Be Happy for People’s Accomplishments

There is this mentality in my society that I think is damaging. While others praise people’s successes and encourage them to reward and feel good about themselves, others shame these people. For them, it seems like confidence is synonymous with arrogance. When they noticed that someone gained confidence, no matter how tiny or average the success, they seem to undermine them. When someone rewarded themself with luxury after hard work and accomplishment, – be it food, material things, spa, or travel – some see it as bragging. There is no wonder how most of these critics aren’t very successful in life.

Let’s go to the roots of this mentality – the Judeo-Christian virtue of humility. Our society was influenced by this when Spaniards colonized the country in the 1500s. History tells us how religion is a powerful tool to instill fear in people, and how, instilling fear paves the way for social control. So, to maintain the upper-hand, they introduced different virtues, one of them being humility. Don’t get me wrong. Humility, when practiced the right way, may build good relationships with our community and peace. However, toxic humility may undermine a person’s capability to be their best.

Shaming people for gaining confidence or enjoying the fruits of their labor is tantamount to undermining their successes. If you’re someone who uses social engineering to manipulate people into failure, I cannot do anything about it. Despite being a secular humanist, I hope karma will teach you a lesson. In case this is a result of envy or jealousy, I hope you will realize that you can use people’s success as an inspiration. Celebrating people’s success, no matter how small or average, leads us to our success, too. There are lots of lessons that we can learn from successful people. Celebrating their victory may make them more willing to help us succeed.

In case they’re jerks, well, girl… do what you have to do. 🙃

Photo not mine. Message me if you’re the owner so I may credit you.

Quarantine Day 50

I miss the solidarity this country had at the start of the quarantine. Ever since that P275 B was lent, troll supporters were at it again: commenting hateful and insulting remarks against the dissenters, creating further polarization to maintain the us-versus-them mentality. I guess it helps to keep the spotlight away from the corruption.

Almost two months of staying indoors and barely 2 to 3x a month of going out to buy my essentials is really taking its toll on me. Of course, I’d rather be safe. I still practice the COVID19 protocols: frequent hand-washing, disinfecting high-touch spaces, social distancing, avoiding going out too much, etc. But man, this quarantine makes me really lonely. I don’t have the mental and emotional energy, heck, even the physical energy (because of this summer heat) to work and write. Sure, I’ve been a homebody since 2018 when I started WFH but it was bearable because I get to clear up my mind during my freetime – I’d hang out at the park and go window-shopping or actually shopping. The mere presence & the buzzing noises of a crowd was enough to keep me sane.

My head feels like it has some grey clouds in it. I barely talk to my family because they’re busy with their own thing. Plus, we don’t really get along. The siblings I can talk to live in another city and my fiance, who was supposed to come home at the end of this month, moved his flight schedule to July because of the lockdown. I am sick and tired of staring at my phone and laptop screens. I’m sick of looking at letters and words on a book. I am becoming claustrophobic. This is too much. It’s unnatural. The fervor of the social media noise of the opposing political sides – one side uses & pays for troll armies to spew ad hominem hate attacks towards dissenters & to make sure to strengthen the support of the remaining followers, while the other frustrated side gave up on having objective discussions and retaliate by throwing witty insults – is too much already. The idiot corrupt politicians are happy, I suppose.

On the bright side, I learned A LOT about South East Asian history through my obsessive reading and watching documentaries about it – this got me in touch with my roots. Second, I learned a lot about COVID19 – I can now easily disarm the myth-mongers. Third, I learned new things about political science and sociology. Fourth, I am hopeful that the uni, where I want to take my masters, may offer online classes. Lastly, I found this interesting weird & scary site called Exit Mundi. It may be creepy for some, but it provides some pretty interesting and well-informed facts. It also reminded me of the sites from my high school and college years.

Staying at home for almost three months feels unnatural. We’re social creatures and humans need to be around each other. We need touch – a hug, a handshake, physical closeness not more than a meter apart, and so on. But until then, here I am… waiting for all of this to be over. A vaccine won’t be available until a year or two. The virus’ mutation is pretty slow, meaning, its possibility to mutate into a weaker virus may take time. Darn. What a time to be alive.

Fuck you, corona.

Types of People in COVID19 Quarantine

Okay, so it’s been a crazy ride. We’ve been in quarantine since the 20th of March. A lot of things have happened on this side of the world – online protests, crimes, increasing rates of infection, etc. I want to distract myself a bit because there has been a lot to take in lately, so I decided to write about the different people on quarantine I’ve seen online. This is not meant to mock or insult anyone. If anything, this is probably self-deprecating because I will be including myself here. So, here it goes:

  1. The Deactivator – People who were overwhelmed by the news and the situation so they deactivated their accounts. Nothing bad about that, really. It’s good to know they know how to take care of their mental health.
  2. The Religious – They post spiritual verses to cope with the crisis. If it gives you peace, by all means, do it.
  3. The Activists – I’m on of them. You’d find them either criticizing the government’s response to the crisis or some people defending their leaders. Whichever I am of the two, you make a guess. This is happening across the world – the US, Japan, China, and others.
  4. The Updater – Also embarrassingly one of them. They’d post daily updates on the statistics of the infection, or WHO and other local or international COVID19 updates. I personally feel better being updated, so maybe it’s the same with the rest of the people.
  5. The Tik Toker – We all know what they do. No need to explain.
  6. Foodie – They’d post homemade or trendy food. And, yeah. I’m one of those. I’ve joined the bandwagon. I’ve done my version of the Dalgona coffee.

This crisis has been a shared experience. Everyone on the list is equally trying to cope by doing one or a couple of things. All of these help us cope because it makes us feel like we still have a bit of control over some things if not the virus.

How about you? What types of people have you seen online?

Hope

And in her heart the soul of youth remained
But grew ever so wise

The norm forces her to move along
But not without the youth spirit in her

The external world robbed her joy
But never the simple pleasures she had since girlhood

Of kittens, cats, puppies, dogs
Of butterflies & bugs
Of passing happy strangers – passionate couples, laughing friends, playful parent & child, Of street murals
Of creative rebellion
Of the wind blowing her hair on her face

Her blood still yearns to run through her vains
1/3 of the time she wants to give up

But wait

Another unearthed poem from three years ago, posted on Facebook. I’ve contemplated about ceasing to exist because I can’t seem to find a sincere connection with people and I felt the odd one out.

Imaginary Lover

I’ve unearthed, yet again, some poems I created years ago, from Facebook. Here goes one of them.

I find comfort in the notion of another multiverse
Stuck in a perpetual loop
Our affection – pure & true
You will only have eyes for me; I, for you
We’ll feed each other’s insatiable desire
We’re each other’s youth elixir

We’ll listen to our favorite bands
Sing our favorite songs
Watch our favorite films
We’ll have petty quarrels; I’ll criticize your sports; You, my beauty regimen
Only to make up carnally, after

But such is only wishful thinking
An impossible utopia, maybe
And I continue living a double life
At least it happens in my dreams

By the way, the feelings in this poem is expired as I don’t feel the same anymore. I’ve found a guy who is exactly like this one. But we don’t fight over his sports or my beauty regimen. Haha. We fight over politics, instead.

How to Keep a Healthy Social Media Feed Amidst this Crisis

In the end, it all depends on you. It takes a great deal of awareness, discipline and personal responsibility to regulate what we consume. While we cannot deny the realities of this crisis, we always have a choice to recharge and take care of our mental health through what we consume.

I’ve witnessed friends and families broken down due to this crisis. The media frenzy only worsens our fears. However, I’ve also seen people trying to nurse their mental state back to health.

On Instagram, people post fun Bingos and slum-book style questionnaires in their Stories. Then, there’s this famous Dalgona coffee that became famous in Tik Tok and is now taking over the internet. Ironically, they named it “the quarantine drink”! Speaking of Tik Tok, there are dance challenges that entertain young people. On Facebook, we’ve seen solidarity and helpfulness across the globe.

Now that we are aware of how social media greatly influences how we think, therefore influencing our behaviors and thoughts, how then, can we avoid hurting our mental health?

These are my tips.

1) Like or follow new or random pages that may interest you. Going with the flow of your feed recommendations may keep you stuck in a biased rut of views and interests. It’s wise to learn about useful new ideas as this could be helpful for ourselves, our families and communities.

2) Lookup for some fun posts. It could be cute animal videos or memes. Whatever tickles your fancy.

3) Check for news now and then. Subscribe only to credible and verified pages.

4) Unlike, unfollow, or snooze pages and friends’ posts that may be unhealthy for your mental health.

5) Prioritize what you want to see first.
Facebook has an option for prioritizing posts to show on your feed, from your top 30 pages.
Twitter has the “See Recent Tweets” option.
Instagram has the “notify me” option, to get the latest updates from your favorite profiles.

Once you’ll do this, you’ll gradually notice a healthy balance of posts on your feed. The trick is to confuse the algorithm or the AI of your social media accounts. This will avoid your social media to only show you the same interests in an extended period. Expanding our bubble is wise as it will help us grow as a person.

In the end, it all depends on you. It takes a great deal of awareness, discipline and personal responsibility to regulate what we consume. While we cannot deny the realities of this crisis, we always have a choice to recharge and take care of our mental health through what we consume.

No one is against the lockdown.

No, people criticizing the admin are not against the lockdown, precautionary measures, home quarantine, etc. They’d gladly do it to protect their selves and everyone else. They’re more afraid to go out, even.

What they, including myself, are criticizing is the moral, even possible financial corruption that’s happening amidst this crisis, that is rubbing more salt to the wound:

1) Instead of reassuring and comforting the citizens with effective actions, the admins of this country downplayed the issue, and even resort to petty, childish banter against their critics.

2) There was a slow response to providing PPEs and other necessary types of equipment to the medical facilities of areas in dire need of it.

3) Powerful people and their families with no to mild symptoms seem to be given the priority in testing and they were able to get their results after a day. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens who are suspected of being infected haven’t gotten their results even after their deaths.

4) There should be massive testing being done to contain the virus. However, only very few people are being tested.

5) A COVID-19 positive politician got a free pass for breaching the home quarantine protocol while ordinary citizens are punished. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be. I’m saying there should be equal treatment.

6) There seems to be a transparency issue to the number of tests being done. 2k plus for individual testing & 11k plus in total? That doesn’t sound right to me.

7) There are reports of harassment against women and essential workers/sellers perpetrated by some military personnel. These civilians were only out to buy their necessities and are allowed to sell produce. And of course, we’re not generalizing every military personnel are abusive.

8) Yes, I am aware that there are obstinate citizens but they were only very few. So yes, we should be watching out for people like these, too.

I hope people won’t try to make this crisis look simple. A lot of issues are stemming from this, and we should still be aware and call out anything deemed unethical, perpetrated by the very people we are supposed to trust to give the best possible solution to this crisis.

Where is this rhetoric of people being against the lockdown coming? Most cities & provinces have been like ghost towns. As a taxpayer, we should still and always be in a lookout. And just because some people are calling out what is deemed unethical doesn’t mean they are against the lockdown. Following protocols is one thing. Criticizing the admin is another. They are not mutually exclusive.

OPEN YOUR EYES.

No one is against the lockdown. They’re actually against the possible abuse of authority. This is already evident from weeks and days ago.

Politics is still very much alive despite this global health crisis and it makes me saaaaaaadddddd

There have been “scripts”, believed to be propagated by the state (or maybe just supporters of the current government) social media trolls, and now being shared and reposted by the supporters, that goes like this:

“Just believe/obey what the government says. Otherwise, the lockdown will be extended.”

I am not sure what exactly they meant by this. They initially called out those who went to work during the lockdown. That is already addressed because only essential stores and services are now opened, thus, only employees from these businesses and medical employees are allowed to go out. And people from these businesses and services were provided shuttle transports by their employers and the local government.

Now, I’ve heard and seen a few communities, especially those in the urban poor, who are hard-headed and still go and hang outside, without practicing physical-distancing. I don’t see this in my area as I live in a subdivision where you rarely see people hang outside their homes. Are they referring to these people? If so, then most of the urban poor strongly support the current government. And it is weird how those who don’t support the current government are the ones who are trying to protect the rights of these people and show them compassion. They were the same people who still went to work during the early days of the lockdown.

Or, are they referring to the critics who are following the protocols exclusive to avoiding the spread of CoViD-19, but are CONSTRUCTIVELY CRITICIZING some decisions carried out by their government? If so, that is irrational and one’s freedom of speech shouldn’t be restricted even at this time of crisis. After all, the 300 B fund came will still be paid by us, the taxpayers, and possibly our children, in the future.

I hope the “scripts” are not just political propaganda to push through whatever they are planning to push through in our country. I hope they won’t take advantage of this global health crisis. I hope they will TRULY help the people in the country.

Trigger Warning: Reality Bites 2

I doubt if the leaders are ever going to use the 300 B budget to support the hospitals in the country that are currently experiencing shortages of medical equipment to fight CoViD-19. Due to the history of corruption in this country, we doubt it. They might only use it to get help for their selves first, before the people. Woe are the blind followers who only see through a fanatic’s lens.

Woe is my lover who can’t see the situation from a bird’s view – he feels attacked and insulted when I said we should reconsider having kids even when this crisis is over if we survive. I’d rather care for an orphan than have my own. They need it more. Having a kid at this point is just selfish and irresponsible.

My best escape from all of these is sleep. I’ve been having weird but interesting dreams lately. I enjoy it. Earlier, I dreamt that I was in this gothic style, hotel-like edifice and Zombies were chasing me. But unlike reality, as always, I am able to escape my nightmares.

Who would have thought humanity would end up here.
May the evil ones who make matters worse perish soon.