"We lost the meaningful physical celebrations because of the pandemic. The annual summer vacation, the family reunions during the Holy Week, and now the Father's day, are celebrations of life hindered by the pandemic."

► This Father's day, I would like to honor my father because he never gave up on me.

► With the foundation of knowledge and wisdom he laid on my ground, pandemic is irrelevant.

[Special Feature]
▼ COVER PHOTO▼ YOUTUBE
EDMARATION
| 1 | [TAGAYTAY] ► A FAMILY THAT TRAVELS TOGETHER, STAYS TOGETHER.


As a child, we were not financially rich; but my parents were rich in wisdom and honor. I was that kid who was trained to be resilient and to embrace both the spiritual and secular wisdom. My mom was a full time mom. She was hands on in raising us, while my father was the breadwinner. For this post, I would like to honor my father during this year's Father's day—during the pandemic.

My father worked as the manager of the first and the oldest radio station in Vigan and one of the oldest in Northern Luzon. As a kid, I felt privileged. I felt that way because other kids in our barrio would walk at least a kilometre everyday to attend school; while my father hired someone to send/fetch me to/from our school—which was located not in our barrio, but in the town poblacion. I remember I also had a private tutor. My father would afford to send me to an esteemed private school in Vigan. Kids of the biggest businessmen in Vigan were my classmates and friends.

With the rising popularity of the television in the 90s, more Filipinos in the provinces would afford to buy television sets and preferred to watch television for entertainment. With the rise of internet in the 21st century, radio stations became less relevant; hence the drop of advertising revenues for these radio stations. My father's employer wasn't spared; eventually, his old company was taken over by another company that had to downsize later on. With internal problems in the new company, I saw my father's sadness and frustration of the internal corporate politics. My father was a man of honor. He didn't like politics. He chose honor over his former job.

Losing my father's job turned our world upside down. During those times, I still couldn't understand what was happening. I didn't know it was already an economic crisis in our family. It's no one's fault. It was an event that no one anticipated. We never wanted it, but my father was strong enough to protect and nurture his family despite the challenges he had to face.

LUCBAN CHURCH
| 2 | [VIGAN] ► SPOT ME! I WAS WITH MY COUSINS AND NEIGHBORS/PLAYMATES.
My father's loss of his job meant that we had no income. I was about to graduate in high school when this happened. I entered college with my father being jobless. To my father, if ever you are reading this, please don't think it was your fault. You were so good in managing the challenges we've faced. I'm just proud of all your sacrifices for the family. I'm sharing this testimony to inspire kids who have to undergo life challenges and to honor the sacrifices of their fathers.

My father ventured into business after he lost his job. With the lack of entrepreneurial skills, we were not able to sustain our business; hence our economic turmoil. Above is the story that inspired me to write my pandemic experience below.


 ►  My situation during the quarantine: What I did to get through the situation?



Looking forward, my father was able to raise me to become the best that I could be. My introduction above was just the tip of the ice berg, and there were even worse challenges that we had to face.

The current pandemic we are facing right now has caused the companies to close and the people to lose their jobs. The current economic crisis that this pandemic has caused was not unfamiliar to me. I, for one, have been through this in grassroots level in the innocence of my childhood.

I am/was locked down in Metro Manila because of CoVid-19 pandemic. During the lock down, I was forced to leave my apartment in Makati because I have a job to do. I walked daily from Makati to Taguig to do my job (and vice versa). I've been doing this since Day 1 of the lock down up to present. Did I complain? No. I've even experienced worse things in my life. Walking daily with the risk of catching the infection was a challenge that was not hard for me to face. I told you, I've experienced worse.

EDMARATION
| 3 | [TAGUIG] ► WORK MODE DURING THE PANDEMIC
The pandemic has caused many people to get sick. My current job is no longer the traditional bedside nursing job that I used to do. Although I'm office-based now, it is still a front line work. While the world is getting sick, more people need easier access to their health benefits; and that's what I am doing now—helping patients avail medical services during the pandemic.

I justify the medical necessity of their claims, so that they will have a free access to health care and will avail the procedures to help them further manage and evaluate their symptoms that may have been caused by the CoVid-19.

EDMARATION
| 4 | [TAGUIG] ► IT'S A HAPPY DAY WHEN THERE'S ZERO COVID-19 ENCOUNTERS.
This was my daily routine. I helped people avail the health care that they deserve.

My past experiences in life have become my guidance. The lessons I learned from these experiences became my motivation and solid ground to face my fear. I didn't want fear to control me. I instead used strategies to survive the madness and go on with my life instead of living in fear and become unproductive. I cancelledt fear and replacedt it with a sense of purpose; so that during this tying time, I will still have an impact.


 ►  What has life taught me?



Growing up, I was stubborn; but my father did not give up on me. The wisdom he taught me have become my guiding light. I could still remember vividly the values he wanted me to embrace. I realized that the lessons my father taught me are the same lessons this pandemic is teaching me now. I would like to share the wisdom of my father that was very relevant during this pandemic.

No man is an island.

I remember doing my school assignments before. I didn't want to ask for help because I was confident that I could do it myself. My father would always tell me that I should ask for help. He wanted me to understand that the help of the experts would help me produce better results or output. 

I learned that you need other people to protect and develop your island. This pandemic reminded me of this wisdom. People needed me, and I also needed them.

EDMARATION
| 5 | [MAKATI] ► I'VE BEEN WALKING FROM MAKATI TO TAGUIG AND VICE VERSA EVERYDAY SINCE DAY 1 OF THE LOCK DOWN. I HAVE NO COMPLAINTS, BUT THIS GOES TO SHOW THAT LIFE IS EASIER WHEN SOMEONE IS WILLING TO HELP YOU. IN THIS CASE, A TAXI DRIVER WOULD HELP; BUT THEY WERE NOT AROUND. INDEED, NO MAN IS AN ISLAND.
EDMARATION
| 6 | [MAKATI] ► THIS EMPTY MAKATI NEIGHBORHOOD WAS THE RESULT OF BOTH FEAR AND ORDER OF LAW.

During the lock down, the restaurants closed. I actually lost weight of almost a kilogram. I couldn't get my favorite food. I was so desperate to see people who would prepare food that I could buy.

When the lock down was eased, my appreciation to the carinderia vendors that I used to ignore was amplified. We only realize the value of individuals when we lose them. I learned to value relationships and connections that help you grow.

We need each other. No man is an island. Dad, you were right.

Less words, less mistake

This was my father's favorite message for me. Sometimes there are things that may confuse us because we don't understand them. During this pandemic, I was a witness of the mental health threat that endangered the peace of mind of my family. My family was so worried of the things they read online. The sad thing is, the articles that they read were from people who were not really expert of what they were talking about.

As a campus journalist in college, I felt liberated to speak out my mind. I thought that my platform would amplify my thoughts and ideas because more university students would read my articles. While it was true that I had a louder voice, I admit that I used to speak things and issues that my young self didn't understand well. My tactlessness alarmed my father. My father would always remind me that there are fewer mistakes when you have less words.

When he said that, I knew he didn't mean that I should limit my voice in speaking of the issues that are close to my heart. He wanted me to understand that I should be accountable for every word that I say. As an adult, I realized that my father just wanted me to speak with wisdom and honor; and I have to limit my words if they would endanger my honor and credibility. When I lost that credibility, words will eventually lose its meaning; and no one would be willing to listen to me when it's the right time to speak. My father trained me to speak words with meanings and colors. He taught me when is the right time and where is the right place to speak.

This wisdom has taught me to speak in a way that will not cause fear and worry to others, especially during this pandemic. On the other hand, I'm spontaneous in speaking out my mind to people who are close to me; but I learned to mince my words on social media to make it sure I won't hurt or confuse someone, during these trying times.

Live within your means

People who lost their jobs have struggled to survive the ill effects of the pandemic. I admit that I've done a lot of mistakes in my life in managing my income before. Even now, I'm still an imperfect financial manager of myself.

This wisdom from my father was something that he didn't expressly tell me. It was implied. Being a child, this concept was something that was hard to understand. I started to see the meaning of this wisdom few years after I got my first job.

The meager income that I received working at the hospital was never enough because I didn't live within my means. "Living within your means" was a concept that was not new, but seemed strange for me. It was a concept that I learned through time and experience.

Looking back, my father was not materialistic. He never dreamed of a big house. Yes, he always told me that a simple house is enough. He never dreamed to have a fancy car. He just wanted to live a happy life within his means.

I remember he would always bring us to the cinema with my other 2 brothers when we were young. He wanted us to have meaningful quality time. He would save and spend money not for a big house, but to invest in good memories and for our education.

My life as a kid was not lavish. My father was a great architect of my future. He guided me well by setting as an example. I never saw him complain of the life hardships, maybe because he could still enjoy life with the limited resources that he had.

As an adult, my father set an example on how to live within my means. My father's wisdom helped me cope up with the pandemic; and it became more profound when I realized that the expensive clothes, the unimportant gadgets I bought, my collections of shoes, and all the expensive coffees I sipped lost all their meanings.

These material things did not help me survive this pandemic. It was my core principles that my father taught me that saved me from demise.

Dad, you were right.


 ►  What makes me move forward?



We lost the meaningful physical celebrations because of the pandemic. The annual summer vacation, the family reunions during the Holy Week, and now the Father's day, were celebrations of life hindered by the pandemic.

If you were to ask me, everything that I have right now as a single professional is already more than enough; because my father taught me to live a simple life. When I started to have more, it became an excess. I've set a low standard for happiness and contentment. I have a low standard in appreciating things. I can be happy with my cheap phone. I can appreciate the taste of a cheap pancit canton. Now that I have more, what could I ask for?

But... what I do now is not all about me. I'm striving to move forward not because of me, but because of my parents.

They are not obliging me to give back, but I'm more inspired to give them a comfortable life that they deserve. They've sacrificed a lot of comfort and endured a lot of pain just to engineer a better future for me. This pandemic will not, and cannot, stop me to move forward; because my motivation is bigger than this pandemic.

EDMARATION
| 7 | [VIGAN] ► THEY ARE THE REASON WHY I KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

This Father's day, I would like to honor my father because he never gave up on me. I almost chose the wrong path, but you were quick to pull me back. Thank you for the wisdom you've imparted to me. With the foundation of knowledge and wisdom he laid on my ground, pandemic is irrelevant. I will always move forward. Thank you for molding me to think this way. Indeed, your wisdom was my defense to fight the challenges of this pandemic.

Looking back, gone are those days when we were challenged by economic crisis. I was in college studying nursing when we dove to the trough of the crisis. I remember the day when I marched to get my AHSE certificate, my pre-nursing proper program, during the commencement exercises. We couldn't invite our friends and relatives for a celebration because we didn't have the means.

Wearing my commencement exercises gown just after the ceremony, we rode a tricycle and went to a carinderia. We celebrated my achievement in a carinderia. Our budget was only 200 pesos. Every time I remember that day, it still gets me emotional. We didn't have much resources that time, but the celebration of my victory that day in a carinderia was the most luxurious moment in my life. When you've been living in the dark, a little candle light is a luxury.

We've been through the worse, but thanks to my father. He was the best life coach! It took us a financial crisis to master the art of economic recovery. I think my response to the current pandemic now would probably be full of worry and fear if I continued to be raised like a privileged kid. I have nothing against the privileged kids. I was also that kid before. It's just that I now have a more complex understanding on how people living in poverty are managing the situation. I got both perspectives.

If the same crisis will happen again, we already got the skills to survive. I both know how it feels like to be privileged and to have nothing. I acquired a wide range of wisdom from this wide range of experiences. Thanks to my father for being a good life manager who set an example for me to emulate. This pandemic is nothing. This pandemic is irrelevant to our solid foundation of joy and survival. We got the lesson and skill to move on, with or without the pandemic.

During the time when we were hard hit by economic crisis, my father was there to make an impact in my life by setting an example and transferring me his wisdom. Now that I, myself, has to face a global crisis; his wisdom was there to help me become resilient and make an impact during the pandemic.

To all the patients who were able to receive a free health care during the pandemic, get well soon. To all the fathers who were afflicted by the CoVid-19, but received an insurance-covered Chest CT Scans and medical aid that I justified for approval, do not thank me. Thank my father. Without his wisdom, I may not be able to do the same impact now during the pandemic.

During the pandemic, I didn't have the time to create a garden. I didn't have time to fix the house. I didn't have the time to read books, but my time was spent there; saving lives.

This has been your nurse,
Edmar Guquib, RN, USRN
Nurse-on-Duty during the pandemic
Flexible schedule

EDMARATION
| 8 | [VIGAN] ► THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN BEFORE THE PANDEMIC, HENCE THE ABSENCE OF MASK. I CHOSE THIS PHOTO TO SHOW YOU THE SMILE OF A NURSE. AS A NURSE, IT'S OUR JOY AND ACHIEVEMENT TO SEE A PATIENT BEING HEALED. MY SMILE TELLS A LOT.

Happy Father's Day papang Eddie and to all the fathers worldwide!! 💚 | end of story |



This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project”. The initiative is a response to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. Igniting and championing the human spirit, “Write to Ignite Blog Project” aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. This project is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, co-presented by Eastern Communications and sponsored by Electrolux, Jobstreet and Teleperformance.

► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

✈ This post was filed under the category "Special Features". See more posts related to this below. For more stories under tis lable, see below.

✈ All photos are mine.

✈ This project is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, co-presented by Eastern Communications and sponsored by Electrolux, Jobstreet and Teleperformance.
UPDATE HISTORY FOR THIS BLOG POST
► 20-June-2020: This post was published.

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EDMAR GUQUIB

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano. Genuine Bigueño. Sucker of Long Land Trips. Loves the Highlands. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For sponsorship, advertising, event invites and collaborations email me at edmaration@gmail.com.

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1 comments:

  1. I saw my dad crying in a corner reading an article, only to find out that this was the story he was reading. He could truly relate. This story is a gem on its own. Happy Father's Day to all fathers!

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