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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, January 8, 2019
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with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

At least extension, not expansion

Ninfa Leonardia

Whose bright idea was it to call our National Weather Bureau “Pagasa”? Oh, I know that its real name is the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration that is quite a mouthful, and truly deserves an abbreviation. But the choice of “Pagasa” does not seem quite appropriate because people do get confused that the shortened version actually means “Hope”, and most of the news and reports we get from it make us feel hopeless.

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Note that this early in the year, Pagasa has already warned that four tropical cyclones are expected to harass our country in the first five or six months of this very new year. Now, is that a hopeful sign, especially for people whose main business involves traveling, especially by sea and air? Already it has adopted names for those weather disturbances that are picked in alphabetical order. Most of them are female names, too. I remember a time when only female names were given typhoons but the macho section complained, and now there are masculine names, too.

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Anyway, I was surprised to find that the names include mine, well, not exactly, as they spelled it “Nimfa” and mine has two “n’s,” and also Perla, which is the name of my only sister, whom we had to rush to the hospital on New Year’s Day, and is still there until now. But the good Lord has been kind to us and has answered our collective prayers, and yesterday all the tubes and attachments were removed and she is her usual demanding self! But the predicted disturbances may not be all that we can expect. Pagasa also says there may be more, and it is already prepared to baptize them all Pinoy names too.

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Meanwhile, I do not know Mayor Carlwyn Baldo from Adam, but I’m sure a lot of people already know he is the main suspect in the killing of Congressman Rodel Batocabe of Albay. However, I think it is not quite fair of his party to pull out his nomination for reelection based on his implication in the killing. Surely they do believe that one should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, by the courts, that is? What if he is able to prove his innocence later? But it is his party that has abandoned him, the Comelec has apparently not prejudged him. That’s the way of politics, I guess.

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Despite the opposition of some members of Congress, it looks as if Martial Law in Mindanao is going to be extended. Even calls to the Supreme Court may not lead to the declaration of the move to invalidate the plan of the “Palace”, or you-know-who, to extend it. For how long, however, the reports do not say. This will be the third time it is being extended, and we don’t know how the people there think about it. As for us in other parts of the country, let’s just thank our lucky stars it is only “extension” they are planning not “expansion”!

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Now Pinoys are looking forward to the coming fight between our National Fist, or Pambansang Kamao, Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, against Adrien Broner, who is more than 10 years younger than him. But that does not seem to worry Manny, who still has the drive as well as the confidence to teach his brash challenger a lesson. Anyway, expect another traffic-free day, and all household radios and TV sets to go full volume during that very hour on January 19, which is already next week, when our Pambansang Kamao goes into the ring. But don’t forget to pray for him, because he has brought honor to our country!

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I will miss my “Vegas Gang” this time. These are the relatives and close friends of Manny’s family in various states in America, who all flock to Las Vegas, or to whichever state his fight is scheduled. The times that I was in Las Vegas, and even in Macao, where he had his fight, I also gained more friends among his fans and kin. And I found them very simple people, and friendly, just like him. I noted, too, that he could recognize them all and was very nice to them.

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In the meantime, I am glad I can watch the annual procession of the Black Nazarene being held between the Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church in Manila tomorrow, January 9. This is one of the biggest events in the big city, that draws devotees of the Nazarene from various parts of the country, most of whom are hoping for help from the Lord, or giving thanks for favors granted. I have actually watched the procession once, several years ago, and it was indeed, a tremendous experience and manifestation of fate from the Catholic community. The media will be full of reports on it to supplement what you saw on TV.*

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