In this series we asked artists, photographers, stylists, makeup artists, and other creatives to share photo diaries of life in quarantine.
This conversation has been edited for clarity.
“While I was adjusting to the idea of a month-long lockdown, my first month was mostly spent watching the news and updating myself on the severity of the coronavirus. It became my morning habit as I tried to absorb the reality that in this pandemic, there is no rich or poor, young or old, we are all vulnerable to death. Life is not infinite, and this thought hit me. Infected people are dying alone, I don’t want to die alone. I miss hugging and kissing my loved ones. This is important. This is how I love. And without love we are nothing.
“My grandmother passed away on the 7th week of the community quarantine. It was hard that I couldn’t be around her during her last few days as I had just gotten back from Manila and had to self-quarantine. I wanted to hug her and be with her to make her feel like I’m in this battle with her but I couldn’t. I can’t imagine how painful it is for those who have lost their loved ones to the virus – not being able to see or talk to them for the last time.
Staying home in the province and communing with nature has reminded me to appreciate nature – it gave me the inspiration to start with my lifelong goal of putting up my own business
“When I was able to come home to my province in Bulacan, I started to feel the emptiness of not being able to work. I was worried and thinking about when this will all end as my projects were either postponed or cancelled. When can we go back to normal? When can I go back to work? I’m a single mother and I really miss working. I consider my work as one of the exciting things in my life. My work is my hobby, my recreation, my pastime and my passion. I miss the interaction, It’s socializing and art at the same time.
“I think after this quarantine, many would still fear the outdoors until a vaccine is available. It’s going to take some time. No events for now means less work for me. So I’ve thought about it a lot and have decided to start working on my dream project.
“Staying home in the province and communing with nature has reminded me to appreciate nature – it gave me the inspiration to start with my lifelong goal of putting up my own business.
This experience has greatly affected my work but it has also given me the drive to dream for more
“My agenda after this quarantine is to be able to start the production of my craft. I’ve always been a plant lover and have always been fascinated with home interiors, so making special pieces for the home is a dream for me.
“I’ve already started designing the pieces I would like to make, so next is sourcing out the materials I will be using. I’ve also started planning another business with a friend who’s a fellow makeup artist as we intend to expand our bridal services.
“This experience has greatly affected my work but it has also given me the drive to dream for more. While we are confined indoors, I also discovered that I’m a better version of myself around my family. I don’t have much patience in the kitchen but I discovered I’m pretty good at cooking.
Everyone must learn how to thrive and help each other, to support each other
“I remain hopeful and motivated. As a small business owner who renders skilled services to clients, I think one of our greatest challenges would be training our clients’ mindset that it’s safe to avail of our services. Production teams have also sent us guidelines to follow for the safety of everyone on set. Wearing face masks, face shields, and gloves are a vital part of our routine now and all makeup artists are even more meticulous in cleaning their products and tools by using devices like a UV sterilizer.
“Going back to normal requires cautiously starting a new way of life. This pandemic has taught us to be there for each other, that we are all in this together, and that we must all be as disciplined as we can be. It’s the only way to fight this. Everyone must learn how to thrive and help each other, to support each other.
“This pandemic has changed our daily routines. It has slowed down life for us and has brought us back to the basics – a home with food and a home full of love.” — Mayesa Delos Santos as told to Carmencita S. Sioson