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PERHAPS, one of the biggest blessings that Pinoys in North America and elsewhere could be thankful for on Thanksgiving is the hope instilled in the minds of many Filipinos that the assumption of President Noynoy Aquino will bring about positive and meaningful changes in Philippine society.

We are hoping against hope that such hope will come to fruition. I am among those who believe in the sincerity of this President. But he cannot do those changes alone.

Unfortunately, some of Mr. Aquino’s men and women (supposedly pre-selected by the President’s sisters?), continue to give black eye to the young administration of this President.

The latest in the series of setbacks by the people around P-Noy is the withdrawal of the newly-launched promotional slogan of the Department of Tourism in the face of wide criticisms.

Aside from observations that the slogan, “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” (Philippines So Beautiful), is not an effective promotional tool for prospective foreign tourists, it turned out that its artwork and fonts are copied from the tourism slogan of Poland.

According to professionals in advertising business, if you want to have a successful promotional slogan, your material must be clear, attention gabbing, persuasive and accurate. Observers think that none of the above applies to the new slogan prepared by President Aquino’s boys and girls in the Tourism Department.

Many ask why Tagalog when the target audience are foreigners?

Maybe, it was aimed at pleasing their boss who is fond of Tagalog and not the target audience?

In view of the piling up setbacks (palpaks) by some of the Aquino people, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago warned that some of them will have serious problems getting approved by the Commission on Appointments.

Cabinet members are alter-egos of the sitting president. So, they should be bright and smart. Sen. Santiago remarked in substance that if someone campaigned for President Aquino, it did not mean he or she was qualified to be a cabinet member. The lady senator branded some of them as “ignorant” and “boring.”

A known columnist in Manila suggested that perhaps, it was time for President Aquino to do a roll call of his key people and do a cleansing while it is early.

I recall a saying which says separate little drinks could make a person a drunkard. In the same manner, those separate little and big palpaks could bring down a presidency.

***

A Manila newspaper carried the following tidbits: P-Noy nakikipag reconcile kay Shalani. Ang balita na nami-miss ni P-Noy si Shalani Soledad at may posibilidad na makipagbalikan siya sa kanyang ex-girlfriend.

A Bikolana reader of the same newspaper commented: of course miss ni pnoy si shalani...kong di lang siya nakinig sa mga kapatid nya...sana mag asawa na sila ngayon.

I have no comment. Both are adults.

***

Speaking of the issue and P-Noy’s recent admission that he was dating his stylist, Ms. Liz Uy, I was compelled to do a little research about the importance or irrelevance of age difference in a relationship. (Ms. Uy and P-Noy are 22 years apart.)

Here are what I found out. I won’t change a word, but I’ll use quote marks.

“The question of age and relationships goes back to the beginning of time. For several years it was more accepted for older men to date younger women. Even in Hollywood today, the movies frequently show a much older man as the love interest for a woman that could be his daughter or even at times, granddaughter.

“In reality, though, will the number of years between both of you hinder or help when it comes to your relationship? Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking of getting serious with someone from another generation.

“Points to ponder: Does your partner “seem” like your age, even though they differ from you by several years? As time marches on, your partner’s emotional needs may transform drastically. Can you cope with this change? If you and your significant other differ on the point of marriage and children, are you willing to give up or change your desire for family life?”

Something serious to think about seriously, Mr. President.

***

Thanksgiving Day, which is observed on the fourth Thursday of November in the U.S., is a good opportunity to refocus our attention to all the blessings, big and small, that come our way in this life. This is a good time to give thanks and appreciation to the sole source of all those blessings, our good God.

Like we are always told, without God’s love and kindness, we are nothing. We won’t have anything.

Psalm 100, verses 4-5, contain relevant worship lines for this occasion: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him, bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures for ever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

To our readers, I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.

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