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Quarantine Diary: Raia Gomez in Manila, Philippines

August 22, 2020

Raia Gomez, Founder and CEO of Relevé Fashion, shares her quarantine experience while at home in Manila, Philippines.

  • Where are you quarantined, since when and with who?

I initially self-quarantined beginning mid-March in London. I then decided to fly home to Manila right before lockdown in the UK. I did over 14 days of post-travel self-isolation and have been quarantined with my family since then.

  • What has been your best quarantine activity?

I thought I'd have free time with quarantine but I've actually found myself just as busy, if not even busier. However, like many, I've rediscovered the joy of baking. I've been baking almost weekly, which I hadn't done for many years. Of course, Netflix and all the other online streaming platforms have also been a great and much needed source of entertainment. I really enjoyed watching The Last Dance and the home edition episodes of some of my favourite comedians like Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah.

I've also discovered a lot of small businesses - from local farmers, restaurants, bakeries, home kitchens and bars that are now all doing home deliveries to workout studios that are providing online classes - there are just so many. Placing orders and enjoying their products hasn't only been a great quarantine activity but also a way to continue supporting small businesses.

Heathrow back in March. It was really strange seeing so many grounded planes.
Wearing a reusable face mask and face shield cause when it comes to sustainability, baby steps are better than none, especially during a pandemic.
  • What fun things are you doing online to stay connected to your family, friends and team?

There have been a lot of WhatsApp videos, FaceTime and Zoom, of course. When I was still jet lagged and in self-isolation, I managed to join happy hour in London and NYC, which meant Zoom at 3am Manila time. That didn't last long! Although there are times when a midnight call can't be helped just cause of time zones, for the most part, I stick to more reasonable hours for online meetings and meet ups. I have family in different cities and countries and we have a standing Zoom brunch every Sunday, which tends to last at least a few hours.

  • Helping from home: are you supporting any particular nonprofit or relief efforts?

Through Relevé Fashion, we've been accepting donations to relief efforts in the home countries of our partners, with no purchase required. We're currently supporting the Corona Care Challenge in the UK, the Ateneo Disaster Response and Management Team in the Philippines, Be an Angel in Germany, and the Daily Bread Food Bank in Canada.

Aside from personal donations I've made to Coronavirus relief efforts and most recently, to aid relief efforts in Lebanon, I also consciously purchase from companies that give back to our communities - hitting 2 birds with 1 stone. I think now more than ever, we're reminded how important it is to purchase with purpose, to vote for the world we want to live in by what we choose to buy. It's something that we firmly believe in at Relevé Fashion and something I've been trying my best to practice while in quarantine.

I recently bought this print, The Importance of a Blue Sky by Charles Church, as a reminder of these times we're living in and a symbol of optimism. 50% from its sale is donated to the NHS.
I also made sure to stock up on my favourite By Sarah London products before I flew to Manila. The brand is currently supporting The Little Princess Trust.
  • How do you stay positive and keep calm?

I try to focus on the silver lining and count my blessings, which admittedly, is not always easy. I remind myself that I have absolutely nothing to complain about despite all the new challenges, all the plans that had to be cancelled or rescheduled and all the uncertainty. It's best to focus on the things that we can actually do and have control of.

I also try to limit my time watching the news or scrolling through social media - it sometimes feels like a choice between staying informed and staying calm. Instead, I've been enjoying watching John Krasinski's Some Good News and following social media accounts that highlight positive stories. A reminder that despite everything going on, there's still good things happening and good people around.

  • Complete the sentence:

Being in quarantine has given me a new appreciation for a sense of perspective which ultimately, helps us appreciate everything. We may not have the freedom to just go out, travel, see our family and friends but I appreciate that we have the technology to keep us connected. We may have to stay home and WFH to stay safe and keep others safe but I have so much appreciation for all the frontliners who are risking their lives and the fact that I can actually stay safe and work from home. If anything, this pandemic has really given a renewed sense of appreciation for all the things that we can easily take for granted.

  • What's the first thing you want to do post-quarantine?

See the rest of my family, go out out with friends and travel - back to London and away on holiday! (Ok, that's right after I have a haircut, get my nails done and get a massage)

Raia Gomez, Founder and CEO of Relevé Fashion, shares her quarantine experience while at home in Manila, Philippines.

Raia Gomez, Founder and CEO of Relevé Fashion, shares her quarantine experience while at home in Manila, Philippines.

  • Where are you quarantined, since when and with who?

I initially self-quarantined beginning mid-March in London. I then decided to fly home to Manila right before lockdown in the UK. I did over 14 days of post-travel self-isolation and have been quarantined with my family since then.

  • What has been your best quarantine activity?

I thought I'd have free time with quarantine but I've actually found myself just as busy, if not even busier. However, like many, I've rediscovered the joy of baking. I've been baking almost weekly, which I hadn't done for many years. Of course, Netflix and all the other online streaming platforms have also been a great and much needed source of entertainment. I really enjoyed watching The Last Dance and the home edition episodes of some of my favourite comedians like Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah.

I've also discovered a lot of small businesses - from local farmers, restaurants, bakeries, home kitchens and bars that are now all doing home deliveries to workout studios that are providing online classes - there are just so many. Placing orders and enjoying their products hasn't only been a great quarantine activity but also a way to continue supporting small businesses.

Heathrow back in March. It was really strange seeing so many grounded planes.
Wearing a reusable face mask and face shield cause when it comes to sustainability, baby steps are better than none, especially during a pandemic.
  • What fun things are you doing online to stay connected to your family, friends and team?

There have been a lot of WhatsApp videos, FaceTime and Zoom, of course. When I was still jet lagged and in self-isolation, I managed to join happy hour in London and NYC, which meant Zoom at 3am Manila time. That didn't last long! Although there are times when a midnight call can't be helped just cause of time zones, for the most part, I stick to more reasonable hours for online meetings and meet ups. I have family in different cities and countries and we have a standing Zoom brunch every Sunday, which tends to last at least a few hours.

  • Helping from home: are you supporting any particular nonprofit or relief efforts?

Through Relevé Fashion, we've been accepting donations to relief efforts in the home countries of our partners, with no purchase required. We're currently supporting the Corona Care Challenge in the UK, the Ateneo Disaster Response and Management Team in the Philippines, Be an Angel in Germany, and the Daily Bread Food Bank in Canada.

Aside from personal donations I've made to Coronavirus relief efforts and most recently, to aid relief efforts in Lebanon, I also consciously purchase from companies that give back to our communities - hitting 2 birds with 1 stone. I think now more than ever, we're reminded how important it is to purchase with purpose, to vote for the world we want to live in by what we choose to buy. It's something that we firmly believe in at Relevé Fashion and something I've been trying my best to practice while in quarantine.

  • Where are you quarantined, since when and with who?

I initially self-quarantined beginning mid-March in London. I then decided to fly home to Manila right before lockdown in the UK. I did over 14 days of post-travel self-isolation and have been quarantined with my family since then.

  • What has been your best quarantine activity?

I thought I'd have free time with quarantine but I've actually found myself just as busy, if not even busier. However, like many, I've rediscovered the joy of baking. I've been baking almost weekly, which I hadn't done for many years. Of course, Netflix and all the other online streaming platforms have also been a great and much needed source of entertainment. I really enjoyed watching The Last Dance and the home edition episodes of some of my favourite comedians like Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah.

I've also discovered a lot of small businesses - from local farmers, restaurants, bakeries, home kitchens and bars that are now all doing home deliveries to workout studios that are providing online classes - there are just so many. Placing orders and enjoying their products hasn't only been a great quarantine activity but also a way to continue supporting small businesses.

Heathrow back in March. It was really strange seeing so many grounded planes.
Wearing a reusable face mask and face shield cause when it comes to sustainability, baby steps are better than none, especially during a pandemic.
  • What fun things are you doing online to stay connected to your family, friends and team?

There have been a lot of WhatsApp videos, FaceTime and Zoom, of course. When I was still jet lagged and in self-isolation, I managed to join happy hour in London and NYC, which meant Zoom at 3am Manila time. That didn't last long! Although there are times when a midnight call can't be helped just cause of time zones, for the most part, I stick to more reasonable hours for online meetings and meet ups. I have family in different cities and countries and we have a standing Zoom brunch every Sunday, which tends to last at least a few hours.

  • Helping from home: are you supporting any particular nonprofit or relief efforts?

Through Relevé Fashion, we've been accepting donations to relief efforts in the home countries of our partners, with no purchase required. We're currently supporting the Corona Care Challenge in the UK, the Ateneo Disaster Response and Management Team in the Philippines, Be an Angel in Germany, and the Daily Bread Food Bank in Canada.

Aside from personal donations I've made to Coronavirus relief efforts and most recently, to aid relief efforts in Lebanon, I also consciously purchase from companies that give back to our communities - hitting 2 birds with 1 stone. I think now more than ever, we're reminded how important it is to purchase with purpose, to vote for the world we want to live in by what we choose to buy. It's something that we firmly believe in at Relevé Fashion and something I've been trying my best to practice while in quarantine.

I recently bought this print, The Importance of a Blue Sky by Charles Church, as a reminder of these times we're living in and a symbol of optimism. 50% from its sale is donated to the NHS.
I also made sure to stock up on my favourite By Sarah London products before I flew to Manila. The brand is currently supporting The Little Princess Trust.
I recently bought this print, The Importance of a Blue Sky by Charles Church, as a reminder of these times we're living in and a symbol of optimism. 50% from its sale is donated to the NHS.

I also made sure to stock up on my favourite By Sarah London products before I flew to Manila. The brand is currently supporting The Little Princess Trust.

  • How do you stay positive and keep calm?

I try to focus on the silver lining and count my blessings, which admittedly, is not always easy. I remind myself that I have absolutely nothing to complain about despite all the new challenges, all the plans that had to be cancelled or rescheduled and all the uncertainty. It's best to focus on the things that we can actually do and have control of.

I also try to limit my time watching the news or scrolling through social media - it sometimes feels like a choice between staying informed and staying calm. Instead, I've been enjoying watching John Krasinski's Some Good News and following social media accounts that highlight positive stories. A reminder that despite everything going on, there's still good things happening and good people around.

  • Complete the sentence:

Being in quarantine has given me a new appreciation for a sense of perspective which ultimately, helps us appreciate everything. We may not have the freedom to just go out, travel, see our family and friends but I appreciate that we have the technology to keep us connected. We may have to stay home and WFH to stay safe and keep others safe but I have so much appreciation for all the frontliners who are risking their lives and the fact that I can actually stay safe and work from home. If anything, this pandemic has really given a renewed sense of appreciation for all the things that we can easily take for granted.

  • What's the first thing you want to do post-quarantine?

See the rest of my family, go out out with friends and travel - back to London and away on holiday! (Ok, that's right after I have a haircut, get my nails done and get a massage)

  • How do you stay positive and keep calm?

I try to focus on the silver lining and count my blessings, which admittedly, is not always easy. I remind myself that I have absolutely nothing to complain about despite all the new challenges, all the plans that had to be cancelled or rescheduled and all the uncertainty. It's best to focus on the things that we can actually do and have control of.

I also try to limit my time watching the news or scrolling through social media - it sometimes feels like a choice between staying informed and staying calm. Instead, I've been enjoying watching John Krasinski's Some Good News and following social media accounts that highlight positive stories. A reminder that despite everything going on, there's still good things happening and good people around.

  • Complete the sentence:

Being in quarantine has given me a new appreciation for a sense of perspective which ultimately, helps us appreciate everything. We may not have the freedom to just go out, travel, see our family and friends but I appreciate that we have the technology to keep us connected. We may have to stay home and WFH to stay safe and keep others safe but I have so much appreciation for all the frontliners who are risking their lives and the fact that I can actually stay safe and work from home. If anything, this pandemic has really given a renewed sense of appreciation for all the things that we can easily take for granted.

  • What's the first thing you want to do post-quarantine?

See the rest of my family, go out outwith friends and travel - back to London and away on holiday! (Ok, that's right after I have a haircut, get my nails done and get a massage)

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