ARE we deaf, dim or both? It makes no sense to cancel live performances of Sinulog contingents if these contingents continue to perform for pre-recorded shows that will be shown online.
If recording is done by contingent, it is still a gathering of at least 100 people when we count not just performers but production crew and support staff. And if recording of the 21 contingents is done together for practical purposes — that’s easily 2,000 people gathering not counting officials attending with support and security detail.
And where and how do we propose to do this recording which will, without doubt, attract crowds and require police presence once more? And what about all the practice sessions? Are these performances really worth dying and killing for?
It is supreme madness to even consider holding Sinulog performances at this time.
It’s not like all these people were holed up in some quarantine village for months, making zero contact with the outside world. There is no bubble to speak of. And to pit the preservation of culture and tradition against public health and safety — is just beyond ludicrous.
We are not being asked to give up our faith or to throw out our culture; we are only being asked to celebrate differently this year in light of the pandemic. Surely, we can take a raincheck without dire cultural or religious ramifications.
Authentic religion liberates. It does not enslave. So, if we are enslaved by the idea that the Sinulog can only be celebrated in one way — the way we’ve been celebrating it for decades, then, our religion has failed us miserably.
In all candor, I believe all masses, should, at this time, be virtual. We are now experiencing a spike in cases from the Misa de Gallo which we insisted on celebrating physically. And yet, we continue to do what we should NOT be doing.
To what end? To show our piety? To serve our obstinacy and pride? To avoid being the bad guy? God does not call us to be stubborn and proud. He calls us to be truthful and brave.
How is it a sound decision to hold performances that bring together at least 100 people or to put up large screens in multi-purpose halls to stream masses and invite people to converge?
What part of NOT gathering as a safety measure during this pandemic do we not understand?
I challenge all Catholics to celebrate the Sinulog this year with the true spirit of sacrifice — doing what we SHOULD, not doing what we WANT. We are not called upon to do what is best for ourselves but to do what is best for everyone, as well. P25 million can be better spent on vaccines rather than cultural performances and prizes.
God is neither deaf nor dim. But apparently, we are. And if we simply pretend then we defile the Sto. Niño with our lies.