Wednesday, April 8, 2020


My blog turns 13 though I feel like I should take a year off of it due to its inactivity last year. I have broken the one-post per month (at least) streak that I held for 11 years. If not for the mandatory work from home set-up, and a reminder to renew the domain, I have totally forgotten about this blog.

blog header
Unwanted Crown
I sit by the window
and watch the world stops
 it did not 
just uninhabited 
for a while
paving way 
to a visiting royal
between two buildings 
the bluest sky
I am not talking about the color
a couple
unholding vinyl- 
covered hands
or pouting 
behind white mask
someone is on the phone 
video-calling non-stop 
until the battery drains out
or until a loved one 
on the other side 
becomes unresponsive 
will the signal 
able to reach the two kingdom
heaven and hell?

It’s almost a month since I started working from home. Without anyone to talk to, random thoughts are everywhere, and this segues to the randomness of this post. I went back to the Philippines last February 27 to surprise our Mom on her 83rd birthday. Only my brother knew that I was coming home. It was fun keeping it a secret, and thought that we successfully pulled off the surprise.

After seven days, I went back immediately to United Arab Emirates as countries have started to close their borders to stop the spread of corona virus. Just recently, Japan also announces a state of emergency to certain prefectures. My first overseas trip was to Japan, April 10, 2003 to be exact. I have lived there for more than a decade.

It is very difficult to predict when will this pandemic going to end. But we can do our part to help flatten the curve. Stay at home as much as possible for the time being. Though I have been living alone most of my life working overseas, this one is a bit different especially you are requested to practice social and physical distancing. A little sacrifice on our part could play a big part in helping combat the virus.


When this is all over, we may be seeing our world differently. Be ready and when the time comes,  grab your camera, hold the hands of your loved ones, and enjoy the new earth unfolding before our very eyes.


Photos and videos taken with
     Nikon Z50
     iPhone 8s
     iPhone 11 Pro


  1. Totomai, i have missed your awesome photos and haiku. Happy you are back.
    We are not stuck at home we are safe at home
    Happy Sunday


  2. I echo what Gillena says. :) So it sounds like work must have been very busy, for you to forget this blog. I do hope that working from home allows you to join us more often at P&SU. This post is a total delight, as always.

  3. It's so good to see you again, Totomai!! I love; "someone is on the phone
    video-calling non-stop until the battery drains out," I think that's most of us these days 😃

  4. I too welcome you back Totomai. Yes ,the line "until the battery runs out" is the most telling phrase. It is mazing that our world has changed so much in just a couple of months. Lets hope we learn from it but I am not betting on it!

  5. Welcome back to blogging! Great to see you. :)
    Loved that video of you surprising your mama on her birthday.
    COVID-19 is going to change the way on how we live and interact.

  6. Those unholding hands stick out, don't they? The same goes for not fully knowing the shapes of smiles or frowns (eyes don't always seem to tell when masks are involved). So very telling, your poetry.

    So glad you got to surprised your mom. Happy moments make it all worth our while.

    I do believe the post-pandemic world will be quite different. Still, there is hope in remembering that there will always be people who care enough to celebrate one another.

  7. I enjoyed your Mom's happy birthday, and your words about the pandemic are truthful. I agree the post-pandemic world will be very different. Perhaps we will appreciate each other more, and be kinder to our friends and acquaintances.

  8. Welcome back! Your poem speaks truth about the current situation Very recognisable. Love the video A beautiful cake and what a surprise for her. Just what we all need to connect to our family and friends

  9. I like how you have captured the atmosphere of the pandemic in this poem, especially in the lines:
    ‘just uninhabited
    for a while’
    ‘someone is on the phone
    video-calling non-stop
    until the battery drains out’.

  10. love your poem, Totomai! good job!

    - Hamokine Poet

  11. Love the photos, the poem, the surprise for your mother. Life is certainly different these days. Welcome back to blogging.


any thoughts to distill?

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