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[Y-SPACE] COVID Made Me Do: How Filipinos have been Coping amidst Pandemic

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

By Samantha Gayle Santos

Filipinos being the social animals as they are, love to be in the company of other people from all walks of life until the sudden news of the pandemic popped up. Gone are the days where we can spend our after-class/work hangouts with our friends and colleagues outdoors whenever we want since COVID-19 entered into the picture last 2019. Little did we know that this global dilemma will bring a paradigm shift to how we normally live our lives. This rollercoaster ride brought us to a new realm where we become accustomed to things that we don’t usually do in order for us to keep our sanity unharmed. Hence, attempting to go outside the box and comfort zones is the only way to go.

Certainly, be it a fad, a trend, or a hobby, we can’t get enough of how these changed our coping styles in the course of the quarantine. Here are the following things that diverted isolation into an interesting means of knowing ourselves more.

The Trending Dalgona Coffee

Coffee lovers can never be stopped from trying this iced coffee that went viral because of its attractive creamy texture and its simple three-ingredient recipe.

The South Korean dalgona sweet, a toffee sponge that mimics the creamy dollop that tops the iced coffee, inspired Dalgona coffee. Only two teaspoons of instant coffee, sugar, and boiling water are required. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, then whisk until the mixture is thick and creamy. To an (ideally) clear glass, add ice, then milk, then the coffee combination.

According to Philstar, despite the fact that dalgona coffee was the most searched term in Google Trends' "How to" category in 2020, several Filipinos said they had yet to try the ultimate whipped coffee craze during the quarantine time. Filipinos were most interested in preparing the iced coffee treat last 2020, according to Google's "Year in Search 2020" for the Philippines.


If you’re missing going to nightclubs or your usual karaoke sessions, this application got it all for you. During the early phase of the quarantine, there was a sudden surge of people utilizing the app and flooding our social media accounts with these one-minute snippets that suit Generation Z’s attention span which is also considered to be one of the target markets.

TikTok is a Chinese-owned social video-sharing app that debuted in 2016 and quickly gained traction in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the United States, Turkey, Russia, and other areas of the globe. TikTok had over 2 billion smartphone downloads worldwide as of October 2020. Users of the TikTok app may make a 15-second video of themselves, which typically includes music in the background. The videos may be modified with a filter or sped up or slowed down. They can, among other things, add their sound to the background music. A lot of craze and trends emerged on this platform and turned out to be something that relieves our boredom. Eventually, from being a trending app for entertainment, TikTok has evolved to become a medium of teaching, brief question and answer, vlog, and other political agendas.

Kapit-Bahay from Home Buddies

The pandemic deprived us of enjoying the outside world, making us stay in the comfort of our homes. With this being said, we became conscious of how we can beautify the space that we occupy to make it comfortable and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes since we’ll be spending most of our days in our humble abode, and that we are left with no choice but to abide by the quarantine protocols.

In September 2020, Frances Lim Cabatuando started Home Buddies, a Facebook group, as a virtual gathering place for her and other people who wished to play the Minimalism Game. More individuals joined the group after that, and they began sharing makeover ideas, buying tips, organizational techniques, DIY projects, and photos of their houses. According to her interview, she mentioned that Home Buddies is akin to Pinterest but more interactional since each member treats one another as “Kapit-Bahay”. No matter how your house looks like or even the budget that you have, as long as your goal is to improve your home, this group will remain a safe space for you.

Regular activities, such as the Monday Market, are held by the online community. In the organization, Monday is the only day of the week when selling is permitted. Kapitbahays are encouraged to offer or trade presents on “Friendsgiving Day”, which falls on the 18th of each month. The "gifts" are generally goods that people no longer use but that others could find useful. There's also a “Budolletin Board”, where you may post promotions.

During the pandemic, the birth of Home Buddies has been a source of inspiration and fun, as well as a respite from stress and boredom transforming our personal sanctuary with the help of our kapit-bahay’s creative output suggestions.

Certified Plantito/Plantita

Being confined at home is not a piece of cake given the fact that we are used to spending most of our time outdoors. During the span of the quarantine, some of us found plants to be advantageous in muddling through this tough time. From there, Filipinos coined the word “Plantito and Plantita”. A lingo is used to define people who are fascinated and delighted whenever they’re performing planting or gardening activities.

This hobby became a favorite pastime given that it provides therapeutic benefits in battling the stress of isolation and survival. Humans are soothed by plants, and they give a good outlet for tension to be diverted into self-care. Corresponding to studies, people who spend more time in nature have better mental health and a more optimistic view of life. Aside from these, cultivating ornamental plants can complement in beautifying our spaces creating calming greenery.

Furthermore, this leisure brings forth a new source of livelihood through plant-selling business that hits two birds in one stone for it helps Filipinos gain profit whilst at the same time doing what they love.

Whatever hobby/hobbies you’re into in this phase, know that you have never been braver to venture into the unknown and conquer this even during the times you didn’t know how to start. It is always okay to be clueless for it will give you the courage to defy the waters even when it is testing our capacity to withstand the waves.

Samantha Gayle Santos, 21, is a Communication student of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.

YSPACE is a platform open for young writers to contribute their worth-sharing thoughts and stories to the world. It is a space for young people and by the young people which aims to promote a strong sense of empowerment and inspiration to young Filipinos.

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