Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Neri: Missing pre-Covid-19 days


It’s been more than four months since the lockdown and our individual lives have drastically changed since then. We asked some friends what activities during the pre-Covid-19 days do they miss most and what they have been doing to fill in the gap.

Lady Executives

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu director of sales and marketing Lara Scarrow, and communications manager Manna Alcaraz are one in saying that they miss the dynamic meetings and brain-storming sessions of their team as well as interacting with guests and curating hotel events.

Now working from home, they have weekly coordination meetings. It is far from ideal but for now that’s the best they can do. However, they still make their video meetings fun and stimulating by incorporating games and trivia quizzes.

As for how they are coping with this “new normal,” Lara shared: “This season has taught me resilience, agility and an increased trust in our Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of uncertainty.” On the part of Manna, she said: “I’m grateful to be given more time with my plants; to practice mindfulness and slowing down while tending to them. It has helped me attain a certain level of peace and calm despite the noise that is going on around us brought about by the pandemic.”

Dancing Queens

Lady lawyer Evelyn Trani Nuñez is known to be always “on-the-go.” After office and court work she finds time to go Zumba dancing three times a week. And this is what she finds missing in her life now. Zumba was not only a good form of exercise for her, it also gave her a chance to socialize with like-minded ladies who consider dancing a good and fun way to keep trim.

These days of lockdown, she keeps busy attending to phone consultations from clients, Zoom meetings, webinars, video chats and yes, Zumba sessions online! Not as fun but it is still a chance to do Zumba, and it will have to do for now!


For a group of lighthearted ladies who call themselves Chicas, Saturday nights were ballroom dancing nights. This had been their regular schedule for several years until Covid-19 made its appearance.

One of them, former banker Ana Marie Uy said she and her friends made it a point to spend time together every week (and also on special occasions like birthdays) dancing the night away. They all miss those dance nights—the music and the fun of learning new dance moves, the sharing of news and tidbits, the camaraderie and the laughter, and just being together.

Covid-19 has changed it all and she and her closely-knit group now content themselves with phone conversations. Since they are housebound, they occupy themselves with household chores. Ana Marie divulges that she has become more prayerful too. All of them look forward to the time when they can go dancing again.


Gentlemen Retirees

Retired but not tired, Luis “Kiting” Moro, Gabby Leyson and Percy Llaban spend sundown and beyond at Casino Español de Cebu. This had been almost a daily ritual for them when they would relax over a few drinks, tell jokes, recall their heydays, analyze the political situation, discuss current events, and more. What a difference to their lifestyle today!

All seniors, they are confined to hearth and home but they do get in touch over the phone. The Casino Español get-togethers are what they would like to get back to as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Kiting makes use of his time taking early morning walks all the way to the church for Holy Mass, doing some gardening, and then spending time on the computer before he calls it a day. Percy starts his day with online mass, followed by a walk around their compound and doing some exercise. He also enjoys watching TV and Netflix.

As for Gabby, he wakes up before sunrise and hears online mass. During the day, he putters around his big backyard where wife Tina keeps piglets, chickens, ducklings, turtles and quails. In the evenings, he watches “how to’s” on YouTube (how to raise pets, how to make Jamon Serrano etc.).

The pandemic has brought major changes in our lives and we all try to make the best of the situation, fervently wishing for an end so we can go back to life before Covid-19.


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