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Think of the COVID instead

I felt as if I was the one honored when I read the news about Maria Ressa receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for Journalism. At last, the great awarding institution for distinguished achievements in journalism has been recognized, and not only by any run-of-the-mill organization, but by the committee heading the granting of awards founded in the name of a great man, Alfred Nobel. I am sure it will be an incentive for all of us in the profession, although we in “the boondocks” cannot even dream of matching up to her achievements.

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Anyway, her recognition was enough consolation that, at last, journalists who have excelled in the craft, and have kept their dignity and honor unscathed, are getting the recognition they are entitled to. Now Maria Ressa should be an inspiration to all media practitioners, and a reminder for them to hold their honor high without yielding to temptations that a lot of them have succumbed to. So, even if she does not know me, not I her, I felt as if it included all of those who have practiced journalism in this country, without succumbing to the temptations on the way.

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I do not know him personally, and have never met him, but I felt worried when I saw photos or TV coverage of our incumbent president looking unwell. Is he keeping the status of his health from his people who also worry when their leader does not look healthy as he seems to be lately? I hope he will not conceal his state of health from us because we do care about his physical condition. We have chosen him to lead us, so we should care about his condition. It is worrisome to think that he has not been very active recently.

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Of course there are rumors about his successor, and if, God forbid, he gets sick before the end of his term, we have his vice president, Leni Robredo who, I am sure, will be a competent leader. In fact, it is still a long way before elections, but since the incumbent does not seem eager to prolong his term, succession will not be a problem. But I think it is our duty as citizens of this country, most of whom opted for him to lead us in these troublesome times, and incumbent upon us to wish him well and even pray for his recovery from whatever ails him.

***

For a while I thought that the pandemic was being eased away by medications coming from other countries, but it seems that some parts of our country are still suffering from increases in the number of victims. Among them are the Ilocos Region and the Cordilleras, which I had always imagined to be healthy areas without the threat of what city residents have to suffer, especially from emissions from motorized vehicles. But lately, it seems the people there also suffer from polluted air that may be blamed on the various vehicles transporting people.

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I guess those are threats we are all going through since motorized vehicles are indispensable to us now. They say that even the Mountain Province, where one could expect fresh and clean air, is now feeling the change in their mountain atmosphere because if the growing number of motorized vehicles. Now I no longer disagree with people who used to describe motorized and gas-gulping modes of transport as “necessary evils”. But are they willing to return to the days of the calesas and other animal pulled carts? Progress has its costs, too, and among them is the convenience motorized and oil gulping vehicles we now find indispensable.

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Calling all “motorized” vehicle owners and users. Have you noticed that for several straight weeks there have been increases in the prices of gasoline, diesel and other oil products? I admit I hadn’t noted it, either, until I heard the news on TV. Are we to expect another hike this week? What about that such publicized report during the term of President Cory Aquino about findings of oil in some provinces? Whatever happened after that showing of a liquid, said to be oil? What did the studies on it prove?

***

While we are thinking and worrying about the COVID and how to conquer it, other problems of international concern have been cropping up in other areas. Some there are moves – or maybe just rumors now – that China is eyeing a takeover of Taiwan, and the latter is indignantly against it! As a streamer on TV said it recently “TAIWAN WON’T BOW TO CHINA”. Some people may think of it as a battle between a giant and a pygmy, but even if it takes their minds off the pandemic, this is still some for the entire world to worry about. Let us pray that they keep their peace and work on the COVID instead!*

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