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That sea is ours

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Hasn’t the coronavirus reached either Israel or Palestine? How come they still have the time and energy to get into a war with each other? All we hear about these two countries now are about rocket strikes and mortalities that, sadly, include even children! Indeed, I don’t think I ever read or heard any news about COVID cases in those countries, which must be why they can devote their worries, their funds and energies to warfare! All we can do for them, is to pray that other countries do not get drawn into their problem because it might escalate into a world war!

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At the moment the greatest concern of most countries is about being able to vaccinate their population against the deadly COVID that does not have shown signs of being completely vanquished yet. But what is making us hopeful is that vaccines are now being made available in our country and let’s hope that our people will accept it. I say that because reports have come out about a lot of Filipinos refusing to submit to vaccination, which could mean that the pandemic may continue.

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The only good news is that an announcement has been made that adolescents, i.e. teenagers,  can now be vaccinated. That would be very helpful because these are the people who often cannot be prevented from going out and exposing themselves to infection. Some places have devised innovative means of reaching out with medical personnel stationed in various places for what could be called “drive-by vaccination”! Which means you can just stop at an area where Health workers await with the vaccine stuff and equipment ready. So one can just park for a while and get “shot”.

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Meanwhile, a very inspiring news is about Filipino nurses, in the United Kingdom have been honored with a national award. The report was not detailed enough, but I presume it was given for their exemplary services in hospitals there. That makes up for our candidate for Miss Universe failing to land the title. Well, let’s not gripe about that, we already have several  beauty title winners, and this will not be the last beauty tilt we can send contestants to. What is only disappointing is that our bet this was only Number 21.

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But Bacolod residents should be happy and feel blessed with the Emergency  Operation Center report that COVID cases in the city have gone down by 44 percent, which is almost half of what had been recorded before. Let us pray that it continues to decline, and that our people will cooperate with all the “protocols” being suggested for them to observe. But what about this report in yesterday’s Daily STAR that a drive for awareness against HIV and AIDS  is now being held? I thought that those diseases had already been conquered, not only because of medication, but because its victims  knowhow they could have avoided it. I hope this drive will awaken fear among potential victims who must realize how they could have avoided catching them.

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And, as if we do not have enough concerns and fears about diseases, we also hear about signs that Taal Volcano seems to be on the verge of erupting! I am sure people in its vicinity have again started evacuating, as they  had done before when it also exhibited symptoms of an eruption. Let us help them pray that the volcano calms down, so the people there will also be assured of their safety, and not start fleeing as they used to do whenever it exhibited similar signs. While we pray, let us also include Mayon  andKanlaon volcanoes, the latter being right in our island!

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By the way, what are our government, i.e., our officials, doing about the unabashed occupation of our West Philippine Sea by Chinese fishermen, who even have the nerve to drive away Filipino fishers? Hasn’t this issue been acted on by the United Nations already? How come the intruders seem to think they have entitlement to the area? What does our President, and our Congress plan to do to assert our rights? Let us remind our leaders of the saying that “There are no tyrants where there are no slaves”. At the moment we seem to be acting like slaves, though.

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Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio will turn in their graves if they learn about this. They died for this country because they dared to go against the Spanish invaders, so let us not disappoint them by just sitting by while another country could be trying to appropriate us inch by inch. By its name alone, that area in the sea belongs to our country. Let us not just stand by and  sigh. Remember the song “This land is mine. God gave this land to me (to us of course)”.*

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