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ROUGH CUTS | The pandemic has changed a tradition




NOW IT can be told how much Davao City’s local government is trying its best to get out of the wrath that the city is in due to the pandemic.

The city, as we knew, had been consistently in the list of Top 5 contributors nationwide of new corona virus disease (CoViD 19) infections on a daily basis. Most often it has been in the number 1 spot during the last few months. It definitely is a discomforting honor, is it not?

The city is now making it mandatory and for free the conduct of RT-PCR test. The City Council passed an ordinance on the matter on the request of mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio, according to First District councilor Mabel Sunga Acosta, main author of the Ordinance.  So, now there is no more reason that travelers coming to Davao City and other residents who had been stranded somewhere and would like to return here would not anymore worry of additional expenses on their part.

So, this time we would like to assume that the ball is now in the people’s hands. We mean if they want to help liberate the city from the clutches of the deadly virus then they should do their role in the fight against it. The city government has provided every way available and possible. All the people in this part of the country have to do is simply obey the various health protocols and follow what the city leadership wants them to do.


In a song it says “a face could launch a thousand ships…” Now we know that a pandemic is changing the social and economic landscape of the universe. Most recent of this phenomenon is the long religious practice of celebrating the feast of the Black Nazarene all over the country.

When before devotees flocked by the millions especially the one image at the Quiapo Church, in Manila, in yesterday’s fiesta, the devotees had to be restrained from going to the Church in order to have only the maximum of forty percent allowable inside.

Its most fascinating part, the procession of the image had to be cancelled and every move of those outside the church but attended the masses only on the grounds, were being watched by the authorities to ensure that the health protocols are not violated. Nevertheless, many still broke the restraint in the name of devotion and the so-called tradition.

This time though the Church officials agreed with the civil authorities although somewhat grudgingly, that a pandemic is raging and the people must be protected against it at all cost. And so, what happened in many Churches and chapels with the black Nazarene as the patron, the commemoration was of course still retained.

However, many of the traditional activities that made the celebration pompous and subsequently grandiose are done away with. As consequence, tourists who do not really relish the religious rites but the attendant programs and other presentations have dwindled as well. So is the tourism-generated economic ventures of some residents in such areas are stopped or have to tame down in number and bulk.

So the places’ economic situation usually boosted during the fest is curtailed to a huge degree. Woo unto those who thrive due mainly to festivity-related enterprise. They are victims of the corona virus pandemic many times over. Yes, this time around such big and pompous religious celebrations have to be sacrificed if we want to obviate the possibility of bringing in the so-called “super-spreader” of the virus.

That may just be a small sacrifice to do compared to what we may get if we do not forego such kind of religious rites.
Let us just imagine this incident. The Ma-a Church of St. Francis of Assissi had been ordered locked down last week when its three priests, 3 nuns, 1 seminarian, and some seven of the Parish staff were tested positive of the Corona virus disease. What if the Church was allowed to remain open to the people and the virus carriers allowed to serve them?

How many of the parishioners would be potential victims of the disease considering the many who want to attend religious services in the said Church? It is just good that the Church authorities believe that they also have the obligation to protect the faithful from harm. Yes, a lockdown may be the harshest of things to impose in this time of the health emergency.

But somehow it has become a necessary evil that the Ma-a church accepted to protect the people from the pandemic that is raging in the entire universe.

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