Updated: Oct 22, 2020
Coffee and This was once a blog dedicated mostly to coffee and random things. It's now a project that celebrates Philippine coffee, promotes local talent, and helps community businesses share their stories with a little help from Coffee and This.
When the pandemic reached the Philippines in mid-March, my wife and I were expecting baby number 3- Julia- in just a few weeks. The authorities implemented a strict "Enhanced Community Quarantine," shutting Metro Manila down and halting non-essential movement. Local governments implemented rationing and anti-hoarding measures. Our fears grew at the prospect of losing food security and access to essentials.
On top of all that, cases began to rise at alarming rates. Soon, some hospitals reported they had maxed out their critical care beds. We were terrified of the idea that hospitals might be too full to accommodate us for the birth.
Meanwhile, our two other children- Hannah, 8, and Rafa, 5, needed stability, aid, and comfort. They needed us to be mom and dad, suppliers of the warmth and care that every child needs. This intimate need brought us back to the ground, and kept our heads from getting lost in what felt like a palpable fog of despair visiting every part of our city.
We took out our cast-iron pan and began to cook each meal (we had fallen into the trap of order-out-dependency), re-discovering just how nice it is to eat a home-cooked meal three times a day. As I often do in challenging seasons, I turned to creative outlets for survival. I began to create coffee videos with the kids again. We filled the house with laughter as we made coffee in different ways and recorded our little indoor adventures.
As Carla's pregnancy moved forward, her nausea grew in strength. I took on the additional role of cooking, cleaning, and washing dishes in the evenings, often finishing up by midnight. In those days, I re-discovered some Netflix sitcoms (Kim's convenience! So funny), which ushered some normalcy back into my routine.
My core emotion in those weeks was gratitude to have some way of assisting Carla as she carried the hardest, most important job - taking care of herself and Julia as we navigated uncharted waters.
Julia's birth was an epic story, worthy of its own telling- and Carla does it best. We embedded her IGTV video below if you'd like to hear the full tale.
The time between Carla and Julia's return from the hospital (about six months) and this post has been tumultuous for us, just as it has been for many of you. We hope to share some of those moments little by little through our videos, articles, and images, in between the many stories of local coffee, talents, and businesses you will find here.
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