Saturday, October 31, 2020

Once in a Blue Moon and a Moonless Sky Tale

Growing up I oftentimes heard Frank Sinatra's song "Blue Moon" playing on the radio. My parents preferred to listen to songs from their era and my Mom had her radio permanently on what I called the oldies channel. There's many different definitions of what blue moon means. 

In our current time, blue moon refers to the second moon that comes out in the same month. I read though that blue moon was a term that farmers used to identify the fourth moon of the quarter. It is rare for two moons to come out in a month, it only happens every 2 years and 8 months. And that's also the reason why we use the expression "once in a blue moon". 

Once in a blue moon I was in a city in the southern part of the Philippines. I remembered about my trip there when I realized it's the last day of October... it's halloween. At that time I was advised to stay at the hotel nearest to the airport. I just dropped my things in the room after check in and rushed out for the activities scheduled for that day. When I got back it was quite late and this is what I wrote on my other blog after it happened ten years ago, from "Tales from the Moonless Sky" --

After watching my favorite evening shows I settled in one of the beds and exchanged text messages with my husband. I soon fell asleep. I'm a deep sleeper so I rarely wake up when it's not time to wake up. I also rarely wake up in the middle of the night to use the toilet.

I don't know what time it was but I was suddenly awakened by the feeling of someone sitting beside my right foot. I opened my eyes and looked. Nobody was there (I left one light open before I slept). I then felt whatever it was creeping under the covers and I felt its weight going up from my legs. When I felt its heavy weight on my chest I suddenly prayed the “Our Father” out loud in a hoarse voice and prayed for the soul to rest in peace. It was gone after a few lines. I continued to pray the “Hail Mary” and “Glory Be” and felt the presence leave the room entirely. Good thing I managed to go back to sleep.

Strangely enough at around 7 in the morning the radio suddenly turned on. I would've understood that it was possible somebody programmed it, but the radio was the old style, not programmable traditional one.

Ahhh one thing I didn't write about is what I discovered the next day. I normally check out what's outside of my room from the window and just briefly saw a huge tree. My friends said I probably caught the attention of whatever it was that visited me in the middle of the night. It was a really scary experience and it was a good thing I only stayed there for a night. 

After that I haven't had any significant strange experiences. If I feel anything strange I just normally say a prayer and it goes away. One of my former colleagues explained to me that when you have spirit encounters they normally just need prayers so don't be afraid. 

For everyone back home, please take care! I hope and pray everyone will be safe from #RollyPH. 

#CB//206 #StuckAtHomeDay/236 #StayHome #BeKind

Friday, October 30, 2020

The Lesson from the Wasp

Today while conducting a webinar an insect started buzzing around me. For some strange reason it kept landing on top of my Chromebook. I thought it was a bee so I would just gently blow on it to shoo it away. I've been bitten by a bee a few times when I was a child. The bite is really painful. 

Because the insect was hanging out so close to me I was able to snap a photo of it. I sent the photo to my seatmate and he said it might be a hornet. Google Lens suggested it was a wasp. Eeeeep! My seatmate suggested I should kill it, but I said they pollinate my tomatoes. Normally they head towards the door to the balcony so I just waited. 

Four hours passed and the wasp was still there buzzing around me. It eventually started coming towards me and I read that if a wasp bites you 30-40 times it can get dangerous. So I went into action and captured it with a bag. I thought maybe it would suffocate, but I realized it might get out and bite me since it's already threatened. I had to do what I didn't want to do. RIP wasp. 

I learned a lesson from this pest today. If there's a threat nearby, don't wait for it to come bite you. Sometimes you need to take immediate action before the threat can bring you down. 

What's it with insects this week? Haha.

Happy weekend everyone. 

PS On another photo Google Lens said it might be a hoverfly. Whatever insect it might me I don't want it to bite me!

#CB//205 #StuckAtHomeDay/235 #WFH140 #StayHome #BeKind

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Rebirth Moth

After physiotherapy the other day I chanced upon a beautiful green insect. I quickly snapped a photo of it to check what it was through Google Lens. It said it's an oleander hawk-moth. 

I was amazed to see a green colored moth. I thought all moths are just brown. I got curious and read a bit more about moths. I was surprised to find out that moths come in different colors. The come in amazing shades of brown, yellow, orange, green, silver etc. I was really pleasantly surprised to see an oleander hawk-moth in the CBD resting on a bank signage. 

Green moths mean different things in different cultures. I read a few articles saying that green moths symbolize rebirth, renewal and transformation. Other articles say that green moths also mean something big will come to you. 

It was such a simple joy to see a beautiful creature. I hope I discover more things when I go out. 

#CB//204 #StuckAtHomeDay/234 #WFH139 #StayHome #BeKind

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Right to Say No

Saying no is one of the most difficult things for me to do. I learned it the hard way last year when I melted away like a candle. I eventually had to take a break to rest and recover. 

I am a prolific multitasker. Redundant noh? Yes, that's how bad I am. I thrive when I'm busy. I'm perennially multitasking. I'm watching a YouTube video right now while blogging. Maybe I have two brains hahaha. But this is precisely why I got burnt out. I always have piles of things I need to do. Eventually I got tired and was recommended to take a break. 

In the last 14 years I only take breaks during Christmas. Normally I only use half of my VLs every year and then it gets carried over to the next year. I oftentimes get a notification from HR around November that I should take a break hahaha. Am I a workaholic? Perhaps I am, but I usually end work before sunset and I don't log-in until the next day. 

Today I had to say no. It was really hard for me and I felt bad. I shouldn't have felt bad. While browsing videos to watch I came across this video by celebrity host Boy Abunda. It was a good reminder for me that I have every right to say no. Watch the video here -

Do you find yourself getting stressed a lot? Perhaps you need to think about your priorities and whether you are committing to so many things. For me it came to a point where I was disappointed in myself because I felt I rendered myself unproductive. That's how you feel when the quality of your output is affected. I was so frustrated today because I shouldn't have felt bad about saying no. I'm proud of myself though because I was able to say no, I just need to work on reminding myself that I love myself and that it was for my own good. 

What about you? Do you struggle to say no?

#CB//204 #StuckAtHomeDay/234 #WFH139 #StayHome #BeKind

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Two Achievements Today! Hooray!

It took me seven months to reach where I left off in my exercise achievements. The physiotherapy clinic was closed throughout the circuit breaker and I was back to zero when I returned. I also got sick towards the end of August and it took awhile to resolve those issues. I was getting better, but slipped in the bathroom and it took time for my body to recover. #SignsOfOldAge!

Yes, the struggle is real! 

Last week my super patient physiotherapist decided it was time for me to try the bicycle again. She had me use it for 3 minutes and then we did ball exercises. Took me two days to get over it. By Thursday I did 4 minutes on the bike at a slightly faster speed. Today my PT said I should try 5 minutes. I did 7 minutes! That was where we left off last March, although back then I could also do a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing. We'll probably complete that in a few weeks. 

I'm so happy I'm back to where I left off before the circuit breaker. It took seven long months! When you really put your mind into something you want you can achieve it :D

You'll probably laugh at my second achievement, but if you play Pokemon Go you'd understand why. I finally completed the "nine nice throws in a row" challenge! I tried doing it over the weekend, but I ran out of balls. I got "streak broken" so many times I wanted to delete the game out of frustration. After achieving 7 minutes on the bike today I thought I was in the zone to achieve anything. I sat at the park, logged into the game and saw there was a sea of Duskulls in the area. Took a deep breath and worked on the nice throws. I almost danced for joy when I completed it! Of course I didn't, I just took a screenshot and sent it to the boys. 

My happy fez after completing the task!

When I slipped in the bathroom I got so fed up at myself for being weak. I told myself things would only change for the better if I put my mind to it. And that's what I did. And I worked hard to turn the corner. I'm so grateful I have a very patient and caring physiotherapist. She's truly the best! I'm probably her most problematic patient, but because she believes I could do it I'm motivated to achieve more. I'm taking things one day at a time and I believe I'll be better soon. 

CB//203 #StuckAtHomeDay/233 #WFH138  #StayHome #BeKind

Monday, October 26, 2020

How Compliments Can Make Someone's Day Better

It's Monday and the blues hit me hard. I was like a hard-starting diesel car. Dragged my feet along to get myself in the zone. I guess I got too tired yesterday when we went to the mall to pick up my new eyeglasses. That snowballed to my listlessness early this morning. 

Things changed rapidly when a colleague complimented my skin. Yes, my skin! To get in the mood today I put more moisturizer than usual. I guess I was shimmering on video hahaha, thus the compliment. I wasn't expecting to receive a compliment. It meant so much more because it came from a Korean! 

That was exactly what I needed this morning. It made me feel I was doing something right. It was a simple gesture, but it changed the course of my day. What about you? Do you like giving compliments? 

P.S. I just discovered that there's a national compliments day! It's celebrated every 24th of January. So I guess this is an advanced post from me! Haha.

CB//202 #StuckAtHomeDay/232 #WFH137  #StayHome #BeKind

Sunday, October 25, 2020

231 Days Since We had to Stay Home

In the last few weeks I've had a number of people share their experience with COVID19. I have family and friends who's families got infected by the virus. It's truly a terrible thing to go through. I pray everyday that this pandemic will end soon and no one gets sick anymore. 

My friends who shared their experience said more than getting sick the harder challenge is keeping mentally healthy. A friend from South Asia shared that her whole family got infected. Her Dad and brother were hospitalized and the rest of their household were luckily asymptomatic. My friend and her six month old baby were spared. They were the ones who moved out and stayed at a hotel for three weeks. 

She told me it took all her will to cope with the situation. My heart went out to her. It must have been so hard for her to manage the situation and take care of her baby on her own. Another friend shared her brother got infected so they decided to have her whole family stay at another place for a month to keep her parents safe. Her brother had to cope on his own. Luckily it wasn't too bad. 

I was watching a celebrity vlogger share her COVID19 experience earlier. She said almost everyone in her household got it and they got it due to a lapse in judgment. Her Mom picked it up when she went outside to buy food. She said she only felt really, really awful for one day, but she was able to cope for the rest of her quarantine period. 

We went to the mall today to pick up my new eyeglasses. I was really surprised that the mall was so full. As much as the situation here in Singapore is much better we still need to be careful and vigilant. This pandemic is really testing all of our individual limits. My rock has been my family and faith. 

Happy Sunday everyone. Hang in there!

CB//201 #StuckAtHomeDay/231 #StayHome #BeKind

Saturday, October 24, 2020

I Love Homemade Pandesal

I took a break from baking so I could work on my Christmas project. I missed eating pandesal though so I got to work today to bake. It just takes 12 to 15 minutes to bake pandesal but it takes a few hours to prepare it. I've made a few adjustments to a base recipe to fit my taste. It's not the same as Pan de Manila's pandesal though haha. 

The smell of freshly baked bread filled our home this afternoon. Ahhh, that's what I like best about baking. I wish one could have freshly baked bread as a scent. Haha. Same as new books, fresh roses and a newly opened balikbayan box from the US. 

I haven't tried the pandesal I baked today. I'm still thinking about what I'm going to eat it with. Normally I eat pandesal without any filling, but sometimes I eat it with cheese and mayonnaise, spam or luncheon meat, peanut butter, Cheez Whiz and tuna mayo. Pandesal is so versatile, you can eat it with anything. 

What about you? What's your favorite bread? What's your favorite palaman

My Ninang Jane asked me if it's hard to bake pandesal. It's not hard, you just need to be patient because it takes time. The only thing to watch out for is the milk temperature when you bloom yeast. It should be around 32'C. I made that mistake once and put the yeast on very hot milk, it did not bloom. I actually like waiting for the dough to proof because it gives me time to rest while baking (it's like a workout for me). 

I haven't made an updated video of baking pandesal, but I think I have improved after baking it five times now. It also helps to have a stand mixer since it kneads the dough more evenly. Here was my first attempt at baking pandesal --

CB//200 #StuckAtHomeDay/230 #StayHome #BeKind

Friday, October 23, 2020

Help! I Think I'm Becoming a Coffee Snob

I only learned how to drink coffee in my late 20s! My best friend Anne would make me coffee every morning. Mind you it was just the usual pantry coffee, but there was something magical about how she mixed coffee, sugar and cream. She tried to teach me how to make it, but I just couldn't get it haha. Eventually I turned to 3-in-1 coffee. 

I drank 3-in-1 coffee for many years. I would try other types of coffee, but I'd palpitate and so I just drank the usual every day. I would always buy my stash from Manila. I was always covered for a me months. However, the pandemic happened and my supply slowly dwindled to zero (I still have two left). 

I always knew it would be better if I stopped drinking 3-in-1 coffee since it has so much sugar in it. It was a habit that was so hard to break. Honestly, I tried other brands but they were either too sweet, too strong for me or I'd go on a sneezefest (I'm allergic to some stuff). 

So I finally started exploring real coffee. I ordered a set of coffee that had a hint of nuts and fruit. I had no idea how it would taste, but I just wanted to try. It took me a few cups before I finally understood the nutty and fruity flavor that comes with coffee. I started appreciating real coffee. 

In the beginning I would alternate with instant coffee, but one day I just suddenly didn't like instant coffee anymore. I tried it a few more times, but I just don't like it anymore. I have been sharing this journey with my physiotherapist. I told her about it because I discovered that British milk goes so well with coffee (my PT is Brit). I told her the other day that I've finally come to appreciate drinking real coffee. She said, "Ahhh you're becoming a coffee snob!" Hahaha. 

I'm still taking baby steps. My foray into coffee started with disposable coffee drips. Last week I got myself a proper coffee drip contraption. I thought it was the next natural step and maybe later on I can explore the coffee press thingy, then go into grinding. It's been an interesting experiment for me since it was hard to break the habit of drinking 3-in-1 coffee (don't judge me!). 

What about you? Are you a coffee or tea drinker? 

CB//199 #StuckAtHomeDay/229 #WFH136 #StayHome #BeKind

Thursday, October 22, 2020

My Dream Job When I was a Child

There's a meme going around asking people what you wanted to be when you were a child. This got me thinking and I was amazed at how my interests swung from one thing to another when I was growing up. 

I do remember when I was in elementary school I wanted to be an architect. I was four years old when I got my first Lego set. Back then Lego sets were just a collection of Lego pieces. They left it to your imagination to build things. I remember building different types of houses and I was always fascinated about home layouts. I guess that was why I wanted to become an architect. It didn't happen because I lacked the drawing skills (although my niece pointed out that it requires more technical drawing). I did live this dream a bit when I helped my Mom in her export business. 

Frowning even as a child, I was never into sports. 

Eventually my interest changed and I wanted to be an archeologist/anthropology. I got interested in it when we started learning about Asian civilizations in history class. I wanted to discover more about old civilizations, how they looked, how they lived, what their culture was about. It was a cross between archeology and anthropology. My parents though were quite concerned and had me talk to Tito Ed who explained to me more about the field. I got a lot of pressure not to pursue it. My passion for history remains at a personal level, my family and friends always go back to me when they need old photos and past information (lol). I also binge watch on shows related to this topic. 

My Dad was grooming me to become a lawyer and I ended up getting degrees in Political Science and Legal Management. Midway through my LM degree I realized that becoming a lawyer wasn't for me. Needless to say my professors were also disappointed I did not pursue it. It would have tied up nicely with my third dream job - to be the mayor of my city! I would have been on that path because I was being recruited to run for office when I was in university. Of course, Mom got in the way and that fizzled out. 

It's funny thought because all the things I wanted to do I'm in a way doing now at my current job. It's not what I envisioned I would be, but I think I'm where I should be right now. And that's what's important. Whatever degree or job you get, your childhood dream will always be there and it's up to you how you define your mission in life.

What about you? What was your childhood dream job?

CB//198 #StuckAtHomeDay/228 #WFH135 #StayHome #BeKind

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Do you have a Battle Song?

Two years ago I was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism. I had a huge blood clot in my right lung and was the reason why I could barely breathe (full story here). I was shocked and I asked myself what did I do to deserve going through another illness that has a high mortality rate. I spiralled down into a black hole. Honestly, I just wanted Papa God to take me then. 

But I lived. And I think Papa God chose to let me live so I could share my stories.

Other pulmonary embolism patients usually get hospitalized until they stabilize. I didn't take a break and still went to work and my treatment was done through medications. A few days after I got diagnosed Sweetie pinged me and said he got free tickets for us to watch The Piano Guys. I wasn't really up to it, but I decided to go since they are one of my favorite musicians. 

The Piano Guys were amazing! I was so touched by their music especially when they played this song --

By end of the evening I felt the burden I was carrying lift. I truly felt everything was going to be okay. I was feeling tired today so I casted the song to the TV and immediately felt better. The song has that effect on me. 

What about you? Do you have a battle song? A song that immediately perks you up when you're feeling down? 

CB//197 #StuckAtHomeDay/227 #WFH134 #StayHome #BeKind 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Buried Alive in a Dream

Oh my, my subconscious has been going bonkers the last few days. I had another strange dream last night.

Photo by Jayvee Fernandez.

This time I was with a few friends and the younger version of a friend's son. We were in a tropical paradise exploring a cave. We were just walking around and we were buried alive! I woke up shortly after that and was baffled about the dream. 

I normally ignore my dreams, but they've been so vivid the last few days. I searched on Google to check what it means to be buried alive especially since it sounds so negative. I read that it's actually a positive dream because it means you have untapped or unexplored talent.

I guess I'm having these dreams because there's several things I'm working on that could potentially make a huge impact on many lives. It's that or maybe it has something to do with the home projects I've been working on. Whatever it is I'm looking forward to discovering what this untapped talent or skill that's lurking within me. 

CB//196 #StuckAtHomeDay/226 #WFH133 #StayHome #BeKind 

Monday, October 19, 2020

I Cooked Pinoy Barbecue Because I Spent My Lunch Money on Baby Yoda

Baby Yoda used his jedi powers on me last week. I made an unplanned purchase. I do have "celebration budget" which I set aside for wants, but I had already spent my celebration budget on something this month so this purchase had to be charged to my "lunch money". 

To earn back my spontaneous purchase I decided to cook as much as I could for the rest of the week. I'm also feeling much better now so I told myself I had to get moving. I finally found a grill pan I could use on our induction stove. I bought it via Lazada and finally put it to good use last weekend. 

It's been years since we last grilled anything. We had an electric griller in Manila, but it was so hard to clean we just gave up using it. I miss eating Pinoy barbecue so I was set on making some even it meant having a hard time cleaning the grill pan. 

Grill pan bought via Lazada.

On Saturday I marinated the meat using my Datu Puti barbecue marinade. I just added a bit of salt, the marinade and garlic. Covered it and left it in the fridge of marinate overnight. Sunday came and I set to work to grill the meat. Ended up cooking a lot! It turned out well and I think I've paid my dues to Baby Yoda haha. 

The finished product - Pinoy barbecue! It'll take us a few days to finish hehe.

And grill? Oh my it had a lot of residue that couldn't be removed with a sponge. I did some research and found out you can use baking soda and salt with hot water to help soften the residue. I did that and used a brush to  remove the residue. It came off easily! I'm so excited because this means I could try grilling other dishes! 

Do you have any suggestions for me to grill?

CB//195 #StuckAtHomeDay/225 #WFH132 #StayHome #BeKind

Sunday, October 18, 2020

I had the Strangest Dream

I tried to wake up early today, but I was so tired so I went back to sleep after I was woken up by a ringing phone. I've been experiencing strange dreams the last few months. The one I had last night was so vivid and I woke up tired. Here's why... 

The dream started with me visiting a friend's nursery school. I was surprised that she moved to a bigger place. The school looked like a Baguio cabin made of wood. It was spacious and my friend was explaining to me that she was using now the Canadian method of teaching kids. Her school was now huge and parents were calling her the head mistress. That part of the dream wasn't too strange. I have a friend who runs a pre-school and I always thought she could grow it more if she wanted to.

I was wearing this dress in my dream.

The strange thing in my dream is me. I was due to give birth! My tummy was so huge it looked like I was ready to pop any moment. I insisted to visit my friend's school because it was my turn to be a mommy-chaperone. I was hanging out with other pregnant mothers and I was thinking I shouldn't be there especially since I was due already. 

The next moment was me on a stretcher. Sweetie was there together with our favorite Youtubers. They were cheering me on, but I was trying to not give birth yet since I was hoping the baby would come out a few days later. And then I woke up. (I always knew though that the baby would've been a girl). 

When I woke up I immediately searched on Google what the dream meant.  Giving birth in a dream means there's something you've been working on for a long time that's about to come in fruition. Ohhh that made me so nervous because there is something I've been working on for a long time and it looks like it finally bear fruit.

I certainly hope so! What about you? Are you having strange dreams too?

CB//194 #StuckAtHomeDay/224 #StayHome #BeKind

*The baby is Jet, my niece's baby. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

LOL All Night with My Lunchmates

Last night I met up with my work lunchmates for dinner. It's been seven months since we've been to the office. My lunch mate the last seven months has been Sweetie (when he's home). Sweetie's reports to the office now 4 times a week so when my lunchmates asked if we could meet-up I was happy to oblige. 

We met up at McDonald's (it's just across where I live). When we were complete it was just like yesterday when we had lunch. Soon enough we were laughing like how we usually are. "Food consciousness day" was cancelled for the night and we binged on fastfood.

As much as I'm used to being home and socializing online, I realized hanging out is part of who we are as humans. We are meant to socialize and have adventures together. My lunchmates are precious to me since they keep me sane during work days. 

This was a year ago when they kidnapped me to join Phil's birthday celebration.

I just met with two of them last night, but we're usually a bigger group. We have to follow the limitations so we can't meet as a big group just yet. We're hoping that we can all come together by Christmas since it looks like none of us will be able to go home. 

An evening full of laughter is what I needed after a long work week. What about you? What's your lunch set-up everyday?

CB//193 #StuckAtHomeDay/223 #StayHome #BeKind 

Friday, October 16, 2020

That Time I Gave Up, My Life Got Better

Many years ago I was a mess. I wasn't happy and was continuously getting disappointed with my choices. I was single for a long time already at that time and I was mulling whether I was meant for single blessedness. I already had Miggy and thought I could just go for my Phd. The funny thing is I gave myself a deadline.

I prayed for it. I told Papa God if I was meant to marry I should be in a relationship on or before September 30, 2007. If there wasn't anyone I'd enroll in graduate school and would just focus on that and Miggy. That was my plan and I had already accepted my fate. 

I was on my way home from San Francisco on September 26 and I was in the plane when I realized my deadline was coming up. I was really bent on following the deadline. I gave myself that expectation because I wanted to move forward. I made a desperate plea to Papa God and told him things were really not going well, this is how my plea went -

"Dear Papa God, it's a few days before my deadline. I messed up again. I've been making bad decisions and I give up. Can you please take over and navigate my life? If by the 30th I'm not in a relationship then I'd accept my fate and will dedicate my life to serving you."

Arrived in Manila early morning of September 28. I was badly jetlagged and ended up chatting with Sweetie in the evening. Our friendship deepened that year, we were best friends by that time. I had that strange wedding dream which involved Sweetie, but I never told him about it. I set it aside because our friendship was more precious for me. 

That night, around 1 in the morning Sweetie said he wanted to tell me something important. It took him almost an hour and a half before he was able to tell me he thought about being more than friends. 

And the rest is history. 

Like wow oh wow, that's how God wrote my love story. And that's how when I gave up, He took over and made my life better. 

CB//192 #StuckAtHomeDay/222 #WFH131 #StayHome #BeKind

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Options to Get Out of the House

Things are changing here in Singapore. More shops are open now, but socializing is still limited. I read that the government will be sharing phase 3 plans soon. I'm just staying home and go out only for essential stuff. 

I think I'm beyond cabin fever now. I was feeling really anxious last May about being stuck at home. By June I had accepted the fact that things will be this way for now. I used to travel a lot (which is the main reason why I haven't been regularly blogging for many years) and I miss those days. 

There is a campaign now for locals and residents of Singapore to do local tourism and here's a list of some options I've so far seen:

  • Visit the bird park and zoo
  • Visit Sentosa, I read you need to register if you want to visit the beach 
  • Hotel staycation, cheaper prices too!
  • Hotel workation, skip working from home and work-at-hotel
  • Cruise to nowhere, yup! Just hope on a cruise ship and they'll bring you around for a spin for a few days
  • Dine on an airplane! I checked this out, it's bit expensive, but if you really miss riding a plane, why not?
I'm taking baby steps for now, like possibly having dinner tomorrow with my lunchmates at McDonald's across the street. We'll probably walk around the park after if the air quality is better tomorrow. We are on rotation now in the office, but I still can't go because I'm not allowed to wear a mask for prolonged periods of time. 

The workation sounds tempting, so maybe I'll try that. Or maybe a staycation. Or maybe we can visit the bird park again since it's near where we live now. I'm also quite interested in the cruise, but I think Miggy would be more interested in it than Sweetie. Knowing myself, I'll probably stay home and bury myself in my other projects lol. I honestly just want to see my Mom and Miggy now. 

What would you choose?

CB//191 #StuckAtHomeDay/221 #WFH130 #StayHome #BeKind

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Mind Over Body Experiment

I have been feeling unwell off and on since end of August. It's tiring and has affected my productivity. The meds my doctor gave me helped, but I don't want to be dependent on medication. I also have a target to reduce the medication I take daily. 

Last week I was so exasperated already at my condition. I was doing everything my doctor told me to do, but my progress was still slow. I remembered a session I watched last year. It was a session on how you can heal yourself through meditation. I learned this from Dr. Joe Dispenza. He said you can pull energy from within you and direct it to the area you want healed. 

Dr. Joe Dispenza learned it when he had an accident. He had a spinal and was told he had to go through several surgeries, but it was uncertain whether he could walk again. He eventually healed himself through his mind (watch videos about it here). 

My Kuya enrolled me in the sessions Dr. Joe taught and I watched all the videos, but never put what I learned in consistent practice. I thought I'd put what I learned to practice last week. I started to do the meditation to pull energy from within myself and re-directed it to what I needed to heal.

By weekend I was feeling better I decided to do another mind exercise that Dr. Joe taught. He said you can train your body on something using your mind. I've not been able to do any of my physiotherapy exercises at home for a long time now. Last weekend before going to sleep I would think about doing the bridging exercises. I would do several rounds in my mind. 

Yesterday my physiotherapist asked me to do bridging exercises and she was surprised that I was stronger than usual. She was so happy with my exercise performance yesterday. I shared with her what I did and she said that it really helps when your mind is in a good place. 

So that's my mind over body experiment. I did that because I was so fed up feeling unwell. I thought about doing the meditation exercises since I wouldn't lose anything anyway if I did it. And it looks like it helped. I was super wiped out after my physiotherapy session yesterday, but it was a good wipe out. What's important to me is I'm okay today and still kicking. 

CB//190 #StuckAtHomeDay/220 #WFH129 #StayHome #BeKind

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Baby Yoda Used His Jedi Powers on Me

We went to the mall the other day and we were zipping from one store to another to complete our errands. I was avoiding going inside the toy shop because I didn't want to make a spontaneous toy purchase

But... The Child which was sitting on top of a shelf compelled me to check him out. I snapped a photo of it and went inside to check out what new toys they had. 

I soon realized that I wanted to bring it home with me and quickly justified to myself that I should. Hahaha. 

As I was paying for the item Sweetie suddenly appeared beside me! I didn't know he was at the back of the shop taking photos of other Yoda toys for me. I didn't see his messages because I was enamored with Baby Yoda already hahaha. He was not surprised at all that I was there buying something. LOL. 

After getting Baby Yoda I happily went to the order of the day which was to get a new pair of eyeglasses. Baby Yoda is now sitting on top of my shelf. I guess he wanted to go home with me. Haha. 

CB//189 #StuckAtHomeDay/219 #WFH128 #StayHome #BeKind

Monday, October 12, 2020

Temalats, Finding Old Friends

Last week my college friends pinged and invited for an online get-together. I haven't see most of them since we graduated (we're all from different batches). Some are my friends on FB so I see what they're up to. We're now scattered across the world and we all got busy with our own lives. 

I was part of our literary folio. It was one of the student publications in our university. I joined it because I wanted to improve my writing skills. It was daunting to be part of it since my friends were really talented literary writers. Some went on to work at advertising agencies and have written multi-awarded ads. Some are in government, NGOs, university professors and working on advocacies. 

Hanging out with creative people made my university life very different. I lived a very sheltered life prior to going to college. I learned a lot from them and saw a different reality. I learned what it means to be in a safe space with them, how to have fun and how to just keep powering on. 

What I missed most when we came together was our tambayan. Our tambayan was located at the student publications office. We shared a room with the English and Filipino student newspaper. We were always the noisiest group, but the "noise" wasn't just because of all the talking. We were also "noisy" in our logbook

The logbook was our "stream" where we write in our thoughts, draw stuff, put in announcements and generally let people know if we passed by the office. The logbook was mentioned during our meet-up and they mentioned it also saw a lot of angry posts and quarreling. 

Those were my growing up days and I've just been really happy to re-connect to my college friends. I guess it was a bit harder to find them since some of them don't have social media! Some had gotten married and changed their last names. Some I never saw again after they graduated. The amazing thing is life hasn't changed any of them. They're the same funny, learned, quirky, creative, noisy, crazy people I spent a lot of time with back in college. 

Love you guys, hope to see you again soon :)

CB//187 #StuckAtHomeDay/217 #StayHome #BeKind

*Temalats - our nickname for Malate Literary Folio

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Hello Outside World

Things have eased up a bit here in Singapore, I go out only when it's really needed. My doctor advised me that wearing a mask for prolonged periods would be detrimental for me. I had to go out this weekend because I felt I needed new eyeglasses. So we headed to the mall today. We went early to avoid the crowds. 

We went to Vivo City and oh my it looked like everyone planned to go to the mall today! I realized that before the pandemic happened I just took a lot of things for granted. I thought things would remain the same. Now the ordinary things before the pandemic, like eating lunch at a restaurant now feel more special. It reminded me when I was a child, our family did not eat out often. We only ate out when we were attending a birthday celebration (usually Tito Ben's). 

Going to the mall also became ordinary for me especially since we lived across a mall for four years. The excitement of going to the mall anytime I wanted wore off on me. I used to like window shopping. Checking out shiny new things. Typhoon Ondoy and living in smaller homes taught me though that you don't need a lot of things. Today, Aftera just one shop we already got tired and decided to eat lunch first. We were both so excited since we rarely eat out now. 

After lunch we rushed through our errands. My eye check-up took awhile, but luckily I was the only customer in the shop. I think since there wasn't anyone well they gave me extra special attention (haha). My eyeglasses though will only be available in two weeks. My new frame is going to look quite different, it's quite quirky.  

We also picked up some things to send back home. Hopefully it will get there in time for Christmas. I hope I could send the box before month end. I super miss my Miggy and Mom. I thought I could be home more often this year, but I guess that's not going to happen anytime soon. I was hoping we could at least be complete this Christmas. I cannot imagine celebrating Christmas without Miggy and my Mom. And that makes me really sad. 

The outside world will always just be there. At this point it's a bit daunting for me to go out and deal with so many people. This year has changed so many things. I now spend majority of my time at home. If there's anything I need I normally just order it online. I had a hard time adjusting to this new normal, but now I'm used to it. 

Well, hello outside world. My perspective have definitely changed in the last couple of months. I'm not sure if it's going to go back to what it was before. Probably not. Let's just keep going on and live life the best way we can. 

CB//187 #StuckAtHomeDay/217 #StayHome #BeKind

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Second Tomato Harvest and Other Garden Updates

Thank God for bees! They have been visiting our balcony garden more often now. Sometimes they get too excited and even follow us inside! We have been able to usher them back outside. The bees have been taking care of pollinating the tomato flowers. The last time I hand pollinated them was late in August. 

The tomatoes aren't growing to full size, probably because the pots are too small. I'm not sure if that's the case or it lacks nutrients/water. They turn red while they're still small. We don't mind since they are sweet like cherry tomatoes. 

We harvested 13 ripe tomatoes yesterday and we're happy we have something to add to our salad -- fresh, organic, homegrown tomatoes! Yaaaas! 

It's a lot of hard work taking care of our tiny garden. We've had to battle leaf miners. They've already killed off my cucumber and have eaten half of my bell peppers (huhu). I use neem oil every few weeks to ward off the evil insects. My neighbor also suggested I try using Thieves household cleaner mixed with water to spray the leaves to get to the larvae of the leafminers. That has so far worked. I also read spraying the soil with baking powder mixed with water discourages insects from attacking a plant. It's so far worked and the tomatoes have been producing more fruit. 

My first mustasa plant is doing well. It started bolting a few weeks back. It's flowers attracted more bees to come visit our balcony and I think that's a good thing. The pods are starting to turn brown so that means I'm going to have free seeds soon! I have 2 more mustasa plants that are giving us fresh leaves for cooking. 

The bell peppers are struggling. No thanks to those evil insects! Boo! But it looks like some may survive. I'm still hoping I'd be successful in at least 2 plants. If not I'll probably start a new batch. 

What about you? How's your garden going? 

CB//186 #StuckAtHomeDay/216 #StayHome #BeKind

Friday, October 9, 2020

Thinking About My Future Home

I've lost count on the number of times we moved homes in the last ten years. Our first home was an apartment a few streets away from my parents home. It had 3 bedrooms and we used one as our computer room (desktops were still the norm at that time). We had so much fun in that home and we'd stay up playing Plants vs. Zombies. We moved out because there were issues with the bathroom and we wanted to be closer to my parents.

This was when we moved in to our first home. 

Our second home was just a hundred meters away from my parents home. It was a duplex and much more spacious than our first apartment. It had 4 bedrooms and a huge helper's room. I also had a craft room which I think was designed to be a walk-in closet, but I filled it up with craft materials. The house was too big for us and hard to manage. We eventually decided to invest in our first home. 

Christmas in our second home.

My Ate gave me valuable advise when I got married. She said that our first home need not be our home forever. She said that things will change and you can certainly buy and sell later on and move to another place. That advise was valuable to me because I lived in the same home since birth. 

I've learned a lot about moving and the most valuable advise I can give you is to hire professional movers to help you move homes. It is the best thing you can do for yourself. In Manila I always use Carepak Movers and in Singapore I always use Soon Seng Transport. I've moved four times in Singapore and cannot imagine moving without help. 

Home #9.

I have a new hobby now -- watching home tours. I've been thinking a lot about our future home. I finally learned how to properly take care of plants, so I want my future home to have some space for a proper garden. I want to have home that's just appropriately sized. Just maybe a bungalow with enough space for my craft materials, toys, kitchen stuff. I don't want a huge house because it'll be hard to clean. I'm actually glad I got to live in a smaller home because now I learned to limit my stuff. 

What about you? 

CB//185 #StuckAtHomeDay/215 #WFH127 #StayHome #BeKind

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Something Happened to the Money Plant

Our former landlord gifted us a money plant. We were scared to take care of it in the beginning, but the landlord insisted we keep it. They just told us to water it once a week. It thrived in our old place. We put it on a small platform with wheels so we could move it around when it was too sunny. 

Whenever Mom visited she would fix the plant. It just grew longer and longer and she told me to tend to the vine when it grows longer. We never had issues with it in our old place. We found the perfect spot for it and the plant looked happy... until early last month. 

The money plant last July.

We noticed that a leaf started to go yellow. It would happen sometimes so I thought it was just a random leaf that would go yellow. Eventually the stem started to turn yellow too. That was when I started to read up on what was possibly happening to the plant. The article I read suggested that it might be too cold for the area it was in. I moved it to the hallway by the kitchen so it could still get some morning sunlight. The bad stem yellowing persisted. 


When I got home today I noticed that the whole stem from the bottom was already yellow. I decided to yank it out since I realized it was just one of the several stems. I originally thought there was just one stem (stupid me for not checking). I saw the root had rotted out. So now we probably need to check the soil and make sure it's dry before we water it again. 

This is her today. I realized we've been calling her "Plant" for 4 years now. 
Maybe I should give her a name?

Poor money plant :'( I cut a part of the vine and now I'm trying to grow some roots from it. It's a very beautiful plant, I hope root rotting won't happen again. 

CB//184 #StuckAtHomeDay/214 #WFH126 #StayHome #BeKind

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

What Did One Bubble Tea Say to the Other?

We visited the Bubble Tea Factory here in Singapore last year. It was a beautiful Saturday when the boys decided it was time for us to do a fun activity. We had to wait awhile before visiting TBTF since lines were always long. Our long wait was over and we finally got to visit. 

The Bubble Tea Factory is a place put together to celebrate bubble tea. Everything in it was cute and instagrammable. We went around to take photos, participate in the games and drink some free bubble tea (provided by Gong Cha). 

Here's some of the cute photos we took during that day -

CB//183 #StuckAtHomeDay/213 #WFH125 #StayHome #BeKind