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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, January 25, 2018
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

‘Indianned' by Digong?

Ninfa Leonardia The people of Iloilo will be disappointed because President Duterte will not be able to come for their Dinagyang Festival that is being celebrated this week. The reason is that the President is going to India. Can the Ilonggos now say that they were “indianned” by Duterte?

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I guess Bacolod City was luckier because, on the two occasions that it invited the President to come for its MassKara Festival, he honored the invitation. The first time was in 2016 when he came for the opening of the Festival, and the second in 2017 when he came for the closing, and delivered speeches on both occasions. It is always interesting to have the President, especially when he comes with an entourage, because exciting things happen, like when the girl friends of two officials quarreled at the public plaza affair, and their boyfriends, who used to be close friends, have since become bitter enemies.

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By the way, I saw a picture of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on a national newspaper the other day and was quite surprised at the way she looks now! Gone was the sickly-looking lady with the bandanna around her neck that she sported after recovering from her malady and hospital arrest. In her stead was a very young-looking girl, with the face of a teenager, wearing a bright smile. Whatever one's malady is, it is clear now that acquittal or freedom is the panacea for it.

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What a fuss they are making about the University of Santo Tomas Alumni Awards. When it was announced that columnist Mocha Uson (I forgot her true name) was one of the awardees, some of those also honored returned their awards, probably as a sign of disgust at being placed in the same class with her. The association claimed that the awards were given only for those in government service, but others said, it that were so, then everyone from UST who is working for the government must be awarded. There's some logic to that, of course. But nowadays some awards are already a dime a dozen, as wags would call them.

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The awards are the least of the problems the world is facing today, especially with volcanoes erupting right and left, and earthquakes also shaking up several countries recently. In Japan the volcano called Mount Kusatsu Shirane suddenly erupted and caused an avalanche near a ski resort, causing a lot of sportspeople to be stranded. The avalanche affected the ski slopes and caused injuries to at least 10 people, sportsmen and women, undoubtedly, who were out there for some skiing fun.

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Worse, those who were on board the “gondolas”, that carry the skiers to the mountaintop from where they can ski down, also got stranded midway, because a power outage occurred and the gondolas are powered by electricity. To add to their inconvenience and fears, rocks also rolled down the ski slopes, further endangering their descent. We should be glad we don't have similar sports here, and mountain-climbing is the only activity our active sportsmen can indulge in. At least during times when our mountains are not erupting.

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In Jakarta, Indonesia, a Magnitude 6 earthquake also struck Tuesday, affecting an area of about 43 kilometers, causing panic among its people, and damaged houses and buildings. Because of their experience with strong quakes in 2016 and 2017, it is no wonder that the people were frightened. It seems as if this has become a yearly occurrence for them and the areas affected are getting wider. In our place, even a quake of magnitude 3 is already considered dangerous, how much more if it is at Magnitude 6?

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At last! The Supreme Court has allowed the release of 700,000 license plates for vehicles. For almost two years now, we have not seen any new plates on vehicles, both public and private ones roaming around the province. My own vehicle marked its first birthday last month and it still has no license plate. But are the 700,000 plates enough for all the vehicles in the country? In 2017 alone more than 400,000 new vehicles were purchased all over the country. Will the 700,000 be enough for those, and the ones recently bought? Why did the SC hold them in the first place? I, for one, can no longer remember.*

 

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