Life's Real Luxuries Unlocked
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Life’s Real Luxuries Unlocked

Life’s Real Luxuries Unlocked

Youth | March 24, 2021
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From home improvements to soul food and more, Janeena shares with you some of her recommended must-haves for life this year.

Here we are… new normal year two; same but different. We’ve all been finding ways to cope and hold onto every inch of what’s left of the “normal” in our life. And as our world is on its way to fully healing, I think we too as a human race have so much more healing to do on our own. It’s ironic though that it took being “locked-in” to unlock what truly matters in the grand scheme of things.

It has been an especially abrupt change for me coming from such a fast-paced lifestyle. I almost didn’t have time to think that I was tired. Or maybe as a mostly extroverted person, it also fueled my energy—hosting one event after another, attending launches, creating content non-stop, meeting and working with several new faces on a daily basis, and traveling to both local and international destinations for both work and play. I loved every bit of it! It gave me a different kind of high, maybe because work felt like play to me, too.

But if you ask me now, my favorite place has now become my humble home. And my newfound pace—filled with balance—has become a new standard of normal life that I never want to let go of.

Now that it’s March 2021 and we’ve reached full circle since the very first lockdown in Manila, I’ve come to realize that true success and true life are some of the most basic fundamentals that we might have been too busy to fully appreciate. And I’d love to share some of them with you.

Happy Home, Happy Heart, Happy Life

I grew up watching Madeleine and in it, there was a song that Miss Clavel sang with the girls that always stood out to me. Here’s a little excerpt:

“Home is not about large, home is not about small. Home isn’t the color of paint on the wall. Home is not about old, home is not about new. Home is having the ones you love close to you.

Home is not about the rich, home is not about the poor. Home isn’t the carpet you put on the floor. You don’t need a marble staircase in each room. You just need a clean place to hum a nice tune

Home is where the heart is. If your heart is there, it’s home.”

I’ve since looked forward to starting my mornings slow, yet in a significant way. I’ve come to realize that I need my dose of sunlight, quiet time, and nature. So, I thank my room’s wide window for it. Plus, a great brunch has become a daily highlight. Using my coffee press has become quite a luxury too, accompanied by unhurried conversations with mom and my cat Ribbon Darling by our side.

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all become plantitas, plantitos, and our own home designers in the last year. It’s been a delight to see our mini home garden flourish and grow. In case you’re looking at expanding your plant collection, Plantarium Manila has lots of beauties. I especially love my Pink Splash and Watermelon Peperomia plants from them. Plus, you can get eco-chic wooden plant stands from Ohanna Interiors, too, while Whiff & Co has great plant sprays. So, let’s support local businesses as much as we can.

Now, if you need that extra help at home for those sneaky repairs, you can check out Perhaps it’s time to clean the AC, especially now that summer’s heating up. They partnered with trusted companies that offer home repairs, and even cleaning services among others, all while following strict protocols.

Clean air and A+ sanitization have now become a new normal gold standard as well. At home, I can have peace of mind with my favorites, such as the super-smart, medical-grade Luftonic Air Purifier, and my cute vintage-inspired UPang sterilizer. There are fun colors to choose from, too! I chose beige to match one of the walls in my room.

Additionally, disinfectants have now become a staple in every room, and it’s a bonus when they smell good and have no harmful chemicals. Some of my recommendations are Kleen Doctor and Adam Esli’s 4-in-1 Spray.

Food For The Soul

You gotta do what you can to find a new sense of freedom, liberation, and expression with all the recreational limitations that we have to follow in life these days. So start from where you are, and work with what you have. Music, movies, podcasts, and the Bible App have been my food for the soul.

I’ve actually made my own curated Spotify playlists, which have been such a fun and creative outlet for me. Not a day goes by that I don’t listen to music. Give them a listen, too. My favorites are Cinematic Magic, Uplift & Elevate, Feels for Reals, Moonwalking, and Vacay Tunes.

If music moves, words can help heal and grow. I’ve started to get into listening to podcasts last year, and I also had the amazing opportunity to launch my very own, called Rise Up with Janeena Chan, which aims to R.I.S.E.: Rebuild, Inspire, Strengthen, and Empower each other to rise up together. Season two is coming this April, and we’ve got so many more Rise Up stories to share from our new guests. Please stay tuned for more fresh episodes coming very soon! In the meantime, listen in on our first 12 episodes.

Every time we record for the podcast, my mind is constantly blown, as if I’ve attended a self-growth workshop, or gone through a feel-good therapy session! If we can just make someone’s day feel lifted up, then that would mean the world. For my movie, documentary, and series suggestions, I’ll save them for next time.

True Beauty In Life

Self-care and self-love have been a recurring, highlighted theme in all of this too. It’s the first step to living a truly full life. You have to fill your cup first before you can give more of that love, and spread it around like glitter…that doesn’t itch. So aside from skincare and our fave beauty finds, we have to fill your bodies, hearts, and minds the right way, too.

I’ve been taking so much more fruits and veggies now that meals are homemade. Less unhealthy snacking, and more mindful meals have helped not only my outer glow and skin, but also my immune system! In case you wish to order your premium quality fruits, veggies, and some groceries online, you can visit my favorite,, and use my code JANEENA10 for an extra 10% off. You get free delivery too with orders P1999 and above.

My constant orders are fresh coconut, brown eggs, organic free-range chicken, cherry tomatoes, dragonfruit, and berries when in season. Or if you’re looking for calorie-counted meals delivered to your doorstep, you can check out Diet Diva’s Glow Meals. They’re so tasty, and they include fun snacks and drinks, too.

Aside from being healthy, nothing radiates beauty like owning your truth and being confident in all that you are—flaws, and even the quirks that make you… YOU! Affirmations and a can-do attitude are so powerful in attracting so much beauty in our life. The brain is a muscle too, so exercise it regularly by filling it with good thoughts, not limiting beliefs.

Remember to always be patient and kind to yourself in the pursuit of living your best life, no matter how the world looks like on the outside. Just like a lotus flower that grows from the mud, always choose to see growth and possibilities even in the most difficult of times.

Together, Apart

I’m feeling a piercing pinch in my heart as I type this because if there’s one thing I miss the most, it’s people, friends, face-to-face connections, and community in the flesh with audible laughter, uninhibited interactions, visible smiles, heartfelt besos—all without fear or face masks. 

Soon enough, we can all be together again. But for now, always know that we can still give and receive love from a friendly social distance. Things might look different now when it comes to fostering relationships, but a simple chat via DM with extra emojis or a video call would have to do. Plus, it can actually go a long way.

For now, I will keep writing these open letters to you, my readers, hoping that it gives you light, joy, a fun, and even practical read, but most importantly a friend from not-so-far-away.

As you can see, I can get pretty chatty as I type when my mind is extra stimulated. And that’s because I’m excited to keep writing to you. Please stay tuned for my next articles as I share more life learnings, new exciting finds, more food for thought, and fun surprises. Always stay healthy and keep your hearts full.

Until the next, Janeena.

Janeena is best known as a professional multi-platform host, most remembered from Upfront at the UAAP which aired on ABS-CBN S+A, and Chinoy TV on ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel). Her shows and new media content continue to inspire the youth as she pursues her passions in a smart and playful way — with style, substance and heart. Catch her podcast, Rise Up with Janeena Chan on Spotify and Apple Podcast, and follow her online via @janeenachan.
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