February 28, 2024

If there is one phrase that was ingrained in my psyche as a cub then a boy scout during my elementary and high school years many summers ago, it was this: “Always prepared” or “laging handa.”
Boy and girl scouts are supposed to be prepared for any eventuality and strive to be self-reliant. Sounds corny, I know, but that was the ideal back then. Maybe it still rings true even now, who knows? If only for learning this virtue, being a part of the scouting movement was truly worth it. Whether I actually practice being always prepared is another matter, of course. Tao lang po. He, he.
Several of my cherished memories of those vanishing era involved scouting activities like joining the National Jamboree in Cebu back in the early 1980’s. It was not only my first time to travel outside Luzon but also to ride on a plane. I was above the clouds, both literally and figuratively, speaking. Feeling ko, ako si Superman.
And to share this experience with my fellow wide-eyed boy scouts was truly magic. Life for me was truly stress-free and care-free then. If there is one superpower this near-sighted Ibaloy writer wishes for, it is to be able to turn back time even just for a moment. I really miss the good old days. Scout’s honor.
Speaking of being prepared, this writer is titillated to learn that local health authorities are encouraging Baguio folk to prepare an emergency kit or Covid-19 “go bag” unless one has to go on quarantine. They said the go bag will come in handy once an individual tests positive for the deadly disease (that started in Wuhan, China, by the way).
It should contain clothes for 14 days; maintenance medicines; drinking water; thermos for hot water needs; blanket; toiletries and other personal hygiene needs such as extra face masks, hand sanitizer with 70 percent alcohol, disinfectant supplies and tissues, health experts advised.
Even if it is obviously easier said than done, since most of us are hopeless procrastinators (whether we admit it or not) who would rather act only during the last minute, we should try our best to heed their sage advice. Especially now that we are fighting an invisible enemy. Laging handa, remember?


Reminder: Kailyan, hindi madali ang pinagdadaanan ng mga nagpopositibo at nag-iisolate ngunit ginagawa ng gobyerno ang lahat ng makakaya upang ang sitwasyon ay gumaan. Sumunod sa minimum public health standard para maiwasan ang pagkalat ng virus.


Here’s “Habitation” by Margaret Atwood: “Marriage is not/ a house or even a tent/ it is before that, and colder:/ the edge of the forest, the edge/ of the desert/ the unpainted stairs/ at the back where we squat”


Let’s end with a prayer: “Lord, I come before You today in need of Your healing hand. In You all things are possible. Hold my heart within Yours, and renew my mind, body, and soul. I am lost, but I come to You with grace. You gave us life, and you also give us the gift of infinite joy. Give me the strength to move forward on the path you’ve laid out for me. Guide me towards better health, and give me the wisdom to identify those you’ve placed around me to help me get better. In Your name, I pray, Amen.”
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.