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So, is the moon habitable?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

The Royals are really different from you and me. Were you able to watch the ceremonies for the interment of Prince Philip on TV yesterday? Even if he is the husband of the Queen of England, the rites were so formal, everyone was in somber black suits and, and there was no weeping or wailing, or even rolling on the ground in the cemetery as we often see in local interments. I guess they have been trained from childhood to keep their emotions in check, but Oh, what a hindrance that must be to the expression of one’s genuine grief!

***

I was still a child, I think seven years or less, when my grandmother died and we children were allowed to attend the funeral. One of my aunts fainted, another sat on the grass crying her heart out, and several other relatives felt faint and, fortunately someone remembered to bring a bottle of Ammonia and white cotton, and the rest were busy waving ammonia-soaked cotton balls before their noses. I think this still happens in burials all over the Philippines, and who knows, in most other countries worldwide!

***

My late media friend Belding Familiaran, who was a very witty guy who knew how to crack jokes without a change in his expressions, once told us about a family interment he had witnesses that involved a relative. Before the funeral, he said, the eldest son called together all his sisters, brothers and other relatives and told them to promise that nobody must cry during the burial because their father wouldn’t like that. But as the coffin was being lowered, he heard one of his sisters sob. He turned towards her and snarled, “I told you nobody must cry …sob, sob…” That set the crying sprees that I am sure relieved the grief of everyone!

***

Ah, but as I have said earlier, the royals are not like you and me. They can hold their feelings in check as they must have been repeatedly reminded all their lives. But is that healthy? A good cry can give relief to anyone  with a problem, so why stop them? Others even cry with tears of joy. As I watched the tearless interment of the Prince, I had this funny thought: How much valium was fed to them all to keep them so solemn and yet so composed? No offense meant to the royal folks, but maybe they had learned how to mourn privately even as children.

***

Sorry to be focusing on such morbid thoughts, let’s go back to normal and think about less disturbing subjects. Let us not talk about the new COVID variants or the statistics of its toll. Let’s dwell on the vaccination programs already adopted by our province and city and pray that they will work successfully with everyone who has undergone them. In our family, I think it is only brother Bing who has gone through it, but being city mayor, he has to give a good example. Me, I depend on my solitary confinement of more than a year now to protect me. Oh, I do get out on Saturdays, but only for a family dinner at the residence of my nephew Glenn and his wife Rizza, where nobody talks about pandemics, but only funny and entertaining stories.

***

Is this good news? The NASA team that went to the moon several months ago have returned but we have yet to hear of their account of what they found there. Is there no COVID there, or did  they bring the virus there? I can’t wait to hear if it is habitable, and the  Man in the Moon we were told about as children, is truly there. If it has a livable atmosphere, how soon will the migration start? Maybe tourism agencies will organize sightseeing trips first? Where is the line for reservations starting? And what are the requirements and expenses?

***

I raised my eyebrows, and I think other Pinoys did too, as well, upon hearing the report that Bulgaria has the longest coastline of all countries. Really? Shouldn’t that honor go to us? We consist of so many islands, big and small, and if you measure their coastlines and add them up, I have the feeling that we will outdo Bulgaria. It may have a solid width and breadth, but end to end, I think our coastlines will add up to more than theirs. Who will measure them, by the way, or do we already have statistics on that to refute Bulgaria?

***

Let us sympathize with the people of Myanmar. After their government was seized by the military, its citizens have started fleeing to India and Thailand and the pitiful thing is that they have to do it by walking as  those running their country now would surely not provide them transport facilities. So hordes of families with their children and scantly belongings are running away on foot, and in fear that the military agents would shoot them if they are caught. If they have also been infected by COVID, what a miserable condition they must be in. Let us include them in our prayers.*

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