Holy Week and fiestas on “silent mode”

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Holy Week and fiestas on “silent mode”

Topic |  

THE COVID-19 SCARE prodded  Boholanos to an unusually totally quiet observance of the Holy Week.

Good Friday has always been that serene in Bohol, but last Friday’s was added an intimate solemnity to it- seeing people in their homes bonding together to hear church services either through the radio, television or through social media. 

In these modern days, rarely can an entire family completely gather as one.    But little miracles did happen in the family observance of Holy Week rites long distance.

It was also a  rare sight of empty streets on Good Friday where, heretofore, worldwide- millions would go out to join the processions.


During Holy, Week-churches used to be jampacked with the faithful going to various churches during the Visita Iglesia. All these activities- this time- went on but with no warm bodies.           

In fair exchange for that – landlocked people became more meditative during the Holy Week pondering on the possible reasons why God allowed this pandemic to stop the world on its tracks.

Several evangelists and the clergy were heard on social media with their ponderous reflections on how people should react to this trial, possibly the worst global challenge in recent memory.

One thing sure, when the economic clock stops ticking especially In Third World countries like ours, social unrest could be an unwanted consequence if the crisis prolongs.

Jobless people are starting to look for government assistance to feed their families with their pockets full of empty. We hope the much-publicized P200 plus billion subsidies will be felt by the people who are starting to get hungry.

We hope the guidelines on the release of this Social Amelioration Program (SAP) with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as the lead agency will be simplified.  Our local government units have started to release part of their relief assistance down in the barangay level. But until when can this assistance be sustainable?


There is still much oil needed to lubricate the flow of assistance.


Meanwhile, let all Boholanos should spread the word that extending the Intensified Home Quarantine until April 30 which is the Vesper day of Tagbilaran has absolutely nothing to do with the City Fiesta celebration on May 1

In fact, nobody knows what happens after April 30. For sure, the mood will still be that of a “partial lockdown” or psychologically an acceptance that things are not yet normal by that time.

Bohol, as everyone is aware, is known to be exceptionally festive during the month of May since there are fiestas celebrated between May 1 to 31, This time there will be a quiet acceptance of a new albeit painful reality.  


What is certain to disappear is the need for people to borrow just to put up a culinary show at home in the barrios during fiestas. Too, the pigs fattened for a year to be made into a deliciously brown lechon will be spared from death row for now. 

In short, this time- Fiesta Galore in Bohol for May will take an unwanted vacation. It is best,  for Boholanos to be frank with our usual fiesta visitors.


However, being predominantly Catholic, the officiating of a Holy Mass in honor of the patron saints will continue but with no jam-packed churchgoers. It will only be the parish priest officiating.

The extension of the Intesnfied Home Quarantine until April 30 will still be under strict assessment as even the provincial government is doing day-to-day monitoring of patients under monitoring (PUM) and patients under investigation (PUI).      

The 200 testing kits which were dispatched to the government district hospitals should help create the gauge on whether we have new COVID victims or not. Is Bohol really COVID-19 free?

If Bohol will still continue to be COVID free, it might be best to gradually let our socio-economic activities slowly return to normal on the big condition that our ports and the airport will remain sealed from outside arrivals.

In the meantime, we congratulate the PNP Provincial Director Jonathan Cabal for strictly enforcing the “no entry” policy with more than 200 apprehensions of people trying to sneak into Bohol. Hopefully, the 200 persons tested will show negative results,

People, as we know, the world over the world are ever fearful that the economic catastrophe – the unintended consequence- could be worse than the disease we are trying to heal. In the sense that, the collective misery for many more will be more abominable in that case.

The return to socio-economic normalcy must, of course, be calibrated with the goals of public safety.  For unlocking the private sector wheels by freeing the quarantine rules will allow Business to continue dispensing money into the stream and gradually take away from the government the heavy burden of subsidizing the unemployed or underemployed people.

Thus, the  ( resulting) “freed” Government money will be thence be used to continue the infrastructure build-up and other inputs needed to grow overall productivity which is key to real economic progress.

And -at the same time- disarm the possibility of a festering mass revolt borne out of common widespread hunger. The stakes in this game of political brinksmanship are very high indeed. Make no mistake about that.

For comments: email to dejarescobingo@yahoo.com or bohol-rd@mozcom.com


WITH SO MUCH TRAGEDY taking place around, we might forget that today is Easter Sunday. And Easter is about victory over death.

By dying on the Cross, Jesus proved He was a man; but proved He was God, in turn, by rising from the grave. Perhaps to all of us today who are grieving or are in anxiety, there is some lesson to be learned there. That where there is a Calvary, there is always a resurrection on Easter.

And that Jesus, our Lord is not above mercy. Remember when the sisters Mary and Martha pleaded with Jesus to come as His friend, their brother Lazarus was very ill?

But since Jesus still went on with His Father’s business, Lazarus was already four days dead when Jesus arrived.

Yet, Jesus still went into the tomb of Lazarus and commanded his friend: “Arise, Lazarus and walk”. And he did- with bandages and all over his whole body. Lazarus was a friend. Are we also a friend of Jesus like Lazarus?

It is said that man’s joy and sorrow are a result of his love. When a man has what he loves-he is joyful. When a man loses the object of his love, he is in sorrow.

Our love or attachment to certain things, possession and people- defines whether we are a friend of Jesus or not. Being attached to those, are you in certainty now that God will liberate you from your present misery and tragedy in this life? Because you are His friend?

Becoming Jesus’ friend like Lazarus is really dependent on the choices we make in this life regarding our attachments. Shalom!

For comments: email to dejarescobingo@yahoo.com or bohol-rd@mozcom.com

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