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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, February 5, 2018
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

A show of Endless Love

Ninfa Leonardia Is President Duterte giving up on his Federalism plans? After more than a year in office and emphasizing the advantages of the form of government he was espousing, he has recently been quoted as saying that he might go for what he termed a “hybrid” form of government instead. Which is reasonable of him, because, perhaps, if one were to make a survey of all Filipino citizens, it is doubtful that one would get even just a majority admitting that they understand what it is all about, and how it will affect them. Now, however, he may have to tell his people to start explaining about this “hybrid” thing again.

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But I simply can't agree with what he has been saying lately that he wants Congress to speak Visayan and that he will use it in his announcements later. Now what is Visayan to him? I think he is referring to Cebuano, which he is adept in speaking. However, we in the Visayas provinces have our own idea of what is Visayan. We have Ilonggo, which is spoken by those in Iloilo and Negros, especially the Occidental side, the Kinaray-a spoken by those in some parts of Iloilo, and the Capiznon by those in Capiz and nearby areas. Even in Davao, I noted during my trips there that while a lot of people speak Cebuano, it is not exactly the same as what those from Cebu speak. And many speak in Tagalog, or Filipino, too. So which is which?

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I wonder what the reaction would be if he suggested that we adopt Chabacano, or the lingo of Zamboanga, instead. I was totally fascinated by it during my first visit to Zamboanga where we were hosted by so many families, some of whom were originally from Negros and Iloilo. What a mixture of Tagalog, Ilonggo and Spanish they used, with such a tantalizing accent that, tried as we did, not one of my fellow visitors, who included some visiting American girl scouts, could imitate. But I remembered our hostess telling her helper, “El kuan de aton, donde?” And while at dinner, “Donde ang luwag?”

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What's the matter with the country's drug war? Not even the bloody EJKs had contained it and the new tokhang scheme does not seem to have reduced it much, with reports continuing to come about shipments and entries of the illegal substance. An item in the tabloid “Tonite” claims that an SWS (Social Weather Station) survey shows that the number of drug addicts in the country has even gone up as of the end of 2017, up by 11 percent in Luzon, and up by 3 percent in Visayas and Mindanao. Can the new Tokhang reduce these figures in 2018?

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Those who were persuaded, wangled, or arm-twisted by Bacolod's “notorious” Charity Diva, Token Lizares, to buy tickets to her show “I CARE… A pre-Valentine concert for a cause” held at the Sanctuario de La Salle Saturday night went home happy in the thought that they not only shared their money for the benefit of indigent patients sponsored by the Lingkod E.R. Foundation, they also got treated to a wonderful night of beautiful music and a stunning performance by some of the country's most talented performers who gave their all for the cause.

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Token herself, of course, could have carried the show, but she did her best to bring in world famous Jun Polistico who wowed the crowd and sent them stamping and clapping with his renditions, not only of the hits of several decades, but by his ad libs that brought the house down several times. His act was also spiced up by the antics of comedian Angel in Mistress, whose dance numbers and naughty quips kept the audience roaring in laughter. Who would have thought she/he was a transgender until she owned up herself/himself?

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But Jun Polistico, who had been a Las Vegas mainstay for several years where he had also been entertaining thousands with his vocal renditions and commentaries, was undoubtedly the draw of the night, because of his choice of songs that awakened memories in his rapt audience who swooned to his variations on such unforgettable hits as “What a wonderful World”, Smoke gets in your eyes”, “Over the Rainbow”, “Moon River”, “Cuando, Cuando, Cuando”, “Sana Wala ng Wakas, “Love story”, “Sorry”, “Mahawi man ang Ulap”, and doubtedly thrilled Mayor Bing and Elsa, his old friends, when he dedicated their favorite song “You're the Best Thing that Ever Happened to me”, to them.

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The audience went wild when he swung into “I will Survive,” and “It's not Unusual” with accompanying gyrations, so agile for one who was celebrating his 71 st birthday next day (Feb. 4)! And who could do “Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Elvis Presley performances that could charm one into thinking he was listening to these artists themselves? Ah, a lot of indigent patients in Bacolod will benefit from the show that had entertained so many who had thought they were only condescending when they got their tickets and never thought they would chafe their palm clapping and calling out their appreciation. As for Token and Jun Polistico, now home and sharing his blessings with the underprivileged in his home country, the concert could be just among the projects they will undertake to show their “endless love” for the poor.*

 

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