My name is Freshy Orprecio, a wife, mom of 3 kids, a sibling and daughter. We are living a simple life. A typical family who lives with extended family. 

The day our president Rodrigo Duterte announced the lockdown of Metro Manila. Our relatives from Cavite went home to our province. And little did we know that our province Isabela will be lockdown too, two days after Metro Manila. My brother-in-law with his two kids, my mother in law, my sister and her boyfriend, my brother, another sister-in-law with her two kids, 2 nephew in our guidance, a friend of my brother-in-law, another brother-in-law and her girlfriend and we husband and wife with 3 kids. Imagine, 20 people living together at a 200 sqm. house.

We only have two rooms. One is ours, and the other is my husband’s sister and her kids. The others, sleep on the living room, on the floor and in our terrace. Isn’t that crazy?

How did we survive? No income, no one can go to work! Ugh! That was a terrible situation. True, we struggle to put food in the table every meal. Yes, we can’t find peace everyday from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep.

We didn’t expect that! We never experience to be in a lockdown. We don’t know that it will be that hard. We are not prepared. That’s why it makes it even harder.

What we learned as a family in that kind of situation is to always find the beauty no matter how hard the situation is.

We learned to share more, we understand that family’s health is a top priority. We learned to work together and we have a lot of differences and we can’t do anything about it, but to accept.

I remember when boys try to escape from the authorities to find food in the river. A small clams or fresh water fishes, for us to save money and get a free food for a meal. We also start to grow our own vegetable in a vacant lot outside our home. And yes, with that kind life for 3 months, we survived.

It’s a story that we can share to our future generations. It’s a story that we don’t want to happen again.

Life is hard when you think it is. Life is wonderful when you believe it!

Have a great day!