I know what you feel right now. You're tired. You're upset. You're close to breaking. And you want to cry. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your sacrifices - all your hardships and sleepless nights. Thank you for risking your lives for us even if it means not seeing your family for a long time. Let me also say sorry for the people who don't appreciate your efforts, those who still go to the streets and violate rules and those who disrespect and criticize you and then blame you about their disappointments to the government. You don't deserve all these.
But I know that you are convincing yourself to hold on and just be strong even if you are hurting. And I admire you more for that. I admire your courage to face these challenges. Looking at how you selflessly do your jobs, I want to tell you that I am proud of you. If there are days that you want to give up, please remember that we are praying for you and we are with you on this journey.
And when the time comes that COVID-19 ends and social distancing is over, you deserve a group hug and a heroes' welcome. For now, please take care of yourselves because your families are waiting for you to come home.
Life After Quarantine
(Photo by Engin Akyurt on Unsplash)
Let’s take a moment to look back on the way we live before this pandemic happened. We were using too much plastic, heating our homes and cooking using biomass fuels and coal, consuming too many wood products, producing too much electronic wastes, and many more destructive ways of living. These kinds of lifestyles destroy us and this world we are living in. But because of widespread lockdowns, pollution levels have decreased. Although our temporary halt in normal activities shows good results in lowering pollution levels, this progress will be temporary if we don't think thoroughly about what kind of lifestyles we are going back to after quarantine.
Global statistics show that air pollution has been continually rising and is one of the leading risk factors for death all over the world killing millions of people every year. The World Bank says that since the beginning of the 20th century, 3.9 million square miles or 10 million square kilometers have been lost. Billions of pounds of plastics make up about 40 percent of the surfaces of our oceans. The Environmental Protection Agency of the U.S.A. reported that every piece of plastic ever made still exists. So if the fossil industry would maintain or increase its plastic production, then plastics will outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050 (The Center for Biological Diversity, n.d.).
These data are more than enough for us to realize that we should change our current lifestyles but unfortunately, the effects of our actions on our health and the Earth aren't given enough attention. It even takes a pandemic for us to see what a cleaner and better world looks like. NASA reported a huge decrease in particle pollution in many countries, rivers and canals have been clearer, wildlife has been venturing out of their territories, and waste management are getting better for some places. This progress is an eye-opener. We should require long-term solutions to continue seeing good results. Now the question is: "Is it still worth it to go back to our previous lifestyles?"
TOWARDS A MENTALLY HEALTHY 2020
Mental health is a gem and should be given the same attention as physical health. Myths regarding mental health remained and prevailed throughout the years. Sadly, mental health itself is not a prevalent issue in the Philippines because of the heart-rending stigma that this matter only encompasses “crazy people” and those who have serious mental issues. Well, years had passed but lack of knowledge and orientation is what the system and most of us lack.
According to PhilStar (2019) 3.3 million Pinoys suffer from depression. The high ranging rates of mental illnesses should serve as an eye-opener to everyone that no matter how big or small it is, it matters. Citing a 2017 World Health Organization, eight in every 100,000 Filipinos commit suicide. Simple helplessness and hopelessness might end up in a terrifying situation and a dead-end choice.
Mental health’s broad horizon is not only depression, illnesses, and suicide. It is also small things like mood, anxiousness, stress, phobia, grief and many more. Old Tradition and myths should be corrected. We should normalize the idea that everyone should have access to programs, facilities, and activities without any judgments and condemnation.
Your mental health is your ocean — deep, majestic yet dangerous and so, some people are drowning in it. We should learn how to go along, strive and swim with the waves of life. We should also lend a hand to other people because a simple act could save a life – we are all capable of saving a life! The complexity of human behavior and emotions are difficult to understand because every single soul is unique and fathomless, thus, we should always be kind. Always ask ourselves whenever we act towards other people we must answer the question “Is it kind and necessary?”.
The goal of healthy mental health starts from within. Be that ray of sunshine that will shine light upon everyone to achieve a mentally healthy not just 2020 but rest of the coming years too!
*Minor edits have been made by the Candy team
END VAW - Photo Contest Entry (Last December 2019) #FacePhotography
As violence speaks through wounds that couldn't be healed, the voice of women lies under their scars and is suppressed by dominance. Even if motives are not given, we could not escape the predators around us. They act out of fear as they are being blinded from their rights. No matter how pure a woman is, as long as there are injustices and threats, they will only utter void as people screams at them as if they deserve to be treated as lifeless forms. Justice is served for the pure, but it does not mean that purity signifies justice if it is seen through the eyes of violence.
Hi candy magzine, We hope you are doing well with the ongoing pandemic. We, at Pursuit Clothing Co., a local clothing brand here in Baguio have started it’s own fundraising event. Our focus is primarily on families that are affected specifically in Baguio City. Those who have no means to go out since they don’t have enough funds to do groceries and rely on the relief funds from their respective barangays. Baguio is compose mostly of undergrad students who are working in call centers and have to send funds to their own family in the province. Majority of the families are affected because of the “no work, no pay” scheme of small businesses here in Baguio City Baguio City is not as BIG as Metro Manila and not as rich since the small time businesses depends on the tourists but due to the ECQ, they have started laying people off. We reached out to you initially because of you can help us spread this to help other people in need. Check our campaign, visit us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/2240476566271301/posts/2617390181913269/?d=n Hoping we could connect! Have a great day! I attached some pictures of our brand.
By: Jairus Gabriel A. Cardinoza
With the world suffering by crisis and chaos today, where everyone of us seems to be caged, may be in our home, in our thoughts, with our regrets, or even with someone whom we can never have, while sulking in our house with our home works and household choirs, there are those idle moments when I stop and stare into oblivion, I can’t help but to think about those moments where we are the happiest, or we are the most sad, we have our own highlights of our life, either our downfall or shortcomings, sometimes our triumphs, but how about those moments caught in between but played as much as important episode to those we remember the most?
Sometimes you can’t help but to think about those moments in between. We think that our life is built by big moments, but little do we realized how little they play in our lives, we barely even consider the little things, that made a huge impact in our lives, maybe it wasn’t about the medal you’ve got from winning an essay contest, but the stranger who let you borrow his/her pen because you forgot yours at home, maybe it wasn’t the brand new watch that your parents gave you as a present but the person that you saved unconsciously, asking you what time is it because he/she was worried he/she might be late for the class.
Admit it, or not, we have all took those moments for granted, those moments when everything is in between. In times like this, where a crisis is on the midst, our mind often wanders elsewhere, there will always be that moments that the silence of our room will be filled by the cacophonies of our thoughts that strangle us in the subtle ways. The only solace we could find in this misery is sometimes our memories, not the big ones but those moments we once thought idle, who would have guess that the last time you drink your favorite coffee was a month ago, or the comfort of your favorite street you passed after school, hoping you could meet the person you want to talked to accidentally, the way you rush to the favorite fast food chain after a tiring day, hoping for a cone of ice cream, our life will always be built by these moments.
There will always be something in between, that stiches two extremes into a one fine art, between love and pain, there is learning, the midnight always reminds us that yesterday is over but there is always a tomorrow waiting for us to rise, between our dreams and our failures, there is hope, the wisest person sometimes understand that life is a prism, it can blind us with all the colors and wonders of its side, but there is one source of light that made all those colors possible. Take a chance to be that light, that sees not only the parts that we hide, nor the highlights of our lives but those moments of everything in between.
TITLE: Good night
It was the morning of May 5; I went to the ICU to take the morning shift. I peeked from the sliding door and saw a female doctor and 3 nurses probably making their rounds. Half asleep, I entered the room not realizing what was happening. I sat in front of my grandma’s bed, waiting for the doctors to leave. My aunt was crying from the corner of the room, I thought that perhaps my grandma was deteriorating. Then the monitor on the upper left part of the bed kept beeping, then the lady in white coat announced “time of death 8:50”.
Everything froze, I didn’t understand a thing. I saw my aunt hug our grandma so tight, shaking out of grief and desperation. I sat there frozen and speechless, it was so surreal I thought it was a dream. My sister who was sitting beside me took a few heavy steps towards grandma’s bed. She hugged our grandma and whispered words lost in between her sobs.
When it was my time, I held her right hand, the hand I used to wipe and hold. It wasn’t cold, it was still warm, soft and wrinkly. The bruises from countless injections she endured. I pressed her hand trying to wake her up, more tears rolled when she wouldn’t respond. “Inang! Agriing kan a, bigaten!” (Granma wake up, it’s morning already) I wrapped my hands around her, she’s the same Inang I used to hug but this time she isn’t hugging me back. I tried to wake her up a couple more times more desperate than the last. I wanted to see those little eyes open again and look at me. I wanted her to ask me “apaya nakkong?” (why my dear?) once more. How about calling me miss Universe when she forgets my name. I loved her and will love her even if she calls me the wrong name.
I still remember the night she held my hands so tight she said “ haan nak panpanawan a, ta nu matay nak ket haan ko nga maymaysa.” (Please don’t leave me so that if I die, I will not be alone “I hope I fulfilled my promise to her I hope she didn’t die lonely but happy. The room was enveloped with grief engraved in the cries we made but in the middle of the room, there she lies. She laid still, she looked so serene and peaceful. It looked like she was having a good nap. It was the first time in years that I saw her sleep so tight.
After all the restless nights she can finally sleep. I wiped my tears as I marvel the way she looked. It was a painful but beautiful sight. I wanted her to wake up but how could I ask that if she looked so peaceful now? After all the pain she endured she is finally resting. I couldn’t ask her to come back when I know she’s in a better place. She is free now, free from pain and suffering. I stop waking her up and held her hand tightly, in between my cries I bid goodbye. To my dearest Inang Nani, go on find the light. I know Tatang and Tito are waiting for your arrival. Rest well Inang, Good night.
Loneliness that Turned into Beautiful Solitude
Are you one of those many people who experienced loneliness? The moment where you do not have someone else to rely on. Have you experienced it? Going home with a lot of thoughts running in your mind but no one was there to listen. Have you ever felt bad for yourself? In realizing that you were the only one left. When every one else was leaving. When most people around you have chosen others over you. Have you experienced the pain? The pain of being alone? A lot of people are afraid to be alone for various reasons. Some people says that they are just used to something that there is always someone out there for them. Someone who is always there. Someone who is always ready to accompany them in all. Someone who is always willing to stay. Stays in your best and most especially at your worst. While others simply do not have the courage to face the world of loneliness. I, experienced the pain of loneliness but gained a lot of benefit from it.
Living alone is not a simple thing for me to do but for me to survive and acquire proper education, I have to. I have to learn to live alone. In living alone, I had face a lot of difficulties. I encountered a lot of problems that were made to be fixed by many but was able to get it fixed by myself. Yes it was hard, it is hard. It was never easy to begin with. There will be times or days that it can make you drain and cause you countless sleepless nights. Yes, it is painful. But we have to realize that in loneliness, we can also find peace in ourselves. The "YOU". The genuine "YOU".
People are so afraid to experience loneliness. Most of us do not realize that with so much fear of being alone, we started to forget that good things come from being alone. As time pass by, I got used in solving problems by myself, I learned to live alone, I saw the "beauty of loneliness" that's how my loneliness slowly turned into beautiful solitude. As time passes by, I realized that there are a lot of good things that you can get in being alone. So, for those who are reading this, I hope you guys learn to appreciate the beauty of being alone.
Old is New
The issue of the pandemic, COVID-19, have resulted to quarantine. Stuck in the house and only going out when needed. This may be a boring routine but to me, this is an opportunity to get to take care of myself and pay attention to myself.
Since I started college in 2019, I rarely get to do any of my hobbies and sleep has become a diamond in the rough. This is because I was focused on my classes and getting my school requirements done but now that face-to-face classes have been suspended and the school has decided to resume it through the use of the internet, this gave me time check on myself even if it's only for a short while before I get back on finishing the tasks given.
For the passed months I have been spending time with my family, eating, and sleeping more along with doing my school requirements. We got to get to tell stories about what has happened before the quarantine. I have also gotten back to recording songs in Smule, an app I use a lot before, learned a few recipes and I have even started learning songs to play on my piano keyboard.
Since we're in quarantine, I recommend everyone to try and get back to what they like doing and/or even learn new things. My sister heard me trying to learn a song and asked me to teach her, so I did just that. I taught her a song she wanted to learn which is "Love Is All That Matters" by Eric Carmen. But I am not a professional, I mostly search for sheet music and tutorials on YouTube.
When it comes to learning a song, I usually only learn the chords and sing along to the melody, but my sister wanted to learn the whole song so I did my best to learn not just the chords but also the melody on the piano. My sister has only learned to play the melody but is having a hard time playing it together with the chords. I can see her determination in learning the piano because whenever she comes home from work, I hear her practice the song on the piano and every time she practices, she improves.
Me, on the other hand, have been and singing with my friends on Smule. Despite the pandemic going on right now, I have managed to go back to my old hobbies, pay attention to myself and even spend time with my family. I hope everyone is also for happiness during this dreadful times.
Things Every Titas of K-pop Went Through
For someone who has been a K-pop fan since 2009, I’ve witnessed how the Korean wave continuously stayed on our shores and how it blossomed from the 2nd generation of K-pop Idols to the 3rd generation. And before we can even enjoy social media and live-streaming today, we had a hard time fangirling back then and here, I’ve listed the struggles only Titas of K-pop can relate to.
1. Dealing with a slow internet connection
For some reason, the internet back then was significantly slower than it is today. Youtube videos take too long to load and watching your favorite Korean music show online requires you to dwell on the never-ending buffering that the slow internet connection gives. Patience is a virtue, sis!
2. Downloading k-pop songs
Before we can even enjoy the existence of Spotify, the only way to revel in our favorite k-pop songs multiple times is to have them downloaded or sometimes, you have to buy the physical album first and have the songs ripped from the CD. The struggle is real, I know!
3. Your favorite k-pop group just don’t visit your country
Since K-pop is still not popular in the country back then, when your favorite K-pop group announces world tour, there’s a zero probability that you will get to see your bias in the flesh because Philippines is not always a part of their tour. It’s seriously heartbreaking, tbh!
4. Buying a merch is a rough quest
Few years ago, K-pop was not as popular than it is now, so there are only few k-pop shops online who ship merchs in the Philippines but when they do, the shipping fee is way too expensive and sometimes they cost more than the merchandise itself. But now, you can drop by Divisoria or anywhere in Manila and you’ll find a k-pop merch at a cheap price! Imagine!
5. Watching videos without subtitles
The struggle is real when the most anticipated appearance of your idol on a TV show comes out only to find out that there are no subtitles! So you just end up waiting for someone to upload the subtitles and for the extreme level, you find time in learning the Korean language and wish to speak Korean so you can watch in peace. To become a fan might be one of the most challenging roles to play but believe me when I say that it is just one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
/Cover photo from SM Entertainment