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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.
Latest Articles

Jun 2, 2020

MEGAN YOUNG says that due to the lockdown, they were able to sort out the thousands of photos taken during her and Mikael Daez’ two weddings, one in Tagaytay and one in Subic. She posted the ones she has chosen for public consumption online and netizens were so amused by the captions she and Mikael wrote with the photos.

In one photo showing Megan cutting their wedding cake, here’s what Mikael wrote: “I'm wondering, why was Boneezy (his pet name for Megan) so scared of cutting that delicious strawberry shortcake?? Maybe she realized that she was cutting away her freedom.”

In turn, Megan posted their photo with their dog named Soba and wrote: “Meanwhile, I'll just share this photo that we took before we got ready for the reception. Soba was still so young! She looked like a little bear.”

You can take a look at their other wedding photos in their vlog. Megan shares that the quarantine has made her more appreciative of even the little things around them while they stay in their condo. 

She says: “When I need a boost of happy thoughts, I think of all the "wins" that I've had throughout the week - random things that made me happy during the week. Even accomplishing little goals can be so satisfying, like being able to fix and repair our own personal compute that Mikael and I use when we play online games, or making espresso coffee that we both love to drink, or eating santol when my sister came for a visit.”

For the first time, Megan also admitted that she got jealous of Andrea Torres when Mikael was doing one show after another with her. It will be recalled that Mikael and Andrea became successful as a love team for a while and they did several soaps. At that time, Mikael was already going steady with Megan, but they were still keeping it secret to the public.

In their podcast as a couple called “Behind Relationship Goals”, Megan confessed that when Mikael was first paired with Andrea in the afternoon series “Sana ay Ikaw na Nga”, she got jealous somehow.

“Mikael said then, ‘Yeah, I have a new love team, I just wanna get to know her more para we become more comfortable together on the set.’ Ako naman, I was like, ‘Yeah that’s cool. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. No big deal.’ And then he goes, ‘Hinatid ko nga siya doon sa bahay niya.’ I was like, ‘Uh, what?’ Napatigil talaga ako. ‘Can you just say that again? You made her hatid where?'”

She explained her fears to him.

“Here’s the deal, I’m gonna lay it out for you right now, this is how it will look like from the outside. People will see her getting in your car, and yes, it’s cool because love team nga kayo. But what I’m worried about is what kind of thoughts are you putting in her head.

"I think Andrea was single at that time and I don’t want you to put any thoughts into her head like you’re taking her home, galante ka, baka isipin niya na may gusto ka nga sa kanya. I don’t want you to put these kinds of expectations in your love team.”

Mikael explained that he just wants to have a good working relationship with Andrea for their love team to succeed. Megan got his point and now, Andrea is one of their closest friends as a couple.

As we all know, Andrea is now on with Derek Ramsay with whom she’s doing a new show, “Sanggang Dikit”. Megan, in turn, is doing a new drama with Dennis Trillo, “Legal Wives”, while Mikael is in “Love of My Life” and also appears with Dennis in “My Husband’s Lover” that is now being shown on primetime.

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MANY CELEBRITIES who own restaurants were affected by the lockdown, like Judy Ann Santos and her Angrydobo Restaurant, Ai Ai de las Alas and her Asian Fusion Resto in Balintawak Ayala Malls, Kris Bernal and her Korean samgyupsal resto,

Alden Richards and his McDo and Concha’s restos, Aga Muhlach and Kris Aquino and their various fast food restos, and Maine Mendoza and her many food outlets.

They lost so much money with their restos being closed for sweveral weeks, so they’re all glad now that we’re on General Community Quarantine, and they can open their restos again even for take outs and deliveries starting today, June 1st.

Their big problem then is how to sustain all the staff and crew members working for them, like the cooks, food servers, etc. They still have to keep them and give them a minimal salary even if the restos were closed down to help them in their daily needs.

Well, let’s hope the GCQ will help ease their financial problems now that their restos are operational again.

The next problem of stars are with their children who are still in school. What kind of education of will their kids have? Most of them feel very reluctant to send them back to school and mix with their classmates.

It’s good the twins of Aga Muhlach and Charlene Gonzales, Andres and Atasha, have just finished high school, although there was no official graduation rites because of the lockdown’s social distancing requirements.

In college, they can take up courses via the open university or long distance education now available in many colleges and universities.

They can just get the modules relayed to them through their personal computers and accomplish all the requirements while they are in the comfort and safety of their own homes.

It’s the kids who are in grade school and high school who will have problems. There are some schools who open online classes.

Our own grandchildren are now enrolled in online classes and they communicate with their teachers via laptop three times a week. But only those with computers and wifi at home can afford to do this.

Those who live in depressed areas and rely only on free public school education surely cannot avail of such kind of online education.

And also, our kids provide personal tutoring to their own children. Our son is a great teacher who knows to solve even complex math problems and I’m completely in awe of how very patient he is in teaching his kids. But not all parents can be adept at home schooling like what my own son is doing.

Maybe celebrities who want to be of more help to their own kids should enroll in classes about home tutoring so they can be more capable teachers their own kids if they're considering home schooling.

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JUST BECAUSE they posted their pictures together, some JaDine fans are now jumping into the conclusion that their idols James Reid and Nadine Lustre have reconciled and are now back into each other’s arms.

The photos that went viral show them sharing the same spot in James’ house and gained a total of 17 thousand shares in social media.

This is said to be the same house where Nadine used to live in with James for almost three years before the scuttlebutt that they’ve broken up started circulating.

The separation rumors started late last year but they vehemently denied it.

Nadine even had a squabble with some reporters about it. She denied it strongly, only to recant it later and admit that, yes, she and James have indeed gone their separate ways, but they still remain good friends. It was clearly a vindication for the writers who reported it earlier.

The recent photos elicited so many positive comments from their expectant fans, all carrying the same message: that they’re hoping James and Nadine have really kissed and made up.

Some fans even said that it proves that fate really meant for them to be made for each other.

Some even added that after they have beeen apart from each other for sometime, it now looks like they have already proven for themselves that they cannot live without each other.

Well, what can we say? The fans can really be so presumptuous and they seem to  have truly some wild imagination, don’t they? James and Nadine have yet to show any favorable reaction to their messages.

But as they say, hope springs eternal and so, here’s hoping that the presumptions are true and James and Nadine are doing this to save whatever is left of their showbiz careers.

As we all know, both of their careers have been down there since their careers took a steep nosedive not only after they broke up but also after James left Viva who built him up and Nadine even tried to follow suit despite her last two films, “Ulan” and “Indak”, being both certified flops.

Since then, they haven’t had any projects, whether on the big screen or on TV, also no more endorsements.

At this point when the industry is also down and even more established stars are wondering where their careers could be going because of the corona lockdown, only a miracle can save their careers.

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WITH REGARD TO what happened to Kim Chiu, we want to share some valid observations that much respected writer-director Jose Javier Reyes made on Facebook about the matter. He directed Kim and Gerald Anderson in the romantic-drama "Till My Heartaches End". We’d like to quote Direk Joey directly:

“That is the inevitable fact about being a face exposed and making a living out of the public. We are entitled to our special privileges as we are also vulnerable to the reaction of the very people who sustain our livelihood by our mere presence. Is it bullying on the part of many who ganged up on Miss Chiu for a moment of miscalculation? Perhaps.

"But, you see, this is the same public that sustained her career because they were interested in her, as well as her narrative and her projected market appeal. It is an occupational hazard to be a public figure because you will be loved as much as you will be mocked by the same denomination that defined your career.

"Do I feel bad for Kim? Very much. But that is the risk you take when you come out in public and make statements. You are affirming your presence and your vulnerability.

“Hindi maipagkakaila na sa oras na pinili mo ang isang propesiyon na maghahantad sa iyo sa publiko na maraming balakid at pagsubok na kailangang harapin. Totoong mayroon tayong mga pribilehiyong maaaring angkinin pero kapalit nito ang reaksiyon, pananagutan at paghusga ng publikong bumubuhay sa atin.

"Sumama ba ang loob ko sa ginawa kay Bb. Chiu? Oo naman. Pero dapat ring tanggapin na ang publikong nanglalait na ito ay ang publiko ring bumuhay sa kanyang karera bilang artistang tinitingala at hinahangaan, ang publikong napagkitaan at namuhunan rin sa tinagal ng kanyang popularidad.

"Iyan po ang sugal na hinaharap ng mga taong puhunan ang kanilang katauhan sa publiko: puwede kang sambahin o suklian ng panglalait at pananakit.”

How about bashers that are just reeking with so much hate in lambasting the stars? 

“That is their perverted sense of pleasure. To see someone popular hurt, damaged and vulnerable. It gives the anonymous basher a sense of false empowerment. "O, kita mo na. Affected sya sa akin, ha? Si (name of celebrity) na yan, ha?"

And the more you are affected and make “patol”, the more they find it gleeful to bash you more. It’s sick but what can you do? There are really a lot of sick people who are inhabiting the internet these days.

These are words of wisdom that all celebrities should bear in mind. As Direk Joey says, it’s a gamble when you expose yourself to the public as they can either react with praise or with censure. But it all depends on what you do and what you say.

So let this be a lesson to all stars: Before you open your mouth, be sure you have sorted out and organized your thoughts well so you will be able to put across what you have in mind in a more articulate manner. Nang hindi kayo magmukhang tanga!

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KIM CHIU became incompehensible once again while doing a TV interview about her sad experienced with her "Classrom Law" brouhaha that produced the song “Bawal Lumabas”.

She shared that she was really badly affected by the bashers who bullied her after she failed to concretely put across her exact thoughts about the pandemic and going out. No doubt she was able to recover from this and bounce back with the help of her upbeat song.

But during the interview, Kim once again made some statements that are hard to decipher. She was asked about her reaction to the song’s success and, as one, netizen said, “sumabit na naman si Kim”.

This is her reply to the query about her supporter who wrote the song for her: “Para akong nabuhayan na, na, na natayo ko yung...  natayo… na para siyang umikot, not 360… 360, parang oy dito tayo, punta tayo dito. Yung ganon, yung di ko naman. From a stranger, from stranger yung nangyari.”

As may be expected, this became viral and quickly circulated in the internet. Some folks say she should do another song titled : "Punta Tayo Dito" or "From a Stranger". These are phrases thatb came from her latest statements, just like "Bawal Lumabas".

It eventually reached Kim and she compared the basher to a pathetic classmate who just wants to shame others. “That feeling na ‘yung classmate mong hinihintay kang magkamali tas pagtatawanan na naman nila kahit nonsense na!! Daig niyo pang nag-aabang ng teleserye eh. Wag ganun!”

Kim should not be onion-skinned as she’s the one herself who’s giving her bashers reason to bash her. As one netizen said: “Siya rin naman mismo ang nagbibigay ng bala para may ipambaril sa kanya. She should sort out and organize her thoughts well first before saying anything."

About this, please read the story about Director Joey Reyes' significant observations about Kim's predicament.
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‘DEFENDING JACOB’ is a mini-series on Apple TV based on the novel by William Landay that ended just last Friday. There will be spoilers here, so it’s up to you if you want to continue reading this review or not.

Chris Evans, better known as Captain America of “The Avengers” series, attempts some serious acting in this mystery whodunit cum family drama. He plays Andy Barber, the assistant district attorney in the town of Newton, Massachusetts.

His wife, Laurie (Michelle Dockery of “Downton Abbey”), is a teacher to traumatized kids and they have a 14-year old son, Jacob (Jaeden Mitchell who appeared in the bad horror flick “The Lodge”.)

Their happy peaceful life is suddenly turned upside down when Ben, a classmate of Jacob is killed in the park and he becomes the prime suspect after a fingerprint found inside Ben’s sweater matches his own print.

Naturally, Andy and Laurie are both shocked, but they are firm in their belief that their son is innocent. Jacob says he just found Ben lying in the park and tried to help him not knowing he’s already dead.

Andy later reveals a deep dark family secret: his dad, Billy (JK Simmons), is a convicted rapist and murderer and is serving a life sentence in prison. Jacob might have inherited his so called murder gene.

More evidence is found incriminating Jacob but a convicted pedophile in their community, Leonard Patz, hanged himself and left a suicide note taking responsibility for Ben’s death, so Jacob goes free.

But Andy is suspicious about Leonard’s death and his dad Billy confirms that he hired a hitman to kill Leonard and leave the suicide note behind because he doesn’t want his grandson Jacob to spend his life in jail like what happened to him.

The series is faithful to the book up to that point. The final episode chooses to deviate from the book’s conclusion. In the book, Laurie gets to confirm that their son is indeed a killer and takes drastic steps of her own, resulting to Jacob’s death.

On TV, they all remain alive and the ending is kind of “bitin” or hanging. The show has good production values, with Director Morten Tyldum (who did the impressive “The Imitation Game” about Alan Turing) coming up with fantastic aerial shots of the town of Newton.

But overall, the series is quite disappointing.  To begin with, it’s stretched to 8 episodes and you can feel all the tedious padding.

The whole thing can be told in a two-hour movies, with much faster pacing. This is sad because the acting is good. Martell as Jacob is well cast.

He really looks like his age, unlike some shows where much older actors are cast to play teenagers, like in “Riverdale” or “The Politician”. He also really looks innocent you won’t suspect at all that he’s guilty.

Chris Evans as the dad looks convincingly distraught all throughout, determined to fight for his son’s innocence at all costs and making some wrong decisions along the way.

But it is Michelle Dockery as Laurie who’s so affecting as the mom who loses her job and her friends because her son is considered pariah. But her character’s arc, showing shock and grief when she realizes that her son is not totally clean, is even more stunning.

Giving great support are Cherry Jones as the defense lawyer, J.K. Simmons who appears only in a few scenes but makes much of an impact as Evans’ dad, and Daniel Henshall as Patz, the convicted sex offender.

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Jun 1, 2020



LOYAL FOLLOWERS of GMA-7’s hardhitting newscast, “24 Oras”, have long been missing its original hosts: Mike Enriquez, Mel Tiangco and Vicky Morales, so they were pleasantly surprised when their formidable triumvirate returned on the air last Monday.  Mel and Mike thanked Jessica Soho and Atom Araullo who substituted for them while they’re away.

“24 Oras” continues be the newscast of choice not only on free TV but also online on youtube and Facebook, simply because they credibly offer “balitang walang kinikilingan, walang pinoprotektahan, walang kasinungalingan. Serbisyong Totoo lamang.”

Meantime, the late night GMA newscast, “Saksi”, anchored by Arnold Clavio and Pia Arcangel, also returned on the air last Monday in time with GCQ. Night owls who missed them say “Saksi” is their perfect way of having a night cap before bedtime. As Arnold and Pia say: “Sama-sama tayong maging: Saksi!”

As for those who miss the dashing Atom Araullo, you can still see him in his special docus in “The Atom Araullo Specials”. His show last Sunday got plenty of positive feedback: ‘COVID 19: Nang Tumigil ang Mundo’.

It became a trending topic on twitter and netizens had nothing but praise and acclaim for Atom’s informative and eye-opening docu which showed how the corona virus changed our lives, specially those of the poor and the frontliners.

Congratulations to Atom and his team and here’s looking forward to more enlightening docus in “The Atom Araullo Specials”.
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May 30, 2020

AI AI DE LAS ALAS was attacked by Netizens for her comments in her social media account about the new show of Korean actor Lee Min Ho. Here’s what she wrote:

“THE KING sa Netflix. Kung hindi lang si Lee min ho ang bida nito, d ako mag tiyatiyagang bigyan to ng chance, pero sorry hindi kagandahan itong palabas na to para sa aking panlasa.. masyado ako disappointed ... hindi mo maintindihan ang flow ng korean novela na to .. science fiction, ? Action? Love story? 

"Ano ba talaga? Panalo lang to para sa kanila sa dami ng intrusion .. fastfood chain, coffee, energy drink, lipstick , makeup lahat na ata ng klase, pero sana mas inisip nila yung ganda ng story bago yung kita... pero nabasa ko sa google magaling ang scriptwriter nito.”

The show is written by Kim Eun Sook, who has written many hit Koreanovelas.

“Siya ang sumulat, ang tanong: ANYARE??? Talagang hindi ako maka relate . Hindi ako makakapit sa story . Na-compare ko siya tuloy sa ITAEWON CLASS, simple pero aabangan mo. Ito, 5 chances na ang nabigay ko para ayoko na talaga.

"Nagtataka ako kung bakit sya number 2 sa trending. Hayz ang lungkot. Sorry, Lee, idol kita, magaling ka pa ding actor pero yung flow ng stor, waley talaga.”

Fans of Lee Min Ho quickly attacked her, making her number one trending on Twitter. Here are some of their answers to Ai Ai:

“May I have the pleasure to greet you a good morning. Well, giving out opinions are good but when you say out loud your feedbacks about this great drama with too much criticism of the author and tagging the lead actor himself was so disrespectful. Gigil mo ako!”

“What's your deal Ms #aiai delasalas to have the audacity to tag Lee Min Ho? First of all the Genres of this drama are Fantasy, Romance, Time Travel, Science Fiction, Sageuk and pwede na rin iinclude ang Action Thriller wc is complete opposite genre of IC, so y compare??”

“Ms. aiai, how dare u to compare the king eternal monarch to itaewon class when those two are really good PLUS they dont have the same genre? haha also, the audacity to tag lee min ho? omg na stress ako sayo ghorl. hindi mo siguro maintindihan Face with tears of joy.”

Ai Ai wisely chose not to answer them directly and just disabled the comments section of her account. Ai Ai now has her own bakery called Martina’s Bread and Pastries (her real name) and, in response, she later posted her photo with some bread, with this caption:

“Turning the negative into positive, Naniniwala ako sa kasabihang ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ Bilang idol ko talaga si lee min ho (kahit hindi ko gusto yung THE KING) gumawa talaga ako ng bread na nakapangalan for him.

"Kung may pandilimon, ang Martina’s may PANDE LEE MIN HO  (with ube and korteng L for lee)…soon gagawa pa ako ng UBE PANDE LEE MIN LOAF.”

Well, the fans of Lee Min Ho need not run amuck just because someone didn’t like the new show of their idol. Ai Ai is entitled to express her own opinion, just like everybody else.

Last time I looked, we still have freedom of expression in this country, don’t we? A teacher even called Ai Ai boba but she answered him back and it's good he apologized and shut up.

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HAVE YOU HEARD of the so called Burning Tongue Syndrome?

Well, if you haven’t, Heart Evangelista confessed that she got afflicted with it due to anxiety. In an interview with GMA-7’s Jessica Soho, she shared that the lockdown caused her this and it manifested on her body.

“In the beginning, siempre it's quite normal for you to be a bit antsy and anxious. I mean, I suffer a lot from anxiety,” she says. “But you know I've been painting a lot and I've been keeping myself busy.

"Yes, I'm very expressive with my painting. I still dress up. I still put accessories on. Mainly as an artist, I like to wear colors. I like to see colors, and it really helps my mood lighten up my mood.”

Jessica asked her what problems trigger her anxiety attacks?

“Dati, 'yon din 'yung tinatanong ko sa mga ibang nakikita ko. Nasa kanila na lahat. Private jet, they have buildings, pero bakit meron silang pinagdaraanang sadness? When I lost my babies in a miscarriage, I had a slight depression. Nag-manifest siya sa katawan ko.

"Naging numb 'yung mga paa ko, pati 'yung kamay ko na I used sa pag-paint. It's called the Burning Tongue Syndrome. Basically, people just live with this condition na parang nasusunog 'yung bibig mo. Tapos minsan, kumakalat siya sa gums, and it's very painful.”

The doctors diagnosed that it’s caused by extreme anxiety. 

“I went to seven doctors. Sabi nila, 'yung cause is extreme anxiety and it manifests on your body dahil sa sobrang stress.  Without me knowing, 'yung pressure din ng social media, 'yung pressure ng tao na kailangan lagi kang maganda, kailangan lagi kang nauuna.

"Although hindi naman ako super gano'n, siguro subconsciously, minsan 'pag may mga nasasabi tungkol sa'yo, akala mo hindi ka naaapektuhan but then, it affects you pala and nagpa-pile up siya."

Despite this syndrome, she has managed to help a lot of people with money coming from her own pocket since the lockdown started.

“It’s something I felt I have to do. Kung minsan nga, nakukulangan ako and I feel guilty. A lot of people are hard up at ang dami asking for financial help, pambili ng gamot, pambili ng pagkain, kailangan ng pan-dialysis, o for cancer treatment, o namatayan, kailangan ng pang-cremate.

"I really wish I could help everyone but let’s face it, during the lockdown, wala akong income kasi wala kaming tapings or shows. But people don’t seem to understand na hindi basta nanggagaling lang sa balon ang pera ko. Galing po ito sa pagtatrabaho ko at hindi siya endless.

"Wala naman po akong sariling fundraising like other stars do, kasi my husband is a politician and ayokong mabigyan ito ng ibang kulay, so talagang galing sa sarili kong ipon ang lahat ng ipinantutulong ko.”

There are times she felt she should have saved more before for the pandemic.

“Kasi noon, magastos talaga ako because of my love for high fashion. So now, may realization akong dapat pala, I didn’t splurge in certain things para mas marami akong natutulungan ngayong may crisis. I can’t do it all by myself so I encourage others to extend help sa mga naghihirap nating kababayan in this time of the pandemic.”
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May 28, 2020



MATTEO GUIDICELLI and Sarah Geronimo were married in a civil wedding last February 20 and since then, folks have been hounding as to when Sarah would get pregnant. 

They’ve already declared that they’re not in a hurry as they are still in the process of getting to know more of each other better. But each time Matteo faces the press, it’s still the first question asked of him: “Kailan kayo magbe-baby?”

He was asked this again when he had a live chat to help promote the documentary film he has made about his military training as a Scout Ranger, “Ranger G: The Making of a Philippine Scout”, which is now showing on iWant via streaming.

“We don’t have any plans yet about having a baby anytime soon,” says Matteo. “We’re still enjoying our being together now that we’re husband and wife. We call it our lockdown honeymoon and every single day we spend together is a big blessing.

"We enjoy being quarantined together kasi kaming dalawa lang talaga ang laging magkasama in the condo where we live. I’m enjoying being a married man and I’m telling my single friends nga, mag-asawa na rin sila kasi masarap pala.”

He’s very proud of his documentary “Ranger G”.

“I’m really excited to show ‘Ranger G’ to everyone as it’s something I did for myself in the beginning. Sabi ko sa mga parents ko at sa girlfriend ko pa lang noon at sa manager kong si Boss Vic del Rosario, ‘Gusto ko maging sundalo. Gusto kong pumasok sa Army,’” he says.

Boss Vic gave his permission for him to undergo military training. “But he has one condition. Dapat daw, I should shoot on film the whole thing. I told him naman, ‘’Okay Boss Vic. i-shoot man or hindi ito i-shoot, basta gagawin ko pa rinn ito para sa sarili ko.’ I’m very fortunate na pumayag ang Philippine Army for me to shoot everything.

"They were reluctant at first as there are many things in the training not allowed to be seen by civilians in the outside world but eventually, they realized it can be a good opportunity for people to know more about the Philippine Army.

"It’s really an amazing experience and doing the training is one of the best things I’ve done in my life, aside from marrying my wife.”

He adds that this is the first Filipino production that captures what really happens in the training of a Scout Ranger. “Ang condition ko lang sa documentary team, sabi ko sa kanila, I don’t want this to be shot like a typical reality show, as I’ve done reality shows before.

"I want it to be in your face, in the moment. 'Yung focus ko 'yung training, hindi 'yung pag-shoot.

"And I think we achieved that. I learned a lot from the men and women who sacrifice their lives serving in the military. They stay away from their respective families while assigned somewhere. They are there in the jungles and serve as the umbrella of safety for us here in the cities.

"Every day, we in the city live great lives. Of course, we have issues and all, but these soldiers live in the mountains fighting for our freedom, protecting us who are down here.”
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