April 15, 2024

In homage to Baguio as a Unesco Creative City, here’s “Baguio Poem” by my poetic twin Gabriel Baban Keith: “The slimy silky feel of pine needles/ Caresses the soles of your feet/ I watch you there gamboling at the/ John Hay tree park/ Lost in thought and cares/ Alone amidst curious stares/ Daughter of a southern island/ For a fleeting moment/ Lost in ecstasy/ Pine cones scattered by your/ playful presence/ I too am caught up in the magic of/ Your delight/ The whirlwind picks us up and/ Spits us out again/ We are two halves of a pine cone/ United together/ Again” (for Sarah, my wife)

This near-sighted Ibaloy writer is echoing the appeal of local officials led by Mayor Benjie Magalong together with the Department of Health and other concerned agencies, for everybody to stay calm and not panic in the midst of the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) threat that has already affected many countries around the world.
Through various media fora, our national and local leaders are also asking the public’s full cooperation, prayers, and unity as medical experts here and abroad led by the World Health Organization, are doing their best in looking for a solution to this virus.
Let us do our part and heed their call by staying calm and not panicking, practicing proper hygiene, keeping ourselves and loved ones healthy, and by following advisories put out by health authorities. We should also desist from spreading any news that would cause panic, confusion, and those meant only for disinformation. As they say, if we can’t be part of the solution, let us not be part of the problem. Please lang.

Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte has declared a public health emergency throughout the Philippines due to the Covid-19. The declaration will enable a whole of government response to mitigate the virus’ effect and impact on the country and its people.
The DOH also reiterates that the price freeze on emergency essential medicines and medical supplies remains in effect and warns drugstores and business establishments against taking advantage of the situation.
The Food and Drug Administration, provincial DOH offices, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, are conducting regular monitoring of drugstores and groceries in line with the price freeze order.