Random Thoughts

VP LENI NO LONGER THE SAME — Pangasinan newsmen, your Tita here included, were aghast at how security escorts assigned to Vice President Leni Robredo, treated us when her honor visited Dagupan City on March 25 as guest speaker for the graduation ceremonies of the Mary Help of Christians Seminary (College and Theology) held inside the St. John The Evangelist Cathedral.

Yolanda Sotelo, correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, wrote in her Facebook page: “Buhay Media. Pangasinan reporters (they were invited!) braved the heat and the thirst to cover VP Leni but no way were they able to get an interview or get near her, with all the guards around her.”

The two pictures that accompanied such statements showed VP Leni (in her royal blue dress) smiling while surrounded by her three security aides in white barong and lady cops with their arms outstretched to form a barricade to prevent us from getting close to the VP. Parang larong patintero, right?

I heard one security aide instructing the policewomen to stop us from getting close to VP Leni. The dutiful cops did as told. But when he sensed his instruction drew resentment wrong, he recalled his order.

When finally allowed to follow VP Leni as she was walking towards her vehicle, colleagues asked, “Ma’am konting interview lang po.” The request just fell into deaf ears.

No interview. So disgusted.

I guess politicians never change.  We remember her being extra friendly to the media– foreign, national, local – during the campaign period. VP na sya, so  sorry na kami.

We received a lot of sympathy from our Facebook friends for the way we were treated.

Yan ang hirap kapag mabait lang ang isang tao sa ‘yo kung may kailangan. Sad face pa more 🙁 🙁 🙁 .—Tita Roces


KARMA AND THE FALLEN TREES – It is always gratifying to see many trees still standing, their crowns merrily swaying in every gush of wind, along national roads that were recently subjected to widening by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Thanks to some people of the agency, notably Pangasinan 2nd Highway District Engineer Rodolfo Dion who, we were told, even defied an order from his superior when he spared many of the trees along the roadside while he and his men were were implementing highway widening.

Many in the DPWH may have eventually seen the light that widening can be achieved without the need of sacrificing the lives of trees along the roadside, a point which even running priest Father  Robert Reyes tried to advocate when he joined a movement to save hundreds of trees along the Manila North Road from Carmen, Rosales to Sison.

Driving westward to Binmaley from Dagupan and eastward to San Fabian via the Bonuan road where road widening is already almost complete, one can see the trees still robust, standing and growing, spared from being cut down or girdled, unlike the trees along MNR that were massacred.

Incidentally, many  of the trees that were girdled eventually died, so they had to be cut eventually.

More trees could have been saved, especially along the MNR had some other people in the DPWH and also in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources adopted a more friendly policy towards trees.

But no thanks to their former patron, the politicians who goaded them to cut the trees unmindful of the impact on the communities, i.e., no trees to be used as man’s cover from the intense heat of the sun during summer and by even weary motorists.

Worse, it  turned out that some of those trees that were girdled and later cut down were not inside the boundary of the roadway, like the more than 40-year old mango tree in front of our backyard in Villasis planted by my late father. It was one and a half meter away from the now widened road pavement  as shown by its remaining stump. It was standing inside our property.

If only the DPWH and its contractors were not too eager-beaver and exercised some forms of restraints by adopting  a more pro-environment position as Engr. Dion did, our old mango tree may still be providing us fruits and shade.

The DPWH and its contractor did not heed Fr. Reyes’s warning that nature will curse  those who are unkind and cruel to its creation (the trees).

Methinks karma has already hit home where it hurts. – Leonardo Micua

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