‘Goodbye, Mr. Bond.’
BUT I am greedy for life. I do too much of everything all the time. Suddenly one day my heart will fail. The Iron Crab will get me as it got my father. But I am not afraid of The Crab. At least I shall have died from an honourable disease. Perhaps they will put on my tombstone. ‘This Man Died from Living Too Much’.” ― Ian Fleming, From Russia With Love
Sir Sean Connery who played James Bond in “From Russia With Love” (and Daniel Dravot in “The Man Who Would Be King” and Maj. Gen. Roy Urquhart in “A Bridge Too Far” as well as Zed in “Zardoz”) passed away recently, thus, this salute. His successor as 007 had this anecdote:
“A few weeks later I read that ‘Johnny Dago’–better known as gangster Johnny Stampanato, with whom Lana was romantically involved, having recently divorced Lex Barker–had been deported by Scotland Yard for having physically abused Lana, and for having entered the UK illegally using a passport in the name of John Steele. He had, I read further, also turned up on the set of Lana’s film and threatened Sean Connery with a gun.
Sean wrestled the gun from him and decked him with a right hook; all very Bondian. Johnny was convinced that Sean was having an affair with Lana, also very Bondian.”
This other 007 (Sir Roger George Moore KBE who was Bond from “Live and Let Die” to “A View to a Kill”) was able to visit Rizal’s Fatherland two decades before his demise. As he narrated in “My Word is My Bond: A Memoir” (2008):
“THE PHILIPPINES. In 1996, as part of our tour of Australia and Hong Kong, we went to the Philippines for the first time. We were to spend many days visiting various UNICEF-supported initiatives. I also had meetings with the local Kiwanis and saw some of the salt iodization in progress in Cebu City. We spent an afternoon with Sister Mary Marcia Antigua of the good Shepherd Convent and her young charges, all girls, some ex-street children, some orphaned, and all in need of aid. We sat on chairs in the garden and the girls, ranging from eight to 14, performed three little pageants. The first depicted what their lives had been before they came to this place, the second, what they did on a daily basis and the final story showed what they would like to become. It was fascinating and some of it was terribly moving. One child of 11 had been found three years before in a hovel, where she had lived with her mother, who was a drug dealer in trouble with one of the pushers. This child was playing under the table when these despicable thugs entered and chopped the mother in pieces. Fortunately, these bastards were unaware of the child’s presence. She was discovered later, unable to speak, and brought to the convent. This was the first time in the three years that she had regained her power of speech. After the second pageant we discovered that all the girls either wanted to enter the convent and become nuns themselves, or to be nurses or doctors, all callings that devote their lives to others. At the end of the play we were invited by the children to come and see where and how they lived, they all wanted to hold our hands as, with great pride, they showed us their bedrooms and their precious possessions–dolls, pictures and the like. We took refreshments with them–some of the cakes had been prepared by the children and they were delicious. It was hard leaving them that day but I am so grateful to Sister Mary Marcia for what she had accomplished and for letting us pass such an afternoon.”
Goodbye, Mr. Bond. And in the wake of All Saints Day, we remember with fondness these special Filipinos, starting with Minda Luz Quesada whose work in the 1986 Constitutional Commission “integrated health development to improve the quality of life, especially for the poor, sick, elderly and disabled (Applause).” [https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1986/10/15/r-c-c-no-109-wednesday-october-15-1986/]
(1) Cirilo A. Rigos (“the courageous pastor of Cosmopolitan Church, who convened and hosted Wednesday Forum”): “Almighty God, Whose nature is love and Whose will is for us to work together in harmony, as we pause before Thy Holy Presence, impart unto us the blessings of eternity. Enable us to rise above the tumults of our time, and make us instruments of Thy peace. Keep us humble in the thought that what we hold to be true may be tainted by some error, and that the error of our neighbors may yet contain some elements of truth. May our work today contribute to the rebuilding of a nation on the foundation of justice and freedom. Inspire us to serve with utmost dedication so that in the process, we may be saved from pride or cynicism and from every thought of self-glorification. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.” [http://www.bantayog.org/rigos-cirilo-a/; https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1986/09/06/r-c-c-no-76-saturday-september-6-1986/
(2) Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil (“Grand Old Lady of Public History”): “The massive outside forces gathering outside were not readily apparent to minor insiders like me. But I sensed the inevitable outcome and, with mixed feelings, I watched it approach. I did not know then that it would take almost three years and that it would come in the shape of a startling spectacle: countless unarmed and disorganized civilians, massing instinctively on a highway to protect 200 soldiers in an army camp, and hovering between tears and laughter, with prayers, tanks and street food, would, without a single shot being fired, expel a tyrant they had come to detest. The world hailed it as a marvelous, new, political invention by Filipinos, who called it EDSA, after Epifanio de los Santos, the turn-of-the-century scholar who had lent his name to the radial highway in Metro Manila. But in August 1983, only God knew that.”
(3) Edilberto N. Alegre (Suriang Ugat-Loob): “We have been developing these commonalities since 7,000 years ago. That’s what archaeologist and language historians tell us. We had been co-mingling with (one another) for thousands of years before Islam and before Spanish Roman Catholic Christianity. And long before American Protestantism.
They are recent arrivals. Islam’s introduction here dates back only to the beginning of the 16th century. Legaspi and Urdaneta colonized some of our places only starting in 1565. And the Spaniards are gone. We’re here. The Americans colonized most of our country only since 100 years ago. We kicked them out in 1991. We’re here…Our task is to discover the islands in which we dwell and the seas that envelop us, nurture us, keep us Pinoy na Pinoy.” [http://filipinos4life.faithweb.com/alegre-1.HTM]
(4) Prof. Edberto Malvar Villegas, PhD: “The debts of the Philippines from the IMF-World Bank (WB) consortium has resulted in the high foreign debts of the country, reaching $83.7 billion at present (2020), which still includes the debts absconded by Marcos and his family and new loans from Chinese banks.” [COVID-19, the Neo-liberal policies and Chinese Imperialism (Part I)]
James Bond (Sean Connery): “How can a friend be in debt?” [From Russia with Love (1963)]