Four days ago I woke up at noon time, a habit I developed since the Philippine government imposed a lockdown all over the country in March to avert the spread of the coronavirus. I suddenly had the craving for lumpia with togue filling. Knowing that togue or mungbean sprouts and lumpia wrapper were not available at the nearest grocery store, and that I was prohibited from venturing downtown due to the barangay clustering scheme that our city government put in place, I rummaged through my kitchen cabinet to look for the next best thing. I found a bag of flour and mungbeans in a jar. Over coffee I Googled “how to grow mungbean sprouts” and managed to do the task in half an hour. I retreated to my home office and started writing entries for my new blog sites. These are writing projects that I started two days earlier in a bid to be productive during the COVID-19 crisis. After all two film projects have been shelved due to the crisis. My creative juices needed to be put in good use.
Yesterday I woke up earlier than usual. I was roused by a phone call from my father who is in our hometown Pagalungan, Maguindanao. He asked me how I was doing. “The summer heat is just too much. But I’m OK. How are you?” I assured him. I’m isolated from the rest of the family since I took residency in General Santos. I want to see my father. But that is impossible in the meantime. From this city I have to pass through two provinces that have imposed total lockdown due to cases of COVID-19. There are checkpoints, and chances are I will be turned away. Only vehicles with essential goods and medical personnel are allowed to pass.
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