To mock a terrorist
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - November 23, 2016 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY – Terrorists are no match against Filipinos especially foodies and shoppers. In an apparent show of defiance, Davaoenos and visitors to Davao City have opted to stroll, shop, eat and even get massages at the very place were terrorists left IEDs or Improvised Explosive Devices that killed approximately 14 people and injured 70 others last Sept. 2. Yes, there is some apprehension about what others call tempting fate but many of those who’ve returned, do so as a sign of indignation and a display of courage as well as a rebuke of terrorism.

While passing through the area, my host made an effort to point out to me a small “monument” where the blast occurred and told me that people put up the monument to honor those who were killed in the blast. People actually placed flowers around the mini monument. As an outsider, what I saw was the living monument of people who defiantly confronted the threat and potential of death or physical harm just to reclaim their normal lives. I applaud the people of Davao and the tourists who intentionally go to the place not to be gawkers or morbid selfie-posers, but to show their support for the living and pay respects to the dead. As for the shopping and eating, I can’t think of anything more insulting than to feast instead of cower and live in fear!

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It’s interesting what one learns and discovers in the field of cargo handling especially when shipping live animals. I recently acquired a not so common breed of chickens called “Shamo” that can grow somewhere between two to three feet tall and weigh up to five kilos that we intend to breed with native chickens to develop our own “Free Range” type of birds. With the right set of feathers they can actually pass for ButterBall Turkeys! Anyway, we tried shipping them a few weeks back and I discovered that it’s not as simple as checking them into cargo. You first have to find out if the airline has a “Ventilated aircraft” scheduled for the time you want to send your live animals whether it’s a bird, a chicken or a dog or they will die. Someone I know who is engaged in breeding chickens for dispersal purposes bought a rooster and two hens (Referred to as a TRIO) from some province and had the trio shipped to another province. The chickens arrived ice cold dead and that was when he learned about “Ventilated planes.”

Recently I spotted a news item about a fighting cock enthusiast who bought three roosters for an alleged price of P35,000 each. He had the chickens shipped from Mindanao to Manila and when he went to claim his prized roosters he was informed that a Belgian Malinois (K9-Dog) managed to get out of his transport cage and killed all the chickens it could find. Fact or fiction, the airline involved has reportedly stopped using ventilated planes and refuse to accept live chickens on their flights from that particular location. I just hope that it’s a temporary thing because the transports= service for live animals is a vital need in agriculture as well as animal welfare. Shipping live animals by boat or land is too stressful and complicated.

While that incident was tragic, another shipper had to literally catch chickens at a cargo terminal because the shipping box containing his chickens had apparently been left standing in a wet spot so the box essentially dissolved at the bottom. When the cargo agent lifted the box, the chickens started falling out and a wild chase ensued with other customers helping to catch the frightened birds.

Going back to the giant Japanese chickens called Shamos, the problem my shipper encountered was the fact that the standard box used for shipping fighting cocks are too small and flimsy for the gentle giants. So the shipper fabricated a box but learned that it did not conform to shipping standards! After explanations and actual testing, the cargo personnel finally conceded. So if you ever find yourself needing to or planning on shipping precious or costly live animals, you might be smarter by buying those “hard shell” shipping crates with a pad lock. If the animal happens to be a pet or a valuable part of business project, the last thing you want is for it to be a chew toy for a demon possessed K9. And if you’re buying a live animal, pet or breeder, don’t buy it until you’re absolutely sure it can be shipped. Also have a back-up plan for re-routing as well as a holding area or house where you can lodge the animal if it takes forever to wait for a “ventilated plane.”

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In case you consider yourself a prayerful person, a patriot or a prayer warrior, you might want to join in prayer as the 41st National Prayer Breakfast is observed tomorrow morning, Nov. 24 starting at 8 a.m. at the Club Filipino, Greenhills, San Juan. Leading the speakers and sector representatives will be Pastor Joey Umali Jr. and Atty. Jose Villanueva. To deliver the prayers are Bishop Rodolfo A. Juan (invocation), Atty. Jose Tan Ramirez (special prayers for President Duterte and his cabinet members), Cito Beltran (prayer for the nation), Bro. Jesus Benito Sison (For blessings and prosperity),Bishop Manny Carlos (for national reconciliation), Bishop Oscar Randy Dauz ( for peace and justice).

Also participating are Mayor Guia Gomez to give the welcome address, Justice Ruben Reyes (to deliver the President’s opening remarks), Dr. Nona Lucero and Collector Ramon Manahan ( scripture reading), Atty. Roberto Barrales (to introduce the speaker), Pastor Roberto Rebullida (closing prayers), Bro. Arnel De Pano and Sister Annie Reyes (emcees) while the Central and Kamuning Methodist Choirs and His Dwelling place Ministries perform the hyms of praise. If you can’t be there please try to say your own prayers for the nation, our leaders as well as all Filipinos here and abroad.

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