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Can Filipino Singles Find a 'Jowa' in the Quarantine Bubble?

It's a valid concern.
by Ara Eugenio
Mar 24, 2021
Photo/s: Shutterstock

Millions of Filipinos are again told to stay indoors to stop the spread of COVID-19. Entering their second year under quarantine, singles have one concern: how will they find a partner?

#LandiinNiyoNaAko easily trended on the first day of the NCR Plus bubble as it became clear that the some of the restrictions were similar to 2020's ECQ or lockdown: no restaurant dine-in, curfews, no leaving the house except for essentials.

Dating apps are there, yes, but despite reporting increased usage as soon as social distancing measures were implemented, young people, at least those reportr talked to, succumbed to digital fatigue.

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There's more fish in the online sea now, and yet many still choose to upend dating completely until such time when it's safer to meet people in the flesh.

Clarko Ramirez, a 22-year old young professional, had described his pandemic dating experience as  "bleak". He used to be a dating app regular, but for some reason, online dating during a pandemic made it hard for him to connect with people. 

"I try my best to talk to the people I've matched with, but I've been really demotivated lately," he said. 

"It also has to do with my priorities. There's a lot going on with my life right now like surviving a pandemic, keeping up with my family since they're far away, and of course, career. Getting into a relationship right now (especially that everything's online and impossible to meet) is the least of my priorities," Ramirez said.


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Here's how to cope

It's perfectly normal to get frustrated, and psychologists advise against repressing negative thoughts. You can either vent out to someone, write about it and post online. Or you can also demand accountability from authorities who are responsible for prolonging this ordeal.

Whatever that is, it helps to ground yourself in the hope that nothing is permanent, including the pandemic, according to a life coach. 

"Someday, somehow the world will open up again. My take here is that instead of coming from a space of resistance, people must come from a space of openness. Adjust accordingly," said celebrity life coach Myke Celis.

It may be hard to have physical interaction now, but dating isn't all about that: "It's about getting to know the person better to see if there's a fit," which you can always do with video calls and virtual dates," he said. 

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"Come to think of this: at least you're not just relying on sexual chemistry as a basis for your attraction. You just have to be more creative and maximize the space you're in. It's all about building genuine that transcends physical boundaries," he added.

Warning of rampancy of cyber crimes like leaking private photos and videos, Celis shared these guidelines:

  1. Be careful and know what to keep private. Make the conversation as casual as possible and don't open up things that would put you in a compromised state e.g. used for blackmailing .
  2. Dating should be fun so just come up with interesting questions and topics to keep the conversation going as you get to know the person accordingly.
  3. Do a background check. Check if you have mutual friends. Ask for their social media accounts.

"Again, you don't need to expose yourself to total strangers. A captured moment of intimacy whether screen shot or video can mean a lifetime of shame if exposed intentionally or otherwise," Celis said.

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"Don't go chasing love just because you feel stuck or lonely... allow it to come to you when you're ready. In the meantime, make yourself a priority, as you make yourself date-worthy. Be the person you'd want to date I always say," he added. 


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