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There are so many things I miss after staying home for almost 70 days. Like having dinner with friends in Makati and walking around Poblacion for a drink, getting a “pick-me-upper” by going to the dermatologist or my favorite hair salon, driving to the Fort because I’m craving a Shack Stack and calling for a home massage service. But most of all, being able to pack my bags and fly to see the world.

The world has changed and there are a lot of small joys that we cannot enjoy now. But this doesn’t mean that we will just wallow in our misery and play the victim. Even if we shift to modified ECQ or what I fondly call MMCQ (Matira Matibay Community Quarantine), there is still no vaccine or concrete plan to nuke those invisible sons of viruses. 

Fortunately for us, some business has adapted to the new normal and found ways to make our quarantined life more pleasant!

Satisfying cravings

Before lockdown, they were infamous with their no take-home policy, but now Ramen Yushoken, Mendokoro Ramenba, and Ramen Nagi have your ramen, gyoza, and karaage cravings in a kit and ready to be slurped in your own home.

Not falling behind, Shake Shack just launched their version of DIY Burger Kit, it includes eight  100% Angus beef patties, Potato Rolls, cheese and secret Shack Sauce. 8cuts also has their own version of the kit while cult favorite Sweet Ecstasy delivers in some location in Metro Manila

Car issues resolved 

Luxury car brand Lexus, known for its superb customer service, has offered Lexus Remote, contactless and hassle-free purchasing service without leaving the confines of your home. Just fill up a form on their website, and they will do the rest.

Scandinavian brand Volvo offers Volvo Concierge, a one-stop online shop for owners, which gives aftersales and technical support to owners. Customers can also purchase their cars via the concierge service. 

Practicing self love at home 

When home service massages were no longer a text away. I suffered from backaches during the first month of ECQ. I was initially hesitant to get a massage chair, but after asking around for recommendations, most of my friends unanimously vouched for the Malaysian made, Japanese technology backed Ogawa. Good thing they had a promo during Mother’s Day, which convinced me to seriously consider. 

I ended up with a Smart Vogue Plus because I needed a chair that also massaged my upper arms.  Their chairs look like a spaceship pod, especially when it goes into an anti-gravity position. It might look big on the photos but designed with less footprint. The anti-bacterial leather material is sweat-free, so no danger of having wet socks smell.  I like that it has a heating option, Bluetooth speaker, and several pre-programmed massages, including sport, relaxation, spa, beauty, and Thai.  I was impressed with its stretching feature during the Thai massage function.   Their latest offering, the Smart Reluxe, also offers firming and toning functions plus a setting for the elderly.  

I refuse to age while in ECQ. Good thing, my derma, Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo, launched this new technology, Aivee lift Home Device, which features micro currents to encourage collagen production. It also preps your skin for better absorption of products.   This helps with your skin’s elasticity and reduces inflammation, in short, no more puffer fish look while doing zoom calls. 

Online culture

Because traveling is not possible soon, this does not mean we have no chance to get cultured.  Broadway plays such as Phantom of the Opera gave free live streams on YouTube; Tom Hiddleston’s Coriolanus will stream on the National Theatre’s YouTube channel on June 4-11.   Hamilton will be available on Disney + on July 3.  Check out Playbill.com for schedules. 

For Virtual Museum tours, from the British Museum in London to the Guggenheim in New York and many more have offered virtual tours or walkthroughs while being stuck at home. This is an excellent way to keep your children entertained and take a break from Netflix. 

Virtual Sports

Most of the racing series abroad have launched their own versions of E-sports racing.  Formula 1, Nascar, Formula E, etc. have all opened their virtual race series for fans to join and enjoy in their homes.  

Locally we launched Phoenix Pulse Race for Front liners, which allowed racing fans to come together in the spirit of camaraderie with our heroes. The virtual race raised almost Php 200K worth of meals and food packs distributed to hospitals, the PNP maritime, Philippine Coast guard, and in support of the AFP mobile kitchens.

The latest from the swim-bike-run craze is the Ironman Virtual Triathlon Club. Several Run-Bike-Run programs are available for athletes to join with more forgiving time frames. Now instead of gobbling up on power gels during the transition, you can eat ice cream and watch 2-4 episodes of Kdrama while competing with other racers from different parts of the world.

With all these options available to enjoy, being in quarantine is not so bad. Now, if they can only prove that drinking can help you to be immune to the virus and this liquor ban lifted, all will be well. 

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!