I’d like to believe that this is all just a dream. One of those nightmares that go away once you drink a glass of water or get up and say a prayer. But no, it is damn real.
March 17, 2020 at 12:00 AM. Metro Manila was officially placed in quarantine. All public transportations were suspended. Companies sent their employees home early. Where was I? I was in the office working, thinking of ways on how I should go home. I have no private car and no family to pick me up at work. I thought I would just walk on my way home. Thankfully, my officemate offered to drop me off to the place where I live.
I never panicked. I did not even think of stocking up on food and other necessities immediately. It took a while for me to realize that the world has become different as the days went by. I was not even updated on how many cases were there already. It’s not that I did not care enough because I was not greatly affected by the circumstance, I just entrusted everything to the Lord.
The weekend after quarantine was declared, I went to shop for groceries. I saw an old man as I was browsing through the toothpaste aisle. He was wearing a polo shirt that looked two sizes bigger than his. His slippers were muddy. No, I didn’t think he was gross. All I felt at that moment was guilt and pity. He was holding a basket with only a few items inside – a pack of bread, maybe 2 to 3 pieces of canned goods, and whatnots. Meanwhile, there I was, pushing one large cart full of items that some were not even useful for the next 6 months. When I was about to pay at the counter, I looked for the old man. I wanted him to get some more supplies and offer to pay it for him. But he was gone. I couldn’t find him anywhere. I kept thinking about him when I unpacked the groceries at home. I regret to miss the chance of being able to help even just a little. The thought of him bothered me for days and nights. I was thinking if the supplies he bought would even last for a week. The very least I could do was to pray for him.
Today is day 37 of quarantine. I haven’t gone out for more than a month now but I’m still sane. Although I have attempted to join the bandwagon and download TikTok. Then I realized I’m not ready to lose my reputation just yet. I’m kidding. TikTok warriors, I have nothing against you, lol.
I am used to isolating myself so keeping me quarantined makes no drastic change in my life. I still report to work on a night shift. Only that, I wear pajamas instead of office attire and sit on a dining chair with an iron board as my makeshift table. It’s pretty comfortable, can’t complain. But a La-Z-Boy would be perfection. Though I’m afraid I will be sleeping the entire shift because you know, once you sit on it you just don’t want to get up. Kidding aside. I know it’s not the time to wish for luxuries in life as we are facing crisis.
Anyhoo, how are you? There. In case no one has asked you how have you been. Wherever you are right now and whatever situation you are in, I hope you are doing just fine. I wish I am with my family right now. Tomorrow, I’ll be celebrating my birthday. They are supposed to be here today and spend a week of vacation but that’s no longer possible. I already canceled their flights and the accommodation that I have booked. I was planning for us to head to Baguio for a little sightseeing, stroll around the night market, and prolly have some fresh strawberries. My parents would enjoy the cold weather there. I also opted for a trip to Tagaytay if we couldn’t make it to Baguio. Papa loves a good bulalo and mama always wanted to visit Tagaytay. I was planning to show my brother the tech shops around Metro Manila. I was ready to go broke for a little while. I looked forward to spending some nights at Bonifacio High Street, drinking milk tea, snacking burgers and fries, listening to some local artists performing on the street, or just watching dogs (that most likely cost more than a month of my salary) walking around with their fur parents. But all of that is not happening anytime soon. Instead, I will be working my ass off on my birthday because I am so slammed at work these past few days. Again, not complaining. Probably just gonna prepare a good breakfast for myself and by good breakfast, I mean fried rice, scrambled eggs, danggit (salted dried fish), and milk on the side. Or maybe a hot chocomilk drink.
On days when I am not working, I binge-watch KDramas on Netflix, watch vlogs on YouTube, read some books, or spending hours on Pinterest. Some other days I am productive that I clean our whole place and do the laundry, but there are also those days when I am useless, lol.
I’ve been looking for ways to entertain myself as I can’t go out. I haven’t seen the sun and moon for a while now. Can’t even breathe the fresh air. Don’t know what day it is. A few days ago, I did a little artwork. I miss my art materials. If only I happened to be in Cebu right now, I wouldn’t be bored af. I could go on for days cutting papers, creating DIY projects, and painting my wall, I guess.
Recently, I found out about “The Chosen”. It’s an application allowing you to stream the series for free. Apparently, someone has paid for you to watch it and in return, you can also pay for other people to enjoy watching it for free. I’m still on episode 2 and I have not spent a single cent but I am just not sure if it would ask you to pay as you go on watching the rest of the episodes. It’s really interesting. Kind of similar to “The Passion of the Christ” but deeper. The story is about the life of Jesus. Highly recommend you to watch it and prepare a box of tissues.
This pandemic has given us the opportunity to spend more undivided time with our families and loved ones. So for those lucky people who are with their families right now, I hope you take advantage of the time to bond with each other while you can. Some could only wish they can do the same but are too far away.
To those who are in a NWNP (No Work, No Pay) situation and are running out of funds, may this pandemic be an eye-opener that we should have savings for we do not know what tomorrow may bring. There may be some people who would offer us help at the moment but we cannot always depend our survival on them.
To the frontliners who have been risking their lives every day to keep us safe, let’s also protect them with prayers.
Now, as we are all hiding, the world is also healing. The skies are brighter, the waters are cleaner, the animals are happier. I cannot wait to go back to a normal life with fresher air and kinder people. Let us all take time to reflect that the worldly things like malls, clubs, restaurants, cars, and all that jazz are not essential as we are learning to live without them. They are just bonuses in life. The only thing that matters is our relationship with our families and friends, and our faith in the Lord. Lift everything up to Him and only Him. Keep believing that God is in control. This too, shall pass.
“Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut your doors behind you. Take cover, for in a little while the fury will be over.” – Isaiah 26:20