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The four most livable cities

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

“Tiger, Tiger, burning bright/ In the forest of the night”. Now I have forgotten the name of the poet who wrote that but I certainly remembered his poem when I saw the news that Tiger Woods, one of the most popular athletes of our time had figured in an accident! He reportedly was in a car crash, when his vehicle turned turtle, that, is, flipped over, but, Thank God, it was not fatal. And when rescuers came to fetch him, to check whether he was still lucid, asked him “What is your name?” he answered clearly “Tiger”! I am sure they all sighed with relief to hear that.

***

But alas I have not been able to follow up on his case because we were focused on the TV program “Mayors Challenge” involving four city mayors, among whom  our Mayor Bing was the first speaker, and the rest were Richard Gomez (now don’t say “the name is familiar” because, yes, he is the Richard Gomez, former movie star and now mayor of Ormoc City. With them were Mayor Abby Binay of Makati and Mayor Joy Belmonte of Quezon City. Well, les girls also did their turns very well, and if I say that “blood will tell”, perhaps the reader will remember that they are the daughters of former mayors, too.

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It was a very interesting program, and I am sure the DAILY STAR staff was wondering why this column came in later than usual. All the speakers, rather, guests, had something important to say, which is why it was difficult to turn off the program until all four have had their say. Naturally, all of them had something to say about their approaches to the pandemic in their localities and it was reassuring to know that they are all coping well in their cities.

***

It was flattering to hear, too, that the four cities were chosen  because they are among the country’s “Most Livable Cities”. Wow, don’t you feel nice and comfy to know that you are living in one? Two men and two women –  the program sponsors surely chose to have “equality”, knowing the women might complain. As it was, all of them spoke well for their government units  and justified their  classifications as “livable”. Aren’t you happy and proud to be living in one?

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The theme of the interviews centered on vaccinations and, indeed, there were admissions of hesitancy among their constituents, but it seemed the majority are willing to undergo it. And why not? Vaccination is prevention, it is meant to protect your system from the prevailing virus. So far, there may have been some allergic reactions in a few, but I have yet to hear of any mortality caused by vaccination. Sure, some people may have allergies or reactions, but they overcame them, didn’t they?

***

I was surprised to note though, that Mayor Joy Belmonte of Quezon City was quoted as saying that her city cannot afford to acquire the super-cold storage required for storing the vaccine for COVID. Isn’t it one of the wealthiest cities in the country where there are more big businesses, and probably more millionaires and billionaires? Surely it can buy any equipment intended for the good health and well being of its people? I think some cities in the provinces have already taken steps to acquire them.

***    

I know a lot of people who are wondering why such a wealthy and advanced country like the United States has been suffering from a big number of COVID victims. We are not tempting luck, but I believe our country has less, on the average. Well, for one, they must have stubborn people who refused to wear masks when the pandemic was just starting. In our City, Bacolod, the wearing of masks was made mandatory, with penalties for non-wearing. Seems people will not obey unless there is a penalty. And they are paying for ignoring orders.

***

A bit of good news is that Tiger Woods, who featured in a car accident the other day is now recovering  and very lucid. Many athletes must be praying for him, because they attribute their own successes to his inspiration. But I am worried at the report that he had back injury. Will that not affect his game later? Well they have the best doctors and surgeons there, and I hope and pray they can make him good as new!*

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