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Sunday, September 24, 2023
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On 2020 and that visa requirement

BY the time this column sees print and/or appears online, it would have been a few days to the year 2020 and I read somewhere that 2019 is the last year with the number 19 at least until the next century comes along.

Unless someone finds the literal fountain of youth or some process is discovered that would prolong human life without resorting to cybernetics or something artificial (and ugly looking), most of us old enough to read this column including myself won’t be around to see that transition.

Which is fine by me since one should be thankful to the Lord God for giving the life he or she has or continues to live in.  Incidentally as I write this I wish to extend my condolences to the family of lawyer Edgardo Uy whose wife passed away recently.

Just as there is death, there is also life and I greet those who celebrated their birthdays on or a few days before and after New Year.  Every new year brings with it significant life events like birthdays and deaths and so we learn to appreciate life more whether it be ours or our loved ones and friends.

Anyways, on to 2020 and regardless of what year it is in the Chinese calendar (I learned that 2020 is the Year of the Metal Rat), may we thrive and prosper regardless of the challenges and trials that this year brings to us.

Just before 2019 ended, Filipinos were rudely greeted by the news that the Duterte administration will issue a requirement for Americans to secure visas when visiting the Philippines and it really ticked me off to no end.

My husband Ronnie was more vocal, saying that it would probably be better for us since it would mean less expenses traveling from North Carolina all the way to Cagayan de Oro City.

I shudder at the thought, since as a homegrown, aging and ailing Pinoy I want to spend time in both my birthplace of Tagoloan town, Misamis Oriental and nearby Cagayan de Oro City where I spent majority of my media career before leaving for the US in 2009.

I tend to agree with one of the US senators who got banned from entering the Philippines for supporting the call to release Sen. Leila de LIma when he said that President Rodrigo Duterte is taking the issue personally and elevating it to the highest level with this visa requirement for Americans visiting the country.

I would also imagine that this would also affect Filipino-Americans like myself and disappointment on my part is an understatement.

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