CEBU

Wenceslao: A test of character

Candid Thoughts

WHILE many have been complaining about some people in communities violating ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) rules and blaming them for the rise in the number of coronavirus infections, there are admittedly others who are doing good, like trying to inspire those who are at the forefront of the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, or the so-called frontliners. Some of them are using their knowledge of social media to do so.

While traditional media have been crippled by the ECQ rules put in place by the government and being followed by communities out of necessity, many media outlets have been creative in their operations. I saw an episode of GMA’s Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho that had me tearing up. It featured host Howie Severino’s bout against the virus, the death of the older sister of Eat Bulaga’s Ruby Rodriguez and stories of recovering Covid- 19 patients.

Recently, my former The Freeman colleagues came up with a well edited video that had them singing separately in their residences the song “If We Hold on Together” to pay homage to the frontliners in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. They are former editors and reporters who love both journalism and music. I would say that at least singing also loves them in return.

One of them, Marivir Montebon is now based in the US. She seems to have recovered from the death of her daughter due to cancer. I was in The Freeman when Marivir joined the paper although I knew her from way back when she was active in social activism. Her husband Mayong was a friend. Mayong was shot in Bohol while campaigning for an electoral post in Trinidad town representing the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.

I know many of those who sang in the video because I met them at one time or another during my active journalism years. Interestingly, one of them, Baning, is with SunStar Cebu and joined the group because she is friend with the others in college. One former reporter, Mayang Villaflor, is now based in Manila. The others are younger than me and joined The Freeman after I transferred to SunStar Cebu.

What I am saying is that not everything is negative in the way people have been dealing with rules the government imposed to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. Those who are acting bad, like the people manning a checkpoint that treated a medical frontliner with derision, can be considered as exceptions to the common attitude shown to frontliners, which is one of respect.

As I said before, it is during a crisis that the character of the leader and the led is being tested. For the politically inclined, I say that now is the time to assess the quality of the leaders they elected into office. They should be observant and make some notes with the intention of replacing those who were found lacking.

I like leaders who are silently doing their thing and doing so effectively. As always, I dislike the noisy and arrogant or those who swagger and make political capital of the crisis. After months of dealing with the pandemic, we already know who these leaders are.


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