Philippine Quarantine Day 4: Settled, yet unsettled

Philippine quarantine day 4

Last Updated on July 5, 2023 by Ellen

We are healthy. We are safe. We are settled — yet I am unsettled.

The daily rhythm to life at our apartment in the Hangout Beach Resort is somewhat comforting. I’m also adapting to what life looks like in this small neighborhood as I sit outside on the balcony or the roof.

But what’s happening beyond my sight, beyond my control: unsettling.

I do have faith this will work out how it’s supposed to work out. I also know I should – and could – lean on that faith more.

Philippine Quarantine Day 4


I usually get up before or with the sun, no matter what hour I went to bed. Sunrises are colorful, and remind me of Mahahual, Mexico, where I wonder what will happen now that cruise ships have stopped.

No matter where I am in the world, the first thing I do every morning is say a simple thank you for another day. On Philippine Quarantine Day 4, I celebrate 3,629 days of sobriety. Sometimes I listen for God’s gift of intuition. Not as often as I could.

I read, have instant coffee, send and reply to email, use social media.

The shop across the street opens; people go buy small items like single-use shampoo or a cigarette stick. People take off on their scooters, come back some time later. The sun gets higher. The health workers come for check #1 before the sun gets to high.

You can see in the picture above this part of our routine. Mom is coming down from prayers in the roof to have her temperature checked.

I admire Mom’s faith. She’s what I would call a devout Catholic, and while I’m not ‘religious’, I do believe in a Power greater than myself. We have a base spirituality in common.

Even if we weren’t in quarantine, she couldn’t go to mass during Lent. Health workers have told us church is cancelled. So she’s adapted to online services.

On Day 4, the health workers came a tad later than normal. I don’t know why. We all had normal temperatures again.

health workers and tedly during Philippine Quarantine Day 4


On Philippine Quarantine Day 3, we had a TV hooked up, and it was on all day. On Day 4, we didn’t turn it on.

I thought about it a few times, especially during the afternoon, but I guess it was too depressing.

My former colleagues, who still work in the TV news business, were on my mind. I sent them all a blast of the best juju I could from the other side of the planet.

Reading took up time. And a cat nap. And watching neighborhood routines.

In the late afternoons, the health workers return for the second temperature check. Usually there are two workers, but on Day 4, only one lady came and she was a little early.

I commented on her timing, and she said she had to finish her rounds and get to nearby Caticlan — (she hesitated, shrugged, then said) “to buy food.”


Let me tell you what: the Hangout Beach Resort has fantastic food! You really want to come here for some delicious plates.

Dinner was chicken curry and a sauteed veggies. Perfectly cooked! Mom skipped the chicken for Lent and opted for veggies, bread, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, but there are leftovers.

I didn’t feel like Scrabble on Day 4, but Mom Diane and I often play in the evenings. I read more, and went to bed early.

Settled into routine; unsettled with routine

It’s an odd routine, this quarantine. But as we’ve said, we are so lucky to be in this two-bedroom apartment with extra room on the roof.

Maybe it’s reading so much news that made me feel unsettled all day, even though I’ve accepted all of this as the new normal – the reality of right now.

Or perhaps it’s the State Department’s statement that Americans abroad likely won’t get any help anywhere in the world for an indefinite period of time.

And it could be that I texted with my family on this day, and I know it may be a long, long time before I see them again.

Note: Earth Vagabonds are on a 14-day quarantine in a small neighborhood of Malay, in Aklan Province on Panay Island in the Philippines. Ellen and Tedly take alternating turns on writing daily accounts.

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