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7th of April 2020: Day 16 of Boracay Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)

By Freida Dario-Santiago


BORACAY SUN NEWS’ “Life in Quarantine” Diaries offers a glimpse of what life on Boracay Island is like under the current Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Tranquil White Beach As Boracay Island Takes Another Beauty Rest (Photo By Mark Santiago)

When Mondays be like Sundays or Tuesdays or any other day!

Days blurred, the calendar planner has become a thing of the “past.” Life as we knew it has changed before our eyes (and our screens) in an unprecedented way. Quarantine and chill

A typical day starts at 8am with coffee, sunshine (good doses of vitamin D keep viruses away) and fresh air. Before social media invades our space, my husband Mark & I try to sit quietly in peaceful meditation, as we begin the day with a prayer for healing and of gratitude. Mid-mornings we either do house chores or workout followed by lunch capped with a banana and vitamin C. The day unfolds without planning but somehow we find ourselves very busy.

Confined to home, we keep busy with fun & productive daily projects together, turning our world into a playground, moving around from room to room.

  • We’ve made a Spotify playlist

  • Began a fitness regimen thanks to the Nike Training app and ticked-off with a huge ✔️on our bucket list when Mark finally joined me on the yoga mat, oh such joy!

  • We actively participate in various community outreaches and I would like to thank all the generous souls who have supported my Boracay Ati tribal community feeding program! You may reach out to them by calling their landline at (+63 36) 288 2623 or Sister ELVIE OLIAMOT at (+63 912) 466 0561.

  • We created a private Facebook group called “Boracay EATS Directory” ( Foodies by nature, we love checking out what our friends are up to particularly the home cooks and try to support them by ordering delivery. The group is our small way of trying to help small homegrown businesses to stay afloat as they continue to provide work for their staff and food for the island, and to minimize the need for people to go out unnecessarily.

  • Today’s projects were setting-up the grill, the hammock, and getting the bicycle tires vulcanized.

For my husband Mark & I, life in quarantine comes down to very mundane things: the tedious task of buying food/groceries sans public transport. The full day affair includes disinfecting everything and just being Nazis about what comes into the “safe zone.”

We have already come to accept certain facts:

  • The money in the bank is it.

  • We need to tighten our belts and live within our means.

  • Staying grounded & grateful are the keys to keeping it together.

  • I am in this with this person to the end.

We can only survive this if we remain GROUNDED and EMBRACE each other’s idiosyncrasies, learn & harness each other’s talents. We try to whip-up something we’ve never tried before, and the fun is in letting the creative juices flow by working with ingredients we already have. After dinner it’s Netflix/TV series time and we’re passed-out cold before midnight (always missing the President’s national addresses). On random days that become “weekends” we end up video virtual partying with the tribe (like we did on Mark’s birthday which was incredibly the most fun we’ve had since the lockdown). For night owls, our body clocks have completely changed – 10pm is the new midnight.

Rule #1 for us is to focus on GRATITUDE OVER FEAR.

We literally count our blessings in our daily prayers and meditation. We are grateful for our loved ones’ and our own health, that our home is surrounded by nature and fresh air; we are in a safe & secure compound with longtime friends-turned-family; we have support and help if and when we need it; we have nutritious food on the table; and last but definitely not least, we’ve got a bit of alcohol left in our “emergency stash” and Wi-Fi!

My hope is that when the remaining 5 PUMs in Malay (as of April 6) have been officially cleared, that the municipality would adjust to a more relaxed and less restrictive “modified” community quarantine, allowing the economy to start running again, and we can enjoy our beaches again, with safety restrictions for group distancing of course 🙏🏽


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