Several foreign lawmakers are in town to visit impoverished sites in the Philippines and check on the status of poverty. They must be kidding! It’s already evident. Study the obvious? In this province where I was born and raised, shanties were unheard of. Now, they have mushroomed on every unfenced vacant lot, mountain slopes, along riverbanks and coastlines. The last thing a lot of people want to hear from them is to keep on echoing that we have a problem with poverty. We know. We know. We know. They could have just done what the Royal Family of Monaco and a rich young Englishman quietly did for our poor. Shame on our own lawmakers who have been receiving millions of pork barrel disguised as Countryside Development Fund. The fund, it seemed, has not reached the countryside. But I still hope whatever these foreign lawmakers report (and I pray they find something new) won’t fell on deaf ears of our government leaders and the rest of the world who perceive this country of 7,107 islands (low tide) and with over 100 ethno-linguistic groups as a dumping ground of their surplus junks.
I have not fully understood the meaning of Halloween though I have read about its Irish origin. Here in these 7,107 islands of the Philippines we celebrate it alongside All Saints Day and All Souls Day. An American legacy that we have to live with and with that trick or treat phenomenon, Halloween has provided great marketing opts for businesses that have children as their market. It's fun though. The same with All Saints Day when you see people jack up prices of flowers and candles. People don't seem to mind over the prices for it's a time for family reunions in memorial and eternal parks, a euphemism for cemeteries. The day brings throngs of people together to lay flowers, light candles and eat a lot. It's a huge reunion!