Posts Tagged ‘Philippine culture’

Philippine culture, part 2

Renxyoko Iglesias here, hello ! !

 

Here are some random Philippine habits, quirks, bits and pieces of culture and tradition that a tourist, like my friend @Ste J, may or may not encounter in the Philippines.

But before that, here’s something nice to watch.

 

 

Did you watch it ?  Of course,  I have to admit  there’s poverty all over, especially in urban areas ,  but Filipinos are consistently on the list of the happiest people on earth, despite the natural disasters that come their way,  year in and year out.(  off the chart typhoons, their current  president, earthquakes, volcano eruptions ….. Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991 was the biggest in the 20th century….. it caused the lowering of the earth’s temperature by at least 1 degree )  They say Filipinos eat disasters for breakfast, and no matter what happens, they just shrug them off. This is because of their ” Bahala na ”  attitude, which means, roughly, ” That’s the way it is, so live life to the fullest. ”  The exact translation is ” Whatever “, accompanied by shrugging of shoulders.  I’ve heard some Filipino friends say ” Bahala na si Batman. ” meaning, ” Whatever, Batman’s got my back. ”

 

In a crowd, Filipinos respond to ” Oy ! ! ”   ( Huh ? Who’s calling me ? )  Oy ! Comusta ! !  (  Hey, how are you ? ) However, Filipinos don’t say ” oy ” to older people.  That’s very disrespectful.

 

When Filipinos speak to older people, their language is interspersed with ” po  ”  or ” opo ” ( yes ).  It’s a sign of respect. However, the use of  po is nuanced.  Some people will not appreciate hearing ” po ” when, say,  a 25 year old person is speaking to a 30 year old woman . It’s like , ” Oh, noooooo !   She’s saying ” po” to me ! I’m getting olddddddd ! ! !”  Still…. it’s unimaginable for a Filipino to not say ” po ” to a …. okay, much older person. It’s okay, though,  for a 7- year old kid to say   ” po” to a 15 year old teenager ….. I think  ?

 

Filipinos are party animals…… and every Filipino household owns a karaoke. ( Videoke now ) We own a Magic Mic here at home, and my mother’s planning to update it to a videoke  soon. Yay ! ! I can now  sing my heart out . And yes,  Filipinos love fiestas!

 

Just like other Asians, Filipinos are big on honorifics.  I call my older sister ” Ate “,(pronounced Ah-teh,) meaning older sister, and my older brother,  Kuya (  pronounced Koo-yah, meaning , older brother ) .  Ate  Jennie,  Kuya Benjie, or just plain Ate and Kuya, unless one has other older siblings, then they have to add their names.

 

And this is where Filipinos differ from other Asians……… how they greet  each other.   Filipinos sometimes greet each other ( usually men ) by tossing their heads upwards. Oy, ‘  Pare,  comusta. ( ‘ Pare is short for Spanish word Compadre, meaning, pal/buddy), then a handshake, and a pat on the back.  Filipino women greet each other and relatives , male and female alike, with a hug and kiss on the cheek, sometimes, both cheeks. The term is beso- beso. Beso means kiss in Spanish, I think ?  Greetings are  boisterous. When we had a reunion in the Philippines, I think I hugged and kissed a hundred relatives and guests in one day. The kissing and hugging are repeated when they say  their goodbyes.    It is, indeed,  a touch culture. By the way, Filipinos greet their elders  by touching their elder’s hand to their foreheads, and saying, ” Mano po, Lola” ( grandma  or Lolo, grandpa) Mano means hand in Spanish.

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Filipino Customs and Traditions(

Got the image from the Internet. Whoever owns this, please don’t sue me. T.T

 

They call Restrooms/toilets in the Philippines, CR. ( Comfort Room )  ” Excuse me, Miss, where’s the CR ?”  @ Ste J, remember this. ^___^

 

This is all for now. Another one coming right up..

 

And check out my anime/manga site at http://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why a Philippine -American will never become a US President

Renxkyoko  Iglesias here.  Hello ?

Before anything else,  check out my manga/anime blogsite  HERE     The latest entry is Ouran High School Host Club manga 10/10, Ouran High School  Host Club anime, 0/10

 

I have not been feeling well these days.  The  see saw change in temperature always gets to me. Yesterday and today , it was 98 F, the day before that, 80 F.    Temperature should have started  steadily going  down in  middle of September, but it hasn’t.  The climate  is truly and irreversibly  whacked.

 

I came across some jokes circulating on the Internet  about why  a Philippine – American will never be a US President. Since it is presidential  election year here in the US ( it’s on  Nov. 8, don’t forget to vote ), I think the jokes are right on the nose, and  can be your future reference  , just in case.  d( ^_^d )

 

Here are the reasons :

 

a)  The White House is not big enough for the First Couple’s immediate family, in – laws, and extended  relatives to live in..

b)  There are not enough White House parking  spaces  for the extended relatives’ cars.

c)  The White House will smell of fried dried fish( tuyo )  , fish sauce  ( patis ) , and the stinkiest of them all, shrimp paste ( Filipinos call  it bagoong , pronounced bah-goh-ong )

d)  Since Filipinos  cook too much , foreign dignitaries and VIPs   will be flabbergasted to receive  food to ” take home ” , and  for their secretaries and  drivers , as well….. and they cannot refuse,  because the First Couple will insist on it.  Of course, expensive Tupperware plastics will be used, instead of recycled plastic food containers. Another thing,  state dinners will always be buffet, eat all you can.

Below is a typical Iglesias  food spread, for  6 or 7 people.  At the White House, I’m sure they will be serving one whole roasted pig  called  lechon, guests will get in line,and there will be a classy sous chef who will slice off  crunchy, melt in your mouth pig skin for the special ,  pork eating  dignitaries. d( ^_^d )

 

 

e)  The First Couple will redecorate  the dining room wall  with a huge bas relief or painting  of  Leonardo da Vinci’s   Jesus’ Last Supper, (  tee hee .. we have that here at home )  and,  a small statue of Baby Jesus ( Santo Nino ) ,or of  the Blessed Virgin Mary will appear somewhere in one corner of the White House formal  living room. How does one know if the house is owned by a Filipino family ?  There’s a Last Supper  on the dining room wall.

 

Last Supper wall decor

 

f)  The Presidential car , and all WH staff cars  will have a rosary hanging on the rear view mirror.

 

 

g)   Budget  staff  will not allocate  funds for karaoke for each White House room.  * we have one at our house….  called Magic Mic .   How does one  know if a house is owned by a Filipino family ?  There is a karaoke machine in the house. *

 

h)  Air Force One will not allow  overweight  Balikbayan boxes on the plane.

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I hope my Filipino readers will not get offended by this post.  It’s true Filipino culture, admit it.  (^___^)

This is all for now. Thank you for reading

 

 

 

 

Fun Vacation in the Philippines, Part 5

Continue reading

My Philippine vacation, Part 4

Hello !  Renxkyoko Iglesias  here.

This is my first post in 2015, and I guess, the one and only post for the month.  I hope I can post more often this year. So, you ask, what’s preventing you from writing, Ren ? You’re not that busy, are you ?  Actually, I am.  I  work full time since I’m on vacation , and I’ve been doing stuff  that I’ve been wanting to do, but couldn’t find the time to do it,  because,  you know, life gets in the way .  Anyway,  my best friend  said, Get out of that nunnery black hole,  Ren !  And  get laid !  Huh ? Uhm, okay. Understood.  So, last week, I binge watched  the anime  Attack on Titan, all  28 episodes of it, and  2 seasons of Doomsday Preppers ( love this ! ). I also watched  Inside North Korea. That’s one heck of a fascinating documentary.  The North Koreans’ behavior  was so bizarre it made the hair in my arms stand on end while watching it.  Well, that’s what brain-washing does to people.  I liken them to the Fundamentalists, of any religion.  What  ? You saw the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary in your ham sandwich ? Nope, I’m not going there. I’m a practicing  Roman Catholic. XD

Speaking of which….. Pope Francis just visited the Philippines last week.  The Philippines is the third largest Catholic country in the world.  Well, 90% Catholic in a population of 90 million.  Just a trivia for you.  And,  because  this post is about my fun vacation in the Philippines.

Remember these photos ?

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That’s the before and after photos of our vacation house at Boracay Island, Philippines.
Oh, but we don’t live there. We live in Manila, the capital city… well, Paranaque, specifically.  So from there, we took  a  6 –  hour- ferry ride to Boracay. Could have flown, instead, but it was too expensive. The ferry ride was like 900 pesos ( USD  20 ), and plane fare was Php 4,000.  I won’t bore you with money matters or lack thereof.  But for PhP 900, we got this.

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The one and only meal we had was terrible. Actually, it tasted good, but it looked so unappetizing,  and pitiful. 1/2 cup steamed rice and  3 beef cubes drowning in dark sauce. Good thing our aunt warned us about this. So we made sandwiches, brought some Cheeze-it and Oreos. We left the port at  8 PM  , and arrived  in Aklan  at 4 AM.  Since big ferries cannot dock in Boracay , we had to ride on  a small contraption they call banca.  Anyway, while on the ferry,  the passengers were entertained  by 2 pretty singers and a Minus One.  the singers were good, but they were too loud.

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The banca…. it was a 10 minute ride from one island to another.

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My cousin  , my friend/neighbor,  and I,  sleepless, tired, but none the worse for wear.  We look like refugees.

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That crude contraption is there to balance the banca, and do you see that small  thingy tied to the bamboo pole ? I assume that’s our lifeboat, just in case.  x_x

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There were no furniture in the house, no bed, nothing… just a small electric cooker,   a few stools, and a makeshift table.
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Oh, there’s an eletric fan, and an airbed. But I slept on the mat.

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.The house has 4 floors, ( the 4th is a rooftop garden, with a nice view, ), 7 bedrooms, 4 toilets and bath.  Well, I’m going into details because we’re renting out  the house to tourists.  XD  We’ve been told there are beds already, and a few furniture, and a refrigerator. ( My Mom left some money for a fridge before we left )  So, to my readers from the Philippines, if you plan on going to Boracay, email me.  ( shameless  advertising) )

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A bedroom with a nice view, airconditioned, with its own toilet and bath.

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.A small kitchenette, first floor. The first floor is ” private quarters “… for our family  and has a separate entrance.

We didn’t waste any time, and headed out straight to where the action is.. the beach.  Actually, we rode a tricycle to go there. Our house is about  a 5 minute walk to the beach, but we’re at a “quiet” part of the island.  ( which we preferred , by the way…. but we wanted to see the touristy area. )

A tricycle

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.Actually,  it was more like this.  he he

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.We were packed like a can of sardines. Fun, fun, fun.  My  US – born cousin really loved it.

The last photo is just a glimpse  of  yours truly  at the beach….  a long shot …. well, I don’t want to show my flabs, , pardon me.   ~_~

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This is it for now. … more  Boracay photos on my next post.

Thank you for reading. PEACE !

 

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My family’s holiday food fare

Hi there !

Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

It’s Christmas time, my most favorite time of the year.  ( If you’re not a Christian, it’s alright, you can roll your eyes.  ❤   )

But, before I talk about  Christmas, let me show you what we had for Thanksgiving Day. Yeah, it’s foodie time.

Actually, there wasn’t much food, compared to last year’s. It seems we’re getting less and less food  every year, but it’s okay, we do throw away so much , especially the turkey. That’s why we don’t do turkey anymore.

By the way, I cooked most of the food. Not bragging, though. Just sayin’.

Oh, wait, before I forget…. can someone please translate this? It’s Japanese. I want the exact translation, please.  You’ll help me win an argument.  🙂  Thank you.

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He he. I know it’s juvenile.

Anyway,  the food.

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Roast pork ( lechon),, with liver  gravy, ham,  kare-kare (  beef stew in peanut sauce,) there’s noodles ( pancit ala Malabon ) , fruit salad, potato salad, lumpia ( pork eggroll with sweet – sour sauce), and various cakes.

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DSCN2392Pancit a la malabon. Malabon is a place in the Philippines. I think this is Malabon’s  specialty.  I cooked that.  Do you know what’s in there ? Shrimps, flaked smoked fish, pounded chicharrones ( pork cracklings ) Napa cabbage, and the juice of pounded shrimp heads.

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This is Renxkyoko’s specialty……. Lumpia ( ground pork eggroll. ) I stayed up the whole night ( and morning ) rolling the darn things. I made a lot, for us, and for our Forensic class’s  assistant teacher.

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Huge pastry with Bavarian Cream filling, Double chocolate cake, cheesecake, and brownies.  We baked the pastry. We bought the rest at Costco.

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we call the above dish Ginatan. It’s made of sweet potato, cooking banana ( saba ), taro root, rice balls, and coconut milk.  And sugar, of course.

So, that’s it, our Thanksgiving Day meal.

We already have a menu planned for our Christmas meal. I am definitely going to cook my other specialty….. Paella.

And I’m looking forward to a family Christmas tradition……….. the whole family going to Chrismas Eve Midnight Mass. Here in the US, it’s at 10 PM…… in the Philippines, it’s at 12 midnight.  We used to have our Christmas meal right after the Mass,  but we had discarded that. My mother said it was stressful.   But we do open the gifts as soon as we arrive from the church.  In the Philippines, the midnight meal is called Noche Buena. So, what ‘s a typical Filipino  Noche Buena ?  Bread , ( pan de sal, bite-sized French bread ) with Queso de Bola ( Edam Cheese ). Jamon ( ham , glazed with pineapple and sugar, ), castanas, ( chestnuts) noodles, ( at home, it’s baked macaroni ), leche flan, ube jam, ( purple  yam ) and yes, fruit cake !  These are the icons of Filipino Noche Buena. I’m going to bake fruit cake, that’s for sure. And it isn’;t like the fruit cakes that are sold here in the US.  They ‘re nasty. No wonder Americans make fun of them.  My recipe is delicious. Lots of rhum in it !

I actually want to have  a food blog . But, I don’t think it will happen. I don’t even have time to post here. Don’t be surprised why I’m interested in food. My mother had a successful catering business in the Philippines, and if we didn’t come here to the US, she would be holding a Dunkin’ Donut francise.

Oh. 550 words, already. Time to to say bye for now. Thank you for reading and PEACE !

Happy Holidays !

 

 

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Fun vacation in the Philippines, Part 3

Hello ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here  ! ❤

Wow. My last post was Oct. 24.  I know, I’m a lazy blogger.  I’m suppose  to post  Part 3 of my fun vacation in the Philippines, but, I feel it’s gone  stale already.  It’s  still okay, I guess.

Oh, wait…. remember my Cringe- worthy  Forensic Science project ?  I  was told  not  to talk about it. Now you’re telling me. I just did. And I’m not going to delete that post.  I mean, Forensic  shows are all over cable, so there’s really nothing  federal  about it.   Oh, and before I forget, we made 6 trials, and that means, we asked for 5 more of  THAT.  THAT is semen.  I don’t have to  act coy anymore.  I’m past that.  Here’s another jar, pal. And put it in the freezer immediately.  * ponders*  Actually, I’m sensitive and fragile so please take care of me.

The US  Congress is planning to pass a law  that will allow the government to get the DNA profiles   of all Americans and store them at  the  DNA Data Base  center.  This way, it will be easier for law enforcement agencies to catch the criminals.  That’s a good thing,  right ? Wrong.  Even  Forensic Analysts  do not agree.   Criminals are smart now, especially those who commit  premeditated murders.  The bad guy can just pick up any  cigarette butt or  beer and soda cans, and plant  them at the scene of crime.   Even if  the innocent guy has a solid alibi, he still has to explain the presence of his DNA  at the scene..  Even if the prosecutor cannot find  any motive, you can bet that the sun is up there the prosecutor will find one.  The innocent is totally screwed.  He’ll be looking at a life sentence without the possibilty of parole, or worse, death penalty. That’s what happens if all our DNA profiles are in the DataBase.  Well, you know what they say… it’s preferable to free 100 guilty men over incarcerating  one innocent man, or something like that.  In fact, this happened already. The bad guy planted a random cigarette butt……. good thing the DNA  profile found on the cigarette did not have a match  at the National DNA  DataBase.

Enough of chatting.

Here’s Part 3 of my fun vacation in the Philippines.

So, off we went to see Taal Volcano, the smallest volcano in the world.DSCN0045

.Can you see the volcano ? It’s right there in the middle of the picture. You can see the mouth of the volcano, right ? It was misty  around the area of the volcano , even though the temperature was like, 100 F  ( 38 C ), and very, very humid.

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Facing the picture, the volcano ‘s  to the right of me.

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We went up there to have lunch at that restaurant in the photo, but it was closed for renovation.   Good thing there was a Chinese restaurant  nearby, with a nice view too.

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DSCN0059.Photo below is the view from the restaurant .

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The first thing that I ordered was real coconut juice, straight from the fruit. By the way, coconut is not a nut. It’s a fruit. Oh, my gosh, it tasted sooo good.

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After drinking the juice, we scraped off the white meat with a spoon. Delicious.

This is all for now.  Oh, before I forget,  on my Part 2 Philippine post, there was this singer whose  song was played over and over  on our  trip to Taal Volcano.  Well, he was Rick Astley, and the songs were Never Give You Up and Together Forever. :/

And the owner of the car is a relative who is also a Prosecutor.  That car plate  was a souvenir  given  during a Prosecutors’ Conference  held a month ago before I took that picture. She said she wasn’t supposed to make that a permanent fixture 😮  It’s  dangerous.  I talked about her on my Part 2 Philippine post.  She received death threats a few years ago.

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She’s okay now. The bad guys are in jail. Still….. announcing you’re a Prosecutor is a bad idea. Try doing that in Mexico, and see what happens.
Oh, well, what do I know .

This is all for now, and thank you for reading.  PEACE !

 

 

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My Philippine vacation, part 2

Hello, there.  Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

My  last post  was about crying at sad movies, and I listed down some of the movies that tugged at my heartstrings.  But I forgot one…. the last Toy Story movie.  I cried at that part where grown -up Andy  bequeathes  gives away his beloved  treasures  toys  to a little  girl.   Well, I did  exactly the same thing this week.  I   finally said  goodbye to my beloved Barbie doll and Toy Story  collection and donated them to , I hope, a  deserving brat child who will take care of my stuff lovingly.

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.In that box are over a hundred  beautiful Barbie gowns and dresses, a revolving dress closet, kitchen, dresser,  ( I gave away that stupid  cute barbie car a long time ago), etc.  and most importantly, my Toy Story toys… Woody, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head,  Jessie,  and  sadly, my beloved Buzz Lightyear.  * Buzz, parting is such sweet sorrow.  But I’m an adult now. I can’t play with you anymore.  So, here’s to you, pal….  To Virginity  Infinity and Beyond !!!!! *

Oh. I’m keeping my complete collection of Pokemon cards.  Sorry, kid.  You don’t know what my mother  I went through to complete it.  Not gonna happen.

So…….. here’s part 2 of my fun vacation in the Philippines, as promised.

We spent the first few days after our arrival visiting malls, shopping, and tasting Filipino foods and delicacies at the mall food courts.  So, okay, not all were Filipino foods,  like this Japanese omurice rice ( fried rice wrapped in omelette ) and sizzling steak with mushroom gravy.

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That red thing is ketchup. I think Filipinos love ketchup., seriously.  I mean, my father drowns his sunny side up  in that thing and my Mom does  it with French fries. Half a bottle of ketchup is used up for medium sized fries.   Oh, and it has to be Del Monte catsup, not Hunt’s, nor Heinz…  Eh, what am I saying …..

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.Steak, with rice, and I don’t know if you can see the sunny side up, but it’s there, with the carrots and beans. Ha ha What a combo. Both dishes are USD 2 each.  Cheap, huh.

Photos below  are of   family reunion at our house.

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That’s me in the photo, looking bored. But I wasn’t bored.  I was concentrating on the Monopoly game.

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Just a few slice of life photos above.

The following day, we were invited  by a relative to see the smallest volcano in the world,  Taal Volcano , located about an hour drive ( 50 km./31 mi ) from our house.  Taal Volcano is active,  in fact,  there were so much seismic activities  that were detected in 2011.  Its last violent eruption was in 1977.

The drive to Taal was quite interesting .  Our relative, who was also the driver, played the same songs over and over again… ABBA, Tears for Fears, and one singer  whose name I can’t recall at the moment. Worse, she and my Mom knew the lyrics… so yeah.  * You are the dancing queen,  young and sweet, only seventeen….lalala ” .  The singing was interrupted when Mom opened the glove compartment and saw a small gun.  ” What the h*ll  ! ”  So, okay, our relative ia a senior Prosecutor in the city of Manila, and that gun was issued to her by the mayor for her protection.  Three years ago, she prosecuted the mistress of a rich man for attempted murder. Our relative received death threats purportedly made by the mistress’s relative. They are now both in jail.  And our relative assured us there were no bullets in the gun. Still…. Anyway, they continued singing.  It drove  me crazy.  And then I saw this……

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Then this…..

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.Can you read it ?  It says ” Warning.  P 2,000 ( $46) Minimum Payment for Bumping Barrier. ”  Ha ha ha !   We don’t have that here in the  US !

Well, I have to stop here.  Part 2 of our Taal Volcano trip will be on my next post.

 

Thank you for reading , folks ! be well, and PEACE !

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