When the Supreme Court declared that courts would be closed from March 13 to 18, 2020, I utilized the suddenly-free time to finish a few pleadings. On March 17, 2020, I left my Lapu-Lapu City house, intending to be back the next week, when courts were expected to re-open. I went home to Sogod, Cebu. (Although I have a house in Daanbantayan, Cebu, and am a voter there, I seldom stay in that house, because my parents and sisters are in Sogod. Actually it is because I just ask them to include me in the meals.)

On the 18th, I went to Daanbantayan in the morning for some legal work but went back to Sogod in the evening to sleep. The Supreme Court had declared that courts would be closed up to the 15th of April. The province had declared that there will be a community quarantine starting Sunday noon, March 22. Subsequently courts were declared closed until further notice, while the province now restricts further transportation from and to the City of Cebu.

I had not slept in my Lapu-Lapu City residence for more than a month now.

I had not also been very active in our Facebook group, thus missing the tell-tale signs that there was a problem in the neighborhood.

Today, I learned from the news that one of my neighbors is confirmed to be COVID-19 positive. He/she just lives about six blocks from our block. The entire subdivision is now reportedly on lockdown.

I could picture in my head how the neighborhood would look like now that it is on lockdown. It would be similar to the earliest days of the “settling down” when very few homeowners lived in the neighborhood. (I myself waited seven years before I transferred there, preferring to rent a room in Mandaue, even during the time that I was already a lawyer, because I did not want to live in a ghost town.)

The only thing that I could do for them is pray. I hope and pray that none of them would return to the Creator via COVID-19. I pray that this crisis will be over sooner rather than later, so that we can go back living our ordinary lives. Someday, I will go back to my house, the front of which is so unkempt the neighbors thought it was unoccupied. Someday, I will again park my car a few houses down the block, mentally noting the neighbor who owns the car parked in front of my house that he should probably park his car elsewhere, not because I want the spot in front of my house but because I have some enemies who had already known the address and who might want to send me a message by damaging my car and boy, does his car happen to be of the same model and color as mine. Someday, I will join them again in collectively complaining about our erratic water service, even though I was actually able to gather water because I happened to come home so late no one else was opening their taps and I had all the pressure for myself.

But for now, I will stay in the comfort and security of my family, where I know I would be taken care of.

PIC UNRELATED. This is a picture of some Chinese bamboos I’ve taken in Dumanjug earlier this week. I don’t know how to connect this bamboo stalks to what I am saying here, but a post with a picture garners more reactions than one with not. If you read straight to this point, you can click on the heart react now. Don’t use the haha react. Please.

(This was originally posted on Facebook.)