Getting by

It’s getting tougher each passing day. As in the photo, it’s like praying for the heavy rainfall to stop and urging the sun to come out because the rusty, leaking roof can’t take it anymore and will break your house anytime. The irony that is life. We’ve been dealing with the pandemic for over a year now. How many times have you heard somebody say “COVID is real!” Perhaps they got sick and hospitalized and lost a loved one, or among those who believed the virus and the vaccines to be a hoax or scam. You’d think you’re lucky you haven’t caught it yet and still alive. Unfortunate that the new variants of the COVID-19 virus are now widespread, causing the health statistics to get broken again and lockdowns becoming the usual, vicious remedy. And our social feeds becoming an online obituary is not exactly helping.

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Being the “alay” or tribute of the family

Queueing during the pandemic lockdown by CC Lozano

It was mid-March of 2020 when the first lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic was announced in Metro Manila. Days prior to the announcement I was nervously busy going out and about to prep up for the stay-at-home restrictions. Aside from ensuring we have enough supply of alcohol, disinfectant, and face masks, which by then were hard to find and with unbelievably high prices, I went out to stock up on food and a mix of things I thought we’ll need while locked down. I bought a new laptop, a printer, paper supplies, four walkie-talkies, a digital blood pressure monitor, extension cords, and sacks of dog food.

Much like in the movie The Hunger Games, being the head of the family, I was the “alay” or tribute. At the time, most barangays were closed or barricaded from outsiders to prevent the alarming spread of the virus. Entry and exit points were guarded and strictly monitored. And there’s only one in each household to be issued an all-day quarantine pass, which will allow you to go out either for work if you’re a frontliner or to get essentials. In my case I was the latter going out to buy my family’s day-to-day needs.

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