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In other words …

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

A few weeks ago, I watched enviously a TV ad showing the attractions  a Ferrari car and sighed, because I knew that, even if I had been an adventurous driver before, there could never be a chance now for me to do so, because of my physical condition. Oh no, it was not self pity at all, I am still very thankful to the Lord for the opportunities and the gifts He had given me throughout my life. But it is not a sin to just imagine oneself to be owning and driving a Ferrari, is it?

***

Well, I am more than ever convinced that God really answers prayers in the manner  He knows will suit us best. A few days ago, a big, big package from California was delivered to our house, and when we gathered for the “ceremonial” opening, Lo! it was a beautiful  modern wheelchair, very much-needed in my condition, and which I can even drive myself! It was shipped as a gift from my loving cousin, Allan Gomez, who was in Bacolod a few months ago, and was probably shocked to see that I could no longer walk by myself, and was using the old wheelchair of my late sister, Perla, that was quite cute, but needed a “pusher”!

***

Allan, who is now a U.S. citizen and has been there for a long time – long enough to have grandchildren now – has, I think, already retired  as an accountant, and is enjoying the fruits of his long years of service. But he is more of a brother to us because he lived with us while studying  in college and even after he had graduated and was working in a bank here. But opportunity called and he later went to the U.S. where his qualifications landed him a very good job, which is why he can be so generous to his impoverished cousins. Thank you again dear Allan and Lou – I know you read the DAILY STAR there everyday, like many other friends there also tell me.

***

As I type this, what is showing on TV are scenes from the old Olympics games and the report about the chances of its being held this year. For a while it seemed nothing could stop it, but some “Doubting Thomases” among the sports community must be too fearful of the COVID to chance it.  I wonder – haven’t they heard of vaccination? If they have themselves – athletes, coaches, managers and all – inoculated  now, they would surely be immune to the disease even as they prepare for the games. But who are we to tell them so?  I hear, though, that theaters there are getting back to normal. Are actors braver than athletes, then? I bet though, that there is social distancing in the theaters, with people seated far apart, and only limited tickets sold.

***

But it is heartening to hear that at last, Israel and Palestine are seeing reason because I heard that they have declared a ceasefire. One can only wonder why they had decided  to fight in the first place. Has COVID spared their countries? If it ever hits them, it may kill more than their rockets and bullets would. So let us call on them for PEACE! If they are not concerned about their own lives and well-being, what about their children? Do they want them to end up in orphanages – that is  – if those haven’t been crushed by bombs  and rockets, too?

***

I always feel elated when I hear news about vaccines arriving, and especially in our city. What I cannot imagine is why many people are said to be wary of them and refusing to submit, even if they are administered free. But they should observe those who have already received their shots, and see how much more carefree they seem to be, and with reason. They have assurance of protection from this plague that is affecting not only two or three countries, but virtually the world. But I think people in Bacolod are more receptive to it.

***

Last Thursday, I saw  flashed on TV several times a line, saying that more than 3,000 people in Bacolod had been vaccinated in one day. That’s the spirit! And if more and more will submit, in other parts of our provinces, we may accomplish the status of what they call “herd immunity”, which I take to mean that there will be less and less infected people passing the virus to others. Shouldn’t that be the ideal situation? Let’s do our best to reach that status.

***

I was shocked to hear that Cagayan de Oro is experiencing a surge in COVID cases. CDO is one city in the South that I had visited several times while I was working in the Development Bank of the Philippines in Makati, and was often sent there with a team conducting seminars on communication. It is a very peaceful city with friendly people and my companion then, Aida Moncal, also from Bacolod, really enjoyed our stints, especially because of the many kinds of fruits available. It was also there where I used as an example in my lecture stressing on “going to the point”, and not use figure of speech, by citing the song that starts with “Fly me to the moon …” That  night members of the bank staff serenaded us with the song that starts with those words. If you remember it, you will reveal your age!*

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