Now it can be told.
As we have been expecting, President Rodrigo Duterte is one person who can’t go to sleep and just let interventionist moves pass by.
The two US senators who initiated the adoption of a resolution in the US Congress banning Philippine officials who may have aided in the alleged illegal detention of Senator Laila de Lima are now themselves banned from entering the Philippines, should they intend to come.
And as if to show that not just any American official can mess around the country’s sovereignty the President is poised to take away a special privilege US nationals have been enjoying for long. That is, that they can come to the Philippines anytime they want without securing a visa.
Once this plan is pursued, even Filipinos who have opted to acquire American citizenship will also have to comply with the same requirement.
Of course we agree with the President on such move of his. What do the two American senators think, that the Philippines is still their territory and the Filipinos their vassals?
And we also believe that it is about time that the Philippine government treats all nationalities equally. If we demand visa from visitors coming from countries other than the members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEANs), then the Americans – Canadians included – must also undergo the same process.
It is so unfair that Filipinos wanting to go to the US have to suffer some indignities while in the process of securing visa for that country.
This leads us to recall a Marawi Moro non-government organization leader who was already in the US after getting invited to talk during a forum. Suddenly, the Moro NGO leader was asked to go home on suspicion that he could be a member of a local terrorist group.
That was too much of a humiliation the US authorities did to a Filipino national.
Last December 24 we hosted a gathering of immediate family members of our departed parents-in-law at our rural residence. We were surprised to see how the children who were just kids a year ago have grown up to become young boys and girls. Then we realized that they were already taking the lead in the program organization and in the process relegating their parents and grandparents to becoming their captive audience.
We found the elderly’s role suddenly changed. They, us included, became the givers of welcome remarks, special Christmas messages, and of course the closing statement.
The prayer prior to partaking of the food was delivered by a grader who did it in flawless English. Of course it was written by her mother who is a professor at the University of the Philippines-Mindanao but the emotion with which the delivery was made was so soothing to the spirit.
The doxology was performed by anoth
zer group of children whose ages ranged from 3 to 13. While they were following the actions shown on video, no one would ever think they did not undergo several practice runs from the way they did it.
And to think that most of the children only met for the first time during that evening of December 24! Yes, some of them are sons and daughters of family members coming from as far as Tagum City, Digos, Calinan, Mintal and downtown Davao City.
Distance and school have kept them from bonding together as close relatives. It was only the December Christmas break from school that the younger generation of the family was able to meet and see each other and bonded as one happy group.
Indeed that December 24 gathering cum Christmas party for the more immediate members of our wife’s family made us and our brothers- and sisters-in-law realize that as we see the kids a year or two ago grow into technology and communications savvy young boys and girls we see in ourselves the indicators of the weight of the years we’ve lived in this world.
But seemingly no one would want to admit it. We’d rather continue feeling young.