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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, November 14, 2017
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

The Duterte Serenade

Ninfa Leonardia Well, aren't they still like little rascals, the way they talk to each other. When the leader of North Korea was reported as having referred to him as an “old man”, the leader of the United States fired back that he never called him as “Short and fat”! Their mothers obviously never washed their mouths with soap and water. But what can you expect from the Korean spoiled boy who likes to play with nuclear stuff, and from the American rich man who seem to consider his country his personal property?

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But U.S. President Donald Trump is more conciliatory. He says he believes they can still be friends someday with Kim Jung Un of NOKOR. Is the feeling mutual? Kim apparently wakes and sleeps with conquest of the world, if not its total destruction, on his mind. Could he be the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler? Somebody should advise President Trump strongly not to fall into his trap. The boy ruler is just itching for an opportunity to play with his deadly toys.

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I'm sorry I missed the whole of the Duterte Serenade and caught only the tail end of his song. Well, his rendition was not in any way of Tawag ng Tanghalan quality, but puede na. If it could get us billions in aid from all the wealthy countries whose leaders were in town, why not? Let him sing his heart out, anyway they will also be too polite to stuff their ears. With all the activities, starting from their initial gala dinner, the foreign leaders must have concluded that ours is a music-loving country, indeed.

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But what is this we also hear that Vice President Leni Robredo was left out of the action when the visitors started arriving in town? It was ex-president and now Congresswoman Gloria Arroyo who did the honors of receiving the guests at the airport. VP Leni was nowhere in sight. Not even in the gala dinner? Tsk, tsk. Were they afraid she would charm some of the leaders present? By the way the goodlooking and charming Justin Trudeau of Canada again stole the show with the fans who again mobbed him wherever he appeared. A pity the other rock star of APEC days was not there.

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While we are focused on the international gathering of leaders in our country, we have somehow ignored the reports and pictures from India, especially, New Delhi and also in Johore, where people now go around their streets wearing masks. This is because of the thickening pollution plaguing them, that seems to have cast a cloud on their land. How will their government address this problem? And aren't we edging towards a similar situation ourselves with all the pollution emitting from the vehicles on our streets? Come to think of it, the Transportation Department has a point is wanting to replace very old vehicles, because they are the worst polluters.

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But before we launch into that subject, let the government first find a painless way for vehicle owners, particularly transport vehicles like jeepneys and buses, to replace their units. This it could probably do by making available new units at reasonable lending rates with a longer term to pay. And also assign a government bank to be the one to finance them and monitor them. Otherwise we may find ourselves going around masked like bandits and, for that matter, making it easier for hold-uppers and snatchers to get away, unidentified!

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I envy the people in Manila who could go and listen to Engelbert Humperdinck sing his memorable songs. I got introduced to his music when I was working in Makati and an officemate who had moved to the U.S. sent me what must have been his first LP record. Oh how my friends and I swooned over it. We would play it over and over, despite the fact that doing so was clumsier because one had to lug around a record player. What I read in the news about his latest Manila sortie was that he is good as he was 50 years ago. Maybe it's that kinky name that keeps him going.

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I don't know about you, but I got my first Christmas card of the season yesterday. It came from the ever thoughtful daughter of Susan Roces and Fernando Poe, who again led the rest in the greetings line. I am so happy that Grace is as nice and friendly as her mom, who was our student at LCC high school, used to be. Those who voted for her as senator must be pleased with her performance, as who knows? The Lord must have other plans for her later and the bid for the presidency, through rather premature, could have been just a rehearsal. Bless you, Grace, your mom and your family, too!*

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