Covid-19. The invisible enemy behind the Coronavirus pandemic that is presently sweeping the world will be something that we will all remember in our lifetime. While the brave frontliners find a way to face the problem head-on and the ones infected fighting their way back to health, we at home are all forced to come to terms with our present reality. With the quarantines and lockdowns going on worldwide and with God seemingly hitting the pause button, we're not chasing time anymore, and are tasked with making the most of the time that we do have - whether it's cleaning up your house, picking up a new hobby, or mending broken relationships.
During these dire times we are living through, it makes one think about the important things such as spending time with the ones who truly matter in your life. Hopefully once things go back to normal and social distancing is a thing of the past, everyone will carry these realizations with them and always remember that life and time are fleeting and are best spent in the company of the ones you love.
We asked some friends to share with us what they have been doing during the quarantine and lockdown period, and how they have been spending their newfound free time.
Maria Parry, 35
What keeps me sane during this crazy time is moving- whether it's practicing yoga, teaching online classes, working out at home or cleaning the house. I like a good balance and so I make sure to have some quiet time reading my book, meditating or having a movie day/night with my family. We aren't on full lockdown for now and we are able to go out for walks once a day which helps a lot as we have the sea shore right outside our doorstep. When the world gets overwhelming, I like to immerse myself in nature.
Chinky Quintos, 33
Wife, Mom, Homebaker and Cake Decorator, La Dolce Vita Cakes & Pastries
Before the quarantine, I was busy planning for our church wedding on March 22. Needless to say, the wedding is postponed so I am left coordinating with suppliers and relatives overseas for a new date. I also found a renewed sense of appreciation for basic baking despite being in the industry for 6 years now. On the first week of the ECQ, I made my family’s favorites like cookies, chocolate cake, cheesecake, and butter/ banana cake. This week, I plan to make French Macarons, red velvet cupcakes, and carrot cake.
Teng Ongpin, 35
Real Estate Broker
San Pedro, Laguna
Nothing has changed that much because I work on my own time but since the quarantine period, I realize how errands were a huge chunk of my routine and I find myself missing it.
Daily prayers with my husband take away my worries regarding the situation. Playing and spending more quality time with our twin boys makes time run faster, watching a lot of conspiracy theory videos on YouTube (Qanon and Illuminati stuff), Viber or messenger sessions with friends and family to check if they’re okay, laughing at silly memes, and attending to neglected house chores one at a time.
I also tried to paint but got lazy halfway through it. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I sometimes catch myself thinking about food haha
Despite everything that’s happening, I’m optimistic that better days will come soon!
David Young, 36
Bonding with my daughter 24/7
Danny Balili, 64
BF Homes Paranaque
Work at home to meet deadlines and eating guavas freshly picked from our tree.
Katrina Tambag, 34
At the start of the community lockdown, I finally managed to get the time to delete all those junk emails that had accumulated all these years! (I deleted a total of 30,000 junk emails) Because of social distancing and having more time in my hands, I’m taking this as an opportunity to be more cautious of what I’m eating and I get my recipes from this app called "Fit men cooks" which is quite helpful since I’m on Low Carb diet.
My intention is always to be more productive with my time and since I have watched a lot of Korean dramas over the start of the year, I recently discovered this website/app called "Let’s talk in Korean” and I’m currently in LVL 1 lesson 12. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sustain it in the future but it’s a great way to pass time. Since I missed my yoga classes I also subscribed to Alo Moves and am currently working on my flexibility! My goal is to be better on my forward folds!
2 hours before bedtime I try to block all negativities and listen to Bo Sanchez or do a meditation just so I’m reminded that a Higher being is still in control, and just like that my day is finished!
Tisay Navoa. 35
Senior Healthcare Business Consultant
Trying new recipes, making cocktails lol, Netflix and at least workout 20 mins everyday!
Angel Alonzo, 36
Belleville New Jersey, USA
Everyone is having a tough time being on quarantine. Unfortunately being an Overseas Filipino Worker and supporting a family back home I still have to work. Our restaurant only offers pick-up orders and I work part time as personal aide for the elderly. I have 2 days being on quarantine. And in order for me to kill my boredom I play the old school FAMILY COMPUTER or what I do best talk to boys on different dating apps. LOL
Yayie Samson Cenon, 42
Eating al fresco (aka the terrace) which we seldom do because it’s a hassle to do so, play a lot of board games (Scrabble, Monopoly cards), catch up on our reading, brought out the inflatable pool and we celebrated my son’s 9th birthday.
Reena Gabriel, 34
Las Piñas City
I really work from home, so the difference during the lockdown isn’t that stark for me. If anything, it’s the daily presence of the rest of my family that’s both a treat and a distraction. To help ease anxiety and cabin fever, I tend to my pre-lockdown plants and try to join free live classes in social media. I have also been cooking and reading books more since the lockdown. Although I try to stay updated via social media, it also makes me anxious, so staying in touch with family and friends help. Lastly, though I’m not particularly very religious, prayer really does help greatly. Aside from playtime with my pooch, it’s my only other constant to begin and end the day with.
Marvin Velasco, 41
BF Homes Paranaque
Spending quality time with my daughter, Caelan, cleaning my car and bike with the Wife “Kahna”, de-cluttering stuff that we don’t need, cleaning the house and playing Nintendo with my daughter. And so many more.
Feliz Bravo, 33
For me, it is a perfect time to learn a musical instrument, and I chose to learn to play the bass guitar! It’s always been a dream but never got to do so as I used to get distracted with other activities that I now realize are less meaningful to me. Also want to catch up on reading books that have been left lying around! (Current read: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak). It’s time to slow down and do stuff that truly matters to us personally, no matter how big or small it is.
Romeo Lindain, 71
Las Pinas CIty
I just keep myself busy with planting, tending to my garden, painting, playing the piano, Facebook / Viber posting and review, TV/Netfliix watching.
Rommel Restrivera, 48
Catching up with paper works, assorting previous bill payments, clean around and doing some artworks and cooking in between.
Joyce Dizon, 35
Project Manager / Programme Manager
Las Pinas City, Philippines
To be honest, I really prefer staying home and I usually work from home so the enhanced community quarantine didn't change much in my lifestyle. But I’d have to say, my Netflix 'recently watched' list consists of movies relating to our situation (the last I watched was '93 days'). I finally got my online banking set up! Usually I just check balances and make most of my payments manually, but now I’ve set my account up so I can do everything online.
Since the quarantine, I made it a mission to find online stores for our needs and I’m happy to have found lots of small businesses around the area and I think even after the quarantine, I would keep this up - for convenient transactions and to support local small businesses.
I also find it interesting seeing food posts and watching live videos of 'quarantine meals' I try to make the most of the time with my kids. My 5 year old misses school terribly but I don’t pressure her to have "study time" now. Ordinarily, I would, but it’s almost summer break and I feel she’s worked hard throughout the school year and deserves a break. So a few days in the week, we would practice her writing and she would draw and make cards for her grandparents. For me what’s important is to be by my kids' side at this time and answer any questions they may have on what’s going on and why we need to stay at home, age appropriate answers of course (I brushed up on current events too, watching the news and following the updates on social media). It is a privilege that I get to stay home with my kids and continue to work to support our needs. I pray for the safety of all the front liners and hope for better days soon. In terms of donation, I just donated all my Globe points to PGH.
Melissa Benoza, 36
Having an almost 7 year old kid during this time is a bit of a challenge. Nothing more tiring than keeping the little boy active and away from gadgets. We start the day with devotion for kids with other family members using video call then we try to do a little bit of exercise. Just walking around the house for 15 mins. Then we continue to do home schooling mostly in the mornings but I let him play as much as he wants after that. Good thing we have a good stock of toys he can play with. Some of the toys are waaaaay older than him which my mother-in-law kept through the years. Toys his dad and dad's brothers played with when they were his age. Hopefully when this is all over, we can go to the beach and play under the sun together.
Russell Lugay, 35
Project Manager at Nielsen Philippines (Market research firm)
BF Resort, Las Pinas
I’m grateful that the nature of my work enables me to do my tasks even at home. This ensures that I can still earn and do impactful activities even during this lockdown period. Aside from my 9-5 job, here are some of my home activities to keep my health and sanity:
I recently learned about kettle bell exercises in YouTube, and for the past 2 weeks, I’ve been doing this every morning before I start working. This keeps my body active and it helps prepare myself for the long day ahead. Even though I don’t have an actual kettle bell at home, I use a dumbbell plate in lieu. Although for anyone to try this at home, one can use a water container with a handle – the amount of water will determine the weight so try it out!
After work I see to it that I connect with my loved ones whom I cannot be with now. I have daily video chats with my girlfriend who’s staying at a condo in Mandaluyong; and my sister and nephew in Quezon City. It’s very important for me to know that they’re fine and healthy – that’s what keeps me hopeful that this too will pass and all our sacrifices will be all worth it in the (near) future
I wind down my day by listing down any new task or anything that I forgot to include in my weekly plan. This keeps my mind at peace as I prepare to sleep
Now it’s time for YouTube or Netflix! I recently finished “Don’t f*ck with Cats” and “Crash Landing on You”
My day may look as boring and predictable as anyone during this quarantine period – Sure! We need to believe that our sacrifices will not be wasted and that we will be able to connect the dots looking backward, after this lockdown. Let’s trust that the Man above has a plan for all of these and that all will be good in His time. Keep the faith and rock on!
Bryan Paculan, 37
So this home quarantine gave me the opportunity to learn how to bake. Took advantage of this time to learn something new. I kept watching videos on YouTube on how to bake cookies and cakes! So yeah that kept me busy, and I was always looking forward to the outcome of the things I decided to bake. I also had to make my own birthday cake last week!
Aside from that, been watching Itaewon class with my wife. Couldn’t believe it, I’m now watching Korean drama! Haha. And since we couldn't go to the gyms, just having some home workouts.
Kris Velasco, 34
This home quarantine gave me a challenge to cook our own meals every day, and not depend on my mom's best tasting dishes. To keep my son, Xavier busy we brought out his long kept toys that would seem new to him. Plus, we were able to make a DIY snakes and ladders board game, did some egg painting and read books. Then, doing video calls with the rest of the family to keep us in touch. Also, we are always praying for everyone's safety.
Ella Leaño, 24
Social Media Specialist
Gardening has been super helpful in keeping me sane during the quarantine. It not only relaxes me, but it also gives me something to look forward to after working (from home). Also, my mom loves that herbs are easily accessible when she cooks!
Breeze Gregorio-Lambov, 33
During this difficult time, 1/4 of the world is in total lockdown. Some are working from home while others are just totally resting and spending time with their family. Sweden, where I am based now for a bit over a year is the same. But unlike others, I am caught up and have quite a busy schedule. I am in the middle of my language online course that began last week when the government announced schools to be closed. It has been said that it will go on for 6 weeks and rumored to be extended because of the uncontrollable increase in numbers of positive cases of Coronavirus despite the implementation of the stay at home/ lockdown policy.
Apart from the language, I am also studying nursing. The amount of reading materials that the school gave us was enormous. I feel my day isn’t enough to browse through all those. Not complaining though, I am glad that I am preoccupied and coz of that time goes by like a breeze. One thing that I am really happy about is to live in a generation where Internet is available. This way I am still able to continue my studies. We study through an app where we all meet and the teacher makes online discussions through video conference. It’s actually great! Learning without leaving the comfort of your home. I could imagine those people who lived before the Internet was born and suffered through Pandemics even worse than NCOV19. No access to important information. Now, with the help of internet we can even help our community without risking our lives and the life of others through online donation and things like shopping for food online. Now access to anything is endless. Thanks to the internet.
Ros Guiao, 40
Leasing & Property Management Executive
Home video exercise, De-clogging drains in the bathroom also known as tanggal bara, playing Christmas songs, Bingeing on the Instagram page of goodnews_movement and Gin ‘o clock all the time with chips, M&Ms and gummy bears!
Neil Cody, 43
Bacolod, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Being quarantined alone with my 80-year old mom has been a bit of a struggle, as our helpers left to be home with family. But mentally more than anything. But the love of my baby girl Anchovy (a 1 year old kitten) helps a bunch haha. I wouldn’t survive without her. Like most people- Netflix and Memes are Life. But every book I’ve accumulated and pushed off I’m now reading. Prior shows recommended to me – I’m watching the 1st few eps at least before deciding on going on. Cooking all meals from scratch is a fun challenge after all. And with an already full garden I’ve taken on the project of filling every possible open space with even more plants (As I’m lucky to have access to plants from a cousin’s landscaping company). I’ve donated some food and clothes. To be honest, could do more in that dept. But in general I’m taking the time to bond with my mom, my kitty, and most of all myself. It’s a chance for peace and quiet and reflection and me time that we often never get. (And Long Kitty Siestas help too.)
Photos property of contributors