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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, January 25, 2019
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Can history repeat itself?

Ninfa Leonardia

It should have been a compliment to Jollibee that a Chinese company has tried to imitate its offerings, and even adopted a name sounding very much like its own. But business is business, and I am glad to note that Jollibee is not taking this sitting down, literally. It is reportedly filing a case against the Chinese company, but I guess it will be in an international court, not in the Philippines. Later, perhaps, Jollibee should get a franchise to open its own, and genuine branches in China.

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It has done this in the United States where there are now several Jollibee outlets that are said to be very successful. I was in New Jersey when it opened its first U.S. branch, and I could see the long line of people, young and old, waiting to order the offerings of the eatery. By the way, the story of Jollibee is one success story that the Philippines should be proud of. When I was taking a course at the Asian Institute of Management, the case study assigned to our class was the Jollibee story, and indeed, it is a very interesting one about a couple’s industry and sacrifices. Let us join them in their protest that is also in protection of our products.

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But the item that caught immediately my attention was the one that said the House of Representatives has approved the use of medical marijuana on second reading. It even said that the House voted unanimously for it. Never mind that it only acted after both President Duterte and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said they supported it. The intention seems reasonable, because there are, indeed, many ailments that could benefit from the medical application of what has been considered a dangerous drug.

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Of course we agree that its use should be under the strictest regulation, with heavy penalties for its abuse. It seems that the most ardent advocate for its legalization is now Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo who admits that she had used it in patches for her back pains, but qualified her confession by saying she does it only when she is abroad, not while in the Philippines. Let’s not take that statement apart nalang. But the prohibition holds for what they call “recreational marijuana”, because we know what that means.

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I was very happy to read the news about House Speaker Arroyo backing the proposed expansion of the Bacolod Silay and Iloilo airports. It is just like her to remember that these airports were her projects when she was president of the country. With her noted keen eyes, she immediately saw that the airports of both cities had become too small for their present status. She has assured that she will check with the departments and agencies concerned. Because she is not a candidate, but holds the very influential position of House Speaker, we know that she will make good her word. I personally know that she has a soft spot in her heart for the two cities.

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Like many other columnists, both in national and local media, this one cannot help writing more on the recent Pacquiao-Broner fight in Las Vegas, especially because the vanquished one still continues to boast that he had, in reality, won that encounter. Well, who can believe him with the reputation he has? And with millions all over the world actually seeing how inferior his boxing skills were compared to our Pacman? I am glad Manny never spoke about him, or commented on his rantings. At least our fighter is a gentleman, while he happened to be matched with a bum.

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The news item said the “revision” by the Supreme Court of the ballots involved in the protest of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., a.k.a. Bongbong, against the victory over him of Vice President Leni Robredo, has been completed. However, it does not say yet if this has already determined the winner. Which is probably why Bongbong has not filed for candidacy in any position in the coming election. Does he, therefore, hope to be declared winner and serve as vice president even for three or four months only? It looks as if it is “Go for broke”, as far as he is concerned.

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Former President Benigno Aquino III has expressed apprehension over the number of workers from China now in the Philippines. Well, people probably hadn’t realized that there could be something to be alarmed about, but I suddenly remembered an old story I heard after the war with Japan. Seems there were thousands of Japanese citizens working in Mindanao and they were very industrious, and mixed well with the people. But when war was declared, the Japanese laborers in the farms, factories and industries, suddenly threw off their work overalls, and put on uniforms of officers and privates of the Japanese Imperial Army! Is that likely to happen, can history repeat itself this time?*

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