Judy Ann Santos is a Filipino celebrity who launched a YouTube channel dedicated to her cooking. (SCREENSHOT: Judy Ann’s Kitchen | YouTube)

When a Filipino hears the name Judy Ann Santos, the image of a bawling, doe-eyed child star always comes to mind. In 1992, she masterfully portrayed the meek, down-to-earth Mara — alongside her good friend Gladys Reyes as Clara — in the long-running titular TV series Mara Clara. And the next role she took on that gave her career a meteoric rise was Esperanza in 1997. …


This was in the restaurant on Jan. 12.

I flew back to Hong Kong on Jan. 12. It was a Sunday. I had brought in five different bags with me — and I knew I was bound to have a hard time hauling all of those on the bus back to our shared flat in Kowloon.

Upon arriving in the city, my aunt messaged me to have lunch with her amigas in Central. I had half-a-mind to go because I knew what began at 11 a.m. would end at 9 p.m. …


The iconic pasteis de nata from Lord Stow’s Bakery in Coloane. The Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong sells these Macanese egg tarts.

Social distancing due to the coronavirus has driven a lot of Hong Kongers up the wall.

Yet the perfect answer to when you’re stressed is just to read the word “stressed” backward: desserts.

Hong Kong is home to a lot of after-meal delights that would satisfy your sweet cravings — some of which you can whip up under your own roof. But most people can’t be bothered to prepare Instagram-worthy dalgona coffees or to bake tea-time cakes.

So here are some desserts that comply with social distancing: they can be easily found in local stores nearby or delivered straight to…


People in Hong Kong are not deterred from dating amid the coronavirus pandemic. (PHOTO: Chad de Guzman)

Fang Zijing, a 23-year-old mainland Chinese student in Hong Kong, was scheduled to go back to Hubei province to meet her girlfriend Wen Jiaxin, also 23, during this year’s Spring Festival. The two had planned to visit a hot spring an hour’s drive away from Wuhan City with Fang’s cousins.

But the Hong Kong government’s order to close entry and exit points in a bid to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus in January forced them to cancel their trip indefinitely.

“We had already paid the hotels and the tickets, so my heart fell,” Fang said.

The coronavirus pandemic…


Asa Butterfield is Otis Milburn in Netflix’s new series, “Sex Education.” (TWITTER)

I filed a leave today to look after my grandmother, and I didn’t have anything significant to do while I’m home, so I did what every bored 25-year-old would do.

I’ll be honest: part of me has this strange fascination with Brits. On one end they act so primly and refined. But on another, they’re so crass and sarcastic — it makes them such beautiful people to watch. Plus they have this idiosyncratic charm. I can’t put my finger on it.

And Asa Butterfield’s eyes.

But I’m digressing. So I chose Netflix’s new coming-of-age series Sex Education to watch, and…


Some friends, a few acquaintances, and I were having a late lunch out when this short-haired girl with a fresh face and nice smile walked past the burger joint. I could not not look at her, because she looked like the type willing to dork around and just chill.

A guy friend next to me asked what I was looking at. I told him a chick passed by whom I found interesting. He gave me a high-five.

Lisa, whom I just met, put her burger down. “I thought you weren’t interested in women? Aren’t you bi?”

I told her yes…


Series 11 of BBC’s hit sci-fi television series “Doctor Who” features Jodie Whittaker as the 13th reincarnation of the Doctor, plus Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole. (DOCTOR WHO BBC/INSTAGRAM)

The first episode of Doctor Who I watched was Series 5, entitled “The Eleventh Hour.” It marked the dawn of a new era, with then-showrunner Steven Moffatt and a fresh face for the titular character in the form of Matt Smith. I once read that when producers change in the Whoniverse the tone of each series also changes — but since it would be the first time I’m coming in contact with The Doctor I had no idea what to expect.

Smith and Moffatt delivered with a fantastical Time Lord, rooted in anguish masked with an erratic charm. …

Chad de Guzman

I’m a multimedia journalist leading conversations on Southeast Asia, culture, and identity formation. I’m a nerd easily excited by new storytelling methods.

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