Working from Home

For the past week now, we have been working from home. I’m a teacher for small kids, so it is a little challenging for me and my co-teachers to be doing something like teaching from home. We’ve never done anything like this so it’s somehow difficult but manageable.

Teaching from home is not as busy as a usual school day, I admit. We have to take videos of our lessons. During video shootings, I will have to talk to the camera while imagining the kids replying to my questions. I sing songs and dance the action songs with the music playing in the background. It’s like the usual teaching that we do every school day but without the kids.

Me at work…while shooting our videos

One morning, when I was about to post one of my lessons in our teaching website, I reviewed my lesson by watching the video. Then I felt sad. I thought to myself that this lesson would have been much better with the kids.

Yes, the usual teaching days are hectic. Yes, the usual working days can be chaotic and exhausting. But their smiles, their laughter, their antics and the look of amusement on the kids’ faces while I teach them my lessons are always priceless. Maybe I’m just being sentimental or maybe it’s just a teacher thing…but for me, teaching is still better with the students around.

Hopefully soon, this COVID-19 will end and everything will be back to normal. For now, I will cherish the time I have with my own not-too-small-but-still-my-babies kids while we’re stuck at home doing a lot of eating. I’ve been baking a lot of lemon bars lately. So for my next post, I will share with you a recipe of our favorite lemon bars.

Keep safe and healthy!


Finally, the long-awaited State of Emergency has been declared in Tokyo and several other prefectures last Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Don’t get me wrong. I was waiting for this not because I don’t want to work because honestly, I do! I love seeing the cute faces of my little students and I always look forward to their antics and learning moments each day. So why was I waiting for that declaration? With the rising coronavirus cases here in Tokyo, being outside (especially in a very packed train) has become very scary for me. For the past two weeks, the Governor of Tokyo has already asked Tokyoites to stay in their homes during the weekend. Fine. Most people followed the request. The usual busy streets of Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro among others were unusually quiet. But then comes Monday. Crowded stations. Jam packed trains. What is the use of being at home the entire weekend when you will be in a crowded train the next Monday, right?

I know I’m being paranoid, but we all know that this virus can be passed on easily if people are standing close to each other which is exactly the scenario in a train every single workday morning.

Just imagine how scared I would be the moment I’d step inside. I would be looking around, suspicious of everyone around me because they might be virus carriers already. It’s like watching the horror movie, The Nun, in a scene where the girl was walking along the dark hallway with a candle in hand and she didn’t know that the demon nun was already behind her. She felt it but she didn’t know where it was because she couldn’t see it. It’s the same when I’m inside a packed train these days. I know that the virus is there somewhere but I just don’t know where it is. And that scares the hell out of me.

What kept me sane throughout my train ride from Kita-Senju to Ikebukuro though is the fact that when I’d look around, everyone (well except for a handful of stubborn people) would be wearing masks. Then once inside the train, people would be very quiet that you would hear even the slightest sound coming from a plastic bag.

“This scenario reduces the chances of saliva or any kinds of fluid from flying or dropping on any surface.”, said me to myself.

Yes, talking to myself and telling this to myself can calm my nerves. Plus, I have already mastered the art of standing (or sometimes sleeping!) in a moving train without touching anything and with my hands inside the pockets of my jacket. Well, I still sometimes wonder until now how I do it.

The declaration of the State of Emergency is indeed a welcome respite for me and for some others who are also paranoid like me— a respite from all the anxiety, fear and paranoia of the unknown and of the invisible nemesis. I just hope that this COVID-19 pandemic will end soon.

My Own View of Depression

It’s funny how some people perceive sadness as depression. We see it on social media: people ranting about how depressed they are when in truth, they are merely sad. Depressed people usually don’t go around telling everybody they are depressed. Most of the time, these people are so good at hiding it that no one will ever suspect that they are suffering.

I view depression as a very serious matter.

It is when you see everything as gloomy and bleak. It’s like watching a black and white movie of yourself because you can’t seem to see the world for how it is supposed to be: colorful.

It is crying over small things and bawling over not-so-big ones. Or simply crying for no reason at all.

It is being so happy one moment and very lonely the next. Depression is very unpredictable that when it comes, you will always be caught barefooted.

It’s when you feel down all the time. Not the sad kind of down feeling. It’s the feeling of being useless, unimportant and insignificant.

It’s when you feel that you don’t want to do anything anymore. Being productive is next to impossible.

It’s when there seems to be no way out and the pain is just so unbearable. You feel hopeless, so the thought of just ending your life seems like a sweet escape.

It’s when emotional pain seems to be a part of your everyday life already to the point that physical pain no longer exist. Or if it still does, you inflict this physical pain upon yourself. It has become something that brings comfort because it calms the monster that’s inside of you.

It is when you know you need help but can’t find the words to tell people what kind of help you need for fear of being labelled insane.

It’s when you know you are dying inside and there seems to be nothing you can do about it.

If you experience any of these, know that there are people out there who are willing to help. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! This may sound cliche but hey, it’s the truth.

There is always someone who is willing to be there for you…a friend, a family member, a relative, a loved one, or even a help line that you can call. Do always remember: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

As for those lucky ones who don’t experience being depressed, be a kind human being and help out. Sometimes, depressed people just need someone to listen. Be that friend. Be that life-saver.