TORONTO — (While I was writing this column I got an urgent message from my colleague, Belinda Olivares Cunanan if I could write a few words about the RH bill and why Filipinos should oppose it and hold their elected legislators responsible if it is passed in the coming week.
Pro-RH bill legislators paint the picture that it is needed by the poor. Yet you need only dig deeper to realize it is a war against the poor. There is the age-old saying that evil does not present itself as evil but as good.
RH bill is the local version of how to depopulate the world through enforced birth control and the target is the most vulnerable and helpless part of society — the poor. Rather than help them with jobs and more equitable distribution of wealth those who are pro RH bill are bent on making the poor pay for their own misery.
The legislators, most of whom have enriched themselves in office, do not want to find ways to alleviate poverty. That would be against their interests. They have acquiesced to the promptings of rich and powerful nations who prefer the short cut — just eliminate the poor physically. For this there are ”international funds” available.
To have many poor is not the cause of poverty but of a mismanaged country and stronger, more powerful countries that want a greater portion of the world’s resources. It is about greed. That is the bottom line. We are being misled. The RH bill story is an imperialist strategy against the poor of the world. It is not to fight poverty but a prescription on how to wipe out the poor. There is a difference.)
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Back to Toronto — With PAL’s expansion here, more Filipinos could be enticed to visit this off-the-track land of sub-zero temperatures (at least for me who thinks only US or Europe in this side of the world. As a tourist, I found Canada unique and so appealing. Many Filipinos have gone ahead and made it their home.
Philippine Airlines said Filipino-Canadians were among the largest visitor groups to the Philippines. Here are a few of the things we did in Toronto:
Still reeling from jetlag and cold, the group headed for the world famous St. Lawrence Market. All I wanted was a couple of bottles of pure Canadian maple syrup (Maple is the brand of Canada). But I ended up buying different flavored crackers fig and olive, cranberry and hazelnut, and rosemary with pecan. I was surprised to find Iranian dates in the market. The vendor gave me a taste — these were bigger and juicier than those sold in Manila. At the St. Lawrence market, they introduced me to “pairing” like drinking ice wines paired with dark chocolate.
National Geographic rates the St. Lawrence Market (SLM) as the best food market in the world. There are other equally good specialty markets such as the La Boqueira in Barcelona.
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I thought I knew about wines until I heard about ice wines made in Toronto. I never heard of it. Ice wine is exactly that. The winery crushes the grape while it is what they call “midnight frozen” meaning cold at zero. That way you get the essential sweetness of the grape.
The first stop for our education on ice wine was the Jackson -Triggs where we were shown the ice wine-making process. Ice wines are dessert wines. We had lunch at another winery — Inniskillin — where they gave us a sample of Riesling to take home.
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Niagara Falls did not disappoint as one of the natural wonders of the world. It was as awesome as described in books.
Did you know that the Americans fought the British on Niagara in 1812? It was a prized booty for which the two countries fought. The war endangered even the fate of Canada itself. For me, the awesomeness of the falls comes from the roar of the waters and that is how it got its name.
The Indians who lived in its vicinity called it ”Ongniaahra” meaning ”Thunder of Waters.” Ontario is within spitting distance of Buffalo, New York. It is a matter of crossing a bridge. We were still on Canadian territory but our roaming phones were already being greeted by ATT notices.
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This report would be incomplete without a few words on mining in Canada. I met Roger Dimmel, the commercial attaché of the Canadian Embassy at the dimsun lunch with the rest of PAL inaugural group in a restaurant called Pearl Harbor. He said few Filipinos know that Canada is a major mining country.
It is. Here is a brief description of Canada’s mining industry. “Canada is now one of the largest mining nations in the world, producing more than 60 minerals and metals. The mining industry is a major player in Canada’s economy and contributes nearly 5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Mining in Canada also accounts for 19% of the country’s total exports.
But more important the Canadians have been able to develop their mining industry because of the wisdom of its people and their leaders.
“Sophisticated equipment and leading-edge technology have vastly improved the efficiency and safety of mining operations in Canada, resulting in a safety record that meets or beats that of most other industries in the country. Through the use of advanced mining technology and best practices, Canada’s mining industry continues to work toward sustainability, seeking to minimize the impact of mining operations on the natural environment and the communities in which they are located.”
What we could do with our own mining advantages to give jobs to our people! Instead we have legislators pushing an RH bill for their own benefit.
According to this report, the mining and mining processing industries directly employed 363,000 Canadians in 2007. And more skilled workers are needed. Current estimates indicate that the mining industry will need thousands of additional workers each year up to the year 2016!
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Speaking of miners, Pusong Minero through PMSEA Louie Sarmiento sent word they have responded to Director Leo Dominguez request for water purifiers.
The group also gave bottled water to Sarangani and Compostela Valley today. PMSEA is helping a Malaysian medical team who is in search and recovery operations. Among mining firms who have offered help are Oceanagold, Carmen Copper, Nadecor Philsaga, Filminera Lepanto Marc Ventures and MIT MGM among others.