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Timesman | Self-quarantine

Because of the COVID-19 which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, my daughter Tala from the US cancelled her scheduled annual vacation here to limit exposure and help control the spread of the deadly disease.

Last week, President Donald Trump suspended travel from Europe and some European countries to the US and vice versa after the report of more than 45 deaths and 1, 500 plus persons affected by the COVID-19 in the country. Trump said visitors from Europe brought the virus to his country.

I still have to hear my other son Jeckjeck from Canada whether he and his family are also not coming although I sense that he will not come after he sent via Facebook a Novena of patron saint Mother Theresa of Calcuta for me to pray and share to others.

His concern on the safety of his family and others from the virus is expected. Being in the profession as registered nurse at the operating room of Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Center in Canada, British Columbia, my namesake son only wants to help and saves lives.

But his request for me to share the Novena, part of it says: “The Hail Mary and the Our Father is the novena. This is a Novena from Mother Theresa that she started in 1952. It has never been broken. Within 48 hours send 20 copies to family and friends. This is a powerful Novena. Couldn’t hurt. Please do not break it,” sorry to say, I can’t pay attention to this as I only believe in HIM and not to a saint.

Tala suggested that I may return to the US and cut off my vacation here when the situation will be normalized since my travel document issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is still valid for two years. The approval of my future application for naturalization will no longer be possible because I over stayed here for more than six months.

I said why not and maybe I can leave by March 25, next week, when Jin Lorenz is already on school break.

But alas, my planned re-entry to the US suddenly remained just a plan after President Duterte restricted travels by land, sea and air effective from March 15 to April 15 in lieu of the COVID-19, while Mayor Inday Sara declared Davao City in partial lockdown when the city’s borders to the north were closed to travelers.

Anyway, since my intention of returning to US is only for the approval of my US citizenship which is no longer in sight and to be with my children and apos in Canada, I voluntarily sacrifice everything to help in one way or another the government in its fight to control the deadly virus.

And besides, who wants to be quarantined in all airports and countries you will be visiting? Huwag na lang. Total enjoy na ang buhay ko sa Pinas!


My last column was on Feb. 14 and resumed writing today after a month hiatus. Yes, I intentionally ceased writing from this corner because of the COVID-19 which is now everybody’s concern, although I am always exposed to other virus every time I write my column. This is the computer virus.

I voluntarily self-quarantined in the house for more than a month, only coming out every other night for a round of San Mig and favorite pulutan in different watering holes in Lanang area with Jin Lorenz. (Note: One good thing I can be proud of myself is that, any one of my five children doesn’t smoke nor try alcoholic drinks. I only drink but never smoke in my adolescent life – LDT)

The other day, our ever loyal editorial assistant May Faco, texted me: “Sir good afternoon, mangumusta mi sa imo sir as per Amy kumusta na daw ka sir, wala na daw ka naga sulat?”

The TIMES daily deliveryman in the house is also asking the same question: “Sir, marami nagtatanong, bakit daw hindi ka na sumusulat? May nangyari ba daw saiyo?”

And this forced me to sit in front of my computer again-to write my column. My readers’ impression upon missing the Timesman is that something serious happened to me.

While I do much appreciate their worries on my sudden but temporary disappearance, I have to be frank with my friends and readers that at this stage in my life, I’m always ready to be with HIS side. Problem is, HE seems not ready for me yet!


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