Not sleepless in Seattle, amazed at Washington

Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - September 10, 2018 - 12:00am

SEATTLE, STATE OF WASHINGTON – We are staying for the weekend in the state of Washington, the northwestern most state of the USA, an hour and forty minutes from the Canadian border. Washington is one of the wealthiest states in America, home of Boeing, Microsoft, and where the world's biggest coffee chain, Starbucks, started in 1971. Seattle, its most famous city, is where Tom Hank's and Meg Ryan's “Sleepless in Seattle” was filmed. My whole family is impressed to know that Washington prides itself for having the highest minimum wage among the 50 states at $11.50/hour. My brothers and sisters earn at least $92 for an 8-hour workday or P4,876 daily, which is P126,776 a month, not counting overtime. Amazing.

We are staying with our siblings in a big ancestral home bought by my youngest brother, Jonathan, in a five-acre farmland in a town called Fipe in Tacoma City, Pierce County. It’s a beautiful paradise surrounded by oranges, apples, pears, red raspberries, and my brothers' small ranch of farm animals. We are told that Washington is America's number one agricultural state, and the number one producer of apples, pears, lumber, aluminum and other minerals. It is nicknamed "The Evergreen State". It has also has 4,000 miles of rivers and no less than 8,000 lakes. It has four out of the world's five longest floating bridges. More than 5,000 wild horses roam in the Yakima Indian Reservation. Fantastic.

My children are awed to know Washington is one of the most liberal states in the US, where same-sex marriage has been legalized. Also, it is one of only four states with legalized abortion. Washington also legalized physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia. And yet 60 percent of its population is Christian, of which 18 percent are Catholic. It is the state with one of the lowest black people, only 3 percent, but with 8 percent Asians including Filipinos. The political leaders are mostly Democrats like in California. Its governor Jay Inslee, and its two senators, Patty Murray and Maria Catwell are Democrats. Six of its 10 members of Congress are Democrats too.

More than 80 percent of the total glacial ice in the whole USA is in Washington. It has one of the country’s biggest forest reserves. It is also a manufacturing state. It is number one in aircraft and missile production. Four of the 20 Fortune Magazine's most admired companies are based here: Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft, and Costco. It is the home of many billionaires, including Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Bill Gates, and all the Microsoft billionaires. This state does not charge taxes on personal income, corporate income, or franchise. Our country has a lot to learn from this amazing place named after the first US president, George Washington, who might never have set foot on this impressive state.

Seattle is also the first US city to play a Beatles' song over the radio. It is also the home of Jimi Hendrix and Bing Crosby. The people are fun-loving and Filipinos are living a wonderful life in this state, also the home of the Seattle Sonics (NBA) and Seattle Seahawks (NFL).

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