[Kwentong COVID] Problems bigger than my grades
Editor's note: The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns that have been happening in the Philippines and all over the world are difficult situations for everyone. It is especially taxing for children and young adults whose simple questions, more often than not, remain unanswered – not because nobody wants to answer them, but mostly because people around them can't.
For this series, we partnered with the AHA! Learning Center, an after-school program that has since shifted to full-time distance learning in the wake of the pandemic. We share stories from their students on how they've been coping with the worry and uncertainty over the novel coronavirus. We've translated their accounts to English.
MANILA, Philippines – Bilang bata, hindi ko po naintindihan ang ibig sabihin ng lockdown noong una. Hindi ko po alam kung ano mangyayari. Nung sinabi lang sa akin ng mama ko na bawal na daw akong lumabas dahil may kumakalat na virus, saka lang ako nag-alala.
Hindi pa kami tapos ng school year. Paano na ang project ko na hindi naipasa? May periodical test pa kami at may test din sa AHA Learning Center. Nag-aalala ako sa grades ko. Late na nag-sink in sa utak ko na may mas malala pa palang problema.
Wala na pala kaming kakainin sa mga susunod na araw. Hindi na pala alam nila mama at papa kung paano kami mabubuhay. Pero sabi ni mama, huwag daw kami mawalan ng pag asa. May awa ang Diyos at hindi kami pababayaan.
At tama nga si mama, hanggang ngayon maayos pa rin kami. May mga tumutulong naman daw sa amin. Isa na ang AHA family sa mga good Samaritan na handang tumulong. Sa maliit na paraan ko, tumutulong din ako. Hindi ako lumalabas ng bahay. Tumutulong ako sa paglilinis ng bahay.
Kahit nami-miss ko na ang labas, lalo na ang mga kaibigan ko okay lang. Magkita din naman kami sa pasukan. God is good all the time. Laging may pag-asa kay Jesus.
At first, I didn't understand what the lockdown meant. I am, after all, a kid. I didn't know what would happen. But when my mom told me that I couldn't go out because there was a virus going around, I started to worry.
The school year isn't over yet. What about my project that I've yet to submit? We have a periodical test and a test at AHA Learning Center. I worried about my grades. I took a while to sink in that there were much bigger problems ahead.
We didn't have enough to eat in the following days. Mama and papa didn't know how wethey'd make a living. But mama said we should not lose hope. She said God has mercy and would not abandon us.
Mama was right because until now, we're doing well. There are people who help us. The AHA family is one of the good Samaritans who are willing to help. In my own little ways, I'm helping too. I help in cleaning the house.
Even if I miss going out and my friends, it's ok. We'll see each other when school is back. God is good all the time. With Jesus, all things are possible. – Rappler.com
Yliah Celiz from Makati City is a Grade 5 student from the AHA Learning Center