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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, August 27, 2020
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with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Rody and Leni are both healthy and strong

Ninfa Leonardia

Let us pray for the people of Texas in the U.S.A. Not only are they also threatened by this vicious virus that has been raging for several months now, they are also being warned against a hurricane named “Laura” that has led officials to advise residents to prepare for its onslaught. The government has readied shelters for those whose residences will be in its way, but they are also warned that the hurricane will leave a lot of damage. This, on top of the problems of the state over the coronavirus pandemic that has shaken the whole world.

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Why has attention lately been focusing on the President’s health? I recall that when he began his presidency, he had admitted frankly that he was being treated for two unfamiliar ailments, one of them called Buerger’s disease, but they didn’t seem to be life-threatening. But lately, when President Duterte has seldom been seen in public, naturally, news, fake and otherwise, have also been coming out about his condition. Well, it was good of him to appear on TV lately to assure the people that their President is still up and going, but, talks do continue that whatever he is suffering from now is attributed to his being a heavy drinker, maybe before he became president?

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And indeed, he has lately admitted that he used to be very fond of alcoholic drinks, and even confessed that he always had a “shot” before going to bed. What I did not hear him say is that he never touches the stuff now. Old habits die hard, they say, but if the man enjoys it, and it is not causing him to be vulnerable to certain kinds of diseases, well, let him have his fun. After all the hard work and the worrying he has to do, he deserves it. Maybe it eases his tension, or even inspires him in making decisions, so let him be. I doubt if even his doctors can stop him if he still wants to go on. Old habits die hard, you know.

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It does seem lately that the news from the U.S. is being dominated by their coming election. Challenging the incumbent, Donald Trump, is a former vice president, Joe Biden, the best bet of the Democrats. From the news networks, you would think that Trump is a sure loser for having been a do-nothing president. That was why I was surprised to learn from my balikbayan kin and friends that most Pinoys in the U.S. are for him. How was he able to charm them into supporting him, and what promises has he made to get their support? Well, if he does win reelection, he might be grateful to our Pinoys and give them extra privileges.

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I can just imagine the sleepless nights of the PhilHealth officials now that the focus is on their agency where the term “Mafia” was even applied to the group suspected of making free with the funds intended for the agency. Seems it has been discovered that much of the funds allotted to it had gone to private hospitals and other agencies not covered by PhilHealth provisions. Now it is PhilHealth. If our whistleblowers look farther, how many other agencies would be found making free with government money? Is PhilHealth being made a warning or an example?

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Yesterday, I was able to escape from my “detention” that has been going on for almost six months now, and what a wonderful world I still saw around me! This was because I was brought to a barangay somewhere along the way to Campuestohan where the air was fresh and cool and we were treated to a delightful lunch of seafood and fresh vegetables, straight from the plants themselves. How I wondered at the greenness of everything, the trees, the shrubs, the grass, were all sparkling from recent rains.

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I asked about the leafy trees that seemed to be flowering and was told they were lanzones trees. Oh, lanzones! One of the most popular trees in the country which abound in the area we went through. And yes, I was told the good news that the trees are nearing fruit-bearing. I then remembered that, indeed, September is the month when lanzones becomes abundant and the area we were going through is the source of some of the sweetest fruits of all. From the way the trees looked, it will be an abundant harvest, so prepare yourself for lanzones coming month. Just writing about it makes my mouth water!

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Is it my malicious mind, or was it just a coincidence that when Vice President Leni Robredo became the focus of news reports lately, the President also suddenly became visible, too? For some weeks, it seemed as if the President was also under quarantine except for the occasional pictures on TV. But after Madame Robredo was seen on interviews, looking healthy, and, yes, pretty, maybe the Malacañang folks also began prodding their boss to be more visible. Well, it is good to know that they are both healthy and strong, and there is nothing the matter in our country as far as leadership is concerned.*

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