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High blood

Fighting boredom a senior citizen’s way

/ 05:03 AM September 30, 2020

Since the start of the never-ending season of lockdowns some 180 days ago, I have been perpetually quarantined at home. I was able to come out only once for 30 minutes to visit my bank. It has been a torture to a former teacher who was never completely at home for a week, rain or shine, for 47 years before retirement.

Nowadays, I still do some WFH, occasionally watch Netflix, catch the daily news on TV, and communicate with family and friends through the internet. However, I still feel that I need to introduce some variety to my daily chores. One day, I thought of clipping news items on current issues.

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This idea of clipping news is not new to me. Many years ago, the English, Music and Art Department of the UP Integrated School, of which I was a member for more than 20 years, adhered to this mandate for our 10 students: “No matter where you stand politically, even if you’re unsure of your political ideology, it is important to take part in the process of shaping our government.” Concretizing this mandate involved reading the daily news and a 10-item check-up quiz every Monday for Grade 10 students. This led me to my hobby of clipping news on current issues.

Adding my current collection to those I’ve accumulated through the years created so much clutter in my small study corner that I decided to organize them into scrapbooks. On second thought, however, the project could be very expensive, because I had to prepare pages much bigger and thicker than bond paper and cover them with thicker cardboard.

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With this problem in mind, I went to a nearby publishing company and asked if they could sell me the residual wall calendars they failed to distribute last Christmas and some discarded book covers. Instead of selling them to me, they donated the calendars, pieces of cardboard, and a small bottle of white glue. What blessings!

Once I reached home, I started to recycle the materials. I folded the leaves of the calendar into two and pasted the news items on them. Next, I organized the pages by topics, covered them with the thick cardboard and bound them with fasteners. Finally, I typed their titles and pasted them on the covers of my scrapbooks. These are the titles: (1) Devils Unmasked through Martial Law; (2) The South China Sea: Quo Vadis?; (3) Dutertismo in Action; (4) Sending ABS-CBN and Its 11,000 Employees on Bended Knees; (5) COVID-19 Issues, and More…; (6) Thank God for Silver Linings; (7) Remote Teaching or Online Learning?; and (8) Potpourri.

I’m so happy with what I’ve done. To fight boredom away, I will continue filling in these scrapbooks with more clippings. Then when I cannot do anything more than just stay in bed to read, I will leaf through the pages of each scrapbook and recall what happened before. Of course, I have also prepared an additional folder with this title: For Those Who are Near, Almost There, or Already Present in the Pre-departure Area.

By the way, all my clippings came from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which I have subscribed to since Day 1 of its publication.

Elena C. Cutiongco, 86, is a retired UP professor.

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TAGS: Elena C. Cutiongco, High Blood, newspaper clippings, old age boredom, Quarantine
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