Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Weygan-Allan: New normal without physical presence

Sangal di Kultura

BAGUIO just celebrated its 111the Anniversary with a significant shift of the way it is done due to pandemic protocols. The convention that is with limited participation from the City Government, the awardees and the guest of speaker Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, and out partners in opening our borders for local tourism.

Noticeable, too, was the presence of young executives representing national government agencies. There must be a new surge of new things to happen and the old must go.

The community quarantine has taught me to be more knowledgeable, learning more of the internet than decades ago. At the start of the ECQ, we have to bring the food out of the market if people are a constraint, thus, the Market to Home Delivery service. This is not yet understood by many, as it is a system starting with a group chat of vendors and homeowners in the barangays. This way, homeowners know the vendors and vice versa. It’s like a “suki system.” Orders are done online and delivered in drop points in the barangay.

Another was the “1500 sa Akinse relief project” where donors were giving through social media and see the recipients of their donations on social media. It was a successful project resting heavily on social media as a medium of transaction and communication between donors, barangay coordinators and recipients.

During this time, I was taught how to use the page feature of Facebook (FB). Years ago, family and friends have started pages for me. But my nephew VJ and his wife Jereal Cawis have trained me on how to use the FB Page. This was all done through the net.

Our City Council regular session was also done through Zoom meetings, and so I have to download and test how it works with the help of Jordan Habilling. We were the first to also use the modified public hearing of using Zoom and actual consultation simultaneously at the City Council Hall.

Viber and WhatsApp were installed on my phone to keep me connected with the people involved in our work. City Mayor Benjie Magalong keeps us updated of Covid-19 incidents even when we are not physically meeting through daily Viber messages.

I created a PCL group chat to connect members of the City Council. Though we do not meet as a group because there are many senior citizens, we have the chat group to discuss matters that concern us.

In some organizations where I am a member of the board, the committee, or an officer, the group chats and virtual meeting rooms have become a frequent meeting places where matters of importance are discussed and decisions are made.

The new way of doing things have been fully used also in our office through group chats, video conferences and calls are exchanged.

But through all this, I missed other members of my family. My husband and I have been in close quarters during the community quarantine period and kept our bonding more meaningful. We, too, miss other members of our families, and social media keeps us connected.

We are now in the new world, a new normal, so let’s remain safe and sane.


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