Briones: Poor judgment

Publio J. Briones III
·2 min read

British teacher and mountaineer George Mallory, when asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain above sea level, reportedly retorted, “Because it’s there.” Or something to that extent since there have been questions about whether he really said those famous three words.

“Everest is the highest mountain in the world, and no man has reached its summit. Its existence is a challenge. The answer is instinctive, a part, I suppose, of man’s desire to conquer the universe,” he further said.

Well, he was on to something. How else could he justify trying to attempt what was considered back then as an insurmountable feat when no one else had conquered Everest’s summit?

It’s something someone like me, you or 34-year-old Niño Limpangog Maco could relate to.

You see, Maco and a friend were on their way home Friday dawn, April 23, 2021, when they passed by a wall in Barangay Ibo, Lapu-Lapu City that was newly painted in preparation for the City’s 500th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Mactan,

And Maco didn’t think twice about stopping. No, not to relieve himself on it, which a normal human being would do after having had too much to drink, but to deface it.

Perhaps he was caught up in a whirlwind of artistic urges that were too strong to resist. Or perhaps he thought he could get away with scribbling patterns, the meaning of which is still hidden to the public. Either way, Maco did what he did and is in trouble for it.

Was his act of vandalism the proverbial writing on the wall?

Of course not. The guy was drunk. He probably took one look at the wall and said, “Hey, why not?” Because it’s there.

I’m not comparing Maco to Mallory. Not by any chance, although it’s just pure coincidence that their last names start with the letter “M.”

First of all, Maco didn’t cause the deaths of seven Sherpas who were killed when Mallory’s party was caught in an avalanche during his second attempt to scale Everest. But that fatal incident did result in Mallory being accused of poor judgment, something the resident of Barangay Basak would be familiar with.

Because that’s what it was, wasn’t it?

Maco exercised poor judgment, and Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan wants him to pay for it because city personnel had worked hard to spruce up walls in the city for the quincentenary commemoration of Lapulapu’s victory over Magellan.

And pay for it Maco will. Still, he should count himself lucky that he will only remain in custody while charges are being prepared against him. At least, he didn’t disappear in the Himalayas like Mallory, whose body was not discovered until 75 years later in 1999.