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Monthly Lockdown Diaries: Meet Desiree

Desiree, 15, an FFLA player from San Isidro, Tacloban City, shares her lockdown experience and her gratefulness for the community-led sessions initiative run by Fundlife

How are you feeling right now? How were you during the lockdown?

I am better now compared to the first months of the lockdown. But what I worry about the most is my studies because it’s only distance learning (modular). I don’t know how the school will do it. But I also think it’s better compared to having the classes face-to-face which is risky, especially now that cases in the region are increasing each day. Online learning is also not possible for us here in the barangay because the network signal is weak, so we might encounter problems when the classes resume. I also don’t have a gadget yet, so I’d prefer modular learning instead.

How did you feel at first when you knew that classes in March were suspended because of COVID-19?

I felt sad because I somehow thought that the one-week suspension of classes will continue and eventually the 2019-2020 school year would just be terminated, which is what happened. I have gotten bored for the past months because there were no classes in school.

What have you been doing to avoid boredom? What was your daily routine?

I wanted to get out of the house and work for our neighbor to help in their store but because minors were not allowed to get out, most of the time I was just sleeping at home. For my daily routine, since my father’s job, luckily, has not been affected, I awake early in the morning to boil water, cook food and prepare his lunch. In the afternoon I just sleep when I’m not doing household chores.

Have you been doing any reading during the lockdown?

I have been reading but not about school subjects because our school textbooks were left at school when the lockdown started. That is one of the challenges I’m facing right now because I want to continue learning at home, but I don’t have the resources. I also cannot connect to the internet most of the time. For me, it’s okay since I can access information about school stuff when I sometimes have the opportunity to go online. When my older sister visits us in our house, I borrow her mobile phone and browse on Google about school stuff.

Have you ever felt down and worried about the COVID-19 situation in the region?

No, I didn’t feel sad or down because our barangay is COVID-19 free at the moment. Although, I got anxious when I first heard about the disease because we cannot see it, it’s an invisible enemy and anyone can contract it if we are not cautious.

Do you have any realizations during this time?

My father’s work has resumed. My older sister also works now at the bus terminal in Tacloban. I feel fearful for them and my family sometimes. When they arrive home from work they couldn’t disinfect themselves because we ran out of stock alcohol. However, if they do not work, we will have nothing to eat, so I just feel okay about it and just tell myself that my family will just be fine.

What do you miss most about school and are you excited for the resumption of classed for the incoming school year?

I already miss my classmates and friends in school and our bonding moment but most importantly I already miss the learnings that I get in school. Yes I am excited even though it will just be through modular learning.

What challenges do you foresee with modular learning?

One concern I can think of is that I might not be able to understand everything in the module because there will be no one to explain and answer my questions if needed. My elder sister can help me because she is a smart person.

If given the option, would you prefer face-to-face learning because of the challenges you foresee for both online and modular learning?

Yes, I would prefer face-to-face learning, but maybe in the next few months. For now, modular learning is okay for me since it is still too risky to have the classes face-to-face.

Would you know how you can access these modules?

I am not really sure, but during the online enrollment, my teacher enquired about my address so I think the school will be delivering the modules to our house, this is what I have also heard from my classmates.

What do you want to become in the future?

Since childhood, I have always wanted to become a businesswoman.

What do you feel about COVID-19? Do you think it has affected your goal to become a businesswoman someday?

At first I felt down, because I have been hearing rumours that there will be no classes for the rest of 2020 and that all classes will resume in 2021. I thought there must be a way to still continue learning even though it is not through face-to-face. I was very happy to hear that classes are resuming this year.

If given the chance to give a message to our government authorities relative to our education system at the moment, what would it be?

I don’t want to ask for anything like gadgets or internet connection support. My only hope is that I won’t encounter big problems when classes resume even if it’s only modular learning. I hope the modules will not be hard to understand so that I won’t have a hard time answering and reading the modules. If I do encounter problems, I will ask the help from someone available to help me.

Finally, what can you say about the community-led sessions being conducted by Fundlife as an initiative during this time?

I am super happy because I will not get bored anymore. And I already missed playing with the ball.

What is your reaction to the fact that the sessions will not only be about the basics of football but also on educational topics like COVID-19 awareness, health and nutrition, child rights and protection and other helpful topics?

It’s a good initiative because even though there’s a pandemic, Fundlife still did its best for the football sessions to continue in the community. They are following the health protocol such as social distancing, proper washing of hands and temperature check, so I still feel safe even with COVID-19 still present in our region.

“Thank you Fundlife because you have not abandoned us players, even during these trying times. You even distributed bottled multivitamins to us. Thank you very much also to ECE Pharmaceuticals for donating the multivitamins.”

Desiree, 2020

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