Blackout plus signal shutdown will turn Iloilo into a purgatory

By Alex P. Vidal

“When I try to be patient on my own, my patience is forced and short-lived. It is obvious to everyone that I am desperately trying to be patient.”—Mother Angelica

IT’S hard to imagine Iloilo City being swallowed whole by two behemoths while the Ilonggos are celebrating the Dinagyang Festival 2024, which officially romped off on January 12.

If this happens, it’s like watching the city and province of Iloilo turning into a purgatory, a place of purification or temporary punishment in which, according to medieval Christian and Roman Catholic belief, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for heaven.

Extremely scary and unpalatable. It would be one step closer to perdition and hell.

Ilonggos would explode in total revulsion and forcefully curse the national government for its inability and failure to safeguard the region’s power supply and protect Iloilo after being hit by a shocking darkness, a post new year howitzer.

We’re referring to the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) proposed shutdown of telecommunication networks during the festival’s major events, and the looming power blackout as feared by the Department of Energy (DoE) because of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) intransigence and unforeseeable attitude toward power stability in Panay Island and the neighboring provinces in Western Visayas.

It seems the Ilonggos are being made to suffer and punished for the sins of irresponsible and incompetent bureaucrats.


Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC), with plants located in Iloilo City and servicing both the city and the province, can’t give any iron-clad assurance to the Ilonggos, as well, that massive blackouts that greeted the Ilonggos after the New Year’s Eve celebrations, won’t occur anew.

It will be uncertainty and fear once again. No one can tell when will the thief in the night strike again. What a year for the Ilonggos.

To compound the matter, NGCP had earlier disowned total responsibility but couldn’t explain the cause of the power plant outages except that an internal issue caused the trip off of PEDC Unit 1 plant on January 2.

We hope the Sangguniang Panlungsod in Iloilo City, which recently “reviewed” the request of Police Regional Office (PRO-6) director, Brig. Gen. Sidney Villaflor, to reconsider the proposal made earlier by the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) to shut down the telecommunication networks during the Dinagyang Festival’s major events, will not succumb and reject with finality the absurd proposal.

It’s inconceivable and unthinkable to allow any authority or government agency like the PNP to play a Russian roulette with the Ilonggos.

We also believe Iloilo City Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Trenas wouldn’t budge down or change his position regarding the telecommunication network shutdown.

Wishing that the Dinagyang Festival 2024 will be hassle-free and peaceful. Good luck to our fellow Ilonggos.


OUR PERFECT VIEW. When burdened with life’s trials and hardships, we ask God, “Why so many hills and mountains to climb in life?” God’s answer, “For you to have a better view.”

WINTRY WEATHER. After a frigid week complete with New York City’s first significant snowfall in nearly two years and a chilly arctic blast, even more wintry weather is in the forecast for the tristate area this weekend, the Daily News has reported.

Temperatures in the city on January 18 hovered in the mid-30s for most of the day. The National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook citywide and predicted that snowfall would begin late January 18 or early January 19 morning and continue throughout the day, likely dumping around 3 inches in the metro area. However, total accumulation will depend on how close the storm tracks to the coast.

Commuters should be wary, especially in the evening hours, the NWS added, warning of “snow-covered roads” and reduced visibility on Friday, June 19, warned the Daily news.

SECURITY THREAT. Foreign information manipulation and interference is a national security threat to the United States as well as to its allies and partners, according to the US Department of State, which announced an important new tool for addressing this problem: The Framework to Counter Foreign State Information Manipulation. This Framework seeks to develop a common understanding of this threat and establish a common set of action areas from which the United States, with its allies and partners, can develop coordinated responses to foreign information manipulation and protect free and open societies.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)