Depending on one’s character and motivations, the Covid-19 pandemic can be a bane to many but a boon to those who see opportunities under the new normal. Of course, the crisis shocked and dislocated us from our comfort zones. We lost jobs, kept us on the four corners of our home, movements were limited and some of our vices. The lucky among us received “ayudas” in many forms but many are starting to realize that the government will eventually run out of money.
The hard realization had sunk-in thus we see thousands of locally stranded individuals and families lining up for a free ride back to their home province. We have seen thousands of OFWs losing jobs.
Lucky are those where transport is still available but not for a hundreds still stranded. If we think we are this miserable, who would ever imagine that in the glitzy New York City, the one that never sleeps, people are queueing for food?
And we hear politicians saying the government is not doing enough.
But amidst the difficulties of the time, we have seen and observed people shifting interest and plans. Every day in our respective subdivisions we see cooked food deliveries, ambulant vendors peddling fresh fish, crustaceans, vegetables, and whatever. We learn of bank employees who lost their jobs that are now into baking. A former corporate executive came home and revived his poultry farm and on the side raised a variety of vegetables. Some lawyers turned to serious farming and we expect to see four years from now more fruits produced in Davao.
Take this enthusiasm from a Davaowenya who settled in Metro Manila and fought it out amidst the outrageous pandemic:
“Last June when the Enhanced Community Quarantine was lifted it was such a pleasant surprise that real estate here in Metro Manila is alive! The demand was a bit less but there is a demand! Lease and sale!
“Many businesses have closed but there are those that are prospering and expanding based on the new community needs! I just leased out a 230 sqm warehouse to a veggie provider. Before Covid-19, he was operating from a regular apartment.
“Now he can afford P180,000 rent per month! And another mariner documentation comp representing Panama and 4 other countries just leased a 475 sqm office space in Taft avenue. Inquiries on P85,000 a month rent for residential condominium units and resale buyers too kept coming in!
“So you see, I sense that the economy will eventually revive. I feel it on the ground. It was different during the Marcos upheaval. It was really down…not much activity afterward. It took 2 years to be active. The foreigners left the country! Yeah, I was already a broker then in 1976.
“Oh yes! We are a positive bunch! Yes, I’m a realtor. Mid to the upscale market. Dasma Forbes and BGC. Light Industrial zones. Commercial spaces and recreation. Property management too. Total management. Got Dabawenyos on my long term client list. Pero for friends whatever is needed I help out”.
What optimism, and she is not alone.
The prize of a death wish
Pilo Hilbay and Erin Tañada exemplify the irrational behavior of today’s opposition and their propaganda machines. Pitiful, for by all indication, they had been nosing around and keeping track of President Rodrigo Duterte who flew quietly to Davao City last weekend.
Obviously they were caught unaware this time. And they went wild with speculations that the President’s absence from their radar screen portends of something terribly wrong with his health.
They surmised that President Duterte must have sneaked out of the country and flew to Singapore to seek medical attention. This, after they learned that a Lear jet from Singapore landed in Davao International airport.
Well, the opposition should know by now that it is not the lifestyle of the probinsyanong presidente to indulge in luxury. They should have also known that Digong has the knack of slipping out of his security when he was Mayor of Davao City and early in his presidency.
The opposition and their propaganda machinery didn’t lose time spreading rumors Duterte went missing, sick, and had sneaked out of the country for treatment.
Noticeably the drooling Hilbay and Tañada must have called for an emergency meeting following the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that his boss is in “perpetual isolation” – two words that triggered Ka Pilo and Ka Erin to quickly train their turrets on the President and went on to blast Duterte by sermonizing that “a true leader will not selfishly hide.”
He did not.
Harry’s figure of speech accorded Hilbay and Tañada a bit of an abrupt ejaculation.
Duterte in fact was in full control of the government and every situation only this time not in the Presidential office in Malacanang Palace but in his austere and simple home in Davao City.
He is not with his Presidential staff but with her daughter Kitty, wife Honeylet as personal secretary and nutritionist, and his data bank, Senator Bong Go.
Those political characters who wish and even pray Duterte gets ill or even die, only display how desperate are they to regain power conveniently and shamelessly forgetting the demeaning defeat they suffered in the last senatorial race.
They should be comfortable with that ignoble defeat because others who didn’t run but wished Duterte dead went ahead of this 75-year-old indecent man in the race to that great beyond instead.
So beware of what you wish for.