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a collection of autoethnographic diaries in the time of COVID-19

We are inviting everyone, not just anthropologists but also students, professionals, kids, academics, government, non-government, the religious sector, corporate employees, our frontliners, and volunteers, to send to us your everyday anecdotes of your experiences, reactions, feelings, and observations during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Since 15 March, NCR has been placed into a lockdown as a government measure to contain the spread of the COVID-19 acute respiratory disease. The following day, an enhanced community quarantine was announced extending the lockdown to the entirety of Luzon, while several local governments in Visayas and Mindanao posed restrictions of their own. The lockdown has caused a massive and abrupt societal change closing businesses, suspending classes, shutting down public transportation, and momentarily halting work, urging more than 50 million people to stay at home—an abnormality in our normative way of life. Suspending what essentially constitutes our daily lives has exposed the overwhelming social inequality in our country, the frailty of our economy highly dependent on import and export, the politics of the opportunists, and the kind of morality we hide underneath our language and behavior. Living on lockdown and staying at home are not the same for every Filipino. For some of us, the pandemic has occupied so much of our thinking and created a confused, incomprehensible emotional and psychological state, while for many people living in underprivileged circumstances physical distancing, handwashing, and wearing masks are only secondary to their day-to-day struggle to get food for their families.

As the only association of anthropologists in the Philippines, the Ugnayang Pang-Agham Tao sees the importance of listening to the personal and connecting it to the collective memory and cultural experiences of Filipinos in this extraordinary time. We encourage you to send us your own observations, reactions, and experiences based on the different senses—sight, smell, touch, hearing, feeling. Your submissions can be in the form of any of the following: short journal entries, long essays, photographs, photo essays, audio recordings, video, description of what you are feeling or the smells or the sounds you associate with or peculiar to you while you are under quarantine, screenshots and links to news you follow, drawings and illustrations of your environment, a list of words to describe the situation, etc. Your diary entries are in itself diary entries in the strict definition of the term. We are interested in submissions that you are writing for yourself and not only for the public or for clout such as the kind for a blog, Facebook, or Twitter. The submissions we seek include the reactions you experience intimately but are otherwise concealed.

We are particularly interested in your reflections on the following: What worries you during this time? What do you think about the government response? How do you feel about the volunteer efforts among the private sector and the civil society? What does ‘physical distancing’ and ‘quarantine’ look like to you? How do you cope or interact with others while on quarantine? While on lockdown, what do you feel before you go to sleep and after waking up? Have you also lost track of time? What are you thinking about when you need to go outside? How do you feel about the security checkpoints? What is your mood? What is the mood in your environment? Has there been a change in the way you understand yourself, family, personal and professional relationships, neighborhood, community, the medical workers, frontliners, the government, your schoolwork, society in general? How do you visualize the Philippines after the pandemic? What should we learn from this experience?

The COVID-19 diaries project is a collaborative work and the main goal of the project is for all of us to remember this time and learn from our own experiences and experiences of others. This project is a work-in-progress, but with your permission we intend to use your entries to curate an online (and later on physical) exhibit of TALAARAWAN. We can also bring together some entries for a special issue of the AGHAMTAO journal or a feature of your entry on the UGAT website.

All of your entries will only be used for the purpose we aim in this TALAARAWAN project. Submitting your diaries to UGAT means you are giving us consent to publish your entries. All entries will remain confidential and your identity anonymous if you choose to. Please be ensured that we will respect your data privacy rights.


Your diary entry can be in any Philippine language or in English. Please include your name (optional), date of diary entry, affiliation/ taga-saan, your occupation (e.g. student), and age. There are two ways to submit your diaries:

  1. You can send your submissions to, if you particularly want to remain anonymous. Please use an email address where you want us to contact you.

  2. You can publicly post your entry on social media (FB, IG, Twitter) and use #talaarawanCOVID19 or tag us @ugat1978. Using the hashtag or tagging us means you are allowing UGAT to use your post and your name.


If you have questions, you can message UGAT FB Page or send them to

Talaarawan COVID19: About Us
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