Freedom . . . !

Published June 19, 2021, 12:31 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza

Medium Rare

Jullie Y. Daza

On Independence weekend, no less.

Time to snap the chains and proclaim liberation from the illegal imposition of indefinite prison terms on persons whose only crime is their age.

The sky was blue, alternating with clouds of medium and opaque thicknesses, the simplicity of their color palette complicated only here and there by the fiery flames of the fire tree. What a delight, that after the high temperatures of summer’s dying days and the onset of the rainy season, the flaming flowers survived both heat and thunderstorms.

The temperature outdoors as we moved out of the city and toward Laguna-Cavite matched our anticipation of a “nice time” — fresh air, the smell of green in the wind, grass and trees, the pleasures of a joy ride minus “protocols” of checkpoints, glitches at toll booths, traffic. The only problem was the Tagaytay-Sta. Rosa road, where we spent 30 minutes uselessly, on the drive back to Manila on Sunday the 13th. No floods, no obstruction, no construction, just too many cars eager to go home at the same time via CALAX, a smooth drive!

Had a third of Metro Manila’s population escaped the crowded city for the equally crowded “peace and quiet” of Silang and Tagaytay? Restaurants were not accepting reservations; they were full at 30-40 percent “limited capacity.” The alternative was to order meals for take-out/delivery. Tony Boy Escalante’s Antonio’s Breakfast was full house. The next day, the same story with Sonny Lua’s Asiong’s Caviteño restaurant.

The children didn’t care, they were busy swimming or playing games. The oldies played mahjongg in the shade of fruit trees among which butterflies and little brown birds flitted. The middle ones, teens and twens, went shopping in Acienda’s outlet stores and the malls across the road from the volcano sitting on its plate of a lake. Our hosts left us to our own devices, busy as they were decorating the lanai for a surprise party for their 10-year-old’s debut as a singer.

Independence Day never felt so free, so independent. After 16 months, we the people are impatient for more mobility. Let’s not say it’s “all up to IATF,” ‘cuz it should be up to us. To be responsible for one another.

Vax-Mask-Hugas-Iwas ###