Saturday, February 29, 2020

Living in the Time of the Coronavirus

February has been a big improvement from the crazy month that was January. The first month of the year was full of issues - the airstrikes that almost caused a war, the Taal Volcano eruption and the rise of coronavirus cases. It was a very stressful month and I was glad that Miggy accompanied me when I went back to Singapore.


We've been spending the last five weeks at home. I thought since we had Miggy for a few weeks we'd get to explore more of Singapore and perhaps make a dent on visiting all Toastbox branches. We cancelled all our lakwatsa plans. To be safe we only went out when it was really needed. I wanted to work on my vlog, but there's not much you can cover when you're stuck at home.

Went to see my doctor for my regular check-up. 
He told me to avoid going back to the hospital.

Keeping me safe was the biggest concern of my boys. We read the news from trustworthy sources and followed the advise to always wash hands. That day when the outbreak alert went up Sweetie passed by the grocery to buy bread. He was surprised to see many people buying so much stuff. Supermarkets and pharmacies ran out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, thermometers and masks. In the Philippines though when we have calamities people stock up on candles*, delata, rice and water.

Miggy's special chicken fingers. It was delicious!

As advised we also avoid eating raw food. It's been a long time since I had sushi and we usually eat cooked vegetables (vs. raw vegetable salads). We try to prepare most of our food. Miggy cooked a lot of our meals and I used that time to teach him some of my dishes (like the baked salmon in honey and lemon!).

One of our essential activities - physiotherapy.

Honestly, I enjoy just staying home. I've been able to blog every day and work on other things that make me happy. Spending all this time at home brought me back to equilibrium. It also provided me much needed rest from traveling for work. In Singapore you can easily buy everything online, but it's online grocery shopping has been hard because delivery schedules are always full.

I think whatever panic we were feeling early his month has waned. The government here has been doing an amazing job managing the situation. I am really grateful that they are taking care of everyone in the country. We still need to be vigilant as advised by the government. New cases may come from other sources. I pray though that scientists find the right treatment and medication to stop the virus from spreading further. I also pray for all the medical doctors, nurses and personnel fighting this.

May God protect us all.

*Candles because we oftentimes lose electricity in the Philippines during typhoons.

Friday, February 28, 2020

The Value of Being Kind and Courteous

I've made a lot of mistakes. I learned a lot about being a good leader when I was in college. Back then I thought that when you're a leader you just tell people what to do. I expected people would just follow what I say they should do. That scared people and in the long run I also hurt friends. Coupled with that I was scared too because I was put in a position I didn't feel I was ready for. It was a disaster for me.

It took years for me to learn that being a boss is different from being a leader. I started to change slowly when I had a terror boss. Monday mornings were always tense because that was the day the leads would meet and we could hear him scolding people throughout the meeting. This was the norm throughout the week. My seat was unfortunately right outside of his room. The walls were made of glass so if there was any screaming happening I'd hear it. I told myself I didn't want to be like that.

I was eventually transferred to the mother company. I breathed a sigh of relief because my new manager was really kind and nurturing. I craved though for the challenges my former boss always gave me. I eventually learned to ignore his tantrums and used it as a learning experience. It still left me scarred, so I made sure that I would take care of my team who moved with me to the mother company.

My team though got split in two. Some got moved to another supervisor. She was very traditional. My former staff would come to me crying. I fought back by writing icy emails. I was angry and wanted to protect my team. My boss then though nipped it at the bud and taught me the value of using kindness and courteousness to fight back. She said that it would be more effective than sending angry emails. Funny though, she made my former boss in the other company look like a kitten next to her. So I resolved never to be like her too.

I took that lesson to heart and I practice it everyday. The past two weeks though I encountered someone who was just like me in my 20s. She made me feel like I'm a fresh grad who know nothing. She's brilliant and all, but I guess she needs coaching in being a leader and communications. Instead of striking back I just sat back, processed it and remembered the journey I've been through. I'm not perfect, but I think being kind and courteous has helped me build better relationships at work.


Thursday, February 27, 2020

My First Koreanovela: My First First Love

Well technically the first Koreanovela I watched was the tagalized "Lovers in Paris". (or maybe it was "Boys Over Flowers"?). I'm not counting it though because the experience is really different when you squint to read the subtitles and listen to the real voice of the actors and actresses.

It was one of my friends who recommended "My First First Love" on Netflix. She explained that it was a good intro show for the uninitiated. She was right. The story was simple, but complex enough to keep me interested. The other challenge for me was reading subtitles!


The characters grew on me and the cast were pretty effective in their portrayal. When my friend told me about the show she spouted so many Korean names! None of them were familiar to me (I only know Sandara Park, Ryan Bang and Jimmy Kim*). So I watched the show without any background about the artists which allowed me to just fully enjoy the story.

My friend also explained to me that Koreanovelas have a finite number of episodes. Unlike Filipino telenovelas which can go on and on depending on ratings. Normally when they keep stretching the show the story just goes in crazy directions. I like the simple, straightforward way "My First First Love" was presented. A great story on friendship, heartaches, failing, winning, family and love..

If you're just like me, uninitiated, "My First First Love" is a great way to get your feet wet. Next one on my list is "Crash Landing on You" and then let's see if I'm ready to finally watch the DVD I bought two years ago.

The Sweetie Koreanovela <3

And I finally know the cast Ji Soo, Jung Chae-yeon, Jung Jin-young, Kang Tae-oh and Choi Ri. Another friend told me about Ji Soo's other shows and I just drowned hahaha! I need more time to understand this world! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Growing Up with Strict Parents

My parents were very strict parents. I wasn't allowed to play outside and let's just say I'd rather go through a thesis defense rather than ask permission to go out with friends. That's how I ended up becoming a workaholic. 

My parents never required me to produce medals or have high grades. They already got those from my Ate and Kuya, so I got to enjoy studying at my own pace. I was a slow learner so I guess that helped lessen the pressure on me. By the time my brains started to develop I was already in sixth grade and my parents just let me be. 

It was the social aspect where they were very strict. They just really wanted to protect me. Of course during that time I didn't understand and I would cry my way to get permission to go out with friends. They liked it better when I had my friends hang out at home and since there was always bottomless food my friends didn't mind. 

One of the many parties we hosted at home with my friends. 
Managed to do this again last year which was a super happy day for me.

I was telling Sweetie earlier how I still got scolded when I came home late when we went out. My aunt  told me that the reason my parents were still strict even though I was already in my 30s was because my Dad was afraid I'll be heartbroken again. He wanted to take care of me forever. 

My aunt helped them realize that I should be allowed to make my mistakes and let me live and explore. There was also some pressure from the priests in our church. They all wanted me to find The One and they joked that they would put up a billboard to find me a boyfriend. They did this because I was spending so much time making the parish newsletter during my free time. 

Sweetie asked permission from my parents before he proposed to me. 

Eventually my parents fears abated when I started dating Sweetie. He really made the effort to reach out and get to know my parents. We spent a lot of our couple time at home too. My parents trusted him and I noticed that my parents started letting me do what I wanted as long as I went home early... haha. 

When Sweetie and I got married, I was super shocked that I didn't need to ask permission from my parents anymore. Well that has shifted to Miggy for the both of us haha. When we go out and come home a bit late we get a ping, "Kamusta kayo?" which translates to "It's getting late, aren't you going home yet?" It's a vicious cycle hahaha. 

Family Christmas lunch with Jay's Dad and my Mom.

So I grew up with strict parents. I'm where I am now because of them. They taught me discipline. They taught me to take decision making seriously. I'm probably a bit socially awkward, but I attribute that more to me being an introvert. I cannot claim that I was an obedient child, maybe 50-50. I found ways to do what I wanted (as any rebellious child does). I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but this is my life and my parents brought me up the best way they can.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Have a Kitkat in Different Flavors!

One of my favorite things to do in Japan is try new flavors of Kitkat! Some are okay, some are just really crazy! Here's a few interesting ones I've tried in the last few years -

Wasabi Kitkat! It's quite tasty when you eat it, the real reaction comes when the wasabi starts making itself felt.

Japan has a lot of banana flavored desserts and of course there's banana flavored Kitkat. I prefer the Tokyo Banana though. 

Rum Raisin Kitkat. It was too weird for me to try, unfortunately Sweetie doesn't remember trying it. 

Sake Kitkat! I got this for my aunt in Sydney. We tried it in the car and were a bit shocked about the strong sake flavor. I think it's best eaten when chilled.

Milk Tea Kitkat. This one I got from Singapore. It was okay, I've tried a number of milk tea flavored food, but I still prefer the beverage.

What about you? Have you tried any of the 200 Kitkat flavors available in Japan? 







Monday, February 24, 2020

Recipes for my Son: Baked Salmon in Honey and Lemon

My boys absolutely love this recipe. I made it last weekend for them and Miguel actually asked where he could buy salmon in Manila. So I thought it would be helpful to make video on how I make this very simple dish.



Ingredients

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/8 cup to 1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
salt and pepper
1/2 kg salmon (or three to four 3 in. x 6 in. cuts)

How to Prepare

1. Pre-heat over for 10 minutes at 190'C.
2. Melt butter in low heat together with garlic and honey/maple syrup.
3. Lay out salmon in a foil-lined pan. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper.
4. Pour butter mixture on salmon. Seal the pan with foil, but leave the sides open.
5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes at 190'C. 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Kilig!

Kilig is a Filipino word that is so hard to translate. Kilig is an emotion one feels when your crush does something to you. It's a warm, fuzzy feeling that makes you tingle all over, oftentimes resulting in making you blush. Some describe it as having butterflies in your stomach, for me though that means you're nervous.

This is me overflowing with kilig after Sweetie proposed.

Here's a few ways we use the word kilig -

When you're watching a Koreanovela and you see your favorite couple exchange meaningful glances... I'm so kilig!

When you bump into your crush and he gives you a big smile...
Kinikilig ako!

When you tell your friend about the big smile your crush gave you, your friend says...
Kinilig ka naman!

Signs a person is kinikilig -

The shoulder shake (much like when you pee...)

Surreptitious dimple showing...

Blushing

Shrieking

You're eyes disappear


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Frequent Flyer Habits

My first plane ride was to the US when I was four years old. It was our grand family trip which my parents organized because my brother and sister were on a long break. I remember going to Disneyland, Great America, watching Mr. Rogers and learning to cross the street to get the newspaper. We went home on my birthday and I celebrated it three times - at my Mom's best friend's home in San Francisco, on the plane and in Manila.

It was my first time to fly alone to the US when I joined my current job. I shed some tears when I arrived in San Francisco because I felt it was such a grown up thing to do. It was a huge learning experience for me and I've had to figure flights, hotels, getting from one point to another eversince.

I've done some crazy traveling in the last 10+ years. More than 90% of my travel has been work related, all memorable nonetheless. Here are some things I do whenever I have a flight.

1. Come to the airport early. I don't like rushing and I can't run.
2. Visit airport lounges selectively. I only go to the lounge when I'm at an airport I frequently visit or when I have some work to do.
3. Check out the airport bookshop and buy a magnet. I usually also check if there's any interesting tea to bring home for Sweetie.
4. Drink celebratory milk tea (where available). I have my favorite spots in Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan.
5. Make sure I have water. I always bring two bottles with me, one for water and one for coffee to avoid buying plastic bottles.
6. Wear a mask. I'm immuno-compromised so my doctor advised me to always wear a mask when traveling. I read though that germs abound more at the airport, but I wear a mask usually for take-off and landing. I could feel the air is very dirty during take off and landing. This is usually very obvious during haze season. So protect your lungs from dirty air!


One thing I need to work on though is reducing my handcarry. It's hard though because I have essentials I can't put in the check-in luggage (meds/essential oils). It really helps though that I use a Chromebook and it's much, much lighter than previous devices I used to bring with me.

What about you? What are your frequent flyer habits?




Friday, February 21, 2020

Happy Endings

And they lived happily every after...

My happily ever after...

I love happy endings and I always get a high whenever I attend weddings.

Today I attend the wedding dinner of a good friend here in Singapore. It was a very unique wedding occasion. They tied the knot in the afternoon and had a dinner celebration in the evening with close friends. I would have loved to be there during the registration, but I couldn't escape from my work appointments.

Over dinner friends pitched in to share their love for the couple. There was a Hawaiian dance, poetry reading and an acoustic song performance. It was so heartfelt that a number of the guests cried when the bride read a poem she wrote for her groom. I have them on video, but I still need to edit it and ask permission from the couple to share.

For my dear friends, congratulations and best wishes. May your marriage be blessed and full of happiness. I hope next time I bump into the two of you it would be in better circumstances!

Love, love, joy, joy for both of you. <3

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Interesting F&B Encounters

I like going to the supermarket especially when I travel. If there's none nearby, a 7-Eleven will do. I like discovering what things they have in other countries that I've never seen before.

Here's one I saw today at Cold Storage in Singapore - Exotic Mango flavored Coca-Cola. Did I try it? Nope. I was too weirded out and I'm sure my tummy will protest. I like my mangoes in it's original form and preferably from the Philippines.


Coca-cola Peach and Coca Cola Lemon and Vitamin. Has anyone tried this?


Coca-Cola Frozen. I found this in 7-Eleven together with the ice cream. It was interesting but I didn't try it since I avoid drinking soda. I did try the clear Coca-Cola. It had a strange aftertaste and I never tried it again. 


Before I went back to Singapore Miggy and I went to SM Supermart in Aura. We lined up to buy turon to bring home for our merienda. Alas! We discovered tikoy turon. We ended up getting it instead of the regular turon. Ate it when we got home and loved it. (Which reminds me I should cook the tikoy I got from Manila too).



Milk tea cake from Starbucks in Singapore. Of course I had to try it. Let's just say I prefer milk tea in it's beverage form and will stick to my favorite Starbucks classic chocolate cake.



Lipton strawberry & cream milk tea. My only reaction - why?


Litson Kawali chips. Sweetie bought this for me in Marikina and we were quite excited to try it. My friends who are on keto diet love it. Unfortunately I found it a tad bit too oily.



Horseradish spread. It was my boss who introduced this to me when we were in Rome. I liked it and realize now I should have bought some while I was there.



What interesting food and beverage encounters have you had?




Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Crazy Boat Rides

My friend Nina posted a short clip on Twitter yesterday showing a ship going through a huge wave. It looked a bit like the one below -



Have you ever been on a crazy boat ride? I'm like riding boats and like going around to explore islands. Sometimes though the weather changes and the smooth boat ride turns into a water roller coaster. Here are some of the crazy boat rides I've been on -

Carbin Reef to Sagay

I have been to Carbin Reef a few times. It's one of my favorite beach places in the Philippines which is located in Negros Occidental. The weather was always perfect when we went. It was during my last visit when the boat men told us we should head back earlier to Sagay. It looked liked it was going to rain so off we went. Oh my, the boat ride was absolutely crazy. We had to go through waves coming from different directions. Me and my friend Anne had to put on a brave face because I had colleagues from other countries who joined us in the trip to Carbin!

Boracay

A few years ago we went island hopping during our trip to Boracay. From Station 2 we went towards Caticlan to reach Crystal Cove. We spent about two hours there and thought we should head to the lunch place that was part of the boat tour. The boat men said we'll pass towards the other end of Boracay, the area near Carabao Island. We said sure because we wanted to experience going around the whole island.

Before things got crazy.

The wind suddenly changed when we were about to turn at the end of the island and huge waves suddenly blew in. It took the full concentration of the boat men to traverse through the waves. What was scary was the huge rocks we could have crashed in if not for skillful management of the boat. The ride calmed down after we finished the turn. The boat men explained that it would have been more dangerous to turn back and go the other way. We skipped the lunch place and just ate super late lunch on dry land.

Puerto Galera

The ride through Batangas Bay from the Batangas Port to Puerto Galera has historically been always tumultuous for me. I like going to Puerto Galera before the summer crowd goes and usually the larger ferries are not available yet when I go. I normally take the huge motor banca to Puerto Galera. The waves never disappoint and I have countless times told myself never to take that boat ride anymore. The best way to survive the ride is to close your eyes and don't look outside of the banca. I've experienced so many times being eye level with water when the boat dips into a wave. After our last crazy boat ride Sweetie said we won't go back again huhu (but maybe I can convince him to go if we take the ferry).

It never crossed my mind that the crazy boat rides I've been on would sink even though I probably shaved off a few years off my life.  I'm just grateful the boatmen always expertly brought us back to shore safely. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

My Childhood in Camangui, Pasacao

I'm feeling child-like today because I'm finally moving on to what I really like doing. My new teammate told me I sparkled when I talked about what I love doing. This triggered happy childhood memories.



My parents started bringing me to out of town trips when I was less than a year old. We'd go to my Mom's hometown in Bicol every summer. That was when I earned the nickname "kutong tubig" (water flea) because they always had a hard time getting me out of the water. The only time I learned to voluntarily get out of the sun was when I had a very bad sunburn. Oh my it was so painful and since then I don't stay long under the sun anymore.

Villa Merced was the name of the our place. It was named after my Mama Lola (grandma). Back then we didn't have electricity so every night the trees would be filled with fireflies. I tried catching some of them, but never did. I feared the tuko though. It's a gecko with a big voice. You'd know it's near you because it chirps "tuko". It's quite loud so I always thought it was a huge gecko.  I was scared of it because they told me it would cling to you if it gets near you (thus the term "kapit tuko".

Taken from the rooftop of Casa Moderna (called Moderna Bakery back then). 
When you go up early in the morning you can see the beautiful Mayon Volcano.

I was quite mischievous when I was a child and my Mom would always tell me, "Ang malikot nakakadampot ng ipot!" (A naughty child will pick up poo). I remember one time I was collecting cats eye and stones and my Mom was telling me to clean up already because we were going to eat lunch. I ignored her and continued to poke on interesting looking stones and shells. I saw a shiny, brown round stone and I was ecstatic to find a very nice piece. I poked it and it wasn't a stone... so since then I became obedient!

I was really happy whenever we went to Pasacao. I loved that we would sleep in a nipa hut and bathe in the poso (manual pump). It was a very simple life. Uncomplicated and I'll always remember being with my family there. I'm happy Miggy experienced that also when he was a child and I hope he keeps it in his treasure of happy memories too. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Mad Monday and Thinking About Immunity

I have a feeling I might conk out in the middle of writing this blog post. I had PT after work and only felt the effects of the exercise midway through dinner. My physiotherapist had a hard time with me again today because I have really bad body coordination. She's had to break down every single step in the exercises she's been teaching me (including when to breathe). Now I know why I never really got into sports. I'm so lucky my physiotherapist is so patient with me.

I had lunch with my seatmate and his friend. They asked me how I was since I was a bit under the weather last week (lagnat laki) and of course we talked about the coronavirus. One thought that came up was whether one would have immunity to SARS if you've had it before. This came up because I read on this article that plasma from recovered patients can help treat sick patients.

I did some more reading and found an article on the New English Journal of Medicine citing a study on whether the antibodies stay in your body after recovering from SARS. Sadly the article said it diminishes, but the don't know whether it would be "adequate to protect a person from reinfection".

From my layman understanding, this means it doesn't act like you've been vaccinated from having it again in the future. I hope since there is another outbreak they can continue their studies. At best we should just follow what authorities have advised about proper hygiene to protect yourself -- wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your mouth/nose, don't scratch your eyes and cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze.

Our advantage today is we can easily access information online. We need to be mindful though about the sources we get information from. One other item I have read more about is whether I could pick up the virus in a chlorinated swimming pool. Yikes!

It's been a mad day today since I didn't get a good night's sleep. I was surprisingly productive today despite that, but I'm going to end this post now so I can get some zzzzzs.

Night night everyone. 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Did You Panic Buy?

Earlier Sweetie and I went out to buy some groceries. While buying some items for my Mom we talked about the panic buying for toilet paper that happened over a week ago. We're still a bit baffled about why that happened. Sweetie also told me that he read an article that said there was someone who ordered 800 kilograms worth of groceries online.

Of course I'm concerned also about our supplies at home, but I don't see the need to stock up on so many things. I've been through so many calamities - countless typhoons, coup d'etats, volcano eruptions - and I never saw my Mom buy too many supplies. I never saw her panic in any of these situations.

When the Taal Volcano erupted last month I was honestly quite unprepared. I had enough food and water and medication at home, I just didn't have an air filter and masks. We were able to "seal" our tiny home, but what really worried me was my Mom since you can't really seal her home from outside air. When I had the opportunity to go out to the mall I immediately got all of us an air filter. It really helped because it was so hard to sleep wearing a mask.

So while in line at the pharmacy I realized that given any situation there's always a way to cope. And the most important thing I learned from my parents is faith. The day after Taal Volcano erupted a friend reached out to check on me and when she found out I didn't have a N95 mask she immediately sent two for me and Miggy.

Panicking is a natural human reaction, but as the government and experts always say, "When you panic buy, you will be taking away supplies that others may need" (they say the same for masks). I also believe that we just need to be calm and have faith that God will take care of us.

A blessed Sunday everyone! 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

My Happy Thoughts Project

I've been working on my happy thoughts project this past week. I copied all the thoughts my friends threw my way when I asked for happy memories they had with me.

After pasting all the thoughts on a Google Doc I looked for photos that matched the memory. I've been having a great time looking through my photo baul and I probably need to add more pages to the photobook.


I know it's hard to be consistently happy. I fall into a rut every week. My Kuya taught me a technique how to remove a bad feeling. Imagine that the bad moment is on TV then turn it into black and white. Replace the screen with a happy memory. Switch back to the bad screen. Then move back to the happy screen. Switch between screens fast and you'll naturally anchor on the happy screen.

Kuya explained to me that our tendency when bad things happen the thought becomes important. It's like a flashing sign in our mind. So the way to get our of the rut is to diffuse that thought and make it unimportant.

I realized just now that I used to do this often before. I used to print photos and have a lot of photo albums at home (in Manila). And I haven't done this for many years now. Ahhh, I should have done this a long time ago!!! Hope to finish this project soon :)

Friday, February 14, 2020

Learning Japanese

Ohayou Gozaimasu! Two years ago I tried to learn Nihongo. I enrolled in an online class and did a 1:1 class with a sensei who was based in England. She was the most wonderful and patient teacher. I did make progress and was stringing sentences together already. I also learned a bit of hiragana which helped me a lot when I visit Japan.

Beautiful cherry blossoms in Tokyo.

Nihongo is a beautiful language although quite hard to learn. I did a trial for a Chinese class, but I really struggled with pronouncing syllables and that's why I elected to learn Nihongo instead. My sensei said I pronounced words very well and we attributed it to how similar it is to how we pronounce words in Filipino.

Elevator self-we with Japanese educators + my forehead haha.

In the beginning I was taking notes on a small notebook. I had a hard time taking notes and it made it hard for me to review. I realized I was doing things wrong! I decided to use two Chromebooks for my online classes. One was for the platform my teacher used to teach me and another one for notetaking.

My sensei said I improved a lot during that time. She asked me what did I do differently and I showed her my notes. I was completing my homework much faster as well. Me and my sensei had a great partnership because she taught me Nihongo and I taught her how to properly use Google tools for distance learning.

Akihabara at night.

We used Google Calendar to set up our Google Hangout calls and we used screenshare so I could follow where she was on the online workbook, then I used Google Spreadsheet for my notetaking. It was so easy and my sensei said it made it much easier for her to use the tools for her other students as well.

I miss my sensei. I ended up just completing one year because that was the time I was found to have PE. I could've enrolled again, but I'm now doing a different market. Learning a new language though was a great challenge for me and maybe I'll do it again someday. 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Re-aligning 2020 Plans

So we've been basically stuck at home the past few weeks for a number of things. I originally planned 2020 to be a year to explore new things. I wanted to travel more, enroll in a cooking class and generally be more active.

I guess this year is going to be a different kind of normal for all of us. When SARS hit almost two decades ago we were not as scared as we are today. Well I was in Manila back then and I did survive SARS, but I didn't feel scared as I am today. It was just another illness to get over back then and things went back to normal.

We're going to be stuck at home for now and I've been thinking about things to do at home. Oh but I really wanted to do more outdoor stuff this year since I was already stuck at home the last two years since I had PE. The PT has been helping me a lot become more active so this situation really sucks.


Anyway, the best thing to do now is accept the situation and be flexible. Here's a shortlist of things I can do at home outside my home-work-home existence.

(1) Watch Netflix - I think I'm doing too much of this since I've been generally unproductive at home haha.

(2) Read - I have quite a lot of books that need to be read.

(3) Quilt - I haven't sewn since I finished that huge blanket I gave as a wedding gift. My projects are wanting to be finished.

(4) Happy Thoughts project - I started working on it, but probably need to give myself a deadline to get me going.

(5) Blog - I've been blogging now for more than 40 days! I wanted to do more vlogs, but since we can't really go out I need to re-work that plan.

I could still go out, but Sweetie and Miggy are worried I'll pick up the virus somewhere so they want to make sure I'm safe. My friend today sent a message that there was a suspected case near the office. I've been home the last two days because of slight fever. They've been checking the temp of people coming in to our building so I thought it would be better for me to stay home and rest.

What about you? What adjustments did you have to make because of the current situation?

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

V-day!

Valentine's is just around the corner. Sweetie asked me the other day what our plans are and I said we can't really make plans because of the current situation. We don't really don't go out for Valentine's since we celebrate it every day! Cheesy!!!

Sweetie is sweeter than me. He prepares a sandwich for me everyday. It started a couple of years ago and the name "Jaybucks" started as a joke. He started making notes as part of his promise to replace all the love letters he gave to me before we married. All of the letters, notes, cards etc. went under water during Typhoon Ondoy. He's actually kept all the Jaybucks notes through the years and some are in an album.

Here are some of the Jaybucks specials -






It looks like Sweetie wants to expand though because last January when we came back he surprised me and Miggy with a snack bar!



Can you guesss what's my favorite Jaybucks sandwich?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Disappointment, Yoda and Confoundables

Disappointment is truly not my cup of tea.

If Dad was alive he'd tell me sternly to just get on with it. I will, but please allow me to wallow in hopelessness for 5 more minutes.

It's one of those days when you just want to crawl in a hole and curl into a ball. It's counter productive though and this is what Yoda has to say -


Forgive me, I just found that quote online. I don't think the quote is an actual quote from Yoda, but it makes a lot of sense. If I cling to the disappointment I'm feeling it's just going to ruin the rest of my day. And time is gold, I don't really want to waste another second wallowing in disappointment.

It's just so hard to let it go when people you were counting on disappoint you.

How I wish that place called "Tacsiyapo" is just around the corner. The last time I was there was 8 years ago and I'm not sure if it still exists. Tacsiyapo is actually a bad word in a local dialect and the place is where angry people go to. For a small price you can throw stuff like plates, glasses and even a TV! The feeling of breaking something when you're frustrated is amazing. I let out the angst a bit by catching Pokemon and zapping confoundables on Harry Potter.

It wasn't enough and that's why I'm writing this blog post. Writing after all calms me down almost instantly. The hugs from my boys also helped a lot.

And now I've run out of steam. What about you? What do you do to be un-disappointed?

(My photo above was happy me before my day went blah...).

PS I wrote this post last night and just publishing it in the morning.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Sweetie Koreanovela

Sweetie and I spent two nights in Seoul. As usual we just squeezed in the trip in between my work trip and his work holiday. One of the things we managed to do was visit Gyeongbokgung Palace.



We were delighted to find out that entrance is free for those who come in wearing a hanbok. I told Sweetie that we needed to experience going around the palace in local garb.


A funny thing happened at the palace. A guy approached Sweetie and asked to have a photo. We thought he wanted to have a photo with both with us, but he only wanted a photo with Sweetie! The strange thing is he didn't even acknowledged me and I felt like a ghost. We still have no idea who the guy is. He spoke very little English and we only found out that he's from Vietnam.


It was a beautiful day to go around the Gyeongbokgung Palace. The place is huge! We only managed to go to Gyeonghoeru, one of the two areas that had a pond. We walked around for about an hour and a half and spent the last 30 minutes having our photo taken at a studio (they weirdly adjusted our height for the photo haha).


We were famished and ended up eating really tasty bulgogi near the hanbok rental place. After that we had coffee and dessert at a local coffee shop. One thing I learned about visiting South Korea is Google Maps doesn't really work that well there. I had to install some local apps to make it easier for us go get around - Kakao Maps, Kakao Talk and Kakao Taxi.

We got stuck in the area of the palace due to a rally. It took us 45 minutes to get a ride to our next location...

To be continued...