By Kent Veloso
Contributing / Batch 2020 Alumnus
Since I was young, I have always dreamt of becoming an aircraft mechanic and an aviator. As I grew up, my fondness of planes made me grow lonelier since I play alone in our room by crafting airplanes out of modeling clays and forming a small-scaled airport.
My imagination was wild back then, yet I grew up in isolation within myself. I kept everything to myself as I went on.
I have always desired that someday, if I become truly successful, I also will provide my family with our very own house since we only lived within the household of my grandparents.
These dreams have brought me far today and have led me to be molded into who I have become.
Since kindergarten, I have been a scholar of the Salesian Community here in our province. They have supported me financially and spiritually until I graduated in my Alma Mater, Don Bosco Technical College – Cebu, Philippines.
Because of this blessing, I wish to share it with others by offering my talents through charity and service to the young by joining the Salesian Youth Movement Philippines. With their influence, I am firmly molded as a youth leader who loves to serve and guide my fellow peers. With these, I am motivated and inspired to continue walking in Don Bosco’s way by serving the youth with all that I can.
In the present time, reminiscing these experiences is saddening to me as the pandemic brought a crisis in our entire family.
It all started when one of our family members contracted the COVID-19 virus. We were startled so we did safety precautions immediately to prevent the virus from being transmitted to our grandparents since it would be very dangerous to them.
My mom got sick, and so she kept herself isolated in our room while the rest of us stayed in the living room since we only slept in a single room originally.
However, we were unsure at first if it was a common flu or the virus’s effect. Since I love my mom, I assisted her with her needs until I got sick too. Soon after, she tested positive and was brought to the city’s isolation center. After me, my aunt and grandparents were infected too because of me.
Grandma was rushed to the hospital while grandpa was left at home bed-ridden while being under medication.
In the absence of the other family members, my grandpa went to critical condition so I and my brother rushed to rescue him, however, he slowly expired in our hands no matter how hard we tried.
It was my first experience having a loved one die while holding him under our care and I find it very painful and traumatic. Worse, we weren’t able to hold a funeral nor attend his internment as he is to be buried immediately due to the pandemic.
The worst came when we tried to inform my mom who is isolated from another place far away and grandma who is recovering in the hospital. While breaking the news out to them, it pained me hearing them wail and cry since they can’t see grandpa anymore.
Few days later, he was buried immediately, and soon after, my aunt and uncle tested positive and were brought to the center.
For several days, I, my older brother, and my younger cousin were left at home. We weren’t able to come out since we’re being monitored by the government. Fortunately, our relatives outside the house supplied us with our needs.
For a certain period, we managed to endure staying inside as I did all house chores to minimize further contact. A week after, mom had recovered from the isolation center and arrived home, and so did my grandma from the hospital together with my dad.
Eventually, we were examined until unexpectedly, I contracted the virus, and I was also isolated in the nearest center.
The virus destroyed many of my plans. How? My dad’s job became limited and my mom is struggling to go back to work due to discrimination. She is also hindered since our grandma is emotionally unstable after the demise of grandpa.
The best thing that I and my brother could do is to support the family financially is to stop studying and work for the family until we rise again. We do plan to continue our college education, yet we need to sacrifice for the love of family.
Today, I am writing this letter with hope in my heart, even after consecutive trials came and tested our family. We were battered and shaken psychologically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually, yet somehow, we remained our trust in the Lord and we felt it with each other’s presence. We slowly grew stronger in spirit and in love.
Even though things would never be the same as it was before, as a Bosconian, I do believe and continue to live the Salesian youth spiritualities; to do my ordinary duties extraordinarily well everyday, embody joy and optimism, be a friend of Christ and follow Him, commune with the Church, and be a responsible servant
Today is the 25th of June, and I am currently on my 5th day of isolation.
Amidst crisis and distress in this circumstance, I do know that God has a destination set for me and I am guided there by our Blessed Mother. I remain hopeful and continue to dream on!