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Journal of a Lockdown No. 18

With nothing much to see, except the four walls of my room, I take a photo of my old Korean frames, without which I cannot see clearly.

I learn that my friend, Roger, is also staying in the same hotel. We meet each other to get take out lunches and dinners at the nearby convenience stores. Over dinner, we talk of how much we miss our fathers (his father died a week before Tatay did), how our fellowship in Oncology has changed us (for the better), how we will miss the company of our friends. It's cathartic. I'm stuck at level 16 of Alto's Adventure: how does one do the triple backflip? Email me the tips, please. I pray for friends and loved ones. I read John Updike's The Christian Roommates. Memories of Kalayaan Dorm at UP Diliman come rushing in. I stay out of social media. I message my family: Sean is cooking pork humba at home, Manong is preparing pininyahang manok. They exchange photos. Meanwhile, I subsist on takeouts and sliced peaches. I think of studying for the diplomate exam in Med Onco, but the schedule has been postponed indefinitely. A friend reminds me to make good use of my time. Lying around, submitting myself to gravity in this self-inflicted atrophy, seems like a good way to do it. I long for a good cup of hot coffee and remember the espressos I had in Milan. The mind wanders, even in areas already closed off to travel. Coffee in Milan, glasses from Seoul.



  1. Ah, coffee! May you never have prolonged acid reflux that would curtail the enjoyment of a cup.

    1. It happens to me occasionally; in which case, I cut my coffee intake to half, resorting to earl grey tea that doesn't quite cut it. I take antacids (my favorite is Gaviscon, the liquid formulation, that tastes like peppermint ice cream when refrigerated) to ease the symptoms.


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