Everybody loves a good shindig—even more so now, when the modified, extended, enhanced Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious community quarantine is keeping everyone from partying like it’s 2019. According to lockdown rules, mass gatherings or situations that cannot maintain social distancing aren’t allowed so as to prevent the spread of the virus—even when said gathering involves lechon blessed by the parish priest.
Is shindig even still a thing? Or, like hootenanny, has been lost to the ravages and dynamism of time and colloquialism? You know what else we didn’t know was a thing? A mañanita. Supposedly, it’s a “police and military tradition in which a commander gets birthday greetings from his or her key officials before dawn.” To help you get a picture of whatever the heck that means, we suggest googling the one demonstrated by dozens of National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) cops last Friday to celebrate the birthday of their seemingly affable and well-loved chief, Major General Debold Sinas.
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Police officers were shown giving Sinas flowers and Voltes V themed cakes during the May 8 gathering in photos shared yesterday on the NCRPO Facebook page. (Some of the images have since been taken down.) The chief and others were also shown mingling at a table while others queued at a buffet setup. Of the incident, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa says he believed that Sinas and his men did not violate any protocol, but has ordered an investigation. Gamboa also brought up the fact that Sinas had a program that gathered aid for the families of police and civilian staffers that tested positive for COVID-19—something that is, of course, well and good but is unrelated to the question of them breaking the rules they themselves are tasked to uphold. After all, we’re a sucker for “dura lex sed lex” and all that jazz.
Today, Sinas cried foul, este, apologized for what the public perceived as a blatant violation of ECQ rules. “I apologize for what transpired during my birthday that caused anxiety to the public," the chief writes in a statement. Claiming the photos were old and edited, the chief explains that the pictures “does not define the totality of what really had happened.” We wonder what that totality is, and if it will hold up to a sensitive time in our nation’s history when people cannot gather to properly mourn their dead.
While Sinas plays semantics, insisting it wasn’t a party but the aforementioned mañanita, it seemed that a grand time was still had by all. Here are some images from that celebration, which we will aptly call, “a visual guide on how to enjoy not-a-party:”
Photos from NCRPO Facebook Page