Tagbilaran City locked down on Day 1 of general quarantine
TAGBILARAN CITY – The mood was supposed to be festive and bright.
But Tagbilaran City was silent on Friday even as it celebrated its fiesta and transitioned to more relaxed measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
City Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Yap II has placed the city under a one-day “lockdown” to make sure there wouldn’t be too much merrymaking.
In his executive order, the mayor also ordered the closure of all four malls in the city to prevent people from converging.
“The closure of borders and malls is intended to prevent the unnecessary gathering of people,” Yap said.
May 1 marked the city’s fiesta in honor of St. Joseph the Worker, and starts the merry month of May, where there is a fiesta in every place in Bohol every day.
Fiesta in Bohol is characterized by an abundance of food, drink, and music.
But since the city was placed on lockdown on Friday, there were few vehicles along its thoroughfares. There were also no flaglets and fanfare or any indications of the fiesta celebration.
Churches were still closed and Holy Masses were still held in private.
Sister Precy, who requested to be identified this way, however, still came to pray at the closed doors of the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral to thank God for the blessings she received.
She said it was so different to watch Holy Mass online.
“Here, you can feel the presence of the Lord. You can hear His voice through the bishop and priests who are officiating the mass,” said the 56-year-old visionary.
Sister Precy said she prayed for the end of the pandemic.
“It’s important to remember that a quarantined fiesta does not detract from the holiday. It strengthens its messages of God’s love, helping and praying for other people in this moment of darkness and doubt,” she said.
Many residents still prepared food in their homes in thanksgiving to their patron and God.
“We have prepared a small feast just for the family,” said Hilda Vertulfo, 38, and a resident of Barangay Cogon. “Visitors and friends are not invited at this time.”
Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap has placed the entire island under general community quarantine from May 1 to May 31 since it was among the areas considered with a “low risk” for a COVID-19 outbreak.
Measures such as travel ban of inbound passengers, suspension of classes, a province-wide curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., liquor ban, strict physical distancing, the prohibition on mass gathering, mandatory use of face masks, regulated operation of business establishments, and the imposition of “one-household one-pass” policy continue.
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