THERE it seems to be so much ado about nothing. Well, make that so much ado about something.

Filipinos in Central Luzon were the past days put into panic about bird or avian flu. In fact, Pampanga was placed in a state of calamity. There, the government has culled 200,000 chickens over reports that “confirmed” that the flu can transmit to humans. Better safe than sorry.

But as American businesswoman Martha Stewart advises, “Stay in control, and never panic.”

That’s the same advice that Dr. Rhodora Cruz of the Department of Health gave that this rainy season, Filipinos should be afraid more of dengue than bird flu. She guaranteed that “nobody got sick or died yet” of bird flu because it inflicts “more on animals” and hardly transmits to humans, and therefore, is more of a concern of the Department of Agriculture than the DOH.

Well, I never panicked. And as far I know, so too the Negrenses. During lunch, I eat at Chicken Deli at 888 Mall, sometimes eating inasal. The waiters often give me chicken leftovers to feed Digong, my dog.

Frankly, the prices of inasal stayed the same. There was no downward movement, indicating that news of bird flu might as well have happened on the other side of the moon.

That’s funny, though. SunStar Bacolod reported that “after a series of decreases in the prices of dressed chicken in the previous weeks, the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) said the cost of the commodity in Negros Occidental will likely continue to increase as the bird flu scare starts to die down.”

Based on the latest weekly market price monitoring of the PVO, the prevailing average cost of dressed chicken among pubic markets in the province has slightly increased by P0.47 per kilogram.

Huh? There was no price movement. Period. I should know. Prices in Chicken Deli might as well have been written in stone.

According to the PVO, the previous week’s P155.11, the current price of dressed chicken is P155.58 per kilo. In the last week of July, the PVO reported that a kilo of dressed chicken averagely costs P158.79.

It went down to P157.15 per kilo, with a decrease of P1.63, in first week of August after the bird flu outbreak in Luzon.

That’s why I read the announcement of Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena as bad news that as the bird flu scare dies down, they are expecting an increase in demand for chicken.

Decena said that once there is an upward movement on the requirement, prices normally increase. Since there are eight players and poultry integrators in the province, due to business strategy and competition, increases are usually minimal.

This Monday, I will have four mediation cases at the Hall of Justice. Time to shift from bangusito to chicken paa for a change.