It’s cute how Rik Rasos mentioned my dance break. I still do that here in London. I especially need it since I’ve worked more during lockdown than I ever had in my life. I turn up the music really loud here in my room, and dance like crazy then go back to work.
As someone who isn’t used to working on a schedule, isolation has forced me to program my day strictly. I wake up at 6 a.m., very early because I need to tackle my daily calls since I have to catch up on Manila time. Before that, I do a bit journaling. I keep a gratitude journal, and it helps because, as an extrovert, it’s difficult to be by myself.
I’m currently a consultant for the United Nations Development Program, helping them with local manufacturing of PPEs. It’s a dream to work there.
The first part of my workday ends in time for me to have some lunch, post intermittent fasting. I’ve gotten better at cooking.
I’m high-risk because I have asthma and Grave’s Disease, so I have been on self-quarantine since Mar. 10, a little before the government here declared the lockdown. I wasn’t allowed to go to the shops, so I was lucky since my landlord/roommate helped me get groceries delivered.
At the start of the lockdown, though, it was very stressful. Everyone was panicking. You couldn’t get food delivered, so I had to ration my food. Friends then started to send over food. I realized people wouldn’t let me die. Haha!
When people sent over food, it was all raw ingredients that I didn’t usually use. I had to Google how to cook them. On a scale of 1 to 10, my cooking skills are now at an 8 or 9. Before I was around 6. I’ve even worked on my presentation skills.
Before I eat, I do one form of exercise before I eat like yoga or HIIT. In the afternoon, I have school every other day or so. We’re going to keep on this distance learning until the year is done.
During the quarantine, I learned to use GarageBand. I’m now working on some songs for my first solo EP with my friend Sam O’Donovan. He’s super talented. We’ve worked on four songs, so it’s almost done.
I end my day around 8 p.m. and set aside two hours to work on school stuff. I’m asleep by 9 p.m.
I think about how we are going to act in clubs and concerts in the future. I’m the person who always goes to gigs and makes friends with whoever is next to me and hugs them or just mosh with them when it’s a song I’m excited about, even if we just met. When is that ever going to happen again?
I saw a post from Jerome Lorico that said something like, “Are we even going to kiss a random stranger on a dancefloor again?” That made me think and wonder how much we took those freedoms for granted.
My packed weekdays are why on the weekends I have to get away to get a semblance of going somewhere. I ride my bike for an hour to wherever, then I rest at a park on a picnic blanket, observing social distancing, and read a book. My latest read is “Dandy in the Underworld.” I got it for my birthday.
I will stick to biking for a long while. I can’t imagine riding the tube ever again. The only thing I don’t like is cycling gear. It’s so ugly to me. I filled my basket and helmet with flowers.I got a gross neon pink safety vest, but I’m going to sew it into a cape. You just know I have to “Mich-ify” it.
I went to the tourist spots like Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and Oxford Street and saw it without any people at all. I’m glad I got to see that before everything else starts to open, and it gets packed again.
Dating during the quarantine is super interesting. You just have to find creative ways to spend time together, even when apart.When the lockdown was super strict, I’d go online movie dates with the guy I’m currently seeing, and on my birthday, we did an online picnic. It was so cute. I got super dressed up, wore a corset, did my hair. But now we can go on real picnics in parks since you can see up to six people outside your household outdoors now. Restaurants are only open for takeaway. Nothing beats the real thing when it comes to dating.
Apart from those picnic dates, or seeing other close friends outdoors, I’m the “Queen of Pambahay.” I’m forever in a large shirt, and I only change when I need to work out. I do get dressed for Zoom calls and interviews. I do, however, take my online classes in bed! This will be our setup until the school ends in October.
I’m studying to come back home. I have goals to do more, not just for my career but also for my country. That’s the whole reason why I’m here. I’m studying Social Entrepreneurship.
I’m hopeful in the coming days, beyond this current situation. Did you see how the private sector came to the rescue? From people in fashion to people raising money, people came together. If that’s not a sign that we can change the country, what is? I hope people will remember what happened in ECQ, and they will use that knowledge to vote wisely in the next elections. I hope they see the people who worked their ass off to keep people alive.
There’s still a lot of good things going on. People care for others. They have empathy.
Even if the world is sh*tshow and COVID-19 sucks, kindness is still such a great thing. One time, I had to call one of those random numbers stuck by volunteers on trees in the neighborhood to help people who are self-isolating. They volunteer to run errands for you if you can’t go out. I called that so I could get my medicine and so a random stranger went and bought my medicine. I never met him before, but he did all of that.It was magical to feel a stranger’s kindness.
Mich Dulce is a milliner, corsetiere, and fashion designer. She is also the founder of The Male Gaze, a feminist grrrl band. She is a member of Grrrl Gang Manila as well. Mich is currently finishing her master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London. A few days after the Philippines went into hard lockdown last March, she and the Manila Protective Gear Sewing Club released the first “medically reviewed open-source suit design,” and pioneered projects to address the PPE shortage in the Philippine medical community, in partnership with the office of Vice President Leni Robredo.