Mountains and Valleys; Ponds and Playgrounds

It’s ECQ/MECQ Season 2 at the National Capital Region. As in many places in the world, COVID-19 cases have kept on increasing in Metro Manila. Yet we have hopes that the stricter lockdowns implemented the past month have somehow helped slow down the spread caused by the early reopening of the economy and the emergence of more infectious variants.

In Benguet, we are under the less strict GCQ. I know, all the terms (MGCQ, GCQ, MECQ, ECQ) are all confusing. Truth be told, they seem to be all synonymous with each other. We are still on lockdown, mass gatherings are still dangerous, and – if you can help it – please stay home as much as you can. For my hometown, GCQ means Market Passes valid only for specific days per Barangay, disinfection Sundays, border restrictions among neighboring municipalities, and home-quarantined minors and seniors. As one friend put it, “You guys are technically in ECQ, the ‘G’ is just there to keep the people happy.”

True. But at least our family’s situation here in the province is still better compared to our quarantine life a year ago in Makati. What I mean is, we made the right decision to move back here and we are blessed because our jobs actually allowed us to do so.

One year ago, Marikit was stuck crawling around a tiny one-bedroom apartment (it wasn’t tiny pre-Marikit, but all her *stuff* have made it smaller). One year ago, her interactions with people were limited to me, Adrian, and pixelated faces in Zoom and Messenger calls. One year ago, we always caught her looking out from our fourth floor balcony and I would point out to her cats and dogs from afar.

Here, Marikit has more space to run. Our family lives next door and the compound has a pond, a playground, and dogs and cats that Marikit can now see and play with up close.

By the pond at the compound.

It’s sad and infuriating because our country’s situation has come to this while there are others who are already on the journey to herd immunity, who have been maskless for months, whose healthcare systems have not been overwhelmed. But as pandemics do not immediately come to an end, if we can do something to make the most of the situation we are in (and even help out), by all means let’s do it. For our family, it means moving to the mountains – to this valley.

We’ll be staying here for a while. I get homesick for Makati like I got homesick for Malaysia and Elbi. But home is wherever family is and home is wherever God has placed and called us to be.

All that said, let’s continue to stay healthy and keep safe. Wear a mask, follow minimum health protocols. In the meantime, our family hopes to send you good vibes from Benguet. See you in the next post!

Naimbag nga aldaw!

Guess who’s back, back again?

Mari’s back, tell a friend.

Alright, those who were out of the early 2000s music scene probably wouldn’t get the reference. And Eminem might not be the best fit for my personality and brand. But let me just say, almost four years later, that I am back and ready to have a word party once again!

So many things have happened in the past three-plus years. I got married as mentioned in the last thing I posted before this blog went into deep slumber. I had a baby who’s turning two this year! (I kept a secret/private blog about this probably only fit for readers ready to know all about trying to conceive or – as forum posts call it – TTC). Our family of three moved back to Benguet because of the COVID-19 pandemic (to get away from the rising cases in NCR). I’ll probably write more about topics related to those events mentioned in the coming months.

I’m excited to do this thing again. This blogging thing. I think I stopped because I had this feeling that nobody would stop by and read these scribbles anyway because people are more into images and videos these days. But there could be a few people who still love to read. And I have to make sure that whatever talent I have in writing does not go to waste.

Now with all that said, what would you like me to write about in my next posts? Show some love and leave a comment! And… see you around!