The Flash Before the Song was Sung

by Zen Tiangco

In a flash, it was all gone.

It ended with the students deciding what their Completion or Graduation song was to be, and goodbyes filled with the hope of seeing those same faces once again tomorrow, but it didn’t end like that did it?

The next day, we never saw each other again. 

The news was everywhere. The campus became closed to the public. We were now under community quarantine. No one knew how long, how restricted, and how everything would be different.

Days, weeks, and months passed and all we see are the same walls we wake up to daily. We see the same faces everyday. We wake up never knowing when we will again be free. The days when we’d be free again just kept moving farther, every late night announcement.

Fast forward a month, it was April, a memo was sent by La Salle Green Hills (LSGH). We were to have online classes from July to September. The Department of Education (DepEd) also released statements like two-meter seat distance, classroom limits of 30 students per room, and alternative days for batches of sections.

After that splurge of announcements, the world went back to its routine. The same walls, the same faces, the same routine, over and over again. We all watched as the numbers quickly rose. Artificial rise they said, then why does it keep rising and never fall?

Another month passes by, it’s May. The quarantine measures lighten but extended to the end of the month. Morning comes, nothing out of the ordinary, all but a letter from the school admin. “Co-ed” and “La Salle” in the same sentence. At the same time, LSGH introduces FLETCH. What a year.

The mountain just seemed to grow steeper and steeper, taller, and sharper.

The mountain ahead posed to be extremely daunting as we all, teachers included, slowly traverse the rocky peak. So much changes and adjustments so fine and little that we all need to finetune and fix. No “buts,” the only question, how will we handle this future so clearly laid out for us, yet so covered in mystery and mist?

We finally meet virtually for all classes. Seatwork here, together with a Performance Task (PT) due in the next three days. A lecture will be live in a few hours. Your classmate is still complaining after their Internet broke down again.

A quiz is live in 10 minutes. You just woke up. You took the risk of answering it. Thankfully, you passed a quiz you never prepared for.

Pasado ako. The mundane life of quarantine for a student from GH seems weirdtype, click, submit, pass, repeat. © Roi Gregorio

It will happen over and over again. The mountain seems more unique but it still stays lonely. You long for that interaction with someone; it’s just that the virtual feeling still bugs you.

In an alternate universe, the students had donned their new Grade 11 uniform or Barong Tagalog, sung their Completion or Graduation song, and said their goodbyes. Thanks to your teachers and parents, you felt happy. Goodbyes filled with uncertainty of seeing another again soon, but filled with hope for the bright future beyond them. 

The pandemic had ended after a hard battle; however in a flash, it was all gone. 

But before all that, let’s hop into the new normal.

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