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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, February 17, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Kobe's finals for the NBA

Ninfa Leonardia What's happening? Now that his ratings in the surveys are said to be improving, the party of Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte suddenly announced that they are dropping all their senatorial candidates. Does that mean he and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano are going it alone? The announcement was made by Sen. Koko Pimentel, their party head. If they cannot get along as a slate, how will they work together in case (only in case) they all get elected?

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In the meantime, there is Bongbong Marcos catching up with the former front-runner, Chiz Escudero, the one said to be the Svengali of Senator Grace Poe. Survivors of Martial Law, who include almost all Filipinos who are now senior citizens, are aghast that the son of the author of such a law may soon be among the highest officials of the land, and only a heartbeat away from the presidency! It has been noted, however, that Bongbong's votes are expected to come from the family's loyalists and the young people who know nothing about the horrors brought on by his father's administration, and his mother's profligacy.

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I watched a replay of the NBA's All Star Game between the stars of the West and those of the East, where the famous Kobe Bryant played what is said to be his last game in the NBA. It was, indeed, heartwarming to see how the packed crowd at the Toronto stadium cheered and applauded Kobe everytime he scored, or even just when he passed their way. How happy he must be to see how many sports lovers idolize him, and he lived up to their expectations by acknowledging their cheers, and grasping at the hands of all those reaching out for him. By the way, the West won convincingly, 196-173, a very fitting “final” for the basketball legend that is Kobe Bryant.

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It will be a long time before other legendary players of his caliber will come forward, and I think many appreciated him for sticking for a long time with the Los Angeles Lakers where he made a name for himself and the team. Many applauded when he and former team mate Pau Gasol, who was playing for the East, hugged each other in the most affectionate way, probably thinking of all the teamwork they had done together to help the Lakers win their championships. Well, as they say, “The old older changeth”, so Kobe may stop playing but he will surely be remembered. By the way, he has indicated that he may come to the Philippines again.

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Reports from the Tourism Department show that the leading number of tourists coming to Region 6 are from South Korea and China. They recorded 331,209 from South Korea, 183,708 from China, 69,343 from Taiwan, and 36,158 from Malaysia. I guess those numbers will change when the DOT starts recording those arrivals as those of the Negros Island Region, or NIR, which we have now become after the merger of the two Negros provinces into one Region.

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I have heard from many groups that they were captivated by the simplicity and appeal of Leni Robredo, the running mate of Mar Roxas. Even media people were impressed by her and many of them hope that her ratings will soon rise because she seems to be the most acceptable bet for the vice presidency. That is probably why she is doing better in the surveys, and we hope she gets more chances to meet with prospective voters, so they can see her as the most fit for the post she has been offered to run for.

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The government is said to be considering the merger of the Development Bank of the Philippines and the LandBank of the Philippines. It does seem as if the two institutions have very similar missions, so why not join them? The DBP, that used to be the Agricultural and Industrial Bank of pre World War II days, was quickly renamed the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation after the war, to help both business and industry, as well as agriculture recover. Later it went into housing, especially low-cost financing that enabled thousands of homeless Filipinos to own their homes.

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Keeping in step with the times, after the country had recovered from the ravages of war, it was renamed the Development Bank of the Philippines, to aid in the growth of business, industry and agriculture. The LandBank, too, was created with a specific mission that also had to do with helping agriculture and landowners. Now, it has gone far enough for it to merge with the DBP and, together, continue with their missions.*

 

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