Malilong: Coronavirus fatigue

Frank Malilong
·3 min read

The best time to travel is during the Holy Week. The best day? Good Friday.

The national highway was deserted when we drove to Carcar at noontime. Given our past experience when we spent hours behind a long column of vehicles, especially in Minglanilla and Carcar, wondering when the traffic would clear, having the road practically all to ourselves was a very pleasant experience. The government does work, you begin fantasizing.

We had no specific destination. When you’ve been cooped up inside your house for more than two months during which the farthest you’ve stepped outside was to the garage, you don’t bother with road maps. They are a burden to your sense of liberation.

As we were entering the poblacion, I remembered that there was a road that connects the city with Aloguinsan. We’ve used that road once about five years ago and the one lasting impression I had was how serene it felt at the western part of the road.

It did not fail. I found the road surprisingly well-maintained on the Aloguinsan side. In comparison, the Carcar stretch was rough although there were signs that repair and expansion works were ongoing.

Upon reaching the highway, we turned left, passing by Guadalupe en route to Dumanjug via Barili. At Dumanjug, we decided to return to the east coast to Sibonga via a provincial road that connects the two towns. Here, the ride was even more pleasant amid a sea of green that soothes the eyes that have been strained by hundreds of hours spent on PCs and other gadgets. We went to Argao for its famous torta but found the bakeshop closed so we returned to the city.

The following day, we headed north, staying mostly on the national highway until Sogod where we turned right to Borbon and Tabogon. Big mistake. It took us almost two hours to reach Bogo because of ongoing road repairs and another hour to arrive in Tabuelan via San Remigio. We took the road to Lugo on our way back to the city.

The drive was no longer as smooth as it was the day before especially on our way home. Going to the north, we saw several cars parked on the road near the beaches, beginning in Catmon. Most of those vehicles must have come from the city , carrying hundreds of urban dwellers who wanted to soak in the sun and the sea. They were going home almost at the same that we were.

We also saw the now familiar Run Sara Run posters in the towns under the fourth congressional district. We haven’t seen those election-related materials elsewhere during our two-day adventure.

Critics may slam those posters as campaigning but they are other otherwise harmless. What was potentially harmful was the sight of hundreds of people converging in the beaches. The number of Covid-19 cases has dropped during the last few days. Will we see a resurgence during the middle of the month?

But I am not going to spend my time worrying about the pandemic. The past many months have seen me driven into recluse and it took a toll on my health. I will still be careful and will follow the protocols laid down by the government. But otherwise, I will do as I please, let the virus be damned.