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Time to nag your officials

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

How blessed the Catholics in Iraq must be feeling! No less than the Holy Father, the Pope, came to visit them, ignoring the threats of the pandemic and any other dangers that could have been waiting for him in a country with a minimum of Catholics. Indeed, he must have been inspired by the Holy Spirit to go there. Who knows what miracles could occur after the sight of such a holy man, the head of the Catholic Church in the whole world?

***

Indeed, the Holy Father had received divine inspiration to schedule his visit to Iraq despite the dangers of these times. I am not talking about ordinary dangers, but the one posed by this virus that sprung up in China and speedily spread its effects to several other countries. So far, I have yet to hear  of a report on exactly how many countries it has terrorized, but one thing is clear: it is no respecter of class, color or territory. And it is no respecter of wealth or position, either.

***

But the Good Lord still loves His people. He has inspired our scientists and medical workers to come up with a vaccine that could save mankind from its viciousness. I hope and pray that this vaccine will be administered regularly hereafter, like the way we were inoculated as children from both childhood diseases and other ailments that could strike in our adulthood. Let us all hope and pray that the word “COVID” will no longer terrify us as smallpox had frozen our ancestors in fear.

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But now there is a vaccine, and lucky are those who had not encountered the COVID 19 while it was raging. Yesterday I got an email from a family friend in the U.S., Manny Salazar, with a picture of his nephew in Legaspi City, whohe said  was the first person there to receive the Sinovac vaccine. The nephew, Dr. Edbert General, probably wanted to demonstrate and convince  people to also get vaccinated. Asked for his comment after getting the shot, he quipped “So far, so good, Better safe than sorry”. Wise guy.

***

If you were a native of Palawan, how would you vote? There is a move to split that exotic piece of land into three parts, to be known as Palawan Norte, Palawan Sur and Palawan Oriental. I hear a plebiscite will be held so residents can vote and express their attitude towards the split. But I have not heard mention of areas, land areas, that is, of each segment. Well, it is good that their opinion will be expressed in the plebiscite. But me, if I were a resident there, I would vehemently oppose such move.

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But I guess it is a political move. Imagine the excitement of would-be officials if there were three provinces instead of only one? Three governors, three vice-governors, several mayors and vice mayors and hundreds of councilors! How many more officials to be paid, to be entitled to travel and other expenses, etcetera, etcetera. I hope they will hold the plebiscite after the next election, not in the coming one? I also hope that the hearts of the hopeful aspirants will not stop beating if they read comments like this.

***

Let us be glad, but pray that our own Mount Kanlaon does not throw a tantrum and erupt these days. InIceland , their Krysvic volcano is showing signs of eruption and the people living within its area are terrified. It is reported now to spew hot springs  and 17,000 quakes have been reported, but they do not sound really strong ones. So it is more the eruption that is scaring those residing near it. We can sympathize with them, having our own active ones, like Mayon and our very own Kanlaon.

***

I don’t want to be an alarmist, but I think this is no time to let our guards down as far as the COVID virus is concerned. Vaccines may have arrived  in Manila and perhaps some lucky provinces and cities whose officials had made “reservations” or “down payments” – whatever is involved – are cheering because their people may be immunized but it was also made clear that the amount will not be enough for the entire population. So, even when the vaccines come, never let your guard down, we may not be among the lucky province, city or town that will be able to get a share. Don’t forget to nag your government officials.*

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