I’ve been thinking about death these past few months. Of those affected by the coronavirus disease, of those suffering from this unjust society, of those who were displaced from their jobs, and even of my own. I’m not certain if it’s the hormones kicking in, or those thoughts that were long-suppressed and buried inside are finally finding their way to the surface.
Truth be told, this pandemic has exacerbated the negative emotions that I have been trying to keep at bay. This inability to move and go somewhere has forced me to confront the things that I have been long avoiding.
For years, traveling has provided me an immediate escape to all my wearies; the mountains were my sacred place of reconciliation and meditation. And I guess I’m not alone. Most of those who travel are escapists – more than willing to spend time, money, and effort to go somewhere to temporarily forget the complexities of mundane life. But as they say, you can’t always run away. So here I am, forced to face my demons – every single day.
Today, I choose to connect
But this does not mean that I have to face these struggles alone. If there’s one thing that this pandemic has made clear to me, it’s the fact that the bayanihan spirit of the Filipinos remains intact all through these years. Through social media, I’ve seen heartwarming stories of kindness and generosity – that no matter how difficult the situation may be, no matter how little we have, people can always give a part of themselves to others.
For months of transition at work and battling with a personal dilemma, my friends and I have found a way to motivate and still be there for each other through the weekly virtual meeting we fondly call as Fridates. Every Friday night, we get a chance to share what we are feeling, pray for each other, and even enjoy each other’s company despite the distance.
Today, I choose myself
In the absence of a good company, I have also realized that the best person I can always keep is… myself. These days, it’s easy to get swayed by sadness – most especially if you have been lingering through Moira’s “Paubaya”.That ‘ako ang kailangan, pero ‘di ang mahal’ hits to the core. But I guess, unknowingly, this pandemic has also made us become more independent individuals – people can now cook, bake, garden, do fitness routine without going to the gym, and love oneself without sourcing it from others.
And to me, that’s a big win already. We have become resilient enough to not be easily shaken just because we can’t exactly get what we want – an expression of self-love, self-acceptance.
Today, I choose to write
And when things get too overwhelming, this blog has become my confidante – a sacred place where I pour my heart and console myself. Come to think of it, writing has always been a personal favorite of mine. I acknowledge that I’m not super good at it, but I can be my best self when I’m writing. So, I attack the keyboard, jot down notes, put into writing all the crazy things that get inside my head. It didn’t solve my problems, but it allowed me to process what I’m feeling, clear my mind, and think less of ill thoughts.
And who would have thought that writing my heart out will get me nominated for this year’s Best Cebu Quarantine Article category of the only award-giving body that recognizes the existence of blogs, bloggers, social media influencers, and movers in Cebu – the 13th Best Cebu Blogs Awards (BCBA). It came as a surprise when Marco of Chibuanokini messaged and congratulated me on being one of the nominees for the said category. All those rants and frustrations written in this time of pandemic came to fruition.
And I couldn’t help but feel grateful to the people behind BCBA, that despite these unprecedented times, they have still pushed for this year’s awards. They have sparked hope – that no matter how difficult it may be, it is still possible for people to connect, pursue their passion, create good content, and inspire others.
Today, I choose to live
Sure, it’s difficult to keep going – most especially if we’re uncertain of where we are headed if things will really get better in the upcoming days… or year. We can’t defy death. With or without COVID, someday we will die.
But on the other days, we won’t. And in those days, we wake up and continue living – making the most of what life allows us to do (quarantined or not), spending time with people who matter (and also with those who don’t), and creating small ripples one day at a time.