All we can say is ‘hAiszxt!’
After 10 months in community quarantine, many of us have already adjusted to life indoors. Many have found the simple joys of having a hobby these days. While some no longer deal with early morning traffic jams, OOTDs conundrums, and never-ending office drama, we have got to admit that a work-from-home (WFH) setup, even though it is essential these days, has its downsides.
For one, having an at-home office means canceling commuting, which serves to condition ourselves for work. No more professional look, and hello to “workleisure,” a fancy term for wearing your pambahay while working. The worst part is not having co-workers around for small talks or a much-needed lunch out.
If you are feeling that you are slowly falling into that WFH burnout pit, here’s a quick read for you.
Hulyen‘s unapologetic comic short is so relatable with its work dilemmas that it becomes really funny. Dubbed as hAizxt, a Filipino slang for disappointment, the comic is Hulyen or Julienne Dadivas‘ newest work featured in comic book online hotspot Penlab.
“hAiszxt originally appeared in Haliya Publishing’s all-female komiks anthology, Kabuwanan. The theme was also “kabuwanan” so we were free to make a comic about our own interpretation of it,” she tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “I thought of making a comic about menstruation but I wanted to make it light and funny. I was also having a hard time at my job back then so it was kind of inspired by that, too.”
“I’ve been a big fan of comics since I was young. I got inspired to make my own comics when I got introduced to local comics conventions,” the 28-year-old comic artist continues. “Seeing all those artists self-publishing their work made me feel that it’s not impossible and I can do it, too.”
hAiszxt chronicles what everyone who is working from home feels now, all depicted through Hulyen’s cartoony, meme-worthy illustrations, and with a quirky language to match it. Even though the comic was created in 2017, its issues are way more relevant today. And, unlike other comics that make fantasy out of reality, hAiszxt went full on to mirror our WFH reality.
“I think hAiszxt is anti-work (laughs). Sometimes kasi parang sumosobra na yung mga employers (it seems that employers demand too much),” she says. “Lalo na ngayon, kasi parang blurred na ‘yung boundaries ng work at home sa (Especially now when it seems boundaries are blurred between work and home from a) work-from-home setup. Employees deserve rest and bosses should respect their time.”
As to how Hulyen kept sane this quarantine period, again, never underestimate the power of a productive hobby.
“I’m getting used to it by now (laughs). It’s sad that it feels like we lost an entire year because of the pandemic,” Hulyen says. “I got into new hobbies like baking, running, and riding my bike. They keep me busy and distracted.”
Check more of Hulyen’s works at fb.com/hulyencomics and @hulyen on Instagram.