Journal

Turning Thirty

Being a milestone age and all, I’ve always thought I would have a grand celebration on my 30th birthday. I even had party ideas in my mind, but as the pandemic went on with no end in sight, Miss ‘Rona would have just derailed my plans before I could fully flesh them out.

The birthday blues hit, and they hit hard. I had wanted a big birthday bash with as many people as I know and love all in one room, then the Philippine National Police Chief made gatherings a total faux pas, so that idea had to be thrown out of the window. I held on to hope the pandemic would be over by the time November rolled around, but while Cebu City’s active cases lessened significantly, it still wasn’t a good enough reason to be complacent.

Besides that, it really is just a tough time to celebrate. People have lost so much in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak—income, opportunities, loved ones—not to mention #RollyPH and #UlyssesPH had recently caused major devastation in various parts of the country.

(Side note: I was born in the aftermath of Typhoon Ruping. Yolanda also happened close to my birthday in 2013. Everyone should be terrified of what’s going to happen to this world when I turn 40 or something *knocks on wood*)

So, yeah, it’s kind of hard to be in a celebratory mood given everything, and I was just set on letting the day pass like any other ordinary day… except, some people won’t let me. And I love them all for it.

Dining

Still Got the Blu’s: Radisson Blu Cebu

Photo: Radisson Blu Cebu/Facebook

I continue to be fascinated with how establishments are adapting in these strange, unprecedented times. There are so many things to consider now, all the same but different as well—full face shield, or half? Contact tracing in several mall outlets, but not to the entrance of the mall itself? Is border control even still a thing?

So many inconsistencies, it’s comforting to know one thing that remained constant: Radisson Blu Cebu. After a few months of being closed because of the pandemic, this beautiful city hotel with the best beds ever recently reopened their doors. They did so in epic fashion as well, with the excitement-inducing drone shots of their room windows counting down the days.

It was such a delight to finally be back, yet it’s striking how the hotel’s once-bustling lobby is eerily quiet, though not any less welcoming. Radisson Blu Cebu is SGS-certified and follows a 20-step hygiene protocol that includes social distancing measures, implementing hand hygiene stations around the property, and increased frequency in cleaning and disinfection.