TAGS: baking, nikki valdez

Since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, our lifestyles had to undergo a drastic change of pace—from the way we commute down to how we spend time with our loved ones, having to stay indoors requires a huge readjustment for many.

This includes the Avanzado family, as they do their part with regard to social distancing and staying at home. Jessa Zaragoza, having obliged an interview with StarStudio.ph, shares how she and her family are faring during such a trying time.


Photo from Instagram (jessazaragoza)

Swift preparations

“‘Pag nanay ka, ang hirap magrelax,” she says, recalling the time the lockdown was announced. 

“I stayed calm naman, buti nalang meron akong staff na tumutulong sakin. Nakipagsapalaran din kami sa supermarket para bumili ng supplies, mga essentials, para hindi labas nang labas. Hindi naman ako nag-hoard. Naka-schedule kung anong kakainin namin, ang menu, saka ano lang pwede sa budget. Syempre kasama na din ‘yung food para sa staff namin na nagsi-stay sa bahay.”

TIP: Jessa says writing everything down was a huge help. 

“Mahilig kasi ako magsulat. Sinulat ko lahat muna kung anong bibilhin ko sa supermarket. Alam namin na marami talagang mga tao na makakasabay. May diskarte.”

Even so, it still wasn’t easy, with the quarantine leading to many cancellations of work for her, her husband Dingdong, and their only daughter Jayda. “Marami [cancelled]. [Mga projects] ni Jayda, [kay] Dingdong nacancel, meron din akong TV show, tapings, pero syempre maiintindihan mo talaga dapat 'yun, kasi para naman sa atin talaga lahat 'yun, e.”

Daily routine

While in quarantine, Jessa celebrated her 19th wedding anniversary with husband Dingdong Avanzado last March 18. 

“Nineteenth anniversary namin ni Dingdong, hindi talaga ako nagluluto, bihira, pero nag-request sina Jayda and Dingdong, since special day!”

On regular days, the family spends a lot of time organizing things inside the house. 

“Slower hours ‘yung tulog. Nagbabawi ng mga tulog. Nag-aayos kami sa bahay, kanya-kanya kaming sulok. Si Dindong sa office area, ako naman sa kitchen namin. Si Jayda sa kwarto niya, marami siya nililigpit dun. Mga damit na kailangan tiklupin. Gusto namin maging productive."

“Si Jayda nagsusulat ng kanta niya,” Jessa remarks, talking about her 16-year-old daughter who is honing her craft while there’s a lockdown. “Ako, kung anong pending sa things-to-do list, binabalikan ko, para malaman ko kung anong kailangan ko pang gawin. Lahat sinusulat ko talaga.”

For Jessa, now is the time to do housework usually forgotten on busy days out. “Dati, pag busy ka, less 'yung time mo sa pag-aasikaso ng mga kalat-kalat sa bahay. (But now,) We check our things, mga dapat itapon na, mga pwedeng magamit, kung pang-garage sale namin, tipong ganon.”

 

Family time

Even while indoors, the whole family makes sure to make the most of their time, together or alone. They make it a point to stay fit and do exercises. “Nag-eexercise din kami sa loob ng bahay. Talagang [magagawa] kung gugustuhin mo.”

After a productive day, the family members sit back and relax. “After dinner, manonood na kami, magmamarathon na kami ng movies ni Dingdong bago matulog. Nagge-game board din kami—Scattergories ang favorite namin (a creative-thinking category-based party game). Pinapagana utak dito.”

“Kapag Sunday, since walang church service, pero meron naman online, pwedeng FB live. Bonding namin mag-anak ‘yun,” says Jessa, who never forgets to put her faith into practice. “Lagi kaming nanonood ng news talaga, hindi lang sa phone, pati sa TV. Para halos lahat talaga ay ma-update ka.”

“Marerealize mo na you really have to save for the rainy days,” she says, reflecting upon the impact of the pandemic. “Sinasabi namin kay Jayda, since si Jayda 16-years-old palang siya: There’s always time talaga to relax, magwork. Pero kelangan talaga [iprioritze] ‘yung health. Hindi mo rin magagawa yung work mo kung hindi maganda ang kalusugan mo.”

“Kahit donation, kung hindi mo kaya magprepare ng food, ganun ang ginagawa namin,” she says, knowing the gravity of the situation of the less unfortunate. “Nagdo-donate kami sa Sagip Kapamilya...sa Internet naman makikita mo, maa-update ka kung saan pwede magsend ng tulong. Kahit anong tulong na pwede mong i-share...dapat buong puso mo na gusto mong tumulong sa kapwa.”

She remarks, “Life is short talaga. Maging mas grateful ka sa kung anong meron ka. Hangga’t kaya mong tumulong sa kapwa mo, tumulong ka without expecting anything.”