Catch up on the latest news heard around the country this month

Shifting Gears

Staggering friends and followers alike, top lifestyle journalist Thelma Sioson San Juan announced that she has decided to leave the Philippine Daily Inquirer after 12 years as its Lifestyle editor. A seasoned writer and editor, San Juan, who had also spent some time as the general manager/editorial director of ABS-CBN Publishing, is considered a pillar in soft-news journalism. She wields the power of the pen in her own quiet way, giving her readers many unforgettable inside stories that only a well-connected and respected news hen will be able to gather. But it may be time to move on. “I have been checking grammar every day for more than 30 years!” she told Tatler, incredulous over how long she has been at her job. San Juan also said that she had discussed this decision with her boss, Sandy Prieto- Romualdez, some two or three years ago. “But the pandemic made it an automatic move,” she says. If she is giving up the position, she is not letting go of the pen: “It will be good to write when I want to,” she said. “I like writing.”

Drive-thru Shopping

We hear that the luxury sector is doing so well. Maybe because everyone has been in lockdown for a while now that the concept of retail therapy is ringing true. Still, shoppers in general are scared so they have become creative, especially those who can afford every comfort and pleasure they wish. Like this very special lady who, we heard, asked one of the stores to line up their items (we hope she had pre-chosen and not asked for the entire stock of the store) outside while she chose what she wanted from the comfort and safety of her luxury car. Then, we were told, she would move to another store, doing the same thing, and so on and so forth. Talk about service deluxe.

Desperate Measures

Filipino herbs and plants have joined the race for a cure against the corona virus. Lagundi (Vitex negundo) has been approved for clinical trials by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an alternative cure to address the early signs of the virus such as cough, fever and sore throat. The initiative is by the Department of Science and Technology who also announced that it is conducting trials for the effectiveness of virgin coconut oil in the recovery from the virus. Waiting in the wings for approval is another traditional medicine, tawatawa (euphorbia hirta). Western medicine may frown on such use of medicinal plants but, as the saying goes—Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Safe Havens

Many families with weekend homes have left the city since the quarantine in March to wait it out where the air is fresh and clean. Maymay Liechtenstein, president of Ballet Philippines, has been in her beautiful home facing the sea in Punta Fuego for months now, but has kept unbelievably busy managing everything from there. Her daughter Lauren, a general surgeon, is however unable to join her because she has been bravely manning the frontlines at The Medical City. Another couple in Punta Fuego are Joey and Marissa Concepcion. We also heard the following are enjoying solitude outside of the metro: Kathy de Guzman in Hermana Mayor, Rajo Laurel and Nix Alanon in Batangas, and Dedes Zobel in Calatagan.