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School opening – a guessing game?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Will they open, or will they not? I am referring to classes for students, who include elementary, high school and college, who are, until now, still unsure if they have to prepare for school opening now or not. I am sure both students and parents are eager to have classes start, for their own reasons. Students, for the chance to mingle and have fun with their schoolmates, and parents for time to be free of herding and looking out for their restless kids, bored by the lack of activities.

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But it seems the President has a different idea, and does not want classes to start, and expose students to COVID infection while the disease is still raging. In the meantime, teachers are cooling their heels, while children are having fun, or helping their parents, while their mentors are tending their own families and wondering when they will have to report for duty. Seems nobody is sure what to expect next, either from the school officials or, Malacañang, the highest decision maker.

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Me, I think we should not complain, and just follow what the authorities decide on. If it is true that the President is willing to buy that vaccine supposedly costing some P73 million, that is good news. But who will volunteer to be the first receivers of the vaccine? And from which country should we acquire it? From Russia with its Sputnik V, or from the U.S. with the Azuranza? Can the President order the Secretary of Health to be the guinea pig, or will the guy resign before he would accept?

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But the big problem now hounding Christmas celebrators is that of the traditional masses at midnight that Catholics, especially, observe very faithfully on Christmas Day. I know of families who never fail to attend the midnight mass on December 25, who will probably insist on continuing it, no matter what. Lately, though, I also got reports that instead of the midnight mass, that ceremony will be held at 7:30 pm. Faithful devotees will observe that, but somehow, it will not be the same. At least for me and my family and friends. But, of course we will comply, as good Catholics.

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As if the problem brought by the pandemic that has earned the nickname  of COVID V ,were not enough to disturb the whole world, here come the oil companies, rather, oil-producing countries, hiking their prices to unimaginable heights. Have they no mercy on their consumers? I don’t believe that they can only produce limited amounts when people travelled less and consumed less of their products than before. I don’t want to think it is greed that is  motivating them, but what else can it be? Now I keep praying that more countries, including ours will be able to discover oil in our land, too, so we can give them all the brush-off.

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Of course that is wishful thinking, but who knows? I recall that during the presidency of Cory Aquino, there were indications of a discovery of oil in the Philippines. I recall the Lady President holding up a vial of what was enthusiastically declared by the discoverers to be oil. Whatever happened to that? I hope that there is a continuing search for oil in our land, so we will no longer be dependent on other countries who are holding us by the neck as far as our transport needs are concerned.

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Have you noticed that the COVID pandemic has even wrought changes in our language and nomenclature? Now you seldom hear people, officials, especially, speak about “regulations” or  “rules”. They always call them “protocols” now. I guess schoolchildren will have to adapt to that, too. Anyway, they say English is a growing language. Funny, but it is not our national language, but nobody leaves  school without mastering spoken and written English. Try asking your high school kid to write a letter in Ilonggo, or Tagalog, and see.

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I am thanking my dear and thoughtful friends Freddie and Marianne Sia for being the first to send me their Christmas “greetings”! This early,  the Christmas spirit already pervades in our household and they started it! Maybe it was mental telepathy, but I got their wonderful way of greeting on a day close to an important day in my own life, too. Thanks again, dear Freddie and Marianne . May God bless you and family always!*

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