IT IS a proven fact that our country is beset with many problems under the present regime, elected by 19 million voters which is a minority considering the total latest population census of several millions. The winning party is the People's Nationalist Party. About the theme of this column, I am sure my readers will be happy about these silver linings amidst all our problems.

I read about the "Happy Walk" affair involving all persons afflicted with the 'Down Syndome'.

The affair showed their talents and remarkable possibilities. Their parents were very glad about this event. Instead of being laid back because of the stigma, they felt so proud of them.

An Anti-Drugs Workshop was organized for the youth and near adult

individuals. This is a very positive approach where prevention rather than cure for drug addiction is emphasized. It centers on a healthy family life atmosphere where wholesome habits and values are initiated by good parents to their growing children. They show the benefits of a family free from drug problems. The hazards are numerous and regrettable.

The kids become a burden for their homes and society at large. The kids are predisposed to do crimes. They steal money from their parents to be able to buy drugs. Some parents hide the problem, the stigma, to save their integrity. For habitual drug addicts "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

For the youth already addicted there is a well- established “rehabilitation center” where specialized psychologists treat the patients with organized debriefing sessions and counseling. The center in Nueva Ecija can accomodate 200 patients and there are still vacancies there. Majority are cured. Some have relapses due to deep seated conditions in their body organs. One thing I cannot forget is the example of successful rehabilitated persons who volunteer as teachers and understanding the addicted ones. They had been there and now they can be role models that a cure is possible.

The Davraa, a major athletic activity held in Davao City and at UM in Matina is the most interesting event for the youth of Mindanao. I always believe that SPORTS IS THE LEVELING ACTIVITY WHERE THE YOUTH IS ENGAGED IN whether one is poor or rich, young or old, ambitious or not. The lure of combat, winning honestly, finding friends and fighting fairly are all paying of in the Davraa Meet. Efficient committees do the leg work years ahead of time. Aspects of schedules of events, participating, living quarters, mess halls and kitchen staff for feeding all. Thousands of military personnel were tasked to maintain peace at all times. Teams by districts are well organized ready to fight in their specific games. Sportsmanship is the rule for all. Teams are ranked based on medals (gold, silver, bronze) won. Davao City is no. 1 and Mati is the tail ender as of Feb.24. The games played affect the ranking accordingly.

In the field of education, some volunteer teachers organized special classes for students poor in reading. They are convinced of the fact that poor learners are caused by reading disabilities. What they cannot read lead to poor performance in learning.

Foreign capitalists are welcome to achieve the build, build, build plan of the regime. Well and good but they must not forget the law on bilateral agreements beween the foreign and local Filipino ownership of contract. A set amount is set by law. I am alarmed how China had signed contracts of building railways all over Mindanao with Chinese loans and builders. No Filipinos may be employed here. Same is true with all the infrastructure already built by China in our West Philippine Seas and recently, the Rise where it has exploited for marine life and minerals mined from the bottom of the ocean. I remember the "joke only" quip of the president. Why not make the Philippines a province of China then we have no problem. We cannot take this sitting down. Let us fight for our legacy and fight for what is legally our patrimony. In conclusion let us put our hopes for a progressive Philippines we read about in my column today.

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