Take it to Manila

MINDANAO DAILY MIRROR · 2000 JUNE 8  

News item: "Moro rebels are staging bomb attacks in Metro Manila to divert pressure from a military offensive against them in Mindanao, the national police chief yesterday said." Talk about getting what one deserves! Ever since the start of the conflict in Central Mindanao, Manila media have been conducting phone surveys asking Pinoys - really residents of Metro Manila who do not have to pay long distance charges - if they prefer talking peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) or if the government should pursue all-out war. The other day ABS-CBN actually asked viewers if government should attack Camp Abubakar or not! Sadly - but perhaps not surprisingly - the surveys have consistently shown that Manilans want to end the war in Mindanao by force and not by reason.

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That's easy for them to say, of course: since they are a thousand kilometers away from where guns and bombs kill and maim soldiers (from both sides) and civilians, and where tens of thousands grow hungry and sick daily from hunger at evacuation camps. Of late, though, bombs have been exploding with regularity in Metro Manila, and while no one has died these incidents have instilled fear in many residents. Now PNP chief Panfilo Lacson is blaming the MILF for the bombing and has faulted the group for wanting to "divert pressure" from government forces. What he's saying is, "It's OK to conduct war in Mindanao, but don't take it to Metro Manila."

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Now let's see how Manilans feel about having bombs explode all around them. They had been so smug, calling for war in Mindanao while sipping their morning cappuccino and reading about the conflict in the safety of their homes or some air-conditioned café. Now they have to contend with at least a measure of the fear felt by many Mindanaoans, especially with government talking peace with the MILF while training its guns at them. They want all-out war in Mindanao? What about all-out war in Manila?

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In fact, local stations should do a phone survey among local residents: "Should the MILF focus its efforts in Metro Manila?" That should even things out a bit!

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MYSTERY. One day in 1850, a Christian farmer started for the mill at Rockland, Rhode Island, with a bag of rye to be ground into flour for the family bread. On the way the old family horse unaccountably balked on a bridge over a stream, and began to turn and back up. He kept on till the rear wheels of the wagon went over the log guard along the edge of the planks. The farmer jumped out, the horse stood still, and the farmer held the front wheels caught on the log guard, so that the wagon did not go over, but the contents were thrown into the water. Neighbors helped to right the wagon and the rye was fished out.

There was a mystery about the accident. The horse had showed no signs of fear and had never acted this way before. The farmer was puzzled. He had earnestly prayed, only that morning that the angel of the Lord would protect them that day and here was this unexplained accident.

The farmer returned home and went to work to dry the grain and prepare it for grinding. When he spread out the rye on a cloth in the sun to dry, he noticed, scattered through it all, fragments of a fine glittering substance, which on examination, proved to be glass. Thousands upon thousands of fine fragments mingled with those two bushels of rye - enough to cause the death of all the family if the grain had been ground and baked and eaten. He was amazed at this discovery and with grateful heart he knelt with his family and thanked God for His wonderful providence which had so strangely saved their lives.

They found on investigation that the rye had been kept for a time in an open barrel and that above it workmen had been smoothing ax handles, using pieces of glass to scrape and polish the wood. In this way particles of glass had been ground off and had fallen down into the rye. This was unnoticed when the grain was emptied into the sack to be taken to the mill. 

From Our Day In The Light of Providence

©2000 Jon Joaquin. All rights reserved.