No, the STAR is not stopping!

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I am sure that on this day, members of that faith will also be praying not only for their own countries and people, but also for the entire humanity that is now being threatened by this new and mysterious disease that has confounded even the most talented minds in the medical profession. And since we are ourselves hopeless and helpless in containing it, all we can do now is pray, along with people of all faiths and beliefs, that the same God we worship and depend on, will see fit now to have mercy on us and remove this deadly virus that is decimating humanity.

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I am sorry to have started with such a mournful tone, so let us try to focus on what could lift our spirits during these days. For one, let us give thanks that we are in a democracy where we can express ourselves freely and improve our lives through our own efforts and industry. Let us think of places like, say Hongkong, that has been turned over to China by the United Kingdom, and its people are shocked by the new method of governance they are getting.

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In fact, only yesterday, it was reported that four students in Hongkong attempted to campaign for secession, claiming that the “old times were better”, and were promptly arrested and detained without bail! Shouldn’t we count our blessings that even if it is the President of the country delivering his most important message of the year, students and protestors are still allowed to do their thing, even if they were made to do it in another venue, far from where the State of the Nation Address was being delivered?

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But how can we avoid thinking of this virus that has continued to take its toll among people from practically every country in the world? The most alarming report yesterday was that the Philippines now has even more cases of the disease than China where it originated! How could that be, when it was known to everyone that it came from the Chinese city of Wuhan and said to be caused by bats? What secret remedy have the Chinese medical professionals discovered that they are not sharing with the people of the world it has infected? Shouldn’t the United Nations step in and demand this for all humanity?

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In the meantime, I hear that all over the country, a drive for flu and pneumonia vaccinations has been going on. That is commendable, but will such shots also ward off the possibility of COVID-19 infections? Even in our own city, where so much precautions are being taken,the number seems to be growing, and now people seem frozen in fear of getting infected, and getting anti-social as well. Now, one cannot even trust one’s own kin and best friends, who may themselves not even know that, they have already become hosts to this virus! I guess all we can do now is pray with all our hearts that an effective cure for it will be discovered soon.

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But it is encouraging to note that despite the uncertainty of the times, to say nothing about the COVID-19, our citizens are still focused on the education of their children. As of yesterday’s reports, the Education Secretary was quoted as saying that some 22 million students have already enrolledin both private and public schools. The number is close to that of pre-COVID days, which could mean that parents, as well as education officials, are optimistic that this problem will be gone when classes open next month. And let us all cross our fingers and hope that nothing will stop that.

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Let’s stop being somber. Today is a holiday and supposed to be an occasion to celebrate and enjoy. Let us find something to lift our spirits and be happy about, and at least, for this day, forget about financial problems, even if our government is said to borrowing again to add to our P9.3 BILLION debt as of June. Anyway the Central Bank claims that is “manageable”. Let us, therefore, just hope that some of that money will trickle down to our province and city and boost our spirits and economy.

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No, the STAR is not Stopping! I am sorry for giving that impression yesterday when my heart was so heavy as I was writing, since things seemed darker than this has even been in our earliest years. I did not reckon with the love and support of our readers, and our community, several of whom stepped up to pledge their support to keep it going. And so, Dear Lord, thank you, thank you for watching over us so lovingly! Our STAR will continue to shine till the day we lose all that love and support, for which we now address our heartfelt thanks!

Join us again as we go Full Speed Ahead! To God be the glory!*

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