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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, February 1, 2019
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with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

The Philharmonic comes to town

Ninfa Leonardia

I did not realize how hungry our people are for live, orchestral music until I attended the performance of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra at the SMX Convention Center last night. Although its performance had not been so widely advertised, a very big and responsive crowd gathered for the concert that lasted almost an hour and a half. And everyone I met afterwards was all praise and gratitude for the opportunity to listen to it.

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Well, the PPO is not the country’s most popular, and probably best equipped and manned musical group in the country, for nothing. It seemed Bacoleños, including a lot of musically-inclined children and music students trooped to the center and everyone came out happy and apparently enriched in their appreciation, not only for a beautiful and very appropriate repertoire, but also for the very talented group of musicians it has managed to bring together.

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I noted that not only Bacolod residents were at the concert, some in the audience were from out-of-town as well. I’m sure they did not want to miss the chance of listening to the country’s pride, the PPO. I think the group was also gratified by the enthusiastic response of their audience who kept calling for “More! More!” – which they generously obliged, until someone pointed out that the performers must be hungry already.

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As further confirmation that those present really wanted “more” of the presentation, most of those I met in the hall leaving the venue, were talking about listening to them again tonight at the Bacolod Government Center, where they will present another concert. So all you people out there, who missed last night’s soul-satisfying presentation of what your fellow Filipinos are capable of performing, don’t miss them at the NGC, scheduled at 6 p.m. Me, I can hardly wait to listen again to what I may not have the privilege of enjoying again in a long, long time.

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Meanwhile, a stuntman who calls himself Spider Man, scaled the wall of a 47-floor building in Makati and got for his efforts, or show-offishness, a citation for disturbing the peace. And indeed, it must have been quite a disturbance, with people as well as motorists stopping and blocking the street to watch him. I wonder what people like him get for the risk they are taking. Do their watchers give them money, do they get offers from road shows to perform? I guess some people will go to any lengths to get attention.

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I am glad to note that most members of the Senate have the same line of thinking as mine, which is to set the minimum age of criminal liability at 13. In fact there are still some officials who would rather have it remain at 15. Extremists have held on to 12 or even nine, which is ludicrous. The House has held on to 12, which is not even in the teen category yet. I hope the Senate sticks to 13, which is the most reasonable.

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The most interesting item to catch my eye recently was the news that the House of Representatives has passed on third reading the bill that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. That certainly was a long time coming, despite the fact that several countries, and even some states in the United States have already passed laws allowing its use for such purpose. Cited as the justifications for it were its proven effectivity in treating such afflictions as seizures, pain connected with such killer diseases as cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and even AIDS. However, the bill still continues to ban its use for recreational purposes and other non-medical applications.

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By the way, the measure is titled House Bill No. 6517, or The Proposed Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act. It seems it was quite popular with the members of Congress 163 of whom voted for it, with only three against, and three abstaining. Now it is up to the Senate to study and deliberate on it before the members decide to vote on it, which we hope will be a positive one, considering the benefits that could be derived from its regulated use.*

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