Advocacy, Journal

Reclaiming My Narrative, Finally

Minor trigger warnings for harassment, self-harm, and disordered eating.

I didn’t know it was called solihiya, I recall now, thinking of the woven pattern that was an accent piece in that room. For all the memories I’ve both repressed and dwelled in for so long, that visual is constantly rather vivid to me. It’s strange—I was so enraptured by it, I could still remember standing still for a moment, letting my eyes try to figure out the intricate weave.

I didn’t know it then, but it was going to be the last innocent memory I was going to have for a while.

In that room, with the beautiful solihiya accents, a stranger took advantage of me—and failed.

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.

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.

Dining

Hai Shin Lou: All That, and Dim Sum

(a.k.a. I may not be full Chinese, but I spent months in my mother’s womb with dim sum, so I have authority on these things, okay?)

Seriously, ask and she’ll tell you how she had Chinese food every day she was pregnant with me.

(She also asked me to let everyone know it was so much cheaper back in the day, so you’re welcome, Mom. Love you.)

Having spent my literal formative months alongside a food-gendered twin made up of dim sum, it makes so much sense how I always felt a connection to it, much to the point that I’ve never gotten tired of it. I could have dim sum straight for one week for lunch, and wouldn’t mind having some more on the following Monday. It helps that dim sum is readily accessible in Cebu, with fast-food chains making it available at nearly all hours of the day despite traditionally being served during lunchtime only, a practice that Chinese restaurants still do until now.

But even with so many existing options, a new addition to Cebu’s vibrant dining landscape is always welcome. When there were murmurs of a really good Chinese restaurant opening at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu some years back, you can only imagine my excitement.

Fast forward to today, and the Seafood King meets the Queen City at Hai Shin Lou Cebu.

Wellness

This Fun is Run: Run for ERUF 2018

It’s been a while since I talked about anything on here, let alone write about fitness (In Memoriam: The Manuelle’s Crossfit Career, 2015-2016). I was so obsessed about that part of my life that it seemed impossible for me to ever stop, but all it took was to miss one session, which turned into a week, then a month, and here we are, two years and 20 pounds later. Holy f*cking sh*t, self, you’ve really let yourself go.

I could go easy on myself and say that a lot happened in that time frame: I left my job (basically ending a five-year career in the media industry), dove headfirst into a new business venture and feeling my way around, oh and I got a high maintenance (but handsome!) doggo, among many other things. But they’re not really excuses—not when I managed to find the energy and time before. If I was able to do it then, why not now?

Funny enough, it was my dog who reignited my interest in going back to working out. Look, he’s a chow-chow, and they’re well-known to be the laziest dogs around these days, probably as retribution to the canine universe for making them war dogs in historical China. But my dog, my chow-chow somehow managed to complete a 1K run and all for charity. Gryffin = 2; Patty = 0. If that mindset won’t make anyone want to step up their game, I don’t know what will.

A week ago, Gryffin and I—along with my dog’s best friend Antonio Java of Rider’s Block—joined Marco Polo Plaza Cebu‘s Run for ERUF 2018. It’s an annual fun run they hold as a celebration of their anniversary, as well as to benefit the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation. I’ve known about this event for years, but never participated in any because I actually hate running, even at the peak of my fitness journey. But who could resist when there’s a special dog category involved? So, here we are, all in full GoPro Hero5 Session glory.

Dining

Why Sunday Brunch Matters

It’s not quite breakfast, no. That word itself, despite pleasant associations with bacon, is a dead weight on my shoulders telling me that it’s the start of the day, and that I have no excuse not to get my sh*t together.

It’s not lunch either. That means half the day has passed, and is therefore a signal of failure if I haven’t managed to get anything done yet (which, personally, is the case 75% of the time).

But breakfast and lunch got together and employed dinner as a surrogate mother, blessing the world with the perfection that is brunch—also known as the happy hour for adults, when done right.

Dining, Journal

Pet-Friendly Places in Cebu

Warning: Major floof and cuteness ahead

As 1,197 people on Facebook and 1,260 people on Instagram know, I have a new man in my life. His Royal Floofiness, Gryffin the Chow, is an adorable red-coated chow chow who looks like a little lion, resembling the emblematic animal of the great House of Gryffindor he was named after. His appearance also makes him look like half of a griffin, the majestic part-lion part-eagle creature in mythology.

Despite how cute they look, most people are wary of owning chow chows because they tend to be aggressive—loyal to their masters, yet mean to strangers. They can also get quite aloof, which is the total opposite of most dogs who are people-pleasers. As someone who was debating getting a cat, I can’t say I mind the haughty nature; I was, however, concerned about the hostility.

I read that, in order to tame down the aggression, chows should be socialized early on. Get them used to unfamiliar people while young, and they’ll be friendly doggos. With that, I’ve taken to bringing Gryffin with me on playdates and letting him meet my friends and their dogs.

Cebu isn’t really a park city, and the few parks we do have tend to attract a lot of stray dogs. Not to discriminate against all of them, but I’m concerned about safety. I’m wary of having to break up a dog fight if it comes to that, and most of these stray dogs haven’t had their shots.

So, Gryffin and I have been on the hunt for pet-friendly places in the city, and we’ve found enough to warrant a list!

UPDATED: July 6, 2018.