Manila, 19 April—So we marked C’s birthday while in lockdown last week. In lieu of a party, we shared some food with our building frontliners instead. I stepped out to buy her pastries from Nono’s (thankfully open for takeout) and shared some really good chicken from Ministop (Uncle John’s the best) to mark her day. Also, in true quarantine celebration fashion, we were also able to catch Betty Who’s Uncancelled Music Festival set—an easy highlight (we’re so excited for the next album!!!)
Sadly, we weren’t able to go out and celebrate the way we would’ve wanted (last year, we were blessed with good weather and went biking around Intramuros), but staying in this year amid a worldwide emergency is a ridiculously small sacrifice, all considered. C, of all people, would be the first to point that out.
Still, birthdays are once-a-year things, and this stretch of March to April has always been a key birthday season for many friends and loved ones. Around this time of the year, we’d usually be planning brunches, hatching surprises, or brainstorming celebration and gift ideas. There’s none of that for this year, for how can anyone even begin thinking about celebrating? The idea feels… improper. People are getting sick and dying, Brenda.
Birthdays in the time of COVID19. She was surprised by her neighbors in Animal Crossing haha. She was still in her bedtime clothes + face mask LOLLLL
But love always merits celebration. I mean—who would have thought we’d be stuck in a quarantine together, right? For many couples, this is a (rather extraordinary) test of strength, and it’s teaching us a lot about what it truly means to be there for another person. And certainly, I’m still learning.
Anyway. Admittedly, writing about life under quarantine still feels kind of indulgent—There’s a global pandemic and disinformation everywhere, why not write about the things that matter, Felicia???—but I guess I just have to keep reminding myself that while it is my responsibility to keep myself updated regarding the major twists and turns of governments and countries and societies amid this response, there is also the matter of chronicling our otherwise ordinary lives as they unfold amid such an extraordinary time, and no one else is covering that, outside of you and me.
So here we are, coming to the page, one day at a time.
Anyway, here’s an illustration of Quarantine Life, in honor of C’s birthday:
Her: Would you still love me even if I were a worm?
Me: Of course.
Her: If I were a worm, I’d probably be scared of birds.
Her: Like the early ones, because they eat worms.
Me: Early ones, like… pandesal?
Me, later: ahhh BIRDS.
So yes, that’s Day 34.
Thank you for reading.