Most of my Filipina friends here in the US, were friends from high school. A lot of them are in the medical field.
These quarantine days, we can just catch up through calls and text messages. These are very stressful days for them. They tell me their worries and fears. So I pray with them and check on them.
One of them broke down one time, and just started sobbing. She feels for her staff who are all overworked and not adequately protected. She also misses her grandson because these days she cannot even touch him for fear of contamination.
My other friend is a cancer survivor and worries about her compromised immune system. When she gets home from her oncology job, she strips in their garage, dumps her clothes in the washer and runs straight to the shower.
Another nurse friend, shares with us how she runs up and down their stairs at home to get her work out.
These days people find different ways of coping. Some write, like I do. It helps me understand what’s going on. Some just go on like nothing’s going on.
We Filipinas, cope the best way we know how. We spend time in the kitchen making food from home, embotido, champorado, coco jam pancakes, sinigang, etc. These days, my friends in the frontlines de-stress by baking Pandesal, empanada, adobong mani and okoy (from home grown sprouts).
There’s something about food from childhood that comforts us during times like these. There’s something about the warmth of our kitchens that reminds us that everything will be alright.
So I salute all Filipina frontliners. Keep baking, keep cooking, and carry on. Mabuhay kayo!