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Mainit Talaga

Last Saturday, I went out for a much needed haircut. My head has been crying out for a trim even before Holy Week; but I was just too lazy to go out. Since I was already out, I took the time to buy some stuff, a copy of the latest issue of Bicol Mail, a flash drive to store a large chunk of files, 30 peso worth of cellphone load and some siopao for our afternoon snack. This took me on a route which looped around downtown Naga until I got a ride home. All throughout the time that I was walking down the city streets, my forehead up my newly trimmed hair was like waterfalls which won’t stop swimming in sweat. No matter how many times I wipe my brow, sweat just kept flowing. It’s simply unbelievable. Just this morning, I found myself again walking those same streets; and I felt like my eyes were getting all swollen. I did bring some wipes but they were of little help. Some people get headaches from the heat. A week ago, a Grade 5 pupil told me that on the flag ceremony, his schoolmates were breaking from their lines and seeking shelter from the shadows of trees and the buildings. They would not want to stand under the sun even if their teachers tell them to do so. He told me further that some boys in his class were murmuring that the school administration seemed to be waiting for some kid to faint before face-to-face classes get cut.

So, it’s good that the kids have a couple of days off from the tempest of high temperature in going to school. Two days is good. I would be grateful for that. It would be nice if they had the whole week off, but two days is already good. This is already enough of a relief.

But what I don’t get is why does the national advisory say that all public schools shall implement asynchronous classes “In order to allow learners to complete pending assignments, projects, and other requirements as the end of school year is fast-approaching”. Okay. That sounds good. But does not that happen every year? As a matter of fact, are not those part of school? Every time the school year approaches its end, students have “to complete pending assignments, projects, and other requirements”. Schools go asynchronous because of this? Then, why didn’t they go asynchronous last year when students had to “complete pending assignments, projects, and other requirements” at the end of the school year? Oh, wait, they did not go asynchronous last year, but they implemented a half-day schedule of classes because it was too hot at this same time of the year. So, does that mean that every time the end of the school year approaches, when students had to complete projects and requirements, schools will go asynchronous?

The advisory does not mention of anything about that heat that is slowly creeping toward 50 degrees; these situation in which intense solar waves are helplessly absorbed by the concrete and metal that surround us. The temperature does not seem to be a factor. It gives the impression that weather conditions and health risks are just fine. Schools just have to suspend the usual mode of classes because the pressing concern is that the students have to complete projects and requirements which actually happens every year.

I don’t get it. Is there a group of people who would be offended or a policy that would be violated if a directive contains in its rationale the intensely high temperature? Wit due respect to the document and the office which issued it, it is quite obvious that the reason stated is not the actual cause for the order. Furthermore, the reason indicated is an inalienable regular occurrence. By next week, there is a good chance that the students have not yet completed and still need to complete projects and requirements. What then? Do schools go asynchronous again? The students would certainly appreciate it.

It just makes me scratch my head. But despite the questionable reason, it is a directive that is well appreciated. After all, there are other concerns for us to focus on. Our power stations seem to be giving up with these power interruptions that seem to be in connivance with the intense heat to make our lives more tormenting. For months now, Americans, Japanese and Australians have been cruising the West Philippine Sea. Last I heard is that the French are joining them. Overseas, Israel has been successful in intercepting Iranian missiles while nothing much has changed in Ukraine.

Mainit talaga!

Isaiah 4:6: “There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.”


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