Sinulog or Sick-nulog?

FEEL THE GAME - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - January 8, 2021 - 12:00am

According to records, not since World War II that international sporting events were held up because of Covid-19. Most significant was the Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympics which was supposed to be held in July last year. The Winter Olympics, the World Games, the ASEAN Para Games were also suspended because of the virus.The World University Games, due to the rescheduling of the Olympics, were also moved to a later date.

Revisions to local and international sports tournaments were made that included safety and health protocols, with emphasis on zero spectators. Festivals were also cancelled that even fiesta celebrations as well as gatherings were discouraged.

We are still in uncertain times because an end to this pandemic is not in sight, yet a more contagious variant of the virus had landed on our shores. Aware of our capability or lack thereof in combating the disease, prudence dictates that we always exercise caution.

Restraint coupled with good judgment must be observed in these unpredictable circumstances. We need to control what we can control. 

Brazil and New Orleans already cancelled their Mardi Gras celebrations.   Kalibo’s Ati-atihan and Iloilo’s Dinagyang were also cancelled this year but religious activities continue in a significantly toned-down manner. The same cannot be said of our Sinulog if one’s selfish pride prevails, emphasizing on the preservation of “cultural heritage”, disregarding the best interest of the people.

Society inherits from previous generations a legacy of resources and specific characteristics that identifies them thru its values, traditions and beliefs.  This is cultural heritage.  But not all legacies of our forefathers are heritage, relatively, heritage is a product of selection by society.

We selected Sinulog as part of the Cebuano cultural heritage which is deeply rooted in our Catholic faith. But as I mentioned above, we’re in uncertain times and tempting fate will be disastrous.  Cancelling the dances for a year will not “bring our faith, our history, our oneness down” but callously insisting on it will add more strain to our already over-burdened and stressed-out first responders and health workers.  And who, by the way, calls the shots in the city?  Will this be the legacy, the heritage they want to be remembered?

Yes,novena masses are risks for Covid transmissions, but we cannot simply prevent the church from doing their activities according to their church calendars and it is up to the clergy and the faithful to institute the necessary measures and precautions. Festivals, oh yes, we can prevent, we can suspend.

Na hala, mao man kaha.  Sick-nulog, hilanat ug kusog!  Pit Covid, ato-a kini!



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