The Philippines is far from flattening the curve of COVID-19 and it’s been said that we have the longest lockdown in the world. Yeah, we’re now on Season 4 of ECQ and I have honestly stopped counting the days of how long I’ve been sheltering in place. In fact, I didn’t realize the new deadline to lift ECQ is just around the corner until I saw a news headline about the mayors of Metro Manila setting a date to discuss the next move (lift and move to general community quarantine, extend modified enhanced community quarantine or go back to enhanced community quarantine). 
So you see, we’re living in really tough times. Seriously bad for one’s mental health. So I continue to find the silver linings and with that, I share what made me happy recently.
1. Non-essential businesses have been allowed to operate again under MECQ
I refer particularly to hardware stores and the non-essential sellers in Lazada and Shopee. At least I can buy stuff when I need or want to again that are non-essential. Well except for the light in my room. That’s an essential spend. But other things are yes, whims, but shopping from time to time gives me joy.
2. Earning extra on the side from my clutter
I started an online store on earlier this year to sell some of the stuff I no longer use and are not bringing me joy (in the words of Marie Kondo). I sell a lot of books online and this lockdown seems to have brought out the book lovers in search of new reads which is great for my little store. 
3. Seeing my cousin again 
When the lockdown began, he went home to the province to continue working from there. But under MECQ, they’re allowed to work again at the office and so he’s back in Manila. He made a quick visit at our place and it was just really nice to see him again. He’s the closest thing I have to a sibling. 
4. Getting a meal treat
Since my cousin’s company spends for his food and hotel lodging, he’s been able to save more. So he decided to spend a little for the household, treating everyone to Chowking. It’s the first time since lockdown that I’ve been able to eat Chowking again. 

5. Seeing the guy I like again
And finally, it made me happy that after almost 3 months in lockdown, I saw the guy I like again. I thought I wouldn’t be able to see him until the gym re-opens and I even wrote about missing him in a blog post before. But it seems like the Universe finally decided to grant my heart’s desire. His hair is longer (of course, no barbershop or salon is open) and he’s grown a beard. Still a very cute. Granted, it’s a video call but it was still wonderful to see him. I can’t wait to see him again in person.