De Guzman, left, and Rimando, right
De Guzman, left, and Rimando, right

Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Facing intense heat and uproar over his decision to exclude multi-awarded actress Nora Aunor from this year’s list of National Artists, President NoyNoy Aquino has found a way to shift the focus away from this latest controversy.

Aquino has declared Friday  and Monday (Thursday and Sunday, respectively in Brazil) as special paid holidays for all government and private workers in the Philippines.  Friday is when the U.S. plays against Germany and Monday is when the Netherlands faces Mexico in the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.  This is to allow Filipinos to watch both games.

Although the Philippines is not in the World Cup, two players — Jonathan de Guzman and Nick Rimando are of Filipino descent.  De Guzman who is half Filipino and half Jamaican is with the Netherlands team and Rimando who is Filipino-Mexican is with the U.S. team.

“I know many people are upset about my decision not to name Ms. Aunor as a National Artist, but I wish they would just let it go and focus instead on these two important dates where once again, Filipinos can prove to the world that they can excel in the field of sports,” Aquino said.

In signing the executive order declaring the paid holidays, Aquino urged his countrymen to cheer on the Pinoy football PIPA (sic) players while enjoying a four-day long weekend. (He, of course, meant FIFA).

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