“In A Day” is where we follow around various creatives and industry personalities through their daily routine, learning more about the habits, beliefs, and eccentricities that fill up their hours.
I took a break and spent a month visiting friends and relatives in the US. I had a lovely time until COVID-19 was declared a pandemic around March.
I started being scared when flights were being canceled and diverted, including mine. A lot of people have advised me to stay in the US as things were pretty chaotic in Manila at that time. Despite the unanimous call, my mom and I went with our instincts and decided to fly black to Manila on March 18 after so many rescheduled flights.
We arrived just a few hours before all the Luzon airports closed. Whew! We were that close. Can you imagine?
I’ve always been on the go, and this quarantine has pushed me to slow down and appreciate the time spent at home. I never thought I’d say this, but I learned to love preparing meals and cooking for my family these days. My friends would be so proud of me.
Another hobby I learned to love is gardening. Initially, it was my family’s idea to plant vegetables on our vacant lot beside the house. It is tiring, but nothing is more fulfilling than eating your harvest. I love how gardening reminds me of the saying: “We reap what we sow.”
I’m a real morning person, so I’m up at around 7 a.m. The first hour of the day is very sacred to me because this is when I have my “Quiet Time.” I love journaling my thoughts around this time too. It doesn’t take much to make me smile these days. But what sets me up for a perfect day is listing five things I’m most grateful for the moment I wake up. My not-so-little sister taught me this trick, and life has never been the same. Try it, too! A cup of coffee is a must, of course!
My look varies depending on my mood. There are days I find myself in athleisure the whole day. But most of the time, I’m in my comfiest Neon Island co-ords or jumper (Duh!)
At 8 a. m., I usually workout in the morning because it keeps me energized throughout the day. Aside from running, I’ve been enjoying biking around the village lately.
From 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. is when I usually get a huge chunk of work done – answering emails, signing documents, and going through meetings online. Though nothing beats being physically present in the office, Chi [Gibbs] and I have been safely working from home since March—designing future collections, approving samples, and countless discussions with suppliers.
I’m excited to launch a fine jewelry brand with my girlfriends, which is roughly already two years in the making. You never know unless you go out there and try.
I remember reading an article saying, “If you’re in business and you survived 2020, then you have made a profit already.” 2020 is a tough one. It has layers and layers of challenges to it, but I also believe that a lot of opportunities can be birthed during crises.
Aside from being positive that great things are still coming our way this year, I’ve committed that 2020 is a time of learning, relearning and unlearning for me. I’m unlearning things and practices that didn’t serve me well for the past couple of years. And to continuously learn new skills: cooking, gardening, or a new sport. And most especially learning to take care of myself more in all aspects.
I make it a point to finish work at 5 p.m. I think putting structure to my “work from home” schedule makes me more efficient.
This is the time I tend to my hobbies, which usually involve reading books, watching a docu, and gardening.
When it comes to the stuff I binge-watch these days, I’m a sucker for inspirational docus on Netflix, so Michelle Obama’s Becoming is definitely on top of my list. My love for Kelly Wearstler has made me sign up for Master Class and has since been loving classes from Dominique Ansel, Ynnette Marrero, Ryan Chetiyawardana, and the likes.
Here’s a rundown of a few more of my favorites:
Music: I’ve always been an R&B/Soul type of girl. These days, I find myself listening to a lot of Snoh Alegra, Liza, and Raveena while working at home.
Snacks: Quarantine has turned me into a chips person. I love the Cassava Chips from California Crunch. I’m also obsessed with @hobbyistbaker.ph that’s run by my bestie Denesse. I love the Malagos dark chocolate chip cookies! Another household fave is the banana bread from my favorite kontrabida, Tita Bing Loyzaga, via @kontrabaker.
Books: I’m reading the books I purchased years ago but never found the time to read. First on the list is a book on gemology since I’ve always been interested in jewelry and gems. Another book I loved reading is by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Lies Women Believe.
Things have been challenging this year, but if there’s one thing I learned is the importance of versatility, especially in business. You have to adapt, and you have to do it fast. Or else you’ll get left behind.
Aira Medina is one-half of fashion brand Neon Island, created with Chi Gibbs. She’s an avid fan of dogs, especially since she got Cooper as a puppy five years ago. Before her current career path, Aira had a different plan, and that’s why she’s a registered nurse.
These days, aside from being active with Neon Island, Aira also handles a financing business in Pampanga. Follow her on Instagram @airamedina.