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A dynasty on the way?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Sometimes I get funny thoughts like how fortunate we are to be living in a country that is composed of broken pieces, I mean islands of various sizes, each of which is able to be autonomous, in a manner of speaking. This came to me after hearing a lot of reports on TV about how migrants have been infiltrating some countries, adding to their problems, and “diluting” their races. At least any migrants who could get into our island, for instance, would also be Ilonggos like us, maybe from Panay, or any other Visayan island.

***

Well, that came to me after hearing a lot of reports about the immigration problems of other countries, especially the United States, where human beings of all races and nationalities creep in every year. To those people, life in their own countries must have been unbearable, with no hope of improvement, and the United States would be the land of promise. Unfortunately for them, they are not often welcomed, and even driven away or turned back right from their points of entries.

***

I think, however, that migrants from our country are better off, because most of them are educated, can speak English, and are good workers, too. I don’t know if my sister and I were just lucky, but in our visits to the U.S., we never encountered, or experienced any incident of discrimination. We knew how to put on our “suplada” looks whenever we sensed any sign of it. But I also sensed that Americans, the ones I encountered, at least, have a lot of respect for Filipinos, because they know we are a proud people.

***

I forgot if I have written about this incident before, but late readers may enjoy it also. I’m sure some literary people in Manila still remember that boy genius, who came to Bacolod in 1960s and was a friend of my uncle, the late artist Jess Ramos Ayco and my brother Joe. He won a scholarship to one of the top universities of the U.S. and became  very popular with the literati set. But being short, dark-skinned, he, too, experienced discrimination.

***

He was given a scholarship at a prestigious American university and became a popular campus figure, especially with the bright students who included him in their group, but apparently not with snooty restaurant owners. One day his Ivy League friends took him to a restaurant, one of the hoity-toity ones. This was in the 1940s or 50s when discrimination was rather pronounced there yet, and the waiter would not serve him for being “colored”. apparently not with snooty restaurant owners. One day his Ivy League friends took him to a restaurant, oHis friends were embarrassed but he calmly told them, “ Let me deal with this”, and told the waiter, “Take me to your manager”.

***

At the manager’s office, the waiter told the manager what happened, but the Pinoy stepped up and haughtily told him, “I am the crown prince of Tiruray. My father will hear of this indignity!” All at once the manager was practically bowing and scraping, apologized profusely, and accompanied him back to his table and his friends, and instructed the waiter that their bill was “on the house”. And this is not hearsay, It was narrated to us by the genius himself, David Cortez Medalla, who was then a house guest of my uncle Jess Ayco.

***

I wonder if it is only in our area, but are other TV viewers also experiencing sudden stoppage of programs, especially when the news or program you are watching is most interesting? This has been happening for several days now, but when we call a repair man, it behaves, but later goes into a tantrum again. These seem to be unfavorable days for writers and news watchers. Well, watching TV is not often very enlightening or encouraging and inspiring when most of the items you hear are about COVID cases rising, or vaccines still trying to prove their worth.

***

But COVID or no COVID, life still goes on. We still get daily news of drug arrests of rebels engaging soldiers, of price hikes, and promises of vaccines shipments, and  about government VIPs being hit by this virus. But politics is still in the minds of some people and we are now seeing posters urging the  presidential daughter to run for president. Has she  acknowledged those, or still testing the waters? Well, I think we could do worse, but dynasties are not my cup of tea. Let’s see, let’s see!*

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