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A Pinoy “Hall of Famer”?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

COVID notwithstanding, people still wished friends, kin and even strangers, a Merry Christmas last Friday! Traditions die hard, and even if it may not have been the merriest Christmas for everyone, everywhere, still the spirit of the season prevailed and people still wished and hoped for a Merry Christmas wherever they meet. Still it was a holy Christmas even if many were not able to join celebrations and religious ceremonies, knowing that the danger of being infected was possible anywhere.

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But we in Bacolod have much to be thankful for. Our prayers and supplications for protection from the pandemic that had been claiming lives by the thousands in some of the biggest and wealthiest countries  must have been heard because statistics have shown that we have fewer victims than most other provinces and cities. And maybe because we are a prayerful people, we have less infections and mortalities. In times like this, I remember, and believe that the person who composed the song “God Bless the Philippines” must have been truly inspired!

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I don’t know if pupils and students of the generations after ours still sing that beautiful song. Remember its lyrics? “God bless the Philippines/ Land that I love/ Stand beside her/ And guide her/ Through the night with the light from above./From the mountains/ To the prairies/ To the ocean white with foam/ God bless the Philippines/ My home, sweet home/ God bless the Philippines/ My home, sweet home!”  It will be a sorry thing, indeed if that song has been forgotten and no longer known to students now.

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Well, how was your Christmas? Did you observe restrictions, stay home and maintain social distance? And obey the rules about not gathering in groups of more than ten? I doubt if many were able to obey that, with the usual number of Pinoy families. How could my own folks keep to only ten, when there were nine of us children, and with my parents, made eleven? That is without counting relatives who used to live with us, too. Would we have been arrested. If COVID had happened in those days?

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But lately, all we have been hearing about are the various vaccines supposed to stop the vicious Coronavirus in its tracks. But when is our country going to acquire it, and will our people be ready to accept it? I understand that our president is willing and ready to fork out the funds to acquire it. But which one? And of course we know that vaccines are supposed to protect and guard your system against infection. But we do not know which people we interact with are carrying the virus and do not even know it? By the way, is the vaccine already available in our country, and is there enough for everyone?

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It’s none of our business, really, but how many days more had Donald Trump left before he has to step down from the presidency, and the White House? Seems he still does not believe he has lost the vote, and is trying every trick to keep  hanging on. When is he supposed to hand it over to Joe Biden? Isn’t it less than two weeks from now? But he is not   different from the usual election loser – they very, very seldom admit defeat. I admire Hillary Clinton for commenting that he does not want to  lose the job that he has not been doing!

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Three more days to go before we start another year. How will 2021 be? Will it be a COVID-free year, and will the various vaccines produced be so effective that we will never hear the word “coronavirus” again? Or will we just be talking about it in the past tense like smallpox, and other formerly incurable diseases? There is news about a “new variant” of this COVID, but they say it is not as wicked as the original one that China gave the world. Let us pray that it will be vanquished before it can do its worst!

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In the meantime, let’s look forward to a new year and anticipate it with prayers and supplications that it will not bring any disease or ailments that could puzzle medical experts. Indeed, it had been a long time since the world had one like it, and, hopefully science can anticipate any threat of another one. Me, I even hope  and pray that it will be a Filipino who will discover this and have his or her name enshrined n the Medicine Hall of Fame!*

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