COVID-19 Crisis: Gaining a renewed perspective and seeing beyond despair

We were all taken aback with the effects of COVID-19 crisis— taking a huge toll not only in our physical, mental and emotional health, but also in our lifestyle, economy, and overall well-being. We’ve stepped up to adapt to a so-called new norm, embracing changes and adjusting to what fits our capacity as human beings. We’ve heard different stories of hope and despair, and of striving to make ends meet. Each one has a unique story to tell in the face of the pandemic season; whether recovering from the virus, losing a job, discovering a new hobby, overcoming depression, or starting a new business. COVID-19 has changed us in one way or another.

My story encompasses the reality after losing my loved ones during the quarantine, how I managed to overcome that emotional burden, and the things I started doing differently to cope with the lifestyle changes brought about by the COVID-19.

The pain of losing my loved ones

When the ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) was newly implemented in Metro Manila, I lost my dad who battled with liver cancer for almost a year. We were fortunate of being allowed to hold a decent funeral service and burial for him but there were only a few people who came to comfort us because of the travel restrictions. Although I am at peace that he is no longer enduring the pain of his terminal illness, the lockdown setting made it even harder to grieve and cope with loneliness. I suffered from bouts of depression because I was the one who witnessed his painful ordeal during his last critical hours at the hospital. I’m a self-proclaimed Daddy’s girl and his death was one of the most painful things that I had to bear even up to the present.

My dad and I

Two months after, Karen, one of my closest friends since high school died of heart attack. I’m not even halfway done with grieving over the loss of my father, then came this shocking news that once again broke my heart. Karen was one of my confidantes and was one of my constant companions as we grew together in the same church. We’ve shared a lot together from heartbreaks, career milestones, achievements, laughter and tears.

Karen Joy and Me

Losing two of my precious loved ones in the peak of COVID-19 crisis created a huge dent in my heart but this has taught me that life is fragile — it is short, uncertain, and you don’t have ownership of it. Our life belongs to God alone.

Moving on with my daily routines and appreciating my job stability

Trying to move forward in life despite this major setback, I occupied myself through working from home. I am blessed that our company allows working remotely while retaining our benefits and allowances as employees. I am working as an Analyst in one of the companies specializing in Financial Research. Working from home may be difficult given the limitation of tools and juggling home responsibilities at the same time, but I am grateful that I can fulfill my tasks without compromising my health and security. Also, I get to see my dogs often! I can still do household chores while continuing to deliver my job as an Analyst. Face-to-face contacts were replaced with Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings, and daily conversations and delegation of tasks were channeled through online chats. I’m happy to still collaborate with my colleagues even without seeing them physically. I am thankful that with the help of technology, business continuity is being achieved. This would not be possible without the company’s vision not only to ensure that business needs are being met, but also to look after the welfare of its associates. The security of my job is very important to me as I am standing as one of the breadwinners in the family.

I have learned to appreciate my job more and I am even motivated to always give my best in my role. Not everyone is blessed to maintain their jobs; some even suffer from hunger and poverty because of this global crisis. I have learned to be thankful and be contented, and reach out to others even in my own little ways.

Adjusting my finances and learning how to manage amid the crisis

Although I have a secured job, COVID-19 has affected my family financially too. Aside from the medical and funeral expenditures of my dad, my siblings’ reduced clients and paid gigs somehow affected our financial state. Because of the lockdown, my mother cannot do her usual errands in the supermarket so I volunteered to do it for the family. I realized that it is really hard to stick to your budget when it comes to buying the family’s basic needs. With the prices of the commodities nowadays, you can only buy a few supplies with your budget. I salute all homemakers who are experts in this field! This lockdown has given me time to listen to financial seminars online such as Chinkee Tan and the speakers from PRU Life. I’ve learned that we should not rely on our present income as anything as drastic as the COVID-19 can deplete our resources instantly. We should: 1.) Build our emergency fund 2.) Create another source of income 3.) Learn to invest 4.) Prioritize needs over wants.

I’m slowly building my plans how to establish these financial boosting schemes.

Continuing my passion for food and cooking

I am happy that during the lockdown, I have more time to do one of my passions: cooking! Reinventing my own recipes enhances my creativity and continue my love for food. I enjoy watching recipe tutorials in Youtube and other social media platforms. My friends even tell me that I am so hardworking in the kitchen to think of cooking gourmet dishes, but I guess this has been one of my effective outlets this quarantine. It releases my creativity, innovativeness, and resourcefulness (yes, with limited budget). Dad used to work in the kitchen abroad so this somehow reminds me of my good memories with him.

Speaking of food, I’ve been supporting my friends by buying their food products and promoting it in my blog social media platforms such as IG and FB.

The lessons the crisis has taught me

The importance of family is irreplaceable. The pandemic made me value my time with my family. Before, I was too focused with my work that I neglected spending time with my family and helping at home. Now, I enjoy bonding with my siblings and cooking for them. I became more keen in maintaining the cleanliness of the house. I appreciate my siblings in helping me provide for the household. We enjoy ordering food, watching movies, and doing errands together such as buying groceries. I am thankful to the Lord for my family’s good health despite the rampant cases of the COVID-19 virus.

There is joy in appreciating the simple things. The things we took for granted before give us room to appreciate what we have. These could be dining out, traveling anywhere, going to church, and the convenience of public transportation just to name a few.

Prepare for your emergency fund. Do not rely on one source of income. We never anticipated that this virus can tremendously affect our ways of living. Therefore, it is always good to prepare financially. Be resourceful and innovative. Look for other ways to build your financial stability rather than relying on your employment alone. Also, our security is not in our jobs. It is in God, who owns and supplies everything that we need.

Live by faith, not by fear. Fear and anxiety are the inevitable effects of this crisis. However, we can choose to place our faith in God who is more powerful and sovereign to know even the smallest details and burdens in our life.

Make a difference in the society. Contribute to the society by following the simple rules and ordinances of the community. Simple adherence to the rules can benefit many people. If you have the capability to help others to alleviate their plight in this time of crisis, do so.

Change is the only thing constant. Be willing to change and embrace change. Be a better version of yourself. You can change old habits and improve for the better while you have the chance.

What compels me to move forward

I just put in mind that this is just a phase and we will eventually move out from it. What matters is how we respond or react to the current situation and turn it into a positive platform of creating change. Soon, this will pass. We just have to be strong and patient. Better things are coming for us.

This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project”. The initiative is a response to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. Igniting and championing the human spirit, “Write to Ignite Blog Project” aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. This project is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, co-presented by Eastern Communications and sponsored by Electrolux, Jobstreet and Teleperformance.

32 Comments Add yours

  1. Stephanie Madrid says:

    Wonderful experience. Tough times can lead to good times. More power Diamond in the Rough blog. Keep inspiring people

    Like

    1. Thank you! Agree. Tough moments can bring out the best in us.

      Like

  2. Uhman-Jhoi Talavera says:

    Worth reading! <3. Very inspiring. 🙂 Your vlog is a gem.:)

    Like

    1. Thanks Jhoi. Diamond in the rough!

      Like

  3. HRaguirag says:

    Very encouraging words! So good to finally get to read another of your profound write ups.

    Like

    1. Thanks Ate H. Naks naman sa profound ahahah.

      Like

  4. Aliya says:

    Hi dani 😘 continue to be a source of inspiration through your blog esp in this trying time we’re facing ❤️ keep it up and stay genuine 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jemimah says:

    Nice content and very timely. Continue to write and inspire more people

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cass.santillan@gmail.com says:

    Another worthy read! Thank you for sharing your struggles and for being an inspiration during this difficult time. 😘 ❤️ More power to your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This crisis really creates a great impact on us. It’s as if teaching us a lesson to appreciate all things that we have and give attention to people that we love. I have joined on this blogging contest too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed! Good luck to us. =)

      Like

  8. Thank you for sharing your life story to us, I am sorry for your loss, I know how it feels, my father passed away 5 years from now and I always miss him…:( anyway, I am glad to hear that you were able to work at home during this pandemic. I hope everything works out well with you. Take care!

    Like

  9. Our dogs, too, keeps my sanity. Having the same fate with stuck at home and juggling tasks online with the limitations on work tools. I’m sorry to have about your dad. I too lost my mom decades ago, and the pain seems like yesterday and the only way out is to keep moving forward.

    Like

  10. Polly Amora says:

    Hi Danica, I’m sorry to hear about your dad and friend. I hope you’re well. I’m glad that despite all these you continue to strive to achieve that which is important to you while keeping a positive outlook in life. You’re right… Soon, this will pass. Patience with an ounce of faith I know we’ll all get through this! ❤︎

    PS: I can’t stress enough the importance of having an emergency fund.

    PS II: Sarap ng pasta!

    Like

  11. iamraediant says:

    My heart was filled with sorrow as I read your blog. I am so sorry for your loss. Deepest condolences. If only I could hug you now! despite all, good job on striving and finding more sense in life. Take care always

    Like

  12. Hazel Salcedo says:

    I’m sorry for your loss… i cannot imagine the pain you’re going through right now. 😦 But i’m proud how strong you are! I agree with you that we need to prepare for this new norm. Good luck with everything!

    Like

  13. mummychelle says:

    This is a moving post; brilliantly writen! I was able to relate so much about the lost of a love one. I lost my father to renal failure 2 years ago and it is still painful everytime I remember his struggles with his illness. I’m so sorry for your loss, sis.
    Covid19 has taught us many lessons, and I agree that one of the most heartfelt lessons is that family is everything. I hope the best for you and your family, sis.
    Hoping this pandemic plays out soon. When the dusk settles, I believe, we will all be stronger people.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Danica so sorry for your loss during a tough period but happy things are turning up for you. We all learned how to fend for ourselves to get by financially and emotionally so well done picking yourself up 👏🏻

    Like

  15. Blair villanueva says:

    Living in the Philippines has a lot of perks, but one of the downside is having one of the poor healthcare system. Our system failed us, that’s why we must learn to take care of ourselves, and not rely on others.

    Like

  16. I am glad that you are moving forward and seeing positivity despite losing your loved ones. You are doing fine. Yes, there is always something good in everything that it is happening. This pandemic will pass. Let’s keep our hopes up. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m so sorry for your loss during this pandemic. Nakakainspire naman yung post mo. Sa mga nangyayari ngayon madami pa din naman tayo dapat ipagpasalamat. Pray lang na matapos na ang di magandang nangyayari sa atin.

    Like

  18. Dianne says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your dad and your friend. You are one tough woman to go through all these in time of this pandemic. We all struggled differently, and this crisis made us realize so many things. and I also agree that we also became more appreciative with the simplest things in life.

    Like

  19. mumshienica says:

    This blog is worth my time. I have realizations too because of this pandemic, I’m one of those unfortunate who lost jobs during this trying times and I agree that we should not solely rely on only one income. I also listened to one of Chinkee Tan’s seminar, so much learnings. 😊

    Like

  20. mumshienica says:

    This blog is worth my time. I have realizations too because of this pandemic, I’m one of those unfortunate who lost jobs during this trying times and I agree that we should not solely rely on only one income. I also listened to one of Chinkee Tan’s seminar, so much learnings. 😊

    Like

  21. Your story is truly an inspiring one! You showed strength and courage to get through some really hard times in your life. This pandemic has been taking a great toll on me lately and reading someone else’s perspective, made me see a couple things differently. Thanks 💕💕💕

    Like

  22. Sad to hear about your dad. Stay strong. We’ll get through this pandemic. 😊

    Like

  23. Misskhae says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss but all these things that you have been doing to push yourself to move forward is truly inspiring. You are so brave! Baka kung ako sa kalagayan mo, I’d probably messed up my life while in the process of moving on. This pandemic has really taught us so much about life appreciations and personally, it made me doubt my life choices. Anyway, keep pushing slowly at your own pace. Ingat po always! 🙂

    Like

  24. Wendyflor says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your dad. Condolences to the whole family. And you’re right in looking at the brighter side. You have the stability of your job to hold on to which many don’t have right now. keep on!

    Like

  25. This is just a phase, and we will eventually move out from it. A big yes to that Danica. I’m sorry for the loss of your dad. I am sure you’ll be stronger to face challenges, I know he’ll always guide you. Godbless you.

    Like

  26. www.WanderWoMom.com says:

    Hi dear! im sorry for the losses you had during this life in the time of corona. cliche as it may sound, it believe it will always be for the best. life may not be the same again, but I know you’ll be able to move forward, with them as your guidance in life.

    I learned a lot as well during this time, especially with making time for what really matter — family! ang weird pero we have everyday video calls with my mom and sis, we live in diff houses kasi. before covid, hindi ganun at dadaan pa nga minsan ang isang week we dont hear from my sis. daming changes. mostly positive, the world may stop, but our family.. ❤

    Like

  27. May De Jesus-Palacpac says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad’s passing at this time. I can only imagine how difficult it was for you. I pray for your family’s comfort for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

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