Stories (4,500 – 5,000 words) are narrations of significant or meaningful events or experiences in respondents’ lives. SP.A may solicit stories on a particular theme or respondents may submit unsolicited stories on their own themes of interest.

2020 has changed our lives.
-what you’ve lost;
-what you’ve gained;
-how you survived;
-how you thrived;
-what’s next for you;
as the future follows thru.
-help others cope;
-make more hope;
-inspire the distressed;
-steady the wayward;
-lay bare our core;
as we fly and soar.

Our bodies may be in disrepair but
our hearts that tell our stories are whole.

See below these two stories with heartfelt cries of both pain and resolve. Story attribution is determined by the author – choice of fully anonymous, or use of an alias or use of real name and email.

[Original submission] 2020 ang taong nag dulot ng sobrang kalungkutan at sakit sa aming pamilya. Nawala ang pinaka mamahal naming ina. Pero hindi yun naging hadlang upang panghinaan kami ng loob. Ginawa naming sandalan ang bawat isa upang sa gayon ay malampasan namin ang pag subok na dumating sa aming pamilya.

[English translation]The year 2020 was the year that brought our family extreme sadness and pain. We lost our loving mother. But that loss did not become a hindrance, weakening our resolve. We leaned on each other for support and through that we try to move forward, going past this trial that has beset our family.

Story author: Nimfa (nimfasierva at gmail)

[Original submission] I describe 2020 as a scary dream due to this pandemic. I never imagined that it would turn the world upside down: reversing the way it usually works, changing everything, all aspects of living and in all aspects of life. I felt like this is the worst year that all of us have had. We’ve lost our loved ones, relatives, and some friends. It seems everything was a disaster.

But also, because of this pandemic we realized the things that are truly important to us. We learned new things, We learned how we can cope with this pandemic. We learned how to survive by learning new things and by being more health conscious. Because of this situation we became stronger and wiser. The pandemic has helped us learn that no matter what the situation, what’s important is that we need to keep moving forward. We need to be more positive in life because without realizing it, everything will be back to normal. [Original submission].

[Filipino translation] Ang 2020 ay maisasalarawan ko bilang isang bangungot. Hindi-hindi ko naisip na dahil sa pandemyang ito magkakabali-baligtad ang mundo. Ang mga kinagawian natin ay lahat mawawala – sa lahat ng aspeto ng buhay natin at sa buong mundo. Pakiramadam ko, itong 2020 na ang pinakapangit na taon para sa ating lahat. Nawalan tayo ng mga mahal sa buhay, mga kamaganak, at mga kaibigan. Parang lahat ng bagay ay naging sakuna.

Pero dahil din sa pandemyang ito, nakita natin ang mga bagay na lubusan at totoong importante sa atin. Natututo tayo ng mga bagong bagay tulad ng kung paano malalabanan ang pandemya. Natuto tayo kung paano mabuhay ng mas naaalagaan ang ating kalusugan. Dahil sa pandemya tayo ay naging mas malakas at mas matalino. Tinuruan tayo ng pandemya na maski anong sitwasyon ang kinakaharap natin, ang importante ay tuloy tuloy tayong umusad ng pasulong. Kailangan parati natin makita ang positibo sa buhay dahil mabibigla nalang tayo na nakabalik na tayo sa normal.

Story author: Anonymous

Another SP.A respondent just felt the need to let out her feelings – and this is OK too.

[Original submission] During this pandemic naging taong bahay ako, naging full-time mama sa tatlong kids, no work na. At asawa ko nlng gumagawa ng paraan. Mahirap, napakahirap po tlga.

[English Translation] During this pandemic, I became exclusively home-based, becoming a full-time mother to three kids. I was not able to work anymore. My husband became the one in charge of finding ways to meet our needs. It is hard, really very hard.

Story author: Anonymous