I wrote this at the time when Jhois and I were recovering from the dreaded covid virus. Since she had it first, I honestly thought the virus wouldn’t hit me because we observed all the precautions needed. I even completed my daily activities with more zest. When I got it after three days, I really wanted that we could recover from this fast. I remember I argued a couple of times with my father over the phone then, persuading him to take the vaccine because we were already feeling this growing terror of how this virus was affecting our bodies. We didn’t have the vaccines yet. We were still waiting for our turn. The elderly group was prioritized at that time. Because of this, it took us 45 days to get back to our feet. Now, we have all the shots that we need but the sudden spikes of covid positive cases in different regions of our country always keep us on our toes.
I think the opposite of being a good friend is to be the questioning one. To ask something is to dive deep into uncharted territories that your friend may probably hasn’t gone to yet or hasn’t confronted yet. You don’t want to preempt a process that s/he should have started because you don’t want to be rude. Sometimes, being a nice friend kills you. I never thought being smiled at would hurt my core the most because at times, a smile is a tiny grain of deception in the world of truths and I prefer the truth. I have always been comfortable in the rarefied atmosphere of questioning. You don’t want the people you love to get drowned first, too late for you to help them. In spite of that, you keep waiting— most likely longer than you expected until they feel safe to open up their pains.
If our furbabies were real kids, I’m certain that they could have thrown a full-blown tantrum or pulled my hair thinking I was keeping them out of the loop on whether they could see Jhois already. No matter how they wish to deliver a spectacle by making me angry, I still find it interesting to juxtapose their incredibly short-tempered nature with their prolonged willingness to wait for Jhois or even me when I need to go out.
8 Brutiful (Brutal & Beautiful) Nudges that Made Us Gasp, “Oh, dear! We’re not that young anymore…” or Maybe, “This pandemic made us feel old!”
These are gentle age-reminders not only for us but also for everyone who keeps surviving this pandemic, regardless how it looks and feels from your side of the world.
Who would have thought, even a year and a half ago, that our biggest scare would arrive earlier than expected? It’s hysterically absurd that this pandemic implanted the worst kind of fear in all of us. Enochlophobia. Covid taught us to fear the crowds. There are times that it can’t be helped, right? Oh, how we wish this is all a hoax after all! Nonetheless, there’s a new kind of scare brewing. Unless you’ve been quarantined with your partner 24/7, you wouldn’t know what it’s like.
I wrote this article last 20th of January 2021. It was the time when the military’s presence was summoned to UP Campus due to the alleged leftist recruitment from the University’s students who were airing their sentiments against the government for handling the pandemic so poorly, leaving NCR (covid’s epicenter) with surging death rates. How can somebody, exaggerate a simple act of voicing over people’s concerns as an act of rebellion against this regime? I don’t think we can ever have a perfect leader who knows it all but it is crucially important that he knows how to listen to different sectors that are being bombarded with problems because of this ongoing pandemic. Alarmed parents who believed this narrative went to the University and protested as well. I couldn’t help but notice how this dynamic of silencing and intimidation is actively present among families, the basic unit of our society as well. A flashback swept over me as I witnessed a stark resemblance to what was happening in front of me.
I’m filled with gratitude for the gifts that my struggles bring. It tastes bittersweet but leaves me with a warm feeling. It gave me back my voice. I almost forgot how my voice sounds like because in the past, I rarely used it. It constantly allows me to reach full awareness of myself, sift through what matters more to me, extract my truth and live it. I think this is what integrity is all about, isn’t it? Integrity, from its Latin adjective “integer” which means whole. I’m thankful for this inner sense of wholeness.
Jhois and I have learned not to judge others’ path no matter how different it looks from our viewpoint. Their paths are not something that should make sense to us. Those only need to make sense to them because those are calling them, not us. We heed our own call. We pay attention to what feels like magnets pulling us in and yes, even as couples we have differences, too. I’m grateful that Jhois allows me to fully express myself in ways that I want and of course, I allow her to do the same. We’re complete opposites and it’s a miracle that we manage to complement, in more ways than one. It’s a liberating feeling. No suffocation. No feeling of being trapped or constrained in our little world. This is why we don’t believe in comparison, competition or even jealousy. We don’t want what’s destined for you. It’s not calling us. It’s calling you. We don’t have, even the slightest hint of interest in getting what’s meant for you. That’s all for you. We’re only interested in what’s calling us and we don’t want to get distracted in decoding what our inner guide says by wasting our time checking on others’ lanes.