Daily Star logoOpinions

Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Front Page
Star Business
Star Life
People & Events

Opinion Columns

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia
Perspective with Matè Espina
Rock & Refuge with Fr. Roy Cimagala

with Ninfa Leonardia

Is it the work of Commies

Daily Star logo
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
Editor-in-Chief & President


Busines Editor


Sports Editor
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
Advertising Coordinator

General Manager

Ninfa Leonardia We have gone through the sufferings of Holy Thursday and Good Friday, and have arisen to the Resurrection. I hope everybody has remembered to pray that the significance of the rising of Our Lord from  the dead will also mean our redemption from the trials we have gone through. Will we be relieved from the scourge of the coronavirus now? Will our medical men and scientists now get the inspiration to discover a cure, or a vaccine that will save future generations from a similar pendemic, Please, Lord, let it be!


As of the latest reports gathered from, what else, but television, since no national publications, much less international ones are reaching us now, your DAILY STAR has struggled to supply you, our dear and faithful readers, with as much  reports as we can gather under the circumstances. It is so gratifying to know that readers, our long-time “sukis” continue to bear with us and follow us online. Yesterday morning, I woke up to a text message from a very dear friend in San Francisco who did not forget that it was the 38th anniversary of the DAILY STAR!


That was my childhood friend and neighbor, Norma Bitanga Regidor, who has always been our constant rooter and supporter. Despite the years that she had moved to the U.S., had children and grandchildren there, she never forgets her roots, or the DAILY STAR that she has supported with her prayers. I hope and pray for this crisis to end, because it will mean her coming over for her annual visits. I always feel great relief when I get assurance that she and her family are safe.


It is worrisome, though, to hear the news that one-half of all the deaths from the coronavirus disease in New York is more than those of any other country in the world stricken by this virus. That is a source of worry and constant prayer for our family because that is where most of our relatives are based. We have prayed for them and worried over them, and, so far, nobody has communicated with us as to their situation. So we just console ourselves with the saying that “No news is good news”. And let it be, dear Lord!


The other day, I got so bored in my continued quarantine that I dared to “fly the coop”, in a manner of speaking. I went out, but stayed in the vehicle all the while and was able to visit some of my folks, especially those whose homes were close to each other. Even if I was not able to get down, and there was a tacit agreement that none of the usual effusive beso-beso would take place, it was nonetheless comforting and enjoyable. Just imagine, listening to the wisdom of the young, as when my sister-in-law, Mellie, was bitten by an ant. The wise advice of her three-year-old grandson was “Mommy Mel, when you see an ant coming, go away!” Such wisdom in the young!


It more than compensated for being scolded by my niece, Kara, when I got home and she found out that their “prisoner” had escaped! Ah, but it was worth it, having seen the latest addition to the clan, four-month-old Gianna, younger sister of Jacob, children of Joebert and Jen. And all the nieces as well, who flocked around - but at a reasonable distance, of course! I tell you, there is nothing like family for healing and inspiration! I am sorry for those who are so terrified that they cannot even go out to see their loved ones.


Now I wondered how the Americans, especially their officials who are up for reelections or planning to run for office are planning to conduct their campaigns. Can they do it without shaking hands with their potential voters? I am sure they cannot even make the kids’ method of “Appear-appear” because that would mean, not only coming close, but also touching! Will they just wave and cry out “Vote for me”? For sure there would never be any kissing of babies!


But what is this news we caught on the program, “The Wayne Dupree Show”, that infers that the coronavirus was concocted and purposely spread from its source? The report hints that the Communist Party is said to be hiding its information that makes the scourge directly attributable to it. It also says that it was a woman scientist who had discovered the virus, but the Communist Party stopped her from further researching on it. Is that credible? What does the reader think?*

with Matè Espina

Lives over profit


Two weeks into the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)  in our city and the entire province, some establishments thought it worthwhile to open their doors to paying consumers, probably to soften the blow brought about by the COVID-19 crisis on their finances.

 Among them was the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) that issued announcements they will be accepting payments for overdue bills within this week, some 15 days later than their due dates.

In their announcement, they said they are extending the same “leniency” extended to them by their own power suppliers.
 Naturally, knowing how particular CENECO is with overdue bills, the fear of immediate disconnection during these times is not something anyone would wish on them, thus a lot of consumers trooped to the power utility company yesterday morning to pay their bills.

 Since CENECO did not have the foresight, or probably just didn’t care about the dangerous situation we are in, it was chaos and footages of the scene even showed people milling around sans masks and there was even a pregnant woman lining up to pay her bill. Physical distancing was clearly not followed as everyone crowded into an area to escape the heat of the sun.

 Those who were monitoring the events via social media thankfully called the authorities and among those who speedily responded was Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran who went there, visibly irked by what he saw, and threatened to have the people dispersed by the police if they will not cooperate with the physical distancing protocol.

  That CENECO did not plan in advance what to do with their consumers when their doors opened, resulted to that chaos. They could have rented tents in advance, provided seats with the required distance from each other, mobilized more security guards or their employees to maintain order, placed sanitizing essentials where needed, and called back more tellers to hasten bills payment.

 The simpler way was to just cooperate with the local government and extend their so-called leniency as well. I for one will refuse to go out just to pay those bills, which in this nightmare we have been in the past two weeks is not in my list of necessities.

 Ah, but does CENECO care at all?

 It is not just CENECO who is suffering from this prolonged ECQ. All establishments are and the thought of picking up our pieces of life after the ECQ is lifted is horrifying, but heed we must with the order as lives are more important than profit.

 COVID-19 does not spare anyone. We have seen how the mighty have fallen, more so the images of bodies stockpiled in overcrowded morgues in Metro Manila.

 We are lucky that geographically, we are separated from the main capital by seas and luckier still that our local government units were quick to issue the lockdown order.

 None is spared from the misery of being cooped indoors in the past two weeks, some even more. The new extension means misery will be our company for two more weeks. But, if it will spare us from countless deaths and cases, we will all come out victorious.

 As Vice Mayor El Cid said, the only way we can go back faster to our normal lives is if we follow protocols. Yes, the consumers are partly to blame from all that chaos yesterday for taking the COVID threats on our lives lightly. That just shows how we’ve failed in our advocacy in making the public understand how serious this is.

 But I blame CENECO more for what happened as the directives are clear that if you open your establishment, you are responsible to ensure that protocols are followed. In yesterday’s case, their two security guards were just there, manning the doors, not caring what was happening outside.

 Concerned citizens had to call the police who attempted to restore order. At a time when our police could be elsewhere making sure that residents follow the ECQ to the core, they had to rescue CENECO from their stupidity.

 One netizen called out the power company for their incompetence. I have worse words for them for undermining the efforts of our city government to keep our community safe.

 I supposed if CENECO is a well-managed cooperative, they can certainly afford to extend payments for overdue bills. What’s two more weeks? If granting that CENECO was not able to ward off their power suppliers from collecting from them, if they cannot sustain a month-long lockdown, then that speaks of how that power coop is being managed.

 I personally believe that CENECO violated certain provisions in the ECQ for not putting in place certain precautions and restrictions.

  We are far from being in the clear. Let’s not waste our efforts. Please think ahead for the safety of all.*

Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala

Let’s count our blessings

Rock & Refuge

It’s unfortunate that some people are not happy with their lives. They feel they have been short-changed, exerting a lot of effort with little return as a reward. Some feel that they are unlucky in life since they seem to have failed to achieve their dreams. Others feel they were not given the chance to make full use of their talents or what they consider is their worth.

            Many people seem to be sad, frustrated, disappointed, disgruntled. Some have lapsed into a state of depression. The cases of mental illness have grown, and those of suicide are getting common.

            It’s understandable that they feel that way. We are human and we always get affected by anything that goes against our liking, our desires and dreams. But it’s also human for us to learn to be above all these possible scenarios in life, since we all know that life is some kind of drama with factors, circumstances and developments that are beyond our control.

            And yet we should not forget that God is always in control of things. If we could only have a strong and tight relationship with God, we know that everything serves a purpose and that everything is actually taken care of already by him. We should not worry. Or rather, we should not persist in worrying. The happy ending of our life is already guaranteed as long as we are with God!

            What we have to do is to simply be sport and game in life. We do all that we can, we try our best to win, to achieve, to conquer whatever is the issue, challenge or trial. But we know that in a game or race, we sometimes lose. We may even lose many times, or still even always.

            Yet if we have the correct frame of mind, we know that what is proper for us is just to move on, while trying to learn from our mistakes. Our defects, limitations, frustrations, and even our sins and falls are great teachers of values and virtues that we need to develop. And if we have Christian faith, we know that these negative elements in our life can strongly attract God’s attention, mercy and care for us.
    But before anything else, we should indeed count our blessings that we often take for granted. Imagine all these: God has given us the great gift of life, and together with it are our many endowments: our intelligence, our will, our memory and imagination, our talents.
      More importantly, he has given us the gifts of faith, hope and charity. And most especially, he has given us grace and the guarantee of our salvation, as long as we also do our part.
            These blessings should never be lost in our mind. They should trigger in us the constant urge to be thankful and to correspond to all these goodness with all our best efforts. When doubts, fears, worry, anxiety would come our way, we should just get back to these wonderful truths of our faith to bring us back to our proper state of joy and peace in our life.

            When we are not happy and at peace, we have to admit that we have a problem for which we have to find a solution. And the best and ultimate solution is the faith in God’s goodness, wisdom and mercy. We, of course, have to look for the human solutions, but we should remember that there are problems that humanly speaking cannot be solved anymore. We just have to learn to let go and move on.

            Thus, we also have to develop the virtues of patience, fortitude and optimism. Let’s remember that when we are made to suffer, we should avoid suffering alone. We have to suffer together with Christ, and that suffering of ours would acquire tremendous benefits for all of us!*


Email: visayandailystar@yahoo.com