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Want to live in the Moon?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Who can blame Thailand and Taiwan for reportedly having imposed very tight restrictions at their borders? Everyone knows how dangerous the situation is now with the virus that China has gifted the world through its city called Wuhan. But the Philippines cannot reject its own people. Especially the overseas Filipino workers, or OFWs, who want to come home. Aside from the old saying, we all believe in that “There is no place like home”, another very perceptive poet, whose name I cannot  recall at the moment, also wrote these immortal words: “Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in”.

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Was it Robert Frost who wrote that? He was one of my favorite poets when I was a student and I used to memorize his poems and quoted them all the time. Now, I have to admit that, although I can recall some lines from his works. I cannot even recall the titles of those poems. The tragedy is that when our room caught fire three years ago, my bookshelves were among the casualties, so I can no longer refer to them for the exact words. I can only remember the funny jingles some of my journalist friends in Manila  shared with me!

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Isn’t it  funny? The serious ones you forget, but the silly ones stick to your mind. Remember your school days when collecting autographs was a popular fad? I recall that my late aunt Florinda Corral (nee Ramos) mother of my cousins Danny and Tutay Corral was an avid autograph collector in her high school days and we, her nieces, used to copy the messages written by her classmates, especially the boys. One that stuck to my mind to this day was from her male schoolmate who wrote “Our eyes have met/ Our lips not yet/ But, Oh, you kid/ I’ll get you yet!”

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She got mad and wanted to tear the page off but we begged her not to, because, I, for one, memorized it instantly. I wonder if students and teenagers these days still collect autographs? Me, I bought, a scrapbook instead, where I asked my classmates and friends to write their favorite songs. They teased me for being clever so I wouldn’t  have to write them down myself, but they complied, anyway, and often with sweet dedications pa! Oh, the ingenuity of youth!

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Let us be grateful  that we have vaccines available now in our country to combat the COVID surges that could cause more suffering and mortalities. And Bacolod  is very lucky to be able to acquire the vaccines and inoculate its residents, which has resulted in less COVID cases coming up.  Yesterday, I was watching TV and noted that the report that Bacolod had vaccinated more than 3,861 in one day was flashed several times from morning till night. I hope this means that we will be seeing less victims of COVID in the coming days.

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But not  all countries have been able to acquire enough vaccines for their people. Kenya, for one, was reported to less than two percent of its population having received their first  shots, and those who were lucky enough  to get the first dose are still waiting for the next, that would assure them of immunity. In the country called Malawi, reports say that it was discovered that expired vaccines were being administered to the people. Whoever instigated that should be, as the old method used, tobe , “dragged, drawn and quartered”!

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Meanwhile, I chanced upon a basketball game on TV between Thailand and the Philippines yesterday, and felt very sad to note that the stands were empty, with hardly any spectators watching. It must have been demoralizing  for the players to be trying their best without fans to cheer them on. The game was easily won by the Philippines but this time their opponents could not blame their loss to lack of grandstand support, because there was  hardly any group  watching.

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But, as we earthlings are worrying about COVID and the damage it is wrecking on humanity, the NASA (sorry, I forgot its full name) is congratulating China for the successful return of its mission to the moon.  Oh, how I wish for a chance to interview those moon returnees. Are there beings like us there? Do they also experience pandemics, like COVID? Is it worth dreaming  about going there someday, maybe to reside permanently? Would life there be a perpetual honey-Moon? The Chinese explorers haven’t been talking , at least not in our media. Maybe they want to claim it for their own? Me. I only want to meet the man in the moon!*

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