Monday, May 31, 2021

A Grateful Month of May

The month of May was relatively uneventful for me. It was timely I had cardiac catheterization on Star Wars day (May 4). It was that week that policies were made stricter because of growing clusters. My doctor said it was good timing also because they didn't know if procedures would be delayed. They got a memo the day after to delay all non-urgent procedures. 

I'm grateful for this month because Sweetie was able to stay home to care for me. The procedure went well. I just couldn't walk properly for a few days, but the wound healed properly. It took me awhile to adjust to the new medicine dosage. I would pray everytime I drank meds. I feel the rest and adjusted medication is finally working. I'm happy that I'm now able to do more activities at home. 

I also completed a writers retreat. It ran for 5 weekends. I was hesitant to join at first because I wasn't sure if I'd hold up. I did! And I'm very happy I got a nudge to join the workshop. I finally started the challenge Kuya gave me a few years ago. I hope I could finish it this year. With the support of family and new friends I hope I'll finish the project. 

June is coming up in a few minutes! I hope it will be a jolly month since it's a huge birthday month for my family! 

CB///*Yr2/51  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/78 #StayHome #BeKind

Sunday, May 30, 2021

May Challenge Completed!

I challenged myself this month to level-up my sewing skills. Majority of my projects have been sewn by hand. Sweetie got me a sewing machine, but I only use it for a small part of my projects. I pushed myself to learn more by taking on an advanced project - a quilted tote bag. 

Hand sewing is therapeutic for me so I combined embroidery and hand quilting. It took me ten days to finish the project. I discovered a few things about myself while making the project:

One - I really can't draw! My friends thought I was trying to draw an oversized avocado. I was in fact trying to draw a pair of scissors. LOL. 

Two - Tastas is life when something isn't up to par. Learned this from my Mom. 

Three - Still can learn new things. I've always been wary of using the sewing machine. I just needed a little push. 

Of course, I made a how-to video. Here it is -

More details on how to make this bag on my sewing blog.

For the month of June I plan to finish the Harry Potter blanket. I need to finish it before my scheduled cardiac catheterization! (My doctors are hell-bent on fixing me!). 

Happy Sunday everyone!

CB///*Yr2/50  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/77 #StayHome #BeKind

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Pruning Hurts

I saw a video the other day of a woman pruning a tall bush in her garden. She had to use a ladder to reach the top and she used an electric trimmer to do the job. What she didn't know was she angered the snake that was living in the bush. The snake bit her hand. She took a step back when she saw the snake and promptly fell off the ladder. Luckily a neighbor heard her cry and rescued her. 

The snake bit her so fast. She felt the pain, but she only reacted when she saw the snake looking at her. I can't help but relate what happened to her to my experience. Sometimes we just go on and on with our life. We miss signals when we're supposed to take another direction. We stubbornly stay in our comfort zone, even when things get harder. 

They always say, look to your left and right before crossing a street. It's also suggested that you use a stick when walking through a forest or cogon land. If the woman looked through the bush or wiggled it with a stick, then maybe the snake would've been alerted and could've ran away before she started trimming. Much like our life, if we assess things often and ask for guidance from Him, then we could avoid being bitten when it's time for pruning. 

I related to the video because I went through a difficult patch earlier this week. While doing a project I had to look back at my painful past. I have moved on from it, but it's something I rarely think about now. Of course this triggered the pain from recent events. I had a hard time sleeping and I had bad dreams. I was only able to calm down after I prayed. I remembered that I have to trust that God is navigating me to the right direction.  

Pruning time hurts, but you can look forward to a more beautiful life to blossom after. 

Photo of me by Ralph Sarmiento. 

Mr. Snake from Singapore Zoo. 

CB///*Yr2/49  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/76 #StayHome #BeKind

Friday, May 28, 2021

Brownie Fail

I finally got around to baking the box of brownies that's been sitting on the counter for awhile now. It looked perfectly okay, but something was terribly off taste-wise. I'm not sure if the mix spoiled while waiting to be baked or it must've been the oil. Oh well, so no brownies for us tonight. Boo. 

I'm happy though I had enough energy to bake today. Earlier this week I spent two days just sleeping. I play things by ear and do activities based on how I'm doing. Yesterday I was able to do some mat exercises and I made some progress with my quilt project. Yaaas! 

Happy weekend everyone! Just keep going!

CB///*Yr2/48  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/75 #StayHome #BeKind

Thursday, May 27, 2021

I'll Never Get Bored

When I was a child I didn't really like having birthday parties. I was always apprehensive about mingling. I remember peering through the window to see who arrived for my seventh birthday. My Mom had to push me out to welcome the arrival of my classmates. We continued to have those parties until I turned 13 and then they let me do what I wanted after that. 

I rarely had playdates because I was perfectly happy being alone. My favorite toys were Lego and Barbie. During summer my Mom would teach me different crafts. She taught me how to make Christmas cards which I sold during the parish fiesta. Then I learned how to make pincushions which I sold to my neighbor Titas. Then I learned how to quilt, make straw bags, and crochet. It was my Mama Lola who taught me how to use a sewing machine (on her vintage Singer sewing machine). 

Remnant from my pincushion production days (c.1987?). I still use it.

I just watched Janice de Belen's vlog featuring her craft room. I had one before in our old place. I couldn't help but laugh when she said she has this compulsion to buy everything she needs before she makes something. Yup, I think it's an addiction of crafter to buy so many materials. I used to have a shelf full of beads. It's now with my Mom and kept in Daddy's old tshirt cabinet. Now I have boxes of fabric and the collection is growing. And the other day I may have accidentally bought a boatload of buttons. Hahaha. 

I'll never get bored. Between chores, exercising, writing, reading and working on crafts there's just so much to do. I can't imagine now how I used to fit in work across all of that. 

Are you doing what makes you happy?

CB///*Yr2/47  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/74 #StayHome #BeKind

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

How I Forgave Myself from Slowing-Down

Conquered Borobudur Temple
3 months after OHS.
I'm used to being busy. I take pride in being very productive everyday. It made me very happy when I'm able to tick off a lot of my daily tasks. I'd be deliriously happy when I'm also able to work on my hobbies after work. I was an Energizer bunny on steroids. 

My health though forced me to slow down. It brought me a lot of anxiety. It was the guilt from being unproductive. I'm lucky I have a friend who kept reminding me that it wasn't my fault I was sick. He said I should focus on getting well and I shouldn't feel guilty about it. 

I felt I was letting everyone down. That's what ate me up day in, day out. I used to be able to work before even when I was sick. I even flew to Rome after being diagnosed with a huge blood clot in my lungs. I was bleeding like crazy, but I pushed on. My will was very strong. Looking back though, I shouldn't have done that. 

It took me five months before I realized why I had to slow down. It was God's way of re-directing me. He's been trying to do it for a couple of years already, but I've been stubborn. I finally accepted that this is a time for me to heal and do nothing else. When my heart and mind opened to the re-direction my breathing and stamina started to improve. 

Sometimes we get so stubborn and try to stick to what we're used to. We forget that we're here for a higher purpose. Just sit back, relax and let Him navigate your path. All will be alright. 

CB///*Yr2/46  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/73 #StayHome #BeKind

*OHS - open heart surgery

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Making May Marvelous

At the beginning of the month I told myself I was going to make May marvelous! I started the month by joining a writers retreat. I was quite anxious about it since I was iffy about making it through. We had weekly homework to get our project started. I'm surprised I was able to do the challenges considering there are days when I have to completely rest. I'm inspired to continue and pray I will finish what I started. 

The writer's retreat was a huge step for me. My health has kept me from doing much so I keep to myself mostly. The other thing that I focused on this month is my stamina. I make sure to do my exercises everyday and I'm working to increase what I can do. At least I'm a bit more useful now at home compared to last month. 

Also working on a quilt project. I had to set aside the Harry Potter quilt blanket for now. It's so heavy! That's one of the reasons why I've been working on strengthening my arms. I just received today my fabric order from Spotlight. I'm excited to work on my other projects. 

I continue to blog everyday to keep my mind busy. It helps me focus and has been my way to track my progress. I had to drastically adjust my lifestyle since I need to cope with what my body can do for now. I rest when I need to and that's okay. 

CB///*Yr2/45  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/72 #StayHome #BeKind

Monday, May 24, 2021

Moody Monday

I was looking forward to spending time on my quilt project today, but alas I felt nauseous. It still happens because of the medication so I was forced to rest. I knew I should have planted seeds yesterday since it was a beautiful day. 

Happy Monday everyone, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. 

CB///*Yr2/44  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/71 #StayHome #BeKind 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Lung Strengthening Exercises

It's a beautiful day today here in Singapore. The sky is clear, the air quality is good. It would have been a good day to go to the park. It's Sunday so it would probably be a bit crowded. The number of cases confirmed every day has been pretty constant. It's really concerning because now cases are showing up on our side of the island. So we stay home.

I had cardiac catheterization early this month to find out the cause of my SOB*. It was a blessing in disguise because it forced us to stay home for two weeks. I usually drop by a store after seeing my doctor to buy fruits, but my mobility was limited because of the wound. It's been home-doctor-home for me the last few weeks. If not for the procedure we would've likely been exposed. 

My favorite physiotherapist has gone back to her country. I've been on my own since she left. I think rehabilitation is really important especially if you had lung illness (i.e. pulmonary embolism, pneumonia or COVID19). My PT helped improve my breathing even though I originally went to her to fix my back issues. Before she left she explained that I should strengthen my shoulders also because it supports my lungs. So here are the daily exercises I do to strengthen my lungs:

Wall push-ups (see this vid)

Band pull aparts, sitting down and pull apart band with your arm bent 

Arm exercises with a dumbbell (something like this)

Stationary bike, 1 minute on, 1 minute off, 5 reps (hope we get our stationary bike delivered soon!)

If you're out of shape just do first what you can manage and work your way up. I started doing wall push-ups after my PE** was diagnosed in January and I started with just 3 push-ups per day. Now I do 15 in the morning and 10 in the evening. It's been a very slow recovery, but at least I can do some house chores now like wash dishes and cook 1-2 times a week. I still have a long way to go, but I make sure I move around at home since we can't really go out for now. 

Of course, check with your doctor if you should be doing these exercises :)

CB///*Yr2/43  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/70 #StayHome #BeKind 

*SOB - shortness of breath

**PE - pulmonary embolism

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Moving from a Space of Fear to Love

I got curious after watching the trailer of "The Me You Can't See". A friend said he cried when he watched what Lady Gaga went through. I don't have access to the film so I watched a few videos and read a couple of articles. I was so surprised with what Lady Gaga went through. It never crossed my mind that she went through that kind of horror. 

An article from FoxNews quoted Lady Gaga who said, "For a couple years, I was not the same girl," she said. "The way that I feel when I feel pain was how I felt after I was raped. I’ve had so many MRIs and scans where they don’t find nothing. But your body remembers."

I thought about the line, "I've had so many MRIs and scans where they don't find nothing. But your body remembers." It's been three years since the first blood clot in lungs was discovered. Despite many CT scans, MRIs, venogram, angiogram, catheterization etc. the cause has not been found. I have several doctors now putting their heads together trying to figure out what's causing my clots.

It was very timely that our speaker at writing class today spoke about moving from a space of fear to love. You basically cannot create something out of nothing. I remember the days leading up to getting hospitalized. I was so nauseous, dazed, unwell. I tried to fight it because I was chasing after deadlines. Eventually I ran out of fuel. I tried to use the fumes to fight back. I just got worse.

Our other speaker today also said, "Your body is a manifestation of what's happening in your environment." I was broken. It took me months to realize that God was navigating me to another path. I needed to save myself from myself. I only started to improve when I realized I was functioning out of fear*, not love. 

I've just let things be and I have faith that in time I will be healed. At least now I feel I've began to refill my love tank. I've started creating again and I think that's what is important for me at this point. 

Do all things with great love.

CB///*Yr2/42  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/69 #StayHome #BeKind 

*One of my doctors pointed out that stress can cause your blood to coagulate. (Read more here). The funny thing is whenever I'm back home I never get sick. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

The Nostalgia of Old Photos

I was supposed to head out today to get something from the hospital. Heaven opened up and poured out a gazillion drops of rain. It's almost zero visibility outside. It would be nice to just head back to bed and take a nap. I would do that but I woke up at noon! 

I have so many photos. I used to store them on CDs and it took me a few weeks to transfer them to an external hard drive. I've been working on putting them on the cloud the past few months. It's a tedious process and I've just started on 2009. Good luck to me. 

It brings me so much joy to go through old photos. Sometimes I feel I was warped into another world when I moved to Singapore. I ended up focusing on work and fun times were few and fleeting. I'm so glad I

took a lot of photos. It showed I had a full and vibrant life before I had to change. 

And that's the reason why I'm going through the painful process of organizing all my photos. I know there will come a time my memory would start dwindling away. I used photos to keep my Dad connected when he became very sick. I loved to see him smile when he saw old photos. I should probably make a new photobook for my Mom. I'm sure she'll love it. 

Once I'm done with uploading my photos, the second phase would be to scan all old print photos. I'm guessing this is going to be another decade-long project haha. 

CB///*Yr2/41  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/68 #StayHome #BeKind 

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Am I Getting Vaccinated?

Sweetie got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination today. Hooray! He's so far okay. He said his arm just feels a bit heavy. To prepare for this day I had him check several things with his doctors. They have a family history of DVT and he had knee surgery two years ago. I'm glad his doctors checked if it was safe for him to get vaccinated. 

As for me, my doctors are still on the fence about me getting vaccinated. I had to pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lungs) and the cause is still unknown. They have been trying to figure it out since 2018 and we have no clear answers yet. I thought the tests I did in the past few weeks would solve the mystery, but not just yet. 

Since my anatomy is so different I've been reading a lot about how the vaccine affects people who have issues similar to me. Two issues I come across often is clotting and anaphylaxis. I have asthma and it's oftentimes triggered by allergies (bad AQI and some types of food). So it's just really complicated for me now. 

I've just been staying home. I only go out when I have an appointment with my doctor. I'm experiencing cabin fever already since I've had to stay home even before the stricter measures were rolled out. It's been a good thing because I've been able to avoid hotspots. So it's up in the air for me now until my doctors figure things out. 

If you have a loved one with medical issues, be sure to check first with their doctor if they should get the vaccination. 

CB///*Yr2/40  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/67 #StayHome #BeKind

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The Treehouse

One of the treehouses Daddy built.
My Dad would have been 88 years old today. He's been gone for ten years now, but I think of him everyday. Whenever I'm in a bind I ask myself, "What would Daddy do?" A lot of people know my Dad lived his life full of integrity. There was no gray area for him. That's why many feared him when their cases ended up in his sala. 

That was the serious side of my Dad. A lot of neighbors would come over to seek his counsel. Not only for legal matters, but they also went to him for marriage/family counselling. Daddy was a true family man and he spent a lot of time with me when I was growing up. I remember the weekly dates at Lingnam in Glorietta. He really loved their beef noodles. Movie dates. And he indulged my interest in music. He bought my first Michael Jackson tape. 

When Daddy started to have grandchildren, he had a treehouse built at the back of our house. We had a huge, sturdy mango tree back then. He was at his happiest when the kids were all home. He'd bring them swimming and would start water gun fights. He told them wartime stories and how he grew up in the province. He wanted them to experience many different things, much like how I grew up. The treehouse served as a symbol of all those happy memories. 

The grandkids having fun. They're all grown up now.

The treehouse eventually had to be taken down. The mango tree also died because of a typhoon. When Daddy got sick I asked permission from work to be with him everyday. I'd walk over at 3 in the afternoon and stay with him until Sweetie picked me up. I usually brought my laptop and show him photos and videos to keep his mind away from the pain. I remembered the treehouse today because a friend is planning to build one. Daddy used his knowledge and intelligence to help many people, but to me he made sure I'd grow up with a good foundation to experience life to the fullest. 

Love you Dad, please continue watching over us. 

CB///*Yr2/39  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/66 #StayHome #BeKind

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Knowing When It's Time to Let Go

Break-up. Leave. Move on.  

Ending something is probably one of the hardest things to do. It always brings heartbreak and a mix of emotions. I have been through many of these painful moments, but I've always come out of it stronger and wiser. 

But how do you know when it's time to go? 

I must admit when it came to relationships it was always hard for me to let go. The reasons were always very obvious, but I always held on. I would just sum it up to what my Mom advised me before, "When you don't have the same values as your boyfriend, it will probably not last." I held on to those words when I finally walked out of a 7-year relationship. After that I just let God take over my love life. 

I had ten jobs before I found the one. My career movement was always driven by my quest to learn more. I did have my fair share of bad managers, but that's not what really drove me away (well, once). I had a list of skills I wanted to gain and that's what I followed whenever I moved to a new job. Key for me was to learn as much as I could. 

It's really hard to know when it's time to let go or pursue a new path. My Kuya gave me a list of questions I fill out whenever I have big decisions I have to make. He also advised me to do the St. Ignatius spiritual exercises to make sure that it is the right decision. 

CB///*Yr2/38  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/65 #StayHome #BeKind

Monday, May 17, 2021

Dousing Procrastination with Inspiration

To be honest I've been sleeping a lot in the past week. I'd wake up late, eat oatmeal, drink my meds, do some exercise, watch YouTube, then feel exhausted by late afternoon. I take a nap then Sweetie wakes me up for dinner. It's horrendous since I've been unproductive. My posts have also been uninspired. The sloth seem to have become my spirit animal. Nooooo!

I don't know what's happening. It can be the medication. I oddly felt better after I had cardiac catheterization. We had to lower the dosage of my meds last week because I was bruising. I told myself last night that I had to fight it and get my bum working. Being on stricter lockdown again isn't really helping me. 

I woke up at noon today. Ugh. It took me awhile to sleep last night. Fitbit says I feel asleep at 12:35am, but I kept waking up and I probably thumped Sweetie on the chest because of his snoring (haha). I received an email from my writing guru and felt so inspired. I ended up writing for an hour after finishing my oatmeal. 

I guess the weapon to kill procrastination is inspiration. After class last week I immediately started working on our homework. Then I set it aside and crammed to finish it at the last hour of submission. It's really hard to slay old habits. I guess I just needed some praise and a gentle nudge from my guru to get things started. 

Since I finished our homework early I guess I should now work on my quilting projects. I hope I can stay up today so I can cook Sweetie some dinner!

CB///*Yr2/37  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/64 #StayHome #BeKind

*Mingling down to 2, cases going up in SG   

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Speaking Another Language in My Dreams

I had the strangest dream last night. I was trying to speak in Nihongo with Uncle Fumio. I was trying hard to use what I learned when I took basic Nihongo lessons back in 2018. I woke up because I felt my brain was being squeezed to remember all the verbs and sentences I learned. Haha. 

I decided to study Nihongo three years ago because I was working on the Japan market. I had a great sensei who was based in the UK. She was very patient with me and I learned a lot. I got to use what I learned whenever I went to Japan -- outside of work! Haha. Everyone spoke English at work so I used it more when I took a cab, bought food or asked directions. 

A colleague though told me it'll take me ten years to be fluent. I got sick and so didn't pursue more lessons, plus I was assigned to start another market. It was fun to learn another language. What really helped me aside from my lessons was the app Mem'rise. It helped me remember a lot of words and improved my pronounciation. My sensei said I pronounced words really well. It's probably because we read words by syllable also in Filipino. 

The beautiful view from the office. I miss Japan.

I just remembered the dream now. I'm actually surprised I still remember a lot of what I learned. It's probably just tucked in somewhere in my brain, ready to come out when needed. Haha. Have you experienced having similar dreams?

CB//*Yr2/36  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/63 #StayHome #BeKind   

Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Panic Button

The panic button got activated today! Nine of my blog posts from the month of March were deleted by Blogger! Writing everyday is hard so I got upset. The first thing I did was to look for a way to retrieve my posts. Reached a dead-end there so I checked the status of Blogger. Nothing amiss. Eventually I found a thread on the community forum where other bloggers were raising the same issue. 

Nothing much I can do about it right now. Sigh. :'(

CB//*Yr2/35  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/62 #StayHome #BeKind   

Friday, May 14, 2021

Hope in a Tree

We have this huge tree outside our home in Manila. It's been there since we moved. It has survived all the typhoons that passed and it luckily did not burn when the roof of the warehouse beside us caught fire. 

L-R, top to bottom: January 2020, Q4 2020, April 2021, May 2021.

Last year before we left for Singapore the tree looked really sad after the Taal Volcano erupted. It eventually deteriorated and we thought it was going to die. Lo and behold the tree recovered. Miggy sent me a photo and the tree looked really healthy again. The tree is a survivor!

I've been feeling exhausted again the past few days. My doctor had to lower the dosage of my meds because I was having unusual bruises. I think it may have affected my energy. Miggy sent me a photo of the tree this morning. It had yellow flowers all over! 

The yellow flowers are so pretty :)

I told myself, if the tree could do it, so could I! Seeing the tree with so many flowers brought me so much joy and hope. I think it's the same for our current situation. We'll all eventually get out of this horrid pandemic and blossom with happiness once again. 

Happy weekend everyone!

CB//*Yr2/34  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/61 #StayHome #BeKind   

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Taho and Manong Jabbar

Manong Jabbar's son-in-law.
I was introduced to taho when I was a child. Manong Jabbar as everyone fondly called him would go around our village on weekends. We'd come running out to the gate when we hear him in his booming voice shout, "Tahooooo!" 

For many years Manong Jabbar did the rounds. Everyone in our village knew him. His real name isn't really Jabbar. He was nicknamed after the basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Mind you, Manong Jabbar is the opposite in height of the basketball player. For many years he brought joy to many households with his taho. 

When Manong Jabbar, his son-in-law took over his taho route. So Miggy and his cousins all enjoyed taho the same way I did when I was growing up. I remembered Manong Jabbar because I dreamt a friend brought me a glass of taho. I woke up wishing I could get some. 

I wonder how our friendly taho sellers are faring back home. I hope and pray they are well and keeping safe. 

CB//*Yr2/33  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/60 #StayHome #BeKind   

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Live Well

I've been on the "bench" for a couple of months now. Life has been very different. My calendar used to be full all the time, now I just have appointments with my doctors. I just take things one day at a time for now. 

I was chatting with a friend earlier. She's one of my friends who's thinking about resigning from work. I have other friends who recently resigned as well. They all have the same reason for leaving their job -- too much stress. 

My Dad wanted me to be an entrepreneur after graduation. I stubbornly resisted it. Eventually I tried to be an entrepreneur with my best friend. We got too engrossed with the creating part and ended up not selling anything haha. After that I got sucked in the corporate world. 

I followed the corporate path because that was what I was conditioned to do. At school everyone dreamed of getting a job at a top company. We even had a career counselling class where you had to plot your path. I don't remember anyone who wanted to become an entrepreneur. 

Everything is up in the air for me for now. My friend told me earlier just to "live well". And that's what I'm doing for now. What about you? Is your job stressing you a lot? Are you living well? 

CB//*Yr2/32  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/59 #StayHome #BeKind  

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Beat Yesterday

Time flies, it's already the 11th day of May today. I had to rest for a week following the heart catheterization procedure. I have recovered and had my first evening walk last night. As my doctor said, "Always try to beat yesterday." I hope to ramp up on my exercises again. 

In time I'll be biking again.

The sun was shining brightly when I woke up today. It's been hot and humid the last few days, but the sun has been good for me. I feel it's giving me extra energy. Today I felt like doing cartwheels (hahaha). Too bad I don't know how.

The past six months have been challenging. The best thing I did for myself was to change my mindset. I was getting frustrated with my slow recovery. Thanks to Bo Sanchez' video, I learned to reset my goal to improve at least 1% per day. This was reflected on my monthly step count and I hope to improve more in the coming weeks. 

For my next steps, I'm adding "beat yesterday" to my mantra so I can build on my progress. This is very different from my work mantra of growing 10x and shooting for the moon. My mindset had always been to grow by leaps and bounds. I learned the hard way that not all things will work with supersonic goals haha. 

CB//*Yr2/31  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/58 #StayHome #BeKind  

Monday, May 10, 2021

I Miss Flying

It's been over a year since I walked down the aisle to my assigned seat on the plane back to Singapore. I was a frequent flyer, mostly for work. I like flying. I use the time to read, sew, watch movies I missed, sometimes I write and sometimes I conk out when I'm really tired. 

I like seeing the fluffy clouds, the different terrain in every place. The different kind of planes at airports. The myriad of people representing different cultures. It's really sad we're in this situation now where we can't travel. The memories have to be enough for now. In time we can all travel and be merry again. 

CB///Yr2/30  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/57 #StayHome #BeKind   

Sunday, May 9, 2021

My Marvelous Mom

I found an old photo of my Mom with my Papa Lolo's jeep. She said Tito Ben taught her to drive in secret. They would use Papa Lolo's jeep without his knowledge. Growing up with five other siblings they'd always do secret stuff like turning back the clock so they can stay out later. And they always stuck together when they got in trouble. 

I did exactly the same, mostly on my own since my siblings are much older than me. I think Mom was strictest with me. I always got an earful when I had a wound or when I got home late. Well, I still did what all kids do haha. Eventually it was Daddy who became stricter in my late twenties. They were both very protective of me.

I learned diskarte from my Mom. I got my program management skills from her. There's nothing she cannot solve. Her secret weapon has always been prayer. Whenever I go to her room I always see her either praying or sewing (or telebabad with her amigas). She's always calm, but oh boy, don't make her angry. To this day she always prays for us.

One thing I wish I got from my Mom is her spine of steel. In times of disaster she's always on top of things. I've never seen her panic. I can't imagine how she was able to take care of her siblings when they got sick one after another. And she was in her mid-70s when she took care of me after heart surgery. She's a rockstar. 

My beautiful Mom at 85 yo.

And through this pandemic she always reassures us that she's okay and just staying home. She's still up to her tricks because she told me earlier she went to our church last January! Good thing Kuya kept her drivers license. I'm sure she'd go out more if she had it. I'm also sure she stays more than 20 minutes when she tends to her garden. That's fine since it's an enclosed area. I just always hope and pray she'd be healthy and safe. 

Love you Mom forever <3

CB///Yr2/29  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/56 #StayHome #BeKind   

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

I have so many hobbies, interests and skills. I cannot claim to be a master of any of it. I love to sew/quilt, cook and bake, garden, write, and travel. I had a keen interest in weddings and I play the piano. And I collect Yoda figures. 

I guess I know a hodge podge of things. My Mom equipped me with a lot of crafting skills when I was growing up. She told me I'd never get bored at home if I have a hobby. I started sewing again because I was far from my family. It kept me busy at night while watching Filipino movies via TFC. I didn't know it would eventually help me cope with being stuck at home. 

There was a time I asked myself, why wasn't I an expert of anything? I write, but I was never selected to be part of fancy writers workshops. I play the piano, but I freeze when I need to perform. I can only get by with my cooking and baking. I got my garden up and running, but the plants eventually died. And I find my quilting projects just okay. 

I eventually realized it's not a bad thing to be an expert of anything. Knowing a bit of everything allows you to be more flexible. It also opens the door for you to learn many different things. I think you can do anything as long as you do it with love. 

What do you think?

CB///Yr2/28  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/55 #StayHome #BeKind  

Friday, May 7, 2021

My Pothos

Managed to save our 5-year old pothos from dying. It did not like the spot where we originally placed it and it deteriorated. I saved it by treating the soil. I snipped a part of it and rooted it in water with honey. I did this to preserve a part of our 5-year old plant in case it died. Both are thriving. 

The cuttings on October 14, 2020; and what it looks like today, May 7, 2021.

My friend Tappy also gave me a pot of pothos. It used to be her office plant. She brought it home and I adopted it. It has outgrown it's pot now. I'm figuring out how best to re-pot it because it's growing so long. 

That's all I was able to do today - take a look at my plants. Still have to rest and recover from the procedure. That will take a few more days. 

Happy weekend everyone!

CB///Yr2/27  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/54 #StayHome #BeKind   

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Be the Best Latak of All

Growing up my Dad always joked that I was the latak* in the family because I'm the youngest in the clan. I also came 13 years after Kuya that's why the joke persisted. I guess there's some truth to being a latak. I inherited the best and the worst genes. 

When I was young I thought being the latak was bad. I eventually realized my Dad used the term as an endearment. Latak may be a slushy mess, but if it were a drink it would be the sweet undissolved mixture at the bottom (i.e. the brown stuff at the bottom of your Milo). The jokes ended when I declared I'm the best latak of all. 

I faced many situations where I was made to feel I'm not good enough. It would get to me, but Dad guided me through it. He taught me that if criticism is not constructive, it's probably politically motivated.  There was a time it eroded my self-esteem. It took awhile to heal myself, but when I found my strength again I knew how to handle those kind of people. 

Believe in yourself and your abilities. There will always be people who would try to put you down. Just keep doing what is right and you won't go wrong. Be the best latak of all. 

CB///Yr2/26  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/53 #StayHome #BeKind   

*Latak - sludge

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The Force was Strong Yesterday

I have been doing a number of tests the past few weeks. My doctors have been doing this to investigate how to help me get better. I haven't been sleeping well since the medtech told me my lungs look really bad. My doctor discussed options last week, but she wanted to do one last test to be sure. 

Two of the options would require surgery, the least invasive would be medication. My other doctors were worried about doing surgery because it will be too risky. That's what kept me up at night. I was also wary about doing the test because I bled a lot last time I did it. 

To be honest I was scared to do the procedure*. My long time cardiologist though reassured me and said he trusts my new doctor. I promised him I'd be brave and would do it. I prayed and meditated. Woke up early yesterday for my early appointment. 

I was awake during the procedure. I prayed the rosary while they were taking a peek at my heart. Midway through the procedure my doctor told me they were not going to do phase 2. They were already able to determine why I was still having shortness of breath. She also said it wasn't what she feared. She decided to cut the procedure short since I could just take more medications to help resolve my issue. 

I was discharged after lunch with orders to rest until the wound heals. Sweetie has been taking care of me and I'm thankful he's been by my side the whole time. I'm also grateful for all the prayers my family and friends have been doing for me. 

Thank you Lord for your continued healing. The force was strong yesterday :)

CB///Yr2/25  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/52 #StayHome #BeKind   

*Any procedure involves risks

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Singapore Star Wars Identities Exhibit

The first time I heard about the Star Wars Identities exhibit was in Sydney. I wasn’t able to go, but my friend Paola brought back a really nice Yoda t-shirt. The exhibit in Singapore opened last January 30. I saw the announcement while I was warded at the hospital. 

I used it as my motivation to improve my breathing and step count. It took three months before I was ready to go. Started the day with my regular check-up. My doctor was happy with the huge improvement I had with my breathing test. Even with the stamp of approval I knew I had to conserve my energy for the exhibit*. 

Here's my vlog of the exhibit -

The Singapore Star Wars Identities exhibit is at the famous ArtScience Museum. We booked a weekday ticket to avoid the crowds. We got in earlier than our appointed time and was greeted by the staff and we had to log-in using our band. We were ushered into a mini theater area where we watched the exhibit intro. After that we were asked to choose what kind of creature we wanted to be. It was a quest to develop your own Star Wars identity. Throughout the exhibit you’re asked to badge in to develop your Star Wars identity.

The exhibit featured how they developed the characters like Jarjar Binks, Luke and Leia (Did you know they originally thought about using a princess as the main protagonist? Eventually they decided on the twins). Yoda was originally developed as a small human, a dwarf, eventually he became the cute elf-like creature we love today. Chewbacca’s development was also shown, I’m glad he turned out cute, like a huge teddy bear.

It was a thrill to see the original costumes, regalia and models used in the movies. It was surreal to see C3PO, R2D2, Boba Fett, BB8, the mask of Ponda Baba, Stormtroopers in the flesh. They also showcased Chewbacca, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker’s original costumes. Princess Leia’s bikini and Luke’s pilot attire was also on exhibit. The original Han Solo carbonite was also on exhibit. And, of course, Queen Amidala’s regal attire. 

Of course, the highlight of the exhibit for me was seeing Yoda in the flesh. I super love Yoda and my collection is still growing. I snapped up a Dagobah Yoda with Hut Funko Pop and shirt at the exhibit shop. 

It was an honor to see replicas of the starships. Too bad though the Death Star wasn’t present, but the lighting effects was cool. Of course, the most evil villain, Darth Vader had his own special area. He was a towering force over the Jedi robes. 

At the end of the exhibit you’re asked whether you accept or reject the offer of the emperor. Of course, I rejected the offer of the emperor since I chose to be a Jedi master pink wookie. Check out my Star Wars identity on this link

The exhibit was a great experience for me. I started my love for Star Wars when I was just 3 years old. Yup, my family brought me with them when they watched it in the cinema. And I have since been fond of Yoda (plus ET and Alf, much to my Mom’s consternation). Of course, I wore the Yoda shirt Paola gave me when I went to the exhibit. Yay!

May the force be with you!  

*Slept the entire day the day after to recover LOL.

Monday, May 3, 2021


Whew! I was so engrossed working on the quilt blanket project I forgot about blogging. I had to redo pinning the batting because it wasn't even. It was a huge workout! 

I have a big day coming up tomorrow so I have to rest early tonight. I'm sharing something exciting tomorrow!

Have a wonderful week everyone!

CB///Yr2/23  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/50 #StayHome #BeKind  

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Make the Most Out of Big Breaks

If you know me well, you would know I'm not an aggressive person. I was never one to raise my hand to volunteer to lead. I'd rather sit back and help where I can. I'm more like my Mom that way. Growing up I witnessed my Dad lead. It was inspiring to see how people respected him and followed his advise. 

I guess that kinda rubbed off me because I was put in situations where I had to lead. I considered those as big breaks for me. As scared as I was I'd always try my best. I oftentimes doubted myself. I drew my strength through prayer. 

I grew a lot through the years. I'm still the same shy, introverted person, but when needed I pull myself together to step up. Early on I learned that being authoritarian is not the right way. You also hurt a lot of people that way. Big breaks are given to you because of the belief that you can do the job at hand. You also need to remember that no one is indispensable.

Photo by Norman Gorecho.

One of the biggest breaks I've had was to develop communities. I just followed what I learned from my parents. I focused on showing the way how others can use their passion to contribute to help. I've been indisposed for many months now and I'm happy to see the communities thriving. 

Big breaks may come to you because you're entrusted with an important responsibility to help others. Use it to inspire others to come forward and grow. 

CB///Yr2/22  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/49 #StayHome #BeKind  

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Make the Month of May Marvelous

I'm going to make this month marvelous! I'm changing things by starting my day by thanking God for giving me another day. I'm normally grumpy when I wake up. Waking up grateful sets a good tone for the rest of the day. 

I have a couple of things I want to complete this month. I started the month by joining a writers retreat. It's a journey I thought I'd start to get me started on a project I've wanted to do for some time now. We had our first session today and it was great to be with like minded people. I hope to grow and learn a lot from this retreat. 

I hope to finish the Harry Potter quilt blanket I started two years ago. It's a wedding gift for friends who tied the know back in 2019. It's ginormous and would require upper body strength to finish. I'm using this as motivation to do my PT exercises. I have to do it on my own for now. 

Mother's Day is coming up so I hope to get something for my Mom that she could enjoy. I usually give her red roses. I've been doing that since sixth grade. It was Daddy who told me that my Mom loves red roses. I miss my Mom so much!

I think I'll start with this plan first and see how things go with my health. What about you? What's your plan for this month?

CB///Yr2/21  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/48 #StayHome #BeKind