“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.”
The step may be considered as a precautionary measure and to ensure their safety.
Some of them may even skip this year’s most popular cultural and spiritual festivals in the Philippines like the celebration of the feast of Senior Santo Nino in Iloilo City (Dinagyang Festival), Cebu City (Sinulog Festival), Kalibo, Aklan (Ati-Atihan Festival).
Americans will continue to be a target of terroristic attack anywhere in the world today where there are presence of pro-Iran sentiments and militant groups that are anti-America.
Some of them were supposed to go home this month for the Senior Santo Nino Festivals, among other important cultural and religious celebrations.
Their paranoia has been exacerbated by the mysterious plane crash in Tehran Wednesday involving a Ukraine passenger jet (Boeing 737-800) that killed 167 passengers and nine crew members from different nations.
The plane crashed hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers.
To compound the matter, Ukrainian and Iranian authorities gave no indication the plane crash and the missile attack are related although investigation as to the cause of the air mishap was still ongoing.
Some aviation observers continued to be skeptical even after Iranian officials pointed to the possibility of engine failure.
It was immediately reported that in most major airline crashed around the world, U.S. officials participate in the investigation. It was now unclear whether U.S. officials would be allowed to follow the standard procedures given the recent missile attack.
Iran has reportedly wriggled out of the last constraints of the Obama-era nuclear deal, raising fears of a possible race to an atomic weapon within months.
The US now seems far closer to being forced out of Iraq after striking Soleimani on Iraqi soil, in an insult to Iraqi sovereignty, says analyst Stephen Collison.
Trump compounded the damage by threatening to sanction the star-crossed nation invaded by US-led troops in 2003 if American forces are kicked out, he explained.
Any US departure from Iraq would hamper the fight against extremism and hand a prize to Baghdad’s bigger, more powerful neighbor.
For reasons of military logistics, it would likely force the US to abandon the remnants of its fight against ISIS in Syria.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)