Greater interest


    ‘…our Pinoy relatives in the US should stay put as the virus continues to rage there, once again overwhelming hospitals in many states.’

    THE order of PNP chief Debold Sinas banning Christmas parties in the police force should be truly welcomed in the face of still rising COVID cases and, at more than 1,000 day, should not give health officials any reason to relax, even if they think the decrease in the number of daily infections should be something to smile about. Sinas should go a step further and prohibit private parties and reunions among the officers and men, which should probably make him the most scorned officer in the PNP. It would be a “crime” to break up a long and beloved tradition.

    The virus is still everywhere but bus operators and jeepney drivers pretend that it is less risky today for some unexplained reason so that physical distancing in jeeps and buses are recklessly ignored. It should be a signal to President Duterte to similarly ban Christmas parties in government offices, an exceptionally unpopular move that may yet save countless lives. His political will, along with strong police and barangay enforcement, will ensure wide compliance which would yield the abundant gratitude of a nation and ultimately translate into genuine high satisfaction survey ratings for him and his administration The President should be determined to overcome any resistance, even from his own allies, in going up against a deeply-embedded tradition and practice.

    In the meantime, our Pinoy relatives in the US should stay put as the virus continues to rage there, once again overwhelming hospitals in many states. The sudden influx of visitors into the country during the holiday season will likely lead to protocols being taken for granted in the spirit of Christmas, they would say, and likely trigger a dreaded second wave of the deadly virus.

    Christmas is indisputably a spiritual event, but people celebrate it with excessive material relish. The center of it all (Christ) is just paid lip service through religious services and token activities for the poor and the sick, while the celebrations seize each and every household with wild abandon through endless feasting and lavish gifting.

    This virus crisis is teaching us hard lessons in faith, and one of them deals with our soul that should otherwise shun celebration for the body which much of humanity has long indulged. The celebrations and festive gatherings should be renounced for the greater interest of the population that must remain protected against this disease through constant and active health protocols.

    They should give way to more and deeper private moments of the family away from the physical and artificial endearments of the season and to frequent contemplation in our soul and spirit, giving ourselves in thankfulness and worship for Jesus’ birth. Certainly, this is easier said than done for tradition seems to offer no alternative to the extremely personal and social indulgence for relatives, friends and officemates, a yearly experience that has taken the people farther away from the Biblical truths and actual spiritual and social blessings of Christmas.

    It cannot be regarded as less than a spiritual event. In fact, the greatest miracle in human history of God, the Creator of the entire universe, becoming man, and from His everlasting Kingdom, coming down on earth to the smallest part of the human embryo. The evangelist and highly-esteemed Christian writer, C.S. Lewis states, “Every other miracle precedes from this!”