In the heat of Lent-A A +A
Thursday, March 21, 2013
IN THESE temperature and imminent bikini opens, I recall Salman Rushdie’s line in his Booker Prized-Midnight’s Children – “What grows best in the heat: fantasy, unreason, lust.”
This year, March portends an early summer with temperature ranging from 32 to 34 degrees during the day. To the weather bureau, summer doesn’t “officially starts” till end of the month.
There is a wisp of fantasy in summer when we allow ourselves to dress less and be someone we think we could be, a Derek Ramsay or Piolo Pascual, or an Anne Curtis or Angel Locsin. For the more grounded among us, we could settle for a Ser Chief or a Maya.
I don’t know how the matter of bikini opens came to fore once more, when these events have been outlawed in Cebu. For three years now, we haven’t had these shows since the Cebu Provincial Government has made it unlawful for the holding of bikini opens.
Just because Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who had pushed for the ban, is suspended doesn’t mean bikini opens can be held again. Contain your lust, guys, because if these won’t be happening now.
Sr. Supt. Orlando Ualat, deputy regional director for operations of the Police Regional Office (PRO), has issued a warning that he will go after the persons who organize and participate in bikini opens.
Just for the uninitiated’s sake, a bikini open is a contest of women in scanty bikinis who parade themselves and perform suggestively before an audience, predominantly male.
To justify the wearing of the bikini, it is usually held by the beach. It is held in summer, again to justify the wearing of the bikini.
Someone must have apprised Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma of summers past because he called on the faithful to observe propriety and refrain from holding lewd shows and bikini contests.
He must have been told that in previous years, bikini shows and dance parties were held in beach resorts in Bantayan Island and had reached a point of wanton disregard for the holiness of the occasion that the conservative townsfolk and the governor complained. The ones organizing these shows and parties were from the city, not from the island. Gwen Garcia had the practice stopped in 2009 and she did this by going to court.
He said Lent, which falls within the summer months, is a season of prayer and reflection, and not of body-baring events (which, I add, tend to distract priests from their Lenten duties; women in bikinis or bare-chested men in board shorts have that effect on them).
“Why do it during Holy Week when everybody knows this is really meant for reflection and prayer?” Archbishop Palma said in an interview with reporters after his birthday mass. “Observe the propriety of the season.”
Don’t get the archbishop’s statements wrong. Lent or other days, he opposes the holding of bikini shows.
So far, the ban has been observed, not only during Lent but also on other days. Bikini opens belong to the last decade. The women who joined them have become fat.
But just the same, anyone who wears a bikini beyond the beach or a resort is in danger of being arrested, if I go by the warning of acting Cebu City Police Chief Mariano Natuel Jr.
When the official summer heats up, I just might wear a bikini to work. The scalding temperature can lead to unreason.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 21, 2013.