Letters of Youth


/ 13 August 2020

The fear of contracting a virus that took away countless hopes, precious lives, and has caused a major downturn in the economy and other aspects of human living are frighteningly real but what we’ve been hoarding for a long time is the thing we fear the most-  the unknown.

I know that I’m not the only one lying awake at night, scanning the social media for anything and asking myself how we can finally move on and what the world will be after this crisis — or waking up wondering how to get through another day of dealing with all the normal life stuff with constant uncertainty whirring in the background.  This pandemic that we’re all going through feels unprecedented — but the feeling of uncertainty is not. People live through all kinds of scary things all the time.

While we may not wish to acknowledge it, uncertainty is a natural and unavoidable part of our lives. Very little about our lives is constant or certain, and while we have control over many things, we can’t control everything that happens to us. As the coronavirus outbreak has shown, life can change very quickly and very unpredictably. You may have suddenly become sick, lost your job, or found yourself struggling to put food on the table or keep your family safe. You may be anxious about when the pandemic will end or if life will ever return to normal.


For students, it’s about setting sail into unknown future-facing unprecedented questions on their capacity to learn outside of the normal confines of the classroom.

For families, sustaining the family takes a hundred and one percent but in this pandemic- feeding mouths is near to impossible. A million workers in the country lost their jobs temporarily as the pandemic continues to grapple the country hammered by the world’s longest and strictest lockdowns, but the real question is until when can these families’ stomachs endure under the temporary?

For the economy, the country’s economy recently plunged into recession for the first time in 29 years, as tight economic restrictions continue- the biggest slump in the government’s GDP dating back to 1981. This showcased the failure to contain the virus, inadequate policy support, and the destructive impact of lockdowns on the consumption-dependent economy. This is the biggest economic decline since the waning years of Marcos regime- that even took several years to push it up- are we to be pitifully mired anew in economic distress until then?

There might be some existing data and or studies that may try to predict the outcome of these actions- but nothing is certain for sure. In this journey we are lost without a map, no hint on where to go, walking barefooted in a rocky plain and parched under the scorching heat of the sun but one thing’s for sure- we might fear, struggle, wound ourselves along the way but we will surely walk together unyielding until we separately reach our destinations. Uncertainty — it’s the one thing in our future that is certain and we need to make sense out of it.