Philippine Daily Inquirer

Of safe spaces and sanctuarie­s

- By Amy R. Remo @amyremoinq

Never have the terms “sanctuary,” “safe haven” and “sacred space” become more relevant and meaningful to more people than today.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantine forced many of us to stay at home far longer than our busy pre-outbreak schedules would normally permit, we now find ourselves getting reacquaint­ed with the four walls of our residences.

Some carved new spaces to serve as a makeshift office, home gym or learning area for the kids. Others saw their dwellings in a new light, along with the potential for redesignin­g and refurbishi­ng. Quite a lot of us who were suddenly hemmed in began spending more time in spaces that were barely used, discoverin­g new favorite spots within the house, or finding new meaning behind the many terms that homes are often referred to: sanctuary, Even though this quarantine has brought a lot of uncertaint­ies, it has made my family closer than ever Jose Soberano III Cebu Landmaster­s Inc safe haven, refuge, exclusive enclave, sacred space and many more. If anything, the quarantine allowed us to appreciate even more the kind of comfort and security that our homes give us.

Inquirer Property talked with some of the country’s top real estate executives, who shared their “safe spaces” during the quarantine and how these allowed them to thrive amid the pandemic.

JAIME E. YSMAEL President, CEO, Ortigas Land

The COVID-19 pandemic has effectivel­y forced us to reset our lives, profession­ally and personally. It made us appreciate life more than ever and demonstrat­ed the importance of having a special place in our homes where we can reflect, recharge and recreate, while going about our daily chores at work and at home. I am fortunate to have a den/study in a quiet corner of the house with a view of the garden that gave me the peace and tranquilit­y that I need, while remaining productive. It also allowed me to take quick breaks to listen to good music, watch a video, read, relax, enjoy e-gatherings with friends in the comfort of a confined but cozy place.

THOMAS F. MIRASOL President, COO, Federal Land Inc.

The fact that I live in a small apartment doesn’t give me many “parts of the house” as options to choose from.

The first few days of the ECQ were quite severe. Staying in-place was a given, but things seemed to be busier than ever. Communicat­ions with the office came nearly 24 hours a day, and response times were measured in moments—not minutes. Interspers­ed with that were personal conversati­ons from family. Everyone was trying to figure out what would happen next. As we kept the news running in the background, we couldn’t help but hear and see the stories from China, Italy and the UK. It was naturally very concerning. Each of us wherever we were, thought about what would be next and what we could do to keep ev

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