BLIND SPOT: Long weekend lounge


I’m starting to like August. If you’re reading this on the date placed on the corner of this paper, we’ve had already had a holiday last Monday (which is Ninoy Aquino Day). If your school or workplace is in Naga, you have had the rare treat of an extra-long weekend since August 18 cut the ribbon with the Robredo Day(. In case you don’t glance on the calendar very often, April 28 is National Heroes Day. September 1 is Eidl Adha. Once again, if Naga is you’re nook, around the corner is Traslacion Friday (which despite any official communication from your concerned authority, would make you think twice rather than get caught in massive traffic); and of course, the feast day itself; and the best part of it is the holidays extend the following Monday which the local government had had the wisdom to declare a holiday to give Peñafrancia pilgrims or party peeps (whatever the case may be), a much deserved rest. (Apparently, they came up with this when many employees would be too tired or too drunk to show up for work on the next working day.) Just the thought of it sparks an immensely exploding smile on my face. (haha) A pedicab driver was complaining that it was already high noon and all he had earned so far, was 10 pesos which isn’t enough to buy lunch for his family. At least, I would be able to add ten pesos more when I take a ride. Well, what can we do? It’s a holiday. I’m thinking people would be flocking to the new mall, but I guess our neighbors opted to stay home, or maybe they would take the mall stroll later in the afternoon. I hear the same complaint from tricycle drivers and jeepney drivers. People probably forget or choose to forget that holidays were declared not necessarily and purposely as breaks from work. Reflection brings me to the question: Does the commemoration in a holiday serve its purpose at all? The activities honoring the late Mayor Jesse Robredo is quite an exception. It is still remembered with passionate fervor. But how about the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in 1983? How about the national heroes in August 28? We have come to think of these dates as holidays when they were set to memorialize historic figures and events. Bringing this discussion inside the classroom, it may be disadvantageous to pupils because “critical academic skills need daily repetition”. In consecutive breaks, “the teacher will have to reteach some of the concepts”. “When the vacation starts, it takes a few days for the child to transition to a freer schedule and routine. Once they make the transition, more creative imaginative play can be developed. If the holiday is short, then the child (and the parents) spends most of the vacation either transitioning out of the school routine or transitioning back into it.” “After nearly 20 years of school, it is difficult for young adults to realize that there will no longer be large chunks of time in which to goof off and relax. It is a big adjustment for a person to transition to the new rhythm. If school were set up more like a job, would society better prepare children for the working world?” (www.teachthought.com) Valid point, don’t you think? On the other hand, psychologists have claimed that “short breaks make people happier than long holidays,“. “The explanation is that people’s enjoyment wanes as they become accustomed to their holiday lifestyle.” “Prof Ariely, who teaches at Duke University in North Carolina, said: “On a long vacation, day seven is less good than day one because it’s not as exciting.” (www.telegraph.co.uk) “A small study from the University of Vienna found that after taking time off from work, vacationers had fewer stress-related physical complaints such as headaches, backaches, and heart irregularities, and they still felt better five weeks later.” “In one study, men at risk for heart disease who skipped vacations for five consecutive years were 30 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who took at least a week off each year.” “Professional services firm Ernst & Young conducted an internal study of its employees and found that for each additional 10 hours of vacation time employees took, their year-end performance ratings improved 8 percent.” (https://www.inc.com) I’m not sure if this has valid scientific basis; but I become motivated to accomplish tasks because a long weekend is happily lurking around the corner. I’m not sure if that counts for productivity. What I’m not too sure of is if break from work revitalizes me; because when duty resumes, my body feels so weighty, I feel like I need a holiday extension. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28