What Happened in 2020, a Food Blogger & Film Buff Roundup

In my blog ClariSays.com I have a category I call Blog Roundup. This section focuses on previous blog posts and events. It also contains announcements of new projects and so on. But since the start of the pandemic and the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) early this year, I have not added a single entry. You see, that section should be updated monthly.

I did; however, wrote a few pieces under my Blogger’s Note. It is a section solely for the announcements which range from new restaurant alert to festival announcements.

There I shared a post called We were not prepared for this, which is my response to the Covid-10 pandemic. I also wrote, Security guards and supermarket employees, they are frontliners, too! which is my opinion piece during the things I saw and experienced during my first grocery run. Lastly, I shared a guide titled Need Food and Medicine? Deliver It Right To Your Doorstep! for my everyone.

Since we will soon bid 2020 goodbye, I felt that now is the perfect time to write my first and last Blog Roundup for this year before starting anew.

FMU No More

If you are a food blogger, you are very much familiar with this acronym. FMU or foodie meetup is an event exclusive for food bloggers and food reviewers. It can be for a newly-opened restaurant/branch or new menu/product launch.

Because of the pandemic, social distancing became the new normal. Thus, FMUs especially, huge events such as festivals became a big NO-NO! So what happened? Everything turned to the internet and created virtual events.

Here is an example. San Remo celebrated World Pasta Month with live cooking demos.

But what about the small brands and businesses who recently or were supposed to open in 2020? Fortunately for them, this became their year along with delivery services.


It is not that I do not support my lokal or local brands because I do. That is why I want to give them a focus. Since our village instilled a curfew; not to mention, the market and other shops outside are closed, I had things delivered at home.

If you check my #SupportYourLokal section on my homepage or search the category, you will see all the local brands and small businesses I featured. I purchased most of them; however, there are a few who sent me their products. Though I prefer to buy what I want and need, I am also ready to help and take requests, especially since we all struggle in this pandemic.

*Special note: During the ECQ, I received a couple of messages from new content creators. While some of them wanted to learn, some were concerned about the freebies and collaborations. 

I am not an expert. All I have is the experience. So I will say this to you. It is not the time to ask for freebies or discounts, scratch that. You do not ask for any. Let the brands or businesses offer it to you. If you want to start blogging or create content for your channel, feature what you can buy or what you have.

That is how we all started. We buy food, gadgets or movie tickets and review. The words you type or say are all based on your experience as a consumer. But when the time comes you start receiving invites, freebies or get paid, please deliver properly. 🙂

Aside from basic needs, there is also an industry that needs our help. The truth is this industry has been needing assistance in a long time. As a film buff, I am happy to be part of two film festivals that are online now.

Online Film Festivals

Let me be clear. I do not have an entry; however, I did once upon a time planned to enter the Cinemalaya. I am just happy after 10 years, I am back as a media partner. But this time, I am not under a magazine company. I am now representing my blog. 🙂

If you want to read or hear my thoughts on Cinemalaya 2020 entries, you may click the banner on the homepage or here: BLOG or VIDEO? Besides the biggest indie film festival in the country, there is also the JFF Plus: Online Festival.

Are you familiar with EIGASAI? Last year the said festival already bid farewell, or rather sayonara. And this year, the Japan Foundation Manila decided to go online calling it JFF Plus: Online Festival.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming a selection of films than screening in movie theatres is the best move. Would you like to see more film and series reviews and recommendations? I have a lot here in this blog as well as on IMDb, MyDramaList.com and Letterboxd.

And that is about it. I focused on local brands and small businesses as well as online film festivals since mid ECQ. Yes, mid because I have feelings, too.

I searched for an outlet where I can pour my energy. And that is when I realised I still have my blog and my YouTube channel. Thus, My Quarantine Food Diaries was born.

Indeed, 2020 is challenging. But honestly, life has always been challenging. That is why we should remember that there will always be obstacles regardless of the day, month, year or your luck. Don’t let it pull you down. It is also good to accept and feel it then convert it into a force that will lead you.

So let’s go and start anew this 2021. 

I was not able to use my 2020 planner properly so I decided not to buy anymore. Above is actually Mercury Drugstore’s planner which you can purchase using the points in your Suki Card. Yes, I buy numerous medicines for my abuelita and my ninong.

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