April 2, 2020

Aside from the health crisis the Department of Health (DOH) in the Bicol region is facing vis-à-vis the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19), it is very obvious that it is also burdened by a secondary crisis involving communication, which if not addressed right away, would add fear and panic to Bicolanos who expect clear, transparent and honest information from the health department that is primarily tasked to handle the Covid-19 outbreak.


Recent developments showed that the DOH, despite ample time of  planning and  preparations for the eventual entry of Covid-19 in the region, has overlooked an equally important and integral aspect of  managing the virus outbreak, that is, what public relation practitioners called crisis communication.


This problem on communication became apparent on Mar. 28, 2020 after Dr. Francisco DJ. Sales III, officer-in-charge of the Bicol Medical Center (BMC) in Naga City denied a portion of the press release   issued the day before by DOH  Bicol regional d...

April 2, 2020

How does that happen?  How does a city go from being Covid free one day, then putting one residential area on lockdown the very next day? How does a straight A student who just aced an examination, then flunk a big quiz on the next day?  Clearly, Naga wasn’t  Covid free when City Hall was claiming or wanted to believe that the city were so.  All along we have been presented a picture that tells us that “everything’s okay, don’t worry”.  It started with declarations of low mortality rate of what was then referred as “NCOV” and the futility of face masks, to a rather lenient set of policies of prevention  of assemblies of not more than 200 participants sitting/standing 2 meters apart from each other, to releases that say that reports about PUIs going positive are all fake news and the city is free from the dreaded disease, to downward direction of yes, the city has a positive case.  The next thing you know, a populated area of Concepcion Pequeña is on lockdown....

April 2, 2020

The Covid-19 virus which hit our country including the Asia Pacific Region, Europe and the United States and other parts of the world has introduced us to a new dimension of vocabulary such as “enhanced community quarantine, “extreme community quarantine” and “total lockdown” (for the entire Southern Luzon). The quarantine and lockdown have kept our streets from motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic while police authorities established check-points in strategic areas to see to it that the quarantine and lockdown orders are observed. All persons were ordered to just stay home starting last March 17,  lasting up to April 14, except for one representative from each family duly issued a Special Pass by the local government unit for emergency purposes. However, trucks carrying food and other agricultural products are allowed passage for delivery to wet markets. Print and broadcast media reports showed that the Congress of the Philippines has passed a resolution granting President Rodrigo R....

April 2, 2020

The history of afflictions in this region – and in the whole country - comes alive this month through a framed image that measures 61cm long and 47 cm wide. Within the frame, on a canvas is the image of Veronica, she who in one of the oldest stories of sacrifice, is a woman who ran to Jesus Christ as he made his way through the tortuous road to death. The young woman, it is said, approached Christ to wipe the blood and sweat from his brow and face. As the Christ turned around to resume his punishment, Veronica found the image of the Man about to be crucified imprinted on her veil.


Today, the first of April, we are told the two icons of our Lady of Peñafrancia and that of Divino Rostro or Divine Face, will be brought out again in a procession. There is an urgent, sad reason for this: a pandemic is causing sickness and death all over the world, our country and this region not spared from the fact and threat.  


With due respect to the theology that marks the Peñafrancia celebration, the D...

In times of great crisis like the unspeakable sufferings that the coronavirus has inflicted on so many people, young and old alike, it’s more than natural for people to ask: Where is God? Asking the question is almost a cry for help.


The God that I learned from my Jesuit friends and teachers as all-loving and all- powerful appears to be missing and insensitive to the thousands of people afflicted by this global pandemic. God seems so far away at the time that we need Him the most


So many people, me included, want to know why God won’t stop the spread of coronavirus. More and more, I feel like I am living in a new normal that’s characterized by fear, anxiety, uncertainty, sadness, and violence.
This pandemic has become a lightning rod for many people as they look for answers in how to cope with this malady.


Some of the answers are just beyond me. They are unthinkable, divisive, and outright unchristian. 


There are those who have already advocated for the health of the nation’s economy a...

April 2, 2020

As the death toll surges here in Queens, New York, now the “epicenter of the epicenter” of this global pandemic that is threatening to deluge us, it is blatantly evident how inter-dependent we all are with each other: humans, animals, the planet. We are all in the same boat.


I have just finished calling my relatives to ask them to earnestly pray for each other and for the world for forty days. Right. Forty days. Just like Noah and his loved ones did inside the Ark. Noah, the Biblical lockdown personality.


Another lockdown historical personage is Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who went into deep hiding in a warehouse in Nazi occupied Holland.


The circumstances are different but the menace to human survival is the same.


As soon as I nervously put down the phone, I gaze blankly through my kitchen window, pondering what lies ahead for the human race.  I cannot help noticing the empty robin nest standing prominently on the branch of the pine tree. I have been waiting for my favorite migr...

April 2, 2020

Ngonyan saro sa pinakasadit na municipyo kan Camarines Sur, an Milaor iyo an dating saro sa pinakadakula na municipyo kan provincia poon kan ini namundag bilang parokya kan 1585.


Sakop kaini an San Fernando na baryo Beberon kan Milaor kaidto sagkod Pasacao asin Pamplona, Gainza na baryo Sampaloc, maski an barangay Palestina kan Pili.


Sa ngonyan ngani an natutugdukan kan Governor’s mansion sa Capitolyo sakop kan barangay San Antonio, an Eco-village na magayonon na marhay asin pigdadayo kan kadakol na bisita sakop kan barangay Maycatmon, pati an kataid na motorpool asin kabanga kan Lago del Rey na popular sa mga turista hali sa manlaen-laen na parte kan kinaban.


An Baraka bridge an pig-aaguihan kan cut-off channel # 3 sa kalabaan kan Maharlika Road sakop kan Balagbag kaidto ngonyan nakua na kan San Fernando pati an dakulang parte kan barangay Borongborongan na ngonyan sakop na kan Minalabac.


An maka-treste ta sa ngonyan ribong an balanak kan mga taga-Milaor. Mantang an taga-Milaor aro-al...

April 2, 2020

Tigsik ko an mga ipigtaong relief goods
Imbis sardinas, kaiba kan bagas bokbok
Mga plastik na laugan an kadaklan ralabot
Kaya bagas sayang ta nagkururiyat logod

Tigsik ko an ipigpapautob na lockdown
Tsuper nin dyip, tricycle na mga tiuson
Mga parapadyak na mga makaherakon
Sa indang pamilya tios, dai nin  kakanon

Tigsik ko man kadaklan  sa mga pulitiko
Logod abuton an gabos kan ayuda nindo
Tawan nindo magin kalaban o kaalyado
Ta sa krisis tang ini gabos man apektado

Tigsik ko man ining mga kahimanua ta
Dai magparahandal, magsarig sana kita 
Sa Kagurangnan, ta Siya na bahala sa aga
Ta an kaipuhan ta oroaldaw aram na Niya

Tigsik ko man an mga opisyal nin banuaan
Pahalagahan ta sa indang mga kapagalan
Kun ano an itao satuya, sinda pasalamatan
Kun may duda kamo Diyos an nakakaaram  

March 26, 2020

Problems get worse when individuals prioritize personal interests.  (Why is that surprising?  Is not that human nature?)People would not want to be monitored or investigated or labeled as such because they intend to continue their personal individual lives; without incident, without disturbance, unmindful of conceivable communal consequences.  Many people adhere to the principle that the world may burn ablaze for all they care; just as long as they and their immediate circle of concern continue to do what they want to do in the way they want to do it.  


Before this quarantine/lockdown, when the state was blowing the bullhorn that barricades were going down, our kababayans decided to hike up the homecoming horde.  (What for?  For family reunion which wouldn’t push through because we all can’t come together and the restaurants and resorts would be closed anyway?)  People would go out of their way to evade being held down, so they could go on to their own comfort zones, whi...

March 26, 2020

The attack of COVID-19 in the country and almost all parts of the world, including Europe and the United States, has brought practically all nations in declaring a community quarantine or lockdown. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has declared an enhanced community quarantine in the entire Southern Luzon, thus ordering all citizens to stay at home. Practically all the roads in Metro Manila, South Express Way and the North Express Way have become deserted. Hours before the lockdown, many  provincial residents working in Metro Manila trooped to the bus terminals in their desire to catch trips to their home provinces, cities and towns. In Naga City, the administration of Mayor Nelson Legacion was among the first cities to order the lockdown and order the stay home policy, which even up to this writing is in effect. The immediate problem which arose was the subsistence of ordinary padyak and tricycle drivers, and the jeepney and bus drivers and others who earn their daily...

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