Omicron derails economy, sports tilts
By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
I began writing this piece on January13 when I learned from the official website of the provincial government that the whole province is (now) under Alert Level 3. Yes, it had to be done and we cannot blame our local lawmakers and Gov. Pogi Espino if our province is back to its previous status which I believe is long overdue. My habit of observing everything about my hometown Mangaldan almost every day, made me see countless of my town mates being stubborn, defiant and uncooperative with everything that their health workers tell them what to do and not to do after their inoculation (including their booster shots). They think they have become invulnerable and are already completely safe from the lethal and invisible disease COVID-19. That’s their own lookout and they’re very wrong. I know they will eventually be remorseful soon as COVID-19 hits and knocks them down, again.
Without a doubt, the continuous surge in any province under the Alert Level 3 status will surely impact on the economic recovery. In this case, we should not make our government officials responsible for our situation today because there’s no one else to blame but ourselves due to our refusal to comply with set minimum health standards.. And now we are paying the price.
The Omicron variant which is affecting the globe like a tsunami wave from the sea especially in the United States, India, Brazil, U.K., France, Russia, Turkey, Italy, Spain and Germany topping the ten affected countries (Philippines, 20th), will also surely hinder the development of the world’s athletes particularly in competitions particularly for contact sports like boxing, karate, muay-thai, kick-boxing, basketball, volleyball, to name some that are prohibited to be held. Cycling competition was not mentioned by the national IATF (Inter Agency Task Force) believing that it’s not a contact sport. Fortunately, there are some small cycling races being held in eastern Pangasinan for the past weeks like in the towns of Asingan, Binalonan, San Manuel and Umingan.
According to my reliable source, as of this writing, the Ronda Pilipinas 2022 will push through this coming March 1 to 10 but protocols will strictly be observed. First and foremost, all the participants and officials of the race must have already received their second dose of the vaccine before the event. My source said the ten-day cycling event (one rest day) will start in Manila to Cabanatuan City, passing the provinces of Pangasinan, then to Aurora, Quezon, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and will wind up in Baguio City via the treacherous, lung-busting and taxing Sta. Fe – Ambuklao highway.
Meanwhile, the biggest 16-stage bikathon, the longest and toughest multi-stage bicycle race of the land this year, called “Go Philippines Tour 2022” was supposed to start on February 16, but was rescheduled to June 1 up to June 19. This national bikathon, sponsored by Sen. Bong Go, will start in Legaspi City, and finally winds up in Baguio City via Pangasinan. No official route yet was announced.
In the local side, I wish and hope that the 2020 First Governor’s Cup that was temporarily called off two years ago because of the pandemic, will finally push through on April 27 to May 1 this year. The five-day bikefest, the project of our tireless, sports-minded, energetic head of the province, Gov. Amado I. Espino, lll, will be exclusively for our Pangasinan pedal-pushers. The bikefest is a good tune-up race for our local riders for this year’s biggest bikefest, the newly organized “Go Philippines Tour 2022.”
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Therefore, thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape; and though they will cry out to Me, I will not listen to them. JEREMIAH 11: 11
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