Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Sweetie Renamed the Kids

We've been empty nesters now for almost two years, moreso in the past year since we haven't seen Miggy in person since early last year. We normally see him at least every other month. That's probably why we ended up becoming a plantito and plantita (pets aren't allowed in our apartment).

We enjoy gardening from seed. Like parents with a newborn baby we ooh and aah everytime we see progress. I don't know about Sweetie, but I talk to the plants. I even say good night to them haha. I'm sure some of you do that too. 

Sweetie being the creative person he is likes to play around with the names of the plants. Here's how I name my veggies --

And here's how he named his no-show plants -

I took a nap this afternoon and woke up to this -

Just another day in our household, hahaha. You can also follow our plantdemic adventures over at The Balcony Farmer.

CB///*Yr2/81 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/108 #StayHome #BeKind 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Live in the Moment

I am over the moon today. My doctor gave me good news. They solved the clotting mystery and the recommendation is not to do surgery. It took me a long time to fall asleep last night. I was dreading the consultation today. I'm just so relieved and grateful that the course of action is not going to be invasive! (Thank you so much to my doctors!). 

Before going to see my doctor I watched Kulas' (Becoming Filipino) vlog. He vlogs almost everyday about his laid back life in Cateel, Davao. I've been so amazed with his lifestyle. He acquired a beach front lot, built a huge hut and lives with trusted friends. His hut has no doors and they just sleep anywhere. It's a great example of living in the moment (and being responsible about it too). Kulas is in his early 30s. 

Responsibility has been my driver since I completed my studies. That's why I took breaks sparingly. My Mom reminded me that I'm an empty nester now. She said it's time for me to enjoy life. And that's why I've been so fascinated with Kulas. He's been able to show me a different way of living. 

I'm after all just 45 and I feel I've been given a new lease of life. It's been hard for to transition from my super busy life to my slow, forced to chill life. I need to embrace it and just live in the moment. 

After all, it's never too late to make new dreams. 

Thank you for your continued prayers my friends.

CB///*Yr2/80 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/107 #StayHome #BeKind  


Monday, June 28, 2021

Coping, Ugh

It's Monday again and I'm annoyed with myself. A week ago I had a venogram and angiogram to finally figure out what's been causing my blood clots. I breezed through the procedure. The funny thing was I thought I dozed off and we haven't started. Apparently I was put under as soon as we got in the OR haha. 

I'm annoyed with myself because I've been unproductive for a week now. I haven't been able to exercise since the two puncture wounds still need to heal. I thought I'd be able to do some sewing at least, but I've spent several afternoons just napping! 

I know I shouldn't be annoyed at myself since I do need to recover from the procedure. It just gets frustrating at times and I feel helpless. I've always been action oriented so being at rest is hard. Dear Todd Robertson, a patient advocate for pulmonary embolism, sent a quote to the group -

I oftentimes have to remind myself that the challenge I'm going through is temporary. With faith, prayers and the help of my doctors I will get healed. I must admit though, it gets scary because blood clots can be fatal. I have been very blessed to have survived two episodes. Staying positive and believing God will heal me is key. 

I realize now that the past week has been good. We did a week-long celebration of Sweetie and Miggy's birthday. We indulged and had good food. I had some pain on my leg due to the wound, but it was tolerable and Panadol eased the pain. I finally managed to create the video on how to re-pot sunflowers (watch it here). I made several tribute posts for PNoy. Most importantly I was able to finally get through Mom's phone and hear mass via YouTube on Sunday. 

I'm still in the process of forgiving myself for getting sick. I remember my Dad was also very hard on himself when he got sick. I still have a lot of fire in me and I have established new dreams for my family. Please help me in this fight and include me in your prayers. :)

Subscribe to my YouTube channel:

And please humor me by subscribing to my YouTube channel. I have useful videos on gardening, cooking and sewing in it. I also make random vids about my life when I feel up to it, but I enjoy making tutorials more than vlogging about my life. 

Have a blessed week everyone!

CB///*Yr2/79 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/106 #StayHome #BeKind  

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Finding Our New Leaders

I still feel really sad about the passing of PNoy. I had to stop myself from watching more videos after the burial. I thought it was just me, but I have other HS classmates who are feeling the same. We're all grieving for what was lost. I guess PNoy's wish to be the most missed president has come true. You only look for something when it's gone. 

So I was thinking more about my post the other day - Wanted: Change Makers. I've been trying to make sense on why we devolved into padrino politics and nepotism. When the party system was initiated in the Philippines we only had the Nacionalista Party and the Liberal Party. Now due to factions there are five political parties in the Philippines. 

Politics after all is about power. 

I think along the way our public servants forgot that they are elected into power to serve the people (I'm sure there are still good ones out there). Not the other way around. If you think about it we should have a lot of promising leaders. We all had a chance to elect leaders in school and usually only the best would come forward to run for office. On the other hand, there are also natural leaders that are just waiting to be tapped and discovered. I experienced this while building communities across the region. 

One question I have in mind is, "How do political parties select their candidates?" How do they find new talent? Do they run programs to develop new leaders? What about the SK? Do any of the young leaders eventually move up to higher positions? How do we find good servant leaders? 

CB///*Yr2/78 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/105 #StayHome #BeKind  

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Thank You PNoy

Today Former President Noynoy Aquino was laid to rest beside his parents. I've been reading articles written by his former staff. Watched a couple of the eulogies. It's interesting to learn more about PNoy as a person. Looking back, hearing about his personal life was very rare during his presidency. 

Former Secretary Rene Almendras explained he understood PNoy better after reading Ninoy's letter to him. His father had instructed him to take care of his mother and sisters. That alone was a huge responsibility, but he eventually carried the torch his parents started. I can just imagine the personal sacrifice he did to fulfill his responsibilities. His death is a timely reminder to us that we must continue the fight. 

"The Filipino is worth dying for." - Ninoy

"The Filipino is worth living for." - PNoy

MLQ added this line in his tribute, "The Filipino is worth fighting for."

Thank you PNoy for your service for all of us. 

CB///*Yr2/77 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/104 #StayHome #BeKind  

Friday, June 25, 2021

Wanted: Change Makers

I couldn't sleep last night. I was trying to understand and make sense of why PNoy died at such a young age. I admired him as a leader. He had the heart of service and he lived his life with integrity. These were principles my Dad kept teaching us growing up. 

There was one post that really bothered me yesterday. It read, "Everytime the Philippines needs saving, an Aquino dies." There's been three in my lifetime, Ninoy (1983), Cory (2010) and PNoy (2021). I remember my parents bringing me to Ninoy's wake at Fort Bonifacio. I was 8 years old and my parents explained to me what was happening to our country. This was followed by tumultuous years in the country. It was not an easy transition to a democratic government. 

I think all of us yearn for a good life. We all want to live in a harmonious society. One thing I learned in the past year is the value of the community. When they made calls here to stay home they reinforced it with the need to do it as a community member. People complied because they knew that they had to do it for the whole population. 

In my sleepless state last night I thought about what I could do as an individual to help make my country better. I know life is hard and we tend to keep to ourselves when we struggle. Seeing the sprouting of community pantries in the past few months warmed my heart. It tells me there are a lot of Filipinos with a heart for service. It's just a matter of finding and encouraging them to serve. Can you think of selfless people in your community who'd be good leaders?

If you think about it, the good mayor (itago na lang natin sa initials) VS ran because he was fed up with how things were being done in his city. He's young, just a bit experienced, but he had a heart of gold. Voters took a chance on him because they wanted change. I heard he's still been having a hard time overturning old policies in his city hall, but that hasn't stopped him from making changes. We probably have someone like him lurking in each of our communities (barangays). We need to find these change makers so we don't just keep falling back to the old system. 

What do we need to do to spark this kind of real change?

CB///*Yr2/76 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/103 #StayHome #BeKind  

Thursday, June 24, 2021

What I Learned from PNoy

Woke up to the news that Former Philippine President Noynoy Aquino passed away this morning. It's super sad news since he's still young and served the country with integrity during his term. The news came as a surprise since he's just been living a quiet, retired life. There was some news last Christmas that he had a check-up, but they said there was nothing to worry about. 

I have had the opportunity to work closely with PNoy's team for a couple of projects during his term. They were all very professional and progressive. This was also present in other departments of the government. Relationships were based on mutual respect with the goal of doing what's best for the Filipino people. That's what I would always remember about PNoy's term as president. 

I met PNoy when the YouTube World View livestream. I was the only Filipino in the delegation so I greeted him in Tagalog. He gave all of us a warm welcome. One thing I discovered during the session was his amazing attention to detail. He relayed so many stats across the different issues presented to him. He obviously made his decisions based on data. 

I think one thing we can learn from PNoy's life is the way he looked at serving the people. Here's a quote from a speech he gave at the Loyola Marymount University where he was conferred a degree -

"There are so many who are disenfranchised, who are powerless, who are in a condition that really can make them so despondent, so cynical, so hopeless. But yet, they strive in their daily lives and if there was one mission that we sought out, those that have joined us in this quest, it is that we have to maximize opportunities for all. And in the end, that is not just a thing to do, that is the right thing to do." - Former President Noynoy Aquino

May PNoy's passing serve as a reminder to us that we have to work together as a community if we all want to have a better country. 

Rest in peace PNoy, thank you for serving the Filipino people the best way you could. 

CB///*Yr2/75 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/102 #StayHome #BeKind  


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

My Greatest Gift, My Sweetie

Today is Sweetie's birthday! I stayed up until midnight last night to greet him. I sat quietly waiting for him come out of the kitchen so I could greet him. I also wanted to give him my gift which luckily went undetected when it arrived via courier (I hid it in between button and fabric deliveries haha). 

He was surprised to see me waiting for him and doubly surprised with the gift. He had no idea he received the box two weeks ago haha. The funny thing is he thought I got him an external hard drive! He kept mentioning it to me the past few weeks, but I prefer to give fun gifts for birthdays. I normally reserve practical gifts for Christmas. I got him a limited edition Calibur Optimus Prime from Takara Tomy (I'll let him explain more about it haha). 

I am grateful everyday God found me the right one. I never had an easy life, much less a rosy love life, but I was always hopeful that one day God would answer my prayer. Sweetie came and filled my life with love. With him I discovered a new kind of love. We just clicked instantly. Mind you, we are complete opposites in many aspects. He's organized, I'm chaotic. He prefers Western breakfasts, I'm a silog person. We opt for competing brands. He's masandal tulog, I take so long to fall asleep. He's the extrovert, I'm the introvert. 

Miggy feeds my will to live, Sweetie is the strength to hold on. I realized that when I woke up to a Disney movie dream last Monday after an invasive diagnostic imaging procedure. Many would be scared and anxious about going through medical procedures. I'm able to keep calm because Sweetie's always there for me. His love helps me power on everyday. I thank God everyday for writing our love story the way he did. 

Happy birthday my Sweetie! Love you forever. 

CB///*Yr2/74 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/101 #StayHome #BeKind  

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Celebrate the Force Behind My Will

It's the time of the year again! Time to celebrate the back to back birthdays of my boys. It's Miggy's birthday today and I got home in time for us to have a virtual dinner celebration. 

It's the second year we're celebrating the birthdays apart. We just ordered the same food so we could feel like we're eating together. We'll do it again tomorrow haha. 

I now find something to celebrate everyday and today I celebrate the gift of life. Miggy was given to me early in life. I was told back then that eventually it will be revealed why he came early. I've known for awhile now why. Miggy has been my reason to live. He's been the force behind my will to live. It is love after all that powers all of us. 

Happy birthday Miggy! Love you forever!

CB///*Yr2/73 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/100 #StayHome #BeKind  

Monday, June 21, 2021

First Swab

Despite frequent visits to the hospital I've never had to do a swab test. I've heard many horror stories about how uncomfortable it is. One of the reasons why I rarely go out is because I'd like to avoid getting swabbed. I even got lucky last month when I had cardiac catheterization. My doctor said it was eventually required the day after my procedure.

Well, I got a huge surprise today when reception told me I was going to get swabbed. I even tried to rope in Sweetie to get swabbed too. Haha. Since he's just my companion they said he wasn't required.

The nurse came to my room in full PPE and explained to me that it would be really uncomfortable. She reassured me it will be over quickly. She proceeded with swabbing me when I said I was ready. It was uncomfortable, but not so bad. I guess having experienced nasal endoscopy prepares you for the discomfort. Luckily I did not have a sneezefest after the swab lol.

Pray for me. I'm doing a procedure today to hopefully solve a 3-year mystery.

CB///*Yr2/72 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/99 #StayHome #BeKind  

Sunday, June 20, 2021

My Daddies

Happy father's day to all daddies today! 

I was a single mom for a long time, but I never had to bear it alone. My Dad was always there for me and Miggy and then Sweetie took over. We also had a lot of fatherly love from my uncles. I'm just super grateful that we had all the love we need through our lifetime. 

Happy father's day Daddy and Titos in heaven, Dad (FIL), Sweetie and Kuya. Love you all :)

CB///*Yr2/71  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/98 #StayHome #BeKind  

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Gadgets I Can't Live Without at Home

I'm very fussy when it comes to purchasing gadgets. I usually take so long to finally decide on buying one. I grew up without them and like to keep my home simple. Would you believe I had to be far away when Sweetie made the executive decision to retire my legendary LG TV (c1997). It had gone under water during Typhoon Ondoy, but after drying it under the sun it still worked. I hand on to things until they die on me. 

It was a good thing Sweetie retired my TV. Technology has changed a lot in the last two decades, especially for things we use at home. Here's a few things I can't live without now:

Google Chromecast - I got to try this amazing gadget because of work. The first version was just for audio and I enjoyed it. Eventually the one for video came out and that was even better. We don't have a cable subscription here in SG and we stream what we watch from Netflix, YouTube and HBO via Google Chromecast. All our TVs have Chromecast connected to it. 

Google Nest (previous called Google Home) - I mainly use this as audio for Spotify. I listen to music and podcasts on it. I haven't bought a speaker for many years now. We also use this to play YouTube on TV, ask questions, set an alarm and play games. Sweetie has played around at using it to make our home smart, i.e. connecting the fan and air filter. 

A tablet - I haven't used a tablet for many years. Sweetie got one last December and I got envious, so I got one for myself too. I use it mainly as a remote control for YouTube/Netflix/HBO, shopping and looking at Pinterest. I don't have any social media apps installed on it. It's my designated "me time" gadget and I watch a lot of reflections on it while eating breakfast. 

Fitbit Watch - the watch and app to get me moving all day. I was forced to get one because my favorite version 2 MiBand finally gave up on me. I didn't like the newer ones and thought it'll be more useful to get  a gadget that could measure more health metrics. I've used the data with my doctor and PT in the last few months. Great to see improvement through this gadget. 

Miggy's Old Chromebook - my personal laptop died over a year ago and I never needed to buy a new one. I can live on hand-me-downs haha. I'm still using Miggy's old Toshiba Chromebook 2. I use it mainly to blog and edit vlogs. It's set to end auto-updating this month (OMG!). It will still work, but I guess it means I have some justification to buy a new one haha. 

One thing I learned in the last few months is to spend more time offline. Being too wired isn't good for your soul. I like looking out of the window to watch the clouds and check out the trees in the park. Would I live in a gadget free home? I don't think I'll survive, but I can manage a few hours without electricity if it happens haha. 

CB///*Yr2/70  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/97 #StayHome #BeKind 

Friday, June 18, 2021

Friends Reunion!

We finally got to watch "Friends Reunion" the other day. We didn't have an HBO subscription so had to figure out how it works. Just signed up for a month because I want to try out Disney+ too. Anyway, so we finally watched the "Friends Reunion". Ahhh the nostalgia was really strong. It brought back nights when I'd watch it for laughs. 

I watched the series on and off via TV. I was in my 20s then and it was the time I used to watch movies I'd rent from Video City. I eventually got to watch the whole series when my best friend gave me a DVD set. If I remember correctly it helped me get through a breakup. Friends was really good company and they made me laugh. 

As the creator said, the show was created for that time in our lives when friends become our family. That's probably why I loved watching the show. It was a reflection of who I was at that time. Me and my childhood friends had grown up at that time. We had all graduated from college and had jobs. We'd come together every weekend to hang out much like what Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey would do. 

And much like how Friends ended, we all had to part ways eventually. We all used to live in the same village. Now we live in different parts of the world. I expect, much like the cast of Friends, it's going to take a long time before we all get together again. Hmmm... maybe on my 50th? 

CB///*Yr2/69  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/96 #StayHome #BeKind 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

How I Deal with Bad Days

Woke up with a piercing pain on my chest. I get this every so often so nothing to be alarmed about. Got up as usual and prepared my breakfast. I felt nauseous while in the kitchen. I just tell myself that I have days like this as part of my healing process. I should be okay tomorrow (have to be since I have to see my doctor). 

I used to get so stumped whenever I had bad days. Now I see it as a reminder for me to rest more. I still feel a bit woozy now, but it's starting to go away so thought I'd get some writing done. When I feel really dizzy I lie down. I usually doze off, but today I watched a film. 

How come it's so hard to choose a film to watch on Netflix? There's so many choices I can't make up my mind. I ended up choosing a Robin Williams movie, License to Wed. It's a 2010 romance comedy he did with Mandy Moore and John Krasinski. It was fun to watch, but I couldn't help but think about Robin Williams. He was a great actor, one of my favorites. He must have sacrificed himself a lot to make us happy and entertained. 

And that's why I think it's really important to respect bad days. Don't fight it. Just go with the flow. My symptoms now aren't as bad as it was a month ago. My spirit, mind and body are now working together to heal me. A huge part of being able to deal with illness has been all the prayers everyone has been doing for me. I am grateful and thankful to all my family and friends who continue to pray for me. 

Take a break friends, you need it. 

CB///*Yr2/68  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/95 #StayHome #BeKind 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

I LoveD Stress, It's Dangerous

I was looking out the window this afternoon and noticed a big black bird passing through. I think it's the same bird that flies by everyday. I've never been able to take a photo of it because it just appears suddenly as if on cue whenever I look outside. 

If you told me last year I'd be sitting on my couch just watching birds fly, I would not have believed you. I got my thrill at being busy. I was an energizer bunny on steroids. Even when I got sick I pushed hard to immediately get well. 

It was like a huge bucket of iced water hit me when I realized my body was having a huge disagreement with my mind. My spirit and body were at war with each other for six months. It was around April when I realized what my body was trying to tell me. I was living a toxic life.

You can love what you do, but it doesn't mean it's good for you. 

I should have heeded the symptoms - frequent nausea, lots of headaches, shortness of breath, palpitations, and stomach issues. My doctors had been warning me that stress would be bad for me. I thought I was doing okay. Work stress never really bothered me. I loved being busy and being able to help.

My Mom always told me, "Nasosobrahan ka na. Magpahinga ka naman." I would always shrug it off. It took three decades for me to realize what she meant. Now I'm turning into my Mom. I think I finally understand what it means to relax. I wake up, eat breakfast, drink my meds, work on my quilts while watching a film and exercise whenever I feel like it. No deadlines, no pressure, a stress free existence. The only thing I have to commit to is making it to my doctor appointments lol. 

Here's a short clip of Dr. Joe Dispenza talking about the danger of prolonged stress -

Si Aileen huwag tularan. Don't allow stress to rule your life. 

CB///*Yr2/67  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/94 #StayHome #BeKind 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021


I've been blogging continuously for 532 days now. I used to do this for 30 days in a year. It became an annual challenge last year because things got weird (aka pandemic). I thought it would be interesting to journal my life through this period. I didn't expect it would flow over to this year. 

Things have been the same lately. Can't really go out, not even to the park. I've been thinking of pausing everyday blogging so I could focus on working on my other writing project. But then it doesn't take me long to write these posts and it keeps my mind active. Maybe this is just me making an excuse to spend more time quilting haha. 

Oh, I read that Feedburner email sign-up service for blogs is going away. If you want to be updated about my posts you may also want to follow my FB page. I have also been posting more tutorials on my YouTube channel (subscribe!). I'm also crazy with pinning pins on Pinterest, follow me

I'll probably continue blogging because I want to use this medium to raise awareness for pulmonary embolism. I was misdiagnosed several times before the huge blood clot was found and sadly in our region it's not something that doctors naturally look for. I had to advocate for myself to get properly diagnosed. 

I'm so lucky my guardian angel looked after me and found me an amazing doctor. Take shortness of breath seriously (especially if you had COVID19, read here). Make sure it's not just asthma or anxiety.  

CB///*Yr2/66  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/93 #StayHome #BeKind 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Love, Love, Love

I woke up to good news today. My cousin got engaged! It's happy news amidst the pandemic. It was what I needed since I didn't have a good night's sleep. I'm so glad I had the chance to meet my future cousin-in-law in Manila. Ahhh, love truly makes the world better. 

One of my nephews also got engaged and will be tying the knot later this year. I have another cousin who's about to give birth. Happy news makes me feel so grateful that my family has been healthy and secure in the past year. 

The news made me realize that life goes on. We all have our challenges. It's just up to us how to adjust to the trials. We can't just sulk at home and wait for the pandemic to end. I expect it's going to be a long time before things go back to what it was before. I wish though I could be at the life-changing events of my family when it happens. 

Congratulations and best wishes Chris and Precious! 

CB///*Yr2/65  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/92 #StayHome #BeKind 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Why Didn't I?

FB and Google Photos is making me miss traveling more. I see photos everyday reminding me about visiting different places. Most of my travels were business related. I had very little time to explore and I was always rushing back home to my family. I also always thought that I would come back for leisure with my family. Well, that's what I thought. 

Now that I've been grounded for more than a year, sometimes I ask myself why didn't I spend more time exploring when I had the chance. It was two things: (1) An insane discipline to strictly business when I traveled for work; and (2) My energy would be spent by end of the work day and I just wanted to rest at the hotel. Well I think it was more #1 because of my upbringing haha. After having PE I was also scared something would happen to me, so I stayed out of trouble. 

I guess sometimes I could be so practical. I only take calculated risks since I didn't want to worry my family. There were times when I really struggled to walk to the office especially in cold weather. How I wish my body was better when I had a chance to travel. It's a wish not a regret. I was able to face the challenges because God only gives us trials we can bear. I look back at my travel memories fondly. 

So even though I never got to explore, I always go home bearing gifts for my family and friends. I'd always visit a grocery wherever I go. In Sydney, I go to Coles and buy ingredients for fruitcake. In Tokyo, I buy ingredients to make tamago and ramen. In Taiwan, I always bought chorizo, tea and milk tea. I was so happy for the extra weight SQ provided haha. One thing I also always did was visit craft stores, Lincraft in Australia, Yuzawaya and Tomato in Tokyo and the amazing Yongle fabric market in Taipei. 

I guess energy isn't an issue when you're doing something out of love. Just do it so you don't die wondering why :')

CB///*Yr2/64  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/91 #StayHome #BeKind 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Freedom from Depression

I never thought I'd fall into it because I had my ways of coping. I also have a strong support system. I'm not sure when it actually started. I knew I had some anxiety, but I was always able to suck things in and face issues. My parents taught me to be strong and not give in to weird thoughts. 

I should have taken care of myself better by taking more breaks, resting and saying no in a firmer way. Needless to say the armor broke down and my body went bonkers. It was in early March when I felt I needed help. I would feel super anxious whenever I had to attend a meeting. I did not sleep well days leading up to the meeting. Aside from breathing issues, I felt horrendous mentally too. 

A friend recommended a doctor. I tried to book time with him after the PE was discovered in January. I did not push through with it because I thought I could still cope. By March I wasn't feeling good (brain fog is real) and I just felt unwell all the time. I called up the doctor's office and set an appointment. I also SOS'd to my long-time cardiologist for help since I wasn't getting better physically. 

Things started rolling by April. I saw the new doctor and recounted to him all that I've been through. I spoke with labored breathing. The doctor said what I feared most, I was going through depression. I guess I fit the checklist. I left his office thinking how I could get myself out of this hole. 

I saw my doctor again last week. It was our fourth session. He said my determination was noteworthy. He said I looked much better and was happy with my progress. He also admired the new quilted bag I made (haha). So I thought today I'd share what I did to slowly get out of the rut I got myself into.

Accept that you are in a rut - denial is an enemy. You just need to accept things to move forward. I had to accept that there were things I loved doing that were bad for me.

Understand why you're depressed - my issue probably stemmed from my medical issues. I also have PTSD which is common for PE patients.

Create an anchor on why you want to get out of it - I knew having a well mind would help me recover physically. I want to be well for my family. 

Target to be better at least 1% more than the day before - I stopped pressuring myself from recovering immediately. The pressure was digging me into a deeper hole. 

Get help - I was broken both mentally and physically that's why I SOS'd also to my cardiologist. I'm so grateful that my doctors are all committed to make me well. Also identify your support system. For me it's been my family and a couple of friends. I know who I can run to when I need someone to talk with. 

Do activities that will make you feel good - I slept and slept and slept. My body needed it to recover, but eventually I started to have more energy. I began doing more chores at home, started to quilt more, joined a writers retreat, re-started my garden and I started to exercise more. 

Get your endorphins working - I only exercised before when I went to see my physiotherapist. She left the country though and the gym and clinics were closed due to stricter measures. I had to push myself to take care of myself. I took it slowly and started with breathing exercises, then wall push-ups and lifting dumbbells. Now I follow the gentle exercises by Justin Agustin and we got an exercise bike. Whenever I feel down I just get on the bike and spin for 5 minutes. It immediately lifts my mood. 

Commit to get better - I used my anchor as my motivation. Whenever I feel down I do activities that will help my mood. 

I sleep better now and I feel I'm slowly getting my old happy self back. I think I'll graduate sooner than expected from my psych doctor. So grateful to my friend who referred him. 

CB///*Yr2/63  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/90 #StayHome #BeKind 


PTSD - post traumatic stress disorder  


Friday, June 11, 2021

Time to Watch Trese!

We've been looking forward to watching Trese on Netflix since it was announced in 2019. I remember seeing a placeholder on Netflix back in August 2019. I took a screenshot of it to send to Sweetie. I knew he'd be excited for his friend, Budjette Tan. And now it's finally available on Netflix. 

c2008 at Mangaholix

I've always been fascinated with Philippine mythology. Back when I was in college I used to write short stories featuring the amalanhig (vampires), tiktik and aswangs. I remember borrowing the book of Philippine mythological creatures from the library several times. It was fun to learn about the creatures and where they usually appear. I'd remember them at odd times especially when I'm travelling (haha, recounts here). 

I'll let the trailer of Trese talk more about what the movie is about. I think it's a great example to learn a bit more about Filipino culture. So if you're my friend from other cultures, please watch Trese (it's available in English and Japanese!). Let it be your weekend binge :D

Congratulations Budjette and Kajo! I wish there'd be more episodes! 

CB///*Yr2/62  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/89 #StayHome #BeKind 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Stephen's Will

Today I watched "The Theory of Everything". It's a film about the life of Stephen Hawking. He is one of the most known scientists in our time. He was only 21 years old when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. His doctors said they expected him to live only two more years. 

Stephen Hawking died at the age of 76. He lived a full life. Got married, had 3 children and even re-married. His book "A Brief History of Time" sold over 10 million books. He was able to do this even though he lived most of his life on a wheelchair, had to be dressed and fed, and had a machine to communicate. 

How did he do it? How was he still able to achieve so much despite the physical challenges?

I believe it was love that fueled Stephen Hawking's will to stay alive. At a brain injury conference he mentioned that his children helped him cope with his symptoms. In the film they showed him playing with his children even when he was wheelchair bound. The film also showed his wife, Jane, patiently taking care of him. That's true love. 

His love for science and his brilliant mind allowed him to achieve a lot. At the conference Stephen Hawking also shared that he realized that he would not allow his disability to keep him from achieving. That's what I call iron will.

So inspiring :)

CB///*Yr2/61  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/88 #StayHome #BeKind 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Nancy Drew!

I found a movie on Netflix that piqued my interest, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase. The reason why I wear eyeglasses is because I read a lot when I was young. I remember saving my allowance so I could buy books at National Bookstore. 

I think I was in fourth grade when I started reading Bobbsey Twins. I remember I'd read on the way to Lucena on the bus. We'd go there on weekends to visit my Dad. He was back then assigned there as a judge at a RTC. Eventually I discovered the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys hardbound books in our basement. We had more Hardy Boys books than Nancy Drew books and I enjoyed every single one of them. 

So I watched the movie while working on a quilt blanket this afternoon. I enjoyed the movie and it was interesting to see they had set it to present day. Now I'm curious to see if there are other Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys films. Maybe on HBO or Disney+? I've been thinking of signing up for it, maybe just for a month or two. Watching movies has been good company while I sew hehe. 

CB///*Yr2/60  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/87 #StayHome #BeKind 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Progress! One Day at a Time

I went out to see one of my doctors today. He said my determination is strong. I improved a lot in the past few weeks. The dosage of my medication was adjusted. It took awhile for my body to adjust to the new dosage, but I think it's working because I can breathe better now. 

I'm so grateful to all the doctors who are taking care of me. They each have their own expertise and experience, but they are all working collectively to get me better. One of the medications was causing acidity. It eventually started causing weird pain on my sides. 

Good thing another doctor saw this and gave me something to counter the issue. There were days I could barely move because of the pain. It's gone now and that's helped me be more mobile everyday. I'm now able to cook and wash dishes more often! Yay!

Taking things one day at a time for now. My previous medication caused me to gain so much weight. I lost almost 4 kilograms since April. I hope with more exercise I can lose more. This will help ease the burden on my heart. Now we just need to solve the mystery of where my clots are coming from. Fingers crossed!

CB///*Yr2/59  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/86 #StayHome #BeKind

Monday, June 7, 2021

Sleep Fast, Sleep Tight

I always have a hard time falling asleep. I only do when I'm properly tired. I say properly tired because when I'm too tired I also can't fall asleep. There are times I can't sleep because I'm anxious about something. Sometimes I'm too stimulated and my brain just keeps working. 

I've only tried taking sleeping pills once. It was prescribed by my doctor when I was having severe asthma attacks. I don't want to get dependent on medication so I've been trying other ways to fall asleep immediately. Here's a few things I do regularly -

Deep Breathing - breathe in 4 counts, hold for 8, breathe out 7 counts, repeat a couple of times. I read that this is a military technique they do to fall asleep immediately. Works for me everytime.

Meditation  - I have a former colleague who recommended Headspace to me. I used the trial and learned techniques to lull myself to sleep. My favorite is imagining I'm far away in the mountains, breathing in cool fresh air. Focusing on counting repeatedly from 1 to 10 gets me to sleep.

Essential Oils - a drop of lavander on your temples or nape relaxes me. If I feel anxious I super love Young Living's peace & calming roller blend. It's gotten me through a lot of rough times. 

Exercise - If you have a lot of pent up energy, the best thing to do is exercise a few hours before going to bed. My doctor advised to take a walk after dinner. This was really effective for me, but we aren't able to do this for now because of the weather. I've replaced this with our exercise bike. I go on it for a few minutes an hour or two before going to sleep. 

No Caffeine After 3pm - goes without saying. I've been sticking to water for most days and drink coffee with my breakfast. Sometimes though I still drink milk tea in the afternoon. I end up paying for it at night when I can't sleep. 

Don't Eat Heavy Dinner - I eat more lunch than dinner usually and don't eat at least two hours before bed (especially if you have gerd/acidity issues). 

Pray - I pray before I sleep and when I can't sleep yet I pray the rosary to keep my mind from wandering aimlessly.  

CB///*Yr2/58  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/85 #StayHome #BeKind

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Living the Housewife Life

I've always wanted to become a housewife secretly. Kuya laughed out loud when I told him this a few years ago. He said he can't imagine me being one. He said I'll go crazy with boredom. So he basically didn't take what I said seriously. After that conversation I thought, yeah, maybe not noh? 

I've been forced to rest the past couple of months. I've only started to feel like my old self in the last two weeks. Sweetie had been doing all the house chores. My energy has started to come back and I've been trying to do more things at home now. I've been able to wash dishes, cook and nudge Sweetie while he's working.

My Mom stopped working when I was born.  She was always busy running the household and she had her hands tied with parish activities too. I realized I'm kinda living that life now, but I've been very lucky because Sweetie's been taking care of me. Managing a household is hard. I'm lucky my boys are both very helpful and we each have our own assigned house chores. 

I'm focusing myself on recovering for now. That time to be a housewife will come, but I don't think I'll be your stereotypical kind. I'll probably be like my Mom and be busy with many different things. I told Sweetie the other day this must be a glimpse of what it is. I've been working since I graduated and was never bakante. Well, we'll see :)

CB///*Yr2/57  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/84 #StayHome #BeKind

Saturday, June 5, 2021

What is True for You Right Now?

I'm writing this blog post today as part of the writing retreat I joined. The retreat led by my friend, Marjorie Duterte, ended last week, but today is our practice day to free write. Our speaker today, Elaine Factor, shared with us a few things that cause writers block. The last point she gave was about writing from a place of truth.

"Beautiful words come from a place of truth." - Elaine Factor

My Kuya's other challenge for me is to write a book. He gave me this quest the same time he issued the financial freedom challenge. I started writing a memoir a few years ago with my colleagues. We wanted to share our journey scouting for Google. We already had an outline and I have a few pages of it written out. The project fizzled out because we all got busy with work and our lives. I eventually realized it wasn't the right time to write it since I was still working for Google. Perhaps I'll do it once I retire. 

When I joined the writing retreat I knew already what I wanted to write about. Completing the outline and introduction was easy for me. I started to write the second chapter, but hit a huge block. The chapter required me to go back to my painful past. I have moved on from it, but I guess there's still some residual pain from it in my heart. 

It is the truth that I have to accept that's been part of me since I was 17. I went on with my life and did what I had to do to survive. Kuya in his NLP sessions for me always tried to bring me back there so we could resolve it. It's probably what's been wreaking havoc also to my health. And that's the truth that I have to resolve and absolve so I could fully accept all the love that I have right now. 

I hope I'll be able to move on from this so I could continue writing my book. Healing from past trauma isn't easy, but with God's grace I hope to accept this truth. 

CB///*Yr2/56  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/83 #StayHome #BeKind

Friday, June 4, 2021

Second Chances

Earlier today I remembered a friend who passed away a few years ago. We had meaningful conversations when we had lunch. He told me before he passed, "live life" and "take risks". He also told me, "But you are alive, you should just enjoy what you have now." I had shared with him that I was always cautious about spending. I wanted to be always ready for my family. 

He was gone just a few months after he told me he was sick. I was alone when I went to his funeral. An elderly friend of his took care of me. He was a CEO of a huge company and shared with me his days when he had to work abroad. He was surprised to hear that I was living away from my family. He advised to keep my family together no matter the situation. 

I took to heart the advise and after a few months my family was complete. We lived, took risks, traveled and did things together as one unit. We were happy to be together. I remembered my friend and my friend's CEO friend today because it dawned on me that I am on my nth chance at living. I survived so many harrowing illnesses and I'm blessed to be still around. 

I shared that to a friend this morning because I am grateful for help to put me on the recovery path. It's not just a second chance at life for me. It's the nth chance (I seriously lost count already) and as my friend, Claro, told me, "... you are alive, you should just enjoy what you have now." Yes, my dear friend, I promise I won't bungle up this chance again. I'll make sure to use this time for my family and whatever God's next mission is for me. 

CB///*Yr2/55  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/82 #StayHome #BeKind

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Steps I've Taken to Be Financially Free

Two months ago I wrote about my Kuya's challenge for me to be financially free before I turn 50. I started by understanding my monthly and annual expenses. One key advise of financial advisers is to understand what you're getting into. I read articles and watched a lot of videos. I also attended the Truly Rich Club workshop on understanding the stock market.

There are so many financial products out in the market. My Mom was a banker so her expertise was more on growing your money through savings. So I broke down my research into three: (1) financial products I could do through a bank; (2) investments (stocks); and (3) real estate. 

To be honest for many years I let my Mom manage my money. I would just deposit my savings and she'd take care of moving it to a time deposit. I decided to take over my accounts when I took a break so Mom didn't have to stress about it. After assessing my savings situation I inquired from the bank how I could earn more interest from my savings. 

Regular and time deposit savings don't really earn much interest. In fact, I learned if you leave your money just on savings you'll eventually lose money. The first thing the bank asked me was my appetite for risk and how long I could keep the money. Here's a list of options they gave me:

  • Insurance
  • Unit investment trust funds
  • Bonds
  • Treasury bills

I wanted something which could provide me cash every month so getting more insurance wasn't the best option for me. Bit wary about the current state of affairs back home so I'm still assessing whether bonds and treasury bills will be a good investment. So far the UITF is the best option for me. 

I learned a bit about stocks when I was taking my MBA. I just needed more guidance about what to invest on. I signed up for the Truly Rich Club a few years ago and finally attended a workshop on the stock market. It gave me a better understanding on what I'm getting into, plus they give advise on where to invest every few weeks. 

I started investing last March and I'm happy to share that one of my investments gave a dividend already (like PhP100+ only haha). It was small, but encouraging. The important thing about investing in the stock market is to assess your appetite for risk. It's also better if you do it for long term investing. TRC is hosting another stock market workshop on June 19. If you want to sign up as a member, here's my affiliate link and here's my 10% off coupon code - TRC101727AFF- if you just want to join the seminar.

I'm hoping that the interest from bank investment can provide my monthly needs. I'm so far just a third covered for my projected monthly expenses. Will be working on this quest more. I'll write more about real estate on another post since there's a lot of stuff about that I'm still studying right now. 

Hope this helps you as you work towards financial freedom!

PS Just also wanted to say I'm so grateful I have a Kuya who's been providing me guidance. I thought it would be great to share the stuff I learned from him (like the quest to be financially free). 

CB///*Yr2/54  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/81 #StayHome #BeKind

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Wake Up Those Muscles!

Whew! I just finished today's workout. I signed up for the "Absolute Beginner Gentle Course" of Justin Agustin. The course is supposed to slowly wake up your sleeping muscles. I asked my physiotherapist to take a look at the course before I signed up. She said I should go for it and just remember not to go over 5 when it comes to breathing. 

I have been doing wall push-ups everyday since April. I think it's helped my breathing a lot and I haven't had asthma for awhile now. Yay! I hope the course I signed up for will help me advance in a month or two. I'm on my own now since my PT has left the country. I'm grateful she's still keeping in touch and have been asking how I am. I'm using that as motivation to improve. I signed up for the full course at $49. I think it's sulit* since I spend at least SG$50 for taxi weekly when I used to have PT sessions.  

Since gyms are closed for now we decided to invest on an exercise bike. It finally arrived last Sunday and I've been ramping up also on spinning time. I did 3 reps last night and it didn't take me long to fall asleep. Whew! I hope to be consistent with this daily workout. Being cooped up at home is really bad for you and I miss walking around the park. Better to be safe for now and stay home. There's a lot of options anyway to move around more. 

If you want to check out the Justin Agustin course I first saw his workouts on Pinterest. I think he also has Tiktok (which I don't use). Keep moving!

*Sulit - good value for money

CB///*Yr2/53  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/80 #StayHome #BeKind

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Jumping Jolly June!

Happy first of June and happy Pride Month everyone!

Five months of 2021 has passed! Wow! It went by a little slower for me since I've just focused on getting well. I focused on surviving during the first quarter of the year. I didn't expect to have another PE*. My breathing started to improve only in April. 

Now that I could breathe a bit better I focused the second quarter on improving my stamina and energy. I finally achieved 5k steps again on April 30 when we went to the Star Wars Identities exhibit. I had to work on my step count again post-cardiac cath, but I think I'm better now compared to a month ago. 

This month I want to graduate from gentle exercises to something a bit more advanced. I found an old photo of Sweetie carrying me in Bohol. It's from a decade ago when we were younger and had better bodies (haha). For now I just want to be able to jump again! And maybe go up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing. I also hope this will be the month we finally solve the mystery of where my PEs are coming from. 

I woke up this morning energized and excited to meet a new doctor. I had to postpone the appointment again because I felt nauseous after taking a shower. Boo! I still have days that don't go on as planned so I just play it by ear everyday. The nausea went away after a nap and got better after I ate a banana. I still hope I can do some spinning later to start my 30-day daily exercise challenge. Join me! Yes?

Praying for a jumping, jolly June!

CB///*Yr2/52  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/79 #StayHome #BeKind

*PE - pulmonary embolism