Of Balimbings And Januses
I’ll start with two seemingly unrelated factoids:
Starfruit, or carambola, is a tropical fruit grown in Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Florida and Hawaii.
The season for the golfden yellow starfruit is late summer to midwinter. The carambola tree is able to grow with less sunlight than most tropical trees.
The tree requires a fair amount of space and a lot of moisture. Starfruit is rich in vitamin C. Like other fruits that are eaten with the skin intact, it is a good source of fiber.
Here in the Philippines, the starfuit is our lowly balimbing.
The mythical Greek deity Janus, on the other hand, was was often used to symbolize change and transitions such as the progression of past to future, of one condition to another, of one vision to another, the growing up of young people, and of one universe to another.
He also represented time because he could see into the past with one face and into the future with the other. Thus, Janus was worshipped at the beginnings of the harvest and planting times, as well as marriages, births and other beginnings.
He was representative of the middle ground between barbarity and civilization, rural country and urban cities, and youth and adulthood.
I’m sure you now see the connection: the balimbings or carambolas ares, for us, the quintessential Pinoy political turncoats with multi-sided loyalties which are ‘harvested’ throughout the year for personal gain, primarily material.
Our Januses, in turn, are the consummate two-faced fair weather political allies, the kakosas who’ll stay by your side so long as you have power and pelf but will abandon the political ship faster than rats bail out from a floundering ship.
This is where the unprincipled, who like to be called ‘pragmatists, are today:
Januses engaged in turncoatism as they look behind themselves and salivate at the likely results of the May 10 elections, picking up other balimbings along the way.
Real politik or plain and simple opportunism?
Choose your wild.