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Royals are different

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

“And they lived happily ever after”. Isn’t that the way stories about royal couples usually end? Even Cinderella who was a bedraggled orphan  ended up with whom she supposedly lived with happily ever after. And we, as children bemused by such fairy tale endings, also believed that that is the way lives will be for us. But that was only in fairy tales, and the ones we read in class just ended with “And so they were married and lived happily ever after”.

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But is that true in real life, and with real people? Especially with those who belong to royalty? Remember how entranced the world was when Prince Harry, grandson of Queen Elizabeth of England, fell in love with Meghan Markle, an ordinary human being without any title? The world was charmed by their story, but as to the happy ending, it seems there is some doubt that it may still take some adjusting before the “happily ever after part” may come easily.

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That is because the latest news – or was it just gossip? – from the royal palace hints at some disturbances in Buckingham where the commoner wife of the royal prince does not seem to adjust well to  royal protocols. Talks are that she does not have the royal ways and it seems the haughty ladies-in-waiting seem to look down on her for her non-royal ways. Maybe whispering behind her back? Tsk, Tsk. Didn’t they give her a course on royal behavior before the wedding?

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But of great excitement to the Catholic world  in the impending visit of the Holy Father, Pope Francis to Iraq where the Christian community is awaiting him with great expectations. I don’t think there is a very big segment of the country’s population who are Catholics, or even Christians, but his visit will surely elicit excitement from everyone, being the head of the Catholic church. Let us pray for him to  have a successful and peaceful trip because he is venturing into non-Catholic territory.

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We cannot expect it to be like his visit to the Philippines, that included even Bacolod City, and caused great excitement and increased piety among church members. Even non-Catholics were, at least, curious to see him, so whichever route he took while in our city, and any other place  he visited, saw thousands lining up the streets to see him. For me, it was an unforgettable experience and his aura seemed to hang over the city for a long time. When will we see another Pope come to our city, or at least our country?

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I saw an item on TV saying that March 16 has been declared “My Freedom Day”, but it was not specified who authored it and where. Anyway, for us Filipinos, March 16, 1521 was the date when Magellan “discovered” the Philippines, as it is written in our history books. So what celebrations can we expect on that day which is now about two weeks away? Will it be freedom from COVID, because the vaccines have started arriving? Let us hope so, because many of our people are virtually frozen in fear of infection from it.

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Another official is in trouble and if he cannot extricate himself from it, may lose his job or, worse, get in trouble with the law. Governor Cuomo of New York is being charged for harassment of young girls and, so far, we have not heard a firm denial from him.  I can’t decide which is more dastardly in an official  – getting involved in graft and corruption or being accused of despicable sexual behavior. I used to admire Gov. Cuomo, and I hope he can clear himself of this.

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Just as I sat down to write this, I got a call from my cousin Allan Gomez in California and was very happy to hear that he had recovered from COVID! Allan, who used to be an official of Metrobank in Bacolod has been living in the U.S. and now has several grandchildren. His many friends here and in La Castellana, his hometown, will be happy to know this and I invite them to pray with me in thanksgiving for his recovery.*

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