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Covid na, cyclone pa

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

You can’t win ‘em all. That is what I told folks who were disappointed that our  bet for this year’s Miss Universe failed to make it, and even missed being in the top 20 of the candidates. Anyway, let us console ourselves with the fact that we have had candidates from the Philippines  who had gotten into the magic five, and even had title holders, like Gloria Diaz as Miss Universe, we also had our very own Bacoleña, Aurora Pijuan, who made it to the Miss International title. That is not too bad, for a small country like the Philippines, is it?

***

But it would have been a great honor for Iloilo where our candidate, Rabiya Mateo came from. And of course also a big consolation to our country now existing in a year of pandemic that we share with the entire world. Well, I don’t really knew if there are countries that this COVID has missed, as the ones in the news are only the big ones. By the way, just a naughty thought, were the candidates for Miss Universe swabbed and tested for the virus before qualifying for the honor of being our contestant? And what about the other bets?

***

But we have some encouraging news recently, saying that COVID cases are slowing down in our country. Let us all pray and hope that this trend continues, until all the COVID cases disappear, not only from the Philippines, but from the whole world. We have been hearing reports from the big countries, but hardly from the small ones. Perhaps  they have been spared because they are visited by less travelers who could be carriers? And let us be thankful that vaccines are now available and a good number of our people have already been inoculated against it.

***

Let us sympathize with the people of India who, after being reported as having the second highest number of infections, was also hit by a cyclone that must have destroyed not only homes and business buildings, but also must have rendered homeless and desperate its victims. Seems the country has suffered a double whammy, first with the number of COVID victims, then with a cyclone, to boot. However, I have not come across statistics  on how many had been affected, and rendered homeless. It must have been a very powerful cyclone, too.

***

Alas for sports lovers and fans all over the world. The latest news seem to indicate that the Olympic Games may have to be skipped, or postponed this time because of, what else? There seems to be a surge in COVID cases now and, naturally, neither its officials nor the participating teams from other countries, may not be in the mood to send their athletes there. And even if Tokyo is declared COVID-free, which is doubtful, I doubt if participating teams will be eager to go there. Who knows which country  has unknowingly included a carrier on its team? Ah, the risk is still too great!

***

But what a time  Israel and Palestine have chosen to express their animosity towards each other! One would think that people these days would not harbor ill-feelings and cooperate in fighting the common enemy that China has let loose upon us all, with the nice-sounding name of “coronavirus”. But, at least, vaccines have already been discovered against it, and our city and province should be thankful that this is available to us now. I hear, though, that there are still some people who refuse, or are afraid to undergo it. Well, that is their problem, but I hope they do not prohibit their family members who are willing to submit to it.

***

I heard about this a few weeks ago, but had not followed up reports on it. Is it true that journalists in Hongkong are no longer enjoying press freedom as they used to? A recent report said that police there are raiding news outlets, arresting staff, and destroying printing equipment. I hope that the international media has taken this up before matters get worse. I also hope the British government is regretting having turned  its  once colony over to China.

***

Meanwhile, I was happy to hear that the new chief of the Philippine National Police seems to be doing very well at his post. When I first heard Gen. Guillermo Eleazar being interviewed on TV. I was impressed by his directness and seriousness in answering questions posed to him. I remember thinking that this guy will go places, and, indeed, he is now the top cop of our country. I heard recently that he has been making surprise nocturnal visit to police stations and caught some cops napping! I hope it is not an example of the old Tagalog saying that when a man is new at his job “Mainit ang puso”, after a while, it is “Mainit ang puwet.”*

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