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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Please don't ape Mayon!

Ninfa Leonardia Did she resign, or was she fired? Seems the reports are confusing, with one media outlet saying Department of Education head Patricia Licuanan was dismissed from her position and another screaming in its headline “CHED chair resigns”. Now we know already that the President had been looking askance at her supposed record of frequent foreign travels during her term, and that he had declared that “12 foreign trips and you're out”, but weren't the trips of Madame Licuanan not made in the past years yet?

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I do agree with the President's stance against foreign travels, but I thought his order was to take effect from this year onward. There was no mention of its being what we learned in school was “ispso facto”, or after the fact. I believe Licuanan was doing a good job, and was quite sincere in her mission. As reports on the situation further explained, she appears to have both resigned and been fired, because she was asked by the President's Executive Secretary to “tender her resignation”. And that's that.

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After Licuanan, who's next among the women in the present government? Justice Secretary and senator Leila de Lima is now out of the way. Licuanan is “resigned”, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno is facing impeachment, and there is even a hint that the new charter will remove the office of vice president! Hey, girls, are we going to take that sitting down? I cannot recall at the moment all the other women who have bitten the dust in this administration and, boy, am I glad I am not in government now!

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I am sure, though, that many women, especially Manila's crème de la crème, are mourning the death of fashion icon, Pitoy Moreno, who passed away Monday at 87. I feel sad, even if I did not know him personally, because I admired his work so much. Pitoy's creation were beautiful but never the “estrambotique” type, and he was virtually worshipped by his clients, those who could afford him, that is. Another sad thing is that, despite his fame and fortune, he lived his last five years in a hospital where he was being treated for various ailments, including Alzheimer's disease. By the way his nickname “Pitoy” (real name, Jose) used to be the subject of jokes for Ilonggos, and we know the reason why.

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That was a terrible accident that befell the family of an Iloilo official whose 7-year-old son was killed when a freak accident happened on their way to enjoy themselves at a resort in Talisay. Reports on the incident said the vehicle, with 10 people, including children, was driven by the head of the family, Councilor Kent Roger Penaflorida of Pototan town, when strong winds suddenly topped a mahogany tree in Barangay Granada. The little boy was said to be sitting on his mother's lap in the front seat.

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Of course this is another what-might-have-been comment, but I believe that the injuries to the little boy, and even to his mother, could have been prevented had they been strapped with seat belts. As reported, the impact threw them forward, and the boy's forehead hit the windshield, where the tree had landed. What a sad ending to what could have been a happy experience. But, as they say, it's an ill wind that blows no good, so the moral lesson from this should be to heed the admonitions to attach your seat belt while riding on a motor vehicle. I hope parents, especially, will think of this safety measure that could save lives or prevent injury.

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African countries are seething over the description of U.S. President Donald Trump of them as “shitholes”. Now that is supposed to be a word not used in polite societies, but Trump seems to be anything but polite. And he dares to deny that it was not a racist slur. What does he think of the intelligence of those “shithole” natives? I wonder how he will describe the bride-to-be of England's Prince Harry, who openly declares that is half-African, and is apparently proud of it. As for the Britons who sound apprehensive over the match, maybe they are afraid the couple will bear a black child? Well, anyway, Harry himself is far down in the line of succession, so they needn't worry.

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People living within a specific area of Mount Mayon have already been required to move away because the volcano has started spewing lava and and PHIVOLCS has rated it at Alert Level 3, which is already very hazardous and could mean an eruption within days. The lava it is spitting out is said to be very hot and could cause severe injuries to human beings in its path as it rushes down the mountain slope. Let us hope and pray that there is no connection between it and our own Mount Kanlaon!*

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