April 21, 2024

Until when will the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) disturb us? When will the enhanced community quarantine end? Until when will we suffer the effect of the infection?
The fourth Sunday of Lent narrates about two kinds of blindness: physical and spiritual blindness.
John 9:1-41 tells about the blind man who was healed from his physical blindness. The Pharisees remained spiritually blind because of pride. It is easy to associate sin with sickness.
“As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned this man of his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, ‘Neither he or his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible though him. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:1-3)
Instead of focusing on the sin and the sickness, Jesus focused on the solution. He brought salvation. “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam, He said.” The blind man experienced and encountered Jesus. His first impression was Jesus was a prophet. The later part of the communication narrated the radical conversion of the healed man because Jesus revealed himself as the Son of Man. He confessed no longer about Jesus as a prophet but as a messiah. “I do believe, Lord.”
The physically blind man was humble. He longed for Jesus. In his heart, he saw the healer.In these trying moments and brokenness, we need a lot of healing.
On March 19, I received several bad news from Bontoc. A 29-year-old man ended his life and a young girl attempted suicide for getting pregnant. Another sad news was of a lady molested by her grandfather struggling to overcome the pain and betrayal. Hog cholera happened at Barangay Betwagan, Sadanga. The conflict between barangays Bugnay and Betwagan. African swine fever entered the communities.
Huge forest fires surround the province. Busy battling the virus, the Bureau of Fire Protection and volunteers risked their lives fighting mountain fires. Trees and seedlings were burned. Power interruptions too became a problem because it disrupted work. Madame Joy Calaoa confirmed that the previous causes were burning of electric posts and lines due to forest fires.
I hope that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will strategize their approaches and will really make big plans to anticipate summer as a mountain fire festival in Mountain Province. Burning of mountains is worse than illegal logging because it involves young trees.
In Barangay Kilong, we have scarce water supply. I cannot imagine how a small barangay suffers from scarcity of water when in fact there are several sources of water sources. There are only a few households in the barangay but water is a serious problem. We have to buy our water from the town through water delivery. We pay P1,000 per delivery. Our ration from the community is one hour to mean insufficient to fill the church reservoir for the public toilets and for parish visitors.
I learned from the community that there were millions of money allotted for the Sagada water system but the millions of money disappeared in the hands of anomalous contractors and government officials. The issue must be revived to rectify the errors of history and to give justice to the money and the people. The people of Sagada are not blind and mute on this serious social issue. Social healing happens in social justice.
I hope that the responsible people will be bothered by their conscience. Living a comfortable life from the money of the people and putting the lives of the people in a very difficult situation is a grave sin against charity. Judgment and accountability in the final life are realities.
Enough with the bad vibes. If there are good practices I observed during the Covid-19 quarantine days, are families praying together, people sharing provisions especially to those stationed in the checkpoints, everybody is concerned, and few are complaining.
I was moved by the text message of my high school batch, Lt. Hilary Magwa, Jr. I sent him a consoling prayer for their safety in the frontline and he responded with a very selfless answer, “Always include our family because we are kilometers away from them.” It speaks of a higher value. It speaks about selfless love.
He is doing his job as a policeman, but he puts his family in his heart for protection as well. That is the heart of the very good policeman. Sir Hilary deserves snappy salute and his traits to be emulated.
With all the negativities in this present age, is there still hope? Can we go back to our normal social life? Or do we continue to fear the future that is unknown to humanity?
We don’t look into the future. We live the in present and we live it well. I trust, God is in charge. He will heal his people. He will heal the land with His grace and power and in His time. Like the healed man, we look at the Lord. Reach me at [email protected] or at 0905-165-3669.