A Family That is Quarantined Together, Stays Together

By Jessa Rose Espina, UN SDSN Youth Philippines Volunteer | Published on August 6, 2020 12:59:10 AM

Filipinos are known to be family-oriented because it is considered “the center of the Filipino community”. Children are not expected to leave their parents’ house until they themselves get married; and even after then, many couples opt to stay with or close to their or their spouse’s parents.” Although I haven’t taken a deep analysis about this matter, after being quarantined with my family, I’ve become more aware of how this setting directly affects my life.

Before the lockdown happened, I was attuned to living independently in Manila. My parent’s house is not that far from the place I’ve been staying at ever since I started studying in university, yet I rarely go home because of different reasons. Some of my excuses were valid, while others were just reasons to isolate myself. Now that I’m thinking about it, about 80% of my time throughout the five years I spent in university revolved around my studies, extracurricular activities, hobbies, and many more. What’s not included there is my family. It’s not that I chose to exclude them from my life, but I got caught up with everything that had happened around my environment while I was a student.

This brings me to my next struggle: living under the same roof with my extended family during the pandemic. I’ll admit that the first month of quarantine was tough. I had quarrels with my siblings for petty reasons; I was distracted by my noisy nephews and nieces during office hours; I was interrupted by my grandparents every time they needed something from me; I got annoyed by my cousins for no reason; and I had to wash the dishes whenever my mom angrily told me to. Living under the same room with them was chaos in my mind. However, it wasn’t for them because they’d been living together long before the lockdown happened.

As time passed by, I gradually learned how to properly communicate with them despite the weight from my peers, work, current news, and global events. I realized that I should also put in the effort to reconnect with them, because if I focused only on how hard it is to cope in an environment I’m not accustomed to, then it would not benefit any of us. After all, achieving peace of mind with your housemates is a two-way process.

After months of being in quarantine with my family, I’m grateful that none of us have been affected by the COVID-19. Together, we find ways to entertain ourselves, to motivate each other, to keep growing despite these challenging times, and most of all, we find ways to protect our family from the invisible enemy. It definitely has been a challenge keeping sane together, but I know this situation will strengthen our bond as a family. When the day comes when we can all be outside again, we’ll have the best trip at the beach and watch the sun kiss our faces which definitely missed us as well.


Graphic by:
Czarina Kinkito
Volunteer, Data Presentor
UN SDSN Youth Philippines