AN EDUCATION: MOVING ON, MOVING FORWARD, AND HUMANITY’S ABILITY TO “FLEX” FOR SURVIVAL
Calendars will tell us that a mere one month stands between us and the promising shores of 2021—a picturesque fantasy where Coronavirus is a thing of the past, and humans might finally be free to wander and loiter without reason. As we approach the holidays and the urge to go out seeps deeper into our bones, we ask ourselves: when will things go back to normal? In this issue of The Feed, we answer with this: Perhaps we already have.
“To flex”: To be capable of bending and warping, and then reverting back to the original shape.
In the Philippines, there’s an age-old saying that goes along the lines of “while the blanket is short, learn how to bend.” This points to the lesson of adapting to one’s environment and circumstances, and working around your own means until you can afford a longer blanket. For the better part of the year, Filipinos have learnt how to warp their bodies and realities to the confines of their homes, and the limitations of the world.
We’ve moved our offices and classrooms to the four walls of our houses; We’ve relied on delivery services to satisfy our food cravings, and any shopping needs; and we’ve managed to migrate whatever reason we had to go out pre-pandemic to the vast and infinite world of digital. Despite the blanket that’s been snatched and given back to us in half, Filipinos have made it work, playing around the definitions of what “normal” even is.
Additionally, in today’s social-media heavy lexicon, to flex means to show off, or to put a skill to good use. As the rest of the country learnt to adapt and compromise, new innovations and initiatives were introduced to help each other out. Fresh stories were told, different communities thrived, and the “New Normal” felt just as alive as the old one—a classic example of our ability to look at the bright side of life despite all the startling darkness surrounding us. This is also apparent in the hundreds of citizen-led drives and projects to help out our neighbors who weren’t as lucky as others, a chance to flex our arms outward to reach devastated areas, and to put our excess belongings to good use.
Now, as we reach the ninth month of our isolation, the New Normal phenomenon has dialed back to zero, where we’re feeling more attuned to reality, and things are no longer unfamiliar or strange. Face masks and face shields are just more accessories to adorn ourselves with, the constant need to sanitize and wash our hands are now simply common practices of personal hygiene, and of course, there’s no such thing as Christmas parties—isn’t that just typical and normal in 2020?
As we reflect on the things that have brought back a sense of normalcy to our quarantine lives, we look at the new stories that were shared, and the ones that have been there since the beginning.
In the Flex Issue, we’ll be diving deep into the 10-year acting career of Alden Richards, and his personal story of prosperity, occasional mishaps, and his learnings along the way. We’re also set to bask in the glory of Kelvin Morales’ stunning fashion display, and Boy’s Love web series Gaya Sa Pelikula is taking center stage as we enter another beloved story of love and acceptance in modern-day Philippines.
Moreover, this issue also seeks to provide practical tips on how to survive in this Not-so-New Normal with the travel essentials we need to get by (in case there’s still a need for reminding), and how to keep our private information safely tucked behind while we venture into a digital-forward lifestyle.
Life is ever-changing, and ever-evolving. What we deemed as unimaginable years ago, had taken over our lives with a virus stalking innocent victims outside, and households bolted shut in protection. But nevertheless, we as a society have warped, buckled, distorted, and twisted ourselves to make it out alive and, by a stroke of luck, plenty of what once was, still is. And those that were left to be feasted on by this rapidly changing world has been transformed to new, and sometimes even better, things.
Slowly but surely, Philippine society has been making its way back to pre-COVID normalcy with the things that remind us of who we are and what we believe in as a nation. In time, as circumstances get better and the scenic views of the future look back at us a bit brighter, may we all get the chance to flex. As one nation, may we all have the privilege to stretch out our legs under long and comfortable blankets, and may we revert back to our—not original—but, better selves and shapes.
Cover Photography Produced by: Leo Balante
Photography by: Ed Enclona
Grooming by: Lala Flores
Hair by: Mark Familara
Shot on location at 10 Hours Studio