There are instances in life when one would really cancel people. I don’t. No matter how “bad” my relationship with a person, I don’t cancel. I would take a break, mop, sulk, detach myself for a while but I’d always go back to that forgiving place. I’d always managed to remember that person’s birthday, or the corny stuff and mundane events that we have shared. If we ended up in not-so-good goodbye, I know that I’d still be the one saying “how are you” after a while. I guess I am just not that kind of person who harbors ill feelings. I do know that people make mistakes, no one is spared from it; and regardless of the situation, when a person hurts you, that does not negate the fact that in doing so, that person who hurt you feels the same way; hurt people, hurt other people. I have been hurt countless times, promises were broken more than I can even count and my brain remembers, but I won’t for the life of me “cancel” on anyone simply because that hurts like a gazillion times. No one wants to be canceled on. I won’t do something like that to anyone even if that person has crushed my heart into a million pieces and left it bleeding for years. I think canceling on someone is just pure “evil” and only someone that equates it can do that. I have no mean bones, but yes I have a very sharp tongue and an equally dreadful mind. But my heart controls my mind. It pushes that “hurting” thoughts away and cleanse it with the good memories that’s why canceling someone or anyone is hard for me to do. Some might call me a “softie” I’d rather say I don’t like that painful feeling be felt by anyone. I stand by that golden rule: “Don’t do unto others, what you don’t want others to do unto you”. People who are vindictive have hearts full of darkness swallowed by self-pity. Don’t feed your ego, it’s the most dangerous thing to do. Humility kills pride. Empathy cleanses the smudges of the pain until only good stuff will remain. And even though at times you’d feel the scars it will only mean giving yourself a tap on your shoulder by surviving that pain. Never to inflict it to anyone by canceling on them.
How does one cancel a person? it’s like shutting a door right in front of his face slamming it so hard that it reverb causing one to stay deaf despite your callings. It’s when you’re talking to a blank wall. It’s when that person cuts you off forever in his/her life without giving a chance to be heard of your reason. In retrospect, it’s all about deleting you in their system. And you were dumbfounded about it.
Nothing in this life is permanent. So is hurt. It only becomes permanent if you chose to nurse it and give vent to the “evil” thoughts and let it devour your whole being. I want to live with good thoughts and give that positive energy to bring me to life. More than anything else, I want to free myself from that baggage so I can move freely in life. Next time someone cancels on you, take a deep breath and smile. It’s all about them and not about you anyway. Realizing this empowers you to be better and not bitter, you’re not weak but a lot stronger.
I find humor to be the most attractive characteristic, but I certainly won’t cancel anything out, considering when you love someone you love someone, and sometimes you just can’t explain it. – Zoey Deutch
I used to be the type who documents everything I do, I eat, and my thoughts daily. That was me when I was still very active with my FB page. Fast forward 2 years after and I only maintained my IG and my Twitter (very recently) and FB messenger (only) to connect with my selected friends and loved ones. Today, I am reminded how much time I’ve spent lingering on my FB. I was one of the very few who was so much into it back in the hay days when it was still pure fun and people are not as malicious, self-centered and know-it-all as how it is now. By then it was a great platform to re-connect with all your long lost friends, relatives whom you have not seen or heard of for ages. Your first crush in your elementary days and yes even that person you used to despise growing up. FB started the trend of “reunions” and from there stemmed the “illicit love affairs”, broken marriages, online bashing, online hatred, online jealousy, online dating, online fraud, online stalking, and other online whatnot that this social medium has brought about to human lives. It has become a tenet for everyone to showcase their pains, hatred, and even brokenness. It was an avenue that even a suicidal person would have in mind to end one’s life in front of online viewers. My question is this. Why? What’s with FB that makes one so brazen to the point of defying the odds and giving one that power to be so open, so bluntly brutal with ones freedom of speech as they say that now it’s not a matter of being meek or humble but more of knowing everything even though in reality, they know nothing. Though it is true that in this age in time information is just within arms reach, that the technology has given everyone instant access to knowledge and additional learning but there is still some semblance of truth that not everyone has given the right to just barged into. No one knows what goes on when that laptop is shut down and one’s gadget is on an airplane mode or even in a charging mode, people can easily alter their feelings by penning them in a very positive tone. Everyone becomes a good judge of someone’s character just by scrolling their FB page and seeing someone’s status or checking what they eat, where they went and or by just simply “hanging out” on someone’s FB page. Today, I see FB as an invitation to give someone else a say in your life once you update your status. It’s giving them a gun and hoping they won’t pull that trigger on you one of these days. Why am I being so negative about FB here? Because this whole scenario of social media addiction emulated from there. Each time it evolves it also gives people the chance to be more greedy, more hungry, and more unforgiving. Discontentment is one of the reasons why it becomes so popular for almost everyone. More than the freedom to delight yourself in this technology, it is an escape to every day’s boredom and discontentment. It’s given people the chance to be equal to everyone with just a click of their phones and other gadgets. Yes, it’s not only FB that has this same effect but FB is the worse.
Today, on my 42nd day of being in ECQ, I am happy that apart from other social media that I have maintained and I am not that “addicted” to as I used to before with my old FB page, I was able to use my time wisely. I don’t need to document everything I do, just because I gave in to the pressure of others. I have spent my time, doing what I should and that’s being productively active. Be more open with the reality this life gives us each day and not that “blind” reality that FB or other social media chose for us to see. I chose to see a glimmer of hope despite what’s been happening around me, I chose to be one with true friends I can only count on my 10 fingers and not by the hundreds the social media says I have. I chose to kill time with my loved ones who truly know me and I thank God each day for giving me things to do each day, for the food I eat, for my surrounding that I have not really enjoyed before because my focus was on trivial things. I don’t need to document any of it because its emotional effect simply stays with me for the rest of my life and it will not be deactivated, hide, ignored because I won’t be threatened if I will be unfollowed, muted, or be unfriended by anyone.
My life is far more precious than what my social media account showed or projected to others. I don’t need to impress anyone just because of what real is here and now. Not then, not tomorrow, and not what FB makes you feel or compels you to do. It is a choice. Your own choice to stay or even step in that platform, to begin with. Life will be much peaceful if you’ll know how to control FB than FB controlling you. Again, it is not FB’s problem as well, it is human nature to be easily swayed, to be provoked, to be seething with jealousy and be consumed by wants bigger than what’s in front of them FB seemingly satiates that hunger ready for everyone to partake. It’s like that snake coaxing Eve to eat the apple. More than the Covid19 virus it’s a virus each one of us can’t contain, that love for freedom to be liked as revealed by Facebook and all this social media. I hope this ECQ tells us a deeper need to sensibility, to change perspective, to be more humanely possible than what impossible humans are now capable of. Let’s reboot. Let’s live for that real love and not for thumbs up like.
It is the 22nd of March 2020, my 6th day being quarantined at home. Today, I was woken up by a video call from my next-door neighbor. She was waking me up to inform me that Joshua her nephew and the other tenant upstairs will be lining up for the quarantine pass. Today, the quarantine pass will be distributed to all residents of this village. Without the pass, the policemen manning the borders will not let you get out. Only one person per household will be allowed to have a pass bearing that person’s name to buy food, groceries, and medicines. If your name is not indicated on that pass you have no business to be outside your homes.
So I hurriedly got up from bed, used the bathroom, changed clothes, put on my face mask, tucked a small bottle of alcohol on my back pocket, and carried with me my company ID which bears my home address for their verification of my address. Thanks to our neighbor upstairs, Kuya Edwin, we rode his car and made our way to the village’s hall by passing through the school’s main gate and traversed the highway coming through the village’s main gate. We were approached by the village guard, informing us that since the vehicle does not have the village’s sticker we won’t be allowed access but I showed my ID and convinced him that we are a resident of the village but we just had to go around since the school’s gate going through the village is closed hence, we had to go by the main highway since we wanted to get a quarantine pass just for this purpose. Long story short, we were allowed to enter the village.
We were greeted by a long queue in the village hall, at first I was impressed since they were implementing the “Social Distancing” but inside that hall, I was disappointed. People are all in front of the table raising concerns, lining up their IDs, chitchatting, some wearing face masks, some are not, and most of them not practicing “social distancing”.
When it was my time to approach the table, the woman in charge of the quarantine pass’ distribution informed me that they have already released a pass for that address, I had to argue with her and informed her that I think there’s a confusion since this is my first time to line up. I informed her that we’re just renting a flat on the address indicated on my ID, she asked for the name of the Landlord and I gave it to her, she skimmed thru her list and told me again, they already released one, I said, that can’t be since we’re 7 doors in that apartment and it was said on the circular that one per household. She insisted and wasn’t minding me anymore, this made me blow my top. I had to tell her how absurd such policy that tenants will only be allowed one pass which will be under the Landlord’s names so meaning we won’t be able to get out if we have to buy something since only one person will be allowed to go out and if your name is not indicated you won’t be able to get out. She informed me that it was only what was instructed to her, so I told her how incompetent she was for not asking other possibilities like us for example who may not be homeowners inside that village but we are tenants of those homeowners who are not even living inside that village. Since there’s 3 of us there with the same concern, Kuya Edwin just requested that we be granted even with one pass so we can just lend it to each other if need be. Since I was fuming mad already, we were given a single pass for all 3 doors to use. We just thought of a way that the 3 of us will be able to use it, we will not put a name on that pass and if we’ll be apprehended because the pass is blank we will need to show them our ID bearing the complete address in the hopes that it will be honored otherwise apart from the stress this COVID-19 is creating in us, buying food and the likes will be an additional dilemma we may have to face. Since we’re already out, we decided to just make that time to buy food and groceries that will last us until next week. After that it will be a wait and see situation.
With the height of this covid19 cases growing, and how the people were left addled in how the government implements issues concerning this Enhanced Community Quarantine, one can only hope and pray that dissemination of information and directions must be clear enough to be understood and implemented and followed by everyone. We are all in this together, but it will lighten up the load for the government if we follow what was told us to do. Simple obedience is not that hard especially when it will benefit the entire nation. Filipinos are known all over the world for their resiliency, hard work, and other good traits but sad to say, this time around what we need to practice for once is that trait of being obedient to our authorities. Now is not the time to be focused on which side of the government you are, you may be pro or anti-government but it does not matter this time, what matter is to help get rid of this coronavirus from spreading and this will only be possible if we collectively know what obedience is. A simple “social distancing”, wear a mask, or stay home when the whole world is implementing it, won’t hurt your being but will do you good in the long run; maybe it is nothing to you but it is a big thing for everyone. Obedience is another lesson this COVID19 is trying to tell us, don’t be deaf this time. Obey!
Last March 16, 2020, when President Duterte enforced the “Community Quarantine” to entire NCR. The work stoppage for both government and private sectors was imposed. This was done to contain the COVID-19 which has been declared as a “global pandemic” as a result, “Social Distancing was the new “in” so everyone is confined in their respective homes, going out is strictly prohibited, only one representative for each household will be allowed to go out to buy essential stuff like food, groceries, and medicines. If you have no business going out, staying home is MUST. IMPOSED. ENFORCED. STAY HOME.
As expected, the first day, I was able to do my previous blog. I folded my entire house, disinfected the entirety of my tiny house and washed the pile of dirty clothes waiting for me. I spent half of my day, working from home in between doing household chores and watching the goings-on in TV. Time moved fast. Before I knew it, it’s already night time and beddy time.
March 17, 2020, the government declared a total lockdown or “Enhanced Community Quarantine” for a month, this time it is for the entire Luzon placing the entire Philippines under the state of calamity.
Without much to do, I twiddle my thumbs and wait patiently (for now) with how the government will be able to handle this deadly virus from spreading before we become another Italy who’s now considered as the epicenter of the virus after Wuhan in China. I killed time like others hovering between working remotely using my laptop while trying to be more productive and get my mind off the scary situation. So, on the first day of my Quarantine Mode or as Millenials coin it now as EComQu (Enhanced Community Quarantine), I kept my hands busy by dirtying it.
Gardening has always been my stress-reliever back in the days when I still had my big garden in the island, I have realized back then that I have a green thumb, this day, I was at it again…dirtying my hands, oops, sorry I did wash it with soap and water for 20 seconds and sanitized with alcohol after.
It is now the 21st of March, it has been 4 days to be exact since everybody is in EComQu mode, and I have been eating the same stuff for breakfast. My bread’s expiry date is today. Well, I deduced that it won’t be stale yet as it usually can extend consumption for a few days after its expiration date, so I still have 4 pieces of it left, off it went straight to the freezer to be on the safer side of eating it. Anyways, here’s a peek of what I have been eating for breakfast for four days straight in a row now…
On the 3rd day of being in a seemingly house-arrest, we started feeling the weight of not being able to get out, although I was able to walk out of the village gate to get some essentials in the Market just beside the village gate and some toiletries on the nearby grocery store, I was greeted by an eerie ambiance of the morning. Very minimal numbers of vehicles passing in front of me, the used to be 24/7 Wellcome grocery store now only opens by 8 am and closes 5 pm due to the curfew hours being implemented. I was greeted there by the guard holding a temperature scanner with an alcohol. Bread is out of stock, very few canned goods are on the shelves and the brands of other essentials that I preferred are not there anymore so instead of going home empty-handed I grabbed what I needed just so I have some that I could stock up in case I won’t be able to get out for few days. I went to the local market to buy fish and veggies and it’s like people are in a rush and panicking, everyone wants to get a piece of something and the need to be out from that crowded place is a must; in my head, I was calculating how many meters away I should be from all these people but I lost track of it when one customer had to block my way from the veggie section, I completely went ahead of her and gave her that look saying “Out of my way, bitch!”
Funny how when you’re in this condition of being stuck for days without much to do, you begin to feel the boredom creeping in, imagine how it’s gonna feel for a month. So I had to tell myself, tomorrow is another day, don’t rush, take things easy, play it day by day so you won’t run out of activity. So on our 3rd night, we gave in to “Jenga” but it will only last for few minutes until my daughter would go back into her device.
Today, is already the 5th day, Saturday. I am at it again, blogging. The number of people positive with COVID19 is exponentially growing as of to date it’s already 307 and with a mortality rate of 6.19% which is above average compared to the worldwide record of the mortality rate of each country with COVID19 cases. I am most grateful that the place where my flat is located has lots of trees and not populated since we are isolated from the village, we’re in fact inside the compound of the school where my daughter studies, with all classes suspended for a month, it is a very quiet surrounding with only the chirping of the birds, my dog and the neighbor upstairs dog barking from time to time in the background. We have a small gate outside this compound giving us access to the village but we are very much isolated surrounded by plants, big trees, and fruit-bearing trees at the back of the compound. Today, we harvested mangoes in the backyard to while away our time while still being mindful of the “social distancing”.
We live in these trying times, every day we battle circumstances coming our way, this COVID19 has given us a different way of looking at things, weighing what is important and what is not. Amidst this pandemic crisis the world is experiencing, maybe, just maybe we all can consider that this COVID-19 is a reset button for humanity. Being stuck inside ones home for a month will give us a chance to free ourselves from the daily humdrum of life outside our comfort zones, it is freeing us to meditate, be in tuned to our inner-selves and give ourselves the chance to assess our mental, physical and spiritual health valuing humanity as humanely possible.
With the recent pandemic outbreak of this deadly virus known as COVID-19 and the panic it has caused globally, one can’t help but be paranoid about it. It sends a stable mind to be on the verge of a breakdown; if you were not that hygiene conscious before the outbreak, now it has caused you to be washing your hands for gazillion times, sanitizing them causing all sanitizing products to run out in all pharmacies and stores; dousing on alcohol figuratively and literally like every minute, alcohol is your greatest defense nowadays and if before you smirk at people wearing masks just because they’re sick, now you feel like being one of those ninjas doesn’t matter if its washable, n95, surgical, face masks, and all masks that may prevent that deadly COVID19 virus from spreading to you and be categorized as a covid19 positive person. This is the kind of positive that one won’t wish for.
I remember my former boss telling me that “Only the paranoids will be saved”. I guess we all have that notion now, whether we like it or not.
Before this COVID19 I was not much into being too conscious about hygiene don’t get me wrong I am very hygienic but I am not OC. I grew up playing in the mud, dirtying my hands with soil when I want to do gardening, I am not one to use gloves as I wanted to feel the dirt in my hands; but ever since this virus penetrated the news and globally causing pandemic, I have been more cautious and observant of keeping my hands squeaky clean at all times and to make sure that I don’t touch my face with my hands because really at the back of my mind I know I am paranoid too.
This paranoia may have caused the breakdown of the world’s economy, killing thousands, making hundreds of thousands to be ill, especially the old and those with the prevailing illness. Both young and old are not spared from it, 1st world countries and 4th world countries too, at this point in time I have never imagined that being in a state of lockdown will be so assuring until now.
The past days, I have realized that amidst the negativity this virus has given mankind, it has also brought back positivity that we are not all aware of; it has given the power to what is simple, what is essential our naked eyes may not see but our hearts longed for and this will not be evident if not the so-called “Social Distancing” has been coined as a way to not spread the virus from one person to another. And yes, albeit this social distancing may prevent us from getting the virus somehow it let us grasp the matter of that simple thing. What are those simple things? a simple way of touching someone, hugging, kissing, even just to be in closed contact with another person because now we need to make a mental note that the virus may be residing in that someone’s system so it is a must to keep your 1.5 meters distance away from that person no matter how much you missed that person nor eager to show your appreciation to that person thru simple touching gesture, now it will not be possible. That the simplest of things matter more than ones position, wealth, fame, material things you have so alluded yourself with for years, now they can take the backseat and no need to flex them in your Instagram account no one will put a heart into your post anyways even if you’d be flashing your Ferrari; that words like “immune system”, hand-washing, vitamin C, or sayings like “Prevention is better than cure”, “health is wealth” has more weight than where you ate the other night or what brand of shoes you’re wearing.
The lockdown may keep us away from work, parties, travels, and other daily activities that used to occupy our time, but it will get us closer to our families, it will give us time to reconnect with our children, spend time with them, go back to playing game boards, paint, write, read books and have that time for yourself to refresh, recharge and reform.
COVID19 gave us a simple glimpse of the realization that rich or poor, fat or slim, young or old, famous or not, we are all equal. No one is exempted. We are nothing in this universe, that we are nothing as compared to this unseen assailant that caused panic and fear worldwide. This virus made the strong admit its weakness, it is a clear proof that when we die, we are just alone. Your money won’t buy time, it’s not the immunity you can rely on. It is teaching us one great trait we all are forgetting in this world of social media bragging and know-it-all era, a word so simple yet so powerful… HUMILITY.
Prologue: To you, I miss you today and always…보고 싶어 원sᄎ
The best combination there is… coffee and you; that’s how we’d always say. It sprang out from the joke that we both toyed and played along well from the start. “Coffee, Tea or Me?” and we’d say “No… just coffee and you!” More like playing ping-pong, tossing each other compliments and bluntly hurting each other with nasty truths that pertain to each other’s weaknesses. That was us, which was then.
The old coffee shop that’s been a witnessed to the many times of coffee drinking while endless saga of bantering and wicked laughter, now stood still there but empty. Hallow from the boisterous façade that it once promised. Empty chairs and tables waits the once us. I again, threaded inside it, now with different crowd looming and permeating the wholeness of it, empty laughter and same loudness that I had to evoke,
“You blend in, you always stood in the crowd” that’s what you used to say…but like the usual I found myself echoing the same sentiment that statement would follow. “How can we both be so full of laughter in the midst of that crowd and yet so lonely inside”? I am that now and it’s never been this painful to admit to that fact. I have found myself caught with that same dilemma inside, battling from within, the wicked and silly grin I put on my face that everybody could see but I see you’re reminiscent on that empty corner looking sulky at me and nodding your head “I do understand how it feels”. No one does, but you…no one will.
How I enjoy this new crowd from the outside but it drowned me into this pit of loneliness, I again, on this lonely journey of pretending. “Listen to that little voice inside you, listen for once to your instinct, and don’t deny yourself that chance to be happy fully from within” these were the exact words you’ve taught me, I applied it, I did. Have you? I began to trust again, I began to believe once more that in front of me was my doppelganger and everything just comes out naturally with you, no pretence. No masks just pure plain me. Now, I am wearing one again.
I missed you there. I missed how the rain scents differently while enjoying it with you; I missed how the nights look elegantly lovely as it enveloped the distinct of its darkness… I missed the wind and how it reminded of the warmth you protected me by just merely asking me if I was cold. The long hours of endless talks, the heated discussions over silly and most of the time mundane stuff, I always win, because you’d always let me; and I’ll always be comforted of how much I’d look at you with the sameness looking at myself. I’ve found my mirror and I was happy that my being eccentric to everyone is just something normal to both of us. Alas! I once again, found my ally in this friggin’ island wherein people won’t only throw mocking smiles at you but also painstakingly put you inside a hideous box. I was secured, I felt like I’ve found a real person apart from me.
Coffee and you, I missed that package. There’s only me and this empty chair beside me and the coffee that turned bitter– faulty tasting coffee it stared blankly at me; I’ve lost the taste and the aroma has gone sour that all I can do is just sit and wait to pass the time until coffee and me will be one again with you.