Thursday , April 26, 2018

Briones: Maybes

MAYBE the weather is to blame. It has basically been raining since last weekend. The gray skies that have blanketed the metro since the weather bureau announced the arrival of two weather disturbances certainly haven’t help.

Maybe it was the announcement that there are fewer contingents in this year’s Sinulog Grand Parade.

Councilor Hanz Abella, Sinulog executive committee head, had said that only a few signified to join this year’s celebration because of the change in administration. Apparently, being a Sto. Niño devotee did not guarantee an election win last May.

Maybe it has something to do with the presence of authorities on basically every major street corner in Cebu City.

I know they’re there to make the public safe. After all, their job is to guard us against any threats. But their very presence is a reminder of what can or might happen. And that’s not a good feeling. But hey, I’m still glad they’re there.

Or maybe the public can’t imagine one whole day without texting, or taking selfies or whatever it is that they do with their smartphones.

After all, there might not be any cellphone activity this Sunday because authorities are thinking of shutting down the system. Apparently, they’re afraid someone might use a cellphone to trigger a bomb.

Think Hilongos, Leyte. I’m sure the twin explosions during the town’s fiesta last Dec. 28 have been on the back of everyone’s minds even though PNP 8 Director Elmer Beltejar has already identified the alleged culprit, the Maute terrorist group in Mindanao. He said the explosive device used is similiar to the ones planted in the Davao and Cotabato bombings, as well as in front of the US Embassy in Manila.

However, these factors still don’t explain why the lead-up to Cebu’s grandest religious and cultural festival seems somehow ho-hum.

You know what I mean? The metro is usually buzzing with activities this time of the year, and yet... It’s only a few days from the Sinulog triathlon--fluvial parade, solemn procession and the grand parade—and it’s like business as usual.

I have a nagging feeling Mayor Tomas Osmeña might have something to do with this. He did cut short the carousel route from six to four kilometers. He also issued strict warnings to drunken revelers: anyone caught harassing merrymakers will be detained in mobile “jails.” Or maybe it was his ban on street parties that has put a damper on the occasion.

Not that I mind. Maybe I’m just too old to appreciate the hedonism associated with the event. You know how it is? Been there, done that.

Or, and this is a bit far-fetched, maybe it’s the Sto. Niño’s way of reminding us not to lose sight of the real meaning of the celebration.