Sunday, February 28, 2021

Breaking the Habit of Being Online

My doctor ordered me to stay offline since December. He believed I was under a lot of stress that's why my body was going bonkers. Oh boy it was hard since I'm always online, but it was a good time to clear my cache. 

Breaking the habit of being online is one of the hardest things my doctor asked me to do. He said it was for my own good so my body could normalize and heal properly. I'm so used to picking up my phone before I even get out of bed. 

To break the habit I had to impose a restriction on myself. After identifying the most common apps I use I set access limits to it. I also identified the places and times I would go online and replace it with offline things like reading a book. 

The hardest was the first two weeks. Going online was just as natural as drinking water. The mandate though forced me to assess other bad habits. I had a tendency to jump into the online world even before I had breakfast. That was key for me to understand why my doctor forbade me from going online. 

Two months have passed since my doctor mandated me to stay offline. I realized being online all the time brought so much noise in my life. It was more than a month later when I started to feel the relief of staying offline. I was also able to correct other bad habits that being online brought. 

I have kept the restrictions I imposed in December. I have kept the app access limits and I don't even hit the limits anymore. I've been able to use the time to rest and recover and do other things I've been meaning to do for a long time now. 

Breaking the habit of being online isn't easy, but it brings a lot of benefits. I will probably keep the restrictions and just go online when it's really needed.

CB///325 #StuckAtHomeDay/355 #StayHome #BeKind

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Old Leaves Falling

Winter season set in for me in mid-December and it's still winter for me now. Autumn drew out for me for a long time, but I ignored it and treated everything like it was summer everyday. It's still winter for me now and I cannot say when it will end. 

I was telling Sweetie while having early dinner tonight I never took a break. I never had downtime where I just got to enjoy whatever I wanted to do. I had responsibilities and I took that seriously. I wanted to provide the best for Miggy. I did the best I could, but I forgot to take care of myself. 

My Mom knew I'd be like this. She'd always remind me to rest, sleep early and stop working. My doctors also said my A+++ personality is problematic for me. They said it's not all bad since my quirks are actually contributing to making me better at what I do. 

Miggy sent a photo of the huge tree outside our home in Manila. He said that the leaves are almost gone. I dug up an old photo of the tree from 7 years ago and saw it used to be so vibrant back then. The leaves slowly dwindled away through the years. I guess it was badly hit last year when the ashes fell after Taal Volcano's eruption. Miggy said the tree seems to have a few leaves sprouting, but who knows if the tree will still survive. 

Even though I feel as though all my leaves are falling, I know with the proper care, rest and nourishment I will eventually re-grow. Spring will come when the time is right. For now I hibernate, do the needful and pray. 

CB///324 #StuckAtHomeDay/354 #StayHome #BeKind

Friday, February 26, 2021


Energy streak ended as expected when I finished the 3-day medication my doctor gave me. I was still energetic yesterday morning, but by mid afternoon I started feeling wiped out.

I really thought the newfound energy was going to stick around so I baked some cheese cupcakes after lunch. I had been meaning to bake since December because I wanted to send it to some friends. I started feeling tired midway while baking, but I pushed on and managed to finish it. I'm glad I was able to make some of my friends happy with my baked goodies. 

I realized now why my doctor told me several times to listen to my body. I did not expect to crash this bad, but at least I was able to sleep without much trouble last night. I also spent most of today sleeping. I wasn't able to make it to my physiotherapy session since my whole body was aching haha. The struggle is real!

So that's it for me today, just resting. I hope tomorrow I'd have a bit more energy.

Happy Friday everyone. 

CB///323 #StuckAtHomeDay/353 #StayHome #BeKind

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Reality of Being a Tita (Midlife Musings)

I enjoyed a prolonged period when my body stayed the same. I wore XS well into my late 30s. I enjoyed it because I could eat anything and never gained weight. The real reason though why I wasn't gaining weight was because my body was compensating for the issue I had with my heart. Eventually I became too thin and that signaled I needed to have my mitral valve repaired. 

My doctor warned me after surgery that I needed to watch my weight. I immediately gained 15 pounds within a few months, but it wasn't so bad then. Many said I actually looked healthier with a little more weight. I went into a frenzy of activities four months after heart surgery. I wanted to prove I was well and I used the newfound energy like crazy. I was 38 then living like a 25 year old. 

At some point I started to notice changes in my whole being. It was both physical and psychological. Here's what I went through:

Weight gain and bulges - gone were the days I could eat anything and not gain weight. I once stayed in Bacolod for a week, the weight I gained there never went away (it's still residing in my thighs!). The bulk of my weight though crept up when I had my first pulmonary embolism. The PE severely affected my ability to exercise and move around. 

Energy and stamina - I was still quite okay after heart surgery. I traveled a lot and was able to keep up with the rigors of running events, hopping from one place to another. I could fly in and go straight to work or an event. Things changed drastically when I had my first PE. Physiotherapy has been helping me regain lost energy and increase my stamina. I'm still hoping I could improve my quality of life.

Health - I know I'm an oddball and I experience things that most people won't go through. It's about this time that your body will need special attention. It can be your back, your joints, your BP, cholesterol etc. Despite my many issues I'm still lucky I don't have any hard food requirements (whew!). 

Interests - with lower energy and stamina my interests changed as well. I realized this when I traveled with friends who are younger than me. I couldn't keep up with them and had to park myself somewhere while they went around. 

Social Life - my health severely affected my social life. I used to like going out to eat or have coffee with friends. I also like having friends over to sample my cooking. I haven't been able to do this for a long time now since I've been sick. It's been a few months since I've been able to do a video call too. 

Hobbies - since I've become more of a homebody I picked up my old hobby of quilting. I'm so glad my Mom taught me how to keep busy with crafts. I've also taken a liking to honing my gardening and bread baking skills too. I'm never not busy at home and there's always something new to learn. 

Salonpas is a must have - my high school girlfriends and I always joke about the many balms, salonpas and essential oils we now have on hand. I have a friend who also gave me a glowing review of her heat lamp. When you start using these things you normally keep it to yourself for as long as you can and it eventually just becomes funny and you giggle about it with friends. 

Identity - I have a friend who always tells me I have mastered the art of dedma. I think I'm at that age when I could just keep the noise out. I know who I am and the values I keep. 

I know there are still many changes that would come. I should have probably asked my siblings about midlife since they're both more than a decade older than me. I'm glad I have my high school girlfriends going through the same phase as me. My doctor recently noted on his report that I am on pre-menopause phase already. OMG! That thought never crossed my mind and this is something me and my girlfriends have started to muse about. Oh my! Haha. 

I'm so grateful I have friends and family who understand my oddballness. It makes life easier. If you ask me I'd rather be in my 40s than be in my 20s. And that thought probably deserves a post for another day. 

What about you? Are you experiencing midlife? How are you coping?

CB///322 #StuckAtHomeDay/352 #StayHome #BeKind

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Midlife Slapped Me in the Face Big Time

This old photo of me was floated up by Google Photos. That was me in Singapore in 2005 during one of my visits to Dr. Koo. I had stayed with Tappy for a few days and she brought me around. At that time it never crossed my mind that I'd move to Singapore six years after. It was a year and a half later when my life completely changed. 

Singapore, February 2005.

I still remember that day clearly. We went to Little India, Bugis and then Chinatown where we are mee goreng. It was a happy, carefree day. Life was so simple back then. I had a full time job at the yellow pages and at that time my best friend and I were trying to be entrepreneurs too. I had challenges too, but things were simpler. 

I have weathered my roaring 20s and my thrilling 30s. I'm now in my midlife. I've been reading the book "The Beauty of 40" and it succinctly said that in your 40s you must not lead it like you're still in your 20s. We fall into that trap where we behave like we're still in our 20s and brandish photos of our life on social media. Why? At our age we should already know who we are, we don't need external reassurances. We should be secure in our identity. 

Singapore, February 2020
before I got sickly again
Midlife slapped me in the face. I have been sickly for three years now and I realized I've been living my life like I'm still in my 20s. I have to break the habit of being myself (learn more from Dr. Joe Dispenza). I have been addicted to things that have not been good for me. I cannot bring back what I was before, the only way is to move forward and grow as appropriate based on where I am now. 

Yesterday was the first time I felt I functioned like normal. It's because of the medication. I've been having brain fog issues since mid-December and the struggle is real. So I took advantage of the lucid day and listed my goals for this year. I based it on the following themes: family, home, finances, health, learning, creating and spiritual. To make my goals work this year I am involving my family so we can work on it together.

So that's how I'm going to cope with the boat I am currently in -- the sick boat. I'm so glad Marv advised me to find new ways to cope because the old way hasn't been working. My recovery process has to be a wholistic one. At least I have a guide now and I can work through it even if the fog comes back tomorrow. It will help immensely if the air quality was better!  

CB///321 #StuckAtHomeDay/351 #StayHome #BeKind 


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Going Back to Basics on Kuya's Birthday

Today is my Kuya's birthday. Happy birthday to my favorite Kuya in the whole wide galaxy! We always joke about him being my favorite Kuya because I really don't have a choice since he's my only male sibling. The same goes for my Ate who is my only female sibling. Haha. I do have a lot of Kuyas since I have my brother-in-law, his siblings, my sister-in-laws siblings, my cousins and my Kuyas in our community. Of course the title of most favorite goes to my one and only blood brother, my Kuya Jojo. 

I thought I'd mention my Kuya in my post today because he's always been my guide, my mentor. He's always been there for me. He's 13 years older than me and has been guiding me especially in my growth path since I was in high school. He was already teaching marketing when I was in high school and he'd practice stuff on me. I think I also mentioned in one of my blog posts before that he brought me back from going into the light after I had heart surgery. Dad was already there picking me up, but I heard Kuya praying over me when I was at the ICU and I went back. Shhh, he doesn't know about this. 

And that's our special bond. I mentioned him here today because he's been waiting for me to set-up our VC. I told him I need help to move forward from where I am today -- on the sick boat. I haven't done so because I know he'd ask me questions I'm not ready to answer now. I have finally accepted the fact that I have ignored 6 years worth of Papa God's knocks and I have not listened to any of them. And here I am in a very bad rut. I haven't been getting well and my doctor has put me now on some very aggressive medication. 

I have taken the first step to get out of this pit -- accepting my mistake. I realized the only way to get out of this pit is to listen to what Papa God has been trying to tell me in the last six years. And the only way to do it is go back to basics. Luckily the medication has given me a spurt of energy (this will end tomorrow). My brain is finally working somehow and I've been able to make a list of basic goals I have to work on to get out of this pit. Once I have that plan then I can finally sit down with my Kuya to figure it out.  

CB///320 #StuckAtHomeDay/350 #StayHome #BeKind 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Have You Heard About the Title "Chief Mouser"?

I was browsing through YouTube when I chanced upon a video about Downing Street's "chief mouser". 10 Downing Street is where Britain's prime minister resides and they always have a "chief mouser", a cat who's in-charge of catching vermin (rats). 

I found a video that featured all the cats that served as chief mouser. The interesting about the history is the chief mouser stays at 10 Downing Street and could serve several prime ministers. There are some instances there could be two cats, but only one chief mouser is named. The current chief mouser is Larry and watch until the end of the video because it hung out under the car of the former US president. The question is why? Hahaha. 

I got interested in the video because during President's Biden's inauguration week they also featured his two dogs that previously lived in the White House too. This got me thinking, do Philippine President's have pets? Did a little research and this is what I found:

President Duterte, I couldn't find any mention of pets, but instead found out that there's an average of 27 presidential dogs in Malacanang that are trained by the PSG. Half of the presidential dogs are in Davao City and the article mentioned they do like ear rubs too.

President Aquino -  ohh PNoy did have a dog. It's a German Shepherd that was given as a gift and the name of the dog is "Apollo"! Apollo was trained to become part of the presidential security detail according to the article.

I tried to look for references on pets other Philippine presidents had but I think I need to spend more time to research about it. Most of the articles were about the dogs used as security detail of presidents. When you also search for the term "presidential pet" the reference usually points to the Philippine Electoral Tribunal hehe. I should probably search through Google Scholar or more through lifestyle magazines. Kinda interesting noh?

CB///319 #StuckAtHomeDay/349 #StayHome #BeKind 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

My Pokemon Go Kanto Tour Experience

Yes I still play Pokemon Go and have surprisingly progressed despite just being home. It has been part of my motivation to walk more the past couple of weeks. I saw the announcement about the Pokemon Go Tour: Kanto in early January. I did not plan on joining it since I know it will require a lot of work. 

Woke up bright and early yesterday and on a whim got a ticket and started catching Pokemon. I used it as motivation to stay up since I wasted Friday away sleeping. Sweetie also got a ticket an hour after I joined and we soon realized there were parts of the tour that required you to be near a gym and Pokestops. Sweetie suggested we eat lunch out. 

Before we left we worked on trading the required red and green trade, can you guess what Sweetie is referring to below?

We headed to the nearby mall. The Grab driver laughed because we rode to the mall. I would not have survived walking a kilometer under the midday sun. We had lunch and the nice thing about the local mall is they have seats you can rest at that are surrounded by Pokestops hehe. So we were able to keep my walking to a minimum and we finished the outdoor requirements of the game. 

I dressed up for the occasion haha. I just got a new pair of white sneakers... errr Pokemon white sneakers. My friend Anne said I'm lucky my feet are still teenager size. I just ordered the sneakers online and it arrived last Friday. It fit perfectly and I didn't have any break-in pains. I also wore a Pokemon shirt I got sometime ago and Poke ball earrings (they were discreet so Miggy won't disown me haha). I just felt like dressing up to the occasion (okay the shirt was mostly hidden because I wore a jacket, it was freezing in the mall).

So how does it feel catching 151 Pokemons in 12 hours? It was exhausting but fun. I got into Pokemon because of Miggy. He absolutely loved it when he was a child and we played it on the computer. He is my Pokemon master and he's the one who taught me all the tricks. I started playing Pokemon Go during a trip in Tokyo and it was Japanese teachers who taught me how to play it. I don't really play a lot of games, I still play Pokemon mainly because my boys still play it and it's something we talk about all the time. It's also been part of my recovery program because I'm not naturally athletic.  

CB///318 #StuckAtHomeDay/348 #StayHome #BeKind 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

10 Things I Like from Other Cultures

One of the things I miss most is traveling and learning more about other cultures. I was quite comfortable traveling around Southeast Asia, but when my work expanded I had to learn how more about other cultures to make sure I don't do anything disrespectful. Through the years I learned to adjust and there are things I started to like about other cultures. Here's a list of ten things I have picked up from my travels:

1. Hearty American greetings - being an introvert I normally prefer to wave or smile if I bump into someone, but Americans (and Australians too) usually give hearty greetings. I adjust whenever I'm in either country hehe. 

2. The quiet when commuting in Japan - I love commuting in Japan because everyone remains so quiet. They have areas in the train where you can go to if you absolutely need to be on the phone. I learned this from my Tita. I like the quiet because I use this time to let my mind wander and observe my surroundings. And one more thing I like about Japan is they follow a color scheme for every season! I learned this the hard way when I wore a bright red shirt during winter! I looked so odd across everyone who was wearing black and dark blue at an event and got scolded by my colleague. I had no idea back then haha. They all initially thought I was an eccentric person hahaha (I think I am anyway lol). 

3. Friday TGIF is serious business - I learned the hard way that Australians take Friday afternoons seriously. I was once there and was happily working one afternoon at the office. I noticed there was a lot of movement by 3pm, I thought people were just going to meetings. At around 4 I was surprised to find myself alone already haha. My Tita explained to me that Australians take off time really seriously and normally by 5pm they are already in pubs. 

4. Barbecue bonding - if in the Philippines we have inihaw, in Korea they have Korean BBQ. I like the communal way they cook and eat together. From experience they also cook bulgogi, chicken and other dishes together. Cooking and eating is a team effort! 

5. Love for bubble tea - this of course in Taiwan! This was automatically the first thing I did with my team. We bonded over bubble tea! It's just natural for everyone to want to drink bubble tea haha. 

6. Quilting is a hobby in Australia, the US and Japan (and a bit in Singapore) - it was my Mom who taught me how to quilt. This isn't a usual thing in the Philippines. I picked up the hobby again in Singapore and whenever I travel I'd always find time to check out local craft and fabric stores. In Australia I'm always able to pick up magazines and materials. I also discovered from my Nihongo sensei that quilting is a thing too in Japan. Love, love!

7. Home full of family - I've been to Pakistan and one thing I learned from my scout-brother there is their preference to have all their family live in the same house/compound. He brought us to his house and I was so surprised that he had his whole immediate family living with him. He said that it's common for them to do that and have multiple families living in the same house. 

8. Treating everyone like family - that's how I felt when I visited Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. I felt the warmth and welcome of everyone I met when I visited those countries. How I wish I could come back! 

9. Make sure no one goes hungry - everyone loves to eat across Southeast Asia. I always get asked, "Have you eaten?" when I'm in Indonesia, Malaysia or Thailand. Have you noticed that? I never go hungry when I'm visiting these countries teehee. 

10. Think community - I am truly amazed with how Singapore responded to the lockdown requirement when the pandemic hit last year. I listened live to PM Lee when the circuit breaker was announced and he appealed to everyone to think about the whole community. All measures were put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus and I have deep respect with how the whole country followed the policies that were put in place. Life is somehow normal here now because of how disciplined everyone was. 

Also super miss my friends across the region. I hope they are all doing well and I pray they are all safe. 

What about you? What are things you noticed that are cool about other cultures?

CB///317 #StuckAtHomeDay/347 #StayHome #BeKind 

Friday, February 19, 2021

The Value of Being Sick

Is there any value to being sick? The first thought that comes to mind is a resounding no. Getting sick takes a toll on your body, your finances, your relationships, everything. I was confident I'd be okay by now. I thought I'd be back to work early this month. I've been on medical leave since mid-December and save for the PE that was diagnosed my doctors can't really explain why I'm still sick. 

The medication that was given to me yesterday are pretty potent. I was asleep most of the day today and I'm still sleepy. In between sleeping and eating I chanced upon this homily* by Archbishop Soc Villegas. He spoke about the value of being sick. He said it is when you are forgotten, ignored, and unimportant when you will learn a lot.   Yup, I'm certainly down in the pits right now. 

I think the biggest mistake I've done in my life is I thrived too much on feeling important. I was always needed. My services were always in demand. I just kept going on and on and on and forgot about myself. I was really happy because I made others happy. What I forgot was to take care of myself and most especially take care of my spiritual life. I would pray, but I was just going through the motions. I lost the connection. 

I was going through some of my things and found a postcard prayer. It was a prayer for healing I think my Mom gave me the last time I saw her. It is a powerful prayer that has resonated a lot on my soul. When I found it I remembered the last time my Kuya sat down with me to help free me from past trauma. I think I probably tried too hard to be strong I never really resolved all the issues I've been through. And that's probably why all my attempts at healing have been failing. 

"Timing is everything!" according to Bo Sanchez on his video today. He said that you should respect that time that you are in. I haven't really respected this time that I'm supposed to be sick and healing. I have been pressuring myself to get well and here I am still sick. 

So for now I'm just going to leave it up to the Lord. I will take care of myself, follow doctors orders, pray and let's see how things go. I hope learn what God is telling me to learn. 

CB///316 #StuckAtHomeDay/346 #StayHome #BeKind 

*The title of the video I think is incorrect.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Happy Heart

I went to see my doctor bright and early today since I want to get my issues sorted out asap. We did a blood test and xray and he said it's my sinuses that are acting up. It's probably because the air quality has been slightly bad the past week. He couldn't explain though why I've been nauseous and will review me again in a few days. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have the energy to finally scan all the tests I've done since January so I can send it to my cardiologist. 

Super kawaii mug from Ralph <3

While I was at the hospital my phone rang and it was for the door at home. I thought it was delivery for something I ordered online, but Sweetie called and asked if I knew the person who was sending a Toastbox snack bundle. A friend had just messaged me that he was sending me some snacks for good vibes. Awww, really, really appreciate it my friend and I hope to be well soon so we can start our TB Singapore tour! 

Just rested after I got home and fell asleep while trying to watch "The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel". I slept through two episodes and only got to watch the last few minutes of the second episode. I woke up because Sweetie had finished work and went out of the room. Oh well, at least I got a good nap, my doctor did say I should rest more. 

My heart is happy even though I wasn't feeling well all day. Thank you my friends <3

CB///315 #StuckAtHomeDay/344 #StayHome #BeKind 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Must Keep My Mojo Intact

A friend of mine advised me today that I probably need to find new ways to cope. I told him that the things I'm experiencing are new and it's getting frustrating. I didn't sleep well last night since I was having this terrible headache. I've been scared to take pain medication since it may interfere with the blood thinner. Things were not this bad when I had my first PE in 2018 and that's why I've been having a hard time. 

After chatting with my friend I finally did the second treatment for the soil. I've been meaning to do it for a few days now. I was putting it off because I've not been feeling well. Told myself I should just get on with it. It was an easy task of watering the soil with a hydrogen peroxide mixture. I was exhausted after the task and rested in the couch. It was fulfilling to finish the task. 

Took a bath and prepared my own lunch and worked on my quilt project while watching some vids. I was pondering whether I should go to my PT session. My asthma was acting up again. I pushed myself to go since I know my physiotherapist would know what to do. We talked for awhile and she said that I was a different person today. She said my illness is taking away my mojo. 

It was then I realized I was already allowing my illness to take over me. I need to fight this back. I immediately called up my doctor and would've gone to him if he was around. I'll see him tomorrow instead. My PT then asked if I was up to do some biking. I felt a bit better after setting up an appointment with my doctor so I immediately jumped on the bike. We just did a few rounds and I felt much better after that. 

I was exhausted when I got home. Took a shower and then just rested. I just checked now and saw that the air quality has been bad and is probably the reason why my asthma has been acting up. I hope I'll have a good night's sleep and have a good check-up tomorrow. 

CB///314 #StuckAtHomeDay/344 #StayHome #BeKind

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Half a Good Day is Still a Good Day

I'm trying my best to hold on to the hope that my recovery will progress. The last few days have been challenging and it's hard to determine whether what I'm going through are regular side effects or something I should be concerned about. 

A lifetime ago when I took trial sewing lessons at Spotlight. Sewing makes me happy :)

Anyway, since I was okay for half a day I was able to sew for a few hours. It's a project I've been working on since mid-2019! I told myself I need to finish this before I start anything else. I'm working on a blanket for a couple. It's my wedding gift for them. It's just a simple design, but the blanket is huge haha. At the rate I'm going it'll probably take 3 more months before I finish this. 

It didn't take long for me to feel exhausted so I immediately stopped what I was doing and rested on the sofa. And that's how a good day goes for me. I'm glad I was able to do something productive today. Yesterday I wasn't able to do anything. I just rested all day and took naps every few hours. I pray things will get better soon. 

CB///313 #StuckAtHomeDay/343 #StayHome #BeKind

Monday, February 15, 2021

Pushing Too Hard

The last time I really felt I was progressing was when I was discharged in mid-January. That was the time I worked on increasing the number of steps I could make. The progress stopped when I started bleeding and had to be hospitalized again. I picked up almost where I left off after I got discharged, but progress has been very slow which has been very frustrating. 

I've been trying to increase my activities at home and also trying to increase the number of meters I could walk in one go. I also rested a lot in between our walks, but my breathing the last few days has not been good. I've also been having frequent asthma attacks and a lot of headaches. It was really bad last night I thought I had to go to the ER. Luckily I managed. 

I'm not sure if its caused by food (or too much food) or something else. I've been taking my medication as prescribed, but I think maybe the new blood thinner isn't doing it's job. Or maybe I'm not hiyang to it. I realize though that in January I was taking pain medication also and that probably helped me progress faster.  If things aren't better in a day or two I'll go see my doctor. 

There's the point also that I may have been pushing myself too hard. All the things I've been going through lately is new to me and I'm not used to just sitting and waiting for it to go away. Just before I started this post I was feeling a bit dizzy, but because I'm just sitting I picked up my computer and started typing away. Sweetie said, "Kaya mo ba? Kala ko nahihilo ka?" Errrm, yes, bad habit.

Good night. 

CB///312 #StuckAtHomeDay/342 #StayHome #BeKind

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Valentine's Day in Singapore

Valentine's was always tricky for me and Sweetie. There were several years when I was here in Singapore and he was in Manila. When we weren't married yet we avoided going out on V-day because of the traffic. And there were some instances either one of us was in the hospital on V-day. 

Sometimes Valentine's falls during the CNY festivities and going out on a date makes it harder. Going out on a date was out of the question so we celebrated across several days. The staycation was a surprise for Valentine's and for today we just ordered food ahead of time so we can have a nice dinner. 

This year was a bit different. The "Westies" invited us for a boodle fight for lunch. So we trooped over to the next building with some pancit and lumpiang shanghai*. Our friends outdid themselves with the set-up. They even had banana leaves and huge trays of food - freshly grilled liempo, lechon, shrimps, bangus, tortang talong, and aligue rice! And guess what, there was green mango and bagoong too. All my food dreams came true today!

The food we ordered arrived the same time we got home. Because we ate so much during lunch we ended up just eating the salad and part of the pizza. We'll just eat the rest of the food tomorrow haha. I also surprised Sweetie with a new toy. He was super surprised I got him something for Valentine's. He lit up like a Christmas tree when he opened my gift. I love surprising him every so often. 

On the other side of the region we surprised Miggy with flowers, a bear and the same food we ordered from Max's. The last time we were able to celebrate Valentine's together was last year. Miggy was still here and we just had food delivered also at home. I wish we could all be together soon!

*Thank God Max's Singapore delivers!

CB///311 #StuckAtHomeDay/341 #StayHome #BeKind

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Back Home from Our Staycation

Home sweet home! We spent two nights at Sentosa Cove and now we're back home. My face feels a little bit burnt from the walks we took. It felt like it was hotter in that area since it was beside the sea. I hope I got a little color. Saw my legs yesterday and they were so white! Haha. I haven't had any vitamin sea in over a year now. 

Sentosa Cove is such a lovely area. It's been years since I last visited the place. I think the last time I was there was when my housemate, Jajah brought us there for brunch. It's a marina area where yachts park. It's surrounded with restos, cafes and hotels. I observed from our balcony many residents biking in the area or moving around with their golf carts. 

Our routine for our staycation was to eat-sleep-eat-sleep again and do a bit of walking. I wanted to head over to the Resorts World area, but Sweetie said I'd probably get exhausted. True enough I would nap after every meal since it involved walking to and from our room, haha. Sweetie said I conked out last night without saying good night to him. LOL. 

What I loved about our staycation was the new environment and experiences. I loved looking out the balcony and watching boats come in and out. I loved walking at the boardwalk. We also sat down in-between to rest and watch people pass by. There were families biking together, people walking dogs, groups of people heading to their yachts to party and lovers hhwwpssp*. One thing I wanted to do was just to sit and enjoy the breeze without a mask! The fresh air would've helped my lungs. 

It was a nice experience to hang out in that area. It's certainly different from my usual view of trees. And, of course, I'm always happy to be with Sweetie. Thank you Sweetie for the lovely staycation. I'll probably conk out early again tonight haha. 

*hhwwpssp - holding hands while walking pa-sway-sway pa.

CB///310 #StuckAtHomeDay/340 #StayHome #BeKind

Friday, February 12, 2021

What If

It's Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Far Cai! It's my third new year this year since I declared February 1 as a special new year for me. 

We're on day two of our staycation. Sweetie has been strict about resting so our routine has been eat-sleep-eat haha. We suspended calorie counting today since our target was ruined at breakfast. I hope we can burn some of the calories when we walk at the boardwalk tonight. 

During lunch today I told Sweetie that my cardiovascular surgeon advised me many years ago to drink a glass of beer or wine everyday. In my 20s I'd have a regular drink or two with my friends. During that time I rarely got sick haha. I stopped doing it when my cardiologist told me it was likely I would need heart surgery. 

So I asked myself, "What if I followed my doctor's advise to drink everyday after surgery?" What if I followed all his other recommendations? Would I be in a different place now? Maybe. Maybe not. 

But there's no use going down that path. It will just make me sad. I'm in this situation now and the best for me to do is work on getting better. It's been a slow slippery slope. I'm praying for more strength and patience as I go through this journey.

Achievement unlocked!

CB///309 #StuckAtHomeDay/339 #StayHome #BeKind

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Sweetie's Surprise!

I got my Valentine's day surprise early! I asked Sweetie if he wanted to order food for Valentine's day. I wanted to order early because it's also CNY and getting anything delivered is tricky. From experience dining out would also be challenging. 

Sweetie's answer was to ask  "Do you want your surprise now?" I said,  "No, i could wait." Then he gave me a red envelop. I protested and said I didn't want t0o know yet. He insisted on opening the envelop. He said I need to know the plan!

I was clueless and happily opened the envelop. I was so surprised to see it was a staycation booking! Woohoo! I felt like I won the lottery! Haha. So we checked in today and we're just hanging out in the room since it's raining very hard. 

The staycation plan is to eat, sleep and perhaps walk around a bit if it stops raining. I'm already happy to see the yachts outside our window. Oh, we also got lucky because our room got upgraded! Yay!

Kung hei fat choi (Gong Xi Fa Cai)!

CB///308 #StuckAtHomeDay/338 #StayHome #BeKind

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

First Time Doing Physiotherapy Post-PE

PT OOTD. Need new shoes...
Whew! Before I start this post I'd like to thank everyone who have been posting comments here! So sorry I completely forgot I need to moderate it! I had set comment moderation many years ago to keep spammers out of my blog.They're an annoying bunch! Anyway, thanks so much for visiting my blog. I think I'll continue posting daily until this pandemic is over. 

Last week my PT clinic pinged me to ask if I'm ready to come back. I was really happy when my doctor agreed it was time for me to restart physiotherapy. My back has been hurting again and needed my amazing physiotherapist's magic. 

I was honestly nervous about it because sometimes when I overdo PT I get sick. It's almost CNY and I definitely don't want to end up in the hospital again. My PT is the most amazing person! She's been my PT for over a year now and has really shown care. My needs are so special it's really hard to find the right balance. 

I arrived early at the clinic. I was a little breathless so I sat down first on the couch to wait for Wendy. When she came out she immediately hugged me! She said she was so worried about me. I told her all the gory details before we started our session. She noticed I was breathless while I recounted what happened to me. I told her I so far only talk to Sweetie and my Mom. I haven't even done any VCs since mid-December. It means my breathing is still far from okay. 

Post-PT rest before I went home. Wearing my heart surgery scar proudly.

We took it slowly starting with some leg stretching, back exercises and then worked our way up to help open up my lungs. I was really surprised she had me exercise with dumbbells. It was just a kilogram, but felt like it was 5 kg.! Soon enough the session was over. I survived and I'm so far okay this morning (usually the effects are delayed lol). 

The session yesterday was challenging for me, but I need to continue working on my body. I puttered around the house after eating breakfast. I'm exhausted now so will need to recharge for the second half of my activity which I'll do this afternoon.   

Tomorrow Sweetie has a surprise for me!

CB///307 #StuckAtHomeDay/337 #StayHome #BeKind

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The Language of Happiness

As I slug through recovering each day has been a revelation for me. Aside from recovering physically I know my soul also needs healing. I understand now I cannot rush through this because it is an issue that I've been ignoring for many years now. I've run out of brownie points and the only way to move on is to address the issue point by point. 

Last night before I went to sleep I came across an IG post by a vlogger, Kulas of Becoming Filipino. He said that he's traveled across the Philippines with little knowledge of local dialects, but he's been able to connect to locals because of the way he communicates through happiness and positivity. It resonated so well with me because it reminded me of why I do things.

I started this blog 15 years ago because I wanted to inspire and spread positivity. This is the core of why I do things. This is the part of me that comes from my Dad. Inspire others by sharing happiness and the joy of helping others. I gave it my all and forgot to leave something for myself. As Bo Sanchez said, "You cannot give what you don't have." And right now my well is empty. 

I have been hibernating because of that. I've been going online sparingly to follow doctors orders (to avoid stress). I didn't realize it back then, but I think it's been the best thing for me for now. In time, with God's grace, I would heal and will be back. 

CB///306 #StuckAtHomeDay/336 #StayHome #BeKind

Monday, February 8, 2021

The 10 Things I Love About Singapore

This year marks the 10th year I've lived in Singapore. It took me awhile to call it home because my boys were back in Manila and I flew back and forth a lot for a few years. It became home when my family moved here five years ago.

1. Getting around is so convenient - it's so easy to get around by bus or through the MRT. You pay by using an EZlink card (which you can use also at shops).

2. Wide variety of food - there's a wide variety of food you can choose from especially when you eat at a hawker center. 

3. Toast Box - absolutely love teh peng and their breakfast food. Aside from Toast Box there's also other local coffee chains like Ya Kun Kaya, Killiney, Fun Toast, Old Town White Coffee etc. 

4. Shopping - when you shop you know exactly where you will go for the item. In the beginning I used to just go to Orchard, but eventually liked going to the neighborhood malls more (less temptation!). 

5. Parks - it's only now that I appreciate the park better. I love our evening walks at the park. There's always a nice breeze everytime we go. 

6. Attractions - we still visit the zoo, the bird park every other year. It's just fun to go and re-visit the zoo. We also visit Universal Studios whenever we have visitors. 

7. Staycation hotels - even before the pandemic our family would go on staycations. It's just nice to get some rest from house chores and explore the city. 

8. Healthcare - ahh this piece has been very important for me, I am only still around because of my amazing doctors.

9. Chinese New Year - CNY here is huge! I'm not really familiar with the traditions for CNY, but there's always a lot of snacks available. A friend explained to me that during CNY they basically have to visit all their relatives and that means endless eating. Ahh, it's very similar to our Christmas that's why I love CNY too. 

10. Church - love going to church here especially during the festive season. We've witnessed also how  they celebrate Christmas, New Year, Mama Mary's occasions, first Holy communion, baptism, Easter etc. 

Since we're going to be here for awhile I've been watching some vlogs of areas I still haven't seen yet. I'll make a list and see what else we could explore and experience in Singapore. 

CB///305 #StuckAtHomeDay/335 #StayHome #BeKind

Sunday, February 7, 2021

The Beauty of Resting

Sleep score finally reached 88 when I checked my Fitbit this morning. I did not sleep well all week and that's probably why I've been feeling exhausted. It got worse after I ventured out alone for the first time for my doctor appointment. I realized walking outside on a regular day versus doing evening walks at the park is so different. 

So today even with good sleep I rested most of the day and took a nap too. I really can't rush my body to recover. It has it's own good timing and the best I can do is eat well, sleep properly and do the right exercise. Normally the only rest I do is when I sleep at night. I'm usually doing something the whole day. Mom would always say I'm like a kiti-kiti*. 

I remember when I was a child I didn't like sleeping in the afternoons. I absolutely abhorred it. They either had to bribe me or threaten me before I'd go to bed. Usually I'd just lay there, but never really fall asleep. The only time I learned to nap in the afternoon was after watching ASAP and I was already working then. I now nap, but only when I literally conk out on the couch haha. 

It would be really great if I could recover somewhere where there is a hammock. Mom used to have a duyan in her garden and it was my favorite place. That's the place I go back to in my mind whenever I meditate. It's the place where I can just be calm and rest. Well since that's farfetched for now now, I'll just have to make do with our couch at home. 

Have a blessed Sunday everyone!

CB///304 #StuckAtHomeDay/334 #StayHome #BeKind

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Confused, eh

I'm so annoyed with myself. I spent the afternoon cutting fabric to finish a quilt blanket project I started 18 months ago. I finished measuring cutting the fabric and then realized I made a mistake with the measurement. Grrrrr. I didn't have enough fabric left so will need to find the same fabric so I can complete the blanket. Sigh. 

And the mistake is due to one of the issues I've been having -- confusion. I noticed this when we went home from the hospital in mid-January. I told my doctor about this and he wasn't too concerned. This maybe due to breathing issues I'm still experiencing and will hopefully resolve soon. I'm usually on-point with most things and sometimes it gets frustrating. 

One of the dangers of this is getting my medication mixed up. Ahh, this is where I have to be very careful about. I must not double up or miss drinking my meds, it will be disastrous if I do. No worries, my neurologist also checked me recently and said I should be fine. Will just need to monitor myself closely and my doctors gave me pointers what to watch out for. 

On a happy note, I finally finished my Christmas project. I started it in October and was able to send my creation to a few friends in the Philippines. I haven't been able to give the ones for my friends here in SG because December got disrupted. It was impossible to sew at the hospital since my hand was always pre-occupied with another type of needle hehe. Here's what I made for my friends.

It's a mug rug! It's meant to be used for your coffee or tea. I'm glad my friends liked it. Here's another version I made -

If you want to make one for yourself you can watch the video below or read the instructions on The Evening Quilter -

CB///303 #StuckAtHomeDay/333 #StayHome #BeKind

Friday, February 5, 2021

Ventured Out Alone for the First Time in 2 Months!

"Good job in coming alone!" exclaimed my doctor's nurse when I arrived for my appointment today. It's been two months since I've gone out on my own. Sweetie has always accompanied me when I have to see my doctor. 

It's been a month since blood clots in my lungs were found (pulmonary embolism). When I got home after 11 days in the hospital I was surprised that I was unstable when I walked. I clutched Sweetie's arm when we went out of my hospital room to freedom. I had to learn to be confident again to walk without holding on to Sweetie or rails. It took a week before I left go of Sweetie's arm when we went for our evening walks, but then I got admitted again after ten days. 

I was in the ward again for 5 days and walked around my room (with the dextrose in tow) everyday. I didn't want to start from zero again when I went home. When I got home we re-started our evening walks. I worked mostly on increasing the distance I could walk without getting breathless. I'm improving and I had to be brave about going out by myself today. 

I had a huge smile on my face when I saw the Grab car that picked me up. It had Pikachu stickers all over it! I asked uncle if he played Pokemon Go. He said no and explained why his car had stickers all over. His son works for the Pokemon company that organizes Pokemon events here in Singapore. He named a few events and I told him I've been to some of them haha. I had a good feeling about my expedition. 

My doctor was happy with my progress. He explained that there are many patients who never know the reason for their clots. He said be comforted with the fact it isn't cancer or an issue with my IVC, legs or arms. It's just what it is. He also said it's good that I've been walking after dinner. I could also start doing PT again. Yay! I'm not in good condition yet to go back to work and will need to rest for now. 

I was so happy with my progress I thought I'd buy Sweetie his favorite Mexican coffee bun. Managed to get it and went home. I'm properly exhausted now and will now just rest. I'm happy I was able to finally go out alone and buy bread! With God's grace I hope to be back to normal soon. 

CB///302 #StuckAtHomeDay/332 #StayHome #BeKind

Thursday, February 4, 2021

What is God Disciplining Me For?

The readings the last few days has been about trusting in God more. Last night's reflection on Didache asked about what you think is God disciplining you on. I've been reflecting on this the past few days since I'm working on defining my core. After watching Bo Sanchez' Fulltank vid I realized one of the issues I've always struggled with is saying no.


I realized this further when I watched one Queer Eye episode where they made over the life of an 18-year old. The story brought me back to those days I was young and already crazy busy. That was the time my Mom would always tell me to rest. I was always doing so many things and accepting projects left and right. I'm still the same to this day. 

That has been my nature and it's been open to abuse. I know my limits, but it doesn't take much to pester me to say yes. I end up feeling guilty when I say no. I haven't slept well because I have been avoiding getting roped me to something that would surely stress me out. I've had to tell myself again and again that I am still recovering and stress will not be good for me. 

I have survived two pulmonary embolisms in the last 28 months. I survived TWICE. And one of the things that I must really, really learn is to say no. Just say no and don't feel guilty about it. I've known this since my first PE and it's why I took a break before, but I slid back last year and the stress affected my health severely. 

And that's one of my prayers, for me to learn how to say no and not to feel guilty about it so I can take of myself better. I hope I can take away this feeling of guilt so I can rest soundly at night. I need to be able to sleep well so my body can heal better. Please pray for me as I journey through this healing process. 

CB///301 #StuckAtHomeDay/331 #StayHome #BeKind

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Trying to Learn More Seafood Recipes

I must admit, cooking did not come to me naturally. I did not get my Dad's talent at cooking. He can whip up dishes quickly and can reverse engineer my favorite food! I remember he did that for Jolly spaghetti for me. One of the things we were never able to replicate was his burger made of shredded coconut. It tasted like real burger!  

I learned some basics from our Foods class in high school. Back then I preferred doing the marketing or dish washing. I didn't like cooking because I was scared of fire. To this day whenever I bake on our gas oven it's Sweetie who puts the pan inside for me. I eventually learned how to cook because we needed to survive after Sweetie, Miggy and I moved to our own home. Thanks to YouTube and discovering the wonders of using an electric stove I learned to cook. (I now use an induction stove). 

One of our favorite places, the Sydney Fish Market.
They have so many yummy food!

Anyway, we're getting on with age so we've been trying to eat more healthy food. My doctor though said when it comes to fish I shouldn't eat oily fish. Fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines etc. are omega-3 rich and should not be eaten when you're on blood thinners. I have to stick to white fish. That's something I'm still learning about and it's challenging because the variety of fish here in SG is not the same as back home. 

I stick to easy to make recipes and I have a new favorite chef on YouTube -- Chef Tatung. He vlogs on his channel called Simpol and has many easy to make recipes. He teaches in a very straightforward matter and I've tried a number of his recipes. His recipes make my tummy happy and the ingredients he uses are easy to find too. So naturally I looked through Chef Tatung's videos and found a few seafood dishes he made. Here's what I tried so far --

Steamed fish with soy ginger sauce (recipe).

Fish fillet escabeche (recipe).

And that's one of the things I love to do. I mustered up enough energy last night and cooked the fish escabeche. It took me two hours to make it and macaroni salad because I had to rest in between (and I really cook very slow). I was so exhausted and ended up skipping our after-dinner walk. My stamina and energy isn't back yet. I know it's going to take awhile so I really need to take it slow for now. 

Do you have any suggestions for fish dishes that use white fish? Comment down below please :)

CB///300 #StuckAtHomeDay/330 #StayHome #BeKind

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Parteeh in My Dreams

I had the most fun dream last night. I was thinking of friends I haven't seen in a long time, specifically my blogger friends I met over a decade ago. I met a lot of them through the blog parties I used to organize and through the Philippine Blog Awards. It was so lucky to meet so many people across the country who had a passion for blogging. We'd meet up when I traveled and for events (and of course pig-out at yummy restos). 

iBlog will always be memorable.

Most of my blogger friends don't blog anymore. I blogged sparingly since I moved to Singapore. I had the chance to meet my blogger friends when they come here to Singapore or when I travel. Some I'd bump into at the airport! It's been awhile since I've done any domestic travel so it's been hard to see everyone. I honestly don't really like video calling since that's all I do at work, so I keep in touch through chat (yeah old school!). 

At the Blog Awards Visayas 2010.

Last night I was thinking about friends I haven't seen for a long time and how they tie up to my life story. I was thinking about that because I want to remember how I was before life got so busy. I need to understand my core and what makes me happy. I think it's important for me to work that out so I can heal completely. 

The first Philippine Blog Awards. Still don't know why they had me host lol. 

So the tggss tggss party became a dream. I was with my blogger friends, including those who have passed away - Juned, Coy, AJ, Eric and Hershey. They were all there together with my other friends. We were all just very happy and giggling as always. And there was a lot of food, just like the blog parties at Taste Asia

That time LuzViMin Bloggers conspired with Sweetie for his proposal!

So just like Harry, Hermione and Ron when they were looking for the horcruxes, I think I found one part of me. I am a blogger. Writing has always been a part of me because that's what my Mom encouraged me to do since I was 8 (see the description above haha). 

If I remember correctly this was at a workshop in Davao. (With Ria, Andrew and Kring).

I haven't done any video calls for almost two months now. I still get breathless when talking (I let Sweetie do most of the talking for now hehe). Maybe once my lungs can take doing VCs I should organize a blogger Meets call (of course it has to be Google Meets and not Zoom hrhr). 

If you're one of my blogger friends and want to see more photos, here's more!

Blog Parteeh, January 2007

Davao Bloggers Party, March 2007

Philippine Blog Awards, June 2007

Taste Asia bloggers party, July 2007

Digital Filipino Inflential Bloggers Awards, August 2007 Bloggers Party, April 2008

iBlog 4, April 2008

Buhay Coke Bloggers Party, June 2008

Ponds Bloggers Party, July 2008

Mindanao Bloggers Summit, October 2010

Visayas Blogging Summit, November 2010

Blog and Soul Adsense Seminar, June 2011

Blog and Soul Photo Workshop, July 2011

Blogfest Soccskargen, November 2011

*I have more photos but my album names are a mess. Ping me if you're looking for a blogger community related photo from those years. Can't seem to find my DFAT photos! Grrrrrr.

CB///299 #StuckAtHomeDay/329 #StayHome #BeKind