Saturday, July 11, 2020

We Went to the Mall (First Time in 4 Months)

My original plan today was to bake and do some sewing. I was surprised when Sweetie asked me if I wanted to go with him to the laptop service center. He was scheduled to bring in his laptop because of its faulty hinge. Of course I said yes.

I was so excited because I haven't been to the mall since February. I normally make a list of things I need throughout the week and just buy when I meet the minimum for the delivery. Shopping that way is a bit frustrating especially if it's an ingredient I really need for cooking. I needed eggs and just a few things and thought we can swing by the supermarket to buy some essential stuff.

I wasn't prepared to see so many people. To be honest there seemed to be more people than shopping during Christmas. We immediately made our way to the service center. I didn't want to stay long in an enclosed area so told Sweetie I'd wait for him outside. I went around the bookstore beside the service center and just waited for him by the entrance. I was overwhelmed to see so many people. All the shops require you to check-in through a QR code that sends you to a check-in page.

We moved to another mall after Sweetie finished his business at the service center. It was a bigger mall and so had less people. We split up and I went to my favorite store -- Spotlight -- to buy some buttons. Then I went to Daiso to buy some items for my plants. I ordered some items online, but they're taking so long to arrive and my cucumbers have been unhappy the last few days. The line at Daiso was long, but the queue moved fast. I super miss the days when I could spend a long time inside stores.

We decided to take a break first before going to the supermarket. It felt a bit surreal to be eating out again. We originally did not want to eat out, but we got tired and needed to rest. We just had a snack and went to finish out errands. The supermarket was... heaven! We just had a short list of items, but ended up with 8 bags of items. LOL! I think I have everything I need for a month and the eggs are good until mid-August. 

Going out was quite overwhelming and I think today's mall adventure is enough to last me a few months. I'll stick to online shopping for now and I can just drop by a convenience store whenever I go for my PT sessions. I'm so glad Sweetie asked me to accompany him out today :)

CB//96 #StuckAtHomeDay/126 #StayHome #BeKind

Friday, July 10, 2020

Heartbreaking Day for Kapamilyas

Today is probably one of the most painful days for us in the Philippines. Congress voted not to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN. I was baking when I heard about it and to me it felt like someone passed away.

One of the interviews I did at ABS-CBN back in 2013.

I remember very well when I first realized that ABS-CBN was a "brand". My sixth grade class was tasked to vote which news show we usually watched. I remember it because I was one of those who didn't watch TV Patrol. My parents preferred to watch a different news show and I asked them when I went home why they didn't like TV Patrol. My Dad said that bulk of the news were police reports and he preferred to watch more news about the economy and politics. He said he liked their late night news - "The World Tonight".

Things changed and we eventually started watching TV Patrol and ABS-CBN because our daily staple for news and entertainment. Ang TV, Mara Clara, Gimik, Pangako Sa `Yo, Walang Hanggan, Be Careful With My Heart and many more shows was there everyday. Eventually I had opportunity to work on some projects that involved ABS-CBN and I got to meet many people across the organization. Sweetie also got invited to many of their music events and I tagged along often. I'm also grateful they had supported my crisis response projects.

Random photo I took during one of my visits.

When I moved to Singapore I immediately signed up for TFC. It was what kept me connected and updated to the things happening back home. My friends would always be surprised that I know so much about what's happening back home. What I appreciate about the network are the many talents they are able to showcase and the production quality.

TFC circa 2012.

I wasn't surprised about the outcome of today's vote. The things happening back home reminds me of the time when I was a child during Martial Law. My Dad always explained the situation to us. We always had to be cautious back then. What happened today is a huge setback, but knowing us Filipinos we always find a way. This probably happened for a reason and I hope and pray this would be a good reminder to us that we should choose our leaders conscientiously.

#CB//95 #StuckAtHomeDay/125 #StayHome #BeKind

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Rain, Rain Go Away

Heaven decided to water all the plants and trees today. It was a cold rainy day.

It was pretty cool all day so that was fine. I ended up canceling my PT session today since I had a lot to finish before the holiday tomorrow (it's SG elections). I was so busy all day I didn't get to visit my plants that much, but they seemed to be okay even though the sun did not come out the whole day.

After work I decided to prepare the chicken adobo for tomorrow. I normally marinate my adobo overnight and I wanted to get a headstart on it since I needed to slice the chicken. I normally buy sliced chicken already, this time I bought whole chicken. I was so shocked to find out that whole chicken here in Singapore includes the chicken's head and feet! OMG! In the Philippines they don't include that anymore. My hands were shaking the whole time I had to slice the head and feet. I'll probably never buy whole chicken here anymore.

It took me longer to prepare the adobo since I had to slice the chicken. I thought I could finish it quickly and still have time to re-pot the bell peppers. I just decided to rest after and just watch some videos on YouTube. My brain is pretty mush after work so thought I'd just chill and create a random blog post tonight.

I'm looking forward to the long weekend. I plan to just relax and hopefully see some friends tomorrow. I hope we'll get to take a walk in the park on Saturday and Sunday. Ahhh that will happen if the weather finally cooperates.

#CB//94 #WFH70  #StuckAtHomeDay/124 #StayHome #BeKind

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Cooking for Two: the Expandable Afritada

One of my favorite Filipino dishes is afritada, but I can never get the right amount to cook. When you cook with tomato sauce the dish always multiplies and we end up with so much leftover. Since I'm cooking for just me and Sweetie I thought I'd just use 300 grams of drumlets and keep the same amount of veggies. I finally ended up with just the right amount of afritada for one meal.

Here are the ingredients:

olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, sliced
1 large tomato, sliced
2 small carrots, cubed
2 small potatoes, cubed
300 grams chicken or pork
1 Tbsp rock salt
3 Tbsp vinegar
1 cup water
250 grams tomato sauce
1.5 Tbsp bread crumbs
1 bell pepper, cubed

How to cook:

Saute the chicken with garlic, onions, tomato, carrots and potatoes. Add salt.

Add the vinegar. Let boil for 5 minutes.

Add water. Simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Add tomato sauce. Lower heat. Simmer to 7-10 minutes.

Add bread crumbs. Mix.

Add bell pepper. Simmer for just 1-2 minutes (you'd want the bell pepper to be crunchy).

Serve hot.

If cooking for more you can expand the meat to 500 to 600 grams. 

#CB//93 #WFH69  #StuckAtHomeDay/123 #StayHome #BeKind

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

My DLSU Story

After work my neighbor Anton pinged me this video. His only message was, "Congrats!" I played the video and saw that it was a video for froshies of my alma mater. I watched on and was surprised to see myself featured as an alumni. I promptly blushed to my toes because I was in the same screen as Dr. Cirilo Bautista. I looked up to him when I was student. I'll tell more about him later in this post.

At Casa generalizia istituto Fratelli Scuole Cristiane in Rome (story here).

I always knew I was going to end up at La Salle. My siblings who are both 13+ years older than me both went to DLSU. I was about 4 years old when they'd bring me to the campus when they had activities during weekends. My Ate Nats was I think an officer in their batch and my Kuya Jojo was an athlete. They were both active in school.

When my time came many, many moons ago my sister gave me valuable advise. At that time I was very active in our parish. My sister advised me to be more active in school. She said I would be able to pick up a lot of skills from being active in school and that would be useful when I started to look for a job. As much as I wanted to keep within my comfort zone I gave it a try.

My blockmates. LC26 forever!

I joined many different organizations, but my interest to become better at writing drew me to join Malate Literary Folio. That's how I eventually met Dr. Cirilo Bautista when we submitted our works for the annual lit awards. He gave a great review of my short story and then I got scared to write after that. I guess I had the makings of a good manager because I eventually became the editor-in-chief of Malate. We published six editions that year, not just three (three regular thick books and three special editions on love/horror and a calendar issue). I also contributed to Ang Pahayagang Plaridel because I wanted to hone my Filipino writing skills and joined Green & White as associate editor. I was a busy kid.

I lost all my college photos during Typhoon Ondoy. Here's something I tried to draw during one of the Malate art workshops we did at the SPS building. Hopefully my friends will send me some scanned photos from our Malate days.
With Alex, Jowell, Bryan and Jeff. Some of my friends from Temalats (c. 2006)
[I think we all kinda grew up pretty well]

On the academic front I was okay. I was like any other student, I submitted papers on time, passed and flunked exams, attended those classes I really liked, skipped class whenever I felt like it. I always sat in front because I couldn't really see and hear well. I only ended up sitting at the back when I was late. I once became seatmates with Rico Yan and because he was so makulit our professor split us up. I was the student who tried to stay out of trouble and avoided reciting in class. My only academic claim to fame is getting awarded best thesis together with my thesismates, Jingo and Alan.

My legendary thesismates - Jingo and Alan.

Jingo and I still see each other at least once a year whenever I visit. We're still so cute noh? Hahaha.

I stayed a total of 5 years in DLSU for my double degree and two more years for my MBA. I've been popping in and out of the campus (and other La Salle campuses) in the last two decades for projects and to visit friends. I'm grateful I have been able to visit a number of campuses in the last few years. I hope I can visit more in the future and it's my dream to visit St. La Salle's birthplace too (I did come face to face with St. La Salle's relics, story here).

With my beloved Br. Gene Tianco, FSC. He took care of me when I was a student and eventually became Miggy's professor too! Miss you Br. Gene, please watch over us from up there in heaven.

Here's a few life tricks I learned from my stay in La Salle -

(1) Face challenges squarely in the eye. I was never without problems when I was a student, I faced challenges as they came. 
(2) Pressure is just a means to tackle projects in a different way. Completing three terms in one year instead of 1.5 years will train you to work differently. Take things one step at a time.
(3) Build communities, not a dictatorship. Treat everyone like family.
(4) Be practical. Know what matters. Fulfill your mission. 
(5) Keep learning. Pray.

What about you? What's your DLSU story?

*More blog posts about my La Salle experience here

#CB//92 #WFH68  #StuckAtHomeDay/122 #StayHome #BeKind

Monday, July 6, 2020

Powering On

Just got back from my physiotherapy session. I went back a few weeks ago when my physiotherapist said they were open again. Started it slowly with just one session a week. Promptly got a little sick after two sessions, but I've gotten better after a few more sessions. From today I'll be doing two sessions per week again. 

To be honest exercise has never been in my vocabulary. My PT though said I should think about exercise like how I brush my teeth. Like it's something that you need to do everyday. My Dad was super active. He played tennis and basketball. He played HS and collegiate basketball and so exercise came naturally for him. My Mom though... I never saw her exercise in my entire life. Her exercise is gardening. I guess I'm like my Mom, I've come to love gardening.

I started doing physiotherapy because of back pains. I started having it around late August last year. I thought it was just gonna go away. It didn't and by October my respiratory doctor sent me to see my orthopedic doctor who took a peek at my x-ray and referred me to a spine doctor. The spine doctor said that there's some degeneration happening.

And that's how I ended up with the most amazing physiotherapist. I admit, I'm probably one of the hardest patients to take care of because of the many considerations my PT needs to manage. Too much makes me sick, too little may trigger back pains. I think my PT knew from the beginning that if I got scared I would probably give up and not come back.

I think the most important thing she did with me is build trust. Even though the back pains came back during the two months when the clinic was closed, I trust with her guidance and care we'd be able to bring back the strength we built before the circuit breaker. So even though going to my sessions every week is hard, I push myself to go because I know it's for my own good. I hope in a few weeks my PT will allow me to go on the bicycle again because that's the only exercise which I equate to fun.

What about you? Do you like exercising?

#CB//91 #WFH67  #StuckAtHomeDay/121 #StayHome #BeKind

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Conquering Fears and Worries

The last time we had a pandemic that affected the whole world was over a hundred years ago. My Papa Lolo would've been 10-years old then and my Mama Lola was just born that year. This Manila Times article says that there were 80,000 Filipinos who died and the abstract of this study also suggests that it was not managed well. I don't think anyone would ever be ready to manage such a treacherous virus.

A snap from the new version of "Tell the World of His Love".
That's my 20-year old happy self leaving everything to God's will. 

It's been fourth months since I've just been staying at home. I'm sure like me you have gone through a roller coaster of emotions the last few months. From "okay I could get used to staying home, I've done this before" to "I miss the outside world, I miss my family and friends" to "OMG they extended the quarantine period, nooooo!" to acceptance.

I learned to accept the unknown after they announced the extension of the circuit breaker here in Singapore. I was so affected when it was announced because I had led myself to believe that the set-up was okay with me. I was trying to be brave. The next day I read a reflection about dealing with uncertainty. It was a good reminder for me that I should not worry about anything. Just lift all your worries and fears to Him and have faith that He will take care of you

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

A blessed Sunday everyone!

#CB//90  #StuckAtHomeDay/120 #StayHome #BeKind