Briones: Back to reality

On the go

THE “Big 3” is finally over.

No more Christmas. No more New Year. And definitely, no more Sinulog.

If your Christmas tree is still up in your living room, it’s time to put it back in storage. Really. No need to be so clingy. Trust me. September will be here before you know it.

So how was your weekend?

My Saturday was an eye-opener.

After all, it wasn’t every day that a religious event would get hijacked by the Philippine National Police. Because that was what it looked like. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I appreciated their presence. I firmly believe that police visibility is a crime deterrent, but they could have been less conspicuous about it. On that particular day, anyway.

I don’t doubt the religiosity of our men and women in blue. But what I saw that afternoon on Osmeña Blvd. reminded me of the May 1st parade at the Red Square in Moscow during the Soviet era.

I’m trying to come up with a viable explanation for that show of force. I thought the fact that the public majority had chosen to look the other way while bodies continued to pile up in their war against illegal drugs would suffice.

I guess I thought wrong.

I can imagine some of you nodding your heads. Because I know I wasn’t the only one who reacted that way.

At the end of the day, though, I was grateful that nothing untoward happened.

With that said, it would be unfair not to acknowledge that maybe that unnecessary blatant show of police force helped. Although, again, it would have been nicer to see the priests and the nuns in front of the solemn procession and not crammed behind a thick rope at the back of what appeared to be a phalanx. After all, it was the culminating event of the Fiesta Señor. A religious event.

I’m just saying.

On the big day itself, though, I was more than glad to see our men and women in blue with their neon vests out on the streets trying to cope with the 2.5 million bodies that had descended on the city for the grand parade.

They were like rats coming out of the woodwork. The crowd, that is. Not the police.

PRO 7 Director Debold Sinas and CCPO Director Royina Garma both helped herd the mass of revelers out of the parade route and into the sidelines where they were supposed to be.

By the way, it was not the police’s job to pick up trash even though they did it. That was why 50 eco-stations were mounted along both routes of the solemn procession and the grand parade so people could dispose of their garbage there. Not drop them on the ground.

How Sinas and Garma managed to keep their cool was short of a miracle.

As for me, I’m still nursing my holiday hangover.


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