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Shamelessly desperate

Netnet Camomot .

THERE’S no news yet on Pope Francis accepting the Million Dollar Vegan Campaign’s challenge for him to adopt a vegan diet for Lent. But he reportedly sent a reply to Genesis Butler, 12, the vegan activist who challenged him.

His response was made through senior priest and Assessor for General Affairs Paolo Borgia who wrote, “His Holiness Pope Francis has received your letter, and he has asked me to thank you. He appreciates the concerns about care for the world, our common home, which prompted you to write to him. The Holy Father will remember you in his prayers, and he sends you his blessing.”

That’s kind of, he will pray for the success of your vegan journey. And it could also mean he has not accepted the challenge. Beyoncé and her hubby Jay-Z could be your diet buddies then.

Beyoncé announced last month through Instagram an online contest where fans are required to go vegan for a month, with one lucky winner to be randomly chosen from those signing up for the contest. AFP reported that the prize would be “a pair of tickets annually for 30 years to concerts by Beyoncé and/or Jay-Z, an estimated retail value of $12,000.” That’s definitely a huge Yay!—if you’re a fan. If you’re not, better wait for Pope Francis to go vegan.

Uh, 30 years?! Beyoncé and Jay-Z will be 67 and 79 by then. Whoa.

The same AFP piece revealed that Beyoncé has her meatless Mondays and plant-based breakfasts, while Jay-Z has two plant-based meals daily. So, they’re not absolute vegans? Hmmm.

Water still remains as the best partner for a vegan diet but not if you’re living in some parts of Metro Manila where water has become as rare as the humongous engagement ring that Jennifer Lopez received from Alex Rodriguez. Worth: $1 million to $5 million. Wow.

That is, rare for the madlang pehpohl but not for Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin who have been charged for allegedly giving bribes in the amount of $15,000 and $500 thousand, respectively, to ensure their children’s admission to college. Talk of desperate. Huffman was one of the actresses that starred in the television series, “Desperate Housewives.” And talk of shameless. Huffman’s husband, William H. Macy, stars in the television series, “Shameless.” Coincidence?

The investigation on “Operation Varsity Blues” began in May 2018 and so far, 50 people have been charged, including the scheme’s mastermind, William Rick Singer, 33 parents, coaches and other school officials and staff.

Varsity? That’s for the applicants, like Loughlin’s two daughters, who were made to appear as recruits for college sports.

Some parents paid Singer as much as $200 thousand to $6.5 million for their children’s admissions to Yale, Stanford, the University of Southern California (USC), Georgetown, and other prestigious universities.

US attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said, “For every student admitted through fraud, an honest, genuinely talented student was rejected.” Tsk tsk.

Payments to Singer were hidden as donations to his Key Worldwide Foundation, thereby, providing his clients with convenient income tax deductions.

Oliver Jade, one of Loughlin’s daughters, is a Youtube influencer with 1.9 million followers, and has vlogs about her college life at USC. Let’s see—pronounced as that Spanish word for milk—if she would now vlog about her parents’ involvement in the college admissions scandal. Her father, Mossimo Giannulli, happens to be the guy behind the Mossimo brand.

Singer has amassed about $25 million from his scheme which is still under investigation, and Lelling hinted there’s more where that came from. Brrrrr. Abangan.

Meanwhile, in Cagayan de Oro, Antonette Pacana Sestoso, 23, surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation when investors of her online Ponzi scheme began hounding her for the promised yields on their investments. Hmmm. “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” as the saying goes.

Sestoso used Facebook for her online business.

Well, online shopping is now becoming more popular, prompting retail stores in the US to file for bankruptcy and to close shop. Even Victoria’s Secret will close 53 stores in the US this year.

But if there’s a store with no customers but it remains open and has survived, it could be a money-laundering scandal waiting for a great reveal. Esep-esep pud ’pag may time.

There are people who have realized they can stay home the whole week without ennui bothering them. Working from home is more relaxing than going to the office daily amidst the traffic. So, for shopping, they go online. For their meals, they order online. They watch movies and Netflix online, they play online games, they communicate online with family, friends, and colleagues. And that’s how to ease the traffic in Pinas.

Since there are many types of fasting for Lent, how about reducing your online activities while waiting for Pope Francis to be your vegan diet buddy. Then, you’ll have time to read books. Yay!

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