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Even as we adjust to tough changes, we are allowed to indulge in guilty pleasures from time to time—and these young women spill their stories.

The transition period during the early days of the quarantine was tough. We had to cancel plans, reschedule trips, and adjust our routines. However, we have since been adapting to the new normal and we all have different ways of doing it. In this exchange, we talk to young women of the social set who share how they have been coping on their own accord. We may call it guilty pleasures, but with how the world is at present, it is completely understandable. After all, we deserve to take care of ourselves while we spend time with our families and look out for friends as well.

Rocio Zobel

Passionate about fashion and theater production, Rocio is supposed to be studying fashion photography in Parsons School of Design in New York. However, the pandemic forced her to return home and take online classes. Of course, adjusting to this new environment is tough. After all, she had been residing in a boarding school in England for the past two years. Despite the drastic change, she shares how much she is enjoying her time in the Philippines as she is also focused on strengthening her craft. “I spent most of my time watching movies with my family, swimming, baking, and taking a lot of photos of my friends,” she says. “I tried playing with different locations in my house, makeup, and going through my mom’s closet finding new outfits! It has been very fun to play around with my photography and experiment at home,” she explains with eagerness. With much enthusiasm for her life right now, it would be no surprise for Rocio to achieve greater things amid these trying times.

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Natalia Peña

As an avid-traveler, Natalia muses how much she has stayed home now in contrast to the past years. While she is still physically reporting to work, she makes time for herself and for her loved ones. “My guilty pleasures were definitely playing Animal Crossing and binge-watching TV shows,” she shares with a laugh. Playing with the recently popular video game on Nintendo Switch helped her in coping with the reality of not being able to go on trips. “We couldn’t go outside [and so,] we ‘hung out’ on each other’s islands in the game. [My boyfriend and I] even celebrated his birthday on his island in the game since we could not see each other,” she reveals. This definitely shows the hard-hitting impact of the pandemic as people are left to connect in the digital world. Nevertheless, Natalia tries to be positive and hopes that “one day soon, we may return to our simple and more carefree lives,” she says.

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Camille Tantoco

Since the start of the pandemic, Camille had been living on her own but decided to move with her family. With quarantine measures in place, she has more time to bond with her loved ones. “The extra [two or more] hours I get from not having to commute to and from work give me more time to exercise, watch TV shows, bond with my family, dogs, and have virtual meetings with friends,” she says. Beyond all these, she recharges through online shopping and watching K-drama shows from Netflix. “I also reconnected with my childhood roots and started rollerblading around my village,” she says. “It is a good workout because it is like jogging with wheels.” Being cooped in the house for long, she would also watch the sunset from the roof with her brother. “It was the closest thing we could do to traveling for a while or feeling like we were outside our home,” she explains. Indeed, nothing beats this kind of peace while everyone waits the pandemic out.

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Adrienne Ley

Like many others, the work from home arrangement allowed Adrienne to have more time for herself. Before the pandemic, she would shop at the mall and go to cinemas during the weekends. Now, she became limited to online shopping to stay safe and of course, to consume entertainment in the digital space. Apart from doing home improvement and upgrading to a smart home, she shares how she has been “binge-watching all Park Seo Joon K-dramas and obsessing over tons of BTS online content!” She adds how “they helped ease my anxiety and diverted my attention especially when I was feeling stressed and burned out from working at home. Being able to disconnect from work when your home becomes your workplace is very important for one’s mental health.” Taking care of her well-being has been Adrienne’s priority and so she does spin classes online as well, keeping her active and spirited amid these times.

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Rosanna Periquet

Having limited restaurant options allowed many to try their hands in the kitchen and Rosanna is one to indulge in her guilty pleasure—baking. “I’m not a dessert person, but I definitely have a thing for cupcakes,” she says. For the last five months, she has been working on creating the perfect cupcake through trying new techniques, inventing her own recipes, and experimenting with ingredients. When she is done coming up with a particular recipe, she loves letting her family taste her creations. Sharing her happiness with her loved ones definitely doubles it. “[Baking] took my mind off all the stress surrounding the pandemic,” she also shares, “For a few hours, I’m able to clear my mind and relax.” Having her little alone time is essential especially when work becomes busier. Despite this, she knows to enjoy what she has at present, “I have more time to indulge in my hobbies, discover new ways to keep busy and catch up with family and friends, which I’m quite grateful for.”

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