Things to do while on Community Quarantine

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Hydrating doesn’t need to be boring. Aside from water, drink to health and wellness with refreshing fruit juices or this sugarcane juice with a dash of calamansi and ginger. Try also fruit-infused water to add vitality to your hydrating experience. Bottoms up!

Now that efforts of controlling (and curbing) the covid-19 pandemic is reinforced, we are at the mercy of being holed up at home and getting bored and more likely to suffer domestic ennui. For an introvert like me, this is the life!

Here, in the course of the community quarantine (with Metro Manila in a lockdown) are some of the simple things to do to be productive even if office operations and procedures were abated:

1. Work from home – At the time of writing this blog, I am weaving and stitching together story entries for our latest book project featuring young farmers in the region who are successful in their own farming endeavors. The work from home scheme is working for me since I have control of my writing time and enjoy power naps in between writing sessions.

2. Read a book – The benefits of reading a book can be simplified as such that it can increase our verbal and writing skills. It also improves our ability to comprehend written material. Reading also helps us articulate thoughts and improves our vocabulary and makes us a more creative thinker and adept content developer.

3. Plant a tree or grow a garden – Aside from the “legacy”, it’s good to know that I have contributed in the mitigation of climate change. When growing vegetables of your own choice, you’ll get to eat them too knowing that it is organic and very safe to eat. Start with easy to grow leafy veggies such us camote tops, kangkong, malunggay, alugbati, and saluyot.

4. Cook – If you’re like me working from home, now is the time to sharpen that culinary skills of yours. Aside from enlisting the help of a can opener which have been your constant companion for a while now, experimenting with what’s in your kitchen would surely boost your culinary confidence. Then think of Gordon Ramsay or Nigella Lawson applauding you every time you whip up something yummy.

5. Eat – Eating, as what my favorite food writer Doreen Fernandez declared, is the most constant of all pleasures. And what better way to exploit that pleasure than us being confined at the four corners of our home. Eating enhances our daily domestic existence. I am happier when I am full and more loving when my stomach is filled with good food. Often, the pleasure of eating can originate in the pleasure of creating — putting together ingredients that balance flavor, color and texture, for a mosaic of nutritional and gastronomic delight.

6. Binge watch Netflix – Now is the time to catch up with that series you have been dying to watch! In one sitting, I did manage to finish “Salt Fat Acid Heat” by the amazing Samin Nosrat. I understand the popularity of Korean series “Kingdom” and “Crash Landing on You”, so by all means, chillax and enjoy!

7. Sleep –One can't beat the feeling of getting into bed after a long, hard day and that feeling gets even better when you wake up feeling great and back to your normal self the following morning. It’s even amazing to curl up in bed and doze off a bit then wake up refreshed and revitalized.

8. Prioritize health – Let’s do whatever it takes to maintain and zero-in on the four dimensions to optimize well-being: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Seek help if necessary. Reach out. Communicate. Caring for our body makes sense. After all, we only get one body in this lifetime, and we want it to last as long as possible.

9. Keep updated with the news – Being at home and with the luxury of time, stay in the loop and keep abreast with the latest news here and around the world.

10. Connect with friends and family – Harness the power of social media and technology. It pays to stay in touch with family and close friends for emotional support.

11. Reconnect with self – Re-examine goals, re-visit targets and re-evaluate long term plans.

12. Avail ATI’s free e-learning courses and other free online class – The best things in life are FREE and ATI offers hundreds of courses online (click right here: With this whole lockdown and quarantine going on, some local artists are even offering online tutorials for free too!

13. Exercise – Move. a 30-minute jog in place or 1 hour Zumba does wonder to the heart and skin. It also helps with all the binge eating too. And while you're at it, don't forget to hydrate. Drink up on fruit juices or fruit-infused water.

14. Meditate or do Yoga – Find your center. Focus. Meditate. Engage in mindful existence.

15. Learn a new skill (or get back on track on your childhood hobby) – Learn piano or guitar. Sing! Some of us have been wanting to learn a new skill and are never going to actually do so due to time constraints. Now is that time.

16. Observe proper hygiene – Just because we’re at home doesn’t mean we are safe from not contracting the virus. Other house members might get it outside after getting some bare necessities and other essentials. Don’t forget hand washing and self-disinfect as well as disinfecting the surroundings.

17. Declutter – Think of Marie Kondo. The best way to handle it is in stages—focus in one room, one space, or even one zone within a room (like kitchen cabinets), completing the job fully before moving on to the next space. As per her KonMari Method: Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.

18. More self-care – Perhaps you may want to finally take more time with your skin care routine by slathering up or soaking in with the following: Aloe Vera, VCO, anti-aging stuff, coffee scrub, etc. Scrub off those thick calluses.

19. Level up your life hacking skills - Time to try those so-called life hacks you've been seeing on social media! A life hack, by the way, is a trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency in all aspects of life. Download mobile apps that ease your digital and physical existence.

20. Listen to music (or podcasts and audiobooks for free at - Indulge yourself with an eargasmic treat by listening to music legends and otherworldly artists like Annie Lennox, Barry White, Chicago. Or Bjork, Lany, or Lana del Rey. Or Joey Ayala, Rivermaya, Side-A, Eraserheads, The Company. Whatever your ears fancy!


Shoutout to Butch Lapitan and RJ Tabinas for suggesting more entries to make our staycation a lot more enjoyable. Many thanks you guys!

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.