I Blog because I Want to Tell Stories

El Fuerte de San Pedro (Fort San Pedro) in Cebu City

 A visit to El Fuerte de San Pedro reminded of the reason why I write or blog. The reason is not to earn money (although it would be good to have earnings from my blogs). The real reason why I write blog posts is to tell stories.

I revisited Fort San Pedro in Cebu and this second visit made me realize that there are more stories to be told about this historic structure.

I posted this in Facebook during my latest visit to Cebu City in February 2020. 

Read more about this Spanish fort by checking my post about my first visit to the Fort San Pedro in Cebu

Read more of visit to Cebu by checking out my blog posts about my adventures in the Province of Cebu.

My 6 Months of Community Quarantine in Pictures

It was already more than 6 months ago when the government placed the whole island of Luzon under Enhanced Community Quarantine. Today, after months of changing CQs, I commemorate my sufferings and joys and what I saw during the world’s longest lockdown against the spread of Wuhan Virus.

1. Groceries Galore

Grocery in time Lockdown

As the man of the house, I am the one who is tasked to go out and buy our supplies. The result is that a bulk of photos in my camera are those of grocery items. Well, I am not the only one who photographs grocery items. Almost all men that I saw in grocery stores are taking photos of the groceries and then sending it to their wives. Going to the grocery is a great challenge for us husbands during the ECQ. I guess we follow the saying “it is better to be safe than sorry”.

2. Lines, Lines, and More Lines

Long Lines during Lockdown

It was chaos in the first weeks of lockdown. People were in panic and afraid of losing food and essential supplies. The result is massive panic buying and the long lines to grocery stores, drug stores, and money remittance centers. I spent almost one day just buying one to two weeks' supply of grocery items.

3. Preparing for the New Normal Education

Continuous Ink - 6 Month Lockdown

The lockdown also affected the schooling of our children. We were confused about what will be the mode of education for the so-called “new normal”. To ensure that our children will not be left behind, we bought whatever they will need for online classes, which include a continuous ink printer. My wife even ordered a ring binding machine and a laminating machine that she can use when making workbooks for the kids.

4. Late Night Show with DU30

Duterte Late Night Show

I tried to watch the public speeches of President Duterte in the beginning of the pandemic so that I can get the latest guidelines. However, Duterte’s incoherent ramblings caused more confusion so I stopped watching him and just waited for news about the latest confusing guidelines about the community quarantine.

5. Empty Places

Empty Divisoria

The lockdown affected the movement of people and killed many businesses. The result is that the normally busy areas, like Divisoria’s Ylaya Street in the above image, became empty. Even the SM in our area is dark and empty during the early weeks of lockdown. The crowd is back to Divisoria now that restrictions are easing.

6. Spiritual Barrenness

Empty Binondo Church

It is more than 6 months now that our family was not able to experience physically attending a Holy Mass during Sundays. We attended mass via online but we feel that there is something missing in that mode of “mass”. I can now enter many churches but we are yet to attend a Sunday Mass, physically, as a family.

7. Commuting Woes

Empty LRT

Commuting to work was a hellish experience during the lockdown. There was one morning when I was having difficulty riding a jeep or bus that I snapped with anger. It was a terrible experience that made me realize that the stress caused by the pandemic is already getting to my nerves.

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It seems that the majority of what I wrote about the lockdown is negative and I guess that's how negative-thinkers like me view the world.

The truth is that I relished the disruption to my normal pre-pandemic life. It allowed me to be with my family more and it kept me away from some fake/plastic co workers and their phony office politics. I actually wished that the work-from-home scheme will never stop but then again the reality slapped me in the face. 

The drawback of the disruption is the blurring of the boundary between home and office since the house is both the place for work and family. The competing concerns of home and office made the life during the lockdown more difficult. 

Despite the many difficulties and sufferings brought by the pandemic, the most positive that happened is the coming of our Bunso, the littlest one of our children.

It is true that more difficulties are yet to come since 2020 is not yet done. I can only hope that I can cope, that I can increase my patience, that I can put more faith and trust in God. This is not for me but for the family that the Lord entrusted to me. 

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