Moments ‘outside the bunker’: Filipinos share pre-community quarantine snaps

March 15, 2021 - 7:29 PM
A man wearing a protective mask sits outside the Philippine Stock Exchange at the central business district as the government implements an "enhanced community quarantine" in the country’s main island Luzon to contain the coronavirus, in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines, March 17, 2020. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

Some Filipino online users reminisced and shared the last pictures that they took before becoming house-bound due to the community quarantine which was imposed over Metro Manila a year ago.

In a tweet early this month, user @NoOneDelaCruz invited other Filipinos to show their “last photos outside” before the strict orders to stay at home were implemented.

Her contributions were pictures that she had taken during her “Sunday jogging at the local university” last year.

She added in another tweet that the exercise would remind them of the things that are “waiting” for them once immunization “kicks in” care of the vaccines.

“But also snapshots of what we lost, for some of us. Where recovery is no longer possible, justice must be sought,” the online user added with a crying face emoji.

A Twitter user took on her exercise and shared a photo of a campsite in a Batangas beach resort.

Another online user shared some pictures of his last “outdoor trips” saved in his phone before the “‘medical storm’ came in.”

Another Filipino shared some pictures of Tomas Morato and EDSA Kamuning at midnight before Metro Manila was placed under community quarantine on March 15, 2020.

A different Twitter user shared how jampacked her February 2020 was upon looking at her saved pictures. It was the month before community quarantine phases were officially imposed.

Another Twitter user shared of realizing how “lucky” she was since she was able to travel in the country pre-lockdown, an initiative that now comes with risks of being exposed to the virus.

Another online user shared a picture of people doing their grocery shopping “the weekend right before quarantine” as they stock up on household essentials before lockdown.

President Rodrigo Duterte on March 15 last year placed Metro Manila under community quarantine in a bid to mitigate the transmission of the highly infectious virus in the populous region.

The municipality of Cainta in Rizal Province was similarly placed under such an initiative, as well as Bohol Province.

A day after, Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine or ECQ, the strictest of the quarantine phases, which is also known as hard lockdown.

People were obliged to stay at home except if they work in industries deemed essential sectors.

The ECQ took effect on March 17 and kicked off one of the world’s longest and strictest lockdowns in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fast forward to March 15, 2021 and the country has recorded its highest daily tally of COVID-19 cases so far this year, with a total of 5,404 new cases.

Localities in some parts of the metro have also been placed under granular lockdowns in a bid to curb the transmission of the virus, which now has different variants.

The capital region likewise saw a repeat of the metro-wide curfew which aims to reduce the mobility of people outside their homes.

READ: Curfew returns as NCR marks 1st community quarantine anniversary