What a difference a year makes!
The world we left behind when last we published the print edition of FilAm MegaScene was definitely nothing like the one we found when we came back. Not that it slipped past us and suddenly, we just found ourselves standing in the midst of this dreadful reality. We, just like each and everyone of you, have been in it in real time. We saw it all. The lockdowns. The quarantines. The masks and social distancing. Worst of all, the deaths of millions of people around us and all around the globe. It’s almost unimaginable how our world was turned upside down because of that one deadly virus, which tested the resilience of nations, humbled the arrogance of power and crowned the wisdom of the humble.
The challenge of coping with the death of people we loved and cared about was the most difficult and excruciating pain anyone had to bear and live with for a long time. For unlike other losses, death can’t give us back what it had already taken away from us. Lucky are those who have not been personally touched by this pandemic in this most devastating way. What makes death from Covid-19 even more demoralizing is the unprecedented alienation and total isolation of those infected until their death, and at a time when they were in most need of the physical closeness, love and support of their family and friends.
At no other time than this had we lost so many good friends, in particular, the one dearest and closest to us, my prayer partner, Mareng Judy Agno. We never imagined losing her this way… this soon … and this quickly. One day she was briefly dropping in as she would always do before Christmas. The next day she was calling to say she tested positive for Covid-19. Her grief and apprehension were apparent as her voice quivered from the other end. Three days hence, she was admitted in the hospital, intubated and had remained so and in less than three weeks, expired, leaving us, her family, friends and a host of people who loved her, shocked and devastated.
You would think this pandemic has taught us some precious life lessons. We would have realized we are mortals who live on borrowed time. That with this virus, we are all equally vulnerable – rich, poor, famous or ordinary. That when we die, we leave behind all our earthly possessions. And that as per our Christian belief, nothing but our naked souls go to either join our Creator in His heavenly kingdom or plunge into the bottomless pit of hell with Satan. Surprisingly, this grim reality has not sunk in on many others as they go about their lives as if nothing had changed, concerned only about the restrictions that kept them away from a life of leisure and pleasure.
We came back because…
When we decided to stop publishing FilAm MegaScene last year, we knew we wouldn’t go back to print publication anymore. We thought it was probably time to just enjoy our full retirement. To take it easy, and as most retirees would love to say, take time to smell the roses. Besides, with COVID-19 bringing our lives to a screeching halt, we were all the more convinced we did not only make the right decision, but that we also made it at the perfect time.
But living through this pandemic gave us much more time on our hands than we can wisely use. We have watched documentaries, investigative reports, news stories, history and current events till our eyes hurt and our heads felt as heavy as a wrecking ball. It was exciting at first. Knowing the real story behind the headlines and discovering the facts that were otherwise buried in the political rhetoric of its time was empowering. Suddenly there was this urge to express ourselves and voice our opinions the way we used to. Facebook and messenger provided us a platform but not for long. Soon, we found ourselves longing for a better forum and a larger audience.
Publishing MegaScene online answers our desire to provide a hub for Filipinos in the diaspora, where they can meet virtually and vicariously and get to know one another by sharing personal experiences and stories, including viewpoints and observations on matters of common interests.
Separate and distinct yet united by common values, principles and goals, global Filipinos can harness their power and make a difference anywhere and everywhere.
Today it all begins here…