Archive for March, 2020

Sounds like Life In the Time of Cholera isn’t it? I actually got the idea of the title of this blog post from it.

Today is the first day of the community quarantine in Metro Manila and also in our town upon the government’s directive.  I doubt if community quarantine is more pleasing to hear than a total lockdown.

Every household here in our subdivision received a two-page quarantine guidelines which shall be enforced today here in our town. After watching the Sunday mass online, I watched those videos of the initial steps being done today. There are several check points put up here in Cainta to prevent commuters in other neighboring towns to loiter around without official purpose. It created traffic of course, thermal scanning those riding in public utility vehicles, asking motorized commuters if they are on official business making others turn around and go back to where they came from. I just noticed that some enforcers and police officers have no protective masks. They have also put up health help desks in the corners with a doctor in attendance.

Here are some of the salient points our good mayor has emphasized to all residents of Cainta. Travel within by its residents are allowed. Restraint, however is requested on meets that do not appear to be urgent or critical in nature. In the even that a meeting is very necessary, social distancing among participants is required.

Border crossing to and from Cainta shall be allowed solely for work purposes, you have to present an ID or a certification from your company.  I guess this also holds through when you live in the town and your work is in Makati City or other parts of the National Capital Region or Metro Manila. Work in all private offices of Cainta will continue. The employer should provide masks, alcohol and disinfectants to mitigate probability of acquiring the said virus. They may also adopt a work-at-home if it is applicable. Nissa works as a manager at Bank of PI, they are required a four-day workweek provided they complete ten hours a day. She will save a day to spend with Nate because according to her, she goes home around 8pm every night anyway.

Passing through vehicles commuting from and to neighboring local towns and cities are allowed subject to thermal scanning procedures to be performed by those manning border personnel.

Public transport will remain operational provided they observe wearing masks  for both drivers and passengers  and providing alcohol to commuters.

Here is the sad part for me. Our priest friend Fr. Aly messaged me yesterday that there would be no regular masses to be held until further notice but you can watch them online.  All religious, civic and social gatherings until the lifting of the quarantine period will have to be temporarily suspended.

No classes for the month  until April 14th.

They are thinking of  imposing curfew hours for Metro Manila from 8pm to 5am. Not sure it it will be pushed through One problem I see there is that, if you leave the office at 5pm and it’s a sad fact that it is so hard to take a ride when you are commuting and you also have to consider the traffic, I doubt if  a three-hour window would suffice if you live far from your place of work.

I don’t watch reports anymore on television. I just rely on the internet for news. Our Church will be praying the Oratio Imperata hourly and we can pray with them online.

Life in the time of COVID-19 is certainly changing everyone’s perspective. At present we have 111 positive cases and 8 deaths.

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We are on a lockdown and that would be for a month starting Monday. Hindi pa plantsado ang rules nila. Know what I think, they are hiding the truth behind the situation here. Maybe it is not just the 52 positive cases, there are more loitering out there. Why don’t they get rid of those illegal chinese here in our country? To think, their president even thanked china for all of this. china gave us this COVID-19.

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Did I tell you that it is my 12th year with WordPress today?  I posted a lone poem 12 years ago but didn’t start actual blogging here until a year later. Here’s a message from WordPress that I got this morning:

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 12 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.
Here’ s some excerpts from a blog post I did a long time ago:

It’s been a long journey, finding your own niche in the blogging world using a popular site like WordPress. It’s been a long journey, giving a voice to what’s on your mind, tucking the fragments of time in one’s memory, stringing words to make a long post, creating poems and being amazed at the joys of taking photos, experimenting on macro photography. It’s been a long journey of faith and hope.

The pleasure one gets when you publish something, the delight in reading and answering comments, the luxury of having loyal online friends who look forward to every post and the pleasure of reading other posts and discovering new blogs and writers – priceless.

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This COVID-19 does not just affect individuals but it has great effect in our economy.

This early we could see how the people are affected. We are afraid not only  for ourselves but for our loved ones. Those who are in the work force and the students in different areas face this daily threat.  Since  this government lacks testing kits, they are not sure if they are in the right path in tracking down those people who are positive carriers too.

People may not be in a panic but almost everyone I meet on the street is wearing face mask. Ako parating may face mask every time I go out since I got sick.This is not just because of the deadly Covid-19 but I am afraid of the pollution outside. My oncologist told me before that when you have undergone chemotherapy, sometimes your immunity goes haywire, it becomes low.

I am afraid of full-blown community transmission. At the moment, there are 49 cases positive of the virus. WHO even admitted that this has become pandemic. And we just had  a case of second death for a patient who has no previous  experience in going to china. It was a local transmission.

We badly need prayers for all. Let’s all pray for our safety.

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 I went out for a while to buy my maintenance medicine for another month. I was surprised  by the number of people at the drugstore, and that is not even the busiest branch of  Mercury Drug.  What is even more surprising is that there are no bottles of Alcohol left on their shelves. All they had are a few small bottles of hand sanitizer for kids and three bottles of hand sanitizer for adult.  I chose to buy the two so I’ll have something in stock, one senior citizen grabbed the remaining one.

There used to be several bottles of alcohol when I went there last month, but they are all gone. Mercury Drug provides free Alcohol  in their counter to rub your hands though. I went to a small grocery store where I bought two bottles of  70% solution ethyl alcohol (yes, combined with moisturizer). I now have five of them in our medicine cabinet.  Last Saturday, I also bought a pack of disposable hand gloves (it contains 100 pcs). Gonna use them when we go to the market and when we go  to the grocery stores. Long ago, I read somewhere that one of the dirtiest items you can ever find in  a supermarket is their push cart. Some people have this habit of having their kids ride on it while grocery-shopping which is not practical because they don’t regularly clean it. When  someone buys cold cuts and fresh food items, the drips are left on the cart.

Has it come to this?

I have a friend who went to the supermarket yesterday to buy only a few items. She was so surprised when there was a line-up of cars at the parking lot and so many shoppers were buying loads and boxes of groceries as if there is no tomorrow. They’re in a panic that this corona  virus might bring further damage to the country.  She only intended to buy three items and ended up with three bags  full of groceries.  Only  those who have enough in their pockets will be able to because an individual with a lowly job could not even afford to buy grocery items in bulk. Nakakalungkot.   I am saddened by this turn of events.  People are growing crazy, so much more if you have a government whose priority does not include the health and well-being of its citizens.

I read  the report of a journalist friend saying that private hospitals don’t have their own test kits.  Department of Health admitted in a Senate hearing a few days ago that they only have 2,000 test kits and the number of cases is increasing.  The budget for the department was slashed by 10B and went to the coffers of the president. They substantially increased the budget of the Office of the  President by the billions. Even The Department of Education was not spared.

This contact tracing that they are doing and not reporting the true numbers of positive cases here is just alarming.  The local residents who were found positive with COVID-19 might have infected others too without their knowledge.

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I’ve only been absent here for a day and yet, I have to remove those ugly and unnecessary comments  in my spam folder. Thank you Akismet.  I have to remove a certain follower who followed me a few days ago, when I looked at her/his site, it’s all garbage, full of sexual innuendos and titles that I dare not open.  I wonder why some people spend their time posting something anathema to others.

Josef, Jovy and Oreo came home  early this morning after a three-day stay In Baler, Quezon.  I told Oreo he smells like the beach…haha! Maybe he missed me too because he stayed in my room when  they arrived.

Got this lovely mug from Josef  designed with surfing people and with a cute summer message. They also brought home a large bundle of the native suman in Baler. Suman  is a rice cake cooked in different style in various provinces. I love the pack of white onions they bought, nice for scrambled eggs with a bit of tomatoes or as toppings for Bistek Tagalog (beefsteak).

It seems that this present government is not really prepared for this Covid-19. For a long while, there were only three positive cases then it jumped to 33 today. It took them a month before they announced that  quarantine period should be observed by incoming passengers  from places affected by COVID-19 all except, hold your breath, duterte’s best friend china.  According to news, there were around more than 500,000 thousand chinese from December last year  who arrived in our shores. Come to think of it, most of them freely roam the country. The Dept. of  Health is  tracing contacts  since  a patient (the one from our town in Cainta) was found positive of the virus last Saturday.  Most of those 33 people are from Metro Manila. I was trying to understand duterte’s speech about the virus in front of the local  officials in Malacanang yesterday but it was all garbled.  Nonsense so to speak. Compare that to VP Robredo’s message to the public  and they are a mile apart. My gosh, the things we have to endure. Classes are suspended until Saturday to give time to local officials to fumigate and clean their respective places.

Keep safe everyone. COVID 19 is a real threat to all of us.

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Locally we call it kaimito.

It’s best eaten cold from the ref. In the province, neighbors give this for free. Star Apple is a fruit that grows in the tropics including Southeast Asia. We harvest them around March and April. A kilo (around five pieces) costs P70.00.

Aside from being a tasty dessert, it has several health benefits too. It contains vitamins A, B, C, lysine, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, dietary fiber, amino acids, methionine, and protein. It has minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium.

Kaimito, anyone?

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I am getting quite lazy again. I was supposed to do a little gardening this afternoon  but around this time, it is still so hot outside.

Since Oreo isn’t here, the  house is so quiet. Josef and Jovy have an outing at Baler, Aurora province with their officemates. Baler  is one of Luzon’s hidden gems. Located 231 kilometers (143.5 mi) north-east of Manila, it is farther than our town in Pangasinan for about one to two hours from here. It is a surfer’s paradise because the town’s coast faces the Pacific Ocean. I asked Josef early this morning if Oreo has gone swimming yesterday. He said Oreo loves the water. They bought him  his own life jacket. Imagine a little dog complete with accessories too like that and sunglasses. They are made for small pets like him. This doggie is pampered.  He has his own “baon”,  provisions like Pedigree DentaStix, doggie biscuits, diaper and vitamins.

My goodness, I still love afternoon siesta, I thought when I woke up it is already morning. How lazy could one be? It is Sunday after all.

There are so many changes instituted by the church because of this corona virus. We have to take communions by the hands now, some holy water fonts are empty because they want to prevent contamination, holding hands while saying the Lord’s Prayer is now a no,no, no kissing during Peace greetings. Even the celebration on the Lenten rituals has changed.  Veneration of the cross will now be done by genuflecting.  The Kumpisalang Bayan (a night set aside for annual confessions) is now scrapped. They have it every day instead using the confessional box. Before, you can confess face to face.  It is no longer allowed.

I’ve gotten hold of one more novel. It’s entitled The Golden Son by Shilpi  Somaya Gowda. Getting to know more about rural India.  Love it. It’s my 30th read this year at Goodreads. Seventy more books to go 🙂

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Yesterday, we just had a confirmed case positive of NCov19  here in our town, the fifth one according to Dept. of Health (DOH). I wonder  if they are telling the truth or hiding something so as not to create panic or offend their big boss who said a few weeks ago that “this too will pass”. There is something not right.

Even if the place is quite far from us, I am still wary of public places where there are so many people. Reports say that the patient has no history of travel but regularly visited the mosque at Greenhills, San Juan City. He is now confined at RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine).

Our town mayor, Mayor Atty. Kit Nieto has posted this message on his Facebook page a few minutes ago:

“I am constrained to suspend classes in all levels both public and private from today (assuming there are) until Tuesday to provide ample opportunity for the general services office to distribute additional masks on top of the 50,000 pieces we have already distributed a couple of weeks ago.. all cainta students will be provided face masks and protective sanitizers and vitamin c to mitigate the probabilities of the virus spreading.. more directives to come.. all trike drivers. And puj drivers are likewise directed to wear masks while plying their routes.. GSO Lyndon Camacho Batanes procure what is necessary should the resources be inadequate”.

With his health team, he visited those places close to the patient to distribute face masks, disinfectant and vitamin C  and letters telling them of the latest news by DOH.  Good thing our town mayor is proactive. It might be hard to contain this virus when it spreads but at least the people are aware of what to do. Salute Mayor Nieto 🙂

 It’s now code RED for DOH, his wife was also tested positive.

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Wishing you all a lovely weekend.

May your day begin with a smile,

love in your heart,

peace in your soul,

and happiness to embrace.


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