Have you seen that classic Pinoy movie One More Chance starring Popoy and Basha (John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo), and Trisha (Maja Salvador)? There’s a part where latter said, “Happy Monthsary” and it left a mark that it became a favorite movie meme among millennials.
Click here to watch the scene.
Since today is April 15, 2020, exactly one month since our lockdown, let me greet you all, “Happy Monthsary mga ka-quarantine!” Naka-one month na tayo! Share this on Twitter.
And what do monthsary celebrators do? They give gifts to each other.
So, let’s do that by focusing on the positive things, the gifts, brought about by the lockdown.
1. Gift of togetherness. I am with my loved ones 24/7, and yes, this is the “guilty pleasure” of an almost empty-nester parent. My second son Enrique only comes home every weekend. The two others, Martin and Anton, are also out almost every day including weekends. It is only on Sundays that we all get to be really together physically – mass, lunch, dinner. In fact, after dinner, Enrique goes back to his condo in Makati. For the last one whole month, it has been everyday “Sunday” plus more! I guess most families are now enjoying the gift of family meals, a very important but lost tradition that is now back due to the lockdown.
2. Gift of no traffic time wasted. I don’t have to devote hours of getting stuck on the road going to the office or going to meetings. A meeting at the BGC/Makati area would cost me three to four hours, more on really bad days. So, this is such a huge savings of a valuable resource, time. Come to think of it, it is easier to set a meeting with someone these days!
3. Gift of regular exercise. I am not fond of exercise but since I know it’s important, and I’m married to someone who values it, I really force myself to have a regular dose of it. However, because I’m not fond of it, I take advantage of the slightest excuse I can get to miss it. On days I had meetings/talks in the morning, especially if in a faraway place (which is the usual case because everywhere is “far” when it comes to Manila traffic), I give myself that “excuse slip” to miss my exercise. With the lockdown, there is no more excuse! In fact, I have added two more exercise activities to my usual walking on the treadmill and lifting light weights. We have Workout Wednesdays together at 6:30 pm, a rather intense dance exercise led by my youngest son, Anton. Twice a week, I also get to swim. I also plan to go back to yoga, an exercise I dropped again because of the excuse of traffic.
4. Gift to the environment. Vehicle emissions are drastically down and our air quality has significantly improved. A lot of photos showing the beauty of nature that were not visible before due to air pollution are now being shared online. Can you just imagine how much cleaner the air that we are breathing in now?
5. Gift of seeing what was not obvious before. As discussed in last week’s article, we see the true character of each one of us getting exaggerated during a crisis like this. This is applicable to our national leaders down to each member of our household, and most importantly, ourselves. (To read more about this, click https://www.philstar.com/lifestyle/health-and-family/2020/04/08/2006121/crisis-exaggerates-our-character-do-you-what-you-see)
6. Gift of helping. Whatever social class you belong to, you can be on both the giving and the receiving end of human kindness during this time. A lot of people are stepping up to show #CovidKindness. It could be as simple as donating to trustworthy fund-raising groups, checking on your friends, employees especially those who are arawan (daily wage earners). I wish to share two #CovidKindness acts I received recently. A neighbor offered to buy vegetables for us because she was going to buy hers in Balintawak. A friend I haven’t seen in ages sent me a message saying, “Hi Rose, how are you? How can I pray for you?”
7. Gift of appreciating our helpers. During the lockdown I am also more involved in food preparation in order to allocate resources for as long as possible. This coupled with our annual culling tradition (every Holy Week we go through our respective belongings to take out what we don’t need and what “don’t spark joy” anymore), made me feel the difficulty of doing housework. As I write this piece, my body is aching from three straight days of general cleaning. This makes me appreciate what our helpers do for us.
8. Gift of self-introspection. As we spend more time at home, there is also more time to go back to our core and really confront ourselves. As we are left with the basics, we see who we really are. This is a gift that is given to each one of us as we take out a good number of distractions that were very much part of our pre-lockdown days. Having the Holy Week on lockdown has also given everyone that opportunity to commune with God, away from the distractions of out-of-town trips.
9. Gift of social closeness brought about by physical distancing. Do you notice how your different Viber groups suddenly became very active these days? What may primarily be about covid 19 is always coupled with some kumustahan and some updates and really getting to know one another’s principles and beliefs; hence, deepening friendships.
10. Gift of going down to what really matters. This crisis has made it simpler for all of us to distinguish between needs and wants, essentials and frivolous. And I don’t just mean it in the things that we buy, but also in the kind of work that we do. Now, more than ever, we know whose jobs are really important, without them, we cannot survive. Hopefully, these sectors would be given more importance from now on. The crisis has also shown us that family and home are what really matters. Ask any household member now what he/she is most thankful for, and the answer will most likely be my family and home.
There are so many more gifts we can give to ourselves and to one another because of the situation that we’re all in. Please tell me what gifts you’ve given to yourself and to others.
Happy Monthsary to you all quarantine-mates! And in the spirit of Easter, when the lockdown is lifted, let us not just go back to normal. Let us resume our “un-quarantined life” as better individuals and as a better Philippine society! Share this on Twitter.
1. After you’ve made sure that your basic needs are all met (food, clothing, shelter, other health issues) and you’ve done your contribution in helping solve the covid crisis, it’s time for some #SelfCare. What should we do now that we are still not able to go to our favorite salons? Join me on Friday for another episode of #LiveAtFive on FQ Mom FB page. If you have any questions, just message me on FB, IG, website. See you on our pampering session on Friday!
2. Watch last Sunday’s Lockdown #SundayFamDay No. 5 on April 12, 2020 (Dance + Pandesal baking + your questions). Click here.
3. If you missed our #LiveAtFive with Danica Sotto-Pingris, you can watch it here!
4. Listen to our Mom and Son Podcast on YouTube. Click here.
5. Have you read my book entitled The Emotional Cycle of Investing? You may download it now for free only during the lockdown period.
6. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to start your FQ journey. If you’ve taken this six or so months ago and you want to check how you have improved, you may take it again by clicking the link: https://forms.gle/tSHBiGtwpWHaKVzU9
7. Reading is another coping mechanism for the lockdown. If you haven’t yet, may I invite you to read any of the FQ Mom books?
Photos from freepik.com and starcinema.abs-cbn.com, modified and used to help deliver the message of the article.