BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Tom Cruise soared high in theaters here with the sequel to his seminal Top Gun movie that premiered more than 30 years ago as a city dads’ session became actual and as first Communions and college graduations became real events more than two years into the global COVID pandemic.
As COVID cases fall in this most densely populated city in the region, sitting Mayor Evelio Leonardia has lifted the curfew after the national task force regulating alert levels placed the city under Level 1, the lowest and least restrictive that calls only for the most basic protocols of wearing masks, washing hands, and appropriate distancing.
At the main San Sebastian Cathedral and other churches here, children in white lined up for their First Communion, a Catholic rite for youngsters who have finished Cathechism classes.
In malls, people throng to cinemas showing Top Gun: Maverick, the latest installment of the franchise that shot Hollywood actor Tom Cruise to stardom in the summer of 1986.
Seats in some theaters are guaranteed and it is not known if the one seat apart spacing is being observed.
Elsewhere, people gather in public places like on the grounds of the Bacolod City Government Center that was marred, however, by the murder of a kid, 15, last Sunday.
In the Center’s Sangguniang Panlungsod hall early last week, however, Vice Mayor-Elect El Cid Familiaran held a regular session Wednesday with 14 of the councilors here, some of whom were re-elected in the last polls.
Also on Sunday, several colleges like the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod held face to face graduations with masks as add ons to the standard toga outfits of graduates.