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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Testing the wrong people?

Ninfa Leonardia Presidential hopeful Grace Poe has announced that the latest DNA tests made recently on her supposed blood relations whose remains were exhumed in Guimaras did not produce any results that would prove her identity. So they are back to Square One again, as far as her parentage is concerned. Me, I have always believed that they are testing the wrong people.

***

Anyway, she and her camp must be feeling hopeful now with the way the Supreme Court hearings are proceeding, because some justices, including the Chief Justice herself, seem to be hinting that they are sympathetic to her cause. But those who are not, and who have indicated so in previous meetings, continue to be doubtful about her eligibility to lead this country. As for those of the thinking that we should just go on with the election and see how it turns out, what for did we have a constitution and laws governing the way we choose our leaders?

***

The threat of the virus identified as Zika is no longer a matter to shake off. Already, the World Health Organization has called for a meeting to see what actions can be taken to combat it. Already, 1,000 cases have been reported in Brazil and 2,000 in Colombia, to say nothing about areas where none have been reported yet. One thing revealed about the mosquito carrying the virus is that it hits especially pregnant women whose babies may suffer from microencephaly, that is manifested by small heads, brain defects, and bad eyesight and hearing. What chances in life would such babies have?

***

One thing familiar to us is that it is caused by the same mosquito that carries the dengue virus, the Aedes Aegypti. Since we have somewhat managed to deal with dengue, perhaps Zika will not be of as much harm to our people? Or maybe this is another type of Aedes aegypti, as it is supposed to have originated from the deep forests of Uganda. But now it has also been reported to have affected 105 in Guatamela. How will the rest of the world ward it off?

***

There are many terms used to describe such a union. Some call it “cradle snatching” while others, more romantic of mind, say it's a “May-December wedding”. Call it what you like, that will be applicable to the recent wedding of veteran showbiz personality Vic Sotto sand his former nubile co-host, Pauleen Luna. When they decided to formally tie the knot and get married, Vic was 62 and Pauleen 26. But what is 36 years between two people who have taken five years to decide to make it permanent and binding? Just think that when Vic Sotto turns 82, Pauleen will only be 46.

***

I felt sentimental when I read the news item about the People of the Year awards and one of them was the Max Soliven Lifetime Achievement Award that was given to tycoon Lucio Tan. I am sure the late Max Soliven would be pleased to know that the recipient of the award named after him was a most deserving successful businessman and philanthropist. The item also brought back memories of Max as a friend and fellow journalist who, despite his stature and popularity, was very humble, accommodating, and ever willing to help along the younger ones.

***

When I first met him, I was rather awed because of his fame as one of the country's most respected and influential columnists. But I found later that he was very friendly and encouraging, and was one of the “inspirers” of the DAILY STAR when we were starting. When things were getting very difficult and I was ready to give up, and told him so, he twitted me, “You disappoint me, I thought you had more guts”. When I invited him to come and be resource speaker at seminars or affairs we sponsored, he would accept immediately, but add “Just buy my ticket, you are dealing with an Ilocano”.

***

I once reproached him after his wife, Precious, came to Bacolod and called me up saying Max told her to do so. When I arrived at the house of Rolly and Anita de la Rama where they always stayed, Precious startled me by saying “Oh, I'm surprised to see you! From the way Max described you, I thought you were one of those swashbuckling women in the media.” How Max laughed when I confronted him about that. But until now, I still believe that the greatest honor I got as a media person, was when he and I were among those honored by the Rotary Club of Manila as outstanding journalists in 2005.*

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