Denial is the weakest form of defense.
Pundits have said: “denial is just a river in Egypt”.
In fact, denial is defeat.
This is just the problem with people getting too rich filthy and arrogantly powerful—they become insensitive, even contemptuous of the ordinary folks and the poor.
Their lips move without the guidance of their conscience.
They bring to mind memories of Marie Antoinette: “Let them eat cake.”
Here at home the quip from another powerful lady is exactly the opposite: “Outlaw unlimited rice.”
If the quote is correct, she deserves the nation-wide, net-wide backlash.
And a rice-eating, rice-loving nation of more than 100 million ganged up on her for the brash, brazen statement.
And so in a profuse apology apparently in aid of re-election, the lady lawmaker corrected herself.
Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, reassured rice-loving Filipinos that she is not planning to file a bill to ban the serving of unlimited rice (unli rice) in restaurants and other food establishments.
"I am not planning to make a law banning 'unli rice', not at all. I just voiced out my concern that eating too much rice is one of the main causes of high blood sugar that leads to diabetes. But, of course, I cannot prevent people from eating unlimited amount of rice. It is their choice. It was just a genuine expression of concern on my part," said Villar.
Villar led a Senate hearing on rice importation and other rice-related matters on Wednesday and the topic was discussed during the course of the hearing and was also raised during the press conference after the public hearing.
She noted that other countries, promote a balanced diet consisting of a small portion of rice and a generous amount of vegetables. "In schools in Japan, the students even discuss the nutritional value of their meals for the day before they eat. They also harvest the vegetables they eat from the garden in their school. Of course, we want our children and children's children to grow up healthy," added Villar.
Villar has earlier urged other government agencies such as the Departments of Agriculture, Social Welfare and Development, and Health to align their programs in order to promote better nutrition and health among the young.
"I have recommended to the government departments, and they are doing it in some areas already to incorporate vegetable gardening in schools in the feeding program, for instance. They can also source the ingredients locally, particularly the perishable produce, to help the small farmers and cooperatives," said Villar.
She said, it would really be difficult to stop Filipinos from eating rice as the Philippines is a nation of rice eaters. But to decrease health risks, cutting down on rice is still a good idea.
Based on a study, eating one plate of white rice everyday increases the risk of developing diabetes by 11 percent. Health experts also recommend adding 20% of brown rice to the daily white rice consumption; it can reduce the risk of diabetes by around 16%. Rice cause an increase in the level of sugar in the blood, which makes pancreas produce more insulin and cause frequent spikes in blood sugar level leading to diabetes. When not managed, diabetes may cause organ malfunction leading to death.