SUMMER is almost over but we never enjoyed outings at the beach, visits to relatives or friends and trips that usually mark the warmest months of the year.
The coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic took away our summer this year. At least, the summer that we know.
The dryness is still there as the weather bureau station in Mactan placed the heat index at 40 degrees Celsius at 2:01 p.m. last Saturday, May 16, 2020. In its 3 p.m. advisory, Pagasa-Mactan said the maximum temperature in Cebu reached 33.1 degrees Celsius, typical summertime temperature.
Its advice is to stay hydrated, keep indoors (we’re on stay-at-home orders, anyway) and don your summer attire. Not the flowery and colorful type as there’s no going to the beach under an enhanced community quarantine, but the shorts, sleeveless shirt or sando would do fine.
Summer is the time for fiestas, reunions, graduations, celebrations and, to some boys, a rite of passage through circumcision. All these have been canceled or postponed until quarantine orders are revoked.
But it’s not all bad this summer as families got the chance to stay together for a longer period of time than usual, binge on movies and series, order online, read, do exercises at home, be creative in their cooking, take stock.
Unique opportunities also presented themselves in this new normal of no congregations or live public performances. Musicals and concerts have been made available for free on YouTube. Before the pandemic, you would have to pay for expensive tickets and maybe even travel by plane to the venue to enjoy Broadway shows and concerts.
It started with opera singer Andrea Bocelli’s Easter Sunday solo performance by live streaming titled “Music for hope—Live from Duomo di Milano.” The video reportedly broke YouTube records in terms of views of the live performance and replays.
Then, as theaters remained closed, producers decided to grant free viewing of videos of Broadway shows. There was the streaming on YouTube of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” for a limited run the weekend after Holy Week. The video was based on the musical staged at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2011.
The musical “Cats” aired the past two days also on YouTube. In both shows, viewers were asked at the start of the video to donate to The Actors Fund which provides emergency financial aid to those affected by the Covid-19.
From Manila, the musical “Ang Huling El Bimbo” was made available for free viewing for two days on YouTube. The stage adaptation of the popular Eraserheads song was originally presented at the Resorts World Manila’s Newport Performing Arts Theater. The theater company partnered with ABS-CBN to bring this show the musical online on May 8 and 9 on both YouTube and Facebook.
Summer treats we’ve never had in the past.
We may not have been to the beach, we have not taken trips to vacation spots, but this different kind of summer we’re having is what will ensure we will be around the next summer.