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How independent are we?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Has this ever happened in the Philippines? I am referring to what is happening in Israel where their Prime Minister is now in trial for corruption. Oh, we have read or heard about suspicious of graft and corruption affecting some of our officials, but I don’t recall anyone charged, convicted or jailed. An outsider would think that our officials are all pure of heart and their records white as snow. But maybe I just had not come across reports of shenanigans in offices where the culprits had been penalized.

***

Are graft and corruption also a type of pandemic? In Jordan, the prince, I think he is supposed to be the crown prince, is also in hot water for allegedly destabilizing his own country! But Prince Hanon Bin Hussen must have lost his right to the throne, hence his move to disrupt the operations of their government. I wonder if they have no other problems to distract them from power-grabbing? Has the vicious COVID spared them, or have they conquered it, and no longer need to worry about the pandemic?

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I know that I have studied Geography as well as Philippine history, but have somehow forgotten how our country is located on the world map, until I saw several scenes on TV illustrated with showings of parts of the globe. I realized all over again that, unlike many other countries, ours is separated from the others, and although the Philippines consists of several islands, we have no neighbors who can just walk or drive into our territory! We are really independent in the true sense of the word. Doesn’t that make you proud of your country?

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I am sure others who have noted that will remember their school hymns like “Philippines, My Philippines” and “Bayang Magiliw”, that, in my earlier schooldays, we sang in English with the first line calling our country the “Land of the morning”. However, it was “Tagalized” later, and that is what the present generation of students are singing. But if you study it closely, the Pilipino version is not a literal translation of the original composed, if I remember right, by Julian Felipe.

***

Aren’t you worried at the reports that there is a growing animosity towards Asians in the United States? Now, I hear, people of Asian descent, even if they were born and bred in United States have developed some fear of this development. What could have triggered it? Have the so-called “native  Americans” forgotten that their ancestors were also migrants and that the real natives are the American Indians? Or are some Americans, white or black, jealous of Asians who are intelligent, well-educated, and degree holders, and are getting hired for major positions easily?

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They should be reminded that, aside from the Indians, all of those now residing in the United States of America are virtually all migrants, too. If a lot of Asians are getting good jobs and higher pay, they deserve them because they had studied and earned certificates and diplomas certifying to their qualifications. And why should they feel inferior to the “natives”, whether white or black? All of them are migrants in the so-called “Land of the free, and the home of the brave”!

***

Meanwhile, I forgot to note down the name of that  scientist who said recently that “the world is now getting so fragile”. Indeed, he has found the right word because there hasn’t been a time before when it has experienced such calamities as floods, typhoons, earthquakes, and now this pandemic that has been getting its way for more than a year until vaccines were produced that we all hope and pray will do their job before mankind is decimated.

***

Of course I have met former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada, having been on his team in two of his state visits abroad, but even if he wouldn’t remember me, I felt worried when I heard the news that he has been admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital, for an undisclosed ailment. But I also heard that Pope Francis has praying and offered his Easter Sunday mass for COVID victims, so I hope Erap will be included among the ones he is praying for. And of course for all of the people in the world now living in fear of this virus that only God, in His mercy, can protect and save us.*

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