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Tread the Trail

That’s what I’m talking about. A new safer ATV trail was proposed by drivers and guides in Legazpi which includes a stop for relief operations on one or some evacuation centers. The way I understand it is that one ride on an all-terrain vehicle includes a tour along the safe zone around the volcano and a stop at an evacuation center for the tourists to have an opportunity to share to the evacuees. It even includes a stop for the tourists to do some tree planting. That’s a good idea. It keeps the business rolling. The drivers get to continue to earn. The economy stays afloat or maybe even still manage to grow a bit. Evacuees get some support. That would be a little less burden for the government’s logistical responsibilities. On top of these, appreciation for nature and the virtue of kindness and generosity are promoted.

The only thing is the new trail is waiting for the approval of the LGU to get rolling. Come on. Let them ride on the new trail. I guess they would have to wait for the next Sangguniang Panlungsod session. But, on the other hand, we got a crisis here. I’m not just referring to the natural calamity that we can’t do nothing about, but the economic crisis that comes along with the ash fall. Maybe, they could call for a special session. Maybe, the mayor could issue a special permit, just like how emergency use is issued to vaccines at the height of Covid-19. I guess, what I’m saying is let’s not wait for too long. Opportunities are lost and problems are caused when we wait for too long.

Let’s take the school year of the public schools as an example. The attempt at an entire school year of face-to-face classes fell flat on its face as schedules had to be modified in the last quarter. (We almost made it to the end.) Apparently, not much learning can be done in the middle of horrendous heat. Then every student and parent might stop and think, “how did we get here in the first place; didn’t classes start in June?”. Well, three years ago, when the nation went on lockdown, classes should have started in June. But it was pushed to August. Then, it was further pushed to October, four months away from the original schedule. The next year, it started on September. The following year, classes started on August. If you’re confused, don’t ask me for clarification. But what’s clear is that it can be traced back to 2020. Why the postponement and re-postponement? They were not ready and waited to be ready.

Fastforward to 2023 and we remember the reason why more people go swimming in the months of April and May. Now, going back to starting in June is very difficult. If you’re thinking, “why is it so hard? Just start on June”. No, it’s not that easy. For that to happen, the vacation from classes could be suspended, or a large part of the lessons would be cut, or classes would be suspended for several months so that it could start back on June. Imagine the pupils who just finished their final exams and have to start classes one or two weeks later. Think of the lessons that the students would mis out if a school year would be cut. That issue would be compounded if class suspended for several months. Because we waited for too long three years ago, we’re here.

Remember when a few cases of Covid-19 started popping in Manila. Whoever had the authority to do so waited for far too long to close the nation’s borders to arriving travelers, arguing that the number of cases were insufficient. Because of that wait, the virus seeped through and spread throughout the nation forcing us to suspend social interactions. If you’re saying, in retrospect that it was inevitable. I beg to differ. Nations like Cambodia and New Zealand suffered little because of prompt responses, proving that the timing of the address of the issue was crucial

Sometimes, I don’t really understand why responses to issues have to be pushed back. Are we waiting in the hope that the problem would go away tomorrow? Are we waiting for the problem to magically solve itself? Are we unrealistically wishing that the situation would normalize itself? Are we worried that we would look too eager? Are we concerned that people might think that we’re paranoid?

So, let’s roll down that trail now.

Ephesians 5:15-16: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”


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