Thank you to our alumni who have responded to our call for sharing positive and relevant information during these trying times.


From Ms. Maria Lourdes M Salcedo (EDD DFA 2011)…


The COVID pandemic was really a disruption we did expect. While it is true that there is more time for families together, the distress for many daily wage earners is immense.


I am on work-from-home arrangement, with DFA operating on skeletal workforce. Those 60 years old and over and those immuno-compromised are exempted from going to the Office.


My day starts at 6-7 am in my little garden at my veranda and a cup of coffee. I try not to use phone at this time. At around 8-9, my 70 year-old husband joins me at the poolside (a few steps from our condo Unit) for some moderate exercises and sun for about 15-20 mins. Breakfast could either be before or after that daily routine.


The rest of the morning is spent watching News and taking work through email, Viber message or WhatsApp. I belong to the Usecs-Assecs and Exdirs WhatsApp as well as our own HRMO with my Assistant Secretary, 4 Directors and 4 other Officers. We monitor the needs of our 88 Foreign Service Posts around the World and 35 Consular Offices around the country, or about 4,000+ personnel. The officers have a virtual meeting every Tuesday. I also respond to messages from family and friends. Every now and then, the driver brings me documents for signing as I am the closest to the Office among the officers.


After lunch, which I usually prepare, I watch more News and respond to messages in my smartphone. Then I read and take a short nap. Right now, I’m reading “In our Image: The American Empire in the Philippines” by Stanley Karnov, “There’s a Carnival Today” by Indra Rai and National Geographic’s “Kings in the Bible”.


The later part of afternoon is spent on more phone work and keeping in touch with family and friends until dusk when my husband and I watch Manila Bay sunset from our veranda with a glass of red wine or cold beer. Then it’s nighttime, dinner time and News time again. We usually cap our day with light TV shows like house renovation, historical/societal documentaries, or cooking.


I have found more time cleaning the house too and less time dressing up and putting on make-up. Once a week, I also walk about 2 kms to replenish our food stock. Hearing mass is also done

from the TV set.


I miss my youngest daughter Alesa who is a doctor at Ospital ng Makati. I have not hugged her for many weeks now. When I wake up, I pray in tears for her and other health workers. I also pray for her 4 other siblings and their families, including my 8 beautiful grandchildren.


God help us!  This my earnest plea for the rest of humanity—with a humbled heart and a contrite spirit.🙏


Such is life with this enhanced community quarantine due to Corona virus!