Opinion

Here, There, and Everywhere in January 2021

Bits and Pieces

Jahara A. Solaiman

It’s the first month of 2021, and while the euphoria associated with the start of a new decade is understable, one can also sense the apprehension of what lies ahead. 2020 was definitely not a good year for many people globally, and many lives had gone downhill, or worse, rock bottom. This is not to say though, that this yeaar is not to be met with hope and optimism that things will turn around and change for the better. And so here we are, praying that this year will bring better experiences and better memories, the Almighty willing.

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How did Morolandia fare in this pandemic? While the relatively low numbers of reported cases compared to the rest of the nation is something to be relieved about, the common people, especially those in the lowest steps of the socio-economic ladder, have suffered the most. Once a rare sight in the streets, local men, women, and even children have taken to the streets to beg for whatever amount the more fortunate could spare. Those who still have a sense of dignity remaining in them have taken to selling inexpensve goods and services. Could our leaders, hopefully, take notice of this and do something, preferably before and not the period immediately before the next elections?

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Along this note, perhaps it is a good idea that the populace should reach out to local businesses and patronize local establishments, and encourage entrepreneurs to put up more businesses that will provide services and goods that we would normally go to other cities for. The lockdowns and quarantines of last year have pointed out to Lanao del Sur and Marawi City a painful truth: we cannot rely always on other cities for our necessities. The moment cities like Iligan and Cagayan de Oro close their borders, Lanao del Sur is rendered almost helpless. How about a branch of Mercury or even Rose Pharmacy here, or a decent supermarket, instead of milktea houses?

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Iligan City will be adding Puregold to its roster of establishments, with the possibility of KCC Mall and SM to follow. Marawi City, when will be YOUR turn?

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Metro Manila and some adjacent towns in the area have announced free vaccinatons for their residents.  Soon they will probably be on Phase 1, Phase 2, or even Phase 3 of their vaccinations. Here’s hoping that BARRM will not be having only Phase Shield.

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Yes we heard it correctly. Senator Tito Sotto has filed a bill for the granting of a new franchise for ABS-CBN.  It it a ploy to keep Ang Probinsiyano going, or an early attempt to gain support in the next polls? Interesting.

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Queen Elizabeth II just gave a Filipina nurse the ultimate recognition of a British Empire Medal for keeping the nursing home she works for Covid-free from March to December 2020, while our own frontliners have to deal with delayed salaries and delayed or even no hazard pay. It shouldn’t take a genius to understand why the best and the brightest of our professionals have to leave our shores just to get decent treatment and pay in other lands.

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Friend: I can’t take this anymore! Why is this country going to the dogs?

Me: When 16 millon people elect a set of clowns, expect a circus.

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New year, new decade, new beginnings. May we all be blessed in spite of the uncertainty. The best is yet to be.

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