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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, February 2, 2018
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with Ninfa Leonardia

A vaccination phobia?

Ninfa Leonardia The Dengvaxia affair must have put such a scare on parents that many of them are now refusing to have their children undergo inoculations even those that would keep them safe from intestinal worms. Before the dengvaxia incident, it was a regular practice, especially in public schools, to have the children inoculated against childhood diseases so that can be immunized against them.

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During our own schooldays, students were also given shots supposed to keep them safe from such ailments as typhoid fever, smallpox, and several other vaccines intended to prevent our suffering from them. But my father did not believe in them and would prefer to have us treated AFTER we got infected with any of such ailments than to risk our getting the very ailments we were supposed to be immune to. Despite that, none of us among his children ever got those diseases, and until now we believe he was right. So I don't blame the parents now who are refusing to have their children submit to such “immunizations”.

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It looks as if the days of the dilapidated jeepney are numbered now with the government seeming very insistent on phasing them out. The slogans like “Alisbulok, alisusok” seem to be catching on and operators and drivers of units that are guilty of that should brace themselves for change. Let us just hope the government will present a program for them that will ease the pains of a phase-out. Indeed, in Bacolod last night, we were following a red jeepney that was spouting such awful smoke from its behind that we had to slow down to let it go for ahead of us.

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Although we know that the smoke and smog could not enter our vehicle, it seemed as if we could smell them from inside, and wondered how those in the other open vehicles following it, and even its own passengers were faring. Another worrisome sight on the highways and city streets are motorcycles with the riders “unhelmeted”. This is very common especially at night, when virtually all the motorcyclists you see on the road are helmetless. We also often pass by accident scenes involving them, and, none of the victims were seen with the prescribed helmets. Aren't there any traffic cops assigned at night to check on them?


We got a lot of complimentary feedback on the photos of the super blue blood moon taken by our readers and contributors that we published yesterday. Some even told us (ahem!) that we beat the national papers in giving our readers so many beautiful photos, for which we are thankful to those who shared their pieces with us. A good picture, it is said, is worth more than a thousand words, and that is why, we who only produce words, salute those who shared their labor of love with us. For that matter, we always give space to good pictures submitted to us. Not pornographic ones, of course!


The proposal to build permanent evacuation centers is a good and practical one but I hope, whoever is assigned to be the managers or custodians of them will know the limits of evacuation stay of whoever may be using them after calamities. It is not difficult to predict that after some calamities, those in the centers may no longer want to leave them, and make them their permanent residences. If there could be squatters on private and public lands, for sure, publicly owned centers could attract them, too. Just a forewarning.


One can only wonder why they are called sportsmen and officers of sports organizations when they do not seem to behave in a sportsmanlike manner. Note that the Philippine Olympic Committee of the country has, for a long time been involved in some fiasco because of the refusal of an officer, who has been holding the post for ages, refusing to give way to younger blood. Worse, he is suspected of trying to prevent the holding of elections for the presidency and chairmanship of the commission despite a court order to hold one.

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The person now heading the POC continues to be Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, a brother of the late President Cory Aquino, and uncle of former President Benigno Aquino III, or Pnoy, and who has been president for several decades. Maybe he wants to be president for life? The young-bloods are smouldering because they feel the old man has not led the country to any great or even little success at the Olympics, but they can never outmaneuver him whether at meetings or discussions. One cannot say, of course, that the POC is under Martial Rule.*



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