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Metro Cebu: Spared from the wrath of Pablo

There is no doubt that super typhoon “Pablo,” international code name “Bopha,” devastated many parts of Mindanao especially areas that have never tasted the effects of a typhoon. When it was first spotted before it hit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR), all metrological agencies pointed its direction to hit Metro Cebu. With this information, the Cebu Archdiocese immediately asked for prayers to the Sto. Niño, the Blessed Virgin Mary and our newly installed intercessor San Pedro Calungsod for whom we just held a Thanksgiving Mass last Friday. Behold, the super typhoon veered further south and only hit the southernmost town of Santander, Cebu.

Indeed, our prayers did work and Cebu was spared the agony of another typhoon “Ruping” which devastated us in the 1990s. If this time around there were fewer casualties, it is due to the fact that the National Disaster, Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) together with the local government units (LGUs) were better prepared and did not take any chances. Call it lessons learned from what happened when typhoon “Sendong” struck Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City and Dumaguete almost exactly a year ago. Back then, the LGUs thought that since Sendong was a weak typhoon, it would not result in any disaster. Little did they realize that Sendong carried a huge amount of water and thus rivers overflowed.

But in Cebu which felt the effects of typhoon “Pablo” last Tuesday afternoon, we only had rains and sporadic gusty winds. In fact yesterday morning the sun was already out. This led certain comments from friends in Facebook asking “Why were classes suspended when the weather is already fine?” This goes to show that people are never satisfied. Gov. Gwen F. Garcia suspended classes for Tuesday and Wednesday as a preventive measure. What if there were strong rains that would have inundated Cebu? I dare say it is time that we should appreciate the LGUs and the NDRRMC for their early preparation, evacuating more than 60,000 residents away from the typhoon’s wrath. Above all, we thank God for listening to our prayers.

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That front page photograph featured in The Philippine STAR’s Dec. 4 edition showing supporters for the Reproductive Health (RH) bill complete with violet banners and placards, calling upon Congress to vote for the RH bill, is visible proof of the huge amount of lobby money that has been given (hopefully not coming from Malacañang) to so many pro-RH supporters all over the country. As we have pointed out so many times already… this money is in the millions of dollars and could have been spent more wisely.

On the other side of the equation, we in the pro-life groups who are vehemently against the RH bill, have only used logic and reason in our effort to convince Congress not to vote for the RH bill. We are not given any financial support from anyone, especially the Catholic Church. Above all we never peddled lies, unlike the pro-RH who have used lies and propaganda to promote their cause. So what if P-Noy says that if he was a Congressman he’d vote for the RH bill. I respect his opinion, but as President he should never have allowed our people to be divided on this issue.

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Again, allow me to repeat what is happening in Singapore. Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew said that 20 years ago he asked Singaporeans to control their birth rate because their island was small and could not accommodate so many people. Today in a video interview, Mr. Lee said that “We made a mistake years ago in curbing our population growth. This is why we have to hire expatriates without which our economy would ground to halt.”

The same thing is true with the Japanese economy today, which has not grown in the last 10 years because there are far too many old people than young ones. For us in the Philippines, since we have not yet opened our natural resources to mining industry, our best resource are our own people, who are the most hirable people on this planet, bringing billions of dollars to our nation’s coffers. Yet Congressmen are asked to cut down on our best resource? I dare say pushing the RH bill is wrong for our economic growth.

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As we said in our last column, we will discuss the problems that would arise if the deaf mute sector would insist in having a Filipino version of the sign language instead of teaching only the international sign language that the whole world uses. My case in point is the word for “ant,” langgam in Tagalog. But in Cebuano, langam is the word for birds. Now tell me, how will the Filipino version of the sign language be demonstrated? How about the word “Libang”? For Tagalogs, you are having fun, but for Cebuanos, we are inside the “kubeta” or toilet doing our thing. So let’s cut the bull about having a Filipino version of the sign language and adopt the English version.

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Email: vsbobita@mo-pzcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com

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