Ready, reset, go! We welcome August, our fifth month in quarantine, with even more anxiety, confusion and frustration, but sometimes, an occasional whiff of hopefulness!
I’m unclear as to how many categories of quarantine we have in our country. Yes, I know there are four acronyms, but there also seem to be in-between modes, depending on whether the local government unit or the Department of Trade and Industry or the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is talking. All in all, the result is an alphabet soup of quarantine levels, perhaps as many as there are gender options on Facebook.
In my mind, quarantine focuses on don’ts, but perhaps it would be simpler to focus on dos. So let’s all do the simplest things, like wear a mask, keep social distance and wash our hands frequently. We all should be part of the commitment to provide a safe environment for working to defeat the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Most hotels and resorts are carrying out the necessary protocols, consulting in-house and outside experts in food and water safety, hygiene and infection prevention, and hotel operations, and redefining cleaning and safety standards. They should actively monitor and evolve their solutions to ensure a continued focus on the health and safety of guests and associates.
This was all shared with me on last week’s show, “Business As Usual,” on the Go Negosyo Facebook Live, where my special guest was Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. It was wonderful to hear that the local tourism industry is slowly opening its doors to local guests. I can’t wait to check out the different dive resorts all over the country when it is safe to do so!
Boracay Island is now open, but only allowing visitors from Western Visayas, where the cases of COVID-19 are very low. I am just glad to receive some natural vitamin D at Balesin Island Club on the weekends I am there to get wellness treatments in the Aegle Wellness Center on the island.
Our body naturally produces vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, when exposed to sunlight. This is why at least 20 minutes of daily exposure to the sun can help in meeting your daily requirements of vitamin D. It is also present in ample amounts in fish, fortified milk and milk substitutes, egg yolks, mushrooms (when exposed to the sunlight) and fortified orange juice.
Equally important for wellness is self-care. I am so glad that Emphasis Salon is now open! Teng Roma, Emphasis head and good buddy, told me that his staff of 20 has been housed and quarantined by the salon to guarantee the safety of all clients. (Emphasis Salon is at G/F Joya Lofts, Rockwell Center; Instagram @emphasis_salon)
A compromised immune system can lead to an increased risk of mortality from COVID-19. So our focus needs to be on lowering our stress levels. Vitamin C does this best, and is the best way to boost our immune systems.
Sagada oranges are excellent sources of vitamin C. Unfortunately, it is difficult to source them nowadays since Baguio City is still closed. According to Puyat, Baguio may open as late as September!
The best and most potent source of vitamin C is an IV drip. At Aegle Wellness Center, my fave med tech is Topher Moreno, an expert in finding the vein with no pain. Good friends Fern and Junie Peña regularly have treatments because they are exposed to the elements! Check out Aegle’s IV Immune Boost, which is a great way to get supplements and keep healthy. (Email [email protected])
Thank goodness I was able to stock up on Amparo’s Apothecary products, a line of homemade natural concoctions for beauty and household, promoting the benefits of virgin coconut oil. Amparo and Anthony John Magallanes of Amparo’s Apothecary are behind the family-run business in Baguio City. They also sell roll-on blends to help with sleep and another to help focus, all using natural ingredients like chamomile, lavender and other oils. (Instagram @amparosapothecary)
I discovered them last February at the special Feb. 29 cocktails in Baguio to welcome my hubby Dennis Valdes as the new president of Alphaland Corp. Before these days of quarantine hit us all, we luckily enjoyed the leap-year weekend in beautiful Alphaland Baguio Mountain Lodges (ABML).
Hosted by Roberto Ongpin, chair of Alphaland, the sunset cocktails overlooked the beautiful mountain ranges. The ABML lodges are nestled on the mountainside, each with an unobstructed view of the clouds.
I have to thank all the other locals who brought their wares for the cocktail party. Myk Hernando set up his Coffee+ booth with Ilocos-grown beans, Anton Mendoza of Dielles and Antonio showed off a wonderful sunflower honey and amazing fruit wines, and Christina Eric Coronacion of Blue Carrot had some exciting chilis, ube jams and other local wares. We also had entrepreneurs selling strawberries and deliveries of preordered raisin bread from Baguio Country Club.
As the virus has forcibly cleared our schedules, we can now prioritize ourselves. Focus on leading a healthy life. Take a break from work, or working from home! I try to take at least 30 minutes daily to do something calming, like yoga or meditation.
I am enjoying my weekly Facebook Live show. I am so delighted to support so many small- and medium-sized businesses with helpful tips and informative resource people. Please join us every Friday at 5 p.m.
Last Friday, we actively discussed the future of food in the restaurant industry with our special guests Joel Torre of JT’s Manukan Grille and dynamic duo Nova and Zaldy Veluz of Buddy’s Pancit Lucban. These are the types of entrepreneurs that will keep our country going. They inspire folks like my hair and makeup artist Marvin Lee, who started selling burgers and is doing great as a food entrepreneur.
We have all somehow grown in wisdom and patience during quarantine. Stay healthy. Stay positive.