The Pilipiñas Packet
Sojourn in The Philippines, 2019-2020
Reading and writing take up a big chunk of my day but there’s only so much sitting one can do. And changing positions to lie on the bed is only a temporary solution. These were activities I was looking forward to in my Philippines sojourn but now that they are almost my only activities I am feeling a bit claustophic, and QQR a bit like prison. I’ve taken to feeding rice and bread crusts to the sparrows on my balcony. I’m beginning to think of myself as the Birdman of Alcatraz.
The malls are practically empty as most stores and restaurants have closed, except for grocery stores and pharmacies, and probably Jollibee. The government is quite torn between limiting movement and seriously disrupting commerce. This seems to be the case all over the world.
COVID-19 exploded across the internet and became all-consuming. I decided that, since the circumstances were out of my control, and my personal situation was not dire, I would defer a decision until more information became available. We would either be returning to Canada on the 23rd as planned, or we would be staying in The Philippines for a while longer.
But the immediate plan was to go to Manila to see the Philippines Philharmonic Orchestra at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. And stay at the iconic Manila Hotel.
I wasn’t looking forward to returning to Dasma. But this is always true for me when I have enjoyed an experience – I don’t like it to end. In fact, I don’t like endings much at all.