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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, January 30, 2018
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Blue blood moon
night tomorrow

Ninfa Leonardia The headlines of the three major national dailies said it all. The Philippine Star said dispassionately: “TOKHANG RELAUNCHED TODAY”. The Manila Bulletin tried to be conciliatory: “TOKHANG RETURNS UNDER STRICT RULES”, while the Daily Inquirer sounded fearful: “CBCP TO PNP: PLEASE, NO MORE ‘TOKHANG' KILLS”.

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But alas, the inside pages still carried items that seemed to indicate that Tokhang had never left. Two Inquirer items said “Two drug suspects in a shootout with policemen in Payatas, Quezon City, Sunday”, and “4 dead in return of Tokhang in Mindanao”. The Manila Bulletin had “Fleeing drug suspects slain in QC sting” and “SWAT policemen killed in shootout with drug suspects in Kidapawan”. While the Philippine Star headline story said that even before the launch of Tokhang,” Four suspects shot dead”. Another story was about a teenager nabbed for possessing dried marijuana leaves. One can only imagined the proliferation of similar items after Tokhang II goes its full course.

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Motorists and public transport passengers may be sighing in exasperation over the added member of motor vehicles on the streets after the report was released that car manufacturing companies had sold almost half a million units as 2017 was ending. One can only imagine how much more crowded will our main streets and highways be, when all those new vehicles take to the road, as they may already have done. The only sector that will be rejoicing over the added number of new units must be the insurance sector that will be raking in millions in insurance premium. Anong say ni Monet Kilayko of Prudential Guarantee?

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The officers of the UST Alumni Association must have red faces again with the latest snafu involving one of their recent awardees. A big fuss took place when the new columnist said to have the President as one of her fans, was awarded by the alumni group, and other awardees, who probably did not like the idea of being in the same line-up with her, returned their awards, and so did she. I guess the people who did not want to be classed with her in that awards do not like the idea that she is said to have come from the nightclub industry, or was an entertainer before. And things worsened when she was reported to have referred to Mayon Volcano as being located in Naga. Geography, Miss, geography.

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I used to admire Richard Gordon a lot when he was head of the Red Cross and was among the most popular personalities in the country. But it seems like a different Richard Gordon we are seeing now in the Senate, especially when a poor victim, or an official suspected of some misdemeanor, is being questioned. Then he seems to engage in what could be perceived as bullying tactics, in the way he shoots his questions that seem to be aimed at intimidating the witnesses, or the person being investigated.

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Yesterday, I caught a part of his interrogation of someone and, because the fellow seemed to be self-confident and assured in answering, the senator lit into him as if he had been convicted already. He hogged most of the time and would not give the man a chance to put in a word edgewise, ending the session abruptly, and huffing off. Where is the gentleman who was so nice and friendly while with the Red Cross? Had the Senate drained all that sympathetic blood from him? Maybe that guy he was questioning was really a crook, but even judges are not known to be so cavalier with the accused.

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There have been song hits about a blue moon, but we may have the chance to actually see one tomorrow right here at home, when one is predicted to show itself between 6:49 p.m. and 9:29 p.m. when it will be at its peak. But that will all depend on whether we have clean skies then, for, otherwise, all we will see may be dark clouds and even rain, as we have been having so often lately. But let's not miss the opportunity, because this is supposed to happen every 150 years, that is this kind of “blue blood” moon – the others are only blue. Who among us will be around to watch the next one 150 years from now? We may be playing harps in bliss somewhere, or coughing and fanning ourselves in the heat in some other place!

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In the meantime, are we expecting thousands of overseas workers to fly home from Middle East countries like Kuwait after the harsh pronouncements of the President over their treatment there? Seems doubtful to me, because those workers know they cannot hope to get as much back home. Even with all those horror stories about the treatment they get, thousands continue to hope and try to go there because of that. Even farm owners are mourning the shortage of workers to cut cane and plant it, which is why sugar planters are now resorting to mechanization. Domestic helpers are getting scarce, too, for the same reasons. Only when we can assure them all of good paying jobs, can we “rescue” them from the horrors of working abroad for people of different race and culture.*

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