Finding joy

Published August 8, 2020, 10:44 PM

by Dr. Jun Ynares


Dr. Jun Ynares

(Part 2)

Two Sundays ago, we shared with our readers the first part of our piece on Finding Joy.

In that column, we wrote about the sentiment of some of our friends and colleagues. They expressed what they described as the difficulty of “finding joy” in these times. “There are a lot of things that tell us right away that life today is not what it was just a few months ago,” they point out. Many of the things that used to make us “happy” are no longer here, they say.

On the surface, they present a valid point. Bars are closed. Restaurants are only partially open for dine-in. Local television stations are playing mostly reruns of telenovelas. The resumption of professional basketball leagues – both the local and international versions – is still in limbo. Collegiate basketball leagues have been scrapped this year.

On cable television, live programs show hosts and anchors wearing face masks. International news coverage is nearly a hundred percent about the pandemic.

On many people’s faces are the telltale signs of gloom and the gradual loss of hope. A gradual loss of hope must have been visible, which prompted the President to highlight the call for us “not to despair” in his latest State of the Nation Address (SONA).

At the end of that July 26 column, we asked our readers to share with us how they are finding Joy amidst the pandemic.

We asked our readers this question to find out whether or not the trademark Resiliency of the Filipino is still there. We wanted to know if the COVID-19 virus is so unusually strong that it has succeeded in crushing what has come to be known as the formidable ability of the Filipino to weather storms and to bounce back from adversity.

Based on the many responses we got from our readers, it appears our guess is right – the resilient spirit of the Filipino is alive and well.

Let’s hear it from some of those who responded to our question.

From Raymond Chavez, Kingsville, Antipolo City:

“I rediscovered the joy of being with family. I realized that there is no substitute to spending time together in the safety and comfort of our home. The quarantine gave us the opportunity to update each other, listen to our stories, and laugh at our jokes.

We needed time to adjust. It was not easy. We were not used to being with each other at home this long. After the adjustment, it was happy time.”

From Rosario Diwa, Pilar, Bataan:

“I found joy in doing what I have always wanted to do. I love baking. So, because of the lockdown, I spent more time baking cakes for family and friends. It makes me very happy to see them admire my finished product and also to hear my friends who tasted what I baked for them say nice things.

Maybe, this is the blessing of the situation. We are not able to do many activities so we are focused on the ones we really like doing.”

From Roseller Morota, Pasig City:

“It is very hard to commute from Pasig where I live to Makati where I work. I thought this will be a major problem. Then, I decided to buy a mountain bike. I am now biking every day to work. After three months of biking to and from home daily, I feel very strong and physically fit. This gives me a lot of joy. I am happy that I got the chance to bike again due to the crisis.”

From Lucila Canaria, Dalig, Antipolo City:

“At first, I was feeling depressed. You are right, Mayor Jun. It felt that everything was going wrong. Then, I thought to myself. Why don’t I start a new business? Why not help people who cannot go to the market or cook food during the pandemic? So, I started a food reselling business. I am now finding a lot of joy getting to know more people and helping them with what they need. Of course, there is also joy in having a new business during this time.”

Based on what our readers have shared with us, it is clear that Joy can be found even at times like these.

The secret is in having a balanced perspective. This means we must be able to see not just the problem but also the opportunity.

True, times are hard. Times are tough. We must face the reality: our lives and our livelihood are in constant danger these days.

This is just one side of the coin.

As we have always been told, behind every challenge is an opportunity.

It may be more difficult to find the opportunity these days. We just must try harder. When we do, we find it.

*For feedback, please email it to [email protected] or send it to #4 Horse Shoe Drive, Beverly Hills Subdivision, Bgy. Beverly Hills, Antipolo City, Rizal.