Brazenly criminal

Nowadays, reading news about my motherland always comes with unbearable pain. The Filipino people are experiencing utmost suffering without any means of support. The government’s ineptitude over serving the people has become borderline criminal.

When reading the news, it’s clear to see that politicians hate Filipinos with the passion of a thousand suns. They abuse the resilience of the masses by politicking their way to the country’s coffers. Presently, our President has given up on efforts to curb the coronavirus outbreak, reopening the economy despite cases increasing by the thousands. No mass testing has been done – not even the shadow of one. This, despite the government’s coronavirus loans amounting to PHP 386B. WHERE DID THE MONEY GO? We have not seen a sliver of it, despite having to pay for it for three generations onward. By the time our grandchildren are born and today’s politicians are dead, we will still be paying off this debt.

Sometimes, I wonder what made many of our politicians brazenly criminal. Filipinos are suffering hunger, disease, unemployment, and the lack of government support, yet politicians can turn a blind eye to it all. Many of them are too blinded by the wealth of their people, too busy scheming to stay in power, and too occupied licking our president’s ashen ass. Too many of them have corrupted morals and want nothing else but to stay in their position, even if it no longer serves the Filipino people. Is it not time for a revolution, to throw these people out of power?

It is time for change in the hands of the people. And yet Filipinos are already too weary. Many of us are looking for jobs and for our next meal. Many of us cannot act when our families are hungry and our security is on the line. This suffering may not be a deliberate move from our dear politicians – but boy, does it serve them.

I sometimes wish I could give up on my country. It’s too painful to be a Filipino; it has always been, but it especially is now. But it would serve no purpose to the Philippines if I, or anybody else, give up on it. What could we do, though? How could we serve the motherland best?

Quarantine Week X: Babbling

I can’t write. The words have not been flowing properly. I find myself stuck in proofing and rewriting. In fact, I spent ten minutes just now attempting to re-write the first sentence of a draft.

Apparently, the key to getting out of a rut is to juggle your hobbies. It’s an empowering thing to know that, if you’re stuck in a project, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure; you just have to take a breather.

Socialising. One of the resolutions I had this year was to reconnect with two friends per month. It has been going well, but I find that I require discipline. Sometimes, I can’t bear the thought of socialising.

This applies to many people, I guess. When you’ve used up your willpower and motivation on matters like work, there is little left for talking to people, even friends. I find myself in this situation all the time, and I always have an excuse to reschedule.

As you can tell, it’s neither sustainable nor healthy. When I know that it’s time to talk to friends, I just suck it up and do it. I ring them, and after a minute of us talking, I forget why I was so unwilling to in the first place.

Hobbies and money. I have a bad trait: I need to spend money on a thing before I could commit to it. Working out, blogging, painting: I had to pay for them before I stuck to them.

The lockdown has given me time to think about how I could enrich my life. Now, I have a few ideas in mind. I want to study, draw digitally, and learn to play the keyboard piano. None of these are cheap. And I don’t want to choose just one: I want them all.

I’m taking my time and thinking things through, and I’m also constantly reminding myself that money isn’t necessary to investing yourself to something. Perhaps desiring so much is just the effect of the poor sleep I’ve been getting lately. My bed is utterly useless, and I could feel its springs on my back whenever I lie down.

Maybe I should get a new bed…

I said I couldn’t write, yet I’ve just finished an entry… hoorah, me!

Quiet mornings are the best

I woke up alone in my bed today. It’s a first since the lockdown began. My partner has begun working again, and left early in the morning to help clean up his workplace.

I rose from bed earlier than I usually do. It was exciting, this alone time and the silence it offered. I made my coffee, washed my face, and sat on the couch of our living space.

As I sipped my coffee, I took my time enjoying the view outside my window. It was a grey day, with wet grass and sleek pavements. There was no person in sight, but occasionally, I would see the birds perching on the trees nearby. It was a peaceful sight.

Yesterday, I listened to a short clip about what one could do every day to spark their creativity. Among the suggestions was to give yourself at least 15 minutes every day of quiet time. It, they said, helps you connect dissonant ideas, and allows you to see new things and find novel solutions. I don’t know at what level these epiphanies are supposed to come to, but today, I did think of roundabout solutions to my dilemmas. Also, I got the brilliant idea of making beef noodle soup. We have leftover bean sprouts and beef stock in the fridge, and I didn’t want to throw them away.

My last post talked about wanting quiet time. Now, I have it – and my, it is so exquisite. Quiet time is great, but quiet mornings? They’re the best.

Quarantine Day X: Yearning for alone time

The quarantine has been ongoing for almost a month now, which means that I have also been staying at home with my partner for the same amount of time. There are good and bad days, yes, but there are also days when I can’t stand being with someone else.

I know I have it good. There are many people who are in quarantine by themselves and are longing for interaction. It could also be difficult living through this with another person, though. It’s not everyday that you feel glad you’re not alone.

My partner and I get along excellently most days. We share the same ideas, have intersecting interests, and are preoccupied with our own to-do’s. He works on his photography and video editing, while I write, paint, and play video games. There are days, though, when one (or, God forbid, both) of us wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. And it’s these days, when every wrong move feels like a slight, that make me want to pull my hair.

Then there are days when I yearn to just be by myself, to get some time to think. On these types of days, it won’t matter who offers themselves as company. I would refuse. These are times when I want to enjoy my solitude, to meditate, and to work on my projects silently. It’s usually at these times when I’m at my most productive.

Today, I want to be alone to think. My future is uncertain because of the coronavirus; it has stretched the timeline of my plans for much longer than I anticipated. I have to think of alternative plans to keep myself from failing. This requires silence. But as this isn’t much of an option to me, I’ll most likely go for a run instead. It will clear my head, and hopefully give me some clarity. Wish me luck.

Quarantine Day X: Feeling guilty about everything

Since the quarantine, my feelings of guilt over everything I do has increased ten-fold. I feel guilty about so many things: my productivity; my meager contribution to society; my lack of effort to check up on my friends. All of these weigh heavily on me. They make the burden I carry on my back.

My social media usage, I think, is partly to blame for this guilt. Because of the “empowering” messages I read about “making the most of the quarantine,” I’ve come to feel horrible about my lack of effort. Sure, I spend my free time writing. I’ve even gone back to painting. I regularly call my family, less so my friends, and I’ve donated to a charity back home. But it never feels like it’s enough. I feel like I should be doing something bigger and of more substance. It feels like the only way to make the most of this period is to help the disadvantaged through direct – heck, even manual – means.

I plan on making the most of my day today: write (as I am now), paint, read a good book, and scout for remote volunteering opportunities. I also plan on making cinnamon buns and looking for courses I could take in edX. Despite all these, I still feel hollow and guilty. Do you, reader, feel this sort of guilt every now and then? The guilt of not doing enough?

I wonder if this is just a spell of anxiety. It certainly is incorrect to feel this way (J.K. Rowling recently condemned life gurus who preach productivity during this period), but how does one quiet feelings of guilt? Guilt goes away through action, yes. But if the action you’ve done has proven ineffective, what is the healthiest alternative?