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What Happens after the Weekend?

Many years ago, when we were in high school (back in the olden age of conventional face to face classes), a school day from 7:30 am to 5 pm would sometimes feel like incarceration. Maybe that was the reason why some students turn truants. There was the image of pubescent boys in white polo and blue pants climbing school fences to make it outside. Oh, those were exciting times. There was a time when some of my female classmates frequently used our restroom at home on our lunch break, since we lived a walking distance from school. At the start, my mother was cool with it. After all, what could be so wrong with using our private washroom to relieve oneself or to do whatever private stuff. But then, Mama started noticing that my classmates went in with their school uniforms of white blouses and blue skirts and went out on flashy teenage casual wear, ready to strut down the mall, or whatever we had then to suffice for a mall. When my mother suspiciously asked me about it, like a good accomplice, I replied, “I don’t know”.

For the rest of us who stayed at the good side of the law, we contended with hours of classes and when the clock strikes 5, all juvenile energy would break loose in all directions. A good number of boys rushed to make teams and shoot hoops on the court even though their feet wore black leather shoes. The non-sporty types would crowd around street food carts outside the school walls, spy on crushes and maybe try to flex some flirting. But my favorite part was when we, a groud of around ten boys would languish under the nearest waiting hsed and waste our time in whatever until it gets dark and we would realize it had become rather ridiculous to stay any longer and we would all go home. It’s funny because we wouldn’t do the same things at around the same time of 5 in the afternoon on weekends or holidays. We would be probably indoors watching TV.

At the height of the Covid-19 quarantine last year, some New Yorkers shared what they would do after the time of isolation. Some of them said that they would visit family. A number of people wanted to go on vacation in another country. . The remainder wanted to go to work in the conventional way. ( Yes, these plans are quite understandable. But who would have thought that the hypothetical would be so much tamer from the actual?

When the Spanish government lifted its 6-month long state of emergency which suspended civil liberties including a nationwide curfew and a travel ban which lasted from October 2020 to May 2021, Spaniards partied like it was New Year’s Eve of 1999. “Crowds of several hundred people breached rules on social distancing and mask-wearing in public, and in some cases police moved in to break them up.” “People gather in a “macrobotellon” (drinking and dancing session) on the streets …”

Landauro, Inti. 2021

These happened not only in a few cities. It happened in Madrid, Barcelona and almost everywhere. Large masses of people who were apparently fed up of the lockdown as if staging a revolution, went out on the streets, danced and drank on parties which lasted for hours; and of course these party people left their masks somewhere, huddled together in defiance of social distance, went up and about and through midnight against the curfew. It happened last May and it happened again this September in the La Merce Fiesta in Barcelona. Thousands of boisterous revellers defiantly went out on the streets; leaving the authorities’ hands tied in face of the anarchic fiesta. (Google it. It’s really interesting.)

These snippets tell us something about human nature. These remind me of that nationalistic song that draws analogy of the colonized Filipinos to a bird restricted of flight. Magnanasa pa ring makaalpasPag nagbukas, tulus mabongkaras. It is simply human nature. When people are restricted of some liberties, they may comply. But when the cage doors open, they would be running out in the speed of light to initiate close contact in family visits, recreational parties or income generating trade. Maybe right here at home, we would not experience something as boisterous as what they have in Spain; but people would still get out all the more when the checkpoint barricades are lifted. Now, imagine what would happen if people are restricted every Friday and they are let loose every Monday.

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” 1 Corinthians 10:23


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