Friday, December 31, 2021

Goodbye 2021, Don't Follow Me to 2022

If you ask me I just want to forget about 2021. By all accounts it was a bad year for me. I had another pulmonary embolism and that threw everything off-course. It was a very challenging year for me health-wise and all my doctors tell me I am blessed to be alive. 

After all the struggles - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually - I now look at 2021 as the year of transformation and transition. I have accepted the fact that my body cannot do what I loved doing. I lived in a fog for five months. The only thing I was able to do from my 2021 goal list was work on my hobby and blog everyday. My doctor knew what I was going through and made me promise to fight deterioration. That's the reason why I blog everyday (keeps `em coconut working). 

Aside from the physical struggles I went through, the most painful decision I had to make was to leave Google. It was my life for 15 years. I always knew that my journey would end someday so I had no issues letting go. It was just really sad that I left because I was sick and when I was really needed. I transitioned my team in March because I wanted to make sure someone would care for them. No one is indispensable after all, so I knew they would thrive even without me. The 15 years I spent at Google was truly enriching to me as a person and I'm alive today because of the support I got from them. 

I am most grateful to my doctors and all the healthcare workers who took care of me. I was warded thrice and had to do weekly check-ups across three hospitals. It was truly a blessing that I wasn't allowed by my company to leave earlier because I was able to clear up other health issues and finally get vaccinated (it was a long discussion across my doctors). I haven't seen a doctor since I got home and that's an achievement! 

The best thing that happened to me this year is transitioning back home. Moving countries is physically draining and we made it more challenging by also moving to a new home. We made it though! We have been organizing our home for a month now and it's far from finished. What's important for us is we're together and we're able to care for our parents too. 

Goodbye 2021, it was a very interesting year. I know that God made it that way because I was overdue to move onto other things. I know for now I need to just focus on my family to create a loving home where we can make more happy memories. 

May all of us have a happy and blessed new year! Stay safe everyone!

#Home58 #NewG188 #StayHome #BeKind  

Thursday, December 30, 2021

The U-turn that Led to a Discovery

Went out with Sweetie yesterday to buy soil and do some errands. I always jump at a chance to go out since I'm starting to experience cabin fever again. There was some traffic going to the nursery, but that was okay because I was able to spin a couple of PokeStops. 

After a brief visit to the nursery, Sweetie went up a parking area to do a u-turn. While waiting for cars to pass we observed several new shops in the area. Sweetie said, "Look there's a grocery and cafe, want to try?" When I saw "milk tea" on the sign I said, "Yes!"

The cafe was very pink! It was so cute! I was also wearing pink yesterday, so I blended in the cafe. The name of the place is "Happy Jinju". I looked up the meaning of jinju and it means "pearl". I guess it's meant to refer to boba. Since it was our first time I asked them what was their best seller since they had a dizzying number of beverages for sale. I was told that the white rabbit cream cheese drink was the best seller so that's what I got for me and Miggy. Sweetie got the kiwi fruit drink

The smell of fried chicken wings made us hungry so we also ordered some to take home. After paying they suggested for us to wait in our car. It was a good thing we did because we would've smelled like fried chicken if we stuck around any longer haha. Anyway, that gave us time to look at the other new places while waiting. It was a nice discovery and we'll probably try out their other offerings (will just order online next time). 

If you want to check out this very pink shop, they are located at 36 France St., Better Living Subdivision, Paranque City. There are nice gardening shops and a huge fruit stand within a hundred meters from the cafe too. Will write more about the shop on our Paranaque Life Blog.

#Home57 #NewG189 #StayHome #BeKind  

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

New Home Experiences and Discoveries

Living in a condo is honestly much easier than living in a house. We did condo living for ten years and got used to the convenience of living in one. Whenever we felt like going on vacation we'd just up and leave. We never worried about security since that's provided by the building. Living in a house requires you to have someone around all the time. 

It's almost a month now since we moved to our new home and here are things I've learned:

1. When you live in a house there are things you need that you don't need in a condo, i.e. garden hose, shears to cut grass and shears to prune tree branches, a rake and a Nimbus 2000 (walis tingting).

2. Inverter appliances is the way to go. Our electricity bill was so far lower in the past month compared to our condo. Well, I will have confirm if this is still true in the next three months. I thought it was due to zone pricing, but upon checking the kwh was actually the same. It must've been because we switched to inverter appliances. 

3. Condo association dues are much, much more expensive compared to a landed house, like >3x.

4. You're going to need to have a directory of people/companies who can help you to fix things or help with home management. Good thing I have friends who have businesses I can count on, i.e. for home cleaning, a neighbor who does landscape lends her gardener when needed. There are apps too, but I get wary using it because they tend to overcharge (I was trying to get help to fix my Mom's roof, but they were obviously overcharging us. What they don't know is my Mom and I used to export furniture so we know how to price stuff). 

5. Sourcing for groceries has become a sport for me. I've had to be  smart about it because online groceries don't sell everything online. Oftentimes you have to find the store of the brand on Shopee or Lazada and you're forced to buy stuff in bulk. Having to purchase from different brands means you have to pay for shipping multiple times. I know it's probably more profitable for them, but it's not good for me as a consumer. Unfortunately, I have to be more cautious since I'm high risk (and the boys too), so I can't just go out and buy groceries. Well, at least it's disciplining me for overbuying. 

6. It's been a bit harder finding homemade food where we are now. Our condo community had a classifieds page where home cooks and bakers would post food for sale. It was oftentimes cheaper than resto meals and the servings was good. This also allowed us to get to know our neighbors. 

7. I also miss our neighbors who sold fresh fruits and vegetables. They normally source them direct from farms and were much better than those sold in supermarkets. I'd buy from the fruit/veggie stores, but usually they sell by the kilo which is oftentimes too much for us. I don't want food to go to waste. Maybe I can think about splitting fruits and veggies with my Mom. 

8. More floor space to clean. I think the best decision we made this month is finally buying a cordless vacuum cleaner! It has really helped us keep the dust away and it's much easier than using a walis tambo (even though it's Scotch Brite one lol). Mopping is a pain, but at least I just need to do it once a week. I'm still thinking about how to manage our wood floors. My Mom trained me how to use a bunot when I was growing up. I could probably still do that by parts, but the waxing part will be a huge pain. 

9. Basura day is twice a week. We used to clear our trash every night and just had to go down to the basement to throw it when we were still at the condo. Now we have to carefully wrap everything since the trash collector only comes twice a week. Sweetie decided to buy two large trash cans to use as storage. Our neighbor told us to leave the trash outside the night before because the collection doesn't have a set pick up time. 

10. Every new sound still startles us. When we hear a kalabog somewhere everyone comes out of their bedroom to check, haha. We're still getting to know our new home. We're also trying to understand how things work. We've so far had to run to our contractor especially for things that require electricity, i.e. half of the garden lights aren't working again. Good thing the contractor promised they'll fix anything within six months of move-in. Whew!

And the last thing we had to go through the past few weeks is battle ants and mosquitoes! The mosquito issue was easily fixed when I got a bunch of citronella plants. They were gone immediately! The ant war is still ongoing and we tried several solutions to reduce the infestation. I think we're winning now. Will update in a few weeks. 

I have been fully focused on organizing our home the past month. The only thing I've been able to create is a 3.5 yard curtain for our crazy huge window. I haven't touched my sewing machine since I made it more than two weeks ago. Aside from being together with my boys 24/7, what's also important for me is I'm able to breathe better. I've had less asthma attacks and I'm more active now. I still take naps when I feel unwell, but it's not as often compared to before. Yay!

I'm super looking forward to progressing with organizing our home. Maybe next month I can finally fix my closet noh? Haha.

#Home56 #NewG190 #StayHome #BeKind  

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

After Christmas, Leftover Buffet

Team Blue or Team Green?
It's three days after Christmas and we're still eating leftovers, haha. We took a short break yesterday and got some Goldilocks pork barbecue, dinuguan and arroz caldo. By evening we had a leftover buffet. Miggy helped me turn part of the cochinillo into paksiw (video below). Then Sweetie and Miggy figured out how to use the oven to heat the lasagna. It took us 2 hours to prepare dinner, haha. We'll still be eating leftovers today hehe. 

I thought I'd be done with organizing the kitchen by now. It's going so slowly since Sweetie brought some of our stuff from the condo yesterday. It's taking awhile to organize because I'm also setting aside duplicates to be given away. I discovered yesterday we have three can openers, three graters, and too many cooking utensils. Now that we're merging our things we can cut down. 

I haven't even had time to organize our Christmas gifts since they are still in the boxes. We haven't been able to organize our closets. Still just getting clothes from the suitcase. The good news is our washing machine is finally working and we'll work overtime today to launder our clothes. Yay!

The state of our garden was also causing some stress for us. There were leaves all over and the front of our home has become unsightly. Good thing a neighbor offered to lend her gardener and Kuya Romer came yesterday to help us do some cleaning and trim the grass. I'm really happy the garden looks clean now because my Mom started to do the cleaning the other day. I hope the branch pruning shears arrive soon because the bamboo is growing taller by the day (I'll be using the bamboo we cut for a project). 

I told Sweetie though I'm going to need a break from all the organizing we're doing. One of the things we hope to do this week is visit the cemetery together with Mom. I also hope we can do a day trip somewhere. That would be so fun and we all really need a break. 

Here's how we cooked the paksiw. I just followed the recipe by Chef Tatung. You can check out the full recipe here

*We dove in when it was served, forgot to take a video after it got cooked, haha.

#Home55 #NewG191 #StayHome #BeKind  

Monday, December 27, 2021

The Magic Blue Hose Blew Up, Sweetie Saved the Day

I was going about my day as usual yesterday. I told Sweetie I'll plant the leeks, sow the bell pepper seeds I got the other day, water the plants and I'll eat a fruit popsicle as a reward. I was happily reminiscing on the past 12 years Sweetie and I have been married while I was watering in the backyard when the mishap happened. 

The water hose "blew up"! Water splattered all over my face and the front of my shirt. It took me awhile to realize that the hose broke off from the spray head. I stared at the spray head for awhile and then saw water starting to puddle on the ground. I sprang into action and turned the faucet off. I heard Miggy call me from his window. He asked if everything was alright. Told him I was dripping wet because the hose blew up. He said it probably gave way due to the water pressure. 

Of course, I just laughed at the matter. Even after 12 years the home mishaps still happen. Our newly delivered washing machine broke, which had our neighbor knocking on our door to check if everything was okay. Our first cooking attempt didn't turn out the way we wanted. Almost poisoned us trying to clean our sink. More mishaps happened after that, some are on our Mabuhay ang Bagong Kasal blog. I'm glad we were able to blog about some of those disasters because we can come back to it when we need a good laugh. 

Back to the hose, I was bent on finishing watering the plants so I called Sweetie for help. He patiently worked on getting the inner hose out and said he could probably use the washing machine adapter to fix it. Holding the inner hose firmly I went on watering the plants even though I was dripping wet. Soon enough Sweetie came back and magically fixed the hose! Ten thousand pogi points for Sweetie! Weeee! 

I then asked Sweetie to accompany me while I watered the plants outside. I was scared it might break again, haha. It didn't and the chore was finally finished. It's just funny it happened to me because Miggy and I usually take turns watering the plants. I'll have to warn the gardener who's going to help me do some cleaning not to open the faucet too much. And maybe I'll ask the contractor to adjust the water pressure hehe. 

And yes, I had a fruit popsicle after the incident, a mango popsicle from Pan de Manila. Yummm!

P.S. I'm re-thinking whether I should buy the water hose for my Mom. I was raving about it just the other day. Gaaaaah.

#Home54 #NewG192 #StayHome #BeKind  

Sunday, December 26, 2021

12 Years of Sweeties

Sweetie had a surprise when I woke up this morning. It was a huge box that bore a bouquet of white roses. He was so excited when he gave it, just like the first time he gave me white roses in 2007 (the one when I promptly burned the spaghetti I was cooking hehe). 

Today we're celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary. Yes, on boxing day! We had our wedding on the 26th of December because we had family fly in from other countries. We planned to postpone it because we were severely affected by Typhoon Ondoy, but our parents insisted we proceed. It was a good idea because the wedding helped all of us focus on our future more than the disaster we went through. We learned to be extra resilient. 

My doctors always commended Sweetie's resilience. One doctor told him in person how she appreciated the support he gave me. She said she rarely saw that kind of support. Sweetie is my powerhouse and his love is steadfast. I pulled through because he's my rock. 

The past 12 years have been crazy for us. The hardest time was doing LDR for a few years and the health challenges we've gone through. We always faced it head on with lots of prayer and love. We decided to settle back in Manila to be together and closer to our parents, extended family and friends. We also wanted more permanency that's why we finally moved to our dream house. 

We're transitioning to a new phase in our lives and we look forward to living our lives until we grow old. 

Love you forever Sweetie. Happy anniversary <3

#Home53 #NewG193 #StayHome #BeKind  

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Our Three Tree Christmas

Happy birthday Baby Jesus! And a Merry Christmas to everyone! 

Last night we had an intimate Noche Buena. Just me, Sweetie and Miggy. We wanted to have Mom stay with us, but she said "tomorrow na lang". She sleeps early and she knows we'd stay up late for Noche Buena. I had the boys dress up since I wanted us to have a proper family photo -- in each of our three trees. Yes, you read it right, we set-up three Christmas trees! 

I know it's crazy, but we wanted to make up for being apart last year. We set-up three trees to celebrate being together again and to symbolize the merger of our homes. For ten years we were celebrating either in the Philippines or Singapore. There was always someone who had to fly somewhere for work/studies. So this year, our family is together again. 

And we dedicate this togetherness to the celebrant Himself, Baby Jesus. We know this is what He wanted for us. I am grateful for His Grace because I'm able to be with my family. I really wanted for us to have a special Noche Buena. By some miracle I was able to prepare our traditional spread -- spaghetti, pineapple glazed ham, macaroni salad and I was able to make leche flan too! 

Looking back at my Dad's share-a-family project, I especially pray for the families who were affected by the recent typhoon. I hope and pray they are with their families and loved ones. 

Hugs to everyone!

#Home52 #NewG194 #XmasDay #StayHome #BeKind  

Friday, December 24, 2021

Daddy's Noche Buena

My Dad was active in the Knights of Columbus. He was the founding Grand Knight in our parish. I got to spend a lot of time with the "knights" (mostly our neighbors) because I'd tag along with my Dad whenever they had activities. One of those activities was the Sunday morning walkathons. I would be on my BMX bike while my Titos would walk. Sadly my Dad and most of my titos are in heaven now. 

That time me and my choir friends tagged along the K of C summer outing.

Daddy was very passionate about helping. One of the projects he had was helping the innocent go free from prison. We had several of those ship in a bottle as gifts from prisoners. He also gave free consultation as a lawyer. My Mom said she'd be surprised about receiving chickens when they were newly married. One of the most memorable projects Daddy initiated was the "Share a family" activity. 

Instead of just giving donations he organized a noche buena day with families from the developing area. They matched a member K of C family with the developing area family. Daddy thought that would be more enriching than just giving donations. This allowed two very different families to get to know each other while eating a meal prepared by the K of C family. It was indeed an enriching experience and we did it several times. Afaik, the K of C in our parish has been continuing the tradition, probably suspended for now due to the pandemic. 

Our outreach has been limited, mainly because my energy has been affected by my illness. It gives me so much joy to provide merienda for the crew who comes in to fix our home. I got them some mamon and softdrinks yesterday and their huge smiles made me happy. I wish I could go the extra mile and really prepare them a feast, but hope they appreciate the food delivery I've been getting for them. Simple joys :)

Merry Christmas everyone and happy birthday Baby Jesus! 

#Home51 #NewG195 #Xmas1 #StayHome #BeKind  

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Our Grown-up Dining Table

Our dining table finally got delivered yesterday. We've been using a folding table the past three weeks. It took five people to carry and set it up. Yup, it's a huge table. We've always had smaller 4-seater dining tables. It always got messy because we used it as our tambayan also. After meals we'd hang out as a family, do our work/hobbies also on the dining table. So when we moved to our new home we wanted a bigger table. 

All our previous tables were also made of wood. Our childhood homes had the traditional round table with a lazy susan. The table was huge and served as a food table whenever we had parties/reunions at home. Eventually, my Mom had a rectangular stone-inlaid table made. It was placed in the lanai which became a favorite dining area. We only got to experience other types of dining tables in our rented homes in SG. 

TBH I struggle when it comes to design. I'm more into function than aesthetics, so when I was looking for a dining table I ended up just browsing and browsing. I asked helped from Marja, our contractor/neighbor who's an interior designer. She sent me a couple of photos and I liked one. We immediately had a family meeting. We decided to try something different and ordered a glass and metal dining table. 

After the table was set-up, the three of us stood at the kitchen and just stared. The table is more than double the size of our usual dining table. It was a proper dining table that would make our parents proud. We approached the table carefully, scared that we might cause the glass to drop, LOL. 

Our first dinner on the dining table was prepared by Miggy. We sat across each other and it felt weird to be far from each other. We'll probably move around the table for now to find the best place to sit. We're excited to have Christmas lunch with our parents on Saturday. Glad we were able to make the dining area decent in time for Christmas. Yay! 

#Home50 #NewG196 #Xmas2 #StayHome #BeKind  

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Joyride to the 44th Floor!

It was my first time yesterday to be more than 3 kilometers away from our home. We had to go out for an errand in Ortigas. To avoid traffic we went through SLEX, C5 then went through McKinley, BGC and we experienced the new Estrella-Panteleon Bridge. I was surprised to see many new buildings in the area and baffled how we got to the Kapitolyo area so fast. There were so many new developments I got confused where we were already, LOL. 

Unfortunately due to heavy traffic we reached out destination at noon. They were already on lunchbreak, so we had to wait. Sweetie was wary of having me walk far from our destination so we ended up in the hotel next door because there were no waiting area in the office we went to. We were also avoiding crowded places, so we ended up in the 44th floor of the hotel. True enough the resto was empty. We ended up having an instant date with a nice view of the mountains in Rizal. 

I honestly don't remember the last time we dined out. Ah, I think the last time was at Starbucks Raffles Hospital just before we went home. We already considered it a date since we went out sparingly. I told Sweetie I hope we can have a longer joyride in early January. Maybe just go somewhere to eat and see nice views for a day. We've also been super tired lately from the move. My Fitbit actually said I needed for rest, hehe. 

I was happy to do our little errand. It became a joyride and a date! I'm already used to staying at home, so will just want to do this every so often and only if it's really needed. I haven't even been to the mall or a grocery. I don't miss it anymore since I can just do my window shopping by scrolling through Lazada, Shopee, Amazon or my favorite fabric shops. Just add to cart and just leave it there until the want fades away. I usually delete the items in the cart a few days later when I realize I don't really need to buy anything (unless it's my fave milk tea heehee). 

P.S. Hope to unearth more clothes in the coming days. Ended up wearing an un-ironed dress when we went out hahaha. 

#Home49 #NewG197 #Xmas3 #StayHome #BeKind  

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Have You Tried Mushroom Sisig?

I saw an ad on FB about kabute sisig (mushroom sisig). I got curious and clicked on the ad. The product is made by "The Kabute Farm".  They are based in Lucban, Quezon which is my Dad's hometown. I figured it probably tastes good because it's from Lucban so I ordered a few packets. 

Got a message yesterday morning that they were going to deliver the frozen mushroom sisig. Soon enough the Toktok rider arrived and I told the boys we'll have sisig for dinner. Cooking was easy after defrosting the packet. I wasn't sure if 300 grams was enough for the three of us so I decided to cook 2 packets. Added some olive oil on the pan and sauteed the mushroom sisig in low heat for five minutes. Well, Miggy had to take over cooking because I cut my thumb while washing a pair of scissors (whoops!). 

Miggy made some sinangag and fried egg to go with the mushroom sisig. I brought out a bottle of Knorr liquid seasoning since it usually goes well with sisig. I was anticipating that the sisig would taste like mushrooms, but it didn't. It tasted like your regular pork, yummy sisig. It was like Gerry's Grill/Giligan's sisig, but without the oily flavor. It was really good and I was surprised it was really filling. I'll definitely order again soon!* 

Next time I'll probably order some of their Vegan Mushroom Sisig Pizza. Just a thought since they're based in Lucban, maybe they can also make mushroom longganisa? I'm not sure how feasible that is, but maybe they can try. I'm happy to be their guinea pig hehehe. This was a really good buy for us since we've been building a new set of healthier meals we could have at home. 

#Home48 #NewG198 #Xmas4 #StayHome #BeKind  

*You can order via The Kabute Farm website

Monday, December 20, 2021

Christmas Preps

My heart is heavy seeing our kababayans in Visayas and Mindanao still having a hard time after #OdettePH. I have been focusing my time more on organizing our home than preparing for Christmas. I finally pushed myself to set up the tree last Saturday when our contractor sent a base to replace the missing tree stand. Sweetie and Miggy put the lights on the tree, but I'm still finding the strength to decorate. (Please see below where you can send help).

Our target for this week is to prepare for Christmas lunch with our parents. We hope our dining table will be delivered (it's delayed for two weeks now). The boys have been doing all the heavy lifting while I figure out where to keep stuff. It's hard to merge homes. I'm also setting aside pre-loved items which may be useful for other homes. 

The rain yesterday helped me move around more. I apparently function better at a certain temperature. I overdid it and felt unwell by early evening hehe. Today's it's 31'C (feels like 36'C) and I'm melting so I'll adjust and do planning on my computer for now. That's the problem when you have heart disease, you're prone to be affected by weather. That's the reason why my former director wanted to put me in a bubble, LOL. 

Anyway, what's important is for us to prepare to celebrate Papa Jesus' birthday with our parents. I pray that the situation of our brothers and sisters in VisMin would improve soon. If you can help, you can send it through the following:

#Home47 #NewG199 #Xmas5 #StayHome #BeKind  

Sunday, December 19, 2021


The key to unlocking the new door for me was my family. I realized I don't need to look far for my purpose. It's just within reach. It's my family. So the past few days I've been working hard to organize our home. The contractor finally finished the kitchen and I'm finally able to tidy up. It's taking awhile though since I can only do so much in a day. Well, slowly but surely. 

What I'm enjoying now is the company of the boys and random visits by friends. We feel so loved this weekend because we received goodies! Kuya and Ate Joy sent some pastries. My seatmate, Rica, sent baked taco (mmm they were super delicious!). Got some puto Binan from Leejay and Ate Rose surprised us with kakanin. I just checked my weight the other day and I have so far kept stable since I left Singapore. Whew!

Bottomless... you can get bottomless amounts of love as long as you allow yourself to receive it. That's what I learned this weekend. When I got sick I did not want to bother anyone about what I was going through. Many reached out to ask if there was anything they could help with, but I always said we could manage. I guess because my love language is "act of service" I didn't feel I could reciprocate. So I mostly kept to myself and expressed love by making quilts for friends. 

I'm honestly empty handed this Christmas. I'm still unable to reciprocate since I'm using my energy to fix our nest. I'm focusing first with my immediate family because I feel I have to make up for the many years I was busy at work. So sorry to everyone, cards and gifts will be super delayed as we haven't found them in the boxes. 

And, of course, always remember Papa Jesus provides bottomless love. He is our forever <3

#Home46 #NewG200 #Xmas6 #StayHome #BeKind  

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Why We Shouldn't Be Too Resilient

According to IRIS, earthquakes with a magnitude of 2 happen several times a day. Small volcano eruptions happen every few months (SDSU). There are about 96 tropical cyclones every year according to UIUC with about 20 hitting the Philippines annually (PAGASA). I think majority of us who grew up in the Philippines experienced a disaster (my generation also experienced a number of coup d'etats). 

Many say Filipinos are resilient. I guess I am. I'm resilient with a bad case of PTSD. I giggled when I saw people panicking over an inch of floodwater in Orchard Road. "Wala yan sa baha sa amin," I thought (That's nothing compared to our floods). It made me feel both proud and annoyed. My friends from other countries are always awed with my disaster stories. To them it's unimaginable how I managed to get out of floodwater that was up to my neck during Typhoon Ondoy. 

The evening after Typhoon Ondoy hit.

And with climate change things are just getting worse.  Only the Bicol region was hit hard by typhoons when I was growing up. Now, no one is spared from it. I'm still jittery whenever there's a typhoon. Sweetie and I experienced our worst disaster three months before we tied the knot. We made a promise to each other that we would move to a place where it doesn't flood. Of course, we still worry a lot because our parents still live in our childhood homes. 

Minutes before I had to be rescued from the basement.

The recent typhoon, #OdettePH, wreaked havoc in the VisMin region. It's been two days and I have heard from my best friend. I hope he's just unable to respond because there's no signal/electricity in his area. I can't help but worry though and all I can do now is pray. My other friends have been posting about road closures, no signal, no electricity in their areas. They had to find ways to get to an area where they could send messages to their loved ones that they're okay. I understand their pain because I've been through it too. 

I realized though that this "Filipino resilience" spirit is going against us. Because we always find ways to help ourselves and others, we've allowed our government and service companies to slack off on their services. I read PAGASA Cebu was rendered helpless because their equipment needed an upgrade/wasn't working. Telcos going offline. Reports that electricity won't be back for a few weeks. I think someone, somewhere in the agency/company could have projected the effects of these disasters. And there's been a lot of disasters we could have learned from already. Shouldn't we have worked on putting cables underground? 

It's just unfair that we're always subjected to suffering through these disasters when the support system could have better prepared for it. The president is now saying that funds have been depleted. Really? Then why did the government spend hundreds of millions on the Dolomite beach? Why did they contract out of Pharmally? Why did DOH allow millions of medication to expire? 

Sigh. I don't have the answers to the questions, but let's help where we can, yes? Here's where you can send help -

#Home45 #NewG201 #Xmas7 #StayHome #BeKind  

Friday, December 17, 2021


The 1SE app reminded me with a message this morning, "Life doesn't stop for anyone." An apt reminder because I've been amiss with adding daily content. I've been so busy the past two weeks, I haven't even started preparing for Christmas. 

Well, the 1SE app brought me to think about doors. I'm having our doorknobs replaced. We always get injured from lever door handles and my doctor told me to avoid any kind of injury (fragile ka ghorl?). So we're replacing it with classic door knobs. And life is just like that, it doesn't stop for anyone. You can take a break, but everyone around you will be moving. 

There's a saying, "When a door closes, a window opens." When I woke up this morning I realized that God opened a huge door for me. I had been stuck in the "I'm sick loop" for a year now and much as I try to move on, I've been immobile. This morning felt different though, it felt like the key to a new door was unlocked. It felt strange because I was also having an asthma attack when the revelation happened. 

I read that one cause of depression is the feeling of helplessness. It does not go well when you also have PTSD. Both pushes you to want to have control and a better sense of worth. I struggled with sleep for a long time. It was only when I came home that I felt things start to resolve. I have been able to fall asleep faster (most nights) and my Fitbit tells me that my deep sleep time has improved a lot. I need to have a lot of deep sleep to heal better. 

I know my body will never go back to what it was before. I've been praying for healing for my body, mind, heart and soul. It takes a lot of time and faith. I think having my family and friends in close proximity, breathing in Philippine air (even with bad AQI sometimes) and getting proper vitamin D from the sun, is what helped unlock the new door. 

Life doesn't stop for anyone, but you can always pause and take a break when you need it. Do things that will make you happy. It may not be a window that opens, but you can always change the doorknob too. 

I pray you are in good spirits today my friend. I also pray for those affected by the wrath of Typhoon Odette. 

#Home44 #NewG202 #Xmas8 #StayHome #BeKind  

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Useful Home Budols

I'm not exactly sure where the term "budol" came from. As far as I remember it was a term used for a crime, mainly scamming. The first time I heard this term was in the 80s when the budol budol criminals were striking. When online purchasing became a norm during the pandemic, it became a term used for impulse buying. It progressed more because of the double digit date promos made by Lazada and Shopee. 

Since we're taking a lot of precaution by not going out, the things I need to purchase have been done online. It's not only SM that's "got it all for you", but you can practically buy anything online, even a house! To be honest, I was really wary about buying stuff online. I was forced into it when we had to purchase groceries during the circuit breaker in SG. 

Anyway, I've babbled long enough. Here are some of the budols from the past few weeks:

Walis tingting with bamboo holder

Magic hose and a hose organizer

Fabric to make a window curtain

Mail box, my neighbor said they'll stick it to the gate anyway.

Cordless vacuum, best buy ever.

Proper doorknobs, really hate those that nip you.

Birthday decor for Mom's birthday.

The air fryer (Sweetie's budol)

A nice faucet for the washing machine

Air freshener auto spray

Faucet extender

The cheese door stopper which was an indulgence

Sweetie was so surprised I only bought fabric to make a curtain. Told him I have a lot of fabric. Just need to unbox them. It's surprisingly hard to buy some home items like tabo and dustpan. I don't know why the shipping fees for basic home items are so expensive! I'm still hunting for a shop that doesn't charge so much to ship those. Or maybe it might be better for me to order through SM when I do my groceries. 

I'm still learning a lot about buying home & living items online. Any tips/recos will be welcome. 

#Home43 #NewG203 #Xmas9 #StayHome #BeKind