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Let’s Go On Vacation!

A parent would scold her son when he’s spending too much time playing games on his phone. She would go on a tirade on the ills of electronic gadgets: how it deteriorates vision, promotes laziness, makes the mind dull, introduces sex and violence and all of that sort. The child would lay down the phone down and pick up his lato-lato instead. He’s so good at it. He could strike it at a hundred beats per minute. Now, the parent is upset at the noise and wishes her son had stayed playing with his phone; quiet on the living room sofa.

(It’s interesting how lato-lato suddenly surged to popularity. From the imaginative features of video games, the child move to striking one hand to a singular repetitive sound as fast as possible. I’m not sure if you could call that progress. What’s even more interesting is how ubiquitous it has become. There must be at least one kid making that noise in every block that you could hear it anywhere.)

Since we’re talking about children, you should note that public school pupils and students have ended their classes. I’m not sure if you could still call this their summer vacation, but it still a break from school. The first school year of face-to-face classes after two years of distance learning is over. (Actually, the whole year could not be considered as entirely face-to-face since some schools went to modified modular on the last quarter.) This school break is unlike the previous ones because instead of summer sun, children get random rains; nothing like the traditional time when school children would get excited for playing outside and swimming. (Well, it’s actually better than the two previously immediate years because of the lockdown.) More interestingly, this “vacation” is obviously shorter. After technically ending on the first week of July, school opens again around the end of August. That’s barely more than a month of no classes. When we were kids, school would end at around the middle of March and starts again a few days into June. That’s more than two months. That’s just the start.

DepEd is set to start the National learning Camp. The way I understand it, it’s primarily for Grades 7 and 8 students, but schools may opt to offer it for other grade levels. Based on the press release, the “cam”” will take three days a week of teacher-learner interaction from July 24 to August 25. (Whoa! That’s a whole month right smack in the middle of the short vacation. It says that “NLC aims to create a camp-like atmosphere by integrating fun and engaging activities to foster learner interests, socio-emotional skills, personal growth, and character development”. If I would be ultra-optimistic, I would get kids to join a promisingly enjoyable camp where they would learn all sorts of things. If I would be infra-pessimistic, I would be upset because no matter how they call it, ‘camp” or “carnival”, it’s still time in school away from vacation.

There’s one thing more. You do realize that September is two months away. In Naga, you know what that means. Since lockdown has been long lifted, we’re pretty much going back to normal with the parades and all. That means schools would again be participating in the BSP?GSP parade and the drum and lyre corps with majorettes. I’m not sure if they’re still having the Voyadores Festival with school children doing street dance through General Luna to Plaza Quezon. Of course, the kids would be practicing all day, banging the drum skins, whirling batons and marching back and forth on weekends and after school. Since school would start again on August, you would think that practices would start by that time. No. Participants (who are children) would start practicing in the middle of July, more than a month before school even starts. I suppose they would be coming to school and banging and marching all day. I think they would do this in all schools in and beyond Camarines Sur. Practically, every school, even the private ones participate in the Penafrancia parades. It is, after all, a fiesta that everyone looks forward to. Now, I’m not sure how that would play out simultaneously with the learning camp. Do the learning campers do practice after the learning camp and go home at night? Do they have the learning camp in the morning and practice in the afternoon?

“Rest is essential for recharging their batteries, reducing stress, and enhancing their overall well-being. Opportunities for exploration and learning: Summer vacations offer a chance for kids to explore new interests, try new activities, and learn new skills that may not be possible during the school year.”(

Mark 6:31: ““Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.””


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