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A matter of give and take

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Somebody once commented to me that he had never seen or heard about the Philippines on CNN. Well, of course, it would be a status symbol when a small country gets notice from the giant internationally listened to and watched network. But that shouldn’t worry us, for isn’t there a saying that “No news is good news”? At least no scandals have come out about us, and if we got a lot of international notice during the Marcos era, they were not about items or happenings we could be proud of.

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What do you think of the report that Congress is now considering a bill that would make the use of masks mandatory? I bet there will be a lot of pros and cons from people, though I notice that Filipinos have been more compliant than some  other countries. Actually, I cannot understand why some people would disregard the simple suggestion of mask-wearing. I use the word, because as far as I know, there is still no law passed on it, although I do know that in our city, Bacolod, those caught without masks are apprehended.

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And I have not heard anyone complaining against that order, because a non-wearer may feel confident in himself, but what if he or she catches the virus? That would make him or her a threat to the community. It is such a simple requirement, and even without a pandemic wearing one would still have some value because it could save you from inhaling the smoke, smog, and emissions from transport vehicles as you go your way around the city. Anyway, our city residents are compliant, and I have yet to hear statistics on those arrested for not wearing them.

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I am glad to hear that the innovation of our people in putting up the so-called community pantry is being noticed by others and may soon crop up in other places. I hear that we are putting up some in Bacolod, and I hope they not only serve their purpose, but also comply with its aim, which is to “give what you don’t want and take what you need”. So it means that any extra foodstuff, or home items you no longer need, you should donate it to the pantry and those who are needy can get what they can eat, or have use for.

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Is it true that there is a move to make vaccinations in our country mandatory? Seems I heard someone say that Congress is considering it, and that there are opponents to the move, who claim it is an infringement of their freedom of choice. Somehow I think it is not necessary to oblige people to get inoculated if they don’t want to. Let them take the risks but let them realize that it is not only their own selves that they are endangering, but their families as well. If that does not put the fear of God in them, then, maybe, their families should abandon them!

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But I wish someone would stop those TV shows, especially from the U.S. where they concentrate on the vaccinations of people, lines of them willingly, even eagerly, it seems, but they do not realize that those scenes could frighten little children who may go into tantrums when confronted with the needle. Have they no other scenes to show that they show those, day in and day out? Some countries, I head, may soon impose a “No vaccination, No entry” rule, and that seems reasonable. Are we imposing that in the Philippines?

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By the way, the first of May is Labor Day and it is, I understand, celebrated worldwide. There is a move to especially honor the frontliners in the fight against the COVID, and I am sure nobody will protest, or complain against it. Theirs is a truly noble type of service, so they deserve to be recognized. How could our hospitals and medical centers have coped with the number of victims without their help? They say no man is an island, but it is also true that the world would be a much better place if people helped and understand each other.

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Meanwhile, it was heartwarming to hear that President Joe Biden of the United States and President Vladimir Putin of Russia are going to meet in a summit conference soon. It will be a relief to us pygmies when the giants get friendlier with each other. Anyway, what have they to gain by fostering hostilities? Both are rich enough and powerful enough, and if they put their heads together and decide to help the poorer countries, what a happier world this will be. Let us hope and pray for that development.*

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