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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, October 21, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

What will morning bring?

Ninfa Leonardia So what if our President may be wheeling and dealing with the Chinese whose country and officials are welcoming him like a long lost brother? In Bacolod City, it looks as if the people, especially the youth and the man-on-the-street couldn't care less as they celebrate a MassKara Festival so unlike any other that they have experienced before. Everywhere you go, where an activity or show is scheduled, one can hardly find a place to navigate, much less park, because of all the crowds gathered.

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I have attended only the fireworks exhibits in the last two days, the first in the Bacolod Government Center and the second last night at the public plaza, and I could see how excited and participative everyone was. Families brought even their babies, and the colorful stalls grouped around were making a lot of business. The electric MassKara at Lacson Street reportedly electrified watchers, and one can only wonder where all those people came from!

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Instead, of thinking and worrying about what our President is cooking up, Bacoleños and their thousands of visitors could be thinking only of the moment, and what to expect in next year's edition. Watching the merrymakers made me think of that lovely old song that went: “Love, tonight we'll go dancing, Love, tonight we will laugh and sing, We'll make most of it, Laugh at the rest of it, Who knows what morning will bring!”

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Indeed, what will the next few days bring? Will we hear about deals with China that will bring us billions in aid for our country – if we forget about the Scarborough Shoal and the Panatag area? Will we all have access to big money in case that $300 billion being dangled over our heads is converted into financing available to all? In a wire report from China, our President was quoted as saying that China has never invaded our country. Not invaded, but only seizing one of our most promising areas? But let us divert ourselves from that and enjoy the moment not worrying what morning will bring.

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I bet the Tourism Strip will overflow again tonight when the third set of competitions among the visiting fireworks manufacturers from several provinces, from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, show their ingenuity and skills in producing those spectacular shows. The first one at the Bacolod Government Center was a revealing display of Filipino talent. We should be proud of the Hinigaran entry that created some innovations in its show.

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Seems Bacoleños are really bent on enjoying this MassKara Festival because all the events related to it are always full of people, fun-loving ones who are game for any activity. The public plaza is full every night, and the times we tried to go there, we could not even get in because it was so full already. And those within were just doing their thing, some sitting around in the stall, drinking and chatting, others dancing or listening to performers, or watching the programs shown. This has also drawn so many balikbayans, who are “sukis” of the festival.

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Among the first to arrive on October 4 were Leif and Nanette Severino, of Las Vegas, New York, and everywhere, because the couple are always on the road, going from state to state in their own van. So far they have covered almost all the states, because both have already retired, and suffering from the travel itch. Other early comers were Cecile Cordero Shaw, her son John John and daughter Jackie, from Massachussets, who, however, had to leave midway because of job commitments. Naturally, Eleanor Fukuda, our unofficial ambassador to Japan, has arrived with her own group. MassKara is indeed a magnet to Bacoleños abroad.

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A news report supposedly from the Tourism Department said that a million Chinese tourists are expected to come by the end of 2016. Help! Is this the invasion we thought never happened? I also heard our officials who are with the President in Beijing are signing deals left and right. All I ask of them all, is “Please, oh please! Read all the fine prints very well!”*

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