Malilong: Please drive that Sto. Niño garbage truck away

Frank Malilong

IT looks like we’re not getting any break from Nature’s wrath. It wasn’t long ago when we had earthquakes shaking parts of Mindanao, a typhoon that left a wide swathe of destruction in its wake, including flooding and landslides, and fires that occur with damning regularity in almost every major city.

Now comes Taal Volcano erupting again, bringing back memories of the ashfall that darkened a huge part of Luzon for weeks and the lahar that threatened to wipe out entire villages. We are powerless, as usual, to prevent this onslaught or bring it to an end. All that we can do is pray that the people who are directly affected by this natural calamity can run to safety and, when they can eventually return, find that they still have a home.

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Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella told us about it last Saturday but he requested that it be kept under wraps. It was all over the internet yesterday, however, so there is no sense in hiding any further the fact that he and Gov. Gwen Garcia will be dancing in the finale of the Sinulog festival this Sunday.

I watched the mayor play basketball in college but I had never seen him step on the dance floor until the Walk and Talk anniversary last year. Someone took a video of his dance number and uploaded it to Youtube. It became an instant hit, trending for some time.

I think he dances well but I am not a good judge of that since I absolutely do not know how to dance myself. So you’ll have to watch his and the governor’s number yourselves and make your call.

I hope the Sinulog Foundation has finished printing the tickets and started selling them. There has been a surge in demand for tickets among our members since last Saturday and we might just make club history on Sunday by registering a 100 percent attendance.

Labella said he has agreed to the dance presentation to show the unity between the city and provincial administrations. The two local government units have a history of bitter disagreement, particularly during the time when Garcia was governor and Tommy Osmeña was mayor. Labella said that any such rift should be avoided because it would be counter-productive to both the province and the city.

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We attend the Sto. Niño novena masses at the Basilica in the morning for two reasons: We are usually busy with our professional responsibilities after 7 a.m., and it is exhilarating to see the day break while you’re in communion with its (and your) Maker. There is so much joy in witnessing divine creation unfold.

I wanted, and still do, to take home that afterglow and for the first three days of the novena, I think I actually did. And then, our driver decided to wait for us in Legaspi St. instead of near the Cathedral gate. That’s when holy became folly and the sweet smell of incense replaced by the stink of garbage.

I know I prayed for patience and tolerance only a few minutes earlier but does God really test you that soon? And with a loaded garbage truck bearing the Child Jesus’s name?

Yes, the garbage truck is owned by Barangay Sto. Niño; it says so on its front. And it is parked along Legaspi St., which is where many people pass going to and from the Basilica. How can they be so inconsiderate?

In the very remote event that the truck was actually collecting garbage at such an unholy hour, will the City Government please lend one of its compactors to do the job for a week?

I promise not to pass through Legaspi St. in the meantime. That should address my problem. But what about Barangay Sto. Niño’s problem of insensitivity?