In these pieces called “Dreamslaying”, I am planning to just write on my thoughts during the enhanced community quarantine.
I step outside into the little garden and look at the sky.
The sunlight bounces off the pavement despite the fact that it is supposed to absorb the rays of the sun. While it’s not an issue inside the rented stale air-conditioned room in which I live (it is the second floor of an office building somewhere in Wilson Street – I was to move to my actual rented home on the day when this “enhanced community quarantine” began), beads of sweat would be cascading down my face after 10 minutes of being outside the room.
Even the occasional rainfall doesn’t provide much mercy from the elements at all. Instead, it enhances the heat and turns it into a ravaging beast, just like how voice editing and auto tune would turn a bum into a tenor.
Then, the internet problems that come every now and then; I guess that this is a fact of life in an urban city in the Philippines at this point. Unless one has money to get a dedicated corporate line, one just has to choose between a host of lesser evils.
Hearing from my family back in Zamboanga (they’re all fine; thankfully), it seems that people aren’t having the best time during this quarantine. Imagine that you are a day-to-day worker; most work in Zamboanga is done and paid by the day, with rates ranging between P250 to P400 – and you’ve almost ran out of savings. Do you think that a family of five will survive for a week, let alone a 15-day period, on seven pieces of canned goods and three to five kilograms of rice?
If the company keeps on paying their employers despite the quarantine, they can all thank God and His angels for having an employer who keeps his or her humanity intact (plus uplifting the rights of their respective employees in these trying times).
Let me tell you from my personal experience – while it is very easy to romanticize this period as a sign of an idyllic and traditional life in the provinces – the truth is that it is freaking terrible.
There was even a time when I ate nothing but rice seasoned with soy sauce and vegetable oil for a single day. Needless to say, my stomach got upset the next day!
On a bit of unrelated note, no one is doing any favors for children’s cognitive development if all the food that they can eat is processed. Considering the fact that the average reading comprehension of Filipino students is rock bottom, ano na? Galawang “bobo” na lang ba tayo?
But then, until the people in power find a better solution for COVID-19 and for their respective jobs in general, this unfortunate state of things is going to continue for a long time.
It is a good thing that many people help the less unfortunate in their own ways, big or small, narrow or broad, public or private; indeed, I sometimes wonder if this global pandemic is a way for people to have their true colors shown to the public.
The basic tenet of citizenship, for me, is to do your best for yourself and your country, participate in the democratic process, know and uphold people’s rights, and stay informed of the issues affecting your community.
Of course, this goes without saying that you have to pay your taxes and follow all the laws of your country, as well as the lawful orders of your government.
Kaya, ‘pag may nagreklamo, ‘wag react kaagad. If walang nagreklamo, hinde mag-stestep up yung ibang mga tao in the government. I am not saying that all people in the government are incompetent crooks and inutiles; I know a lot of people who do their best to do their jobs in the best way possible.
I am just hoping that the people who are in dire straits get all the help they need.