We talked to Micki Carino, Puey Quinones, Tim Yap, Amanda Galang, and Elizabeth Dee about their travels in the City of Angels and why they keep coming back.
Summer may be long over in the Philippines but in other parts of the world, there’s still about a month left of the season.
With so many places reopening to visitors, the travel-savvy people of society seem to flock to Los Angeles in California. So we asked around: why is LA your summer destination of choice and why do you keep coming back?
It’s routine for Micki Carino to visit LA twice a year. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, I haven’t been able to visit since March 2020,” she says.
Now that she’s fully vaccinated, Carino says she “felt it was the best and safest time to visit my second home,” which she describes as a city with the “perfect sunny weather” and an abundance of “shopping spots.”
The weather and retail therapy are not the only highlights of Carino’s most recent LA trip, though.
“Having most of my friends from Manila in town was a bonus since I rarely see them back home due to the frequent lockdowns,” she shares.
LA has always been a second home for Elizabeth Dee and her family. Except for the past year due to the pandemic, the family spent all summers and holidays in the city.
The family, according to Dee, loves LA for everything it has to offer.
“We really love it here, especially our neighborhood where we can walk to so many good quaint restaurants and with so many outdoor seating choices,” she says. “It makes us feel a bit safer to be here.”
Her grandkids also learn much from the many attractions in the city.
“My grandkids can enjoy the beautiful parks, libraries, museums, and the zoo, which is partly the reason why we need to be here,” she adds. “It gives them more choices to explore more since online schooling is not much of a help.”
For Amanda Galang, Los Angeles is the “perfect vacation spot” all-year round. This is why she often visits the city to take some time off and unwind.
“There is diversity and infinite options of things to do,” she says. “From sunbathing at the beaches to hiking in the mountains, Los Angeles has an abundance of outdoor activities and the weather is unbeatable.”
She also loves the “truly special city that has it all” for its wide array of restaurants and fashion retail shops.
Also a second home to Puey Quinones, LA holds a special place in the fashion designer’s heart. This is where his husband is based, so being in the city means being with family.
His visit this time is even more comfortable because LA is the city with the highest rate of vaccination in the US.
“I feel so much safer here,” he says. “Everyone follows the guidelines and because the majority of the people are vaccinated, that gives us a little bit of freedom.”
But he’s also fond of the city’s accessibility to “everything.”
“If you want to go to the beach, there’s Malibu, Venice Beach, and Santa Monica. If you want to go hiking, there’s Big Bear. LA is also just a two-hour drive away to San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Palm Springs,” he explains. “The city also has the best places to dine and wine. If you miss Filipino food, there’s a lot of restaurants and markets. The place is also swarming with cuisines from all over the world: Mexican, Peruvian, Ethiopian, Korean, among others.”
Quinones, who is currently working on a new collection to be presented this October, also finds much inspiration from the city’s museums such as the GettyMuseum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Broad Museum.
Being in New York all throughout July for work, Tim Yap couldn’t help but book a last-minute flight to LA.
He says it’s an opportunity to see friends who he hasn’t seen in a long time because of the pandemic. “I am savoring the time I get to spend with [them],” he says.
But Yap also loves LA for the Filipino population that lives in it.
“Filipinos are all over the city and the state,” he says. “You feel so welcome and the unmistakable Filipino hospitality makes you feel so at home.”
Yap adds that while COVID-19 is still a threat, people residing in LA remain mindful of the pandemic while continuing life as usual.
“These days, you have to be in a place where you can feel most alive,” he says. “[This is] a place that can inspire and remind you to continue to pursue your dreams.”