To say that 2020 was a curveball is obviously an understatement. For many, the first two months were filled with so much promise… until, of course, the pandemic swooped in. Before we knew it, governments were implementing nationwide lockdowns and closing borders faster than you could say, “Stay at home.” Here in the Philippines, lockdown came in the form of ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), and along with that — the onset of many establishments closing their doors for good.
It was like living in limbo, and one of the few things that snapped us back to reality were the countless terrible news. Included in this category was having to bid farewell to some of our favourite places in Metro Manila. From decades-old institutions to relatively new but well-loved hangouts, it felt like no spot was safe. Fast forward to now, we’re already on the second month of 2021, yet there’s still that void left behind by certain places that closed down. And if we could write a note (or love letter, if you will) these sacred spaces, this is what we’d say…
We miss you every day
This probably already goes without saying, but we believe that one could never say it enough. After all, it’s sad to think about how, even when everything ‘goes back to normal’ (whenever that is), it clearly wouldn’t be exactly the same as before. Sure, we could say that there will always be new spots in the future. Yet we know deep down that nothing could ever compare to our OG favourite places that closed down.
We get that it was rather inevitable given these tumultuous times
If there’s one thing that the pandemic proved within weeks, it’s that no business or industry is ever fully safe from losses. We make it a point to remind ourselves that many establishments like restaurants, cafés, and bars were hit hard and left with no other choice. Despite that, we still can’t help but be sad about these places that left too soon — and some which we never even got to say a proper goodbye to!
We’re grateful for all the times we’ve spent there
Sure, it might have been months or even almost a year now since we had to bid farewell. Still, every now and then we find ourselves feeling nostalgic for both the good and even not-so-good times we had in our fave places. Then again, isn’t this how most of us get by the pandemic blues nowadays? That is, looking back on the good ol’ days and hoping with every fibre of our being that we can have such good times again soon.
At the same time, we’re glad that we have those good ol’ days to look back on, at least! And to that we say — thank you for the memories and we won’t ever forget about you.
We wonder what your old walls would say if they could speak
Hey, we’re already on the topic of ‘humanising’ certain places, so might as well, right? Anyway, yes, we can’t help but think how great it would be if the walls of these places that closed down could share their own tales. Imagine reading or hearing a compilation of all the things — both exciting and mundane — they’ve witnessed, with the possibility that one of those could be about you! And whether or not it includes you doesn’t even matter; either way, it still makes for a fantastic keepsake, don’t you agree?
We hope to see you again someday
As with most things, many of us try to remain hopeful even amidst the uncertainty of what the future holds. That said, we’d be lying if we said we aren’t keeping our fingers crossed for our former haunts to make a comeback, one way or another. Sure, perhaps they’d return under a different establishment name and/or in a different setting. But hey, if the very essence of the place is there, then we’re definitely all for it!
Of course, we’re not trying to jinx anything. Hence, this love letter to all the now-defunct hangout spots that left us way too soon. We hope this piece gives all of us nostalgic (and low-key grieving) souls something to remember them by — even if we probably have varying opinions on which ones were our favourites.
On that note, what were your go-to places in Metro Manila that unfortunately closed down last year? Go ahead and share your stories in the comments!
Feature image credit: Polilya | Official Instagram Page