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Calapan Mayor Arnan Panaligan recalls the start of the lockdown a year ago

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It has been a year since the country was placed under quarantine due to the pandemic, and it prompted Calapan Mayor Arnan Panaligan to reminisce about how the longest year began.

In a Facebook post, Panaligan shared a video of the empty Sto. Nino Cathedral which he took on the first day of the nationwide enhanced community quarantine after he inspected the central business district.

He said it was a Tuesday, and the cathedral would have normally been full for the novena and mass.

During his visit, it was empty but in the choir loft, a priest was playing the pipe organ.

He felt melancholy upon seeing the dark and unlit church, which was coupled with uncertainty and apprehension about what was in store for the country, he said.

It was the beginning of the longest years in our lives, he added.

A year later, how much has changed?

“Exactly one year ago today, March 17, 2020, the first day of the nationwide enhanced community quarantine – I took this video of an empty Sto. Nino Cathedral at past 5:00 pm after my inspection of the city central business district. Public liturgical celebrations were suspended because of the quarantine. It was a Tuesday and normally a good number of people would be in the cathedral for the Sto. Nino novena and mass. In the choir loft, a Portuguese priest then assigned in the cathedral was playing the pipe organ. The empty and unlighted church gave me a melancholy feeling coupled with a sense of uncertainty and apprehension as to what will be in store for us in the weeks and months ahead as we face a pandemic crisis for the first time. It was the beginning of the longest year in our lives. – City Mayor Arnan C. Panaligan,” Panaligan posted.