Saturday, December 31, 2022

Plantita Saturdays: Let's Make Planting Onions Work

The red onions at Lander's were shockingly expensive! It was PhP516 for a kilo last Tuesday and yesterday it ranged from PhP650 to 750! We decided to buy just a few from the village market and 290 grams (7 small pieces) cost PhP191 (it was PhP664 per kilo). Just before Christmas Sweetie was able to buy 6 pieces of red onion with 2 pieces of green bell pepper, a couple of tomatoes and lettuce for PhP200. I don't really know what happened, but I resolved to try planting again. 

Spotted a few old red onions with stalks in the fridge. Watched Kevin of Epic Gardening to refresh my memory on how to plant store bought onions. I also needed to understand what went wrong when I previously planted onions. I resolved to do it right this time around. 

Dug up the onions from the veggie crisper. Two were rotten, but one was still okay. Opened it up and saw that the onion split into two already (similar to Kevin's). 

Removed the dried up roots and put them in water. Leaving them in the kitchen for now to grow more roots. Will check in a few days if it successfully grows roots.

Onion growing reminders:

Add coffee compost to the soil (coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen)

Water occasionally, best to check for moisture

Put them on a sunny spot, they need full sun

Onions need more nitrogen (urea), add fertilizer every 2 to 3 weeks

The onion should be ready to harvest after 100 to 120 days. I'll cross the bridge when I hopefully get there, lol. 

Friday, December 30, 2022

2022's Top Ten: The Year I Called the Experts In

2022 has been a very challenging year for us. It's a year that I'm happy to end because it made me really feel what 2020 too means. Nonetheless, I am grateful to have survived the year and thought it would be a good time to review what seemed to be "interesting" in my life, haha. At some point I shifted to daily themes, but it seems people liked my daily rambles more based on stats. 

Here's a snippet of my year and piqued the interest based on stats -

1. My Journey at Google, The End (

2. Good Riddance (

3. Fire Behind Our House (

4. Happy Lunar New Year! ( 

5. Goodbye GSuite Legacy Edition, What I Did to My Accounts (

6. It's Not Your House (

7. Joker had No Remorse (

8. My New Suspenseful Life (

9. Goodbye Fwend (

10. I Got Scammed (

2022 was a nasty year and I thought I'd be able to focus on recovering. For those curious on what happened after post #2, #6 to #8 (the rest of the posts are in the month of March). Let's just leave it at this -

One thing I learned this year is to let go of things you cannot control. You can always get help from an expert when needed (i.e. we referred our house problems to an architect). I'm grateful I've been able to get professional help when I needed it. Thank you to my doctors, my lawyer, our architect, and SqueakyPH. You put things back in order. Of course, thank you to all my friends who supported us through our trials (including COVID-19!). 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, December 29, 2022

No Throwback Today

I was planning to make a post on my top 10 most read posts of the year today. Unfortunately I'm still not feeling well. The boys forced me to rest so I could recover faster. Bad AQI is really my kryptonite.

Tomorrow will hopefully be a better day. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays: It's Okay to Take Break

I must have been too active the past few days. Feeling uneasy and have slight fever. Will rest for now.

Leaving this cute photo of Grey the Cat 😺

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Date Day

We finally went out today to do some groceries and we managed to squeeze in some time to celebrate our anniversary. Oh boy, we didn't expect there would be so many cars parked at Landers. It was still a comfortable crowd inside since the Superstore is huge! 

We first had some breakfast. Sat by the window to be extra socially distant to other diners. We enjoyed the sunlight shining through the windows. It wasn't warm at all plus we got free vitamin D. After breakfast we walked through the store for 2 hours. I'm surprised myself we took that long. I think that's what happens when you don't have a grocery list! Skipped buying veggies because they were so expensive! We'll just buy at a nearby veggie stall.

We burnt off our breakfast while walking around the store, so we were hungry by the time we finished. Headed to West Gate for late lunch and chanced upon Conti's upon entering the area. Parking was also available and I didn't have energy to walk far anymore haha. Turned out great since we haven't eaten at Conti's resto for (probably) more than six years. We finally got the chance to eat salmon! (How come they're so horridly expensive here in the grocery???). 

It was a great meal and rare time to be out haha. You truly appreciate things more when you rarely go out. Still need to be careful, so we're back to hibernating again. Tomorrow is another day to clean and organize the kitchen, haha.

Have an awesome hump day tomorrow!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, December 26, 2022

13 Years!

Happy anniversary to the sweetest, most loving and patient husband in the whole wide universe!


The only plan we did to celebrate today was to decide whether to eat the leftovers for lunch or dinner, haha. We're still busy organizing our home. I've been focusing on the kitchen and Sweetie spent time in the service kitchen and laundry. Miggy is still under the weather and semi-isolating*. 

We had a good day and will probably find something special to do in the next few days. Our priority though is to hopefully clear out the boxes in time for new year. Progress in the kitchen has been very slow because I've been trying to wash everything (alikabok all over!). Stove is also not working, but at least my 10-year old Philips induction stove still works! Oven isn't safe to use for now. We'll get there in time :)

Oh, so I did some research. Traditionally, 13th anniversary gift is lace. For modern times it's fur or textiles. Me likey! Haha. 

*He's past the "contagious" period for flu, so he's been eating with us.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Happy birthday Jesus! And Merry Christmas to everyone!

Thank you Lord we were able to have a simple homemade meal to celebrate your birthday together with Mom! We were able to prepare our traditional food of ham, macaroni salad and spaghetti.We skipped the cochinillo this year and just ordered Baliwag lechon. The great thing is we have leftovers, haha. 

Merry Christmas everyone ❤️

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas!

Miggy's down with the flu, so Sweetie and I split up the tasks. I focused on readying the kitchen while he busted out some of our decors. We finally have our Christmas tree up! Hooray!

Still have a long way before our home will be fully organized, Keeping things in makeshift mode for now. What's important is we are together to celebrate Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, December 23, 2022

Lakwatsera Fridays: Nanyang!

One of the things I miss the most in Singapore is Toastbox. I used to have eat there several times a week when our office was in the CBD. The crew would always ask me how come I look Chinese, but I don't speak their language. Well, my grandma passed away when my Dad was young so I never got to meet her and I guess she never got around to teaching the language (she eloped with my Filipino hunk of a grandpa!). 

Anyway, I digress. I super love Toastbox. In fact as proof of my love, the fats are still residing in my thunder thighs. When I got home my good friends told me that Nanyang replaced Toastbox in the Philippines. Their offerings are the same, just the name is different. 

Luckily there is a Nanyang branch at Ayala North Exchange. We discovered it while waiting for my doctor. Her assistant told us there was a passageway from the clinic to the mall. Agonizing over the stairs was worth it because there was a gem in the mall!

Was asked by the doctor to come yesterday. Miggy and I made sure to pass by Nanyang for some takeaway. Good thing we did because it took us an hour to get a ride and we were famished by the time we got home. Aside from our favorite teh and kopi c, they also had my favorite cheesy chicken noodles. It also had the very bitter kailan veggie (lol). Anyway, it was happy super late lunch for the three of us since the beverages were perfectly prepared too. 

Nanyang has branches in the following locations, see here. Maybe this would be a good bucketlist for me since I failed to visit all the Toastbox branches in Singapore (haha). 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Throwback Thursday: Eraserheads Concert

The biggest Eraserheads Concert, Ang Huling El Bimbo is happening tonight! How I wish I could watch, but it'll be too overwhelming for me and I would probably not survive, haha. I've always enjoyed listening to their songs since they became popular in the 90's. I listen to their songs a couple of times a month and my one of my favorite Christmas songs is "Fruitcake". 

Singapore 2013

The last time I got to watch the Eheads in person was in Singapore. It was the same year when I had heart surgery and I used it as a motivation to get better. The concert was organized very well, so I didn't have any difficulty. Our friends from the Philippines, Karla, Karla's Dad, and Sha joined us. I also dragged along my niece, Carissa, and, of course, Sweetie and Miggy were there too. 

Majority of the concert goers were, of course, Pinoys. We were a rowdy bunch much to the consternation of the locals hehe. I noticed they're pretty proper when watching concerts (i.e. BSB). They only go up and dance towards the end of the concert. Throughout the Eheads concert in SG, the ushers would restrain people from standing up. They eventually gave up haha. 

Our pancit canton loving friend, Arnel, was one of the organizers of the Eheads concert. We got lucky because he included us in the meet and greet. He knew it was an achievement for me to watch the concert months after OHS (haha), so he included us in the post-concert meet and greet. I was so happy to meet them. 

We were in high spirits after the concert, but hungry! Ended up at Changi Airport to eat dinner. Karla's Dad+ was so happy too, he treated all of us, haha. It's a good happy memory. If you're curious how the Singapore concert went, here's one of the songs they performed -

Hope everyone who is watching the concert tonight will enjoy and be safe!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Wellness Wednesday: Gladiator in Shorts

Saw a post by Jonathan Yabut last night and it was a good reminder to pat yourself on your back for all the challenges you have conquered. Here's what he said -

I have exchanged all my "suits" for shorts though so I'm a gladiator in shorts! I woke up today feeling re-energized. I went through a lot of challenges this year, but I conquered them. One thing I realized which is key to keeping well is to let go the things you cannot control. 

One thing that weighed me down was the grief of losing my siblings. I didn't realize I've been carrying it in my heart since I was a child. I always wondered back then why I was sad during Christmas. It was where my abandonment issues started. The sadness only eased when I had Miggy and when our family was completed by Sweetie. Still, the grief stayed in my heart. 

I finally realized that my siblings, both >10 years older than me were already ready to fly the nest by the time I was in fourth grade. They both left and married and had their own family to take care of. I was so young and didn't understand why they weren't around anymore. Rarely saw them through the years, but I was able to cope and do well on my own. 

We were brought up by our parents to be independent. I'm grateful for that because I was able to make it without relying on anyone. That's what I'm patting my back for and a good reminder that there are many blessings that you miss seeing when you focus on grief and things you cannot control. Just let it go and be grateful for what you have and remember God will never abandon you. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Creative Happy Tuesdays: Cramming for Christmas!

I haven't touched any of my quilt projects the past week. We've had to prioritize renovations and adulting stuff. Renovation work was supposed to finish today and be suspended until the new year. We're not done yet, haha, so work has been extended until Thursday. We hope to do some cleaning on Friday with the help of Gab's angels (a.k.a. And possibly put up the Christmas tree on Saturday. Photo finish indeed! Well, nothing new because the same thing happened last year!

We had a light moment with the renovation team today. Chanced upon them in the dining room. Everyone was supporting Allan who was working on the top part of the cabinet. Told them it was a Kodak moment and I whipped out my phone to take a photo, that's why they were smiling when I took the photo. I like Team Alab because they have been pretty chill and have good teamwork. They always talk calmly to each other and I've never heard any of them raise their voice. 

I finally started wrapping gifts. It's been a huge challenge to find the gifts because the boxes have moved around a lot, haha. I have a list I update every year. We didn't have to shop since we have accumulated gifts from the past two years which got stuck with us in SG. Only thing we bought were noche buena items for the renovation team. We're not going to send Christmas cards again this year since the post office is very far. I still have some cards from last year which I wasn't able to mail (oh noes!).

Well, I don't have gifts yet for my boys and my Mom. I didn't get to buy it early because I didn't want it discovered.  What I wanted to get are out of stock now, haha. We've been so busy, we'll just improvise haha. Crossing my fingers we'll be given the go ahead to cook our noche buena. We'll know tomorrow if it's safe to use the induction stove*. 

The good news is Grey the Cat (the cat who adopted us) is back! He was MIA for a week and we were starting to worry. We have to work to make him feel safe again since we want to bring him to the vet. Meow! Happy Tuesday everyone!

*I can't use gas since my lungs can't tolerate the fumes. 

#BeKind #StaySafe


Monday, December 19, 2022

Home on Mondays: The Mess Before Christmas

Just a few more days before Christmas and our house isn't ready yet. We were hoping to finish the flooring and cabinetry last week. Roof flashing to be installed and some electrical work to be done this week. The gantt chart wasn't followed because of many moving parts. 

Our beautiful new flooring is currently hidden under carton boxes and film. The installers said it's best to cover while works are being done to prevent scratching. We hope to uncover it before Christmas and hope we'll be able to have a proper Christmas meal. 

Electrical works still being done to address the 5-paged electrical audit recommendation. The major adjustments will be made in January since there are items that are being fabricated. We haven't been able to cook since we need to understand the capacity of the current installation. At least the areas which failed the Megger test have been addressed. More tests to be made to ensure our safety. 

We'll probably spend Friday and Saturday doing some cleaning. Not sure if we can still get some help to do cleaning since the dust has been intense. We'll get to where we want our home to be in good time. What's important is we're together to celebrate Jesus' birthday. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Sunday Miracles: Are You Ready for What's Next?

It's a week before Christmas Day. Today's Gospel talks about what Saint Joseph went through after finding out Mama Mary was with child already when they married. It was an angel in a dream who told him not to be afraid. 

It's been a challenging year for me. I thought I was just going to focus on getting better, but there's been a lot of bumps and potholes in the road. I always remind myself that God only gives you trials that you can bear.

Look far ahead so you don't get stuck in the pothole. Saint Joseph followed the angel's advise. It must have disrupted his plans, but he went ahead and took on the responsibility. It was a life filled with ups and downs and all we know is he was a good foster father to Jesus. 

It's Jesus' birthday next week. It will be a joyous occasion for everyone. We will probably be having a simple celebration at home. We haven't had time to prepare the house or buy gifts for each other. What's important is we'll be together as a family and we can focus on celebrating Christ's birth. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Plantita Saturdays: Aphids Killed My Tomato Plants

My tomato plants were producing a lot of flowers the past two months. Unfortunately we got a deluge of ants again and I started to see aphids on the the stems. The best way to control it is to remove the pest with earbuds dabbed in alcohol. I did that, but it didn't take long before they overwhelmed the plant. 

It was impossible to save the plant already, so I got my scissors and cut the plant to pieces (so it would fit the trash can). I think the deterioration started when the eggplant was attacked by white flies. Apparently those insects are related to aphids. 

Aphids love tomato plants and eggplant. I have had no success with the tomatoes and eggplants I planted this year. We had a lot of ants in the property when we moved in. We should have gotten pest control to help earlier to help with the infestation. 

I've paused planting anything new for now since there's a lot of movement in the house. The dust coming from the renovation has affected the plants too. It's been hard to find a spot where they won't be disturbed. I'll have to do some clean up in the next few days. :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, December 16, 2022

Lakwatsera Friday: Tambay Muna

The lakwatsera isn't feeling well today so I'm not able to blog properly.

Here's a photo of me and Miggy when we visited Baguio in 2019. How I wish we could just hop on a bus and do it again!

Have a restful weekend everyone 😊

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Throwback Thursday: Water's Edge

I love how Google Photos collates my photos. Today it put together a collection of places where I've been on water's edge. It was a joy to see the different places I've been to. Some were piers, tiny ports at beaches. Most memorable was Samal Island and the San Francisco pier where seals bask in the sun. 

I asked Miggy if he had a choice, would he live by the beach or on a mountain. He said it would be hard. We both grew up in the city, so it's quite hard to think about living elsewhere. I've been thinking about it again because of the bad air quality the past few months. 

Best place to breathe in fresh air is at the beach. There is always a breeze, so the air is cleansed often. I remember when we went to Bohol I was concerned about my stamina. I did so much better when we were there probably because I could breathe better. 

The beautiful photos that were collated remind me of the breeze whenever I'm close to water. It's something I miss a lot. We are not able to go on vacation for now, need to prioritize other things (a.k.a. adulting). In time, we'll be able to feel the breeze by the water's edge again. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays: Defeat Anxiety with Perspective

We've been anxious the past few months because we've had to deal with a lot of house issues. The fire at the property behind our house made us more anxious. In the past year since we arrived back from abroad, there has been 3 fire incidents near our home (plus one more but it was a kilometer away). 

The fire the other day was about 350 meters away from our home. We could see the signages of fastfood restos from our front door. Those signages were featured in a lot of photos from socmed and the fire looked like it was near our home. 

Our neighbors though did not looked alarmed. The village security was in front of our home for a few minutes, but soon left. We thought the fire was already controlled after an hour, but we were surprised to see black smoke billowing again. We also heard from a livestream that the fire reached the creek. We know that the creek is behind the house in front of us. Kaba is real. 

Since I was so frazelled, I checked Google Maps to understand the distance of the area from our home. After looking at the map, I switched to satellite view. I traced the area of the fire and the location of the fastfood restos we could see from our doorstep. 

I called down after getting a better understanding of how far the area of the fire was. The fastfood restos were in fact farther from where we were and there was another subdivision between us and where the fire broke out. The firetrucks had already surrounded the compound from inside that subdivision effectively barring it from crossing over. We couldn't see the other houses and streets between us and the fastfood restos because they were lower. I always thought the main thoroughfare was just behind the house in front of us. 

That incident was a good lesson on looking at things from another perspective. Between you and what you fear is probably a huge gap you don't see because you're looking intently at the fire. Also, sometimes what you fear may not be meant for you. When I understood the situation better I started to feel grateful and re-focused my energy in finding ways to help the victims of the fire. 

I really do have PTSD and it's really a struggle to control it. The best way is for me to strengthen my coping mechanisms and draw the line when it's triggered. Just always pray and be grateful :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Fire in Barangay Don Bosco, Paranaque City

A huge fire broke out yesterday at around 3 in the afternoon. It was by chance I heard the sirens because I went to the craft room just before 4pm. We couldn't hear it from the family room where we normally hang out during the day. Told Sweetie and Miggy about it, we went out to investigate. 

Huge black smoke billowing nearby. I immediately checked Twitter to find out the location. It was Santos Compound, a residential area across McDonald's. Found out where it was from a friend. She said her cleaner called her up to tell her their area was on fire. 

Sweetie and Miggy realized I wasn't wearing a mask so I had to go back inside. We thought the fire had ended already at around 5pm. The smoke started to turn gray and white. Eagerly awaited a fire out announcement, but none was made. By six, the smoke grew again and started to go black. 

Continued to monitor the situation and found a Livestream by someone from DSWD. I heard from that video and other videos that water would run out. It's not surprising because a lot of water is required to meet the pressure requirement of the hose. We were told by BFP that firetrucks would form a chain so they can transfer water across trucks. 

We were really anxious because the fire was just 350 meters away. It looked closer because some of the videos we watched looked like it was just behind the house across our place. I only calmed down after looking at Google Maps. 

My heartfelt gratitude to the firefighters who bravely faced the fire. Saw a video where they were battling 2-storey+ high flames. The firemen were on top of a roof. Their comrades shouting from the ground to be careful since they also had to control the hose. The house was saved by its tall firewall. On the ground one of the firemen was scooping water from the street trying to save a dog. They had a hard time because the compound was not that accessible. They surrounded the area through the subdivisions surrounding the compound.

I hope and pray no one was hurt and that the families affected will soon recover. I'll update this post once I find where to send donations. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, December 12, 2022

Home on Mondays: How We Dealt with Broken Tiles

The saga of our home woes continue. About four months after we moved in, we noticed the kitchen tiles in front of the sink started to become loose. Few days later it broke. We immediately reported it since the house was still under warranty. Took a bit of time before it was inspected. 

We were told that it needed to be replaced. Few weeks passed and we were informed that the tiles were no longer available. The extra ones we had were already used to replace other tiles across the house. Months passed, no action was taken. We avoided stepping on the broken tile, but it was hard because it's right in front of the kitchen sink. Eventually, the tiles beside it loosened up and started to break. 

More than half a year passed and no action was taken by the contractor. They had promised to fix it, but nothing happened. The rest of the kitchen also started to deteriorate (termites + ceiling leak + electrical issues). For our safety we decided to get an architectural firm to help us. We eventually decided to renovate the kitchen because we didn't know if the stench was coming from the drain, the tile or elsewhere. 

Since the tile wasn't available anymore, we decided to re-tile. The foreman removed the broken tile to figure out what was wrong, plus it was unsafe to walk on. The plan was to save the tiles that will be removed so it can be used to fix other areas. Manong Efren and Kuya Gary carefully removed the tiles. They gave feedback that the tiles were not installed correctly that's why they loosened up. 

We thought the floor issue was just in the kitchen, but the tiles bordering the dining room also started popping up. The strange thing is the tiles by the front door also went up by itself. We couldn't open the front door after that. The workers also showed us that the tiles were curved already. The quality was really bad. 

Architect, the foreman and the project manager all breathed a sign of relief when we told them that we'll just change the flooring. The process to try to save the tiles was going to be harder, plus the tiles in the basement also started to pop up too. The tiles are also slippery and you could trip from the ones that popped up. Sadly, we'll likely have to re-tile also our basement since the tiles are progressively loosening up. 

The kitchen tiles have been replaced now, thanks to Mang Efren, Kuya Gary and Foreman Tukoy. The tiles architect chose are perfect for the kitchen since it's not slippery. It should also hopefully be easy to clean. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Sunday Miracles: The Journey with Mama Mary

The other day I had the privilege to be part of the launch of the Mama Mary and Her Children Book 7. I was very nervous because I didn't know if my stamina would last that long. What made it worse was I woke up with severe back pain. It took a few moments before I could stand up from bed (Sweetie had to support me). 

I immediately went to the bathroom to take a shower. Our call time was 45 minutes before the start of the launch. I prayed to Mama Mary to give me strength since I was assigned to host the post-launch socials (still online, of course). I was running late and I had to squeeze in grabbing a bite because I had meds to take. Finished taking my meds just as we went live. 

Fr. Dennis Paez, SDB, said in his sharing that Mama Mary calls on those she wants to serve. I've been having a difficult time health-wise, but when Rowie asked me to help with last minute editing I immediately said yes. I was called to help for a Mama Mary project over ten years ago, but I wasn't ready. Through the years though I've felt the gap of not being able to serve. We tried to volunteer in a church in SG, but our application was passed over. I guess it wasn't the right time too. 

When I was reflecting on my next steps early last year after being diagnosed with a PE. I asked God what is my next mission. I have a lot of physical limitations, so I wasn't really sure what I could do to serve. It was through a lot of prayer and faith that I managed to finish reviewing the book in 72 hours (minus 24 hours because I got sick within that 72 hours). 

And I felt everything will be alright with Mama Mary by my side. 

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Mom at 87! Happy Birthday Mom!

Yesterday was my Mom's 87th birthday! We planned a simple celebration at home. We didn't have the fanfare we had last year. No backdrop and balloons because our house is currently a huge mess due to the renovation. We appropriately ended up in the craft room. The four of us squeezed in the tiny room to eat a sumptuous early dinner on my sewing table. 

Miggy had to convince Mom to come. She was, as usual, lazy to go out. Of course, the apo won her over and Sweetie went out to pick her up. She was in high spirits when she arrived and was excited to eat. We ordered food ahead of time, so we immediately started eating when she arrived. 

Mom has been telling stories of her youth lately. She mentioned Camp Capinpin again. She said she'd spend time there during summer vacation. I asked her how come she never brought us there. I told her maybe it looks so much different now. We tend started to watch some videos of Camp Capinpin and she said she probably just finished elementary school the last time she was there. 

We then shifted to watching some driving and walking tours of Naga City. Ahh, that was more familiar for her. When the video showed Bichara Mall, she said that when they were in HS one of their friends was the son of the owner. They got to watch movies for free even though they were a huge group, haha. She also remembered the area where they used to do bicycle races. I asked her how they were able to escape Mama Lola, haha. 

I'm so lucky to still have my Mom and I'm truly grateful that she's strong for her age (she's stronger than me!). Her memory isn't as good anymore, but I enjoy hearing about older memories she never shared before. She's the best Mom, despite my inconsistencies she understands me the most. 

Love you Mom! As you said, you outlived them all even though you were the most sickly among your siblings. Let's go for 100! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, December 9, 2022

Mama Mary and Her Children Book 7

I immediately said yes when Rowie asked me to do some last minute editing of book 7 of Mama Mary and Her Children. I was given about 72 hours to finish going through 45 stories, the introduction and the foreword. I prayed for strength since I wasn't sure if my stamina would see me through. I worked on it 2 out of the three days because I was out of commission for a day. 

The launch finally happened today at noon. It was a good day to launch it in celebration of the Immaculate Concepcion. It is a good present for Mama Mary. Rowie shared that it was the hardest book to launch. It faced a lot of challenges, but by the Grace of God and Mama Mary it was finally completed. 

Going through the stories written by contributors was timely for me. My boys had just finished their quarantine and were still recovering from COVID-19. Some of the contributors shared their pandemic stories and how they coped with it through their faith. Heartwarming were stories of families growing closer together through praying the rosary. Other stories showed how multicultural friendships formed because of Mama Mary. 

Each of us have our own Mama Mary story. During the launch today I was tasked to host the post-launch socials. It was a joy to host and get to know the other contributors more. I mentioned to them I hope all of us could be Mama Mary's warriors. Spread the love and devotion online. More love and strengthening of faith is what we need in this difficult time. I think this is my mission at this moment of time. 

Mama Mary and Her Children Book 7 would be a nice gift for Christmas! You may purchase it through the following:

Anvil Publishing

National Bookstore

Lazada / Shopee

For assistance on book orders (especially if you're buying in bulk!), 

📌 Text: 0917-835-4746 or 0917-853-5869 📌 Email:

Now I know what I will give my Mom for her birthday! Happy 87th birthday Mommy! Thank you for teaching me about Mama Mary since I was a child <3

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Throwback Thursday: Shinkansen Ride from Tokyo to Nagoya to Osaka

One of the things I enjoyed doing while covering the Asia Pacific region was figuring out how to get from one place to another. I have a collection of train cards across Asia since that was the easiest way to travel in-country. I once visited a school in the outskirts of Tokyo and the principal asked me, "How did you get here?" I told her I took the train. She was so shocked since the train system in Tokyo can be really confusing. I told her I just followed Google Maps. 

I was scheduled to visit an event in Nagoya once and I thought it would be a great opportunity to take the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo. I thought I was going to have someone with me, but he decided to take the plane (he said it was cheaper and faster). I already had my ticket so I had no choice, haha. 

I was so nervous I confirmed twice which train station to go to. My luggage was huge because it was winter. I took a short taxi ride to the station and to be sure I went to the information center to ask which area I should go to. I was on the right track because the gate was just beside the info center. It was still early so I managed to look around the area before I settled in the waiting lounge where it was warm.

I was told that you should buy bento before boarding the train. It is customary to take out food and eat in the train. I was glad I bought food. I ate it when I saw other people eating in the train. The meal was delicious and I wished I bought more food, haha. 

The  ride was 100 to 120 minutes long. I was surprised to see Mt. Fuji! My friend said, he got me a seat on the side of Mt. Fuji so I could see it. It was picture perfect even though I was just taking photos from a speeding train. I was so happy to see it again. Last time I saw it up close I was still in high school. It was where we got to try onsen.

I did not get bored or sleepy on the ride. I was afraid I might miss my stop! It was a fun ride since I was able to see different profiles of the countryside. It was late afternoon already when I arrived in Nagoya. I just bought some dinner and then discovered a multi-level Tokyu Hands near where I was staying. The next day I took the Shinkansen again and went to Osaka. 

Lesson learned though, don't take the train when your luggage is huge. 

#BeKind #StaySafe


Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays: Live Grateful

I was clinically diagnosed with PTSD and depression last year after my second PE*. A friend suggested to me to see a proper doctor since I used up the consultations benefit. I knew also from the experience of other PE patients that it's important to get help. PE is truly a different kind of monster. 

I breezed through 2 OHS' and I was still able to cope after my first PE. The second one though really did a number on me. I emailed the doctor as my friends suggested, but I waited another six weeks before I followed-up. I only followed up because I wasn't getting any better and I wasn't motivated to do anything.

First vs. Last day at my psych doctor's office.
My energy (and skin care) definitely improved.

And the doctor helped. We did have some issues with meds in the beginning. I kept bleeding because it was interacting with my other meds. He eventually gave me something that worked. Within a month I progressed a lot. My breathing improved and my stamina improved also. Our sessions helped me re-establish my coping mechanims and it got me sewing again. 

My doctor was concerned about moving back home. He said it was going to be stressful. I was confident when I told him that I felt I'd be fine. I was okay and even weaned myself away from the meds early (he gave me instructions on how to do it). I knew it would not be good to be dependent on meds. I had to re-learn to be resilient. 

The past 10 months since I stopped taking the meds has been very challenging. I still have 2 banigs of the medication which I can take in case of emergency. I have not taken it even though I had been going through a difficult time since September. 

A friend posted a quote on his FB stream about "living gratefully". I remember the lesson Chade Meng Tan taught us about being grateful and being grateful for others. He said the effect of being grateful is multiplied so much more if you are grateful for others. That's what broke the dark cloud that was on my head. 

 This is my emergency pill.

I realized that I should celebrate what I have instead of lamenting over what I don't have. That's the reason why I made this post last week and why I think my posts now sound more happy than morose. Live grateful and you're heart will overflow with happiness. 

If you're feeling downtrodden or sad or stuck in a rut, it's always helpful to start a gratitude journal. You can start with one to three per day. Start with simple things like appreciating the beautiful blue sky when you wake up. Believe me your list will soon grow long and you're perspective will change. For extra oomph, try being grateful for others. It will rocketship you to the stars. 

*PE - pulmonary embolism

**OHS  - open heart surgery

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Creative Happy Tuesdays: Maybe I'll Do a Cross-Stitch Project After Christmas

I like cross-stitching and doing embroidery. It was one of my favorite sewing lessons we were taught in school. I think I will find the sampler I made once we finish unboxing and decluttering our home. The other day Sweetie found my original sewing kit. It was a pink toolbox which I think I had Mom buy for me maybe 30 years ago? 

I don't have the patience though to finish huge cross-stitch projects. I honestly still haven't finished the mother and child cross-stitch my Mom had me do when Miggy was a baby. He's now 28 and I still haven't finished it. The project has also moved across all the homes we lived in, haha. The box of DMC thread is still intact. Found it hard to complete because the design is very intricate. I'll review whether I'll continue to do it once I find all the materials. 

While de-cluttering some books, I found a give Miggy gave me almost ten years ago. "Subversive Cross Stitch", a collection of designs that will freak out my Mom (hehe). I think Miggy got it for me because he knew I'd be cool about it. I laughed as I went through the pages of the book. DMC ads keep popping up on my stream (bakit kaya?). Maybe I'll do something soon since DMC seems to have a monthly sale. 

Brought up my old sewing kit because I found two quick projects I made many years ago. A Hello Kitty cross stitch which I think is still very cute. It's probably time to frame it since my plan is to have a HK themed powder room in my craft room (yes, I'm having the shower removed since the bathroom is too small). 

And I found a small butterfly project I did. I don't recall anymore when I made these. I probably made it before I left for Singapore? Yes, probably between typhoon Ondoy and before I left for SG. Dating it after Ondoy because all of my things got wet during the flood. Luckily, both projects were in the sewing kit so it was kinda preserved. 

I'll probably stick to smaller cross-stitch projects from now on since I don't have the patience to finish bigger ones. Plus I think my trigger finger would not be happy. That's also the reason why I rarely hand quilt now. I make sure to do some PT exercises when I do to avoid pain. #signofoldage hahaha. 

You don't need to just do one kind of craft. I like exploring and incorporating my crafts. Sometimes I do some embroidery on my quilt projects. It's not perfect, but it makes me happy. Here's one I did two or three Christmases ago -

If I stuck to cross-stitching, I probably wouldn't need my own craft room. LOL. 

P.S. Santa seat cover project is progressing very slowly. Things have been crazy busy with renovations. 

#BeKind #StaySafe