We apologize to our readers for the failure of our column to appear in yesterday’s edition of this newspaper. We consulted a doctor – a dermatologist specifically – to find out what’s causing a recurring itchiness in some parts of our body which has for the past week been robbing us of some hours of our sleep. We did not mind it much as we feel it was tolerable and likely to vanish in a few more days.

    However, the top gun in the house, our woman, keeps on nagging us because according to her, she too is affected when we have to wake up in the dead of night to do some “hand calisthenics.” It turned out the inching is a manifestation of our body’s allergy to a medicine we are currently taking. And as usual, like anybody when he/she visits a doctor, we had to fork out money from our long-empty pockets hoping that with the prescribed medicine being bought and taken, will result to the total annihilation of the skin itching.

     But here is one thing funny that happened inside the clinic. While waiting for our turned to be attended to by the doctor, a young beautiful woman with an elderly lady companion came in. The young mother was towing with her an almost teenager female. Like us, all the three of them were wearing mask, apparently in compliance with health protocols especially on having mask on when inside health facilities.

     The three passed by our front and never bothered to say hello, or greet us good morning. We did not mind as it is customary for people not acquainted with each other. When finally the three were seated, they just proceeded with tinkering their gadgets perhaps because they were informed that the doctor would only be available by roughly between 10:30 to 11 in the morning. We too, were busy with our own. A few minutes the secretary in the clinic announced the order with which the doctor will entertain the waiting patients.

     When our name was mentioned that we will be number 2 to be attended to, the young lady who was seated adjacent to us suddenly asked if we used to work with Davao Light. We answered “yes” and thereafter the young lady suddenly grabbed our right hand and placed it on her forehead at the same time uttering the words, “Bless po Ninong.” Her elderly woman companion also blurted out, “Pare, kumusta ka na? Palagi kang tinatanong ng kumpare mo kung okay pa buhay mo.”

     We were astounded and felt somewhat awkward seeing all other waiting patients bothered by our sudden “kumustahan.”  As we were about to ask who they were, the two took off their mask halfway down to show their faces, even as they simultaneously said, “Sorry for the inconvenience in having you bothered thinking who we are.  The younger of the two ladies said, “Ninong, I am the daughter of Engr. Gil Buenaventura, your hijada sa kasal.” Then the other woman said, Pare, it’s been a long time since we saw each other. I am Gil’s wife.

     At this juncture we proceeded with our “kumustahan” which in my own observation may have annoyed some of the waiting patients who were already agitated because of the delay in the start of the doctor’s service. 

     Now what is significant about it that makes that experience of ours worth writing in a daily column. Perhaps there is none, or that if there is any, it don’t really concern a good number of people. But here is the catch.  The incident, we believe, draws to the surface the positive and negative implications of people wearing mask to protect themselves from the deadly virus causing the still raging pandemic.

     As manifested in the preceding paragraph, the mask protects people from all walks of life from getting infested of the virus causing the deaths of thousands in the Philippines. Meaning, if one continues to wear mask despite the substantial easing of restrictions imposed by government in deterring the further spread of the pandemic, then his or her action not only redounds to the protection for himself or herself but for the greater number of people as well.

     Though wearing of the mask could also mean a lot of inconveniences to others, definitely, the benefits achieved is far greater compared to the disadvantages.

    To some people however, especially those with minds full of criminal intentions and have the desire to take advantage of others, wearing of masks is used to help further conceal their identities when they are into committing crimes against person or corporate entity.

     How many suspects are blatantly doing their crime even in broad daylight or even if they know a closed circuit camera is focused on them? There are many as records at at police stations will show nowadays. Easily with the CCTV crime suspects can be now be seen on camera. They even mingle with people in large crowds with their mask on outfoxing the police and other law enforcement agents making themselves like any ordinary men complying with health protocols.

     But loo and behold. They are the most dreaded guns-for-hire, pickpockets, robbers,  and perpetrators of other crimes hiding their identities without drawing attention from agents of the law. After all, they are just like any Tom, Dick, and Harry in a sea of crowds, or just the simple Juan de la Cruz waiting for their time to get victimized by the mask hiding perpetrators.

     And somehow, it has been to us, the “refuge” of criminals posing as good men around but quick to take advantage of any unsuspecting ordinary citizen as soon as the opportunity opens.. 


Source: Mindanao Times ( https://mindanaotimes.com.ph/2022/11/11/rough-cuts-51/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rough-cuts-51)