For commonality of thought and understanding, let us look at the meaning of the word “silly” as defined by  the Merriam Webster dictionary, to wit:  (a) exhibiting or indicative of a lack of common sense or sound judgment, (b) weak in intellect, (c) playfully lighthearted and amusing, (d) trifling or frivolous or the archaic one—helpless, weak.

                 Preferably, I’m referring to the first two definitions. And there goes the rub though. Bato-bato sa langit! Ang tamaan, aaray! Magagalit dahil may bukol. He-he-he. If they take it as Joke2, shrug their shoulder or a smile, cocksure— walang aray yan! Unless, the person is a first timer, green-mindedness not allowed please.      

               A silly debate recently came out, according to Alex Magno (PStar,12/21/21) driven mainly by people who dislike change in anything and– hold your breath—by politicians who grandstand on everything. The silly debate concerns the proposal by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to redesign our paper bills and perhaps use materials that will better endure frequent handling. The proposed designs will make currency people-agnostic by featuring some of our threatened studies such as the Philippine Eagle and the tarsier, he said.

               “Legislators are insisting Congress must be involved in the design of our currency,” Magno writes.  The National Historical Commission thinks it should have the final word on any proposed design. Conspiracy theorists think the redesign is part of a grand ploy involving historical revisionism. The UP Department of History managed to get into the silly debate by decrying how our people are made ignorant of their past, he added.

               Accordingly, polymers would be used instead of abaca materials. Personally, piqued by the delay in declaring Catanduanes as the “Abaca Capital of the Philippines,” I joined the “silly” group along with  UP line of argument, through our “Radyo Peryodiko Online Bareta—Magkasangga/Magkabangga—Program (Monday-Saturday, 6:3-8:00 a.m.) the other month. Abaca, I argued is used even Japanese currency notes and, of course,  the heroism of the three heroes that will be affected by such change. That is from heroes to a bird of prey– the Philippine Eagle, now an endangered species, if I’m not mistaken.

However, upon deeper consideration of the pros and cons, I changed my earlier stand due to Magno’s persuasive argument as provided to him by the BSP. Not only that.  An unexpected compelling reason provided  by a reliable source completely erased by negative response against such change which I will reveal later on.

               Now, let’s go back to Magno’s persuasive argument. The people at the BSP must have been surprised, he said, by this contrived controversy over proposed currency designs. All they wanted was a better looking bill that lasts a bit longer, thereby cutting the costs of maintaining currency supply—which is substantial even if more transactions are made electronically.

               The political analyst-scientist in him showed up. “The debate got me to thinking about the people we memorialize in our currency. Bonifacio was murdered by factional rivals. Rizal was shot by the Spaniards. The three likenesses in the thousand-peso bill were executed by Japanese occupation forces. Ninoy Aquino on the 500-peso bill was assassinated,” Magno thundered.  

               “Our currency is daily reminder of what is sad in our history. It captures our national fixation with tragedy, a strange obsession with deaths perhaps rooted in Catholicism. I am not averse to stepping out of that obsession and celebrating the life of species we must conserve,”he writes with conviction and clarity.  

               As to another reason for my change of position, here’s my reliable source says regarding the change. It is made upon the insistence or suggestion of a very powerful Filipino– not in the present dispensation– who represents the Philippine Eagle himself. In due time, let’s wait if my reliable source’s revelation is authentic.  

Aside from Magno’s persuasive peroration, I’m supporting said shift from national fixation to tragedy to species conservation side as ecologist-environmentalist rolled into one. Nevertheless, to appease the already pint up emotions of the opposition, why don’t we design a new currency that will include those affected heroes immortalized for heroism to higher amount say 3000k-5000k-peso bill.  With that win-win solution, those who dislike change (read: with “Dati Sana” mentality) and grandstanding politicians cannot go on with their “silliness” attitude as described by Alex Magno, a former UP political science faculty.

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Congratulations to Mr. Dennis Isorena Tuboro, for placing fourth  (87.80%) with six other examinees in the Nurse Licensure Examination (NLE) given by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) last November 2021. Of the 11,828 examinees who took the PRC-Board of Nursing administered NLE in Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Koronadal, Legazpi, Lucena, Pagadian, Rosales, San Fernando, Tacloban, Tuguegarao, and Zamboanga last month, only 6,066 (51.85%) successfully passed.      

Like other Pandananons, I join the parents, siblings, relatives, friends, and classmates of —Dennis Isorena Tuboro—who graduated from the Our Lady of Fatima and is currently in the United States. Dennis dedicated his achievements to his hardworking parents.

                Brimming with utmost gratefulness and humility, he writes a letter to another publication, and I quote, thus: “To my parents—Danilo C. Tuboro and Estrella I. Tuburo, this one is for you! If it were not for you I won’t be where I am today,” he said. The successful examinee said he wishes to inspire not only the people of Catanduanes but also the rest of the country, adding that the road to success was never easy.

               “I had to deal with different challenges as I continue to reach my goal. However, I remained steadfast, focused and never gave up on my dreams,” he added. 

               “As we go along our different journeys, we will be facing hardships and struggles but let’s use these as our stepping stones to be stronger, to strive more and to continue to persevere in order to realize our aspirations,” Dennis advised other would-be examinees. (GREEN ALERT BY: SALVADOR V. ISORENA)