Life Goes On



It’s been awhile since I wrote this column. I kept promising to write one every week these past pandemic years but every week, the big bad writer’s block attacked. It seemed like the lifestyle scene was crippled by the pandemic and so was my writing about lifestyle. I had many writing assignments that were a chore I had to do but this column had to rest.


The pandemic, especially the pre-vaccine days spelled doom and gloom. Uncertainty over what was in the future and extended sheltering in place led to anxiety and worse, depression, to many. If Covid didn’t kill you, mental issues could have done it. Those were terrifying times.


We lost loved ones, friends, favorite people. We thought it was the end of mankind. But mankind prevailed. Now, we have vaccines and boosters and we know more about the dreaded virus. The world is going back to a semblance of normalcy and we are learning to live with Covid. We have to adapt or perish.


Life goes on, as my favorite KPop group sang in 2020, when life for the whole world was hanging by a thread. Indeed, life goes on and I am sooo back along with the return of our beloved Bicol Mail. Thank you, God. Life may not be the same but it is sweet again.


Naga Lifestyle Scene


Fabulously, Naga’s lifestyle scene is bustling again. New restaurants, hotels, event venues, resorts, eco-farms are opening. Old ones are re-opening, if they never closed during the height of the pandemic, they are back full blast. There are concerts, like the recent one by the Philippine Madrigal Singers. The ballroom dancing circuit is active again. Milktea and coffeeshops shops are mushrooming everywhere. The theater scene is alive and well with a play coming up soon. And of course, full-blown celebrations of the Penafrancia Fiesta is back!


The Miss Bicolandia pageant was spectacular as always even if I watched portions of it only online. Congratulations to the winners and the organizers, particularly the City Government. It is refreshing to see a dusky beauty wearing the Ms. Bicolandia crown. Ms. Reema Adakkoden is beautiful, confident, and deserving of the title. Congratulations, Ms. Adakkoden!


Going around Naga City, you will see the buntings and trimmings and feel the festive air. Traffic is at its worst, lines in the groceries are long (Hello, SM), and eateries are full-packed. This is also the time for class reunions as most come home for the fiesta. Art Villamor of ADEN HS 73 is in town for their class reunion, a one-year shy away from their Golden! Have a blast, ADEN73!


Privilege Cards and a new BIGG’s


With the return of “normalcy,” it is wonderful to see a new Bigg’s Diner branch along the national highway in San Agustin, Pili, Camarines Sur. Bigger and a stand-alone diner, their first, expect more people to get hooked on the satisfying scrumptious food only found in Bigg’s. Others try to copy but they can never give the kick their burgers, fried chicken, tenderloin tips, baby back ribs, etc, give. We grew old with Bigg’s food, my kids grew up with Bigg’s food! May forever sa Bigg’s and that forever is sweeter with their new privilege card. For 500 pesos, the card gives 20% discount on all Bigg’s products. That’s across the board privilege for us who are not senior card holders yet.


Our much-loved homegrown diner is turning 40 next year. I am sure CEO Carlo Buenaflor and his team have a lot of exciting surprises in store for us in the coming years. Thank you, Bigg’s for serving us great food for 39 years. Here’s looking forward to many more years of rocking and rolling with Bigg’s. Proudly Bicolano, proudly world class.


OFW Power Club, the privileges and protection card from HongKong, is also making a comeback. The club founder, Ricky Sadiosa, relayed to us that there will be a rebranding and more privileges ahead. There are many club partners here in Bicol and card holders can continue availing of the discounts offered by the partners, notably, Avenue Plaza Hotel, Villa Caceres Hotel, Nagaland Hotel, and many more. Meanwhile, a couple of partners have recently signed up. Taste of Spice, Cooks and Cupboards, Pilgrims Hotel have signed up and there are several on the drawing board ready to give discounts to club members.


OFW Power Club card is available for 500 pesos. Please call 09690857706 for more details and where you can buy your card.


VIVA LA VIRGEN!


VIVA EL DIVINO ROSTRO!


HAPPY FIESTA BICOLANDIA!