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Anywhere but where

Netnet Camomot .

“Rainy days and Mondays… Always get me down”?

 

AS Tropical Depression Samuel entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility, a little rain began to fall on Cagayan de Oro. It’s November, perhaps this is now the appetizer to December’s storms, with Sendong considered as a once-in-a-lifetime experience but has proven to be a warning for future calamities.

Those living in low-lying and flood-prone areas continue to prepare for the worst as they build additional floors to one-story houses.

To delay more occurrences of freak-ish weather conditions, the Pinoy is advised to recycle, segregate his garbage, use less plastic, switch to a vegan diet, plant trees.

With all the garbage on the streets of Pinas, recycling can be the solution to lessen the waste. But a recycling plant in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental is instead importing trash from South Korea because recyclable materials have to be sheared and apparently no one does that in Pinas. The solution must be for Pinas to learn how to shear so that the Tagoloan firm will stop using South Korea’s sheared trash which the firm declared as “plastic synthetic flakes.”

With Christmas so near and winter now felt in some parts of the United Stated and Canada despite the fact that it’s not winter yet, the flakes that people there are familiar with are snowflakes. Here in Pinas, the Pinoy has SkyFlakes. The stressed scalp may also have snowflakes—ugh. So, plastic synthetic flakes must be a new term for the environmentally aware Pinoy who would, of course, react to its importation.

As expected, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources reacted, too, and wants the trash returned to sender. Which must be familiar to those who still remember snail mail envelopes that were stamped with “Return to Sender” when the address and/or addressee could not be found. And which must be what US President Donald Trump wants for the caravan of Central American migrants who have reached the US-Mexico border, with many more expected to arrive there in a few days. The caravan had as much as 7,000 migrants at the start.

Venezuela also has had its share of migration as it lost at least 3 million of its citizens due to its economic and political turmoil.

The competition in any international beauty pageant used to be made more stiffer by the presence of a Miss Venezuela, with 23 of its representatives to the Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International and Miss Earth contests winning up to this year. But the crisis has driven some of its beauties to other countries which they now represent. There will come a time when a Miss Philippines will be originally from Venezuela—unless Pinas has a law against accepting applicants with no Filipino blood whatsoever flowing in their veins.

Migration allows people to be the best that they can be if they feel their country of origin can no longer provide opportunities for them, and Filipinos have been migrating since forever, propelled by their colonial mentality. For 2017, the number of Overseas Filipino Workers reached 2.3 million, a tiny fraction—2 percent—compared to the 2017 Philippine population of 104.9 million.

On the other hand, the 3 million Venezuelans who fled their country are 9 percent of its 31.98 million 2017 population which then increased to 32.38 million in 2018, making us wonder when the 3 million were considered in computing these figures. Or they’re simply fast in going forth and multiplying, unlike Japan which has to give cash incentives to parents who have given birth, at about 180,000 yen or $1,684 per baby. An island town has even leveled up its rate by increasing it for succeeding births: 100,000 yen or $940 for the first baby, and 1 million yen or $9,400 for the fourth one. Gosh. We are in the wrong country.

The Pinoy retiree, though, tends to come back to Pinas and live in the house he saved up for while working abroad. “Babalik ka rin,” as the song goes. But before they can return, families are communicating through Facebook, Messenger and FaceTime, and they learn to live with the separation.

If there’s freedom of speech, there’s also the freedom to be where you want to be. But there are laws to be followed, especially after 9/11 which has made the US praning. Since Trump believes an American needs a voter’s identification card in buying cereal, he could be the most praning of the three US presidents post-9/11.

Trump also said that “the Republicans don’t win and that’s because of potentially illegal votes. When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace what’s going on.” Hmmm. For a while there, I thought he was talking about Pinas where the mantra for now is, “Rain, rain, go away / Come again another day.”

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