January 01, 2020
I am staring blankly at the window glass of my hotel room while crouching on the side of the bed. The wave of New Year celebration of fireworks and trumpet noises have just ended and the spacious darkness of the night was the only left.
“Hmm, so that’s it? Welcome, 2020,” I said to myself while checking the time.
My girlfriend just left to go to work despite of me trying not to let her. But yeah, work is life especially for call center agents like us. We cannot just be absent any time. Good thing, I am on leave for the holidays.
I laid all my plans this year —- study the stock market again, build my emergency fund and lose weight.
“What will happen next?, ” A rhetorical question in my mind as I looked at the side table where my laptop and trading book were seated.
Morning of January 2020
“Are you ready to go?” I asked my girlfriend as I carry our bags for check out.
“Wow, look at those foreigners!” I instantly gazed those Chinese families trying to check in at the front desk. It is not unusual where we live to see foreigners all over the world.
Sinulog Week, 2020
I went to Janjan’s place to crash for two nights. I had to study the stock market but spending time in coffee shops to avail the free internet was getting more and more expensive. Plus, we had unexpected visitors at the house and I want some alone time. Introvert mode.
“Have you heard the news about the virus?” Janjan curiously asked me while taking a sip on his milk tea.
“Hmm, what virus?” The crease on my forehead was a give away that I had no idea what he was talking about.
“This one was worse than swine flu. It’s called Coronavirus because the virus itself has a crown-looking antenna.” He further explained.
“Hmm, really? Let me guess. It’s from China.” I said with no offense meant.
“Yup.” He shortly nodded.
“Oh, well. Let’s just hope that it’s not that serious. My mom will be visiting me here in March and we’re planning to take a vacation. I don’t want complications.”
The noise brought by the coronavirus disease was getting recognized but not compared to the hottest news about Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Guidicelli’s secret wedding. So, nothing serious. But… it was also known now as COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Stock Market went bearish and I saw bloody prices in the market.
“Mom, make sure that you wear face mask in the airport at all times.” I called my Mom to remind her as she left the house going to the airport.
WHO declared the coronavirus as Pandemic which the last time I heard was during a MAPEH class way back in high school.
However, the DOH has not yet announced that person to person transmission is possible. They were just open to the fact that the virus was brought by the foreigners who travelled from Wuhan, China or persons who have travelled outside the country.
The wearing of face mask in public was not treated seriously yet by many. And my family was thinking that this was just another scare of H1N1 or swine flu that will die down soon.
Two days after my Mom went back to Manila, the enhanced community quarantine was announced in Luzon.
I remember getting paranoid and fearing that I may get the virus because I was a public commuter. Prices of alcohol and face mask soared high.
The Philippine Stock market plunge down at its lowest from its long bull market rally. It took a whole lot of courage to cut my losses.
End of March 2020
The governor of Cebu announced a community quarantine to prevent any further damage as what Manila was experiencing. Accordingly, my boss announced that we need to work from home. It was a relief as I get a flashback of Janjan and I’s conversation last January.
I was enjoying the work-from-home environment. At the same time, I had more time to study the stock market, watch Netflix and work at the convenience of my home. It’s a win-win for me though every day, I made sure to watch the horrible news.
Online sellers partied everywhere, they’re booming! My girlfriend and I went grocery shopping good for two months.
“It’s going to be a long vacation!” I dreamt.
As much as I hate to spend, going to the grocery was awful so Pumba and I bought bicycles. There were no public utility allowed so people walk. My flat feet hated it.
At this point, I felt peace and smell fear roaming around the air. Peace for nature as I see the winding highway clear of any harmful pollution and fear for everyone who might contract the virus.
I had a breakdown. Anxiety crippled through.
Bear market rally surprised me. My losses last month bounced back and I gained much more than I lost. I had hope for a better future in studying the market! Awesome.
In Manila, my family celebrated my brother’s birthday. I wish I was with them especially on these days.
There was still no improvement in “flattening” the curve. Our government owed a lot of money in the world bank.
On a positive note, Pumba and I welcomed our new baby, a shih tzu. He’s a pig inside a puppy’s body. What a doll!
Jose Mari Chan memes were now visible. Its’ funny, I’m a fan.
August started good and ended worst unpredictably. It was my mother’s birthday and my family in Manila gathered to celebrate with her. I joined in the simple celebration virtually. On the other hand, I ended a romantic relationship and I was feeling guilty because the only reason I can give was I was not happy anymore. Was it even valid? I felt relief though knowing that it was indeed a mutual decision.
The struggle to live together in the same roof and sharing the same small space was unbearable but I tried hard to kept my emotion intact against the toxicity.
It’s my birthday month! Knowing that I’m not a “birthday person,” I just stayed at home haha. I have planned to get inked but the thought of going outside exhausted me that quick. So, I just managed to see possible tattoo designs to submit to my tattoo artist when I already have the might to go outside.
Living with my ex was a roller coaster of emotions. I cannot even read her nor cannot understand the sudden change of her emotions. She’s a thoughtful angel and all of a sudden an annoying devil. Why?
I hate the feeling of pressure to leave the house because of this pandemic. I hate another breakdown and reached out friends…
My ex left the house together with Yuri, our dog or should I say her dog. Knowing that it was the last time that I get to see Yuri me broke my heart in thousand pieces. Why am I unlucky with pets? Just like, Tala, my first pet. She left as well with my ex. I was beginning to think that owning a dog has a curse.
On the other hand, I love my minimalist place and the energy was calming. And I can concentrate more in studying the stock market. Another good news though, my stocks were already more than 15%! I’m in awe…