THE CITY WHERE I live has recently made it mandatory to wear masks in public. I went out to buy groceries today and I still saw people without masks on.
They were probably not aware of the rule yet, or they could also be disobeying the rule on purpose. Apparently there’s an informal “rights group” in the city who insists that being forced to wear masks is against their basic rights. I mean, I’m not a stickler for rules myself but, like, what?
People around here have access to free masks, mind you. Tim Hortons — which is as ubiquitous in Canada as basketball courts are in the Philippines — are handing out free masks from the government. Free! In packs of four! No pre-purchase necessary so please, man, just wear a mask!
Last week the provincial government also released a K-12 back-to-school plan, which, according to many parents, was a “non-plan.” Class sizes will not be capped, for example, and the PSAs that were released simply reminded the students to wash their hands before going to school and stay at home if they’re feeling sick.
Concerned parents have started pressuring the government to come up with safer, stricter back-to-school measures. The parents are launching media campaigns, releasing public statements, and phoning government officials in protest. And, get this: they are also planning to “go out in the streets” until the government re-strategizes its K-12 pandemic policies.
(People who claim that the Philippines is poor because Filipinos complain too much have zero 👏 idea 👏 how civil liberties are exercised in wealthy countries.)
So those are the latest issues in this town. Meanwhile, half a world away, Metro Manila and other provinces have gone back to, uh, modified enhanced community quarantine. I watched portions of the late-night announcement and, well—ano ‘yun? Totoo ba ‘yun? How can anyone not be enraged at this point?
Hay dios mio patawarin.
This intro has gotten longer than intended so I will stop right here. I know only a few can enjoy the luxury of taking a break from all the chaos but, in true petit bourgeois fashion, I will now pivot my thoughts away and start talking about my Sunday. (Ugh, kadiri!)
Currently I am
reading Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino.
writing, or more like re-writing, my resume.
listening to nothing.
thinking about how
terrible horrendous the ruling class can be.
wishing for enlightenment, choz.
I just wish I was more “woke.” And I don’t mean “woke” in the pejorative sense ha, or “woke” as in the catch-all term for people’s performative political identities online. I mean “woke” as in mulat, and mulat as in willing to leave my class privileges behind so I can serve the people better. Haaay. Wish lang naman.
hoping that the Philippine government somehow figures out a better strategy against the pandemic soon.
wearing an oversized shirt and a mini skirt.
loving the mini cheesecakes that I baked today.
wanting to go on a hike.
needing a job.
It’s just typical class guilt, like the guilt that people feel over a small “accident of birth.” Some of us are fortunate enough to have been born with certain privileges, and some are lucky to have met the right people and have read the right books. At least that’s how I feel. I have learned how to recognize the irony in things and to articulate the contradictions both in and outside of my self—and now here I am.
Hayayay. Why do I have the tendency to self-persecute? Why is it too difficult for me to move on and look away? Ewan ko ba.
Anyway, I hope all of you continue to stay safe and stay sane. And stay enraged too! Sometimes I feel like rage is all we got, so please, kids—may we never, never forget.