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Beauty contests now include swabbing

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

I didn’t realize that April is supposed to be “Earth Month” until I heard it mentioned on TV. So what are the benefits that this month is supposed to hold for the people of Earth these days? May is the month of flowers,  December is harvest time, but most of all, it was the month chosen by the Son of God Himself to be born. And I feel very blessed for being December-born, too. I recall my college teacher whose birthday was also in December, and when we were discussing birthdays, she would declare “Remember that Jesus Christ Himself chose to be born in December!”

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Just imagine how much this COVID has affected practically every activity that is going on these days. Even beauty contests have included swab tests among the requirements for qualifying as candidates! But I believe that is reasonable, because one contestant in the finals, who will be coming from various countries, would be capable of passing it on to the others, if not all of them, and, unknowing, they may bring home the virus to their own countrymen, and especially their families! So the next contestants for both Miss Universe and Miss World should not only be of perfect proportions, but free of any virus, as well.

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Maybe the best news for the elderly lately is the approval of vaccinations for senior citizens, meaning those from 60 years old up. Earlier, it seemed as if only the young ones were eligible for vaccinations and the poor old folks had to fend for themselves. I hear that the AstraZeneca is considered by many as their preference, but it has also been reported that the vaccine is running short because of the demand. Whatever the name of the drug company producing it must be raking it in these days.

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I know I have written in this column about the report that former President and multi-awarded movie actor Joseph “Erap” Estrada had been hospitalized and in the Intensive Care Unit, or ICU, at that. However, there seems to be no updates on his condition recently. I hope he is responding to medication, as are all those who continue to be stricken by this new health threat that has gotten to pandemic proportions. Erap may not have been the most learned president we’ve had, but he had a clean slate as a leader. May he recover soon.

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Have you heard about the movement in Manila, and probably in other places, with the slogan “RUN, DIGONG, RUN”? I think this is because President Duterte a.k.a. “Digong”, has himself given no indication of running for reelection. That is, unless, his advisers and family will be able to convince him. But aren’t there moves in Davao to push his daughter, now Davao Mayor Sara, to go for the presidency instead? I do not know what Mayor Sara herself thinks of that, but ironically, there are also calls for President Duterte to go for vice president instead. Vice president to Sara? Will Pinoys go for that?

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For lack of something entertaining or informative the other day, I turned to the sports program and felt very proud when the introduction featured two world sports icons and they were our own Manny Pacquiao, and basketball great Kobe Bryant. But I mourned for Kobe who died with his daughter in that helicopter crash a few months ago. As for Manny, I am sure that he will still be good for a few more bouts, if he has a mind to. But if I could, I would advise him to rest on his laurels, and sponsor upcoming boxers instead.

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I am sure many STAR readers still remember that Manny always insisted on having Mayor Bing to be the one to wave the Philippine Flag everytime he had a fight in Las Vegas. And that Flag became a treasure to Bing, it is now displayed in his office at the Government Center. There is a story behind it, though. One time, after a Pacquiao fight, Bing was carrying the Flag and put it on a table or desk just outside the stadium, and a man grabbed it and ran off. But Bing, who used to be a college athlete, chased him and got it back!

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It is still more than a year away, but some politicians are already reminding people about the national elections due in May 2022. Not even the seriousness of the pandemic can distract those harboring plans for public office from making plans and making people know that they are “available”. Well, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming or planning, so long as they also include plans that will benefit the health of their constituents and the prevention of another disease that may reach pandemic proportions. Let us all pray and ask the Lord to protect us and remove any other virus that could be as vicious as the COVID-19.*

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