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HONORING MY MOTHER: Homesick and sick of home

THERE is this thing, akin to a common malady that is almost alien to rural folk. It’s the feel of too much confinement at home during these pandemic times, enough for one to go gaga and then seek out more exciting things to do. Outside. Call it rash generalization, urban bias, or what, just never say it to be make-believe ideas coming from a Grinch suspected to be afflicted with the same.

According to several old family friends who have, all their lives, resided up in the countrysides beyond Tugbok however, this particular type of sentiment that professes, “I’m bored”, which is commonly heard nowadays among idle-gooks, is definitely for them, as alien as a 300-peso load.

Quite frankly, this is because one just never runs out of things to do in the bukid. You cannot afford to. In some cases, it’s even a matter of doing your farm work or else you run the risk of going hungry. As such, whenever I hear someone say that they are presently feeling a little deprived, in that despicable Davao urban-speak, along with bored-out-of-my-wits kind of pretentious and cutey duck-faced way, I always wish I could have Thanos’ finger snapping powers on hand. And never mind the usual wisecracky excuse of putting things in context.

In fact, despite so many negative criticisms thrown their way by boomers and other gens these days, some positive signals by young people, like aggressively speaking out against racism, environmental abuse, and being active in social concerns, all these play out in their favor. Perhaps, like the earlier generations have done with us, let us at least give them the space that’s wider than what the WHO recommends.

But then, all these might also seem to be an extremely harsh assessment of the said attitude. In truth, the urban-rural comparison isn’t even necessary and is totally uncalled for. What is important, wherever one may be at the moment, is that especially during this quarantine time, one should never be idle because we have a lot of time on our hands.

Though it has been said a gazillion times, the perfect opportunity for learning new things and developing new skills is now, to keep from being bored. Work-from-home peeps for example, have resorted to creative ways at converting their office spaces at home in the hope of combating this. In our case, we have installed wallpapers, hung picture frames and used plants to keep our work areas from looking stale.

Still, telltale signs of cabin fever are here. Already, like a corralled herd impatient for some open range, some have already ventured out for some beach time, or gone on drinking sprees with the gang. The mayora, while advising everyone to venture out, at your own risk, has opened the night food park. After all, in the end, the proof will be in the pudding, or is that even the right quote.

We’ve a friend who has just recently come home from working abroad. His state of high, at finally being at home with his fam, is all at once noticeable. In contrast, there are some who have experienced the four walls of home for six months, without as much as a venture to the highway, and they feel the exact opposite. There seems to be no end in sight. Not even talking about covid here. There’s no end in sight for this discussion.

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