Nang Dahil Sa COVID-19, Nawala Ang Spark; Nakipag-Break Up!

Araw ng Biyernes noon, pero hindi Friday the 13th. Sinabi ni John sa akin through the phone text messaging na makipag-usap daw siya. Excited ako, kasi baka may surprisa siya sa akin. Hindi ugali ni John na makipag-text, kaya lalo akong na-excite. Sa isip ko, baka tungkol ito sa plano namin na pumunta sa Samal Island. Nakita kasi namin ang mga posts sa Misamis Oriental Journal.

“Bakit? May surprisa ka ba?” Iyon ang mga tanong ko na may kasamang saya sa mukha noong makipag-usap ako sa video chat sa Messenger. Excited na nako.

“Sa palagay ko kailangan na nating maghiwalay.” Iyon din ang diretsuhang bigkas sa bibig niya. Sa isip ko na nagbibiro lang siya. Pero ang mukha niya ay nagsasabi ng totoo.

“Ano? Nagbibiro ka ba?” Ang seryosong tanong ko.

Bigla siyang tumahimik. Napagtanto ko na hindi siya nagbibiro. Siya ang tao na nagsabi at nagtanong sa akin kung ano ba ang gusto kong wedding. Ipinagpakilala pa ako niya sa family niya. Niregaluhan pa niya ako ng aso na gustong-gusto ko. Sabi niya mahal daw niya ako. Kahit COVID-19, pumunta pa siya sa bahay at nagdala sa akin ng cake from Goldilocks.  

“Bakit?” Tanong ko ulit na may luha sa aking mga mata.

“Walang ibang babae. Wala ka ring ginawang mali. Parang nawala lang ang chemistry natin.” Iyon ang sabi niya. Para akong nabilaukan. Gumaralgal ang boses ko. Para akong nagkaroon ng cerebovascular disease sandali.

“Sige na. Puntahan mo na mga kaibigan mo. Alam ko na strong woman ka. Kaya mo yan. May pupunta pa akong trabaho.” Parang okay lang siya. Hindi man lang niya alam na nasaktan ako.

“Wat da pak!” Iyon na lang ang naisip ko. Naiinis ako. Ang dating excitement ko ay napalitan ng inis.

Parang pinatay niya rin ako. Namatay na nga ang mother ko a week ago, tapos nakipaghiwalay pa siya sa akin. Parang gumuho ang mundo ko. Hayon, natulala ako na nakahiga at nakatingin na lang sa kawalan. Si John kasi ang sandigan ko. In fact, siya ang emergency contact ko kung may emergency ako. Noong namatay si Mama at halos ako mabaliw, siya iyong nag-comfort sa akin. Pero isang linggo pa ang nakalipas, nakipag-break up pa siya sa akin ngayon. Sa panahon pa ng COVID-19 and Christmas, ginawa niyang masaklap ang lovelife story ko. Ang sakit!

Dahil ba sa nawala iyong chemistry, break up na? Kailangan pa ba ito? Alam natin na, sooner or later, mawawala ang chemistry. Hindi na man naghiwalay ang iba. Pero bakit si John nakipahiwalay sa akin? Nang dahil ba sa COVID-19 at wala kaming constant bonding, nawala ang chemistry?

“Wat da pak!”

WHO, To Receive Help from Amazon Web Services to Ease the COVID-19 Havoc

The World Health Organization, which coordinates the international COVID-19 response, has propelled an app called “World Health Organization Academy” to aid health workers globally to handle their patients being infested by the coronavirus.

Amazon Web Services

The app from Amazon Web Services (AWS) helps protect health personnel during their precarious effort to take care of the confirmed positive patients. As well, this app “World Health Organization Academy” lets health workers use it on their phones.

This app helps health workers gain access to the snowballing repository of educational materials and instructions. Integrated with the app are the virtual skills workshops and the live-training sessions.

What Others Do Not Think

Some people do not think that some companies forget to fulfill their corporate social responsibilities (CSR). To the surprise, Amazon Web Services supports the WHO to launch the app to attempt to settle the COVID-19 contagion.

AWS states that the company supports the WHO in its task to mitigate the startling condition and to have access to the data through the advanced cloud technologies. Additionally, AWS helps health workers master their expertise, speed up worldwide efforts to monitor the performance of the coronavirus, and realize the causes of the epidemic. Using this app, health workforces can flatten the curve of the virus.

Making COVID-19 data available

Using the app and its interactive dashboard or map, the WHO now gives updated reports worldwide. It can even access to the number of COVID-19 cases based on locations and country-specific accounts. The WHO Chief Information Officer Bernardo Mariano said that the organization thanked AWS and its contribution to improving the COVID-19 situation dashboard on the app.

Mariano said that countries around the world would rely on the provided data and that those nations would work hard and decide on what interventions to make.

The Good News Is

AWS delivers a programmed web content extraction, as well as data analytics and processing expertise, and open-object storage. Through these features, WHO can report and share an epidemiological document, information, record, and statistics with its workforces, public health organizations, country leaders and states, and other health players around the world. What else, the app can provide data in real-time.

Moreover, AWS helps the WHO utilize an advanced tool to aid data collection and data analysis of big numbers of COVID-19-related content globally. This app uses a machine learning tool to help health experts and the public tell apart between dependable and undependable content viewed online. In this case, this app makes information laid-back and stress-free for the health experts and expert communities to find solutions to the problems and to assess them critically.

Training Forefront Rescuers

Frontline personnel, such as healthcare authorities and support staff members, can participate in the training courses on handling health emergencies using the OpenWHO, a collaborative online platform.

The WHO holds numerous training courses about the coronavirus epidemic; however, it does not have specific tools to defy this challenge to make all data sources available online presented in multiple languages. In this challenge, AWS offers an excellent machine learning tool, as well as media services, to expedite the creation of the learning materials in manifold languages.

Netflix Would, Probably, Thank the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has crushed many businesses here and abroad. Its effect has been inevitable that business leaders have to find their means and ways to survive. And yes, it can be a matter of survival for all those that hold on to their grounds to beat the odds. While numerous corporations are worrying about the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, some companies like Netflix Inc. confidently stand to play their games.

The presence of Netflix Inc. in the United States and other countries around the world, for instance, allows its users to enjoy watching various films. Through streaming online, Netflix subscribers will enjoy their days and nights twenty-four-seven for the whole month or so due to the stay-at-home policies and travel restrictions. As a result, many of them do not have choices but to stay with the family members at home and watch Netflix shows.

As well, the pandemic compels people to follow the government rulebooks to maintain social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home policies. This crisis compels people to stay indoors forgetting their jobs in brick-and-mortar institutions. Based on the mandates of the local and national governments, many people cannot go to school, watch field sports, shop with people, and go to church. They cannot even go to the fitness centers. This status quo tends to limit them to go outside forcing them to find ways to get entertained. In effect, Netflix streaming services fast-tracked and went up to the exciting figure jumping to 32% in March (Swartz, 2020). The company found itself in the cloud nine as it experienced sudden jump of growth since March. This favorable outcome, as observed, would tell how Netflix Inc. has soared its figures and numbers at present.

Despite the growth of Netflix in the market this pandemic, Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings still worries about the present market. He mentions that competitors like Walt Disney Co., Inc., Apple Inc., and others are also working hard to maintain their positions and ranks in the market. These companies will not allow to lose without a close fight in the tough market competition.

However, Hastings accentuates that Netflix will gain benefits in the future. Subscribers and users of Netflix Inc. will still stream their movies and other shows online since the COVID-19 pandemic fails to show any sign of departure in the war on health.

To mention, Netflix Inc. would probably thank the COVID-19 pandemic. Its users and subscribers have gone through the roof. In February last year, Disney recounted that it had 28.6 million subscribers. Hulu had 30.7 million subscribers. However, Apple did not divulge its subscribers, and for no reason, readers did not know. Though Apple did not display its number of subscribers, Netflix gained 167 million subscribers including 61 million in the United States alone in 2019. Therefore, Netflix Inc. as the video streaming company would, without a doubt, express gratitude to the horrible pandemic.


Swartz, J. (2 May 2020). Netflix may have an edge on the competition as coronavirus keeps people looking for new shows.

A Photo Taken from

Dr. Leachon’s Resignation vs Secretary Duque III and Spokesperson Roque on DOH Rant

Misamis Oriental (June 20, 2020) – Dr. Anthony Leachon, whom he said he served as the special adviser of the National Task Force on COVID-19 alongside Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., made a public announcement on Wednesday, June 17 via Twitter that he would no longer serve his position. He said that two Cabinet officials got peeved when he exposed the government’s holes in its method and procedure to respond to the crisis.

Dr. Leachon’s statement to vacate his position as the special adviser of the NTF came to light three days after he criticized the Department of Health. He articulated his thoughts to CNN Philippines that he thought he was requested to step down. This decision would probably be linked to his comment on the DOH’s lost emphasis on prioritizing the control of the COVID-19 infections.

As said, Dr. Leachon thought that it would be beneficial to the Filipino people (country) to know the real score. He thought that “time and again” he had to inform the public despite the cue not to speak about his viewpoints.

However, Dr. Leachon posted his comment on Twitter on Saturday. He said that the DOH has been facing issues in handling data and in battling the COVID-19 outbreak locally. He noticed that there have been delays in terms of data management for COVID-19 cases.

Also, Dr. Leachon only wanted to speed up process in terms of communication protocol, data collection, and plan execution to let the local authorities respond to the crisis instantly. As he called on these authorities to discharge the granular data for COVID-19 cases in real-time, he noticed how the DOH handled the tasks. He said that the undependable and late reporting of the confirmed COVID-19 cases needed to prioritize.

Dr. Leachon mentioned that his manner of communicating to the public, which can be open, straightforward, transparent, and truthful, might not be congruent to the strategy that the Palace implements.

Moreover, Dr. Leachon said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque got irked with the public comments that led Galvez to ask him to leave.

Finally, the Ombudsman, as announced, would investigate the DOH and Secretary Duque concerning the cited delays in data collection and management that helped curtail the widening bedlam. Dr. Leachon drew attention to the issues and said that the Ombudsman’s action to examine the lapses would be apt and sympathetic to his remarks.


    • CNN Philippines Staff. (17 June 2020). Dr. Leachon told, to resign from the COVID-19 task force after DOH rant. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from
    • Gotinga, J.C. (17 June 2020). Leachon’s posts ‘jeopardized’ gov’t messaging on pandemic – Galvez. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from
    • Photo Credit from Creative Commons

Moving Forward: OFWs’ Strategy to Challenge COVID-19 Hurdles

We’ve got a lot of hullabaloos recently. Wherever we live in the world and whether we suffer from frightening circumstances under the community quarantine period, we’ve just realized that things around us completely transformed into a “new normal.

This time, it appears to be politically correct to say that we live in a completely “new normal” society where we keep our distance and wear our face masks. We barely realize that we lose everything after the pandemic. Gone are the days when we meet friends and attend some social events. Gone are the days when we hug and kiss our friends when we see them. This time we only have patterns to do things – wear a face mask, go to the department stores to buy for the basic needs, and go home. We’ve become parts of the dynamics of the “new normal” – a term that other people discover during the pandemic.

As OFWs, we’ve been secretly crying in despair and isolation. We’ve been away from family members and friends. We, too, have the same experience with our family and social circles around the world. Sometimes, we’ve lost connections to them due to horrors brought about by the contagion.

As well, we can say that we feel it difficult to be away from family members. Our fear that our loved ones may be infected by the virus does not allow us to sleep well. We can say we have sleepless nights to think about them in the Philippines. It is because, in our deepest corner of our minds, the safety of our family members becomes our top priority.

At present, we experience some impediments in life. All complications in life get us disheveled that we suffer emotionally, financially, and physically. Despite our distance, we have to find means and ways to get better and pull through from them.

Stay composed and optimistic.

We know we suffer a lot of brawls and scraps throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we still have the option to stay positive. We cannot think well if we lose your nerve and feel restless. When we face all these problems in terms of economic, emotional, and physical concerns, we must stay constructive and hopeful. The point is, we must find means and ways to disassemble the negativity and to let them vanish in life. Despite the moments under the quarantine, we can think of plausible actions to plan for the next steps to succeed in life.

Stay connected.

We’ve all been experiencing the struggles financially. Since all business companies and establishments undergo some financial obstacles, we must stay connected to our loved ones and friends. We can use Facebook, Messenger, and other social media sites to communicate with our loved ones and friends and relatives. Despite the moment of isolation, we make use of technologies to stay interconnected with the people and family members. We must stay attached to friends and loved ones and ask for some advice to defeat the shortcomings.

Stay productive.

In times like this, we’ve learned so much from day one of the pandemic and up to this day. We’ve realized we’ve had so much potential to recuperate from losses and horrors. If we face the pandemic through emotional, economic, and physical, we ask someone who can help us resolve the problems. We do not need to blame people and time for why these things happen. Out of the situation, we’ve managed to understand that we could still smile after the rain. We only have to remember that we are in this together. We are not alone. As others slowly stand their feet to look ahead, we do the same thing to cope with the burdens poured in us. As OFWs who are far from home, we can look for real people and communities to embrace the same breaths of pain and struggle so that we, together, can recover the same.

All these actions are imperative. The struggles in life brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are real. The impact even disturbs us. As we take a moment to think of this present situation, we realize we have so much to think about to move forward!

Photo credit: Rappler

3 Useful Things to Do After COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has strangled us for months. We just wanted to go outside, but the government compelled us to follow the stern stay-at-home policy. Due to several restriction policies, such as social distancing or one meter apart, stay at home, and other COVID-19 jargon, we learned to adjust to our regimens. Then, we had so much in our minds. We thought about many things on the side. We have been thinking about how we could recuperate from extreme losses – jobs and other resources. The stimulus packages that the government leaders should give have gone out of contexts of the discussions among politicians. They might have gone out of nowhere. This government action seemed to fail. As a result, many would suffer.

Over three months or so, most Filipinos failed to find their means and ways to stay active and alive at the present debacles. Many lost their hopes and even wondered how everything changed from normal to new normal. That is to say, COVID-19 has shattered our lives – even our small dreams. We struggled so much in life that surviving from the COVID-19 pandemic would mean a lot to us. Of course, we suffered much enough that smothered most of the economic, political, and social activities. We lost the courage to shop, to participate in the political actions, and to socialize. The fact is, we have been confronting the inevitable mayhem worldwide that we nearly lost ourselves. Some people killed themselves out of depression and poverty. Others wished to try to kill themselves due to restlessness. As government leaders lost their battles to fight the coronavirus, we failed to fight our battles, too, to survive.

Now, we have been thinking of possible solutions to respond to the crisis. We could not resolve it through dancing on TikTok. What? Why TikTok? It seemed funny though that some people wanted to escape from misery in life through Tiktok fever – that is, you have to make moves or steps using your phones and post them on Facebook. But then again, we had to resolve the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we did not know how to do it. We have only seen horrors of fears, losses, and all despite the economic decay. However, after the COVID-19, we could try to stand and do something better than our routine, should we say, the new normal. After the COVID-19, we could do the following:

Build a Small Business

We, Filipino people, could be entrepreneurs. We could cook something to sell in the community. With small financial capital, we could think of something beneficial and marketable to run our businesses. We only needed to focus on the food businesses to dominate the local markets. Additionally, we could target our customers from various offices and institutions and sell our food products to them. We could also do garage sales if we needed to earn. What is more, if we had fruits and vegetables in our community, we could sell them. In the end, we could provide services, such as academic support, tutorial, and more to customers to grow after the pandemic.

Find Jobs in Both Brick-And-Mortar and Online Companies

Some people did not want to work with others. So, they chose to work online. Various companies abroad have been hiring Filipinos today. However, if we like the idea of teamwork, we can work with others. We could still find jobs  at the  brick-and-mortar institutions in the city despite the economic collapse. Many companies these days would still require workers to deliver their products and services. So, we could apply to the different jobs if we managed to be whomever we wanted to be. We could find hundreds of thousands of jobs here who needed jobs.

Prepare to Go Overseas

After the COVID-19, we still need to reconsider the plans to go abroad. The pay there would be twice as higher than the salary in the Philippines. We could, also, check various websites regarding hiring companies overseas. For example, we can check,,, and more. Once we had the Internet and a laptop to apply, we could begin finding jobs, get those jobs, and maintain to survive from the given jobs in the process.

P.S. A photo taken from Pro Bono Australia

COVID-19 Pandemic: What We Do About It?


The global pandemic has caused us nightmares. We become emotionally distressed and wrecked thinking that we lose everything – jobs and start-up businesses as our means of survival. For months now, we do not know what to do. We keep on waiting for relief packages from the Philippine government. Yes, we believe we can receive kilos of rice and a few canned goods. And yet, we wait long enough to receive the promises that the government gives. The government through the DSWD will distribute the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) benefit and we expect to receive it since we qualify the criteria. However, we just wait for nothing since our local government units with their partners cannot provide all for the poor people. The Philippine government only prioritizes the poorest of the poor people in the country. How about us, the poor?

COVID-19 pandemic has brought terrors in us. My mother who has been bedridden for years cannot go to the hospital. Firstly, she cannot move around. Her condition does not allow her to travel plus the travel restrictions. Based on the mandate, people, aged 60 and above, are not allowed to travel due to their weak immune system. They do not have a strong immune system to fight the coronavirus as they say. Secondly, she is afraid that she can get the virus in the hospital, or the hospital will refer her to another. She does not want to happen due to access to transportation for us, the relatives. Thirdly, she cannot walk by herself and urinate too often that she needs medical and immediate attention here and there and then and now. When these things happen, we cannot assist her since the hospital will only require the nurse to take care of her. Or, the hospital will require one immediate family to take care of her. This option seems a hassle since my mother requires two more to take care of her physical condition. Thirdly, medical doctors and nurses are busy due to the surge of patients coming in and going out. Because of COVID-19, she has to wait for an additional three months to get her medical checkup.

As well, COVID-19 has made us feel the terror. The use of the pronoun “us” refers to the poorest of the poor, poorer of the poor, and the poor. I live in a concrete house, lose my job, and still pray to find jobs after COVID-19. I belong to the poor category. I categorize myself that way since I can still eat rice and dried fish. However, we miss the SAP support because our zone leader in the village include our house as a criterion for those individuals who cannot receive the SAP assistance. Moreover, we have nothing in out pocket, wallet, or banks. We suffer a lot. I know that other people who belong to the lower-middle class and the middle-class groups still suffer the same way. However, we cannot do something about it but to stay at home, to ensure social distancing, to apply home and community quarantine, and to ensure lockdown. For three months or so, the global pandemic has shattered lives, torn the economies, and produced terrors. Because of COVID-19, we lose everything.

Indeed, COVID-19 keeps us distant. It makes us wait for eternity. We do not know exactly what happens to us and the world around us. All governments in all countries work hard to mitigate the risks of the coronavirus. However, none can find means and ways to solve the problem. Nevertheless, we have to ask for a solution to the problem – virus and poverty. Are we shutting down the economy? Are we allowing all people to go back to normal? If we shut down the economy, are we able to provide food and medical support for the people – the poorest of the poor, the poorer of the poor, the poor, lower-income middle, and middle-class groups? If we go back to normal, can we provide vitamins and minerals to all people? I cannot complain. Perhaps, the government will decide.

Used Photo from KJ Rosales, The Philippine STAR

From Village Talk to Facebook: How Fake News of COVID-19 Spreads like Wildfire?

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe operates like a wildfire. This propagation of information generates a global link wherein all country leaders and citizens get alarmed. However, some people have a sense of humor to report news. They make fun of it. They even fail to take the news seriously. As a result, they spread fake news and lies across social media sites to magnify the situation to produce anxiety and worries. The splurge of this fake news and information over the broadcast and print media even creates panic and tension. In effect, this information muddles individual people to think which one is real or not.

However, some people find joy in spreading fake news. They love to offer some unreliable reports using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media means. Some prefer to post video materials telling that bananas can beat the power of the novel virus. Other people, however, remain unhappy with posting funny, yet pity acts of pleasure. As a result, they post another video on Facebook regarding the relevance of eggs as treatments to beat COVID-19.

It seems comical to ruminate the idea of lying to share nonsensical information. As COVID-19 prospers in infecting people, it also thrives on corrupting social media sites. It then contaminates the minds of the users. This idea suggests the power of the virus, so strong that it kills more than 100,000 people across the globe as of May 3, 2020, at 05:00 PM. The coronavirus does not only target individuals’ biological part but also mental acuity. For instance, some people who post wrong information on Facebook and other social media platforms may also receive the virus – the mental infection that twists genuine information. It sounds funny though. Or else, it may sound a conspiracy. Regardless of the situation, the virus infection remains fatal to people. The infection on Facebook surely lasts as fake news reporters and rumormongers pollute others by telling them some bogus statistics, phony treatments, and fake pieces of information.

In the end, Facebook can be a viable tool to spread information. However, people need to learn the ethics of messaging and posting relevant and significant information. When they decide to post information, they surely have to realize the ethical grounds of sharing information. Writers who post the information have the moral obligation to inform the public based on truth.