Covid-19 Pandemic: Introspection and Lessons

 Lost lives, joblessness,  poverty,  mental health disorder  and  uncertainty of tomorrow are the obvious results of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

To this day the hype about it continues along with the increasing number of people inflicted with it. Throughout these nine long months of community quarantine, I learned these things:

The importance of saving is paramount than acquiring a luxurious lifestyle. Many were financially unprepared. Companies have to close down because they were at the verge of bankruptcy. Some requested their employees to be on a skeletal workforce. Consequently, people are hungry and the economy continues to look bleak.

There were a lot of generous individuals who shared their blessings to the frontliners and to the  families that were greatly affected. Getting support solely from the government was unthinkable because of their poor fiscal management.

Staying at home even for a long period of time is indeed possible. You  just need to look around. The chores are endless. You can also try a new activity to add meaning and joy to your life. 

The government may enforce rules and restrictions  related to the pandemic. However, let us not forget the importance of assemblying everytime the church is open for services. While practicing the proper health protocols, it is vital to obey God's mandate. His protection will surely be upon us and He will be very pleased.

Staying physically healthy is one of my priorities now. It's not just losing weight but being stronger, sweating more, trying hard to eat in moderation (despite the tempting food during this season) and hoping to maintain this lifestyle. It is educating myself and making healthier choices until my body craves no more for junk food.

The year is about to end. Typhoons, earthquake, deaths and this pandemic have shattered countless lives. Nonetheless let us continue to put our hope in Christ and to run the race with patience and gladness.


Typhoon Ulysses: My First Flood Encounter

Morning of November 12, 2020.  My parents and I were astounded to witness the flood waters rising! It continued to increase as the hours progressed although the strength of the storm was no longer felt. 

My niece was optimistically awaiting for the water to enter the house. Equipped with rain boots and accompanied by  her gadget to  overcome boredom, she was sitting patiently  by the door to  welcome it! We even  created  paper boats, saw it sink and laughed! 

Earlier on, my mother thought of elevating the furniture in case the water gets inside. Despite their age (both are seniors), they managed to prop the furniture on the batibot and ghost chairs. Her prudence saved us the energy and time to clear what was in the living and dining room while the rain water was getting higher.

Around 4 PM, it slowly krept in and the inevitable happened. We had no way to stop it though we remained prayerful and knew that God was in control. The anxiety attached to this sudden phenomenon was new to us. We are grateful though that only 2" of rain water was in the house. It started to subside around 7 PM and the whole night, my younger brother started to clean and clear the first floor. He disinfected the marble flooring the next day. 

Stubborn mud and debris from the typhoon's aftermath were all over the next day. I am grateful to see the sun shining, signifying hope to those affected. Our property is 1.5 to 2 meters high from the street. Many of our neighbors had a hard time slumbering because their beds were dirtied with the flood! We have no right to complain after seeing the situation in Cagayan and Marikina. Still, we continue to praise our Jehovah for protecting us. 


K-drama Bliss

The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) accidentally allowed me to discover a different new world that made me cry, laugh and forget time. I witnessed and immersed into the lives of protagonists and villains I have learned to adore especially when the story continues to unfold because of their acting prowess fitting their characters. I exposed myself to varied genres (i.e. fantasy, thriller, romantic comedy, drama, tragic) and high caliber actors and actresses (not just the famous ones because of their looks). The more I watch, the more I understand the hype behind the sought-after Korean drama series.

I am amazed at how the writers creatively build plots that are out of this world which consequently make me wonder or guess what the next scene will be. I am stunned at the twists or even valleys and peaks of some I have watched. Most endings are happy; some, open-ended. A few, tragic. Yet every time I finish watching one, I find it hard to scout for a newer story. 

Below are the titles of some K-dramas that pierced my heart. I may have discovered all these only now and I have many many more discoveries to do in the days to come. The good news is, there are free apps available for easier access:

     Woman of 9.9 Billion
     W (Two World)
     The Heirs
     Scarlet Heart Ryeo
     The Doctors

What is your favorite K-drama?


COVID-19: The Good After The Enhanced Community Quarantine

As someone who telecommutes, being home-bound was never a problem. In fact I am able to have a flexible work schedule, eat nutritious cooked meals and linger longer in bed when everyone gets out of their houses before the sun rises to avoid the traffic rush. I look forward to the occasion when my parents and I buy our groceries, attend church services, enjoy a hearty meal at our go-to restaurant or simply waste time in a mall to people watch. And I seriously miss doing those. Surprisingly I am surviving! 

It is not all that bad though during this time. 

1. Making a quick trip to the supermarket, drugstore and the wet market are the only times my parents go out. The village we live in has a curfew. It is mandatory to wear a mask at all times when outdoors. The good is, our expense has decreased since we only spend on the necessities. 

2. The air is so much cleaner. With fewer vehicles on the roads now after the lock down, it is no surprise that the level of pollution has immensely decreased.

3. I am grateful that the industry I am a part of is not affected, enabling me to continue to work and earn a living.

4. Today's technology allows my family and the rest of my brethren to continue to listen to God's Words via online streaming. 

This pandemic will stop. I just don't know when. And I humbly ask our good Lord to end this global event once His will has been accomplished. 


Excellent Customer Service

There are countless retail businesses and industries these days who cater to the various needs of their customers. A few have withstood the economic uncertainties throughout the decades and have remained unfazed by all these. 

Jollibee for instance, acquired many of its competitions and has continued to expand locally and internationally.  I remembered treading  the closest branch at Araneta Center (back when I can still walk and when delivery wasn't as popular) for my all-time favorite Jolly Hotdog. The consistency of the taste remains to this day. Throughout the years, they have added many more food choices to their menu. Even the foreigners adore some of their bestsellers as I watch the vlogs they have posted online.

I love the the SM malls too. They pioneered in making their establishments accessible and wheelchair friendly to persons with disabilities (PWDs). They provide ample parking spaces designated for the physically challenged as well as the seniors. One will feel valued when entering their store although their prices are much higher compared to the other establishments I've been to.

As a consumer, I am compelled to those business organizations who prioritize my needs. They give high regard to an outstanding customer service and skill that will make you want to visit again. However, with the constant price increase of a haircut for example from my favorite salon, Bangs, I hesitate. Php800 is pricey, right?! Yet, I go out happy and content. On the contrary, I regret going to a place with a lower service fee due to incompetence or the lack of know-how and wished I went to the former. Have you had a similar experience?

As an adult, I continue to be in awe at how festive the holidays can be at the SM malls. The stellar decorations are truly breathtaking. May we all remember the true meaning of Christmas and not be overpowered by materialism and commercialism. This season, may you find true joy in Christ - our rock, strength and fortress. Enjoy the merry season!