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Philippine Navy’s Three-Volley Salute

April 21, 2020

Five days before the lockdown of Metro-Manila due to the covid-19 pandemic on March 17, 2020 my brother was luckily timed not to undergo the current and sad experiences of those who die these days whether caused by covid 19 or not. Now, it has become mandatory to bury or cremate a person within 12 hours. The traditional wake – the last tribute of Filipino families to a loved one – that lasts oftentimes from three days up to a week cannot be observed anymore. Such cultural practice is gone! Well, probably until a potent vaccine anti covid-19 is discovered. More disheartening is, if a loved one gets infected by covid virus, relatives won’t be able to get near him, hug or comfort him such that survivors say it is hell to be in isolation, and be far from their families. For some, it has become a second lease to life.

The Philippine Navy gave my brother funeral honors having served the country for 20 years before becoming a seafarer until his retirement. It was my first time to actually witness what is oftentimes mistaken as the 21-gun salute — the three-volley salute. I only have good and loving memories of him as a person, and as a dear brother.

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