Tara Na, NLEX!

Tara Na, NLEX features places, food, and travel.

Change is Inevitable, Change is Constant

by: Jaimee Jane S. Faustino & Khate Ganio- Sabado

Three months in lockdown, and yet the turmoil brought on by COVID-19 continuously beats up the new routine that everyone is trying to embrace since day one. While some dances the music of constant disruption in transitioning to the new normal, others find it strenuous to boogie down their dreams and passion as we are still forced to stay at home, forgo travel plans and limit our personal interaction with our loved ones.

However, having the natural enthusiasm of Filipinos to conform and look through rose-colored glasses, we gradually recognize more opportunities to discover something new and reinvent ourselves. We remarkably learn to enjoy other forms of leisure despite the significant influence of social media.

Let us discover how our coworkers from Operations and Technology department delight themselves to be productive amidst the pandemic crisis.


Since cinemas are still not allowed to open, the demand in using Netflix, YouTube and other online video streaming services skyrocketed. For some employees, a simple bonding of watching TV series and movies is still special as long as they get to spend it together with their family while eating popcorn.

Kdrama series/Netflix binge watching is an old norm for me. But this lock down made it special because I got to watch them all with my mom.” – Quintrix Anne de Jesus, Technology

I really like watching movies specially action. And this is my “Me Time” – Ryan Rey David, Toll Ops

Being Artsy

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought fear and anxiety to many. Hence, people find comfort in taking their creativity to the next level. Some employees use it to have an additional source of income, while others just want to express themselves thru their hobbies.

“Before ECQ happened, I’d been into outdoor activities such as hiking and nature tripping — but since leisure travels are still restricted and the new normal includes staying at home, watercolor painting and reading are now my new favorite hobbies.” Myrrha Bernadette Santiago, Technology

“I did a lot of woodworking projects because aside from being a hobby, it is my passion. I enjoy doing it and also earned from it additional income for my family.” Marlon Doctolero, Traffic Operations

“During the ECQ, I had the chance to improve my DIY skills since there are a lot of things to do / create / and repair in our home. I did some woodworking and metalwork fabrications. I felt proud of myself after gaining new knowledge specifically the technical-know-how since it will be of great use to us in the future.” Noel Joseph dela Cruz, Traffic Operations

Pursuing Body Goals

Indulging in our comfort food made us so guilty for every bite of heavenly goodness, so there are some who seized the opportunity to work themselves out to achieve fitness and good health; or for others their summer body goals.

“Working out! This is one of my faves this lockdown. 💯 Ever since the quarantine started, I didn’t feel like myself and spent most of the time slouching. But after a month of doing nothing, I began to plan my workout for the week and swore to myself that I will do so 4-5x a week to keep my body healthy. And as days pass, I realized that it just not only keep you fit but it also helps you calm your mind and does magic to have a positive outlook in life! You just have to find the right routine that’ll work for you and surely, you’ll enjoy the process along the way.” Quintrix Anne de Jesus, Technology

“I was already into sports activities even before the ECQ but now I focused on indoor drills and exercises.” – Ricardo Rontal, Traffic Operations

“During the ECQ, I got the chance to exercise and tone my muscles. I think its good for the health since everyone is now talking about staying fit and healthy to fight the Covid-19 virus.”Ian Capangyarihan, Traffic Ops

“I searched for scrap materials that can still be used or recycled. I intended to make it as an exercise equipment so I can sweat it out and at the same time come up with something new. I feel happy with my accomplishment noting that I myself was able to do it based on what I wanted. It’s a good moral booster and at the same time exercise for my body.”Jerwin Angeles, Traffic Operations

Being a Gourmet Chef

Since our favorite go-to restaurants have not yet been fully operational, we are dying to savor our desired meals. This has led some of us to be inspired in recreating and inventing recipes to satiate our cravings.

“I was into social media like FB but I spent most of my time cooking delicious and nourishing meals for my family so they would be always strong and healthy.” Irish Fajardo, Traffic Operations

“I enjoyed playing mobile games but when i stayed home, i learned how to cook. My specialty now is beef brocolli. Nothing could match my pride and joy when i see my family enjoy and heartily consume the food i have prepared for them. No more costly fastfood. Now home-cooked meals cooked by me is what my family craves for. We saved on our budget and still eat to our heart’s content.” Jeffrey Azarcon, Traffic Ops

“I enjoyed cooking for my family. I feel happy being able to do so and spending more time with them. Now I can say that I am fulfilling my fatherly duties not just a provider but also a cook with a heart! – Chris Catolico, Traffic Operations

Cooking — Youtube is my best friend! At first, I just got no choice because my mom doesn’t like doing this chore but I ended up enjoying this “task”. I am not just even cooking now, I also practice good plating lol.” – Quintrix Ann de Jesus, Technology

Being Bookworms

Despite having the roller coaster of emotions brought by COVID 19, some get lost in the world of diverse stories found in books and other reading materials. They are fascinated by the silence tagged with the vivid and whimsical vibes of whirlwind ideas within.


“Reading some of the books especially those that I’ve hoarded during Book Fairs or from my pile of “To Read”.  Indeed, we all have felt the stress and anxiety brought by the pandemic — and as for me, doing activities that I enjoy and love has helped me cope up with these overwhelming emotions. Myhrra Bernadette Santiago, Technology

“I started to collect newspaper clippings and read about Philippine business moguls, success stories, articles about values, fitness and health and leadership. I wanted to stay positive and learn more about them. I feel I could emulate and become a better person with their influences.” – Freddie Dulalia, Traffic Operations


Some employees are entangled in the life adventures of their own favorite video game characters and heroes. They get to unravel mysteries and accomplish quests as well as celebrate the smell of their sweet little victories.

“I spent my time on PC and mobile gaming. It stimulates my creative juices and this is also the time I bond with my friends online. It’s a big stress reliever for me as it lightens my mood.”  – Lawrence Tiquia, Traffic Operations

“My favorite past time is playing mobile games like Mobile Legends and COC.” –  Ian Capangyarihan, Traffic Operations

“We play billiards and mobile legends as a bonding time with my family specially with my  brothers.” – Ryan Rey David, Toll Collection

Online Selling (Payaman Club)

Business operations is the most affected in these trying times, hence others take the opportunity to earn extra income for their family. Some utilized online shopping since most people have limited access to their favorite stores and restaurants. Meanwhile, there is someone who also earns from breeding his pets.

“I enjoyed doing online selling in the form of ‘pasa-buy’. At first, I just thought of it as a way to save on fuel since I have the chance to go out and buy food and other essentials for myself and for my family. Later, I have discovered a new perspective of online selling. I could earn extra for shopping for my friends and helping them get what they need or want without leaving their own houses. Its a great source of additional income.” Kenneth Lopez, Traffic Ops

“I enjoy checking on my pet especially now that my beagle is pregnant and is due to give birth this June. I am excited especially knowing I could also earn from this. I hate the idea of being unproductive  especially now that our store is not operational.” – Felix Giron

Family Time

As we patiently wait for the ending of this chapter, nothing beats the time we spend with our family to bond and go down the memory lane. Parents grasp the chance to know more about their children and show their love for them.

“I love cooking but since the lockdown, I had more time to play with my son. We had more bonding time. I gained more time to be with him, play, bathe, feed and even make him sleep. I appreciate my wife more for her sacrifices. Its difficult noting that our enemy cant be seen. So we need to be extra careful for ourselves, our family and for our company.” – Rowland Arellano, Traffic Ops

“I spent my time watching tv, cooking and doing laundry. Initially, i had no choice but eventually, i appreciated the idea of being a home buddy. It may be sometimes tiresome but knowing i am of service to my family, i am doing labor of love. Now, i have become more strict and vigilant. No one and nothing can come into our home without being disinfected.” – Roel Siapengco, Traffic Ops

While we are still trying to adapt to the new normal, we should expect that change will be a constant in our story. Time and again, we will eventually learn to adjust to life’s twist and turns as we have done in the past. Come what may, our resilience will still be our weapon to cope and survive. We cannot remain stagnant as this is just another chapter. Remember, God only makes happy endings. So, if it is not happy, it’s not yet the end.

Change may be inevitable, but with the help of our support system, faith and courage, we can eventually learn to be invincible. #NLEXTayoNagiingatNagsisilbi 


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