The proud Cebuana shares what life was like during the pandemic, building a new routine, and realizing what counts
As a familiar face in Philippine socials, proud Cebuana Carla Del Prado routinely attended in Metro Manila. In 2019, for example, she attended the 40th-anniversary celebration of Jewelmer and the year-end thanksgiving party of Hoseki as well as became a guest of our international RSVP event in Bangkok, Thailand.
And, of course, when there’s an exciting opening in her hometown, she’s seen welcoming visitors from Manila. Such as when Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton opened the European bistro Pig & Palm in Cebu.
But it’s been over a year since the vibrant social scene of Metro Manila has seen any major action. Today’s new normal still includes self-quarantine, only essential travel, and a firm restriction on mass gatherings. (We hope, of course, that the social gathering scene will revive soon, as long as local vaccine rollouts continue to advance.)
“Adapting and accepting the new normal is really a big challenge physically, spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically,” shares Del Prado. As she reflects on her quarantine experiences in Cebu, she cites that although it was a significant struggle, she was able to find the positives in the daunting situation.
Maintaining a routine
Del Prado says that she and her husband Joel had to take the time to adjust to a work-from-home setup. Mornings, thankfully, have become less stressful. In pre-pandemic times, she was used to having breakfast during a morning meeting, but now she’s able to enjoy the meal fully and have the first hours of her day to herself.
Del Prado’s allotted work hours stay the same even though she’s working remotely to make her days resemble her in-office routine. After full mornings of phone calls, Zoom meetings, and replying to emails, the entrepreneur usually decides to wind down by the afternoon.
“Afternoons are spent reading books, Netflix, K-dramas, and masterclasses. Next comes our favorite time of the day, sunset drinks or aperitifs with my husband.” With both Del Prado and Joel being wine and champagne connoisseurs, it’s safe to assume that they enjoy the best bottles to match what’s for dinner.
Reconnecting with loved ones
“The pandemic gave me a chance to connect and reconnect with our relatives, former classmates, and friends,” the avid traveler says. “It also allowed me to spend quality time with my 90-year-old mother-in-law, with my siblings and cousins.” She adds that one way or another, the pandemic has given us the chance to value what really matters in life— the people who love us.
Del Prado muses that she’s grateful to be spending the ongoing pandemic in a relaxed-pace city as she appreciates what’s around her. “I can’t imagine myself in any other place than Cebu during these trying times of the pandemic. As the saying goes, there’s no place like home!” she says.