American presidential elections
FILIPINO WORLDVIEW - Roberto R. Romulo (The Philippine Star) - April 7, 2016 - 10:00am

San Francisco, California — I have been glued to the TV watching the various commentators discuss the presidential candidates. For the last two days, Donald Trump has been the main topic regarding his inability to define his position on abortion. Both Republicans and Democrats have been criticizing him on his indecisiveness. His position on NATO and his nuclear stance vis-a-vis Japan and Korea, as well as the option using the nuclear bomb in Europe, has created doubt as to Trump’s competence to lead the nation.

One commentator opined the Chinese viewed him with both amusement and horror. Jason Bader, a radio host in Wisconsin, commented that Trump’s demeanor and grasp of issues made him unfit to be in the Oval Office. Almost every newscaster demeaned Trump. The highly respected anchor Dan Rather agreed with all the negatives but warned that 30 to 40 percent of the voters are loyal to him despite his shortcomings.

However, Ted Cruz decisively defeated Trump in Wisconsin. Many believe the Republican Convention will end in gridlock since no candidate will have the required number of votes. It may end up with a nomination by the GOP establishment for House Speaker Paul Ryan. If that is the case, there may even be a third party candidate in the person of Donald Trump.

In the general election, there seems to be a consensus that Trump will lose versus Hillary Clinton because 70 percent of the women voters dislike him, as well as the Latinos and African-American voters.

On the Democratic side, Sanders has also won. He and his supporters continue to believe he will win more delegates in New York, other states and California which will propel him to win the convention. Realistically, it will be difficult for Sanders to catch up with Clinton votes.

As a Filipino, I am horrified at the thought of Trump becoming president.  On top of his ignorance of foreign affairs, his track record on racism is anathema to me. My American pulmonary doctor considers him a flashback to the early ’60s when African Americans were discriminated against. His attitude towards Mexicans and Muslims is another manifestation of his racist attitude. Trump’s plan to block Mexican labor remittances to relatives is another worrisome aspect of his character

As a further comment, the debates and the openness of discussions in the American media does provide the voter the opportunity to understand both the good and bad of the candidates. Unfortunately, I am not confident the voting public have the same opportunity in the Philippines.

NAIA 3 and Cathay Pacific 

My wife and I departed from Manila on March 21. I was amazed at how inefficient the air conditioning system was at NAIA 3. Aware that the summer heat was stifling, I expected the air conditioning in a relatively new airport would be capable of handling the heat. It is inexcusable that the airport management installed a substandard system. I just read about the five-hour blackout last weekend. Again, I fault the airport officials for failing to do proper maintenance of the generator sets to ensure the system actually works during an emergency. At the end of the day, MIAA GM Honrado and my favorite poster boy for incompetence, DOTC Secretary Abaya should resign. 

I must commend Cathay Pacific for having installed fans to offset the shortcomings of airport facilities.  But it was still hot. The Cathay lounge was well appointed even as I expressed shock that the flooring was deteriorating, particularly in the toilet area. The workmanship leaves much to be desired. Is it the fault of the airline’s supplier or airport management again???

Our flight was delayed, partly due to the inefficiencies in air traffic control. On the other hand, the service of the flight crew was superb, both on the Manila-Hong Kong leg and the Hong Kong-San Francisco leg. Because of my lung condition, I have a need for oxygen which Cathay Pacific provided without charge, unlike other airlines.  The flight attendants were particularly attentive to my needs.  Cathay Pacific is a great airline with a well-trained staff.

 Romulo Cafe opens in London

My brother, Ricardo Romulo and family, together with my daughter Maritina left for London one day before our departure. The main purpose of their trip was to attend the launch of Romulo Cafe. His daughter Rowena Patricia, recently retired from JP Morgan (as a managing director) and decided to open Romulo Cafe in the UK. Maritina informed me that the affair was well attended by the affluent Filipino community and British friends. The location of the cafe is in the fashionable Kensington High Street area. Many of the guests expressed delight that “finally” there was a Pinoy restaurant that was not a “hole in the wall” in a low rent district. 








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