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Wishing on a Star

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Good heavens! Why have they included our President among the world’s so-called “press freedom predators”? I’m not exactly a fan nor a defender of our President, but  I would like to know what acts exactly had he done to merit him this inclusion among the “predators”. Have I not been watching national events closely enough? I am not defending him, he can very well do that himself, but, really, “predator” is not a word I would apply to the guy, who has, in fact, seemed very quiet recently.

***

Could the reason be political? But he has made it clear that he is no longer interested in another term and the way he has been behaving himself seems to confirm that. Maybe I just do not know how the national media regard him, and what he may have done to merit that description. Anyway, I must admit that I do not know, nor  have I heard any “predatory moves” he has made against the national press. As for us here in “da boondocks” they couldn’t care less what we write or say through the media. I remember that when I noted that the late Bishop Antonio Fortichwould twit us, “Oh, the biggies just tolerate you, because you are only mosquitoes”.

***

Indeed, we often went the limit in our reporting in those days, but never once did we get threatened by any bigshots. In a way, we can credit ourselves by saying that this was because we never violated the rules and ethical practices of journalism. After all, I have always prided myself in the thought that our DAILY STAR, poor and struggling as we have always been, had never violated the laws governing our craft. And if our readers will allow me to boast further, we may be “mosquitoes”, but all of our staff members who stuck with us through thick and thin, are honest to goodness journalism graduates, or had majored in the subject.

***

Pardon me for bragging, but even now, while operating on a string and what could be twitted by others as a skeleton staff, we have continued to preserve our rules and I really appreciate my staff for their dedication. Although I have been virtually “under quarantine” for more than a year now, we still manage to work “as  usual”, thanks to the fax machine and other modern gadgets. We really have a lucky star shining on us, because not even a pandemic could stifle the perseverance of our group. I think I will propose that we adopt the song “When you wish upon a Star” as our themesong. Anong say ng Stars of our show?

***

In the meantime, we should also pray for people in other parts of the world who have been going through calamity upon calamity, that include floods, landslides, and even mudslides! Of the three, wouldn’t floods be the easier to survive? With rushing waters, you can swim, float, or even hug a floating log to survive. But with landslides, how can you breathe when mud stuffs your nose, ears and eyes? Our initial problem, the virus identified as the COVID, I guess a nickname for “Coronavirus Disease”, has not yet been fully conquered, although hope has arisen lately in the form of vaccines.

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So, have you gone and gotten your COVID shots already? I understand our city, and province are providing them for free, so if you have not availed of it, and suddenly find yourself hit by this virus, you will only  have yourself  to blame. I heard that some people are afraid to undergo it, fearing reactions, but so far, those I know who have undergone it – including my own folks – are still around to convince others to submit to it. I admit that I am one person who has been enduring  allergies from so many things – food, even plants and animal fur – but, thank God, the COVID shot never bothered me at all!

***

Oh, didn’t your ears tingle when the World  Health Organization, a.k.a. WHO, tagged our country as a “low risk” one with regards to the COVID? Our doctors, scientists and other medical professionals must have been doing the right things to protect us from the pandemic proportions felt by other places. It also noted that we are nearing normalcy, so what more can we ask for? Oh, we should not ask, but give heartfelt thanks for the protection we have enjoyed. I also heard that W.H.O. has praised our country for “doing a good job, despite limited resources”. Aren’t you proud of that? And that is not what cynics would call “Consuelo de bobo”.

***

The United Kingdom has announced that it will end COVID restrictions on Friday, July 9. Does that mean they have fully vanquished  the disease and its infections already? Are they sharing their strategy with us and all other countries? That was  reportedly announced by their leader, Boris Karloff, I mean Johnson. I hope he does not hear about this boo-hoo of Twinkling, but as many of my generations know, Boris Karloff was a movie actor who was known for horror roles. Let us wait and see how the U.K.  will fare after they say goodbye – I hope not prematurely – to the Pandemic of the Century.*

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