Miguel Ruiz celebrates Christmas at Rockwell pre-pandemicThe children’s return to Power Plant Mall was an emotional experience for all. They were running to Toys “R” Us, carrying plastic bags and toy packages. Sitting in a barber’s chair at Cuts 4 Tots seemed like a ride in a theme park. Q Power Station and Cibo Bimbi were filled with happy families. The curtains were up at Power Plant Cinema, ready to usher in excitable kiddie moviegoers.
Three mothers, all Power Plant habitués, share how their kids coped with the pandemic and how the mall has helped them behave like kids again.
Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, social entrepreneur; mom to Miguel and Rafa
The isolation of Miguel, who had already experienced the outside world, became quite concerning when we went out for a car ride during the lockdown. He exclaimed that he would add the kids he saw on the streets to his “new friends collection.”
Miguel has always been a social child. He loves talking to people and making friends with other kids. So you could imagine how we tried to explain what was going on and why he had to do all his activities at home.
When the lockdown was eased, the first things he did were go to the village playground and visit the mall. His other big wish then was to attend birthday parties.
Rissa MananquilTrillo, entrepreneur and author; mom to Audra and Celestia
My husband Paolo and I had significant conversations with them about what we were dealing with, so they’d feel secure amidst the uncertainty. We talked about the brave front liners who were earnestly trying to keep everyone safe. Now, Audra is even more bent on becoming a doctor.
When they first stepped out of isolation and walked into Power Plant Mall, it appeared like they were visiting a toy store for the first time. They had to have their favorite popcorn while watching a movie.
The pandemic did not rob them of their sense of wonder. Audra and Celestia continue to see the grandest moments in the smallest of things.
Jessica Tan-Gan, entrepreneur; mom to Benjamin, Amina and Apollo
My kids were very young during the start of the lockdown. While we did our best to remain safe, we tried to go out when allowed, and do normal activities as much as we could. When on-and-off restrictions allowed kids to enter establishments, I’d bring my kids for mundane errands like going to the bank or supermarket.
I was heavy with my third child when Alert Level 1 was declared. But we all immediately trooped to our favorite mall lest things return to a restrictive alert level. They were visibly excited. Everything was new to them. Toys “R” Us was their first stop. They spent three hours at the mall.
Audra and Celestia Trillo rock the vax
The Tan Gans enjoy a meal at Ganso-Shabuway