Checking My Privilege


It's Day 3 of the quarantine and my little family and I have holed up in our condo. The hubby and I were able to go to the grocery on Day 1 of the quarantine so our ref is stocked up and we have enough food to last us for another week. Besides, if we do run out of food, the grocery is just nearby and he can easily make a quick trip. 

When rumors of a lockdown began to surface last week, my husband and I talked about what we would do with our yaya since she doesn't stay-in with us and lives a jeepney ride away with her own family. Would she be able to make it to work everyday with the lockdown? What about  the quarantine? It seemed counterproductive to be isolating ourselves when she would be coming and going everyday, exposing us and herself to the virus.

I also began to worry about how her family would fare with the lockdown, since her husband was a contractual driver at the Department of Agriculture ("no work no pay"). He takes a bus everyday from Sucat to Quezon City. How would he get to work if all public transportation was banned? 

The great divide between the haves and have nots in the Philippines is a given, but that divide has been more magnified than usual in the past few days. Self-isolation is the best way to deal with the virus but, surprise! not everyone can afford to miss even a day of work. Hence, the "tigas ulo" "motherf*ckers".

Right now, I'm waiting for a Philippine Airlines agent to pick up so I can have our tickets either rebooked or refunded. The last time I called a few days ago, I was on hold for two hours before I got to talk to a real person so I've made myself comfy for the wait.

The virus has derailed our long-awaited travel plans to visit my sister and her family in New Zealand. The best scenario is that I get our tickets refunded and then I buy new tickets since the rebooking fees are astronomical. I have that option and I can also pay for the rebooking fees if push comes to shove (read: 6 months credit card installment).

I have vacation leaves and I can work from home during the quarantine.

Not everyone is as lucky.

It's just Day 3 of the quarantine and I'm already so tired. My husband and I have been divvying the chores since the week started, he does the cooking and I take care of the kids and keep the house tidy. Our yaya is quarantined in her own house with her family. We advanced her 13th month pay so that her family can wait out the whole quarantine period inside their house and she would have the option to ask her husband to just stay home during the quarantine and forego his daily wage. 

We all need options. The only reason to break quarantine protocols during an emergency is if you can directly contribute towards managing the emergency. Ensuring that your family has something to eat should never be the reason for endangering yourself during times like these.

We clearly have our work cut out for us at creating a just society. Call me crazy but I still haven't given up on my motherland. How can I give up hope when the private sector always steps up to help out any which way they can? When our LGUs are led by real public servants who tirelessly provide aid to those who need it the most? There is always hope and I choose to be an agent of hope.

Bangon Pilipinas!

P.S.
I wasn't able to get through a Philippine Airlines agent since my cordless phone ran out of battery after 1.5 hours of waiting. Next time, I'll use the PLDT issued telephone so that there'll be no more battery issues and call at 1AM. Siguro naman I'll be able to talk to an agent by then. Wish me luck guys!

P.P.S.
I heart Vico Sotto! Makalipat na nga ng Pasig para ma-meet and greet siya.

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