The New Normal

June 9, 2020

We are at the mere half of the year, yet, it has paved ways to predicaments that we wished were simply fleeting jests and to a lot of self-realizations. 2020 for sure has changed not just the drop of a life we have, but the whole ocean that we are a part of. The current situation has led, for some, to an existential crisis and a question of productivity, or for others, a dismal path and worse, a loss of a significant other. So, here I am writing a feature which has been long overdue to instill some sense of normalcy, if there such a thing nowadays. I miss creating content. I miss the laidback dinner banter with friends. I miss the routines of humdrum experiences and quotidian learnings. The notions of “back to normal” or “business as usual” are perhaps far from possible since, given the circumstances, there will be no going back. There is only the new normal.

Then again, the world has given us something irrevocable and will remain indelible into the chronicles of history. Though it may be extremely difficult for some to actually adapt into this new normal, especially MSMEs and the informal sector, the only thing we can do is to excruciatingly accept change and to get through as we always do since time immemorial. This crisis has called for beginnings, for rebuilding, and for solidarity.

Among the most affected industries are the local food businesses, which are very dear to my passion in content creation. Certainly, this pandemic has brought out new ways of how people opt for their meals and acquiesce to dine in their homes. In my city, local food businesses have affiliated with food delivery apps, like StreetBy, FoodPanda, and Grab Food. Others have been resourceful in conceiving means to initiate their own delivery services. Because of the concept of social distancing, dine-ins were temporarily suspended and deliveries and pick-ups were promoted.

The last café I have been to before this disappointing and wretched pandemic broke out was Apostrophe Café. This start-up was a common name among university students when their first branch was originally located near my college alma mater. They have been serving coffees and light meals which are essential finds to students who are either cramming for exams, finishing a paper, or just ending a grueling day in college. As they evolve their brand, they changed locations and also crafted a new style for the café, from the chic flairs of pink and brass to the calming elements of neutral and earth tones, ornamented with live plants and wood fixtures. They are now located at the 1st Floor of Centrio Ayala Mall. 
Their new menu features blended drinks, espressos and brews, and non-caffeinated drinks. These include ades, yoghurt blends, batch brews, filter coffees, plain and flavored espressos, babycinnos, matcha  lattes, and teas. As for the light meals, they have a variety of pastas, sandwiches, and salads. A selection of cakes, brownies, muffins, and other pastries are variably available every day.

While we are stuck at this inescapable predicament and the monotonous repetition of work-home routine, we can help local food businesses through our own little ways. We can patronize them by strengthening their social media presence through sharing their posts, updating our feeds with some good finds from their shop, or, most importantly, supporting their new methods of catering their menu, may it be their own delivery services or through food delivery apps.

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