Dining

Quest Hotel Cebu: A Conquest of the Now Normal

Before anything else, I’d like to say my New Year’s Resolution for 2021 is to stop titling my posts with ‘New/Now Normal’. Until then, it’s fair game.

Given how this year has turned out, I didn’t have my hopes up for my annual Christmas Tree Lighting pilgrimage. I didn’t also realize how much I’ve taken these events for granted—sure, they’re really fun and a great excuse to drink champagne every night without being judged, but they can take up so much energy that my introvert tendencies demand I retreat to breathe and recharge for a while. Last year was particularly insane.

It was a bit saddening to see so many of the places I frequent forego tree lighting ceremonies completely, but that also makes the ones that did have events even more special—if a bit more mindful because of so many protocols we now have to observe.

Last month, I was fortunate to be invited by Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu for their annual Bell-Ringing. I didn’t really know what I was expecting—perhaps the significantly-reduced guest list would make it a somber affair? But to my delight, the festivities stirred the beginnings of some much-needed holiday cheer.

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

#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!