15 Things to Do During Enhanced Community Quarantine in the Philippines

Enhanced community quarantine had been in effect in the entire Luzon island and the country last March 17. People are getting wary because a significant portion of the population have their usual work or employment disrupted.

For at least 1 week people living within Metro Manila and nearby provinces affected have a hard time procuring basic necessities like food, medicines and cellphone load.

While Extreme Enhanced Community Quarantine means that there were at least 2 to 3 cases of covid 19 within a barangay or locality. Household members of coronavirus patients are not allowed to leave their residences. People within a 500-meter radius from these houses are also under strict monitoring.

Quezon City had 142 barangays in the city, 42 now have coronavirus cases. There were at least 12 barangays that were classified under this category. This mean that there were multiple of cases of COVID 2019 in the 12 barangays.

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memorandum circular

15 Things to Do During Enhanced Community Quarantine

15.) Try to stay tune to national government, local government, reputable blogs,vlogs or  news agencies thru their valid social media sites or websites. Another alternative is to listen and check radio or community bulletin. Community bulletin are normally posted in some villages, subdivision, barangay centers or by their respective social media accounts.

There are daily updates send via short messaging service by National Telecommunication and Communication (NTC) and weather updates by Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA).

14.) Stay at Home – Staying at home is the best and try to practice social distancing even to immediate members of the family.

13.) Wait for the Special Quarantine Pass to be Issued- In many areas, community quarantine pass were already issued. Try to assign the most capable and healthy member of the family to do some errands.

12.) Observe local curfew time and other local ordinances: Some people especially in the marginalized sector of the country may not observe local curfew time and quite a number of people had been arrested because they violated local curfew or ordinances. Some towns like Marilao, Bulacan implements odd even scheme for their residents base on the quarantine passes given to the residents. Liquor ban may be enforced in some areas.

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photo courtesy of ( pixabay: klaushausmann-1332067 )

11.) Disinfect and Practice Good Hygiene- Here is a pdf site where one can make home made disinfectant. The ratio is 1 tablespoon of bleach per 1 gallon will give you 50 to 200 ppm sanitizing solution. Remember to frequently wash your hands with soap at least 20 seconds. Try to sing “Happy Birthday ” twice.

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photo courtesy of (pixabay: wian-1852106)

Before entering one’s house, Be particular of the pair slipper/ tsinelas or shoes used from going outside. Never enter the house with dirty shoes or slippers. In our case, we have two set of slippers, One set is left outside and one set for indoor use. In extreme cases, one can make a do it yourself foot bath, which is vital for not spreading the virus inside your house. This practice is done in farms, piggeries or hospitals ICU.

10.) Boost Your Immune System- Aside from taking your multi-vitamins and vitamin C medicine. Getting sunshine can also help boost your immune system, The best way to get vitamin D is by going out from 6:00 am to 8:00am, Try to observe social distancing. These includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3. Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it is directly exposed to sunlight.

9.) Prepare a Budget and Meal Plan- Since a lot of people does not have a regular means of earning an income. Try to sort out which food item or material is the most necessary. It is also good to have a good credit line within your community.

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photo courtesy (pixabay: stanwilliamsphoto-10634669)

8.) Avoid sharing fake news and rumor mongering – Before sharing fake news and rumors, try to verify it a number of times from reliable sources. According to a recent televised briefing conducted by Secretary Karlo Nograles in PTV ( government owned television station) He said that Philippine National Police,CIDG, NBI cyber crime office were monitoring social media sites and fake news sites. Remember that people or websites which spread fake news can get flagged down or get maximum penalties.

Do not forget about some myths about the covid2019 which can cause panic to the general population. A lot of the myths were unfounded and does not have scientific basis that were proven.

7.) Exercise- Do not forget to keep healthy and do not forget to keep your body healthy. Doing household choirs like washing dishes, washing clothes, watering plants, taking care of pets and scrubbing floors can be substitute for exercises.

6.) Practice General Cleaning- Try to check every nook and cranny of your house. Try to remove dirt by cleaning windows, brushing floors and throwing away items of no use.

5.) Learn New Hobby or Skill- Learning new skill or hobby like cooking, gardening, knitting, arts, basic carpentry or try to spend time watching your favorite television series or old movies.

4.) Stock Up on Plastic Containers- There can be an unannounced water or electricity interruptions during the period. Some villages or communities which rely on water pumps which may not have enough water to go around. Same with portable plastic ware for food containers. Living in an area where there is water problem and rotational water service interruption may pose some problems when it comes to potable water or even water for general usage.

It is also good to have portable water filter system or batteries in case of prolonged blackout.

3.) Sleep Early (Depending on age bracket)- Maintain good sleeping habits from 6 to 8 hours of good night sleep.

2.) Presence of Mind- Having presence of mind, sane attitude and calmness are needed in this times of crisis.

1.) Have a Sunny Disposition in Life-Nothing beats a person with a sunny disposition in life. Remember to have faith and always be positive no matter how challenging times.

Sources and References: (website and social media accounts):

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group ( CIDG) http://www.cidg.pnp.gov.ph

Department of Health (DOH) http://www.doh.gov.ph

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)

Johns Hopkins: coronavirus.jhu.edu

National Telecommunications and Communications (NTC) www. ntc.gov.ph

Offical Gazette.Gov.Ph : http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph

Philippine Information Agency (PIA) www.covid19.gov.ph

Philippine National Police (PNP) www. pnp.gov.ph

Presidential Communications (PCOO) http://www.pcoo.gov.ph

People’s Television Network (PTV 4) ptvnews.ph

World Health Organization (WHO) http://www.who.int

Collection of Religious Chalkware in the Philippines ( Part 2)

In a recent visit to a mid-century ancestral house within Greenhills in San Juan City. I got a privilege to see some of the vintage religious chalk ware items that were on display in a family altar.

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Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Fatima were made from eskayola or chalkware

Some of the religious items are still in good condition while those expose to elements got a lot of chipping cause by natural elements and by people rubbing their hands.

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Last Supper wall decor made from eskayola/ escayola or chalkware probably made in the mid 1970’s or 1980’s

In my previous post, These chalk ware items are getting hard to come by, since very few people would make them.

Collection of Religious Chalkware

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Santo Niño and Our Lady of Lourdes were made from eskayola or chalkware probably in the early 1970’s.

We got about a dozen of religious chalkware, most of which were bought in different areas like Tayuman, Quiapo and Tondo by my mom. The oldest dated ones were probably bought around 1969 or 1970, while the latest one was bought around mid-1994 in Evangelista street, Quiapo district.

There were at least 2 or 3 broken religious chalkware or eskayola in our home kept in storage area. When we took the religious statues to a religious statue restorer, They told us that it would cost a few thousand of pesos just to restore the three items.

We are still thinking if it would be wise to let a professional religious restorer to restore the three broken religious statues or just left them as is.

Bibliographies and References:

Tara Hamling’s Decorating the “Godly” Household: Religious Art in Post-Reformation Britain (Yale University Press, 2010) explores the uses of large-scale religious figural and ornamental plaster moldings, mantels, wall panels, ceilings, and other interior architectural decoration in Protestant domestic spaces from 1560 to 1660.

Personal communications: Mr. Carlo Yap, Professor Dennis Maturan, Edgardo Gamo Jr., Diana Religious Supply Store, Maro Adriano, Salvacion de Vera and Mr. Peter Andres.

Savoring Pancit Liliw at White House Bistro in Laguna

White House Bistro is an ancestral house converted into Filipino dining restaurant. The house is also known as Polistico Mansion which was built in 1938 and reflect the art deco architecture style.

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White House Bistro also known by locals as Polistico Mansion

The ancestral house stood near the Liliw Church and footwear stores within the main street of the town.

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friends from San Mateo, Rizal province

In a recent tour of Tito’s and Titas of Manila which encompass the towns of Majayjay, Nagcarlan,Los Baños and Liliw in the province of Laguna.  Our group decided to have a light afternoon snack at this restaurant.

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collection of Asian mask and family photos hung in a portion of the wall

I think Chef Justin Sarabia of well- known Rural Kitchen in Makati is related to the owners of the mansion.

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menu board

The former ancestral house was converted into a restaurant and bistro around May 2015 and focused on serving Filipino specialties.

White House Bistro

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The white house bistro had several rooms which can be use to host between 12 to 25 people at any given time.  The entire restaurant can accommodate between 70 to 100 people at any given occasion.

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According to one of the servers, They are open for reservations and other functions.  The group tried pancit liliw, club house sandwich, pancit habhab and softdrink.

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They also serve value or combination meal. The furniture and fixture reflect a gentle era and minimal use of electricity with large windows and high ceilings.

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There is also a pasalubong corner where one can buy their special honey in bottle.

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Pancit Liliw

Pancit Liliw– This combines two types of noodles, sotanghon and miki noodles with sliced carrots, beans, slices of meat topped with chopped spring onion leaves. Php 250 per order ( can be shared between 2 to 3 people).

Some of their specialties includes fried chicken, crispy pata, beef kare-kare, tortang pako, chopseuy and Pancit Lucban.

According to the manager, The restaurant also serve Japanese dishes and there is a ice tea stall located at the ground level of restaurant.

Address: Gat Tayaw Street, Liliw, Laguna province

Contact Persons: Ms. Marianne Polistico or Mr. Christian Villegas Polistico

Contact: 0917-532-8075/ 0956-1290931

Operations: closed during Mondays, Operating Hours: 10:00 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. from Tuesdays to Fridays. However, it varies during weekends and holidays.

Due to COVID 2019 restrictions, the restaurant will only have take out and delivery.

Note: The author is not connected with the management of the restaurant. Menu prices quoted are subject to change without prior notification.

30 Myths about Coronavirus 2019

There are a lot of rumors, myths, false theories on one person can combat, alleviate or fight coronavirus 2019 (COVID 2019).

There are over 207,000 cases of coronavirus all over the world spanning all continents except for Antarctica. There were cases in about 170 territories and countries as of (March 18, 2020) 11:00 pm Manila time, based from data from John Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

There were 202 confirmed cases in the Philippines while 17 recorded deaths.

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photo credit: tumisu-148124 (pixabay)

30 Myths and Rumors Debunked

30.) Garling Salt Water –  In a recent press conference, Presidential Press Secretary Salvador Panelo told the press that “I have made it a habit to gargle with salt water”. When I have a little cold, I gargle.”

Fact: There is no scientific study or research that garling salt water can fight coronavirus. Plus can be contaminated with animal waste, sewage spills, algae and microbes that are present in untreated salt water.

29. Eating Moringa, Malunggay or Moringa oleifera will help immune system fight coronavirus.

Fact: Malunggay had Vitamins A, C, E, protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus, phytochemicals, and fiber which will aid in boosting one’s immune system. but there is no scientific basis or study that eating moringa or malunggay can kill the virus.

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Noni fruit : Photo credit: najibzamri-7973793 (pixabay)

28.) Drinking Noni, Apatot or Morinda citrifolia fruit juice can kill the coronavirus.

Fact: No scientific proof that the noni juice nor fruit can help flight the virus.

27.) Only Asian descent can get the virus.

Fact: Anyone can get the corona virus.

26.) Sunshine, Vitamin D and Eating Citrus.

Fact : No scientific basis or studies that Eating Citrus and Going out to take sunshine does not have any scientific basis.

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bananas, photo courtesy: thedigitalartist-202249 (pixabay) 

25.) Eating 1 bananas will keep the virus away. The instant remedy circulated in several social media sites like Facebook, Viber and Twitter. Which prompted some local banana fruit sellers to ran out of bananas.

Fact : Eating banana a day can help improve one’s immune system due to the source of vitamin B-6. However in a post by University of Queensland in Australia that they have not conducted such studies and video which circulated online is not true.

24.) Temperature over 35 degrees Celsius ( 95F) will stop the virus from spreading. Tropical and those living near the equator will slow the spread the virus.

Fact: According to officers from the World Health Organization, this strain of coronavirus can be transmitted regardless of the region’s climate and weather conditions.

23.)  One can get the virus from products and items made in China.

Fact : Experts believe that the virus doesn’t survive for extended periods of time on hard surfaces, although its lifespan still is being studied.

22.) Drinking water every 15 minutes will prevent you from contracting the virus. A post circulating in different social media platforms like Facebook claims that doctors recommend flushing the virus from your body with water and says that stomach acid can kill the virus.

Fact: Although drinking water can dehydrate one’s body, There is no scientific basis nor study that drinking water every 15 minutes can prevent one from getting the virus.

21.) Hand dryers kill the coronavirus.

Fact: World Health Organization and Department of Health (DOH) Philippines,the best method of protecting yourself against the virus is washing your hands with lukewarm water and soap at least 20 to 30 seconds. There are no scientific basis or study that using hand dryer can kill the virus.

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photo credit: gadini-388416 ( pixabay)

20.) Spraying yourself with chlorine or alcohol will kill the virus.

Fact: Although alcohol and chlorine can be used in small amounts as disinfectants on hard surfaces, they cannot kill the virus. It can also be harmful when large quantities are ingested.

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garlic : photo credit (pixabay)

19.) Eating a lot of garlic or 2 cloves of crush garlic then adding to 1 glass of lukewarm water. In order to avoid getting the virus. Garlic has some antimicrobial properties, which slows the spread of microorganisms.

Fact: local health officials does not have any proof that garlic has helped prevent the spread of coronavirus. There is not enough scientific studies which states that eating garlic can stop the spread of the virus.

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 Garlic photo credit : stevepb-282134 (pixabay)

18.) Drinking bleach and alcohol protects you from the virus. Rumors have circulated Facebook and social media sites that drinking bleach prevents people from catching the coronavirus.

Fact: Drinking bleach or alcohol dangerous to a person’s health. This is according to a post from Department of Health (DOH) officials.

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photo credit: congerdesign-509903 (pixabay)

17.) Adding ginger to warm water to protect one person from catching the virus. Same with drinking salabat, ginger tea or pito-pito.

Fact: This can help boost the immune system but can not totally fight the virus.

16.) Using a nasal saline rinse will prevent the virus.

Fact: rinsing your nose has not been proven to eliminate the coronavirus or any other respiratory infection.

15.) Taking essential oils, acetic acid, steroids or antibiotics will help. Fact: People taking these without prescription is dangerous .

14.) Chinese food is unsafe to eat right now.

Fact : proper food handling and sanitation is the key.

13.) A surgical face mask will prevent you from getting the virus.

Fact: Ordinary face masks are ineffective in preventing COVID-19.

12.) The virus originated from raw bats or bat soup. videos which circulated online.

11.) It only affects the elderly. People who are elderly or have compromised immune systems are most at risk for severe illness if they contract the virus, according to WHO.

Fact: anyone of any age can contract and spread the virus to others. In the Philippines, a 13 year- old patient living in Quezon City got infected.

10.) The COVID-19 vaccine almost is ready.

Fact: It may take months or at least a year for scientists to create a vaccine.

9.) Mineral supplements can destroy the virus.

Fact: There are no known proof that mineral supplement can cure the coronavirus.

8.) The virus was manufactured in a lab and deliberately released.

Fact: This had circulated in several online sites, some television stations and even well-known senator made some personal comments. It had not been proven that the virus came from laboratory and man-made.

7.) Ultraviolet disinfection lamps kill the virus on your skin. Fact: According to WHO, the best way to sterilize your hands is soap, water and observing proper hand washing and social distancing.

6.) The use of colloidal silver was promoted on televangelist Jim Bakker’s show. Colloidal silver is tiny particles of the metal suspended in liquid. The televangelist also sells bucket meals.

Fact: United States health authorities that there is no evidence this type of silver solution is effective for any health condition. More importantly, including kidney damage,allergic reaction and possible blood poisoning.

5.) Drinking hot water to taking hot baths will help fight the coronavirus.

Fact: There were no proven nor scientific studies conducted.

4.) Coronavirus 2019 is airborne.

Fact : The Department of Health (DOH) Philippines clarified. It was Department of Health( DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, in an interview, said a recent World Health Organization (WHO) article about the novel coronavirus considered only hospital settings or in enclosed room.

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dog and cat (photo courtesy of pixabay) free-photos-242387

3.) Cats, Dogs and Pets spread the Virus.

Fact: World Health Organisation says there is no evidence that pets can be infected with the coronavirus.

A dog, which belonged to a patient who had COVID-19, tested negative for the virus last week, the city’s Hong Kong’s Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD).

2.) Consuming 1 tablespoon a day of Coconut virgin coconut oil (VCO) can help boost immune system.

Fact: Although there are studies that VCO can boost immune system. “We have heard very good studies with regard to its ability to neutralize the viruses, but for the COVID- 19, it is not clear,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III in an interview with CNN Philippines confirming the collaboration with Singapore.

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Tawa-tawa is said to cure dengue patients

1.) Tawa-tawa plant, snakeweed or Euphorbia hirta– Consuming or boiling plant extract to fight combat the virus.

Fact: No scientific studies nor research had proven that this plant can cure conoravirus.

Here are some of the tips given by Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Department of Health (DOH-Philippines), John Hopkins and University of the Philippines.

1.) Social distancing and give at least 1 meter distance from people.

2.) Wash you hands frequently with soap, water for at least 20 to 30 seconds. Try to complete the song ” Happy Birthday ” two times!

3.) Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth and observe good hygiene.

4.) Cover your cough or sneeze with tissue then properly dispose the tissue in trash or sneeze into your elbow.

5.) Avoid spitting anywhere.

6.) Clean and disinfect frequently.

7.) Stay at Home.

Sources and References: Department of Health ( Philippines), John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center ( John Hopkins University), World Health Organization, Center of Disease Control (CDC), University of the Philippines, Hong Kong’s Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), CNN Philippine interview, PCOO, personal interviews with several health care professionals and epidemiologist.

10 Must Have Items for COVID 2019

During the past few weeks, groceries, supermarkets and pharmacies in many parts of the country have low inventory on certain items. Some of which were the consequences of panic buying, stockpiling or hoarding of certain goods or items. This is a peculiar effects in the face of a crisis that can drive up prices and take essential goods out of the hands of people who need them most like the elderly, indigent or people with disabilities.

imagePhoto by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

In fact, This happened last during the few days after the Taal Volcano eruption last January 2020 in which surgical mask were almost wiped out even in wholesale stores like those in Bambang or Tayuman in Manila.

10 Must Have Items

10.) Cash– Try to withdraw a small amount of cash. Cash on hand during an epidemic is a must. There’s a high probability that banks may take a long break as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. Not all establishments accepts credit/debit cards nor E-cash.

imagePhoto by nrd on Unsplash

9.) Farm produce (perishable foods)– Meats, fishes, root crops, vegetables and raw fruits- Buy your fresh farm produce like eggs, vegetables, meats and fruits now, as they wont last long without refrigeration. The current power interruptions may actually lead to brownouts or even blackouts if manpower (maintenance) dwindles.

8.) (Disposable) Gears- Masks, gloves and raincoats/suits – These will somehow provide “some” protection to you and other people around you. When you cough or sneezes while wearing a mask, it will somehow prevent the droplets of your saliva to spray further to other surfaces or people. (plastic) Gloves, can come in handy when cleaning and touching possible infected items. Wear raincoats if you are walking below high-rise structures. This will protect you from possible “droplets” (people spitting from buildings) falling on to your head.

imagePhoto by Igor Sokolov on Unsplash

7.) Communication and “Juice” – Batteries, Power banks, solar/rechargeable radio, flashlights, emergency lights- In case of power outages, It is good to have a fully charged stockpile of power banks and a couple of batteries. Having some kind of a solar charging device is also more advantageous than just having batteries. We need electricity to charge everything from cellphones, lights and other devices. Don’t forget to buy spare LPG/propane tanks for cooking and for those with deep pockets, solar energy (or hybrid with wind power) is the best option.

6.) Tissue papers, Table napkins,Paper towels, Wet wipes,–  Tissue paper’s purpose is not just limited to wiping butts. Tissues can be use for cleaning surfaces, When used properly while sneezing, they can help reduce the travel distance of sprayed saliva droplets. It is also an excellent “brown matter” in your compost bin. Cheaper and “greener” version of “paper towels”  because they deteriorate easily.

imagePhoto by Dustan Woodhouse on Unsplash

Also, keep in mind that almost all “wet wipes” brands are not biodegradable. They will just end up in our landfill and stay there for a very long time.

5.) Alcohol, Hand sanitizers, cleaning agents- disinfectants, deodorants, soaps and bleach– This is for killing germs and viruses. Helps prevent or minimize the spread of harmful bacteria.

imagePhoto by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

4.) Medicines, vitamins and supplements – Having enough vitamins or supplements to help boost the immune system of the body is a must. Other people with maintenance medicines like diabetes and heart ailments, have at least 1 month stockpile of your prescriptions . Some pharmacy might have limited stocks of some medicines.

3.)  (Dry goods-Food)  Rice, instant noodles , coffee, milk (powdered), pasta, beans, dried fish etc. – Rice is is the main staple food in the country, many Filipinos cannot live without “eating” rice. The reason why we ranked rice in #3 is because “rice” needs water and it needs to be cooked. All of the dry goods (mentioned above) needs boiling water or fire to be edible. We need fire to cook.

If things go south, we might ran out of propane/Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) in cities many use electricity too. All these basic stuff may all ran out.

2.) (Ready to eat )  Canned goods, instant foods, honey, biscuits /crackers, nuts.

As i mentioned above, having “ready to eat” foods is and will always be the best survival food. You can be mobile while filling your stomach. We don’t even have to waste energy in starting  fire and cooking. One can also save water because we can skip the use of pots and pans.

imagePhoto by Levi XU on Unsplash

1.)Water– Water is Life! We can’t survive without drinking water for 3 days!

These are just the basic necessities needed in order to survive a pandemic or natural calamities.