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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, November 9, 2018
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OPINIONS

Manny in the U.K.

Ninfa Leonardia

It was only the midterm election in the United States, but it seems as if people are reading more into it than just the triumph of the Democrats in the Lower House. And if that were not enough to put the fear of God in incumbent President Donald Trump, we don’t know what can. This is because polls immediately after the election showed that former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, is leading Trump rivals in the party for the nomination of its presidential bet in the next election.

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Anyway, there is still a long way to go, and perhaps the Democrats want to give Trump more time “to hang himself” by making all those decisions that do not sit well with his people. One wonders what Hillary Clinton, who lost to Trump in that election, thinks now about the situation in their country. Does the cropping up of Joe Biden’s name, mean that she has totally given up her owns plan for the presidency? I think that is a pity, because America should also try to vote a woman into that office to see how different things would be. In this, we have one over them in that we have had two female presidents already, and compared to the male ones, neither did too badly.

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Is anybody surprised that it is a Chinese firm that is seen to get the plum that is being the third telecommunications company to service our country? The report on this by a national daily described the chosen firm as “a consortium of a Davao-based businessman and known supporter of President Duterte, and a state-owned telecommunication provider from China” and it is the possible challenger to the present providers, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company and Globe. Seems this was the only qualified bidder, but we don’t care to know what those qualifications are, do we?

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Meanwhile, Indonesia is grieving over the death of 189 people when a commercial plane crashed into the sea shortly after leaving the Jakarta airport recently. It was called an accident in reports, but stories that cropped up after it happened showed that the same aircraft had been noted by previous passengers not to be in the best shape as they had experienced some fearful moments during their flights. The lesson for all air travelers is that they should not be hesitant about reporting to the authorities if ever they experience something wrong with the plane they had taken as soon as they land. The plane from Jakarta apparently had not gone through checks or repairs before it ventured to fly again. Let the Filipino air passengers all be conscious of this, not only for the sake of all passengers, their loved ones, and also themselves. Remember what they say about an ounce of prevention?

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A recent picture of Britain’s Prince Charles shows him very old-looking although it was published to announce that he is turning 70 this week. At 70, most Filipinos still look 10 years younger, but poor Charles, he could even be mistaken for 80 or more. And with the apparent good health and sharp mind of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, who ascended the throne, I think, In her early 20’s, and is now nearer 90 than 70, his may be a long, long wait yet until he can feel the crown settle on his head.

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And it looks as if the Britons are not all that eager to have him become their king. It may have been different if his marriage to the beautiful and much admired Princess Diana had not hit the rocks, but it was of knowledge even before they broke up that he was still besotted by the unbeautiful Camilla, who was not only a divorcee (or widow?) but also was the exact opposite of the girl he married, but, apparently did not love. And that could be the reason why most British citizens are believed to be praying and hoping that Queen Elizabeth continues to be healthy and as astute as ever. “Long live the Queen!” must be their constant prayer.

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Meanwhile, boxing champ and also Senator Manny Pacquiao is making waves in the United Kingdom as guest speaker in two of that country’s oldest and most reputable universities. Photos show how attentive and probably impressed his listeners were to have the story of his life as Filipinos know it – the literally rags to riches development as well as his rise to become one of the country’s legislators. Surely, America does not have one to equal that biography?

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And, Manny Pacquiao, as I have personally noted him, has this humble and matter of fact way of speaking that must have surprised his listeners. Of course I think someone must have guided him in preparing those speeches, but his own simplicity and direct way of speaking certainly made a big impact there. As news reports told it, he mostly spoke about his poverty-stricken beginnings, how he developed his boxing skills, and gained all that popularity and respect that made him a shoo-in for the Senate – without even going through local government positions in his hometown!*

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