Briones: Battling ennui

On the go

No. The world doesn’t revolve around Cebu, particularly Cebu City. But it does seem that way after being holed up inside my house for more than five months because of the coronavirus disease pandemic.

Of course, I exaggerate. I’ve been up and about since the health crisis began. It’s because of the nature of my job. I’m connected with the media. We have been bringing you the news. Every day. Since the end of March when the lockdowns began. And if you count, that’s more than 200 days of Cebu this and Cebu that. Just Cebu.

Trust me. It can get tiring. Exhausting even.

It doesn’t help that we live on an island. There’s always that feeling of being trapped. Of being isolated. Obviously, the community quarantine has not helped. No. Not at all.

Thankfully, there’s the internet. I know not everyone is connected, but what can I do? That’s just the way things are.

Anyway, the web connects us to the world beyond our shores. And it’s a big world out there. Vast. With billions of other people. Some of them have probably succumbed to ennui. Like me. But now is not the time for despair.

Did you know that in the Middle East, there has been a rapprochement of some sort between some Gulf States and Israel?

Talking about wonder of wonders and miracle of miracles, the United Arab Emirates normalized relations with the Jewish state last month. The two countries are expected to sign the peace deal brokered by the administration of US President Donald Trump today.

Wait. That can’t be right, right? I mean, isn’t the guy evil and ignorance personified? And yet he has accomplished what his predecessors failed to accomplish since Israel was created from the ashes of the crumbling British Empire two years after the end of the Second World War.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m no Trump apologist. I’m a Cebuano, I mean, Filipino. My president is Duterte, who, if you don’t know already, has Cebuano roots.

But I admire Trump’s chutzpah in taking credit for the historic development. It’s not as if Israel and Arab leaders have not been communicating these past few years. They face a common enemy in the region. And you know what they say? The enemy of your enemy is my friend.

So what happened was bound to happen. Eventually. Of course, the matter is more complicated than that. And just recently, Trump announced that Bahrain would follow suit. To those who don’t know, Bahrain is an island state in the Persian Gulf, a “poor” cousin to its oil-rich neighbors.

Now, isn’t this much better than talking about barangays in Cebu City that have failed to liquidate the cash assistance from the City Government since 2009?


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