Lockdown-not-lockdown, week twelve

29 May, Friday

I'll admit that I forgot about Wuhan - the Chinese city where COVID-19 was discovered first - until I read in several places that the lockdown here in Manila is now the longest of the pandemic.

Wuhan's lockdown, or at least the first one, went for 76 days. I remember the headlines when it was finally lifted. "Liberation" was a common word I saw in the headlines. I also remember thinking the lockdown here wouldn't last that long, because unlike there, we've had some time to prepare, never mind how the government didn't really do much preparing.

Read more »

Lockdown-not-lockdown, week eleven

22 May, Friday

I've been exploring and writing about the e-commerce boom for the past few years now, and yet, I have been mostly hesitant about buying stuff online. I only created a Lazada account last year, and only made one purchase on it - a bunch of adhesive curtain hooks for the flat, which fell apart after a couple of weeks or so.

The past few weeks, though, I've been embracing e-commerce a little bit more, out of necessity. Well, this really depends on how you define e-commerce. If you take the government's lead and include online cash transfers and the sharing economy, well, I've been maxing out GCash and paying a lot of bills from there, and I also finally bit the bullet and downloaded the Grab app, something which I've resisted for all this time. Shalla has that app, but without a phone, it had to be me.

Read more »

Lockdown-not-lockdown, week ten

15 May, Friday

I should be on a boat to Cebu today.

The past week should've been some of my busiest days, churning out flyers, scheduling so many social media posts, and particularly researching things to do in Cebu - like, well, like I needed to, since I've been there a lot of times, but then I would've pestered Nat for recommendations anyway. And that would all culminate today, when I board a boat and settle down for a life with no phone signal and the waves wobbling you occasionally, with an anxiety that quietly permeates, not exactly about whether the ship will go down, but whether you'll even fall asleep.

Read more »

The new normal should be a two-way street

We kept ourselves mostly at home.

We let go, perhaps begrudgingly, of the things we love, the things that make us happy.

We, perhaps, even let go of our way of making a living, of our way of life.

Read more »

Lockdown-not-lockdown, week nine

8 May, Friday

It's occurred to me that I have not listened to any local radio in the past couple of months. Considering that we're living in extraordinary times and I'm still a bit of a radio geek, it's striking - to me, at least, because you don't really care about what I care about, do you? - that I haven't listened to what's on our own airwaves. And to think I've written at length about how the French-speaking Swiss did it.

Sure, it's also because I don't have a radio, too. I have a Bluetooth speaker and an old iPad that streams to it.

Read more »