As We Near the End of 2021

I just finished putting small cups of cinnamon sticks on my bookshelves. I spotted a silverfish on one of my books the other day – nasty insects that love to chew on bookbinding glue and paper – and was just quick enough to squish it. Google said silverfish hate the scent of cedar and cinnamon. But to be sure, I’ve ordered a bottle of silverfish poison powder on Lazada too. It won’t arrive until next year, which starts tomorrow.


I fully expected to spend most of December exploring our new neighbourhood. We moved here recently to be closer to my kid’s primary school (so much has happened this year! I’ll have a first grader! aaahh!). It’s quieter here than where we used to live, next to Singapore’s largest mall, with the nearest public library and an NTUC FairPrice mere minutes away. Here in our new place, we have to ride a bus or MRT to the nearest shopping centre. But now we’re also a stop away from a proper wet market, a short walk away from small cafés/shops claiming to bake “artisanal” bread (whatever that is), and best of all, I can see East Coast Park in the distance from our window. Which isn’t too bad.

But what do you know, Singapore recategorised the Philippines into the group of countries with slightly more relaxed Covid-19 restrictions, and we entertained the possibility of maybe, just maybe, flying home for the first time in nearly two years.

When we bought our flight tickets, the quarantine period in the Philippines was just 3 days, and we heard stories of people being released on the 4th day, after their PCR test results were promptly issued.

Of course, as you all know, Omicron hit.

By the time we landed in the Philippines, the quarantine period had lengthened to 5 days (vs. the original 3 days). We also ended up being released on the 7th day because the Philippine Bureau of Quarantine was somehow blindsided by the huge volume of OFWs who wanted to come home for Christmas (hands up, who else was surprised?).

At our quarantine hotel in Ortigas. We were considered lucky; we heard the other passengers on our flight ended up in Sogo Cubao.

Short story long, we have now spent longer in home/hotel quarantine than we spent with our own families (time split between his and mine).

Would we still fly home if we had known? 110% yes.

Wishing you and your families a safe, healthy, and happy 2022.

Our flight back to Singapore, where we made up more than half of the passengers.

Think critically dear readers (especially so next year),

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