It was over.
After eight long years together, Jeysi* was single again. Her partner found someone new and in an instant, everything shifted. Describing it as a dark period in her life, she was unable to cope with the end of their relationship. "Kahit work ko, napabayaan ko." She eventually resigned from her job as a supervisor at a well-known BPO company.
"Parang wala na akong ibang nakitang source of strength. Lahat ng possible options para maka-move on, nagawa ko siya lahat. Nawala talaga ako," she told Cosmopolitan. Jeysi was depressed and experienced several panic attacks. She decided to rest for three months before looking for a new job.
In December 2020, still in the middle of grieving the breakup, she saw an ad for an app called Calamansi while scrolling through social media. "I didn't pay much attention to it. I just clicked it and installed it." ICYDK, Calamansi is a social media platform where Pinoys can hang out. On the app, users can join "rooms" and talk to each other.
It was 5:00 a.m. and Jeysi was working the night shift and had just clocked-out. She joined a room but soon realized it was more for OFWs. Next, she tapped on a room called "Friendly Corner" and it changed her life. As the name suggests, it's really just a place for people to talk about random things.
For Jeysi, she opened up about her recent heartbreak: "First time [ko] na may makausap na tao na sobrang naging comfortable lang ako to share...sa mga tao [na] 'di ko kilala. Talagang kinausap nila ako [for] around two to three hours." For some reason, it's much easier to open up to strangers because there's no judgment involved.
Jeysi is especially grateful to the owner of Friendly Corner. She told Cosmo, "Sobrang naramdaman ko yung support nila. Nag-uusap kami ng owner, pareho kami ng pinagdaanan. Nakakatuwa siya kasi, for example, kapag 'di niya ako nakikita sa Calamansi ng mga normal na oras na nandon ako, nagme-message po siya sa'kin ng 'Okay ka lang?' 'Yun yung sobrang nakakagaan ng pakiramdam ko na [kahit] wala ako sa Calamansi, may taong nakakaalala sa'kin...First time ko rin na [makakilala] ng tao na 'di ka tatanungin kung anong pinagdadaanan mo, gusto lang niya malaman kung okay ka."
These days, Jeysi is an active member of Friendly Corner. She pays it forward by making sure she talks to every new user who enters the chat, taking the time to answer questions they may have about the Calamansi app. She also tries to jump in the room whenever she's on her lunch break or when she's feeling down. Kahit five minutes lang, it leaves her feeling slightly better.
*Name has been changed.