Last Updated: March 17, 2020 – 4:00PM

It’s an understatement to say that the current social climate is worrisome. For the past few months, the COVID-19 (more popularly known as the Coronavirus) has been making headlines more and more. But over the past week, the sudden rise in confirmed positive cases in the Philippines has reached an alarming rate. What first was a novel virus that caused the cancellation of several plans escalated into a world-wide pandemic, with daily updates concerning the progress of all countries.

But power comes in solidarity and knowledge! We’re all here together.

What We Need to Know

Luzon-wide Lockdown

For anyone who missed President Duterte’s announcement last March 16, the most immediate measure taking place is the lockdown not only in Metro Manila, but the whole Luzon. They refer to this as an “enhancement community quarantine,” implementing stricter social distancing in lieu of the incease of cases. FAQs (because we’ve asked them, too):

metro manila lockdown
Photo from CNN
  • What areas are included? The whole LUZON. Statuses of cities and provinces in Visayas and Mindanao are frequently updating their status as well.
    When will it take place? From midnight of March 17 until April 12.
  • What does it mean? All domestic flights entering Luzon have been cancelled.
  • Is public transportation still running? No, public transpo is suspended.
  • Are there exceptions? There are stationed checkpoints if travelers by land can present ID for proof of residence in Luzon.

Further changes or updates will depend on future statements from the World Health Organization and/or the Department of Health.

While it was said that “entire government” machinery” would be mobilized to addressed the pandemic, there were no other details, nor mention of budget allocation for health workers, food security, or healthcare. What can we do? Understanding what is going on, sticking to facts, and following safety measures are best in situations like this to reduce panic!

City-wide Curfews

Curfews have also been placed on public streets to avoid loitering from 8PM to 5PM. Exceptions to this is leaving the house to buy food, medicine, and other necessities. It is also recommended that only one member per family do the errands to lessen risk of infection. ANC has an updated list regarding curfers in Metro Manila, you can read here.

Is it safe to dine out?

The answer right now is NO. Although Coronavirus cannot be transmitted through food, due to the recent announcements, social distancing is now stricter! Restaurants are prohibited from accepting dine-ins, and can only accommodate pick-ups and deliveries.

WE GOT YOU: Temporary opening times, delivery, and pick-up services are all subject to change without prior notice, so check the Booky App for any info! (We are always updating our info there too!)

Is Food Delivery Safe?

Again an outcome of social distancing, there’s been a surge in food delivery services. But yes, food delivery is safe! Just like what was mentioned above, food has not been proven to transmit the virus. And again, please show extra gratitude to your delivery rider! Not all heroes wear capes, sometimes they wear helmets.

Note: As of 8AM on March 17, both GrabFood and Foodpanda announced cease of operations, but as of 3PM same day, Foodpanda, GrabFood, and GrabExpress will resume operations with skeletal delivery-fleet (i.e. the minimum staff needed by a company like during holidays).

How about malls?

Part of the government announcement was that all malls will be CLOSED as of March 17.

Exceptions to the rule: banks, groceries, supermarkets, pharmacies, hardware stores, and wet markets will be open.

Below are a few announcements regarding scheduling for the open establishments in the major malls in Metro Manila (arranged by north to south).
*For malls not mentioned, please check their official Facebook or Instagram accounts for confirmation of schedule.


trinoma mall hours
Photo from @ilovetrinoma

U.P. Town Center

Photo from @iloveuptowncenter
Photo from @iloveuptowncenter

Robinsons Malls

Photo from @robinsonsmallsofficial

SM Megamall

Photo from @smmegamall

Shangri-la Plaza

Photo from @shangrilaplazaofficial

Update: Marketplace by Rustan’s in Shangri-la will not be open until further notice due to lack of store personnel.

SM Aura

Photo from @smaurapremier


Photo from @ilovegreenbelt

SM Mall of Asia

Photo from @themallofasiaofficial

Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Photo from @ayalamalls.manilabay

Alabang Town Center

Photo from @alabangtowncenter

Evia Lifestyle Center

Photo from @evialifestylecenter

Where to Do Groceries

In the height of panic (which we told you not to do), people tend to go a little overboard. It’s understandable with all the anxiety that comes with the indefinite lockdown, but this is a prime example of what happens when you panic! PANIC BUYING.

Posts are everywhere detailing what it’s been like in groceries these days (yeah, we’re looking at you, viral dude who bought all the Mi Goreng in one store). Not only are they adamantly breaking the rule of social distancing being in such a large crowd, they are also wiping the counters clean of necessities and unnecessarily hoarding. Aside from overreacting, this lessens the supply of other families.

We’re here to let you know that slipping through people, carts, and germs isn’t the only option. Here’s where you can do your groceries online!

Rare Food Shop's tenderloin
Photo from Facebook | rarefoodshop

As mentioned above, groceries situated in malls are still open, but with a change of schedule! If you are planning to buy necessities in a Rustan’s Supermarket near you, please check the following for updated schedule of all branches.

Photo from Rustan’s Supermarket

What We Need to Do

First things first: we need to calm down. Panic brings us nowhere, so the best thing to do is be prepared!

Next few measures tackle the most important details of this virus. HYGIENE. We need to be clean, and stay clean! Wash your hands frequently. Not just before you eat, not just when you go to the bathroom. Do it as often as you can – in the right places and as long as prescribed! Refrain from touching M.E.N. (mouth, eyes, nose) #bigmood

In order to stay clean, it’s best to keep a distance from people around you. Trust us, no one’s going to take offense in a time like this. Practice social distancing, and yes @clowns, that includes making landi!

safety precautions coronavirus booky

And lastly, if you have to cough or sneeze, do the dab! This makes the germs scatter on your elbow rather than your hands (which touch or come into contact with EVERYTHING more frequently). Don’t mind strangers if they shoot daggers at you right after, as long as you’re following the suggested precautions! And if you’re sick or under the weather, STAY AT HOME.

Social distancing is (to put it lightly) having a moment. It’s the BEST way to contain the situation. What is it? It’s the conscious effort to put distance between yourself and other people to reduce the risk of being exposed to the new virus. If you protect yourself from exposure, you’re also protecting others (more than you’ll ever know, from the people you pass by to your family members at home)!

As most of us are staying at home, the Internet is our only companion (isn’t it always?). For the introverts, social distancing is a BIG MOOD, and it’s been made clear that funny + helpful content is unlimited.

Check out: The Only Metro Manila Food Delivery Guide (with Hotline Numbers) You’ll Ever Need

Your Immune System is Your Best Bet

Social distancing and hygiene are the two pillars of getting through this. But it’s just as important (if not more) to take care of your health!

We need to make sure we’re getting all the right nutrients, and a lot of them! Let’s be even more mindful now of what we’re intaking, because it will go along way. Get a lot of greens in!

Fun fact: Guava has 4 times more vitamin C than an orange!

Gourmet Gypsy Dishes
Photo from Booky | Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe

Also, get your daily dose of vitamin D! Say hello to the sun in the morning. But more importantly, Vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and zinc are a MUST. Take multivitamins as a supplement and make sure you’re eating healthy!

Symptoms to Look Out For

Common symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Just in case, if you or any loved ones are experiencing the symptoms

DOH COVID-19 Hotline – (02)8-651-7800 local: 1149-1150

Other Emergency Hotline Numbers You Should Know:

ncrpo hotlines

Feel free to save this downloadable copy of hotline numbers on your phone just in case!

COVID-19 Glossary

As the Coronavirus outbreak continues around the globe, overwhelming news coverage can become a source of fear and uncertainty.

Defining the terms and understanding the actual risk to yourself and the people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful.

Whether you decide to go out and experience our offers to stay in your homes, we ask you to be careful during these times.

Remember, during these tough times, what is most important is keeping each other safe. We have a responsibility to ourselves and each other to contain this virus at all costs! It’s hard not to feel hopeless, but look to the future and remain disciplined with all safety precautions.

Take care always!

– The Booky Team