Too fast, too soon

By Alex P. Vidal

“Electricity is really just organized lightning.” —George Carlin

WHEN power interruptions began to annoy the residents of Iloilo City amid the coronavirus-mandated lockdown early this month, we sounded an alarm that enemies of More Electric Power and Corporation (MORE Power), particularly its rival Panay Electric Company (PECO), might use the furor to pound MORE Power with heavy molotov before the bar of public opinion.

This was after the metropolis experienced a nerve-tingling 13-hour power blackout first week of May.

“The Ilonggos are ruthless and unforgiving when it comes to protesting against any power outage,” I warned in my article. “They don’t care anymore if it is PECO or More Power that provides them electric services. Just give them a fair deal and they won’t give a damn which power company to acknowledge. All they want is efficient service and unhampered power distribution. Anything less would mean an apocalypse of verbal denunciation.”

Another “long” power blackout will again reportedly occur anytime this month and in the coming weeks thereafter.

True or not, this isn’t funny anymore.

MORE Power better shape up or shut up.




ON the other hand, we find it too premature for Congress to jump into the gun battle and “probe” the “frequent” power interruptions under the tutelage of MORE Power.

In fact, House Resolution No. 785 has already been reportedly filed “probing the status of the distribution of electricity in Iloilo City to ensure that power distribution will not cease and that the people of Iloilo will not be affected” by Party List Rep. Sony Lagon.

Too fast. Too soon. So embryonic.

MORE Power is only in the infant stage of serving the Ilonggos and it will now face the Inquisition because of a wispy crime?

It looks like somebody has been waiting only for someone inside the movie house to slip in the banana peel and shout “fire”.




A 40-YEAR-OLD mother from Arevalo, Iloilo City has a message for Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones:

Dear Secretary Briones, I believe you have so many fulfillments in life. I also believe your parents were so uncompromising in taking care of you when you were a child, protecting your skin from the mosquitoes and other elements. I further believe your parents would never want to put you in any danger and risk your life just to fulfill their dreams for you. And I strongly believe you are aware that education is not the only important bridge to become successful. My teacher once said, “You should have the sense of empathy towards your fellowmen.”

It could also succinctly mean that education is nothing if we don’t know how to consider the feelings of others. In short, be sensitive enough to the needs of others by putting your shoes on the parents of the students. 

To reach your age is what we parents have dreamt for our children. Do you think if we send our children to school and study in a room with a maximum capacity of 15, they will be secured from the coronavirus?

As a doctor of education, you are considered as “witty and well-trained” in all aspects of strategies in the field of teaching. You have been through a lot of trainings that have sharpened your skills not only as a good teacher but also as a better person and a responsible parent.

May I respectfully suggest that instead of sending our children to school in these uncertain times, let’s adopt a system where we can use the modular and give the students scheduled tests at home?

I am motivated by a desire to have a better plan in teaching instead of complaining and doing nothing. I am also a mother and very much aware like other mothers that this year’s education can be considered as a bonus.

The whole school year, even without the COVID-19, some students always have a hard time coping up with their studies at school because of so many hindrances; some of which, aside from the coronavirus, are overpopulation of students, limited number and sizes of classrooms, and shortage of teachers.

The specter of COVID-19 has resulted in the exodus of more OFWs going home, and most of them are husbands of teachers and parents of children we have exhorted to strictly follow the social distancing at school.

When they sit in their chairs, move in their surroundings, and use the comfort rooms, how are they going to disinfect? And what about the teachers? Who will protect them?

Norman Cousins once said, “Respect for the fragility and importance of an individual life is still the mark of an educated man.”

As a parent, I can’t in my conscience put to risk the safety of my children.

Education is important but I value my children’s life over their dreams to become professionals someday. Coronavirus might turn their bright future into ashes; I love my children so much and they are my life.

I also call on my fellow parents to reecho my sentiments and help campaign for the modular mechanism and teach our children at home. Remember we can do this all together because we are the first parents and their teachers are the second. Secretary Briones hear us parents! LOVELYN “LOVEFAYES” PANIZAL-GEDUQUE.


(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)