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The Olympics as a sign

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

The Tourism Department  has announced that those who have been fully vaccinated can travel where they want now. Oh, then I will be able to travel in less than two weeks because I will be getting my second dose soon! But that’s wishful thinking only, because where would I travel, and most of all, who will pay? I can barely afford to fill my vehicle with diesel fuel now! Well, there used to be a song titled “I can dream, can’t I?”

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It is, however, sad to think that people we meet hardly talk about dreams and plans for happy gatherings, because it has been “COVID on the brain” for several months, maybe more than a year now that you rarely hear of people talking about travel. Who wants to go wandering, and perhaps meet Mr. COVID on the way? So this is one season when there is really no place like home, be it ever so humble! But as I always love to quote that old song, more and more people are now finding that, indeed, there is no place like home.

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But one of the most prominent items in the news now is the report of the unauthorized cutting of 334 full-grown Mangrove trees in Bacolod, that has raised indignation from citizens, not only in the city itself, but even from those now residing abroad. Will it be libelous to call them “killers of trees”. How many years will it take to replace them? Surely not during our lifetime, at least, those of us who are adults now. I hope this incident will drive home the point to everyone, not only in our city but our country as well, and even worldwide!

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Who was that billionaire who refused to construct his building on a very well-located spot in a city, because there were beautiful trees on it. Only when his architect and engineers were able to assure him that they would construct his building without destroying the trees, did he give them the go-signal. But I heard that he would check on the construction day and night, to make sure that his trees remained in place! That is the kind of human being who must love the lines in the poem that says, “Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree”.

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The good news in yesterday’s DAILY STAR was the announcement by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson that more vaccines against the COVID are expected to arrive in the province. That means more and more people will be able to take advantage of the inoculations that can not only save lives, but, perhaps also put an end the raging of this pandemic. And let us also hope and pray that our people will not be stubborn and refuse to undergo it, making them potential carriers!

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Among the items reported yesterday was that Singapore has become very strict about allowing the entry of people from other countries. Well, that is their right, but what about those who had been living or working there, and want to return? Will they be granted special privileges? Of course we can’t blame a country for wanting to protect its people, but the world has become so open to all nationalities, that it is now inhabited by a great mixture of races. I hope Singapore  has gotten second thoughts about its orders.

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Is it true that those responsible for cutting those mangrove trees have indicated that they are willing to face charges for it? I guess they are thinking that the charges may console the people, but cases in court here take so long, that, maybe the trees planted now to replace the ones cut may all be fully grown by the time the court trial is over. Only the indignation of tree lovers will remain, but what will that matter to them? I just hope they remember, as Joyce Kilmer, poet, had said,  that “Only God can make a tree”.

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From the news I have been getting on TV, the chances are better that the Olympic Games may proceed as planned, but it was not with finality as announced. Let us therefore hope and pray that news will soon come out that it is really going to proceed with the same schedule as before, because that would be a sure sign that things, health-wise, are really expected to have returned to normal by then. Let us all hope and pray for it!*

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