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It could be a Longer Ride

“Look, Ma. Even if I wasn’t so good in my modules, I still got honors”.

“Look, Ma. Even if we still moved around so much in the past weeks, MECQ was still lifted”.

We are grateful that Naga is not anymore in MECQ, and now, we could finally… well, what’s the difference? We’ve been doing pretty much the same thing in whichever community quarantine classification. But seriously, we are grateful for the decrease in number of cases. Less number of cases of infections decreases the probability of spread of more infections, which makes the city, the province a relatively safer place. Along with this is our plea to the public to please not go on parties, excursions and whatever that may spread whatever virus that one person may bring to the assembly.

Business must be booming for videographers lately, with the video shoots of virtual graduation exercises of almost every public school on the second week of July. That’s certainly a big jump from the traditions of a couple years ago when shooting videos of commencement exercises were virtually non-existent. More than once, I have heard expressions of frustrations over such mode of conduct of finishing a school term, from the graduates and adults. I have heard sentiments of how not holding the traditional graduation ceremony is not so good. (Well, I couldn’t blame them when a teacher could watch the ceremony on a smart phone while taking a ride on a jeepney and the graduates themselves could do the same while at home lying down on the sofa wearing tank top and shorts.) Let me breathe out a sigh of helplessness. If only I could put my hand on your back to comfort you on your longings in the lurch. (But then again, maybe, I’d rather not in compliance with social distance.) I understand that Facebook streaming or a Youtube video is not how you envisioned your final school ceremonies to be, but that’s how life is. This is what Forrest Gump meant when he said, “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.”. This road we call life is marked on both sides in every other corner with unexpected events, failures, accidents, deaths which are innate constituents of the path itself. Toughen up because there will be more unexpected events along the way, because that’s the way it is. If you come to think of it, virtual graduation is far better than not having graduation at all because the Japanese has occupied the country and the government has fallen, or the dictator president by Martial Law has suspended it to purge the schools of militants. Would we rather risk health conditions to satisfy long held traditions? Maybe that’s our problem. We want so much to dearly hold on to the traditions of parties, excursions, gatherings, undermining the supreme significance of communal survival. Hold on; maybe next year, we could go back to the traditions or maybe this would be a start of a new tradition, and those sort of gathering will be relics of the past along with the typewriter and fax machine.

Throughout the past school year, there had been optimistic anticipations of a return to face to face classes (or as they call it in the US, in-person classes) Some had thought that the modules would be a temporary thing for the first few months; then everything could go back to “normal”. Then, there was a time that some schools with learners living within the immediate local community were considered to start to return to the conventional classes, then the crisis got worse and the whole idea had to be scrapped off. It has been one rollercoaster ride with sharp spikes and sudden turns of this or that, here or there, and yes or no.

Instead of bugging the driver of questions of “Are we there yet?” and “When are we going to get there?”, we might as well enjoy the ride. One of the good things that we can pick up from this drive is that since we’ve already finished one complete cycle, we could now improve as we go along the way. I’m not talking just about school. I’m talking about everything – business, recreation, socialization and everything else. For the past year or so, we may have most probably picked up a sizable amount of ideas on fine tuning the conditions in this crisis. In fact, many people have done just that and have been exercising creativity and resourcefulness. So get comfortable, because the ride may take longer.

“Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray” -Job 6:24


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