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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, February 4, 2019
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with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Blowing hot and cold?

Ninfa Leonardia

It’s a miracle! After several weeks of scary news items about oil prices going up, up and away, suddenly we get a report that they are going down! The item said diesel will go down by 30 to 40 centavos and by 60 to70. As a diesel user, I’m a bit aggrieved, but I’m a bit aggrieved, but let’s be thankful for small measures. And pray that more reductions will be announced in the coming weeks. Or is that too much to hope for?

***

Who really detonated the bombs that exploded within the Jolo Cathedral, causing the death of 20 people and wounding dozens more? So far, all we have heard about the matter are speculations – at least they all sound like that – because of the unlikelihood. First it was reported to have been the deed of unidentified men. Then they, including the President, said it was the work of suicide bombers, in which case, the police could announce “Case closed”, because the culprits are dead, too. But here comes another theory claiming that two Indonesians did it. When it the real story coming out?

***

Is the world now blowing hot and cold? The contrasting reports we get from the media appear to indicate so. In the United States, for instance, the state of Minnesota has registered such a cold weather, with grounds frozen. A beautiful photo by Reuters shows the intensity of the freeze – they pictured several men’s jeans, or pants, standing up by themselves on the snow, showing how stiffly frozen they were! On the other hand, Australia reported a heat wave that was best portrayed by pictures of dead fish in one of its rivers!

***

And it was a study in contrast, too. Because while there were floods in the Southern part of the country, there were wildfires in the north. How thankful we should be that our own country is not subject to such extremes. We may experience floods and heat waves but never have we gone through all those. We should be thankful to belong to a temperate area, where we do not have to go through that. Oh, we have our floods, too, but I guess, our people have learned how to deal with them. We are a fortunate people, indeed.

***

The Bacolaodiat fever is now in the air, and Bacolod City is again on fiesta mode. This time, which is the 14 th celebration of this colorful Chinese flavored fiesta and the Filipino Chinese community is going all out to make it the most memorable of all. Think of having the Philharmonic Orchestra, coming down to jumpstart it! And the entire community, as well as people from other towns and cities, especially those with Chinese connections, are joining in to make it the most successful ever. I dare not say the prescribed greeting for fear of misspelling it. But the spirit is thing.

***

We’ve got a STAR! No. I am not talking about the DAILY STAR, that has become a newsbearing light to our community, but about the one reportedly earned by our own airport from the Official Aviation Guide and On Time Performance Star Ratings for Airlines! And what do you know! Bacolod is one of the ten airports in the country that got the accolade. Does it seem unbelievable, or a “hometown decision?” I am afraid I am one of those who think so, considering how many times I have heard people complaining about their flights being delayed, whether to or from Manila. Well, perhaps their criteria is not the same as ours.

***

Meanwhile two philanthropic ladies from Manila have come to town as their own way of helping the war-torn city of Marawi. My old friend, Jinggay Gallardo and Menchit Ongpin, are using fashion to do their thing, i.e. they are promoting and selling fashion jewelry made by the women of Marawi who returned to their devastated city where their homes once stood. Jinggay and Menchit are helping them to sell their products and will be in Talisay City until this afternoon. They believe the jewelries can meet the discriminating taste of Negrense women.

***

By the way, the sale is going at the residence of Bu Arnaldo Ongpin at 29 Pacific Drive, Verdana Avenue in Talisay. Bu is the daughter of the late Rex Arnaldo and Henrietta “Inday” Torres-Arnaldo of Bacolod City. I was very sad – and I know other family friends will feel that way, too – to hear of Inday’s passing away last December 26. She was a very good friend and schoolmate almost all of our high school years, and even in the years after, we had made her home a meeting place for our schoolmates. May she rest in peace.*

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