Is it really Blue Hawaii now?

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News about businesses closing do not shock us anymore these days, because reports from all over the world have been focusing on them. And it is not only the big ones that suffer the most, even the small “tiendas” and market vendors are sighing over the loss of their clientele. Some are enterprising enough to find other means of income, but others just become helpless and wait for government to help them. One cannot help worrying and wondering how much funds our government coffers are keeping, and how long it can continue helping those who cannot, or do not try to help themselves.

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One state that is reportedly suffering a lot from this pandemic is Hawaii, the famed playground of the world, where not only the rich and famous go for vacations or amusements because of its beautiful scenery and beaches that draw tourists from all over the world all year long. Now its people, as well as its businesses are also affected, because tourists, on whom most of their business are targeted, are no longer coming in the droves that they used to. Their hotels and restaurants, as well as the night life for which it is famous, are not drawing customers as before. It seems as if most of their economy is based on the tourism industry. Now they must be regretting that they have been putting all their eggs in one basket, as the old saying goes.

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What about the United States, that people from so many other countries looked up to as the land of promise? Now it’s a land of protests and riots, as well as a target of the coronavirus, too. Not a day passes when we don’t get news about protestors marching up and down their streets, particularly over the subject of racism. First, it was the killing of George Lloyd, a black man by a policeman, then another similar case came up, and the latest involved a woman activist named Breonna Taylor, that has roused the black community again. Would you believe that such protests have been going on for a hundred days now!

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And to think that, aside from the disturbances initiated by the citizens themselves, nature has also been quite harsh to that country. Reports over the last two weeks focused on floods, hurricanes and wildfires that cause a lot of destruction to lives and properties. And being blamed for all those disturbances are racism, police brutality, and the coming election, that has their incumbent so preoccupied that he seems to have forgotten that that he is supposed to be the father of his country. Suddenly it came to me that, despite the fact that I watch the news everyday, and most often on those involving the United States. I do not remember hearing their president giving statements about the pandemic that has victimized thousands of his people.

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Someone recently asked me if the racism issue also affects our people who are now living in the United States, with several already having acquired citizenship. Do they also get discriminated upon like the black ones? Come to think of it, I have never heard of such cases, although, there could be some. Perhaps it is because our people who move there are mostly well-educated, well mannered, and degree holders. There are even instances where Pinoy workers have college degrees or even master’s degrees, but their bosses do not have such accomplishments! I won’t be surprised if they even give their bosses inferiority complexes.

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Have you heard about the “disinfectant necklace”? I heard that there is such an invention and that wearing it will protect you from germs and viruses. I hope it is not a bogus discovery that may claim a lot of innocent victims. I am sure many Filipinos, especially Visayans know about this. Have you also heard during childhood that ginger, or “luy-a” in our dialect, is supposed to protect children from witches or people with bad intentions? Whenever we spend summer vacations in our grandparents’ farm, my grandmother would never let us go out without a slice of ginger pinned to our clothes. That was supposed to repel evil spirits because we were not natives there and could be victimized!

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Meanwhile, is candidate Donald Trump digging his own grave? The latest I heard about him is that he is denigrating those Americans who fought in the Vietnam war! How will the families of the soldiers who offered their lives there react to that? While many called them heroes, he was reported as using “crude and derogatory words” to describe them! While other Americans refer to those soldiers as heroes, here comes a president who has nothing good to say about them. I hope he did not refer to them as “mercenaries”!

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I wish I had a chance to interview American citizens after their president, Donald Trump declared that he is the only candidate for peace! Does peace to him mean riots and protestors filling up the streets for a hundred days berating their government on the issue of racism? Maybe he only means that peace is the absence of war? Let us see what Americans think of that come November!*

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