Issue of January 14, 2018

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Do not be taken in by surveys

President Rodrigo Duterte’s popularity ratings are up, higher even then when he first took office a year and a half back.

Rather curious, if not misleading, I do not think a sampling of say 3,000 respondents truly reflects the national sentiment, not unless the survey is conducted on a house-to-house basis in much the same way when the government conducts a population count.

Otherwise surveys mean practically nothing.

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In the U.S., Donald Trump says that Americans never had it so good under his presidency, but judging from street protests and media’s apparent hostility, (CNN in particular), it appears that he is more despised than beloved, a public perception to which Trump turns a blind eye.

For other Americans who remain loyal to Trump, or those who equate bluster with heroism or a leadership, Trump is America’s answer to their prayers, and if truth be told, Democrats are having a hard time on who to pit against Trump in 2020, something that righteous thinking Americans are not keen about, scared as they are of women with strong personalities. Oprah?

Poor Hillary, that was what did her in.

Their motto? I am always right, seldom, if never, am I wrong.

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Back here at home, the millions of devotees who took part in the procession honoring the Black Nazarene appeared to be a gauge of how desperate we are as a people.

When you crave for a better life, the only way you know how is to plead to the Almighty God to bless you with good luck, and unless I am mistaken, the lotto sale of tickets on the day following the Quiapo rites soared to a record high.

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And probably, a good number of the devotees were moms who live in constant fear for their children – that a wayward son will not suffer the same fate as those killed by “policemen”, vigilantes, or hired killers.

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What a relief, the hundreds of thousands of visitors and tourists who came over during the holiday break have all left and gone back home.

Hopefully, the traffic will ease a bit, and the prices of vegetables and other commodities will slide back to their original costs.

By the way, while our claim as a Summer Capital of the Philippines is being contested by other tourist spots like Boracay and Tagaytay, no one will dispute that (without a doubt), we are the Christmas break vacation resort of the country.

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But wait up, traffic is still bad albeit no longer horrendous.

Well, there are just too many taxicabs plying our streets, too many new car owners.

Believe it or not, in my growing up years, I knew who the car owners in the city were. Today, everybody owns his own vehicle. All policemen (except for the rookies) own cars, as well as all government employees and barangay officials.

For the lesser citizens, they have their own motorbikes, and one vehicle per family if not enough for the moneyed.

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Parking becomes a problem, but it seems the city is sleeping on the job, allowing car owners to park on city streets without collecting fees and not building parking structures in strategic areas.

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City Hall is boasting however that its income has been bolstered by the fines paid by offending motorists, but the question is – who made more, the city, or those tasked with the duty of enforcing traffic rules and regulations.

I mean, why would a motorist bother himself with lining up just to pay a fine, when he can settle the problem right on the spot.

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Pinoy humor:

One friend to another: “Aren’t you concerned that you owe people several debts?”

His friend’s reply: “My actual and bigger concern is from whom I can borrow again.” Hindi problema ang utang, ang problema kung saan o kanino naman makakautang.

One gambler to another: I tried calling you up on your cellphone but the answer that I got was – “Sorry, but this phone is currently pawned to Villarica.

Again I end this column with one more line from my favorite song of yesteryears.

“May there be a silver lining back of every cloud you see, and may the good Lord bless and keep you whether near or far away.”

God Bless!

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