MANILA—THERE are only few days left for this year to end, yet many are already saying “goodbye, 2020.” Obviously, we do not want to remember what it brought us—many lost their jobs, their loved ones, and yes, even our freedom.
When the world suddenly went into a pandemic brought about by this corona virus or COVID 19, we were quarantined and going out for certain ages of our population would be a criminal offense, but everybody took it as a small sacrifice for each own safety and wellbeing.
Everybody thought it would only be for just a month until the quarantine was eventually classified into enhanced community quarantine(ECQ), the modified enhanced community quarantine(MECQ), and now we are on general community quarantine(GCQ),simpler terms for a lockdown. We all awaited for the next news until it was stretched, prolonged and many places, our favorite hang outs could no longer wait for their patrons to visit them. Soon, restaurants, bars, shops and hotels started to close one after another.
We felt the pain as they bid goodbye to the public.
And as we say “goodbye, 2020,” let us take a look back to the places we used to visit, places that have become part of our lives but will find them no more.
June closures onward
Today x Future
Cubao’s popular club Today x Future would have turned 12 years old in June hadn’t it closed due to the effects of the pandemic.
As they announced its closure, Today x Future was quickly mourned by its patrons. Apart from being among the most fun clubs in Metro Manila, TxF was also among the most welcoming and the kindest as it had became a safe place for the LGBT community.
It was heard that every night was a party to behold at Future, and prides in its celebrations of Halloween parties.
The popular kids activity center announced in June that it will no longer resume operations after initially closing temporarily in March, due to lockdown.
With branches in Pasig, Muntinlupa, and Pampanga, Fun Ranch promised refund to party deposits made before the lockdown.
On the same day Fun Ranch announced closure, the Philippines’ first indoor trampoline park, Jump Yard, also said it will be closing its doors permanently.
“Thanks for the memories, jumpers! we’ll surely gonna miss the squad,” the Pasig City-based park said.
Sun Cruises, the provider of ferry services to Corregidor Island, as well as the official provider for Corregidor island’s tour and hotel services said it was going to close for good in June. They admitted that the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown were among the reasons for the decision.
Marco Polo Davao
As early as May, Davao’s iconic hotel Marco Polo Davao announced the indefinite stop of its hotel operations effective June 15.
“Our priority is to take care of our associates while the company can,” it said. “We will forever be grateful to your unconditional contribution.”
Marco Polo Davao began operations in 1998.
Klownz and Zirkoh
COVID-19 claimed both of Allan K’s comedy bars, as they announced shutting down permanently at the end of June.
The bars were nearing its two-decade mark when the closure took place.
Regina’s Gift Shop
Without stating its reasons, the popular Greenhills institution announced its closure in June after 43 years in the business. Regina Gift Shop thanked its customers for “growing old with us.”
Moksha stopped its operations temporarily in March. The San Juan neighborhood bar reopened in June with new operating hours and promos but the new normal proved unsustainable for the bar.
“The effects of the pandemic is really bad. Everything’s working against us now. Bars aren’t really allowed to operate so everything is stacked against us,” Joel Millionado, one of Moksha’s owners said. Moksha had been providing a “home away from home” to tired yuppies for 17 years and bid goodbye in early July.
“This was an extremely hard and sad decision for us to make. What we’ve created over the past three years is a labor of love,” Poblacion favorite Polilya said when it announced closure in July, thanking its loyal customers and staff for the time and love they put in the bar.
“The near future is uncertain but we hope to see you again somewhere down the road,” Polilya added.
Another Poblacion haunt closed it doors this year.
In a social media post last July, NoKal explained that with their business as a bar “still not allowed to operate and our landlord still demanding full rent payments, we have no choice but to leave the current premises in which our lease is tied to.”
“The current pandemic has taken a toll on our business and employees,” it said.
The Oasis Pack Park Hotel
Also in July, the hotel in Paco Manila, as well as its famous restaurant My Kitchen at the Oasis, announced that they will no longer resume operations after temporarily closing its doors in March, citing COVID-19 as among the reasons for closure.
The establishments have been serving guests for 10 years.
The Chocolate Kiss Cafe
If there one establishment the social media mourned when it shut down, it was the UP Diliman’s Chocolate Kiss Cafe.
When it closed its Bahay ng Alumni shop on August 23, Chocolate Kiss decided to continue on with its desserts, making them available for pickup at their Fairview commissary.
The Chocolate Kiss opened in 1997 and immediately became a popular haunt among UP students, alumni, teachers, and VIP guests.
Also in QC, on Katipunan Avenue, the beloved music venue Route 196 announced closure in late August, saying “we’re at the end of the road for Route 196.”
Apart from merchandise, Route 196 also threw a farewell gig on September 12 that aimed to raise funds for its staff.
For 15 years, Route 196 was the home of live music, welcoming bands and artists of different genres, including Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.
After four years of parties and fun music, Makati’s XX XX bid farewell in September. It announcement was was sad, but it was also full of gratitude.
“To all the promoters, DJs, dancers, musicians, performers, artists, photographers, videographers, and pop-ups that took part in our events, it was truly an experience working with you,” XX XX said.
Hole in the Wall
The popular chef-driven food hall in Makati’s Century Mall closed in November after a six-year run.
They didn’t announce any specific reason, instead expressing gratitude to loyal customers.
“We were lucky to stay open a long as we did, thanks to all of you,” read a portion of its Facebook post.
Ludo Boardgame Bar and Café
After six years, QC’s Ludo: Boardgame Bar and Cafe closed its doors, saying it was planning to find a new location “when everything is right in the world, when it’s safe for friends and family to sit together once again.”
Snacks & Ladders
Another board game bistro in QC closed its physical space, saying it will instead offer delivery services until they find “a new home.”
“Sadly, the recent pandemic has impacted us a lot and we will no longer be able to maintain the physical restaurant in Maginhawa that we’ve all grown to love,” it said in a Facebook post.
KidZania Manila announced closure after five years of operations. Operated by ABS-CBN Corp. subsidiary Play Innovations Inc., ABS-CBN noted the losses incurred during lockdown.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring community quarantine, we have complied and suspended operations to prevent the further spread of the virus, which resulted in a massive impact on our revenues,” it said.
And even if they were allowed to operate in the future, “the ‘new normal’ will prohibit mass gatherings and require children to remain at home. These conditions have left us with no choice but to close the play city’s doors permanently.”
Shangri-La Finest Chinese Cuisine
A QC institution on West Avenue, Shangri-La Finest Chinese Cuisine closed its doors after 37 years in the business, explaining it was “due for the most to the challenges brought about by the on-going pandemic.”
It first opened in 1983 with an initial team of 10 servicing a restaurant that had a 400-seating capacity. By the end of it, Shangri-La Finest Chinese Cuisine became a crew of 110 that could seat more than 1,000 diners.
Among its milestones included a visit from Pope John Paul II in 1995.