Briones: A downright shame

Publio J. Briones III
·3 min read

I understand that they’re young. They’re restless. Trust me, I would be too if I were in their place. After all, it’s not easy to be living in the middle of a pandemic.

It’s hard enough for someone who has reached the “golden” age. What more for those who have to contend with raging hormones. Every day.

So I get where they’re coming from. I really do.

But the photo that came out on page 3 of SunStar Cebu’s March 22, 2021 issue didn’t sit well with me.

It looks innocent enough at first glance. After all, what’s wrong with youngsters taking a group photo at the Plaza Sugbo in front of the Cebu City Hall, right?

So they broke the rule on social distancing. So what? It wouldn’t have qualified as one had they been standing meters apart. Duh! And never mind that some of them weren’t wearing their face mask. Again, duh! How else were they going to see that they were enjoying each other’s company?

As they say, it’s more fun in the Philippines, right?

I’m pretty sure they were minors. Although some of them might have been older. It’s really hard to tell with Asians. They have a tendency to look younger than their age. And I don’t mean that in a racist way. What I wouldn’t give to look a decade younger. Oh wait, I’m Asian.

And those youngsters had every right to be out and about, granted they each carried a quarantine pass. Because that is still required, right? Those who venture outside their homes must, at all times, carry one. Unless Mayor Edgardo Labella rescinded the order. If he did, then it’s my bad. If he didn’t... well.

The last time I checked the country is still going through a health crisis. In fact, in other parts of the archipelago, things aren’t looking up.

Over the weekend, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the creation of a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) “bubble” in Metro Manila, or the National Capital Region, and in the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

Starting on March 22, the government tightened restrictions in these areas to try and contain the rise in Covid-19 cases.

So those youngsters in the photo should be thankful that Cebu was spared.

Although I get it. It was a Sunday. It was probably the only time they could hang out with friends. They must have spent the rest of the week cooped up inside the house, which is no fun if you don’t have an air conditioner running 24/7 in this weather.

But to blatantly violate health protocols while everybody else is trying to cope with everything that is going on is a slap in the face of the government’s efforts to put an end to this Covid nightmare.

And to do it right in front of City Hall.