Monday, February 28, 2022

The Other Candidates

I was surprised when one of my friends admitted he voted for the dictator's son in 2016 for vice president. He did because he didn't know anything about VP Leni at that time. Now he's voting for VP Leni for president after seeing all her accomplishments. The debated hosted by CNN Philippines last weekend is a good way to get to know the candidates. They invited all the candidates and most showed up. Seeing them side by side for the first time and answering the same questions was a good way to assess them. 

2016 presidential elections

It was my first time to hear the other candidates since the other networks did not include them. Here's what I thought about them:

Ernesto Abella - former presidential spokesman of President Duterte. He was eloquent, but I didn't get a good grasp of his platform. I read a bit about him and found out he has a good academic background, was a preacher, got abducted and his release was negotiated by then Mayor Duterte. That's when he started campaigning for him. His government appointments seemed to be due to a favor. 

Leody de Guzman - Ka Leody is labor leader. He's very knowledgeable when it comes to labor related issues, but lack experience in other aspects. I hope he can eventually provide inputs for government so that the lives of laborers could be improved.

Norberto Gonzales - he was secretary of national defense for a few months during GMA's time. He seemed to be a troublemaker based on Wikipedia and I didn't see any concrete contributions to government (correct me if I'm wrong, just basing it on what I've read). He was very calm during the event yesterday, but I did not get a good impression that he has enough experience to be president. 

Faisal Mangondato - he was introduced as a businessman. In answering the questions he mentioned that the hardships we are going through are due to the abuses of man that's why we are being punished by God. He didn't have a good grasp of the issues and had no solid platforms. Sorry but he struck me as a nuisance candidate.

Jose Montemayor, Jr. - a doctor supposedly with an MBA. I don't think this candidate took the questions seriously. He answered and questioned other candidates more to be noticed than to make sense. He is supposedly a cardiologist... sorry but I wouldn't want him to be my doctor nor president. 

I always go back to the post I made on how I will assess presidential candidates. It's been mentioned several times already that they are applying for the job and the 1987 Constitution provides the job description. I went back to my review of Jessica Soho's interview and my thoughts remain the same with regard to the more known candidates. I'm going to need to make time to watch the vice presidential debate of CNN also so I can get to know them better. Those always absent for debates and forums will not be considered by me. When applying for a job, one should show up for the interview noh

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Ohai Outside World!

Received confirmation yesterday that we were approved to get our booster shots at the NPF Drive Thru vaccination site. We headed to the site an hour before our appointment. I felt like a kid going out for the first time. The sky was a lovely shade of blue, there was no traffic and everything looked serene. 

I was amazed with the many new buildings in the Aseana area. The last time I was in the area was in July 2019 after a friend's wedding. I think only Okada and City of Dreams was operational at that time. I felt lost since there were so many new streets and buildings. It felt very unfamiliar. My Mom thought we traveled out of the city, but it was just 15 minutes away from home. 

We originally scheduled three of us to get booster shots. Unfortunately, the vaccination site only offered Moderna. My doctor required me to get Pfizer since I'm taking anti-coagulants. My Mom was the only one who managed to get the booster. I guess Miggy and I will need to find a drive-thru service that offers Pfizer. 

It was really tempting to go the mall! It was too early though and the boys would not have allowed it. We just got curbside takeaway from Pancake House for breakfast. I think this has been the most exciting joyride I've been on since December (hahaha) even though we didn't step out of the car. I felt antsy though for sitting too long since I normally move around every 30 minutes. 

Maybe when gas prices go down we can do a longer joyride outside my city (Aseana is still Paranaque City!). Back home now and will go take a nap to complete my required zzzs.

Happy Sunday everyone!

PS More information here about the drive-thru vaccination. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Saturday, February 26, 2022

The People's Campaign is Heating Up

The campaign rally of VP Leni Robredo and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan was streamed live last night. I was happy I was finally able to "attend" a rally albeit virtually. It was time well spent since I got to listen also to the senatorial candidates and their platforms. The rally was festive and it reminded me of happier times before the gloom settled in. 

I would have loved to be there. Realistically though I won't survive a rally so I'm happy to just live through my friends who were there. One described having goosebumps from start to finish. Another said he felt hope. I felt the same even though I was just streaming it to our TV via Chromecast. 

Seeing the sea of people was what I needed to see to feel hopeful again. We really need to get back on the right track for things to improve. I like the platform presented by VP Leni and Senator Kiko since it will improve the lives of the general population. I also like the fact that they have been reaching out to the marginalized, the people in the laylayan for consultations. The only way to really improve the lives of people is to understand their needs. You can read more about their platforms here.

#IloiloisPink (Photo by Robredo's People Council)

The rally was a fitting celebration of the 36th year anniversary of the EDSA Revolution. The celebration at the People Power Monument was a simple ceremony, not even attended by the president which was disappointing. The rally in Iloilo made up for it and showed that the force is waking up and we are all over the country. We just need to remember that the success of the EDSA Revolution depends on each and every one of us. 

Mama Ogs trended last night! 

I was sad though to hear about the retirement of Sen. Franklin Drilon. He is the last from his generation and has served us well. He was a senator for a long time, but made sure that his home city progressed. I've been to Iloilo a few times and I did see the improvements. I saw this firsthand in the last 15 years. It flourished from looking like a charming town to a bustling city. That's a good example of what a good leader should do. Thank you Senator Drilon for your service to the nation all these years. 

I will continue to pray for the success of the people's campaign and will pray for the protection of the candidates. Let's all do our part :)

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Friday, February 25, 2022

Cherish Our Freedom

According to Ukraine president 137 have died in Ukraine on day one of Russia's attack. If you scroll through Twitter there are a lot of horrific images. It's truly unimaginable how this could be happening in this day and age. 

Went through the history of Ukraine since I'm not familiar with it. They had a very tumultuous history and only gained independence in 1991. They went through a lot of hardship before their economy stabilized (much like here in the Philippines after the EDSA Revolution). In 2004, the Orange Revolution happened. It was a nonviolent resistance that was done to protest election fraud. Their biggest issues include corruption, having trustworthy leaders and the meddling of Russia. They would move forward one step, but be pulled backward several steps due to political issues and a lot of conflicts. 

I hope and pray our kababayans being repatriated will all safely get home. I also prayed for peace. Greed truly does not acknowledge boundaries, nor respect. The people of Ukraine fought for independence because they wanted to be free from an authoritarian regime. Similar to what we fought for which culminated in the EDSA Revolution. Despite all the challenges in the past 36 years we have been lucky because we've been able to live freely. We could speak our minds, move around without fear and this has opened a lot of opportunities for each of us to grow. 

And we should cherish our freedom. Similar to Ukraine we've been plagued with corruption, untrustworthy leaders, and our sea is being invaded by unwanted aliens. That's why we have to be vigilant and make sure that we have leaders who will fight for us and our territory. 

The real success of EDSA depends on each and everyone of us. Let's do our part. 

#NeverAgain #EDSA36

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Are You Ready for the Re-Opening?

According to the news it looks like the alert level will be lowered to 1 by the first of March. Of course, doctors are giving reminders about following safety protocols since the virus is still around. It's welcome news for many people since it means the economy would be more open. It means more jobs and maybe things can be a bit more normal. 

I pinged my favorite doctor yesterday to tell him to be careful since the cases in Singapore has gone up. He said, "It's OMG all over the world. We're fine. We'll all get OMG and then stronger." I'm happy to see he's still funny as ever despite the situation. I worry about my friends in Singapore and Hong Kong since they are experiencing the Omicron surge. 

In time we need to learn to live with this virus, just like all the other viruses out there. I'm a magnet though because I'm immunocompromised. This means I need to be extra careful. I've just been home since the start of the year and still got an infection lol. I realized though I can't let being immunocompromised keep me from living my life. I just need to be flexible and be careful. 

Here's a short-list of what I want to do:

1. See more family and friends. 

2. Visit Dad at the cemetery. 

3. Be able to eat my favorite spaghetti. 

4. Do daily walking again to the nearby park. 

5. Do a day trip. 

#BeKind #VoteWisely #StaySafe

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Home Panaderia is Open!

In 2020 I embarked on a quest to learn how to bake Filipino bread. I was motivated because the cost of pandesal in Singapore is very expensive. I once bought SG$2 pandesal (per piece!) at Lucky Plaza. That's almost 80 pesos (depending on the exchange rate)! Baking Filipino bread never crossed my mind before because it's readily available when you're home. 

Oh boy, baking bread is hard. It requires a lot of patience since you have to wait for the dough to rise. For the dough to rise you have to prepare the yeast correctly. I failed a couple of times, but eventually got it. I tried baking Spanish bread and ensaymada and I didn't get it right. It tasted like it, but it looked hideous hahaha. Maybe I'll try again, but there's a bakery just a few meters away from our new home so we'll see. 

I finally baked again yesterday! I've been wanting to for a few months now, but I had to wait for my body to be ready. My daily activities are limited, so when it rained I knew it was the perfect time to bake. It meant I didn't have to water the plants, so I used the energy to do something else. I just baked some cheese cupcakes (recipe here). It was the best way also for me to get to know my new oven. We had been using it more to heat food since we got it. Baking cupcakes was a good way to break it in since we could easily monitor the progress. 

I sent half of what I baked to friends and just kept a few for us. Sweetie said we always had a hard time finishing the cupcakes when we were in Singapore. Told him it won't be a problem here since we have a lot of friends we can send baked goods to. I'll probably make peanut butter cookies next. For bread, I'll dig up the list I made of what else I want to learn. Maybe I'll focus on non-Filipino bread for now since I can just easily buy them now. What would you suggest I try to learn?

Oh, today is my Kuya's birthday! Happy birthday Kuya! Here's a cute photo of you and me when I was a baby.

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Happy Two's Day!


Two's day on a Tuesday! 

I found a trick to make me fall asleep faster. I read a chapter of a book. I've been having trouble sleeping and it takes me hours to finally fall asleep. Reading helped! Before drifting off to sleep I remembered one of the most important lessons my Dad taught me about values. 

I was previously stuck in a bad relationship. On the outside it seemed all good, but it came to a point where we just kept disagreeing about everything. One day my Dad sat down with me in the kitchen to tell me he did not approve of the relationship. He was worried it will end in a disaster because our values was very different. At that time I was already questioning myself whether staying in the relationship was worth it. 

I cried and cried and cried, but I realized what my Dad said was true. Our disagreements stemmed from our value differences. I was tired and unhappy and for my sanity I let it go. Having the same values with your partner is very important. It can make and break your relationship. My Mom explained if your values are different even the smallest things will bother you. It will eat you up and eventually break you. 

It took me years to heal and when I got around to dating again I treated it differently. Eventually I met Sweetie and the rest is history. So if you're stuck in a bad relationship, assess whether it's because you have very different values. It may save you from a lifetime of pain. 

And that applies as well to your choice of candidate. Make sure you choose wisely. :)

Rest in peace my thesis mentor, Ms. Cherry. We were her first gold thesis awardee. Will miss you. 

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Monday, February 21, 2022


Yesterday's Gospel reminds us about who you love. Fr. Tito Caluag said during his homily that the highest form of love is agape. For us humans, aside from loving God, we should strive to love humanity. It's a concept that is hard to do since the Gospel says, "But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back."

It's certainly hard to love your enemies or loving back people who hurt you. On the other hand, the other actionable item is to show love for others. I watched a vlog of the Hungry Syrian where he shared about his new meatshop business. He mentioned that he's closing one of his restaurants and decided to open a new business to be able to provide jobs. He mentions this quest often in his vlogs. 

Basel is a foreigner who acquired Filipino citizenship. He moved to the Philippines to escape the war in his country. He hasn't seen his family since his parents sent him here. Instead of feeling depressed over the absence of his family, he channeled his love by helping others. He oftentimes gives money to the needy and providing jobs is his passion. Last year someone took advantage of his generosity. He was so hurt from it, eventually he focused on opening a Korean mart so he can provide more jobs. 

I think Basel is a good example of showing how one could love humanity. He mentioned he doesn't make a lot of money from his businesses, but he does it more so he could help others. What he does is admirable and one of my prayers is for leaders, both public and private, to do what they can to fulfill God's mission. 

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Let Your Light Shine, Be Vigilant

Darkness is creeping in. This past week there's been incidents that's very alarming. There's Dr. Naty Castro who was forcibly taken from her home (read more about it here). A VP Leni supporter was harassed at Camp Crame for having a pink ribbon tied to his car's side mirror (news here). Comelec painting over a mural painted on private property. Several supporters were also harassed by rivals (news here). If we're not vigilant we'll soon be living in fear. 

I'm a martial law baby and my parents protected me during that time. They were very strict though and the only times I got to play outside was when I would go over the bakod to play with my neighbors. Everyone was required to be in the house before sunset. No one was allowed out at night. Speaking about the government anomalies was done in whispers. 

Even though I was still very young during Martial Law I understood that there was danger. I understood that displeasing the regime would be disastrous for you and your family. I remember Tito Ben would call my Mom whenever there was unrest. When that happened my parents would get stricter. My siblings probably did not enjoy their teenage years so I'm still kinda lucky. I was ten when the EDSA Revolution happened. 

The last three and half decades wasn't easy, but at least we did not live in fear. I got to enjoy my teenage years and I got to live a normal life when I eventually joined the workforce. I never feared about what I blogged about. I was also able to work with government on some projects. Things started to change though since 2016 so I focused on other countries and other things. 

If we're not careful, darkness will come back. The behavior of government agencies and the police is starting to lean towards what it was during ML. Proverbs 13:3 says, “Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything”. At this time we need to foil the plans of evil from coming back. We have to be vigilant and do what we can to stop them from coming back. The past should remain in the past. 

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Slice of Life, 15 Years

I was looking through Google Photos and saw it had compiled photos by year. Thought it would be interesting to see what I was up to the past 15 years. 

15 years ago, 2007

Singapore with the other scouts at the first Google office in Singapore. 

14 years ago, 2008

Date day with Sweetie where we went to a wedding expo so I could get inspiration for the Twisted Wedding Planner blog.

13 years ago, 2009

Watched Love to Love to Love with Sweetie. It was a concert with MYMP, Side A and a few other artists held at Araneta Coliseum.

12 years ago, 2010

Attended a sports event and met Rio dela Cruz. Also went to Davao that same week. 

11 years ago, 2011

Got a new car - Minnie my Getz! She's now finally with me in our new home. I haven't had a chance to drive her yet since I need to get a license. 

10 years ago, 2012

Nothing exciting happened during the week. I just cooked beef tapa and we also checked out the location of our future condo. 

9 years ago, 2013

Just had second open heart surgery. They had to drain water in my heart and lungs. Also got a surprise visit from my friend Don who was in Singapore at that time too. 

8 years ago, 2014

Celebrated Valentine's day across the miles. Sweetie surprised me with flowers which was delivered at the office. 

7 years ago, 2015

So many things happened this week 7 years ago. Titay's birthday bash, watched a concert and it was also the Android One launch. 

6 years ago, 2016

This was the year we transitioned the family to Singapore. This was the week Miggy moved to Singapore to finish his studies. 

5 years ago, 2017

By this time we had settled in nicely to our life in Singapore and was getting visited by friends! Anne and Andrew came for a visit that week (I think Anne was working in their SG office at that time). 

4 years ago, 2018

My memory is a bit fuzzy about this week since most of the photos I had were food! Seems I baked some chicken fingers and Sweetie and I went out. 

3 years ago, 2019

This was the time Sweetie had knee surgery because his knee was dislocated. 

2 years ago, 2020

We had a WFH drill this week. Victor, David and I ended up working at Starbucks that day. Few weeks later WFH became mandatory. 

1 year ago, 2021

The last Westies get-together I was able to attend. Restrictions eased up and we were able to have a get together. Promptly got sick after since we didn't know the air quality went bad that day. 

I noticed that time has been passing by so fast. I don't if it's because I move slower now, but I don't get to do a lot of stuff compared to before. I have a list of tasks I've been unable to finish. I guess I need to manage my time better. Looking back at the last 15 years was fun to do. Apparently I was either in Manila or Singapore, working, watching  a concert or at a hospital haha. Let's hope and pray there won't be  hospital staycations anymore! 

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Friday, February 18, 2022

The Pink Vinta Inspiration

A few weeks ago I was inspired by VP Leni's photo when she was in Zamboanga. It was a sunset photo by the bay with several pink vintas in the background. I've been planning to make a sea collection this year and thought I'd start it off with the vintas. Started the project by making a drawing so I could get the right measurements. 

I did everything by hand since I missed hand quilting, plus my hand has been cooperative (vitamin D3 + wall pushups ftw!). I happy to discover I have amassed a good number of pink fabric, mostly fat quarters and charms. Sweetie also got me a bunch of pink layer cakes last Christmas so it worked out perfectly. 

It took me two weeks to finish since I just worked on it at night while watching TV. And here's the quilted Vinta inspired throw pillowcases I made. I didn't fully capture the sides of the sail so I'll improve on it when I make other items. I plan to make a cover for my sewing machine and blender. I'll probably stick to smaller items since I only have fat quarters. 

Good thing my boys don't mind that I'm making our home super pink! Well just the living room for now. I relented and made yellow curtains for the kitchen, but pink checkered curtains would look nice for the kitchen so we'll see if I could stop myself hahaha. 

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Saving My Childhood Home

Built over a half century ago, my childhood home has seen better days. Back in 2019 I had the structural integrity of the house checked since I noticed a lot of cracks across the house. Surprisingly the house was intact, but the lanai area where the garage used to be has started to crumble. The floors and walls showed evidence that the area was sinking. 

Plans to have it fixed were put on hold due to the pandemic and it was hard to coordinate offshore. When I first visited Mom when I got home I saw the house had deteriorated further. I immediately reached out to the architect who checked it for help. We finally got around to doing a second inspection today and he brought along his team. 

My childhood home is our family gem. I cannot imagine anyone else living in it. My Mom always tells me she wants me to live there again eventually. Our home was built with love. The architect was my Dad's brother, Tito Bert who's probably turning 100 years old this year. We hope we could still find the original plans of the house. It'll be a big help for the team who will fix it. 

The assessment today made me happy. The team said that our home was well maintained especially the bedroom wooden floors. A lot of work needs to be done to make it more livable and I gave the team two tall orders -- reduce the heat and solve the flooding issue. The heat part is easily solvable, but the issue of flooding will be harder to solve. It doesn't flood as much anymore, but fact is it still floods. 

I'm excited to see the plan to save my childhood home. Of course, my siblings would need to approve the plan as well. I promised my Mom we'll bring back the beauty and love for our home. 

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

When to Let Go and Step Down

There's been unrest in our alumni association for a few years now. An anomaly was uncovered regarding the use of the funds. A previous election did not wipe out the officers who did it and there was a lot of talk there was some wrongdoing their too. Changes were made on how the elections are done to allow more alumni to vote. My sister's batch did a lot of recruitment to ensure we get better results for this elections. It happened last weekend. The funny thing is there's delay again in announcing winners. 

Sounds familiar noh? That's what happens when power gets to your head. Falling in love with power leads to greed. I often wonder why people can't just let go when it's time. If you're worried about continuity for your projects, there are many talented and skilled people out there. Don't hoard power because that stunts growth. 

Last year when I was still employed, but on medical leave I realized I wasn't getting any better. I started to worry about my team since nobody was taking care of their needs. I was asked whether I wanted to transfer them to someone else. I let them go because I knew they deserved to be cared for and learn new things from a new manager. It was a huge bonus for me that they found someone I trusted too. The opportunity to manage a huge team isn't available to everyone, but I prioritized my team over my needs. I'm confident they'll all perform well even without me. 

I honestly miss my old life. I miss the challenges. I miss my team and my teammates. I didn't want to leave because of my illness and it took me a long time to make peace with it. The Didache reflection yesterday reminded me that God does things to direct you to the right path. I hope and pray that the current officers of our alumni association find it in their hearts to let go so corrective action can be done. The mission after all is to do good for others. 

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

A Sweet Valentine

Celebrated Valentine's with Sweetie and Miggy with a quick visit to Mom. Sweetie woke me up with a bouquet of flowers. He got white and pink roses for the first time. He usually gives me white roses, but mixed it with pink to be different. Miggy cooked us brunch and we had a hearty meal. It fueled us for most of the day. 

Dinner was super late since I cooked tuna spaghetti and taught Miggy how to fry embotido with egg. We ended up sleeping at 3 in the morning since I had a brilliant idea to marinate tapa. It took the three of us to slice the beef and then I took so long preparing the marinade, haha. I can never be a true chef since I'm very slow around the kitchen. I was planning to bake today, but my sleep deprived brain would probably forget to put in an ingredient or two. It happens. 

Looking back at previous Vdays, we usually spent it at home. We haven't bothered going out since the traffic is usually bad and in Singapore everything was always full. It's either we cook our own food or we order a special meal. It's easier and calmer that way. 

Our special meal yesterday was some Lola Nena's triple cheese doughnuts and pichi-pichi. I also got some embotido so we could try it out. We also got our favorite Calea chocolate cake from our ever-indulgent friend Anne (thanks again!!!). I added some extra exercises to burn more calories. Might attempt to use the bike later if I don't sweat enough from gardening haha. 

How was your Vday?

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Monday, February 14, 2022

Just Let It Happen

Finished watching Mayim Bialik's show where she guested Kunal Nayyar where they talked how Kunal became an actor and his mental health journey. I enjoyed watching them on Big Bang Theory so I got curious to see another side of them. Kunal Nayyar was born in England, grew up in India and studied acting in the US. He said he decided to become an actor after doing a play. His role "Raj" in the Big Bang Theory was his first show (so he got really lucky). 

Kunal narrated how he was hit by anxiety. He was driving when it happened and he said he didn't know what he was feeling -- which is exactly what anxiety is, he explained. He got help and started his quest to address the issue. One of the things Kunal mentioned is to just let things happen. What helped him was having a safe space and person he could talk to. Instead of taking medication he decided to practice meditation. It took a long time, but he said one day he was finally able to quiet down the voices in his head.

"You cannot outthink thinking." - Kunal Nayyar

Mayim said she never noticed that Kunal was going through something when they were working together on Big Bang Theory. She said she admired how much Kunal had grown through the years. She even joked she'd be his first follower if he decided to create a cult or religious order. I get easily distracted, but for some strange reason I managed to focus on what Kunal was saying throughout the show. 

I read that anxiety happens when you don't feel you have control. "Just let it happen" resonated well with me because sometimes when you allow what you fear to happen, you eventually realize it's not scary after all. I remember that time I realized I needed help was when my physiotherapist asked me how come I hadn't gone to my doctor since I was feeling unwell. 

She stopped our session and had me call to make an appointment. I honestly didn't want to call, but I did. Went the next day and slowly got better. After that it took me three weeks before I mustered the courage to reach out to my friend's psychiatrist to get help. It's been almost a year since that day with my physiotherapist and I'm grateful she really took time to help me. 

I thought I'd write about anxiety this Valentine's day because I know how it feels to be anxious during this day. I spent many years feeling incomplete during holidays. I have Sweetie and Miggy and they've been making sure I feel loved every day. I still have bouts of anxiety, but as Kunal mentioned make sure you have a safe space and a safe person who you can talk to, and do meditation to find peace. And pray because God loves you and He will always be there for you. 

“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Using Your Hand to Pray

My heart is full today after seeing the successful proclamation rally at the Quezon Memorial Circle. I've been going through happy posts by fellow Kakampinks on Twitter. I wish I was there too! Seeing the support of so many people gives me hope that we'll have a better future. The dark forces though are hard at work so we all have to do our part to make sure they don't win. 

There's been several bad news this past week. Comelec junking the disqualification petitions. El Shaddai announcing their support (honestly find it strange how they found in their conscience to support he who must not be named). Hope for a better Philippines with the right leader is what we have. We must pray hard for it.

I've been praying for better leadership since last year. I bought a prayer journal last year. It had a prayer guide which I thought would be useful to share. It's a guide that would help you pray for more people. 

Thumb - pray for those closest to your heart. 

Pointy finger - pray for those who teach and heal. This is where I pray for frontliners, educators and the religious.

Middle finger - pray for leaders. This is where I also pray for good outcome of the elections and I also pray for the protection of the candidates I support and their staff.

Ring finger - pray for the weak and those who need healing. 

Pinky finger - pray for your needs. The guide said, praying last for yourself gives you a better perspective of what you need. 

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Saturday, February 12, 2022

It's All Coming Back to Me

Did you notice it's been very windy lately? PAGASA said it's amihan season. Wind from the North is prevalent and will last until March. The air is also much cooler especially in the evenings. We normally stay in the living room to feel the breeze. In the afternoons though it's nicer to stay at the basement since it's cooler. I've started to unbox my fabric stash and have been busy organizing my craft room. I hope to finish soon since summer is just around the corner and I know I have to stay somewhere cooler. 

I'm happy. I feel much more relaxed nowadays. I guess because of this the fog in my brain has been lifting. The past few nights I've been dreaming about forgotten memories from my university days and my 20s. For a few nights I dreamt about being in campus and rushing from one class to another. Remembered those days I had to run from Miguel building to the La Salle building to make it to my next class in time. I can't imagine how I managed going up so many stairs back then! No wonder I was just 85 pounds when I was in college. 

Last night I dreamt about that time I did part time work at Shell. I joined as a writer, but also got to learn how to layout a newspaper manually. At that time we were already using Pagemaker in our student publication, but they were doing some things manually. It was fun to learn so many things there. A few years later my boss at Shell tried to recruit me back. I decided not to pursue it since I was advised about the glass ceiling for women at that time (I heard it's gone now). My life would probably be very different if I chose that path. I still remember my former boss' name and found out she eventually became an editor at a leading newspaper. 

Of course, the fog also revealed some painful memories from the past. Ugh. It's apparently still lurking somewhere in my brain. I wish though the fog just kept it hidden. Not remembering is bliss haha. It's true that forgiving is much easier than forgetting. To keep it from eating me up, I just shifted my position in bed and it soon went back into the abyss. I just prayed and reminded myself that it's all in the past and those are just ugly memories now. 

My doctor told me I had too many major episodes (health). I also had too many major emotional episodes. I take comfort in the fact that those episodes (physical, mental and emotional) never broke me. My Mom would always tell me I'm an Apolo and I was born to be tough. I have many battle scars. I survived it all because of faith and love. And that's all you need :) 

Happy weekend everyone!

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Friday, February 11, 2022

I Got Scammed!

No matter how much care you do, you can still fall for a scam! A week ago, I saw an ad on Instagram for a 360' bookshelf. It looked really nice and it said we could fit in 300 books. We really need a bookshelf so after careful review I ordered. The order system looked exactly like others I've filled out. It also promptly asked for the bank confirmation. I happily went to sleep imagining how I would store our books in it. 

The next day I felt something wasn't right. I normally list items I bought online in my planner to track my expenses and to monitor delivery. I remembered that I did not provide my email address when I made the payment for the bookshelf. It felt strange because they did not ask for any contact details except my address. So I never got a confirmation via email that I made an order. Good thing I took a screenshot of the bookshelf and the receipt so I was able to take note of the shop name. 

Since I saw the ad on IG, I searched for the shop. IG said it only had a FB page. Found the FB page and got the link to the website. The name of the shop does not show any search results on Google. You can only see it if you go to it's website without typing www. Went directly to the website and checked the contact details of the shop. It showed a US phone number and a Wuhan address. I immediately filled out the contact us page to follow up on my order. I was still hopeful at that point. 

In response to my follow-up, I received an email to create a zendesk account. I figured that it was their help desk system. I was eventually redirected to a forum page and saw many other customer complaints. I re-submitted my follow-up and waited for a response. It's been almost 5 days and I never got a response, so I told Sweetie about it. He reviewed the page and confirmed my fears. 

I immediately reported the page to FB (since that's how you advertise on IG and you have to report by flagging the page). Then I reported it to my bank. The bank immediately blocked my card and will investigate. I also sent a screenshot of the customer complaints to the bank. Hopefully they are able to confirm that the shop is fraudulent and I get my money back. Getting my card blocked is a small inconvenience for now. At least I know they cannot abuse my card. I hope the other customers would report the company so all credit card companies would block them. I hope FB would also invalidate them from making ads. 

I guess from now on I'll have to research about the company first before purchasing. I rarely purchase things from ads. I think it's probably just the second time I did. I rarely get budoled by ads. I've also been very wary about purchasing from the FB marketplace. So far I've only bought citronella plants through the FB marketplace. I only did after reading through the page of the seller. A friend though got scammed yesterday when he was trying to buy luncheon meat. What a scary world we live in. 

I still need the bookshelf. There are other sources, but they're so expensive. I could just have my Mom's carpenter make it for me when he's back from vacation. It would be a nice project for him. I just need to figure out where I could get the item that could make the shelf rotate.

#BeKind #StayHome

Thursday, February 10, 2022


Oh boy, this month is proving to be an expense filled one. Aside from from the usual expenses - utilities and groceries - several things cropped up at the same time. We were planning to move forward with our home development project, but health has to be prioritized. We're still in the process of signing up for medical insurance so this means everything is out of pocket for now. Yikes!

Luckily, my original pulmonologist here still treats us as family. My Dad was his professor and he has cared for us through the years. I was really surprised about his generosity because it's been 2 decades since I last saw him. It was his wife, my original cardiologist, who discovered I had mitral valve issues. 

We met with him yesterday through a video call. I was so nervous because he spoke to me in Bicol dialect throughout the consultation, haha. Good thing I understood everything (I can understand, but I struggle speaking the dialect). All good for now, but he wants to determine the cause of my PEs. He also prohibited me from going near a hospital. He also said not to mess with my blood thinners. 

Car expenses also kicked in. I had to get my car registered so that meant spending for emission testing and insurance. I realized my car hasn't had any maintenance since 2019, so Hyundai's quote is a crazy amount. Well, at least I could delay that to next month since getting the car fixed isn't urgent. I thought about selling my car, but decided to keep it for now so Miggy can learn how to drive (important in case of emergencies). In time, we plan to sell both our cars and get a new one. 

All is well, just need to prioritize our expenses. It just means our home will still be messy. As Tita Dine told me, it more important to be happy and live in love than have a tidy house. I totally agree with that, haha. I'm also back to being cheerful since the nasty infection seems to be gone. Yaaas! God is good! 

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Contribute for a Better Future!

Yesterday was the start of the official campaign period. Candidates hosted proclamation rallies in their bailiwicks. I would have loved to be at Plaza Quezon in Naga City to participate. It's the first election in 15 years where I don't need to be impartial (freedom!). Like many other volunteers, I'd like to contribute in my own way. 

My Mom was one of the campaign managers of former Senator Jovito Salonga when he ran for president. She managed the campaign office in Makati City. I used to go there after class and contribute what I could. And before that I remember we campaigned hard for President Cory Aquino as well. Back then though campaigning was all done through face to face interaction. 

When I woke up this morning, Sweetie asked me, "Do Lazada delivery riders wear uniforms?" I know Shopee riders have uniforms, but I'm not sure about Lazada riders. He said the rider that delivered this morning was wearing a campaign shirt. So it gave me an idea on how I can contribute. Since the only people we encounter nowadays are delivery riders, I could start there by giving away info packs for them. 

I found out from the volunteer group that we can purchase flyers and other campaign materials from Lazada or Shopee. I checked out some shops and I'm planning to buy flyers, stickers and fans/masks. I'm planning to add a water bottle and a biscuit as well to the info pack. I realized though that I don't really have a lot of deliveries so I can probably expand this to other areas in my barangay. I can probably get someone to help distribute flyers house to house. I think that's the best way I can contribute for now. 

Here's some links to online shops where you can buy campaign materials:

Team Leni Robredo Volunteers

Sticky Stickies PH (this is where I got some shirts and stickers)

Alabang Garage

3C Creations (got a cute bag bling here)


*I'm not connected to any of these shops, I'm just a buyer :)

The threat of bringing  back an old regime is real. Seeing politicians dance to get votes is really disturbing. And seeing convicted politicians run again is giving me nightmares. Let's not slide back to these abusers. Progress is not what they have in mind. They're only in it for their own benefit. So let's do what we can to ensure we could have a better future. 

#BeKind #StayHome #VoteWisely

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Can We Just Live with the Threat of the Virus?

We're finally going to keep our Christmas decors this week. We delayed removing them because we only put it up two days before Christmas! So it has seen us through Christmas and 2 new years, there's no need for it to reach Valentine's. I also feel like we're entering a new phase now since cases are going down and there's more movement happening. We also decided to move forward with organizing our new home. The nasty infection is also gone now and I feel my energy is coming back. 

How to live with COVID-19? That's a question that's being discussed across the world. The UK was forced to remove mandates because of their PM's irresponsible behavior. There has been a lot of protests in Canada. Denmark scrapped restrictions. In Singapore they made clear guidelines on what to do if you get sick. It's made me think about whether or not we can just live with the threat of the virus. 

When the first circuit breaker in Singapore eased up, my physiotherapy clinic contacted me and said I can resume my sessions. Went back to my sessions and just made sure I always wore a mask. I would even pass by my favorite store after my session. My doctor eventually advised I should just wear a fabric mask. I obeyed, but picked up a virus from a taxi driver the first time I did. It wasn't COVID-19 according to my doctors. 

Beautiful tulips at Roppongi Hills

After that incident I concluded that: (1) There are many different viruses out there and we're living alongside them, and (2) Being immunocompromised I am a magnet to getting sick. Case in point: I haven't gone out since the first week of January and still got an infection. The world will not stop because of people like me. Restrictions were put in place because we didn't know much about the virus. That bought time for scientists to develop vaccines and find ways to save people. 

I miss seeing the rest of my family and hanging out with my friends. I miss those days I could just sit at Commune and bump into friends. I miss doing my cardio at the mall (a.k.a. walking). I miss the freedom of being able to explore new places. One could say that life has been on hold the past two years, but you can also look from a different perspective -- a new way of living. 

For now I stay home.

Take care everyone!

#BeKind #StayHome

Monday, February 7, 2022

Living Worry-Free

I am a worry-wart. I stressed out a lot before I decided to leave my job. I worried about letting so many people down. I worried about losing my income. I worried about losing my medical insurance. I worried about how people would treat me. All these worries eventually caused anxiety and depression.

For many months, I couldn't sleep. I felt weak and was just generally unwell. The more I worried, the more stressed I got, I became more unwell. I would use essential oils to help me fall asleep, but it was praying the rosary that helped me calm down. I also sought the help of St. Jude for my desperate needs. 

“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” – Luke 5:5 (NLT)

It was through months of prayer that I realized what I needed to do. The idea started when one of my doctors told me that it was perhaps time to leave my job. I was shocked by his advise because years ago he told me I shouldn't rest too much when I was sick because my employer would get impatient. I definitely did not expect to hear that advise from him. My other long-time doctors also advised it would be best for me to live a stress-free life. 

It took awhile for me to digest their advise. Dr. Chan even told me he hoped I'd make the right decision. I prayed and I just knew what He wanted me to do. I also knew that I could rest my worries because things were going to be okay. So I listened and followed. 

It wasn't an easy transition. The worries are now just "concerns", but I don't obsess over it anymore. I am with my family. Mom is just a kembot away so it's easier to take care of her. We have a nice roof over our head where we're building more happy memories. We get by and have been able to help where we can. 

A year ago I was a bungle of nerves. Now I'm just chill. I just lift up all my worries and concerns to Him and just let things be. Worry not and just listen to His guidance :)

#BeKind #StayHome

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Learning Acceptance and Being Content

I was planning to write about alternate realities today, but thought I'd go the more positive route. Yup, I was about to do a rant post about people who seem to be living an alternate reality -- one where they are above the law. I learned though that it's unhealthy for me to worry about things I cannot control. 

Yesterday's Didache reflection gave me a lot of food for thought. It asked, "Lord, what do You want me to learn today?" I was unwell for a few weeks and I realized I hit a slump again. I don't feel good when I'm not productive. Sweetie keeps reminding me to focus on one thing for now - rest so I can get well. Followed his advise, slept all day on Friday and I was feeling better yesterday. 

I read the Didache reflection just before I went to sleep last night. I realized that I've been waiting for a grand mission from Him. It's clear to me that He wants me to focus on my family first, but I've been asking Him, "Is there anything else I need to do?" Typical me, pushing myself hard, haha. 

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

This prayer is credited to theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and adopted by the Alcoholics Anonymous organization. Perhaps it's useful for me also since I'm addicted to being productive. I need to find the courage to accept that I have physical limitations and I can't do the same activities I used to do. I also need to forgive myself for letting people down. 

I am grateful I've been able to retire and get the rest I need. My heart hurts for other people like me who are forced to work immediately following a pulmonary embolism. There are many and I read about their pain in our patient group. It's really hard especially when you don't have the proper support you need. 

Accept. Be content. Be thankful. 

“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’” (Psalm 32:8, NLT)

#BeKind #StayHome

Saturday, February 5, 2022

The Photo that Inspired Me

I rested the whole day yesterday. The boys told me I was on stricter house arrest after I had a severe asthma attack the other night. What caused it was the bad air quality. I took in a lungful while I was admiring the sky. I realized that the dirty air here is different from Singapore. In Singapore I could easily tell when the air quality is bad. I'm probably used to it here so I can't tell the difference. Anyway, I slept most of the day and feel better now. 

I'll still take it easy today so my body can recover fully. I think I'll work on the vinta throw pillow quilt. It was inspired by a photo of VP Leni when she visited Zamboanga recently. I was so stressed out last week with the news, I thought it would be better to channel my frustration to something else. The photo served as an inspiration. I set aside the tshirt quilt project to work on this first (yet again haha). 

Here's the design of the throw pillow quilt I'm working on -

Getting stressed over something I can't control was really bad for me. I got sick and this is what my doctors told me to avoid. Stress causes your immune system to be compromised and the blood test I got proved I had an infection. The first thing I had to do was de-stress. I got over it by channeling my frustration to something good. The photo of VP Leni with the vintas in the background inspired me to be creative. I think that's a good way to cope with stress. 

Seeing posts related to the elections is unavoidable. Much as I'd like to participate more, my body just can't cope with the stress. I'll just pray hard for a good and honest elections. I'm also praying for those still in the dark side to finally see the light. I'll let my able-bodied friends do the campaigning. And thanks to my friend Chelle who sent me some tarps! 

She also sent me this super cute milk tea earrings. You can get it from her Shopee shop at I love the earrings and have been wearing it at home haha. 

#BeKind #StayHome