Sa Bisperas ng ECQ: Some Snippets at the Eve of the Enhanced Community Quarantine
It has been six months since the world we knew seemed to have disappeared. The freedom of movement was suddenly curtailed, jobs were lost, and lives were lost. Suddenly, we are afraid of going out—either because of Covid-19 or being caught by over-zealous quarantine patrollers. Who would have thought that we will be living in a historical era wherein the society came into screeching halt and lingered for more than what we have expected?
Going back, this prolonged community quarantine, which has not been lifted completely did not came like a thief in the night. There were signs or omens that lingered menacingly behind our minds and on the events. And I think recounting this through some entries on my personal journal would somehow give a glimpse on how things were in my perspective at the eve of the lockdowns.
The following texts have been taken off from my personal journal that took place between 03 March to 12 March of this year—the eve of the quarantine, accompanied with some photos of UPLB shot on the 13th of March 2020. These are in English and Filipino:
03 March 2020, Tuesday
… - Decided to go to ElBi and continue after the sunog. Told my students that we will have our first examination around second week of March or earlier. They acknowledged. My colleagues at the department asked me if I was fine. I am blessed to have them.
|Mount Makiling looms as we drive back to our homes before the lockdown. (13 March 2020)|
06 March 2020, Friday
…- First local case reported today, kaninang hapon. One from Cainta pero nagwowork daw sa Greenhills, San Juan. Then there is another one in BGC. Hala, ito na! Just came home after a long day in ElBi, pero isusulat ko na lang din. Hopefully hindi na kumalat ito. Nagbabadya.
09 March 2020, Monday
… - Walang pasok but I decided to go to UPLB to meet some colleagues. Nakapag-lunch sa Ippon Yari and done some tasks. Mam Lara of Pakil called and was asking for help sa cultural inventory. Buti na lang nasa Laguna ako. We decided to go there after work. It was nice seeing Pakil’s town proper. May mini tour pa kami dun sa Turumba Springs. Sarap maligo kaso next time na lang siguro pag nag-Turumba. Gabi na rin kami nakabalik ng LB. Medyo late night na rin ako nakauwi ng Cavite.
|Pakil Church, 09 March 2020|
10 March 2020, Tuesday
… - Decided to expedite the examination for next week, Thursday and Friday. One is partially online, and one is fully online, yung sa PI10 yun. Medyo kinukutuban na ako after we recorded our first Covid-19 case sa Cavite—sa barangay pa namin mismo sa Imus! Naknang! Patay kang tubig ka!...
… - We were advised not to push through with our weekend meeting at Candon Ilocos Sur for the CMap follow-up. Nagpasabi yung tourism officer na isasara daw ang TPLEX, NLEX. Decided that we postpone. Mukhang di maganda ito dahil LGU personnel na mismo nagsasabi. May nangyayari na sa DILG. Hmmm…
… - Yung pagsikat ng araw kanina, mapula.
|The red sunrise on 10 March 2020 at Daang Hari, Molino, Bacoor, Cavite|
11 March 2020, Wednesday
… - Nakapag-exam ng matiwasay. Partially online and offline. Susubukan ko lang para maireport sa mga kasamahan. Mga studyante ko nakasuot na ng masks habang nageexam.
… - May cases sa Lanao, galing daw sa Malaysia after one religious event malapit sa pinuntahan namin nina Fadrul.
… - Yung paglubog ng araw kanina, mapula. Parang nagbabadya.
12 March 2020, Thursday
… - Natapos din ang examinations. Checheckan ko na lang later siguro. Buti iba partial. Nakuw! May naiwan pang isa pang activity. Advised students to upload it sa Google Classroom whenever possible. Extended naman ang deadline. Nasabihan ko na rin silang ingat at hindi tayo sigurado sa mga susunod na araw.
… - Rumours of lockdown started to materialize. Despite the silence, the tension seems to be on the air.
… - At yun na nga. Ilolockdown, or “community quarantine” na nila ang Metro Manila. Digong went on air and declared na magsisimula ang quarantine starting 15th March. WOAH!!! Bahala na pero di ko aakalaing mararanasan ko ito ngayon! Medyo concerned ako kay erpats kasi nasa Cebu pa siya and insisted that he books a flight and go home immediately before flights starts to close.
|Some students on the eve of the lockdown at campus.|
13 March 2020, Friday
… - Di na ako nag-klase. I’m seeing some students leave the campus with masks on. Some tambay sa grounds. Inside the faculty room, medyo may konting tension sa atmosphere kahit ang tahimik. This is it! Started packing up some of my things, yung mga exams ng mga bata at mga activities. I need to bring them home.
… - Namasyal muna ako sa Oble, sa CPark, sa Freedom Park. Kumuha na ng mga pictures bago maglockdown. Maalinsangan pero yung iba pa-chill chill lang, pero yung iba papaalis na.
… - Kelangan nang umalis ng maaga at baka maipit sa trapik sa SLEX ng mga naglalabasan. Kasama si Sir Mico pauwi ng Cavite. Nag-bakwit na kami ng UPLB. (Never knowing that this would be the last time I’ll be seeing UPLB’s pre-Covid19 era.) Matrapik nga nung gabi pero buti nakarating na kami safely.
… - Sa balita, it was chaos on bus terminals, airports, ports. Mahal na daw pamasahe, lalo na ng mga palabas ng Maynila. Nakow! Naghalo-halo sila. Walang social distancing! Baka naman magdala sila ng sakit sa probinsya! Paano na Lang kami dito sa Greater Manila Area? Bakit hindi iconsider na related ang mga karatig-probinsya? Nakakapagod!
On the 15th of March 2020, the community quarantine took effect in Metro Manila. There were a lot of people in our neighborhood, in Buhay na Tubig, who went into panic buying, including I. That is despite the assurance that we will still have access to groceries and drug stores in the duration of the community quarantine. We went to Puregold and got a sack of rice. People were still out late. There was tension in the air.
And on 16th of March, the so-called “enhanced community quarantine” or ECQ, took effect in the entire island of Luzon.
|Closed city borders during ECQ.|