though deep inside them, they feel bad or sad. This is the expertise of show business people whose faces can assume expressions or mood regardless of situation. But there are people who, though not in such business, are very good at looking pious, at least until a religious service is over. Then, there are those who could look compassionate while distributing relief goods but as soon as they have left the evacuation center, grimaced while pouring alcohol on their hands. These are the government officials and politicians in immaculate white slacks and made up faces, who visit evacuation centers for photo opportunities.


In a TV show, a seasoned lady host was interviewing a purportedly “healing” priest who is being doubted after some of his followers found out his materialistic tendencies.  The interview was about mishandled funds of the religious foundation to which he belongs and is supposed to be supporting his advocacy. His face failed to project innocence and piety while the interview was going on. His facial expressions just did not match his defensive statements. While his lips are curled in a sarcastic smile, his eyes seemed to mock the host, in contrast to his imploring defensive statements. What pinned him down was his recorded remark which sparked the interview, such as, “why should I turnover the money to the religious foundation when it was given to me?” Investigations brought to light his lavish activities since the time he became famous for supposedly healing people.  I am wondering if that priest who claims to heal sick people is still wearing his priestly white habit.


Then, there are those “ministers” who gesticulate and shout at the top of their voice to emphasize their intention of guiding lost souls back to the right track.  The poor members who are threatened by the fires of hell could not contain their fear making them shed tears, not because God is calling them, but because the minister is pointing his finger at them, accusing them of committing grievous sin. It is a very effective charade of ferocious concern. I witnessed this kind of ministry which during that particular time, was capped by the minister’s reminding his “flock” to increase their “love offering”, because he need the money to buy a new refrigerator.

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