Daily Star LogoOpinions


Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, August 10, 2020
Front Page
Star Business
Opinion
Sports
Star Life
People & Events
Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

God blesses the Philippines

Ninfa Leonardia

What a strange coincidence it was yesterday that just when old song hits were being played on TV, the mellow voice of Perry Como crooning “It’s Impossible” came on! Was that a prophecy, or the TV host just happened to come upon the old record? I stayed on the program for a few minutes more, and then Jerry Vale came on, warbling “Go, chase a moon beam”. I hope he was not singing it for the people working to find a cure, or at least a vaccine for this mysterious virus that China has distributed worldwide.

***

As if the news coming out everyday weren’t getting more depressing than ever, here come the oil companies announcing increases in the prices of fuel. The increases are not too big, some P0.30 per liter only, but when you add up the number of liters you use up everyday, that would add up to a hefty sum. Will we go back to the times when calesas will return to the streets? But we don’t know if horses are also susceptible to COVID-19. By the way, among the most affected, according to the latest news, are the inmates in the National Penitentiary and other detention centers. Not surprising, because it is doubtful if they could maintain social distancing!

***

I am sure the entire world is sympathizing with the people of Beirut, Capital of Lebanon, where a deadly blast shook the city, ignited fires and 154 were killed, and more than 5,000 injured. The blast was traced to a big stock of ammonium nitrate stored in a government facility for years which the administration had ignored. The country’s president who does not seem to be very popular with his people, does not want any international agency to initiate an investigation. Reports say the people are very angry at their president, but apparently do not have the guts to use People Power! I hope they will take a cue from the Philippines. Remember how we sent an unpopular president fleeing to Hawaii?

***

The last time my sister Perla and I visited Hawaii where we were invited by a former DAILY STAR staff member, we made it a point to see the cemetery where the deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos was buried. It was a simple raised tomb, something his Imelda would not have agreed with. But last year, when we were in Manila for the burial of our cousin, Orlando Ramos, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, we asked to see the place where Marcos’ remains has been interred, we found it grander than any of the real heroes lying under the “crosses, row on row”, as in the Flanders Field poem.

***

I know that they have the right to come home because this is their country, too, but could not help being concerned when I read about the 124,717 Overseas Filipino Workers, or OFWs, who have just returned to the country. Think of all those workers with nothing to do here, unless they had been prudent enough to save enough of their earnings abroad to tide them and their families over during these crucial days. Because nobody, no scientist, no genius, or fortune teller has yet predicted when this virus will go away. Yes, the glib American President has announced that “it will go away”, but nobody thinks of him as a prophet. I am sure he cannot even predict if he wins another term, he is only, as the song goes, “Singing in the rain”.

***

Why was the head of the PhilHealth absent from the hearing on the alleged anomalies in the department? Reports say he got sick and could not attend. If we are malicious, we could suspect him of malingering, but he has reportedly revealed that he is suffering from “lymphoma”. I don’t know much about the ailment, but does it erase your memory and keep your mouth shut? Alas, the hearing with his subordinates has not been publicized much, if it did take place, so we are still in the dark about the mysteries at the PhilHealth.

***

Will classes open on August 24? That had been announced before, but from the reactions of both teachers and parents, it seems there is still a great possibility that they may not. That is now only two weeks away, and had there been any official declaration that this pandemic will be under control by then? Also, the myth that only the elderly and not the young are affected has been belied by recent reports, so why are we risking lives for education? I hope education authorities think twice about this. Parents, too, should make their views known so any decision on that will be made with the concurrence of those affected.

***

Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology has confirmed that no vaccine has yet been discovered or concocted so let us continue to pray and hope that a cure, at the very least, will be found. In a sense it is telling us not to expect too much along that line. But maybe we Filipinos still have much to thank the Lord for. The United States, with all its facilities, and brilliant minds has, until now, not discovered an antidote to this virus, and has probably the highest number of cases worldwide. God is still good to the Philippines, and let us never forget to thank Him for that!*

back to top

   
  Email: visayandailystar@yahoo.com