ERLOWISM: Enjoying the home quarantine
It's been a month since the government imposed a nationwide community quarantine, and as they extended it, I'd like to know how you survived. How was your stay-at-home hiatus anyway?
I am proud to say that for a month I survived not setting even a single foot outside our residence, not even on our front yard. I also asked my kids to do the same.
Actually, I've been working from home since late 2014 after I quit my banking career, so there's nothing new with this present situation, only less disturbances and a little provision of food packs for staying home, thanks to the city government.
After all, it's money for nothing and air, sunlight, shelter, water, food, family, and love for free. No worries!
But many of you may be getting restless and bored because you can't fully spend your time. I tell you, we still have a very long way to go, buddy. To quote the millennials: "Ang importante buhi!"
Thus, I am sharing some secrets to my productive home quarantine.
For sure, my artistic creative odyssey is never a secret to you anymore. Contrary to your misconception, painting doesn’t begin at the first stroke of the brush but on thinking or "conceptualizing."
It doesn't even have to be realistic visual drawings, you can install mixed media, surreal representation, or minimalist abstract forms.
Writing your concept paper, meaning, the story line or message of your work, will provide you the lamppost in preparing your study, sketch, and aesthetics.
And to enrich your prose or writing style and composition, I suggest you read some books.
I may not be an English teacher—only a contemporary "writing-artist"—but believe me, it works. As of this moment, I was able to finish my Summer Art Camp Module, write poems, songs, and started with my second book, "Me Tangere." All thanks to this home quarantine.
I remember discovering writing when I was assigned to write a "formal theme” in grade school about my unforgettable experience during summer. However, I only enjoyed writing when I discovered courting women. Of course, there's nothing more challenging and enchanting than writing to persuade a woman’s heart.
So why don’t you start writing your experiences about this coronavirus crisis? For sure the next generations, especially your great-grandchildren will enjoy and learn from it. (Or maybe earn from it!). Or you can choose whatever topics personal to you under the sun.
First things first, start reading a book. It may be a "very" small one for you to enjoy in a short time. I recommend "Lullabies" by Lang Leav, or the poems and write-ups of Dr. Jose Rizal. (To the Filipino Youth, My Last Farewell, The First Toast, etc.) It will set your prose. Or you can do a little research about coronavirus or review the lyrics of your favorite songs.
Then start writing with no rules, no basics, no cliché, no thought-control, just write. If you have difficulty finding words, secure a thesaurus. You can keep your writing in your personal journal, share it to a friend or post it on Facebook, or your blog.
As for me, maybe sooner or later, under the falling summer leaves at Yaka, after this crisis is over, we'll meet again and set art lessons over bubbling bottles of cold beer.
PS. Don't forget to play your favorite songs!
PPS. A hand salute to our frontliners, you are all heroes!
(The author is a surrealist painter and activist who “rises for truth, justice, and life.” He believes that every man’s work is a portrait of himself. ERLOWISM is his column for BukidnonViews, the opinion section of BukidnonNews.Net. Reach him via firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photo: Abstraction on an Easter Sunday. (Art by Erlow Talatala)