SOBRIETY, CALMNESS, PENANCE

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GETTING into stepped up activities in days ahead, it’s very evident that were it not for the remaining dregs — covid case count seemingly in a descent since weeks back — all signs point to a back-to-normal grind., nationally and locally. Take away the vigil being done by scientists and experts globally being done, one would think we’re already on safe ground. Gamboling about, in hurried pace, ever on the get-go.

This is why we ought to take serious heed of what’s up and about, even as we get into merry ways of living it through, risk or no risk. An emerging variant remains under close scrutiny, enough to send shivers down the spine. Actually, it’s been a source of interest since a month back. It seems that rather than just ebbing out for good, this covid-19 is taking another swing at humanity.

Places that bear watching, so much proximate to dear ‘Pinas, are Thailand, Hongkong, and even South Korea (where in a day’s time, covid cases rose up through the roof, about 300,000.) Travellers from there come and go and have the Philippines on their radar. At a time when the economy is about 80% fully opened up and operating, this new variant, said to be a hybrid from Omicron and Delta, faster in transmissibility, while its deadliness remains unvalidated, should make us take strong notice and remain, by our selves and with others, safe and protected.

As Mayor Benjie has been repeatedly invoking, “Let’s not put our guard down, the threat remains, covid may just spring back to action. Yung health protocols, huwag kakaligtaan . . . face-mask wearing whether indoor or outdoor, safe distancing, 1 or 2 meters apart. Kung di pa bakunado, bilis-aksyon, get jabbed. Kung di pa boosted, get jabbed. “

Meantime, inbound travellers continue to come in groups. Maybe, not yet the record-breaking crowds in pre-pandemic levels, but already in increasing numbers. For several weekends now, we’ve been having 50,000 tourist arrivals. For coming Holy Week, it won’t be surprising to double that up beginning Thursday all the way to East Sunday.

Is it time to clamp down on this, through daily visitation limitations which we did at the height of Delta all the way through Omicron? Again, Mayor Benjie assures that it’s not yet time to holler out the brakes. “The need is to calibrate, to determine carrying capacity. The numbers, while rising, remain well manageable, by efficient traffic management of road use, by consistent obedience to health protocols. Importante kasi, well-balanced ang needs ng economy with those of health protection. But, the very minute na over the line na tayo, brake agad!”

GITING BAGUIO! No, that isn’t a typho error. It’s meant to pay serious heed that yesterday, April 9, was Araw ng Kagitingan, the day meant to  honor those who perished into the night in the nation’s struggle to win freedom, battle oppression, and contend with life’s difficulties.

Remembering our patriots and martyrs is taking to heart and soul what their selfless sacrifices have meant for our nationhood and cityhood. Take a pause for reflective moments, pray for those who have gone without seeing the dawn, and draw lessons for patriotism to guide us, moving forward as we get going past the challenges.

Happy Day of Valor, everyone!

HOLY WEEK IS BEING HOLY — Lest it be forgotten or swept aside, the coming Lenten Days is Holy (not holi) Week. Do devote it in spiritual reawakening, much like a spark to get us through. Do good, do right, be reborn if need be. That’s what’s being Holy, not holi, is all about. Happy Easter everyone out there!

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