The COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted the daily routines of every Filipino. Students, in particular, had to deal with the early suspension of the semester and scramble to continue academic work at home. Schools like Far Eastern University (FEU) have been extremely active in initiating programs to help the community during this crisis. Further amplifying these efforts are initiatives made by various students, athletes, and community members, one of which is student leader, Mariz Domingo.
Mariz, an FEU Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (ITHM) student, shares her experience dealing with the drastic changes the pandemic brought and what it taught her.
She paints a picture of hope as she inspires and helps her fellow students deal with this life-changing crisis.
One of the ways her college is helping out cash-strapped students and teachers is through the launch of an online shopping platform. “The ITHM Student Council initiated the ITHM SHOPPE or what we call the Sellers Hub for Online Products, Promotions, and Entrepreneurship. This project is meant to help promote and advertise our co-students’ and the faculty members’ online shops. These were created to help them increase their followers and to attract potential buyers not only in the ITHM community network but also in FEU at large. We wanted them to earn extra income to fund their daily needs,” she said.
She also noted that the disruption brought about by the pandemic resulted in a lot of free time and people are trying to fill that in productively. “Personally, the biggest challenge I had to face this quarantine was to find something productive to do. Before this pandemic started, I always had full schedules on weekdays and even during weekends. I realized that the real challenge these days is not just finding a way to be productive but finding value in what you do,” she said.
“During the pandemic, I learned how to cook better and I felt like a chef after making a buffet for Mother’s Day and for birthdays. Aside from that, I learned better ways to keep a healthy and sound body through proper diet and exercise. But most importantly, I learned to cleanse my mind, my social media, the messages in my inbox, and my body too,” she added.
Presently, Mariz has been focusing on a seamsless shift to online classes. “I have been preparing for the shift to online classes since the latter half of the 2nd semester. I made sure I had a phone and a laptop to use for the virtual lessons. Most importantly, I made sure that I had strong internet so that I could join in and keep track of the requirements in school. But I wish every FEU student could have these gadgets too and the internet connection to continue living their dreams through studying,” she shared.
The pandemic is an unprecedented trial for all of us. Fortunately, future leaders like Mariz have learned to put this experience in perspective and find value in all the things she had to do.
As a final piece of advice from Mariz, she says that we should “Give value to everything in your life, from the work you do to the fleeting moments you have with friends and family because you will never know when you will be able to do these things again.”