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Excursion of Infection

For us, Filipinos, camping is for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Personally, I don’t really understand how Westerners do it as an excursion. Yes, it’s refreshing and somehow liberating to take in nature, but I guess, in our culture, we would find difficulty in finding fun in getting away from civilization. I suppose, we would always like to be “within” civilization. For us, fishing is not a sport. It is not a form of recreation. Fishing is livelihood. Why on earth would you get a good catch then throw it back on the water? That could have already been the family’s meal; or sold to buy the family’s meal. I guess, some of us would go hiking. But that’s for a few select mountaineering/hiking enthusiasts. I guess a very small portion of the population would go for that. It is not really as popular as videoke or a town fiesta. But when we talk about swimming, now, we’re talking. Swimming is the unofficial , undeniable national excursion. Every Filipino loves swimming, (or at least an overwhelmingly large percentage of the population goes gaga over wallowing on water). Many Filipino movies have a scene in which the characters go to the beach for swimming excursion despite that sort of event is totally unnecessary to the development of the plot. The audience which happens to be the Filipino public just needs to watch relatable characters experience and live out the getaway of their aspirations; (either that or the audience just wants to see the leading ladies in bikinis). Seriously, Filipinos really love going on swimming outings. It could be on the beach, the springs, or swimming pool resorts. The weather won’t matter. It could be in the middle of relatively cold January, and friends could go diving and dipping. But this deeply rooted tradition of craves and raves for waves cruises to its crest on the hottest and driest months of the year, )on the months we popularly refer to as summer, which actually doesn’t make sense because if those months are summer, then which months are winter or spring or autumn). Any Filipino just has to go swimming. It is simply imperative. Some even compete in the most number of times that they had gone on these excursions from March to May. It would be simply unheard of if one had gone swimming only once, much more so if one had not gone at all. It’s simply out of the ordinary, unbelievably unacceptable, unFilipino. So, in whatever way, a family, a group of friends, officemates, or classmates have to set a schedule to go swimming.

But, on the other hand, there is an inalienable reason why for more than a year now, tricycles have been allowed to load only one passenger on its car, jeepney passenger benches are separated with plastic dividers and another large curtain across the middle, and bus trips and airplane flights have been suspended and restored in limited capacities. There is a very critical cause why pupils and students do not come together physically for classes, 30% to 50% of the work force have been allowed to physically report; some have even been laid off. There is culture and tradition changing occurrence that has led fast food managements to put partitions on tables, and markers to stand on in a line in front of the cashier, and why mass gatherings are now strictly regulated. We are not supposed to be gathering together. It has become a direct threat and assault against a community, the society, against life itself to be gathering together and instigating a chain of infection through people’s respiratory tracts. So, why do the very people in authority hold excursions for possible infection? Maybe they don’t mean it in a bad way. Maybe they just want to hold a traditionally held social practice. Maybe, in good faith, honestly, they do not intend to place health in highly probable harm, and are not aware of the violation. But no, they are totally aware of it, because the leaders of these offices have strongly directed those who decided not to come along, not to tell anyone. In what situations does someone strongly advise people not to tell any other person of an event? These things happen when there is an awareness of a violation, of something irregular, something anomalous, something criminal,. (Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe they just innocently want to keep a secret.)

It turns out that even people in authority would infringe protocols posted by their own offices, to prioritize above safety of society, their own petty carnal pleasures.

“… if we judge ourselves rightly, we will not be judged…”

1 Corinthians 11:31


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