The Many Hats We Wear

Why do we wear hats?

Humans have covered their heads since time immemorial.  Initially headwear offered protection from the elements and from injury from falling rocks, weapons or masonry.  Later head coverings became symbols of status of authority.  Soon after hats progressed to become not only a uniform, but also an art form.

In fashion terms, hats are a very noticeable accessory because the onlooker’s attention is first drawn to the face. A hat is the most noticeable fashion item anyone can wear.  The old saying goes ‘if you want to get ahead and get noticed, then get a hat’.  Indeed the word ‘ahead’ means just that one head further forward.

Since some body heat is lost through the head, in inclement conditions it is important to cover the head. Babies in particular lose heat rapidly through the head, thus ensuring a baby or toddler has a warm covered head in winter is important.

When we say we wear many hats, we could also mean it metaphorically.

When arsonists are coming out of left field, we sound the alarm, put on our firefighter hat, and start putting out fires. When our organization is under attack, we rally the troops, put on our combat helmet and prepare for battle. When we land that good news story on the front page, be honest ladies (and sometimes men), we put on the tiara and celebrate. And some days you just put on your ratty old ball cap and do the grunt work that nobody else wants to do because it has to get done.

We all have metaphorical hats that we swap off and on depending on the day, the hour, sometimes the minute.  We each wear many hats within one day.

Now, let us take a look at what hats recently controversial personalities in the news are wearing nowadays.

Jose Midas P. Marquez

Lawmakers are asking the Supreme Court to discipline him for allegedly misleading the public on the temporary restraining order (TRO) the tribunal issued last week against the travel restriction imposed by the Department of Justice on former President.

He was warned not to “go beyond his role,” noting that he had “no authority to interpret any of our judicial issuances, including the present resolution.”

Marquez said while he appreciated the reminders from the lawmakers to be more careful in announcing the rulings of the court, he said he was merely doing his duty of putting across the message of the majority justices in their decisions.

“The public must not be led to believe that the dissenting view is the controlling view. While it may be repeatedly publicized and broadcasted by those who agree with it, it remains a minority view. The majority view always prevails and must be complied with.” was his reply to an issue which questioned why he insisted that the TRO was immediately executory that would allow Arroyo to freely leave the country even without complying first with some of  the TRO’s provisions.

Marquez also insisted that in his two decades of service in the SC, and five years as court spokesman, he is well aware that he has “no authority to interpret any of the judicial issuances, including the present Resolution, a function I never had from the beginning.”

“But please understand that as spokesperson, I too have a very important obligation to the media and the public, that they clearly understand the decision of the Court. The decision may not always be popular, but that is the decision of the Court, taking into consideration the rule of law. So please don’t shoot the messenger.”

Maria Elena Bautista – Horn

Maria Elena Bautista – Horn is the present Spokesman and Chief of Staff of ex-President and now Rep. Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo.

She lately drew flak for some of her statements in her Wednesday (November 17) dzMM radio interview.

According to the report, Horn was frustrated over Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima’s move to stop the Arroyos from leaving the country. Thus, she questioned the kind of law education received by De Lima and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) lawyer who had barred Arroyo at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Tuesday (November 15). As it turns out, both De Lima and the BI lawyer are graduates of the San Beda College of Law.

“I just thought that maybe a different Constitution is taught in San Beda because they have a different interpretation of the law. We can see that the executive branch really wants to defy the judiciary and this is saddening because De Lima is a lawyer. I am surprised and I really wish that the San Beda College of Law will talk about this because the immigration lawyer who stopped us came from San Beda,” Horn said.

Horn clarified on Thursday (November 18) that she was “only referring to De Lima and the immigration lawyer—not the whole college.”

It is very unethical for her to generalize a college just because he finds her opponents of similar origin. It is very unfair for the school.

For that I give her literally a hat with a horn. Because she is a picture of  an evil individual who has  succumbed to the lowly desperate acts of  scrutinizing an entire institution just because she couldn’t directly contradict her opponents.


Ferdinand Sumague Topacio

After Arroyo was refused departure from the country despite the Supreme Court order, Topacio expressed confidence that his client would return to the country if allowed departure, and announced in a televised interview that should Arroyo not return to the Philippines, he would have one of his testicles removed.

He said he would not hesitate to castrate himself to assure Malacañang that his client, Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, would return home should his wife receive medical treatment for her degenerative bone ailment abroad.

“I’m telling you this. I’m willing to cut off my balls if the former First Gentleman refuses to come home and elude the charge against him,” Topacio said.

Topacio is just one of the many legal counsels for formerPresident and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo . He represented Arroyo in her petition before the Supreme Court asking that she be allowed to leave the Philippines despite being placed on a watch-list by the Department of Justice. Topacio himself paid the 2 million peso bond required by the Supreme Court after it issued a temporary restraining order on 15 November 2011 allowing the former President to leave the country.

For Topacio, a bowler hat with the top part looking like one of his “balls”, all hairy and nerve veins protruding.

Raul L. Lambino

He was resurrected as Gloria Arroyo’s spokesman after we last saw him run for Senator. Everyone thought he had died heartbroken after the Supreme Court called his “People’s Initiative” for charter change a “grand deception” and a “gigantic fraud” on the Filipino people.

He was the guy who pointed out that it is useless and a waste of time to go back to those Garci tapes . “It only proves one thing, one woman and a man talking with each other on the phone. It doesn’t prove there was election cheating. That’s only the probative value.”

 “It wasn’t us” and  “Where is the master tape if you’re going to present this as evidence in court? With high technology, you can just splice every conversation recorded and put that into one tape or disc and you can just select the statements therein to suit your purpose.”

He was also the guy who told presidential  spokesperson Edwin Lacierda to work for what he is being paid for by taxpayers and not serve as the lawyer-spokesperson of former Maguindanao Administrator Norie Unas after Lacierda defended the poll fraud witness.

Lacierda criticized Lambino for saying that the new poll fraud witness is not credible noting that the latter did not hear the statement of Arroyo giving the alleged orders to then Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr.

Lambino also pointed out that Unas has been accused by private prosecutors in the gruesome Maguindanao massacre as “one of the masterminds and at time a plunderer”.

“Very clearly, the moves to persecute the Arroyos are Palace orchestration with Lacierda as the principal crooner singing whatever tunes Aquino would want to hear,” Lambino said.

Recently, he continues to defend the Arroyos from the disgust of the majority of the people who sees the former President’s medical condition, complete with neck brace and wheelchair, and need for medical treatment  abroad as merely a show to get some symphaty from the less-discerning public. The GMA camp refused to accept local treatment even when the government offered to shoulder all the medical expenses and even fly into the country the preferred specialists. Many believed that the real objective of the Arroyos was to escape prosecution by running away to seek refuge or asylum in another country. That perception was emphasized when Arroyo insisted on leaving the country after the Supreme Court issued a TRO allowing Arroyo immediate departure. The DOJ intervened and prevented Arroyo from getting a flight and announced that the TRO was not really immediately executory because there were conditions that needed to be met first before its implementation.

He remains to be one of her spokespersons, along with Elena Bautista-Horn and other aides and lawyers  when the Southern Police District put Arroyo into hospital arrest at St. Luke’s Hospital in Taguig due to Electoral Sabotage charges filed at the RTC court which issued a warrant of arrest against Arroyo making the Supreme Court’s TRO useless.

For Lambino, it is appropriate that he should wear a bullcap hat with the Philippine flag design because noone can contest to the fact that he is truly Pinoy in blood who would be ready to campaign for what he believes in even if its bullshit.


How many times have you felt that you were simply spread too thinly over too many situations? It is not surprising that we often feel that way. We each wear many hats within one day.

There is the hat of the child-like qualities of innocence and joy. This is the hat we wear when we look at the world around us and enjoy each moment, watching the dew on the grass as it is kissed by the sun; or listening to the sound of birds singing or flying across the sky. It is this hat that we wear when we take a moment and watch with interest as a butterfly flits from one flower to another or watch as a bug scurries along keeping whatever appointments a bug keeps.

The hat of worry and sorrow is probably the heaviest hat to wear. This is when we become hopelessly lost in the problems of the moment or deep despair or the sorrow of loss.

The hat of the teacher is one that we all wear. Whether that is our profession or we are teaching our children. We also wear this hat when we demonstrate or teach a skill to adults. Sometimes this hat feels far too large as we begin to realize that what we are teaching can affect many lives in many ways for many years.

The hat of compassion, empathy, sensitivity, love and kindness looks very much like the hat of the teacher and yet, in some ways resembles the hat of child-like qualities. Each time we offer a small act of kindness – what we might consider ‘the right thing to do’ – we are wearing this hat.

There is the hat of creativity which is the hat of the poet, writer, painter, craftsperson, photographer. This hat expresses feelings through the arts and crafts and touches all our hearts and lives.

What does your hat look like? Is it well balanced so that a gust from the Winds of Surprise will not knock it off? Do you change your hat often?

There is nothing so forlorn as a hat that is battered and rumpled because it has become unbalanced from being worn too long or a hat that simply sat on the shelf, unworn.


Personal Background of Jose Midas P. Marquez

Jose Midas P. Marquez has been a law clerk in the Supreme Court since 1991, while he was still a sophomore in Ateneo law school.

He has clerked for Associate Justice Abraham F. Sarmiento, Senior Associate Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio-Herrera, and Senior Associate Justice Josue N. Bellosillo.The Deputy Secretary of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, he was also detailed in the Office of the Chairman of the Tribunal, Senior Associate Justice Reynato S. Puno.

On Saturdays, he turns into Professor Midas, teaching Legal Writing to law students of Centro Escolar University.

The third child of a former city judge and a pharmacist, Midas is an A.B. Economics graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University.Class of 1987,and a holder of the degree of Juris Doctor, also from the same university, class of 1993. He became a member of the Philippine Bar in 1994.

Midas and his wife Liezl Sarmiento, the youngest child of a prominent surgeon and an accomplished anaesthesiologist, have two children, Galo, 11, and Maia, 10. Midas has co-edited the Selected Opinions of Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio-Herrera: The Career Jurist and authored the League of Life, Love, and Law: A Biography of Senior Justice Josue N. Bellosillo which were both published by the Supreme Court Press in 1992 and 2003, respectively.

Personal Background of Ferdinand Sumague Topacio 

Ferdinand Sumague Topacio is a lawyer and the Managing Partner of the Topacio Law Office (Founded 1961). At present, around 40 percent of the office’s clients are pro bono.

Topacio was born on 9 November 1965 in Cavite City, the younger son of former Cavite Senior Provincial Board Member and three-term City Councilor Atty. Arturo M. Topacio, Jr. of Imus and Cavite City and of former City Treasury Administrative Officer Belen Sumague-Topacio of Tanauan, Batangas.

He graduated with Honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree fromSan Sebastian College in 1987, and finished his Bachelor of Laws  (Honorable Mention) at the University of the East in 1992. He passed thePhilippine Bar Examination the same year, and was admitted to the practice of law on 14 May 1993.

Topacio undertakes extensive pro bono publico work. They span almost two decades, beginning in 1993 with the U.E. Legal Aid Clinic, Katapat Legal Aid (under ABS-CBN), Pasang Masda Jeepney Driver’s Organization, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), the Sulongbayan Movement and Barangay Youth Against Graft and Corruption (BAYAGCO).  This is probably where he got the idea of offering one of his testicles if Congresswoman Arroyo would not return from her foreign treatments.


Personal Background of Raul L. Lambino

Raul L. Lambino, born March 9, 1958, in Pozorrubio, Pangasinan to Bonifacio Lambino, Sr., a retired government employee, and Leodegaria de Loyola, a dressmaker. He is the fourth of five children. In his youth, he worked as a tailor, a gasoline boy and a jeepney and a taxi driver.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, cum laude, from the University of Pangasinan in 1981. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree, valedictorian and cum laude also from the University of Pangasinan in 1986.

He is married to Marilyn De Guzman, Marilyn de Guzman of Bauang, La Union, and Mangaldan, Pangasinan and has three children namely Mark Ronald, a geography graduate of economics and a businessman; Mary Rhauline, a cum laude economics graduate and sophomore law student; and Meryllainne Rhacquel, a political science junior. All three are from UP Diliman.

He is an active practicing lawyer in the Philippines. He rose to prominence when he led the signature campaign to amend or revise the 1987 Philippine Constitution. He was a senatorial candidate of Lakas-Kampi-CMD for the 2010 Elections. He was also the spokesperson of the Sigaw ng Bayan Movement.

He is an active trial lawyer. He is the Managing Partner of the R. Lambino & Partners Law Firm located at 2502D Philippine Stock Exchange Centre, Ortigas, Pasig City. He has also been a Senior Partner at Gavero Lambino Almadro Villanueva Law Firm from 1995 to 2000.

He is a Professor of Law at the University of the East College of Law in Manila; and the University of Pangasinan College of Law in Dagupan City. He has also been an Instructor of Political Science at the University of Pangasinan College of Liberal Arts from 1982 to 1987.

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