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God Save the Queen!

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

An EXPO in Dubai? I understand it is a world exposition with other countries participating. Well, that is very encouraging, that means things are normal enough for them to organize an exposition. But I wonder how many countries  are participating, or is it a purely local one? The most memorable World Exposition I have gone to was in Tokyo, Japan during a cruise organized by one of Bacolod City’s beauty queens, and a very talented woman, Milagros Araneta Villasor. I can no longer recall the names of all the other members of our group and had to consult my photo album as I write this.

***

I wonder when our country will hold its own exposition, like the one we attended? There were several participants who set up beautiful booths displaying the interesting attractions of their countries. Actually, it was a cruise organized to promote the services of a ship owned by a wealthy businessman in Manila who happened to have roots in Hinigaran. I’m sorry I can no longer recall his first name, but his family name was Loyola, and he happened to own the house in Manila where my brother Pros was boarding while reviewing.

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Mr. Loyola gave me and my sister Perla special accommodations, especially when he learned that I was writing a column for a Manila newspaper and some local ones. The booths of the participating countries were so attractive but we were a bit disappointed in the Philippine booth which was very simple. Anyway, the EXPO was not the only attraction of the cruise, as we also proceeded to Taipei and Hongkong later. All in all, though, it was very educational and developed closeness among us participants who, as far as I can remember includes Mrs. Lourdes Ciocon, Mrs. Elisa Yanson, then School Superintendent Mr. Fructuoso Yanson, and Justice and Mrs. Guillermo Villasor. I wonder if cruises like this are still being organized these days?

***

Excuse me for reminiscing, but these days, when one can hardly go out, meet and enjoy the company of friends, one can get very nostalgic and focused on past enjoyable events. In my present “solitary confinement”, I can only entertain myself with books and photo albums, aside from TV viewing. My only sister, Perla, is gone, I miss her so much, including the quarrels we often had. Out of us two girls and seven brothers, there are now only me, Pros and Bing, but we have the consolation of living in the same compound, so we are not as lonely as we could have been.

***

Sorry if I have bored my reader with my meanderings and reminiscence, but focusing on world events hardly give one pleasure nowadays. Everyday, we are fed with reports on the COVID stats, the number of those afflicted and the dead, which are hardly pleasurable when one considers how infectious it is. But when you move to international happenings, you also get heartburn thinking that China and Russia might team up against the United States and where will our tiny string of islands be? Do we have a choice on which to side with?

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Meanwhile, news on TV said that the Prime Minister of Japan was set to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden yesterday. I suppose we will be getting reports later on what will be considered “for general patronage”, but not on the nitty gritty of their talks. And  I bet they will not be talking about COVID only. But maybe we are better off than Brazil that is reportedly involved in a political chaos that has hampered its response to the pandemic. It is supposed to be good news that Hongkong is now open for tours, but how enjoyable would such tours be when you and your companions have to observe social distancing, and can only talk to each other through your masks and shields?

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But it is not yet time to let our guard down as far as the China-born virus with the nickname of COVID 19 is concerned. Another variant identified as the South African one has been reported to have come out and medical people are again struggling to find ways to deal with it. Malaysia is the country where the variant has reportedly been discovered. Now, that is in Asia, and let us hope travel between that country and ours has been controlled. Not that we are not neighborly, but this is now a case of  “To each his own”.

***

Do you know anybody who has been invited to the funeral of Prince Philip? I hear only 30 close friends have been invited, and the biggest attendance was from his troops, being a former military man. I am sure our country, though our President, has sent our condolences to the Queen and even if she doesn’t know us and we don’t know her, we surely condole with her, who had been such an admirable person despite her loyal lineage and position. So, even if she cannot hear us, we salute her and say “God save the Queen!”*

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