2020 is when she and her husband will start their own family. In the highly urbanized city of Taguig is where their dainty house will soon be completed. In its modest yard will they soon be chasing a toddler eager to run and hop.

To start painting colors to the plan, Rechel submitted her resignation to her employer in Singapore in early February. She then got a month to finish projects, pack her things, and maybe grab some pasalubong for her family and in-laws.

Two weeks before her flight home, cases of coronavirus started increasing in Singapore, the Philippines and nearby countries. One by one, these countries were halting air travel to stop the further spread of the virus.

“That time, the Philippine Embassy released an advisory, all OFWs returning to Pinas mag-home quarantine. Uuwian ko sa mga in laws ko, may tatlong bata at isang senior. If in case na positive ako, ako ang magdadala ng virus sa family. Ang husband ko naman sa Bulacan nag-stay, essential worker sya, so ayaw ko din sya mainfect in case na positive ako,” Rechel said.

Aside from the scare of the possibility of being a carrier of the virus, the last flight going to Manila costs an arm and a leg. Rechel decided to stay and went straight to her employer to explain her situation.

“Kinwento ko sa manager ko yung situation sa Pinas. On the same day, pinayagan ako ng director na mag extend until the situation is stable na. Great relief. Pero lagi ako  umiiyak, hindi ko malaman kung dahil ba gusting-gusto ko na makasama ang asawa ko o dahil sobra-sobra ang pasasalamat ko na mabait ang director namen.

Nasa bidding ng plumbing and sanitary ang work ko. Nagkataon din na yung mga gingawang isolation [facilities] sa mga infected, may na-award sa aming project kaya may pampasweldo sa amin at kaya may work pa din kame.

[Dahil sa covid-19] na-realize ko na walang anumang papalit sa mga oras na kasama mo ang pamilya mo at mahal sa buhay. Mas madalas ko ngayun kausap ang family ko sa Mindoro. Kahit ang asawa ko, madalas din kame magkausap.”

Her plans might have been interrupted, but her enthusiasm and hope for the future she intends to create remains.

“Nag-aaral ulit ako mag-CAD. Kina-CAD ko ang bahay namen. Nag-aaral din ako magluto ng merienda. Sinusulat ko sa notes ko mga naaral kong merienda.”

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