By December 22, 2020Opinion, Punchline

Time to be with Jesus Christ

By Ermin Garcia Jr.



BELIEVE it or not, Christmas is in the air. It’s here. But perhaps you are wondering why most people still don’t greet others “Merry Christmas”! Didn’t it occur to you that perhaps it’s because you probably don’t greet others “Merry Christmas” yourself?

Of course, it doesn’t help that we cannot see smiles on people’s faces when they greet each other. Or,  we can only see eyes and eyebrows through face shields. Or not hear people talk about preparations for Christmas programs in schools, in barangays.  Worse, there are no carolers out there that sing inaudible lyrics of “Joy to the world”…”Silent Night’…not even the usual loud rendition of “Tenk yu..tenk yu…ang babait ninyo, ten kyu!” by street kids.

Yet, we know that  the spirit of Christmas is never found in others, but in ourselves. It’s not about seeing dressed up windows of stores and malls. Or seeing kids playing with new toys. Or seeing shoppers bring out stocks of ham and cans of fruit salad from groceries and supermarkets.

Christmas is about fond memories of people who shared our lives in the past, of departed members of the family… of close friends who made an impact on our lives.

Christmas is about breathing and living Jesus Christ in us. When was the last time we called out to Jesus to thank Him for our blessings, big and small?

Christmas is here… live it for we may not see it again!

*          *          *          *          *

GIVING BACK TO OUR PARISH CHURCH. There is one activity that parishioners (whether Catholic or Christian) can do this Christmas.

Let us not forget that our parish churches mainly survive on charity of the communities. And since our churches are among those most affected by quarantine, health and safety protocols, our parish priests have been denied opportunities to receive help from and during Sunday collections.  

Since collection boxes can no longer be passed around during Sunday masses attended by usually no more than 50 parishioners at any given time, our active religious groups, i.e., Knights of Columbus, Catholic Women’s League, etc. can meet and plan together on how they can move around barangays and business district in groups of 5 to pass the collection boxes themselves.   

While we need our parish priests and their staff to administer the sacraments for our spiritual well-being, they also need our help for their physical and health concerns.  

So it’s time to give back to our churches and apolitical clergy.   

*          *          *          *          *

‘I WILL BE STRICT…” I was genuinely impressed by the statement of Pangasinan’s new PNP provincial director, P/Col. Ronald Gayo, about what the province can expect from him.

“I will be strict, but a disciplinarian with a heart,” is how he wants the provincial government to view him.

I believe his “I will be strict…” augurs well for enforcement agenda for improved peace and order in the province but his being a “disciplinarian with a heart” I’m afraid might make it difficult for him “to be strict”. But I will still grant him the benefit of the doubt that what he meant was, he will both be guided by his military training  and civilian values as a Filipino.

His agenda to boost the agenda of his boss Chief PNP Debold Sinas is certainly in the right direction. But perhaps the provincial board wanted to hear more about how he can make difference in the enforcement of laws and ordinances. BM Salvador Perez already hinted about how to make social distancing strictly observed in communities where food bazaars and tiangge are held during the holidays.

And so following Mr. Perez’s lead, may I add: Can he do something about strict enforcement of wearing helmets by motorcycle riders even in barangays, and among police officers themselves? Many riders have died because they were not wearing helmets when they were thrown off their bikes.

Then there is the order of DILG Sec. Eduardo Año to keep tricycles and slow moving motorcycles to keep out of center lanes on the highway. His predecessor hardly made an impact in this mission. We never saw motorcycle-riding cops in action on the highways flagging down errant tricycle drivers and riders except to intercept cargos of goods.

Enforcement of rules in the streets are the most visible proofs of strict enforcement of other ordinances in towns and cities. It also commands respect for the law and our enforcers in whatever missions they undertake.

Then there is the image of unprofessional image of our policemen – They do not wear their standard headgear when out in public; spending more time reading text messages and watching videos than being on the lookout for law breakers. When was the last time we saw policemen on foot patrol even just for high visibility purposes to improve peace and order?

These little and basic enforcement will go a long way in accomplishing the national taskings of the Chief PNP, that I’m sure of!

*          *          *          *          *

WHY PREVENT KIDS, LOLOS/LOLAS FROM CELEBRATING? There must be a compromise to the recommendation of national IATF and the provincial health office to keep kids below 15 years old and seniors past 66 years old.  

Gosh, it’s Christmas… while the threat of COVID-19 is real and continues, the season is for children and for doting grandparents to be with the grandkids. 

I cannot understand why the children below 15-years and the seniors above 66 years old, cannot be protected by the face masks and face shields when these can provide adequate protection to kids more than 15 years old and seniors below 66 years old.  

Can COVID-19 detect who to attack and infect??  

We have reached that stage in the war vs COVID-19 when individual, personal responsibility is called upon to protect one’s self and people around. Since we have already identified the most vulnerable, it is they who are called more than anyone on to be more careful. But not to be isolated and imprisoned.  

Note that the surge in the cases involves persons 15 years and above! Even the fatalities are mostly between 15 and 66 years old.  Curiously, I note that in both advisories (IATF and PHO), nothing is mentioned about them being made to strictly observe both health and safety protocols, only that the children have to be accompanied by parents.  

In this regard, my unsolicited advice is to allow everyone the privilege and the right to enjoy the season for as long as the prescribed health and safety protocols are complied with strictly.    

*          *          *          *          *

On a personal note:

  1. I invite our PUNCH readers and supporters to join me in counting our respective blessings during these difficult times. And I’m sure there are countless if only we look around to see that we are more blessed than others in many ways, particularly in terms of health.
  2. I urge everyone to make a note of calling, texting a relative or friend whom we have not seen nor heard from for over a year.

Merry Christmas and may our Good Lord keep you safe and blessed.

Share your Comments or Reactions


Powered by Facebook Comments