Nagsasa Zambales … ( A trip down the memory lane)

Nagsasa cove is one of those places in the Philippines that I will never forget. Whenever there’s a surge of emotions raging in me, it’s one of the many places ( I have few, by the way!) that I could think of to calm my nerves.

In 2016 just before my trip to the US, two of my best friends Lalaine and Jeanette, and I went on an unplanned 2-Days/1 Night trip to Nagsasa Cove in Zambales. During this time, I only heard of Anawangin but not Nagsasa, feedback of being overcrowded referring to Anawangin made us choose Nagsasa instead. So we went on a “joiners” tour which cost us Php only 1,500 pesos per head at that time thru buying a voucher from Metrodeal. Arrangements were done via email. We were told that pick-up time will be at SM North, by 2am. We left our respective homes by 9pm, we watched a movie which was utterly disappointing that to this day we can’t recall the title. After watching a movie, we killed time at Starbucks in Quezon Ave., while waiting for our time to be picked up at 2am en route to Zambales.

After too many mundane topics and grande sizes coffees, off we went to SM North EDSA at exactly 2am on our way to Zambales.

A little backgrounder… “Nagsasa Cove in San Antonio, Zambales, used to be rocky until the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, which dumped tons of volcanic ash in many parts of the region. Nagsasa Cove is endowed with the same features as Anawangin: a beach of ash that absorbs heat faster than the usual sand; a blanket of Agoho trees, a type of casuarina tree, often mistaken for pine trees; the azure sea teeming with life and color; and gently sloping hills framing the view.” https://www.philippinebeaches.org/nagsasa-cove-travel-guide-rates-attractions/

To get there we were picked up by the van along with other joiners, albeit cramped inside out of exhaustion my two friends fell asleep easily, while I the ever sleep-challenged one managed to doze in and out during the entire trip, who wouldn’t when the van driver where I was seated beside with seemed like taking the van for a car racing stunt. We have reached San Antonio Market where all joiners will be dropped off to buy fresh seafood, veggies, and whatnot that they can bring to Nagsasa by 6am. Since we already brought some canned goods with us, we only bought Tilapia (St. Patrick fish) that we can grill during our stay. We then head off to Pundaquit Port, it’s where all the boats hailing tourists go for both Anawangin and Nagsasa. It was about a 30-40 minutes boat ride going to our first destination… Capones Island.

Originally named “Isla Gran de Capon” during the Spanish era, Capones Island does not have commercial resorts and facilities. The island is a big rock formation with high cliffs and little soil and is joined by a sand bar (which disappears during high tide) to two smaller islands called Camara, which are only two kilometers away from the mainland.

Since the surrounding waters of the South China Sea are described to be rough, it is advisable to take a boat ride early in the morning when the sea is still calm.

Visitors may opt to camp in a tent along the beaches if there is no typhoon or stay in the small fishing village of Pundaquit where they can hire a boat to get to Capones.

https://en.wikipilipinas.org/view/Capones_Island

We were greeted by its beauty upon reaching Capones. It’s not an easy climb for those with acrophobia. My friend Jeanette had a hard time following us as we climbed up wherein a trip to the lighthouse is definitely a MUST.

After that Capones trip, it was Nagsasa cove’s turn. At the Nagsasa we were ushered into the campsite. Yes, the three of us would be sleeping at a campsite, where there’s no electricity, no internet, and mobile phone signals… just the chirping of the birds, waves of the sea rushing to the shore, and the blinking of stars as they played with mother moon. As it’s a campsite, we were not the only tourist there, it could get pretty crowded really but we were just lucky that time because the crowd wasn’t overwhelming in numbers and it was a crowd that wanted to just get away from the hustle and bustle of Manila. I could tell we were all there to take a break, whether it be soul searching, resting, or just plain enjoying nature. Right at that moment, we were able to achieve it.

Nagsasa cove is home to the “Kulot” or Aetas of Zambales. To earn, they are the ones cooking food for those who want to avail of the “paluto” (you buy the ingredients, they’ll cook it for you…yes, right there on the campsite!), they are the ones responsible for keeping the place clean and they act as tourist guides as well for a minimal amount.

With its ash-colored fine sand, calm and pristine waters surrounded by “Marlboro” like ad mountains. One can’t help but be amazed by its wonders. To say that it is beautiful is underrated. Especially seeing that part of the afternoon when the sun glows its orange rays on the surrounding mountain, who on earth would think that it is possible, to see that orange, pinkish, peachy hues enveloping the entire mountain surrounding you, we were taking a dip on that warm, clear and calm sea when I happened to gaze at that magical moment. The hair on my arms raised, and I felt salty tears streaming down my face. I look behind me and my friends were also caught at that moment… we all said how beautiful God’s creation was and how lucky we were to witness that. Not every day you will surprise yourself with such gratefulness and that was one of them.

When the sun sets in and the entire place was slowly replaced by the sparkling multitude numbers of stars and you just smile in your sleep because there’s a certain peace (yes, despite hearing the loud snoring from the entire campsite! ) only that place will give you maybe even for just that moment, it recharged you, physically, emotionally and mentally as if you’re a new person when you leave!

To this day, I often look back to that trip I took with my friends in Nagsasa, one of the many trips I took that I have compartmentalized in my memory, and I found myself unearthing it each time I am deluded with so many issues my mind can’t handle all at once. I closed my eyes and take myself back to that place, to give my mind a rest, to calm the turmoil inside of me, and to be one again, go back to being that grateful child, that person so small nothing but a speck of dust amaze at the vastness of God’s creation. When I am so full of myself and can’t help but expect so much of what I am capable of, I am humbled by this God, bigger and mightier than the universe, embracing me to turn around and show me that it is ok to slow down… enjoy His peace, His work of majesty… I felt His overwhelming presence that burns inside my being and I found it at Nagsasa cove.

Forever grateful and humbled by your majesty, Lord!

P.S.

I haven’t been back to Nagsasa after that trip, but I pray that tourists will preserve its beauty and take time to help the “Kulots” residing in Zambales, that’s their heaven on earth; and when you’re there, please make sure that when you bring memories back to your respective places, think of contributing to the cleanliness of Nagsasa by not polluting and trashing the place, leave Nagsasa as how it’s always been…untarnished, serene, always welcoming … beautiful just like the setting sun.

To know more about the Aetas or “Kulots” of Zambales and how to help them, click the links below:

https://www.aetatribes.org/our-story.html

https://www.iwgia.org/en/iwgia-partners/58-kabalikat-sa-kaunlaran-ng-mga-ayta-inc.html

Traveling to Nagsasa soon? click this link for some helpful tips https://www.takethetravel.com/destination-guide-zambales/

Peace out!

Your Highness,

Lee M.

On to the next chapter…

Again?!!

Yes… again! When we can’t find our own place under the sun…let’s bring the sun to brighten up our own place instead!

I have been on a hiatus for years! Pre-Covid was a disaster and during the Covid years, it was more than a disaster. Well, going on the 3rd year of covid in our lives and I’d like to change course in everything. Yes, including this blog. I’d like to post more happy “travel” feel blogs than “senti-fied” ones. Now, that I have more free time to be at it again… let’s enjoy the thrilling ride, baby!!

I have mementos of travels sitting, waiting to rot somewhere inside my laptop that I realized that it’s high time for me to unearth them and once again feel how it was during the Pre-Pandemic days. For now, that’s what we all can do….reminisce the good ole days of traveling without restrictions….and yes, Mask!

Your Highness,

Lee

Hello Intramuros!

“Let’s go here…” was my sister Darling’s message on my messenger. I readily said “Yes”! “Here” was Intramuros. Intramuros is derived from a Spanish word that means “Within the walls”. Intramuros is also called the Walled City, and at the time of the Spanish, Empire was synonymous with the City of Manila.

To be honest this has never piqued my interests before. I was never fond of anything “Manila” but due to the fact that I wanted my daughter to see it and somehow be dragged out from that “gadget-catatonic-stage” she’s been in just like most teenagers nowadays, I had to muster the strength to brave the traffic and spend moolah on grab car.

We left our place in Quezon City around 9am. Took the UV express and got off Intramuros. From there we traverse the entire old pathways made of bricks and set foot for the first time, the remnants of the Spanish era is still evident in all its walls and pavements. Every year “Intramuros” host this open house for all who wanted to have a taste of its lingering ambiance and nostalgic effect to everyone who gets to see it from a different perspective. I must admit that when my sister told me that “Intramuros” now boasts that ala-Paris feel, I was skeptical. Well, it really was overrated. But going inside the museum and walking through its walled pathways, seeing the old houses reminiscent of the Spanish colony; I am in awe. I love everything antique and my eyes feasted on its authentic beauty. At Fort Santiago, I was transported back in time where Dr. Jose Rizal spent most of his remaining days waiting for his time to be executed. Those writings, his books, and other craftsmanship that he perfected, even his autobiography which you don’t only read but see all around that place is enough to make me feel that sense of pride and patriotism for my beloved country. Dr. Jose Rizal is our National Hero and what he’s done for this country during the colonial period is something I am proud of as a Filipino. Anyways, I have digressed. Intramuros did not fail me in terms of that nostalgic feeling. I would’ve loved to explore more but my feet won’t cooperate anymore plus I dread the traffic congestion on our way back home.

Intramuros, thank you for giving us a glimpse of that Spanish era which took us to that time when freedom of this country is such a big thing that one has to die fighting for it. Dying for all Filipinos and the generation to come.

P.S. I was supposed to post this last Nov. 2019 but due to a very busy schedule (I know, mea culpa!!), this has been forgotten until today…

P.S.s. Excuse the watermark on the pictures…


SEASONS

“the period of the year when something that happens every year happens”

This is the season of me un-sleeping.

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety 2 months back. And I thought I was really over it, for years, I have told myself…I convinced myself that I have gotten rid of it, that the many trials I have gone through in life proved that I am stronger that what my depression have tried to swallowed me growing up.

Let me retrace my steps of how it got into me again.

Last January 2021, when I reactivated my long been deactivated facebook account. I thought I wanted to start fresh with it, this I told myself I won’t document everything I do there, and that the main purpose of reactivating it is simply because I wanted to help a friend push her facebook page which mainly tackles about covid in the philippines and everything about it.

At first, I was just browsing it, then eventually I found myself slowly getting into it again, and I must say it’s not as how I would browse before deactivating it, I wasn’t as hooked as I was before. Then, last March the government saw the surge in covid cases reaching its peak at 13k per day, that another ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) was imposed anew. Along with its imposition, employees were back mainly to WFH and with it people are restricted to going out if not for essential reasons. Getting stuck again at home with my fb activated, cases of covid in our office surging and me monitoring (as part of my task as an HR) each one of them, my sister-in-law who hasn’t gone out if not for doing grocery shopping getting infected by it as well, with her are just her 2 young daughters and a nanny, my brother is in the US due to his graduate studies at that time, I was worried about my sister-in-law and the kids since all I can do is to monitor her through fb messenger, I felt stuck without knowing how to help. And each time I browse on my FB wall I see everyday how friends on my list would changed their profile pictures into black, or a candle which meant there’s a demise in their family and friends… then, eventually, people that I actually know and not just some random friends of friends or families of friends started leaving this world due to covid and then a former classmate who would comment on my posts from time to time out of the blue dead because of the virus… I started noticing myself unsleeping. It’s not insomnia.

Over the years my battle with insomnia have precipitated into just once in a while thing. And I have become a very light sleeper that even the faintest sound would wake me up.

My unsleeping I don’t like to call it insomnia but I simply cannot sleep. Whenever I would try to lie down and slowly get to that sleepy mode, I’d feel like drowning that I would toss and turn until I would simply just sit up and just closed my eyes. It went on like that for 3 weeks that the longest sleep I had (if you can call it like that) is 2 hours. I’d get up in the morning very tired and my eyes feels like burning when I’d blink them and I have big dark circles around my eyes. I started not having appetite and though I know I wasn’t thinking about covid that much during that time, I did not know that albeit I was trying to not pay attention or let it all stressed me out, I was subconsciously slowly falling into its dark pit.

After the 3rd week of getting only 15 minutes of sleep and still reporting to work, and my bp surging, I decided to consult a telemedicine expert, and I was referred to a shrink. Yes, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety right away, I was told to deactivate all my social media accounts, and stay away from watching the news. I was advised as well to start helping myself to not use my phone 2 hrs. before bed time. I was given an anti depressant and I took it for awhile, but I am not a biggie when it comes to anti depressant and all medicine in particular, I like to cure myself or heal myself from any thing that’s ailing me the natural way. So I followed doc’s advise and deactivate my fb, along with keeping myself away from any news-covid related. It was also during this time that the pinnacle of my depression is hitting me real hard — I was at it again, asking myself if I am worthy of anything. I began to question myself if I am in the right career path, if yes, why am I not getting any increase, why do I feel like the people I work for don’t value what I do for the company and for all the employees?, self-doubt, feeling of irritation, feeling of unworthiness and that old enemy of “you are nothing” thoughts started to enveloped me.

As I am not a newbie when it comes to depression (Like I said, I battled it for years when I was growing up), I have already accustomed myself in retaliating to those negative thoughts with my positive emotions. I slowly, inched myself away from that very bad, self-destructive notions I know that’s been slowly crippling me. I started telling myself to not wallow in it. I went back to writing to God how I feel each and everyday. I began retracing my steps and started counting my blessings one by one each and everyday, I went back to listening to my inner-self the one that tells me who I really am and not the one who tries to destroy my peace once more. Slowly I felt the calmness groping me once more, the then 2 hrs only of sleep for weeks started reaching 3, 4, 5 and on weekends 6 to 7 hours.

My anxiety attack have completely disappeared as well. I stopped taking antidepressants, sleeping pills– those things don’t work for me anyways. When I started giving all my worries, my pain, and negative thoughts and emotions to the Lord and submitting to His power to heal me, only then my mind have began to rest peacefully at night. I am not claiming that I am totally free from my depression as I know my depression can be triggered by so many things, but I would like to think that it’s just one of those seasons when I can be fully weak and yet be strong in knowing that God is my ultimate healer.

I may not be the perfect person to talk about mental health as I still have bouts of mental health issues once in a while, but I am fully aware that only when we want to help ourselves, and let others help us and submit everything to God that we will fully understand this illness.

I know one morning I would wake up and tell myself that “my unsleeping” season is over and that new bright and sunny days ahead will linger.

“There is a season for everything under the sun—even when we can’t see the sun.”
― Jared Brock, A Year of Living Prayerfully: How a Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer Life

Your highness,

Lee

One Sunday Morning…

One Sunday Morning…

Walking aimlessly…i tipped on a rock,

I continued walking… unmindful of my bleeding toe.

Just like that one sunday morning..

I thought I was walking with you,

unmindful of my bleeding heart.

The sun blinded me,

like you were blinded differenly.

My bleeding toe, just like my bleeding heart

left traces of blood on that grass…

“Please keep off the grass”…

I tried. I tried so hard.

Your highness,

Lee

On Canceling People…

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.

Your highness,

LeeM.

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

42nd Day…

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.

Your highness,

Lee 🙂

My 6th day …

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!

Your highness,

Lee

In a quarantine mode…

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.

Thank you to my dear neighbor Heidi for giving us plants that will get our mind out of the boredom..
I transferred this one and put in 2 pots one for me and one for Muning…

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.

This baby went straight to a new pot inside the bathroom

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.

My foot sticking out…lol
Foot sticking out again but Gabe is already getting bored with this jenga game…

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.

On to my 6th day, tomorrow!

Your highness,

Lee