New Year

FIRST, A warm shout-out to all the folks who were worried about me and my family. I appreciate all the kind words and well wishes. I may not have replied right away, or maybe not at all, but I have read your comments and your DMs and I sincerely, genuinely appreciate them all. Thank you. ❀

Second, I want to let you know that everyone in my family is safe and, more importantly, alive. My parents only suffered mild symptoms and they were feeling better three or four days into their quarantine. My younger brother took it worse. He had to self-isolate for nearly a month and he still coughs every now and then, even to this day. He feels better now though, so we’re all in the clear.

I myself tested negative for the virus, which I thought was very unlikely. I guess wearing a mask indoors really help. Our house also has enough number of rooms, so when we learned that my father was infected, everyone immediately stayed in their own spots. I became the errand girl who cooked and served the meals. I also started working around this time, so I had to split my time between taking care of my family and meeting work deadlines.

(Also, a friend and her three-week old son were arrested in early December for bogus firearm charges in the Philippines. Hayyy.)

Work-wise, the first two weeks of December were mega hectic. I worked from 8am to 12 midnight every day — yep, even during the weekends. Everyone at work hustled hard, actually, so I thought we would all enjoy our week-long break last week. Apparently not. As I type this, and it is currently Sunday night, two of my teammates are “Available” on Teams. All of my co-workers have also been “Offline” for only a day or two, even though we were supposed to have the entire week off. It makes me feel paranoid, to be honest. Did I miss a memo? Am I slacking? Are they not giving me more tasks because I’m not good enough? Hayyy.

I moved to a different city because of this job. I rented my own apartment and moved in on new year’s day. I know getting my own place is more expensive than living with roommates, but I am still understandably paranoid about the virus. What if I end up with a roommate who’s an anti-masker? A diehard Duterte/Trump/Bolsonaro supporter? It’s already tough looking for a cheap but decent apartment during a pandemic, and it will only get tougher if I throw in vetting roommates in the mix. #firstworldproblems

At first I was worried about signing a lease considering I have only been working for about a month. What if I get the boot? Will I be able to get another job right away? What happens if I break the lease? For some reason I always, always have these worst-case scenarios in my head. I guess I need to work on being more optimistic.

On the day I left home, my mom cried, which made me cry, which made my dad cry. We have a word for this in Bicol: pung-aw. For the first time in my life, I am living all by myself. No parents, no housemates, just me. Again, my brain is wired to think about the many ways I could get murdered in the dead of night so, please, if you have tips on how to steer away from nega thoughts, let me know.

And now I just got an email from a co-worker reminding me of some task. I guess I have to work on that tonight (or maybe very early tomorrow morning, we’ll see). I will end this post by sharing with you a video log, or a vlog, that I made. It’s nothing fancy. It’s just a diary in motion picture with indoor shots of my new apartment, if you’re curious.

Anyway, whatever. May we all have a prosperous new year.

Featured image by Philipp Berndt from Unsplash


  1. Thea

    Hi Baks! Namiss kita! ❀

    Panalo ang tugtugan mo talaga huhu namiss ko tuloy si mareng Tootsie Guevarra hahahaha ngayon kinakanta ko tuloy hay haha

    Mabuti naman at maigi na kayo ng family mo.

    Ang lakas ng pressure ng tubig talaga diyan sainyo sana all!

    Naenjoy ko yung silent vlog mo and naeexcite ako sa mga susunod na gagawin mong ganyan πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maddie

    Happy New Year, Jolens! Glad to hear you and your family are all well. ☺️ living independently is quite an adventure, it’s gonna take some getting used to but I’m sure everything will turn out just fine. πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pinaymama@sg

    Ganda ng vlog.
    Ngayon ko lang nabasa β€” sana ok na family mo…
    Sa office ko rin, patagalan yata yung mga tao sa Teams, kahit madaling araw online pa rin. Ewan ko ba.
    Welcome to independent living! Do I spot Fresh Kombucha Essence sa floor? Hehe. And ang ganda ng city view. β™₯️

    Liked by 1 person

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