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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, April 12, 2018
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with Benjamin Calderon

Bite the bullet

Rock & Refuge

Is an idiom to describe an act or choice to endure a painful or otherwise unpleasant situation that is seen as unavoidable.  In my opinion, this characterizes the decision to close Boracay for rehabilitation. Other perspectives and recommendations on the problem of Boracay have been made including the more considerate phase-by-phase work to be done. However, the nature of the President requires the work be done yesterday such as asking for patience immediately.

The vacation destination is a source of pleasant and happy memories having enjoyed a trip there last year. However, the current problem of pollution was already much evident as my hosts, who reside in Malay, advised me to swim in the next town called Buruanga along the Panay West Road. The road trip from Malay to Buruanga provides an opportunity to pass through a section of the Northwest PanayPeninsula Natural Park.

The closure of Boracay does have painfully hard consequences on livelihood and the nation’s economy which many do not want, but the degradation of nature and the need for more effective regulation on entrepreneurial practices and business operations need to be addressed. The need needs to prevail over the want.It is easy for us to write and share our thoughts as we are not directly affected by the closure of business nor loss of livelihood. For those who are directly affected the hardships and pain have already began with the loss of bookings and closure of shops as the visitors, guests and tourist are now being redirected to other destinations. It may be bad for the tourist island but the closure opens opportunities for others. Meanwhile, the concerned stakeholders, the local government units and the concerned national government agencies can take the time to get on the same page agreeing to a developmental program and evaluation points along the road toward achieving social, cultural, environmental and economic goals.

In a similar manner, the Chief Justice has no alternative but to bite the bullet and become a publicly declared enemy of the Chief Executive. We can be sure the war between the two branches of government will result into destruction of the fighting institutions and the life of the protagonists and their “soldiers”. In my opinion, the Chief Justice should be given her day in the Senate’s impeachment court as provided for in our Constitution.

Let us end with an anecdote to help us smile when our turn comes to bite the bullet. One day, a very rich man announced in a party that if any person present in the party dares to swim across the swimming pool which has more than twenty alligators, he will be awarded with either half of the rich man's property or his beautiful daughter. After a period of silence, the rich man saw a young man splashed into the pool swimming as fast as he can, with all his efforts, saving himself from the alligators. And at last, he survived through the pool. Everybody started clapping. The rich man was overjoyed with the young man's bravery. He congratulated him and then asked what do you want, my property or daughter.  To this, the man replied, "Sir, neither I want your property, nor your daughter, I just want the man who threw me in the water."*

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