June 23, 2024

The Luzon wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which has been extended up to April 30 could only be Divine intervention because it is beyond anyone’s imagination. It has been said that this is a world war with an unseen enemy, a virus. The human spirit endures and adapts to the sudden change. A cross section of our community have responded on Facebook to the question: “What is the most important lesson learned from the ECQ?”

“It gave me long quality time for my family, especially my grandchildren. I realized that I have a beautiful home and enjoyed every minute of my household chores. I learned the importance of nature and most of all I’ve been prayerful,” said Zeny Boadilla, 62, a flower shop owner.

“The importance of the presence of concerned people through communications via Facebook and cell phone,” said Generosa Carbonell, 84, a retired nurse.

“To give more time in reading the Word of God (both Old and New Testament), meditation, devotions, and reflection. To pay more attention on the needs of our body – more exercise, yoga stretching. Alertness in helping those families who are in need of food,” said community organizer Pacita Panaguiton, 64.

“First, having a strong immune system is best.  For the vulnerable group, start with plugging off stress and think of nothing.  It works wonders; 2. Chew ginger.  A friend who became a person under investigation after six days from date of possible exposure was diagnosed via phone and online consultation due to symptoms such as loss of sense of taste and smell chewed garlic for a week.  Recovered.  Remember the global average that 80 percent of Covid-19 patients experience it mildly; 3. Virus is contained within its host (each of us), so best to stay away from others; 4. Bahay kubo is our strength in our Philippine context that majority of our population are still in rural areas; and 5. Empower people by good words, thoughts, and the protection of prayer,” said physical therapist Marie Balangue, 30.

“The enhanced community quarantine taught me to value discipline over motivation. Motivation for me personally as an illustrator are jolts if excitement when I strike an idea. But I can’t always be motivated. As a freelancer I can’t just wait for motivation to come to me. Hence, I schedule my projects, stick to that routine and just push myself to follow through. It has caused a shift in my mental health and also my finances. I can’t imagine both going down the rabbit hole at the same time. So, keeping myself busy (while taking breaks and self – care time of course) during this time helps me keep afloat,” said Danielle Florendo, 22, an illustrator.

“What I have learned is the deeper meaning of the gift of time for our spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and financial well-being. The wisdom to look at the positive side, to be always grateful no matter what tomorrow will bring and to surrender each day to the will of our Creator,” said 52-year-old artist Alma May Dangalan.

“From this experience I learned how important guidelines are for us to follow. Without them matters could have been a problem. These guidelines were put in place for our own safety and not for whatever reasons other people think. We as a people should follow rules and regulations of organizations, offices and the country,” said 57-year-old manager Maria Del Pilar Antonio.

“I learned that we must be more health conscious now. We should be strict in observing sanitary measures to prevent illnesses and diseases. Another thing, that if we can, we should have a savings account so that if circumstances like losing a job so suddenly, no more source of income, etc. at least we have something to use while waiting for jobs to be offered or if we could get back to work again.” Sonn Fernandez, 65, resident.

“Discipline, Savings and Sanitation, iyan ang natutunan ko and hopefully lahat matuto nito (those are what I learned and hopefully all will learn the same,” said Donato Dacanay, 36, a graphic designer.

“ECQ just proved what we knew all along: 1. Cleanliness is next to Godliness; 2. Don’t mess with Mother Nature; and 3. These will be put to the ultimate test: our endurance, patience and creativity (or what’s left of it),” said businessman Nap Maranan, 63.

“1. Learn to stock up on food (canned goods) you’ll never know when they will come in handy. But always learn to read the expiry date so you do not waste; 2. Keep money for a rainy day. I always set aside at least an amount that you can count on. You do not have to resort to borrowing; 3. Use your common sense so you don’t have an excuse for everything. When the government tells you to do something you got to obey; 4. You have so much time on hand at home – use it wisely. Do things you’ve not done for some time – i.e. cleaning and getting rid of old stuff; exercising to keep you fit; do a hobby like gardening; read an old book and find something to do; 5. Shut up if you have nothing sensible to contribute; and 6. Communicate with your long lost friends, estranged relatives or officemates,” said retired business executive Michael Blancas, 61.

Resilience and a stronger faith in ourselves and God have come about in these trying times that also remind us of the passion of Christ. Happy Easter to everyone.