A year into quarantine: 6 Filipinos share their best realizations

As we officially mark a year of being in quarantine, we asked six Filipinos about their key learnings from the pandemic.

It has been a year now since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world. Thinking it was only a simple virus, many people fell victim to the illness that changed the ways we relate to each other and navigate the world.

I was at work when President Rodrigo Duterte ordered to place Metro Manila under a lockdown or “community quarantine” to contain the novel coronavirus last year. From March 15 to April 14, 2020, all domestic land, sea, and air travel had been prohibited. 

Admittedly, the past year has been like no other. And as we officially mark a year of being in quarantine, I would like to think that maybe— just maybe— we’ve learned something from the experience that helped us evaluate our lives and focus today on what’s truly important.

Six Filipinos share their key learnings from the pandemic, as they recall where they were and what they were doing when the lockdown was declared. Read below! 

Lessons from quarantine: Build closer family ties

Photos from Two Maids Blog and courtesy of subjects (Daniel Joseph Cayetano and Lorena Palencia)

Daniel Joseph Cayetano, 30, real estate agent: “I was in Makati City doing paper works for our clients. When the lockdown was declared, we were asked to go home at once. Thank God, I got home easily. I heard many commuters were stranded. How the pandemic changed my life? My family and I got closer. We learned to clean the house regularly to avoid the virus. We learned to be more thoughtful of one another especially my mother who is already a senior citizen.” 

Lorena Palencia, 45, laundry shop owner: “I was at home getting ready to open the shop. It affected my business and social life, but I had more time with my family.”

Lessons from quarantine: Proper hygiene is a must

Photos from Castorly Stock from Pexels and courtesy of subjects (Don Carorasan and Donna Pahignalo)

Don Carorasan, 41, Nissan marketing professional: “I was at the office when the lockdown was declared. I learned how to use alcohol regularly for sanitation. I thought only classy people do that. Now I also do that, so I feel like classy now, too. But seriously, pandemic taught me to find ways to earn more.”

Donna Pahignalo, 39, art director: “I was at home doing household chores. I learned to be more cautious of my hygiene, use alcohol and wash my hands.” 

Lessons from quarantine: Spend wisely, save more

hotos from iStockphoto/Which.co.uk and courtesy of subjects (Bryan Ladion and Julie Anna Orillo)

Bryan Ladion, 31, former public utility vehicle inspector: “I was at home, but I was sad because when the lockdown was declared, that was the exact date of my supposed civil service exams. My two-month review was put to waste. So, I just prepared food, alcohol, and masks so we won’t have to go out. I learned how to be more careful in spending money, enjoy time with my family, and prioritize good health over material things.” 

Julie Anna Orillo, 39, government employee: “I was in the office when the lockdown was declared. I realized the importance of saving money and of course, having good health over material things.

Originally published at My Pope Philippines on March 16, 2021

Published by Mylene Orillo

Mylene Orillo is a contributing writer at My Pope Philippines. Prior to that, she contributed to the Health & Lifestyle magazine.  She's a former correspondent at The Manila Times; former editor-in-chief of TravelPlus magazine; and former assistant editor of Health & Lifestyle, Zen Health, and DiabetEASE magazines by FAME Publishing, Inc., a company owned by cardiologist Dr. Rafael Castillo who has given her the much-needed break and opportunity in the health industry and medical field.  Her previous job as a Media Consultant at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Writer-Researcher at the Headquarters Philippine Army ignited her passions for charity, volunteering, selfless service, and love of country. As a young girl, she loved reading her mom's collection of Mills & Boons pocketbooks, which started her passion to write romance stories.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Sto. Tomas in España, Manila. She is now working towards earning her master's degree hopefully this year. She loves traveling, long-distance running, reading romance and non-fiction books, watching Korean Drama series, feel-good rom coms, military movies, and documentaries during her spare time. Someday, she wants to meet Prince William and Pope Francis, settle down with the love of her life and have a family and kids of her own; and become a bestselling romance author.

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