Dining, Journal

Some Sense of Normalcy: Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Well, it only took 160 days since the pandemic outbreak, but I finally went out for purely leisure reasons for the first time today.

It is kind of hard to turn down lunch at Hai Shin Lou, not when there’s peppercorn squid at stake.

(And also an actual meal in which I don’t have to do the dishes, let’s be real.)

Throughout the quarantine period, I’ve been doing the sensible thing and staying home as much as possible, not that I had much reason to go out if you don’t count my rapidly dwindling mental health. Milk tea deliveries and video calls became the norm, and suddenly five months have passed and we’re halfway through the year already.

Dining

I Donut Know What to Do Without Milk Cheese Donuts

In the latest edition of what’s everyone going crazy about these days, I skipped gardening and hopped straight on the Milk Cheese Donuts bandwagon.

I donut have any regrets.

For a lot of people, this is a nostalgic treat—a pastry sprinkled with milk. Not for me though, as I’ve only heard about it because of my FOMO and my shameless propensity to jump on any hype.

Beauty

It’s Do or DIY

Everyone who knows me is well-aware of the fact I love to change my hair around every now and then. From jet black to platinum blonde and every color in between, name a color, I’ve tried it… well, perhaps except for an intentional orange. It also applies to haircuts, though that’s a little more limiting.

Then the quarantine period came and stayed, and all of a sudden it’s been five months since I last stepped into a salon, much more actually do something with my hair. In fact, I think it’s in the healthiest condition it’s been in ever since I first went blonde, but that came at the expense of my mental health, which apparently is intrinsically linked to what I do with my hair (who knew?).

Dining, Journal

Oh, For Goodness’ Bake

It used to be that whenever I needed to get out of my head, I’d lie in bed for hours, phone on silent with the screen facing down while I stared up at the ceiling if I wasn’t lost in a book.

Then 2020 happened, and that was basically life every single day for the past five months. What was a sanctuary to keep me sane is now breeding ground for a plethora of mental issues, new and recurring alike brought to you by extreme isolation, everyday anxiety about life on hold, the lack of sunlight, and probably the fact that I haven’t done anything new to my hair in a long time.

Mostly I get by—and, really, I can only say that because I’ve been feeling so devoid of emotion I actually haven’t had a breakdown in months. So my days have been divvied up between just lying in bed and being absolutely useless at worst, and just lying in bed doing absolutely useless stuff at best.

(I’d start calling myself a robot, but I think that’s an insult to them—at least they have purpose.)

Dining

#StayHome: Food in the Time of Quarantine

With enhanced community quarantine in place and having stayed home for three weeks at this point, I realized how much I took for granted being able to eat at my favorite dining establishments whenever I felt like it.

On the bright side, my family’s usual Sunday lunches have now become an everyday thing. My aunt is an amazing cook, and she’s always made our favorites once a week—now it’s every meal save for the occasional Jollibee takeout. So we’ve been blessed to be eating good food all this time.

That said, my brother is turning a year older during the quarantine period, and we’ve been talking about finally ordering from a restaurant to have a little celebration among ourselves.

Looking for one is a challenge since most restaurants are closed, so I thought I’d compile what I’ve found so far in case anyone else might find it helpful, whether you also have a special occasion or just want to satisfy your cravings!

Cars, Reviews

In Case You May Be Wondering What a GAC Motor is, I Did Too.

First of all, let me just say I don’t go looking for vehicles to review. Cars, for some reason, just find me.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not complaining, although it is amusing to think the universe somehow believes I’m someone who can talk on and on about cars, because all I know is how to make them work getting from one place to the next.

Culture, People, Reviews

By All Means, Ruin the Party. LOURDES Wants You To.

“What does that mean?” The artist formerly known as Lourdes Maglinte ponders, as a hairstylist makes quick work parting her hair into smaller sections. The ends, fading from an emerald green dye, frame her face like a faux bob though the singer takes no notice, her attention focused on applying light makeup.

It was the Wednesday before the official launch of Ruin the Party, and LOURDES (she’s dropped the last name and turned the caps lock on) was getting a complete hair transformation at MIRA Beauty by Design. Her glam squad for that afternoon, led by the salon’s Beauty Director Hannah Esguerra, was preparing to bleach LOURDES’ hair and give her the rose gold hue she’s requested while we were making jokes about touching base with us when she’s even more famous than she already is.

“Being famous,” she clarifies after a swipe of color on her eyebrows. “I don’t think I have fans. But I have friends who go to my gigs.”

In a way, this rings true. After all, as much as Cebu’s music industry is growing, it’s still a tight-knit community that unites familiar faces, most of which end up becoming friends (sometimes lovers).

Fashion

I Had Lunch with Francis Libiran (But I’m Not a Bride)

When I was younger, I used to think that I’d be married by the time I was around 25.

I’m four years past that deadline and still very much unbetrothed, but I had lunch with the Francis Libiran, and it’s pretty up there on my list of highlights right now—only to be knocked off in the future when some guy I love asks me to marry him, of course. Then, maybe I’ll have a new Francis Libiran-related highlight: Walking down the aisle in one of his ethereal creations.

Culture

When Monsters Come Out

A few months ago, I accepted the challenge to write about Cebu music.

Perhaps it was because of the fact my early career basically revolved around writing about Cebu, but I really thought this was going to be easy-peasy, write-this-in-my-sleep.

Nope.

Once I talked myself out of the existential crisis that I was maybe (just maybe) losing my touch, it dawned onto me that I barely knew enough to confidently write about the local music scene. Sure, I know of #HAHAHAHasula, Jude Gitamondoc, 22 Tango Records and how my friend Jessica McYorker did a single on a compilation album for them a few years back, and my former co-worker Luis Quibranza III has a band with an album.

(Allow me a second to flex: Well, damn, I have talented friends!)

But honestly, that was it. I didn’t have enough of an interest to go to gigs unless it was to support friends, and even then I didn’t go to every single one. I have a Spotify playlist of homegrown hits, but didn’t know a good chunk of the songs on it except for the familiar ones, only so because they hit the airwaves. Heck, I can carry a tune, but I admit I have untrained ears.

So, really, who was I to write about music?

I was all set to tuck the proverbial tail between my legs and just move on with writing about other stuff when I started hearing the buzz about Monsters the Musical.

Now, musicals—that’s something I can definitely talk about!