Edited by Serina Mara Alonzo
Throughout the history of the world, there were many pandemics and crises that happened. I saw them through movies and reading world history. Some of them were human-made while some were not. I did not expect that in my lifetime, I can experience one of those, although, as of this time, our Local Government Unit is exemplar in containing the virus. We recorded no deaths but all recoveries. I give my salute to our leaders and the front liners of the Province of Zamboanga Del Sur and the City of Pagadian.
I am an employee of one of the Private Higher Educational Institutions in Pagadian City. The nature of our work is to nurture the minds of the youths. Through our vocation, the teens can actualize their potentials and become responsible citizens in the future. Therefore, we need to be with people, particularly the young generations of today.
Furthermore, when I heard about the coming quarantine of the city announced in early March of the year 2020, I was already expecting that schools need to close. Since we relied on the tuition of the students, I saw the agony in front of me. Stifling experiences of my family surely awaited my family and me.
Since I am a son of farmers, particularly in my parents’ place in one of the Municipalities of the second congressional district of Zamboanga Del Sur, I need to be one with nature and thought of ways how to adapt the season. In farming, the Month of March is one of the drought periods. It is when farmers were done harvesting their crops and waiting for the rainy season. So, I was thinking, what can I do when I stayed home? The goods that I had would soon be consumed. I needed to lessen my expenses. Thus, the rice should be prioritized to buy and other essential stuff. Other materials for viand should come from our backyard.
With those reflections, I decided to plant vegetables. I went to different agrivet and farm supplies in Pagadian city and bought some vegetable seeds. When I purchased vegetables from the market, I also made ways on how can I grow them. Besides, online videos and posts were beneficial. They were vital in how I shaped my garden. Even if the rain is scarce, I decided to plant vegetables. I was praying for the rain even if I knew it; it is quite impossible to have it during that month. I was always praying that there would be no water interruptions of the Pagadian City Water District. I know my water bill for the coming months would increase, but I also know that water would help me.
There was one instance I think it was early April when the rain poured in Pagadian City. That afternoon, I was thrilled that I waited for the rain shower for so long. And then, my son (a toddler) came out and sang: “Rain, rain go away!” I was saying to him, “Ayaw Nak, ingna Rain rain welcome.” On the one hand, my consciousness also shifted to the situation of the front liners of the different checkpoints. I knew it was not good for them to be exposed to that rain. Catching the flu because of the rain is the worst experience because of the Pandemic. I hope that the front liners at that time were fine.
With this, there were some memorable experiences during the quarantine. First, we, parents spent more time with our children. Time is precious since we do not know if the situation worsens, we may be among those who would not survive. Second, the quarantine allowed me to room around the house and looked for containers for my vegetables. I started by utilizing empty sacks of rice. Then, I turned to damaged plastic water containers and empty plastic bottles of soft drinks. I even turned to eco-bags and other plastic containers like that of diapers, oil, oatmeal, and powder-soap. I was doing recycling at its best.
Another meaningful experience in the quarantine is teaching my daughter to love eating vegetables. She saw the process of growing vegetables that they took time to grow. So, when she saw that we got vegetables from the garden, she became eager to eat them. Many children do not like to eat Ampalaya, but not anymore, my daughter. According to her, she would eat vegetables to become healthy.
Quarantine also is the best time to toilet train a toddler. The parents have more time to demonstrate to the child what to do and even clean the mess that the toddler caused.
Spending the quarantine days at home is challenging, but it is better to reflect on the positive side of it.