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HAPPY New Year everyone!


***


Time is thief.

It goes fast, of course, from year to year.

Lol.

I don’t exactly know why I have chosen Lord Byron, one of the most famous English “Romantic” poets to start 2017.

He wrote:

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. You don’t love a woman because she is beautiful, but she is beautiful because you love her. Never underestimate the power of love. The way to love anything is to realize it may be lost. The heart has its reasons that reason does not know at all...”

Lord Byron, who was born George Gordon Noel Byron, himself commented (not in Facebook, but in Google):

“There are four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.”

Having said all of the above, am I in love?

Or did I lose love?

Ask my Anak Amira Allah.

She knows the answer.

But, she won’t tell.

Hehehe.

In all seriousness, I thought of starting the year with this eternal topic of love because of a line in the editorial of the Christmas issue of this newspaper, which, stated:

“...close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world...”


There’s so much hatred happening in all of the globe, our only globe.

Hatred triggers people to kill people.

Instead of love triggering people to love one another and preserve life.

Lord Byron referred to hatred as “madness of the heart.”


***


Even in the native country, in our view, hatred, not reason, is triggering extrajudicial killings.

After six months, over 6,000 lives had been taken in the name of President Rodrigo Duterte, whose anti-drugs campaign is premised on killing suspected drug users and drug traffickers.

Sad.

Revolting.

Madness.

Equally sad are some Filipinos, who, in their blindness (bulag sa pagibig kay G. Duterte), defend and support the killing spree, instead of condemning, as the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights groups and concerned civic communities around the globe do.

President Duterte’s EJK approach is wrong.

We observe again, it is inhuman.

It is primitive.

It is barbaric.

It is cruel.

It is unlawful.

EJK weakens and embarrasses every Filipino.

It weakens democracy in the native country.

It weakens the moral fabric of Philippine society.

This President is dividing his people, instead of uniting, both at home and abroad.

He is causing people to block people in Facebook.

Worst of all, his approach is killing people, most of them poor, whose orphaned spouses or children don’t have the means nor the courage to seek justice for their loved ones.

Oh, Jesus, change this man’s heart and behavior.

Please include his words.


***


The Birthday Ladies:


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ARACELI CHE ABELLAR


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ASUNCION SUDARIO MARTINEZ


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EVELYN CELSO (left) and LEONORA HARINGTON.


We greet a longtime friend Happy Birthday.

He is Francis Talangbayan, M.D. of Pennsylvania.

Many more healthy years, Doc.

Happy Birthday, too, to my good friend Ador Equipado of Jersey City.

Also, to my Kumadres Araceli Che Abellar, Asuncion Sudario Martinez, Leonora Harington and Evelyn Celso, Happy Birthday!

They were all born two days apart.


The Birthday Gentlemen:


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DR. FRANCIS TALANGBAYAN


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ADOR EQUIPADO (left) with the author MANNY CABALLERO.


***


Speaking of love for our community and people in the Northeast, former Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr. has been demonstrating his love and care since he left his post in New York.

The former N.Y. ConGen is continually reaching out to people he met and became friends with, both in real life and in social media, during the six years of his assignment in this friendly jurisdiction of beautiful and reasonable Filipinos.

Like any community, there are few exceptions, of course.

Lol.


***


Here is a musical concert in New York City on Feb. 12, 2017 you will enjoy.

Featured singers are Fil-Ams Angel Ram and Shane Ericks.

The popular Angel Ram does not need introduction.

Since she sang “Thinking Out Loud” for me in a Jersey City gig, I have become her ardent fan.

But, I have known her long before that evening for being a versatile singer.

Shane Ericks is ANCOP USA’s and ABS-CBN DZMM’s Global Pinoy Singing Idol World Champion for 2015.

I assure you, like Angel, you’ll enjoy her pleasant music, especially her rendition of the Carpenters, where she received 2.5 million views last year in YouTube.

The concert is aptly dubbed by Little John as “Tulips and Two Lips.”

It will be held on Feb. 12 at 4 p.m. in the Cutting Room Room, #44 East 32nd Street, NYC. Call 1-845-633-0980 for tickets.

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