Thursday, March 31, 2022

Bless Our Home

Yesterday, we had my Mom's home blessed again. We thought it would be good to do that to recharge the house and bring back the good times it has seen. Our family with many friends and neighbors experienced a lot of happy times in our home. We had Tita Pet's wedding reception held at our home, countless birthday parties like Kuya's debut where his friends poured beer on him (with the younger sister rushing in with a towel haha), a gazillion get togethers with the CWL, the Knights of Columbus, the choir and clan reunions. 

My neighbors always tell me they like visiting my Mom's home. They always feel welcome and they like hanging out in the lanai. My Mom also is always ready to party. She has party plates, huge shaping dishes, and those things caterers have to keep food warm (she already sent it to my Tita Olive when things slowed down). Whenever I had a gathering with friends I still brought them to my Mom's home. 

Grateful to Fr. Rene for coming yesterday to bless our 52 year old home. I wasn't even born yet when it was first blessed. We were also happy to receive holy communion after more than 2 years! It was surreal to go around the house for the blessing. I was teary eyed when he blessed Mom's room because he also gave a blessing for Daddy's soul. I used to find Dad on his cozy chair watching TV whenever I went to their room. Mom removed his chair and took over his closet many years ago (it now houses her craft materials hehe). 

Fr. Rene hung out with us for awhile. It was great to catch up with him. Mom used to invite them (the priests) for dinner. I always looked forward to those dinners because we'd always have a lot of food (matakaw much). I also had the opportunity to hang out in their home when I used to write for the parish newsletter. Maybe I could republish some of the stories one of these days. They were fun recounts of the lives of priests before they were ordained. 

I'm happy we were able to do this for Mom. It will hopefully help her feel better. Her friends have scheduled to visit her as well. I hope these activities will help reassure her that the bad guys are gone. I could see she's still wary and haven't started the quilt project I made for her. I hope she'll start it in the next few days. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Next Level Adulting

 I was going to blog about this yesterday, but got distracted and the thought slipped my mind. Remembered it a few hours after when I was, well... adulting. If I new there was a next level to "adulting" in your 20s, I could have saved myself from the pain I've been going through the past few weeks. 

If you're in your 20s or even younger, I have one important advise for you -- keep your affairs all in order. The only thing I have in order are... my photos. Majority (I can't claim all) of my digital photos are in proper folders and kept in Google Photos. I used to store them in countless CDs, but after Typhoon Ondoy I have been putting them on the cloud. Well, managing photos is the easiest of the lot. Managing countless documents and papers requires skill and a lot of patience. 

Here's a general list of what you need to keep in order:

1. Medical records

2. Utility Bills

3. Car/vehicle documents (OR/CR, maintenance records)

4. Property records (mortgage, title, real property tax records)

5. Bank accounts 

6. Employment records (or business papers)

7. Travel documents (passport, visa etc.)

8. NSO Certificates (birth, marriage etc.)

9. School documents (diploma, transcript of records)

10. Legal documents (contracts, affidavits, SPAs etc.)

11. IDs (license, TIN, voter's etc.)

My idea of organizing documents was to put them in folders/envelops. Sweetie leveled it up and put them in clear folders so it's easier to find. Good thing we'd spend time organizing papers whenever we went home. It made it easier to manage things remotely. Miggy just had to find the right documents for car registration and paying real property tax. 

My Mom was really good at managing. Her long banking career was interrupted only because of me (I was fragile since birth hehe). She had a proper filing cabinet and an enviable filing system. I remember she started purging documents after Daddy passed away. I've had to rebuild her system the past two weeks. It was hard especially since the papers were not properly kept. I did discover though that most utility companies have online customer portals now. That helped a lot especially for bills that were missing. 

I feel so accomplished after rebuilding my Mom's documents. I still need to find a couple of things and I hope I don't uncover more unpaid stuff. The boys are taking care of the docs for our homes. We're trying to find the best way to file everything properly. It really gets gnarly when you don't organize often. I digitized all of my Mom's bills and now I'm asking her if she had a pool installed because there were two months last year when her water bill was 5x than usual. 

And having everything organized is a good way to understand how you could live better. My cardiologist forced me to organize all my medical records so it would be easier for other doctors to review me. I just share an online folder for my newer doctors. I also have a calendar of when I have to do annual car registration and pay real property tax. Keeping scanned copies of all your docs also helps. 

Oh, now I understand when elders used to tell me that high school is the best part of your life. :)

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Our Summer Cove

I have been making two posts a day. I've still been feeling morose and angry about what happened at home, but I'm trying to stay positive so I've been keeping the other post in draft. I release bad vibes that way. I guess I also need to heal from what we went through. 

I spent an entire day cutting fabric for my Mom. I hope this will jumpstart her passion for quilting. I noticed she stopped sewing. She didn't even unbox any of the materials and books I sent her. She kept all of it in her cabinet. Well, I hope she starts working on it and takes it slow. She sews much faster than I do, haha. I also made some templates for her because I know she won't use the quilting rulers. 

I haven't sewn for a month now. The last project I finished was the pink vinta throw pillowcases, the Harry Potter coasters and potholders. I need to work on my summer curtains since it's been very hot lately. I got block curtain fabric via Lazada. I wish though there were more options for block curtain fabric. I'm figuring out how to make them look nicer. 

The boys and I have been staying in the craft room to escape the heat and the bad air quality. Sweetie installed an old TV in the room. That means we'll likely have movie nights in the craft room too. It's just been really warm even at night to stay anywhere else in the house. It's funny because we have more space at home, but we're just naturally convening in smaller areas to be together. 

My step count has gone down drastically since I've been cooped up in the craft room. I used to hang out during the day at the dining table and that forced me to walk far to get things or go to the toilet. The boys though prefer to get things for me so I don't breathe in the bad air. My step count has been cut to a third

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Monday, March 28, 2022

Reviving my 2010 PC!

Now that we have most of our stuff in one place, Sweetie has been reviewing our old devices. He found the desktop I bought in 2010. It's still working, but it's still on Windows 7. The first thing we needed to do was get in, which meant remembering my password. The last time logged-in to it was more than 5 years ago! 

No, this isn't the desktop Sweetie is reviving. This is a desktop at the Computer History Museum in California. This was how my first desktop looked like. It was a hand-me-down from Kuya.

I got it on the second try! I was so pleased with myself for remembering the password hahaha. I didn't get it on the first try because Sweetie was using his keyboard. I had him plug in my keyboard and I guess I typed the password by instinct. Next step was to copy all of my files. It took about 7 to 8 hours to copy all the files. Whew!

And then Sweetie realized that the PC did not have wifi capability. Good thing Miggy had a wireless adaptor. Apparently those things still exist and you can buy new ones in Lazada/Shopee. Sweetie told me earlier that he's been able to upgrade my desktop to Windows 10 and will try to upgrade it to Windows 11 at a later time. 

I still prefer to use a Windows machine to manage my photos. I'm able to transfer photos from my camera through my Chromebook, but I'm able to do it faster if I use a Windows machine. I normally borrow Sweetie's old laptop to do it. I was seriously thinking of getting a netbook and I've been holding out because the expense isn't justifiable. Sweetie reviving my 2010 PC solves the problem. He said we'll just get a second hand monitor. Yes! Tipid! 

Ahhh, good thing I got a branded PC back in 2010. It's a Core i3 which is probably why it's still useful even 12 years after. If I get annoyed with it, I could always turn it into a Chromebook hrhrhr (hello Neverware!). Next thing to do is remove outdated apps like SmartBro, Picasa, SketchUp 8 etc. I had Skype on it because of Uncle Fumio. We had a call when we were preparing to visit them in Japan. That was circa 2014! 

Looking forward to having my desktop back. I abandoned it for a long time and didn't want to sell it since I thought I'd be back home sooner. I'm glad it's still working and I can use it again. Yay!

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Sunday, March 27, 2022

There's Something in the Air

Taal Volcano has been erupting again. It had several phreatomagmatic eruptions in the past two days. The air has been different. I've been having allergies and have had to stay indoors. Unlike the 2020 eruption though, there's no ash fall. It was reported that it rained after the eruption, so that must have helped keep the ash there. I hope the families affected by the eruption are all okay and can go home soon. I pray that the Taal Volcano will quiet down soon since the businesses in the area are just picking up and recovering from the lockdowns. 

On a positive note, there are happy changes happening. Mom finally got her hair cut and she even had her nails done. I hope to get my booster shot in the next few days. I got some help from a friend since I'm required to get Pfizer. Got Mom more groceries also so she can have a variety of dishes that can be cooked for her. She's been eating a lot more now and has been more energetic. 

I watched the CaMaNaVa rally yesterday. It was a music extravaganza with 64 performers! I tried to stay up to finish it, but I conked out after Tanya Markova performed. I stayed up mainly to wait for my friend's band to perform. It was so cool they also observed Earth Hour. VP Leni cut her speech short for it. She wasn't really scheduled to join the rally, but she still showed up despite her very busy schedule (plus helping out for the Taal evacuees). I heard they have initiated house-to-house campaigning. This is very important to do and I mentioned this in a previous blog post. 

Planning for a less busy week since I'm getting my booster shot. Sweetie was down for a few days when he had his booster shot. Hope to finish everything I need to do before my schedule. We wanted to do it earlier, but had a hard time finding a non-hospital vaccine center that offers Pfizer. Too bad the Nayong Pilipino vaccine center only offers Moderna. 

Looking forward to have a better week! Enjoy the rest of your weekend guys. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Saturday, March 26, 2022

I Felt Unsafe

Yesterday, my Mom had an unexpected visitor. It was one of her former drivers. We haven't heard from him in more than a decade now. Good thing a neighbor dropped by at the same time and was able to watch over Mom. 

It's hard not to be suspicious of anyone at this point. I was advised not to trust anyone also so I'm quite paranoid. I know I'm probably annoying Mom a lot, but I just want to make sure she's safe. Someone popping up after a decade long absence made me question his intentions. Mom said he just passed by and happened to see her. Really? 

It was a good reminder that we still need to be cautious. It triggered my anxiety though and by early evening I had to lie down. I pinged Kuya at 1 in the morning because the worry snowballed into other things. Good thing he was still awake and gave me some advise. 

Retired this door lock after 52 years of service.

I realized that I could take comfort in the fact that Papa Jesus will always be there for me. It is only in Him that I could feel truly safe. Overthinking will just stress me out and make me sick. I fell asleep immediately after that thought. 

My cousin posted this morning, "Don't stop being good because of bad people." Tomoh. What they did to us is not unforgivable, but it will take time to get it out of our system. I've SOS'd Kuya to help Mom get over it. If not, I'm afraid her room will be full of things she thinks may be taken. It's also hard for me because her assistant calls me in a panic whenever they can't find something my Mom misplaced. 

In time those cruel people will face the consequences of what they've done. Si Papa God na bahala sa kanila. I'll just continue working on putting things back to order. Suspending non-fun tasks this weekend to do some quilting.

Happy weekend everyone. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Friday, March 25, 2022

Some Friday Fun

We brought out Mom with us today. She was happy to see many developments in our place. She noted also that most of our neighbors had Leni-Kiko posters. We just went to one place for an errand. After that we did a short joyride around the park so she could see the church and the many bougainvillea plants she planted together with her friends. Mom also gave her new assistant a tour of the place. Oh, how I loved to hear Mom talk about her past projects. 

After we dropped off Mom, Sweetie and I did a simple date! We went to a nearby bakery and brought bread haha. I told him that was the closest to a date we've done since we got home from Singapore. Ahh, times have really changed, but we're just happy to be together as a family.

We've been so busy the past two weeks, we haven't been able to go walking! The activity of going back and forth to visit Mom has been our exercise. It was effective though in resetting my weird body clock. I've been falling asleep faster too. 

I'm still getting nightmares though from what happened. It will take time to heal. I think among the many things I've been through, betrayal is one of the hardest to forget. Well, things are slowly going back to normal. I really hope I can start making our summer curtains because it's been very, very hot! 

Now gotta go and water the plants. Hope you all have a good weekend!

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Thursday, March 24, 2022

A Lesson on Radical Love

Today I learned what VP Leni Robredo meant when she said, "Mas radikal ang magmahal." A friend asked for some support for kakampinks in Davao. SunStar posted an update about the rally in Digos City and there are just so many negative comments. 

I liked the Sunstar post with a heart and then skimmed through the comments. Saw someone posting fake news, so I spent a little time getting a screenshot and her profile link. Another one was questioning whether the attendees are really voters and she criticized the many performers who come to these sorties. I suggested for her to attend so she can hear about the platforms. She said she wasn't from the area, so I suggested she could watch online. Then she went on about the rallies being full of anger. 

Yesterday with Mommy.

At that point I was getting a bit riled up already, but I told myself I don't want to end up like them. VP Leni said that they are part of who we are fighting for. Tried to explain to her that the anger stems from all the atrocities that have happened. We pay proper taxes, but the funds are misused. She responded by saying she is happy with what government has been doing. 

I realized then that her conviction is very deep for the other camp. I disengaged by telling her I had other things to do and suggested she make sure she's getting the correct information. I gave her the link of so she could check there. In my previous life I could have gone on and on. I decided to disengaged because getting worked up will affect my health and I do have a lot to do today. 

It was a good way though to understand what VP Leni said about radical love. She's really gone through a lot and I really appreciate the strength and energy she is putting behind her campaign. I've done Luzon- Visayas-Mindanao in one day once. Oh boy, that was so tiring! I never did it again. So you should really appreciate the effort she's putting to fight for us. 

Old Memories: Graduation Gift

I got through university (college) with a dot matrix printer. Inkjet printers back then were super expensive. Final copy of my thesis was printed on my thesismate's brother's printer which he brought to my house in the middle of the night. Printing was so slow and we almost did not make the deadline! I was finishing printing at home while Jingo and Alan stayed at our department's door to make sure the department secretary did not leave yet. After printing I rushed to the xerox place across campus to have the thesis bounded. Then rushed to submit it. Things were so cumbersome back then. 

Anyway, my Mom found my old printer - an HP Deskjet 400. I think it was their graduation gift for me. I do remember it was a printer, I'm just not sure if it was this or another printer. I did some research and found out it was manufactured around that time. It was very expensive, but I was so pleased they got me a printer for my graduation gift. Mom said she'll clean it up. I don't know though if it'll still work. We also found other old devices and have to figure out how best to retire them (happy to donate to a museum if there's one hehe). 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Indulgence and the Quest for Normalcy

Indulgence used to be a foreign word for me. At a young age my Kuya taught me how I should be careful with spending my money. He advised that I should prioritize buying things I need over things I want. I heeded that advise and I went extreme, haha. 

The first few years I was an OFW I set a weekly allowance for myself. It was SG$50 per week. I didn't need much since I would eat breakfast, lunch and merienda at the office for free. I would usually spend SG$4 to 5 dollars for my usual siew mai or char siu for dinner. If I saved enough I'd treat myself to Wendy's on weekends. Once a month I'd go to Lucky Plaza to remit money, then I'd swing by Daiso at Plaza Singapura to spend my SG$10 Daiso indulgence allowance. 

Well, that behavior allowed me to save enough money to buy a condo unit which was paid in full in half the time of our mortgage. I relaxed a bit eventually when Miggy and Jay moved to Singapore. We would usually have a nice lunch after hearing mass on Sundays. I also aimed to have a nice vacation at least once a year. It was only in 2019 though when I learned I was really being hard on myself. Kuya taught me a better way to manage my finances and I must say I've been happier. 

Last week was really challenging. I surprised the boys by ordering lunch from Friday's. This snowballed to Starbucks and a mini chocolate cake from Conti's. We don't go out so this is already a rare treat for us. I'm afraid to check my weight now. I lost weight last week and have probably regained it. Mom is the only one who has the license to gain weight. The service folks have already complained they are gaining weight from all the food I've been sending, hahaha. 

We're slowly easing back to normal. I'm still adjusting to managing Mom's house. I hope there won't be late night calls anymore for "walang tubig!" I'm amazed though, Mom's new helper sent me photos as their grocery list. Well, at least I know what brand they prefer. The best thing is I've been falling asleep faster and I wake up in a more decent time. Fitbit confirmed that my sleep score has improved a lot. 

BTW, I'm looking for a TV to replace what my Mom is using. I didn't realize TVs are so expensive nowadays! Like wow! Our newest TV is we got pre-loved from my former housemate in Singapore. Ahhh, I have an idea -- split it three-way with Kuya and Ate hahaha. Or maybe we can lend first one of our TVs from the condo to Mom for now. But anyway, suggestions are welcome! 

P.S. Don't forget to wear pink today!

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Break Free, Detaching from the Madness

PasigLaban was amazing! I just watched the whole event online. Chills kept running down my spine everytime drone shots were shown. I also kept getting teary eyed throughout the event. I felt that way because I am holding on to the hope that our country would be better. 

Many asked me why I decided to go back home. They told me that life in Singapore was better. It is much more convenient, but it's not home. And I've already felt the difference. When I got home I had to chase the accredited company to do my swab test at the hotel. I've had to submit letters whenever I have requests for the barangay and police. My agent had to go back and forth to government offices to process our new home papers and tax. 

I hope we can all break free from what we're stuck with right now. I think it was so cool that Ariana Grande gave a shoutout to the rallyists who were singing her song "Break Free". That's what we're also doing now -- breaking free from the atrocities a trusted family did to our home. It's been hard and we're still picking up the pieces. At least now the house is spic and span thanks to the cleaners. The pest control company will take care of the rats and I hope the barangay can help us remove the chickens (they're an invitation for snakes!). 

Doing all this while managing my health. I've had to stay home and let the boys do the legwork. It is still stressful though especially after uncovering a lot more anomalies. We've put in safeguards to keep Mom safe, but it is really hard to feel safe when you experience bad things in your own home. I've been asking Mom to stay with me for now, but she's adamant and wants to stay in her home. The best thing to do is to detach emotionally so it doesn't drain us. 

I seriously miss the days I'd just spend sewing and watering the plants. Well, I hope this would soon be over and we can make fully break free and move on. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Monday, March 21, 2022

It's Not Your House

 "Bakit ka naghahanap ng gamit sa hindi mo naman bahay?"

That's what the petulant, misguided child told me when I was looking for a pitcher in the kitchen. I felt so attacked! It took all my might not to answer her back. I just responded with a very cold, "Excuse me?" I think she felt my wrath because she took a step back. I ignored her and worked on getting water. 

She used to be a very sweet child. I lavished her with gifts. Her favorite was a tutu skirt which I was told she always wanted to wear. I excitedly bought a Barbie doll for her in Singapore for Christmas. I imagined she'd be as excited as I was when I got my first Barbie. It was met with nonchalance. I was told she had several Barbie dolls already. 

Lived there since birth! That's meeh!

The happy, simple child was gone. Her behavior totally changed from then and I rarely saw her after that Christmas. She would run away whenever I would visit my Mom. So that child in the kitchen who said those words to me is a totally different person now. 

I thought about writing her school and asked teacher-friends if I should. They think it's a good idea. I realized though I should just stop being emotionally invested in them. I was told also that at this point they do not deserve my family's love. It's not up to me to correct the child. It's the responsibility of her parents to instill proper values. 

I wrote about it today because I feel it's the best way for me to exorcise the pain they inflicted in my family. We took care of them for about 20 years, the least they could've done is take care of the trust given to them. I hired professional cleaners to clean and disinfect the house. I can't imagine how they slept alongside rats, roaches and termites. I'll need to find someone who can help clear out the backyard since they put unauthorized stuff there (no wonder snakes have been coming!). 

What would you do if this happened to you? 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Turn Envy to Admiration

A friend told me yesterday's post was biting haha. I wrote it at 2:30 in the morning. Sometimes it's hard to express what I want to say when I get distracted. Oh dear muse, you kept me up again.

I think my last thought last night was the idea of turning envy into something positive. It could be better used if you instead use it as inspiration. Don't try to live the life of another person because God has a different path for you. If you let envy lead your life, you won't be content. And you'll never be satisfied with anything. 

I watched the debate last night and saw how others looked at my chosen candidate with envy. They made shots at her, but she stood tall because she knows what she has to offer. Admire and learn. Understand that you have your own talents and gifts and grow more by learning from others. If I was a candidate not getting any large support, I'd just go and support what would be best for the citizens. 

I remember my Mom teaching me that lesson about managing envy. I was in first grade and I had a nice stationary collection. I brought it to school to show my friends. It got stolen! I cried and cried, but my Mom talked to me and explained why it was stolen. I also learned the value of not flaunting what you have. Just keep it simple and classy. 

That incident when I was a first grader taught me so many things. I just remembered it since I've been trying to understand happened.

Admire and be inspired. Don't be an inggiterang frog! LOL.

PS for the candidates who were so green with envy, give credit where it is due. Accept that there are times the best man for the job IS a woman! And that goes to all those people who mansplained me in the past. Che!

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Saturday, March 19, 2022

The Root of Evil

I always believed in Jean Jacques Rousseau's belief. He said that "man is by nature good". We are after all created in the likeness of God. 

Despite everything I've been through in my life, I'm lucky I'm not jaded or angry at the world. I was telling Sister Lirio last night that I haven't cried because of what happened. She said it's probably because I'm being strong for my Mom. I think it's also because I was expecting this to happen. 

Because the story started over 15 years ago. It started with envy. It started with copying a look. How one acted. Then followed some missing items, a bit of money missing here and there. A firing happened and then supposedly a change.

It was good for awhile and forgiveness was given. But the envy kicked in again. More items started to go missing. Then more money started getting lost. The thought of rehabilitation was there, but it was I guess too late. Relationships were badly affected. Evil took root and it grew. 

I left but I didn't escape it. Little did I know I wasn't free from the work of evil. I found some papers showing that whatever my parents worked hard for me was gone. I told Sister Lirio I'm resigned to the fact that I'll never get it back. 

Good tried to prevail, but envy took over. I was told that they do not deserve the love of my family. 

I also always believe that hardwork pays off. My parents provided me with a good life. We're not rich. We just had enough to enjoy and be comfortable. When we all finished our studies we all worked hard to also provide for our families. 

The envy could have been turned into inspiration instead. Motivation to work harder to achieve your dreams. Just taking what isn't yours to fulfill your wants isn't as satisfying as working hard for a need. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Friday, March 18, 2022

Action Filled Day, Iz Tired Zzzzz

I'm only blogging now. I've been busy going through some documents which I found in Mom's basement. It took me an hour and a half to sort it and now Miggy's doing another step of sorting. Yes, that many. 

It was an eventful day. I'm just really grateful for all the help we're getting from family and friends. It must be what VP Leni feels when she sees all her supporters. Pampalakas loob. It took all my will not to hug my friend's Dad. He reminded me so much of my Dad and I almost cried at some point because I miss my Dad so, so much!

Mom and Tito Louie finally get together after more than 2 years.

It was a difficult day to go through, but I reminded myself I had to keep calm to also keep my Mom calm. I read someone post on FB the other day saying that Virgos are always classy. I actually wore earrings, a blouse, pants and shoes! Haha. Another friend even gave me advise to comb down my hair. I didn't have time anymore and just let it stand. 

Also brought my oximeter. My friend reminded me to make sure I was breathing properly and had a stable heart rate. O2 went down to 93 and heart rate was above 100. It went back to normal when everyone was gone. 

Still have loads to do. I smiled when I saw a handwritten note by my Dad. I'll never forget his handwriting because only me, my Mom and Miggy could understand it. He took pre-med before he became a lawyer. I expect to encounter Dad more when we start cleaning the house. 

I'm now having Mom focus on her gardening and getting her to re-start quilting again. She still walks fast and sometimes we have to run to catch up with her. Before I left her house I caught her washing dishes. If I reach her age (86!), I hope I won't make it hard for Miggy hehehe. 

My wish now is for my siblings to come home. I think my Mom will feel more reassured when she sees all of us together. Book ko na lang kaya sila ng flight noh? 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Thursday, March 17, 2022

My New Suspenseful Life

“Criminals should be punished, not fed pastries.” ― Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book

I'm taking a break today. My temp has been elevated for two days now and I hope I didn't pick up an infection from the smelly basement. I hope there won't be any calls from the police or barangay today. They've been trying to force their hand to get in my Mom's home. They can't scare me with threats. In the first place, they should have followed what was agreed on. 

I'm really grateful for the support from family and friends. I know Daddy has been guiding us also from heaven. I found our lawyer because of him. I've also been getting advise from friends who are experts in this field. And I've been getting reminders from everyone to rest. 

Mom's in high spirits. Hope we both can get a haircut soon.

My original plan for this week was to re-pot the cactus Ate Rose gave me. It has outgrown it's pot. I was also going to put up the pink parols (with help of course) and was hoping my new posters would be delivered already. I've also been working on taking over managing Mom's household and scheduled a mangangalakal to pull out our old ref. I was also going to start working on my summer curtains and have lighting installed in our living room. I honestly still hoped there were no anomalies happening. It is what it is now and just have to do what's needed.

Mom's newspaper subscription is back. This was her first request and coffee!
I gave her my supply muna since it was late already when she told me.

A friend told me it was divine intervention already. It was really hard to make a move because I've been so worried about Mom being left alone. We've been trying to find a new helper for two years already. Mom doesn't want to live with me. She still prefers to be independent. I agreed with my friend because I've been praying hard to resolve the issue. I also prayed hard for guidance. 

And you know my prayers were all answered. Even my small whims were granted (i.e. getting Tita Olive to cook spaghetti for me). A long-time prayer to be closer to my siblings was also answered. I now understand my new mission and why Papa God sent me back home. My Fitbit shows that my sleep score has improved a lot and I've been waking up earlier. 

I hope I have a quiet day today. I need it to finish reviewing Mom's accounts. It's a lot of numbers and like a puzzle. Remembered the days when I would prepare budgets at work. I was also designated person to finish whatever was left at the end of the year. Let's just hope for the best. 

P.S. Spoke too soon. I'm definitely not having a quiet day. I ordered some pizza though, easier to eat while reviewing numbers. 

#Bekind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The Filth

The stench they left made me gag yesterday. How can anyone live that way? I saw some photos where they partied, dressed up nicely, accepted visitors and basically used the house like it was their own. They never asked permission from my Mom for their capricio.

I realized, no matter how you try to make yourself look good, the stench of the bad things you're doing will seep out. But I can't imagine how people could live in a place that reeked of rat urine. To think we had been doing pest control the past two years. They lived a really dugyot life. I promptly got sick yesterday after checking if my Mom's old plates were still in the basement cabinet. 

The past few days I've focused on securing my Mom. I'm putting things back into proper order. Paying unpaid bills. Getting supplies since there wasn't anything to eat, not even canned goods. There wasn't even any cleaning liquids, not even Joy. Everything is filthy and I honestly don't want to touch anything at this point. At least the roof isn't leaking now, I managed to have it fixed and the work just finished last week. 

Criminals don't have remorse because they think they deserve what they've taken. I believe in working hard and living within your means. Whatever I have and whatever I can provide for my Mom was born out of many years of toiling. I will protect and take care of my Mom to the best of my ability. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Joker had No Remorse

I always wondered why Gotham City had a very dark setting. The places Batman went to always looked filthy and scary. It was a permanent crime scene. Batman was after all the cape crusader. He battled Joker, the supervillain who has a manic laugh. I've associated that laugh to someone who has no remorse. 

I thought things would be quieter yesterday after the debacle we went through on Sunday. Our neighbor's revelation was an eye opener on what happened in the last two years we were all forced to be away. She judged me for not taking action immediately and allowing things to get worse. 

To be honest, I felt defensive. I told her I've been sick and I had to confirm our suspicions first. Actually, I prioritized getting Mom checked up first before I did some sleuthing. Yesterday while dealing with harassment I realized that we were at fault too. 

My Mom is the type of person who would keep things to herself. She'd absorb all the pain to make sure we, her children, were protected. I suspected what was going on and tried to take over the management of the finances, but she refused. She told me she thought it would have been hard for Miggy. That's how she was taken advantage of. 

As a child, I always thought my Mom would remain the same forever. At the age of 78 she took care of me for 2 months in Singapore after I had heart surgery. She was also still managing my domestic finances until just before the pandemic. My Mom is the strongest person I know and I wanted her to remain the same. She's also very independent and never wanted us to hang around with her. She'd get impatient when I stay on the phone with her for too long (she prefers long calls with her amigas). 

Thinking my Mom would be the same was our downfall. In my mind I thought she was the same person she was when I was growing up. Strong, independed, a great admin. She tried to shield us, but I realized there comes a time when you have to take care of your parents differently. She's still very stubborn because I wanted her to stay in my house while I was fixing her affairs. She refused, as usual. 

And Joker would never have any remorse. Kuya said you can forgive, but justice has to be served. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Monday, March 14, 2022

Good Riddance

I choked back a sob seeing the blue and red lights from the vehicle bounce off the front of my childhood home. They had come to help me resolve the issue that's been plaguing our family. It felt unreal because I would only see similar instances in the movies.

I stiffened my spine and told myself I had to do this to secure my Mom. What followed was several hours of procedures we had to plough through. They were all very helpful and patient as I had to take mouthfuls of air in between my storytelling (it's really very hard for me to breathe while wearing a mask). It was already past one in the morning before we finally left and went home.

I'm just thankful now that it's over and we can move on from this issue. There's still a lot to do before the issue can be put to rest, but I'm getting help for that. The past two weeks was really difficult because the stress was affecting my health. My siblings were also battling medical emergencies on their end, so I was surprisingly the most able bodied among us. I had to step up. 

When we got to my Mom's I wanted to rush out of the car. Sweetie told me to wait and keep calm. I'm glad he reminded me because I was able to put on my corporate poker face. I needed to do that so I could think clearly and not panic. Dad would have been proud becay I remembered what he taught me when I'm in a stressful situation.

At the end of the long night, I hugged my Mom and told her it's over. She is now safe and we can focus on fattening her up and fixing our rampaged home.

Thank you all for your prayers.

*The red rose represents the color of the candidate we all hate because of what his family did. Yes, this is also an opportunity for me to remind you to vote wisely.

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Day of Reckoning

One of my favorite boardgames is "The Game of Life". I got it as a gift when I was a child and I was fascinated with the spinner in the middle. The concept of the game was to go through different phases of your life. From what I remember you start being single, get married, have children, acquire property, have debts etc. The day of reckoning is where you get paid a sum of money for each child, pay debts and this is where you make a decision whether you think you can become a millionaire. 

It's been more than 3 decades since I last played the game. It did give me a glimpse of what was ahead. There were more challenges, more issues, more pain than what the game teaches you. There's also a lot more happiness and love. 

I'm declaring today as a day of reckoning. It is the day I finally resolve an issue that has been plaguing my family for at least 2 decades. It was born out of a quest to help rehabilitate someone. That decision caused a lot of problems and got worse. The lesson from it is that sometimes when you want to help someone, but that person has a different motivation for sticking around. 

My family has given many opportunities for remorse, but the last straw was a lie. It led me to uncover a huge can of worms. It has caused my family a lot of pain, but it ends today so the healing can start. 

Please pray for us. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Saturday, March 12, 2022

How Volunteerism Works

In my previous job I built several communities. The first one started because I saw people were eager to learn. I wasn't the best person to teach so I got help from those who could. I saw it as a natural step because I learned about volunteerism from my parents. 

I was just a toddler when they volunteered to help build our parish church. It took years and I saw first hand how different people contributed to reach their goal. They even hosted a fund-raising activity where they were able to get famous stars to entertain. Through that they were able to raise enough funds to build our beautiful parish church. 

GTUG before it became GDG. Brian Tan Seng was one of those kind hearted people who volunteered to help teach other developers. Also thanks to O&B for supporting the first few meetups!

The community I started didn't even have a proper name. Together with some volunteers, we started by organizing learning sessions. We were luckily supported by startup companies. They provided the venue and some snacks. Eventually the efforts grew and a proper program was created. That took years to hone. Eventually, the program was expanded and we built other communities. 

Building things from scratch was hard. Getting the support for it even harder. I shed a lot of blood and tears to get support. The most difficult task I encountered was convincing my VP. A common question I always got was, "Why would these people volunteer to teach others?" "Do we need to pay them?" "Why would they want to map?" 

GenSan mapUp.

I fiercely fought for my communities when I ended up reporting directly to the VP. I convinced him to come to the Philippines and brought all the community leaders to my event. Brought them together in a session and had the leaders speak their minds. I wanted my VP to understand that when you work with like-minded people -- those who wanted to help teach others -- the movement will grow. I did that because I knew I couldn't do everything by myself. These volunteers taught others, mapped the country, helped during crisis, mapped all precincts among others. Your child's teacher? Probably learned the ropes of online learning through volunteers.

The celebratory dinner after the "aha!" moment.

And I found a lot of selfless people who wanted to help others. It started with developers, then entrepreneurs, then teachers. I did the same for students (now I have 400 kids calling me Mommy across the region haha). It eventually didn't matter whether I could speak their language, they shared the same passion and saw what others were doing. The communities eventually taught the rest of the world how they could help in their own way. 

It was sheer willpower to organize a mapUp in a country where very few people spoke English.

Volunteerism works when you have the same goals and the right purpose. That's what we're seeing now across the country as people come together to support a candidate that's been working with volunteers throughout her life. :)

Note to self: I can go on and on about this and leadership. I can probably write a book about it haha. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Friday, March 11, 2022

How to Lose a Customer in 10 Ways

First, take a week to confirm cash payment. 

Second, confirm that payment has been received. Take a few more days to schedule delivery and installation.

Third, inform the customer they're coming the next day to deliver and install. Ask if they're going to install the item.

Third, cancel coming and use the excuse that their vehicle broke down. 

Fourth, wait another week before re-scheduling and only inform the customer the day before that you're coming. Oh and ask again if the item will be installed.

Fifth, deliver the item and conveniently forget they're supposed to install the item. Promise the customer they're going to come back for installation. They're just in the neighborhood and can come back.

Sixth, don't come back. Use the excuse that the vehicle broke down

Seventh, blame the customer for scheduling in the afternoon. 

Eigth, reschedule for next week. 

Ninth, tell the customer their contractor's electrician can install the item (installation is included in the item).

Tenth, keep apologizing but keep on making your customer feel bad for choosing your company. 

One of the worst experiences I had was getting undercooked chicken from a favorite chicken joint. I messaged them, but they were able to address the issue properly. I was so upset because i was really hungry. The restaurant addressed the issue by acknowledging the mistake, making an investigation and they made up for it by reimbursing the amount. My feedback actually helped them because they were able to confirm that there was a lapse in the process. They sent their store manager to apologize in person. She also brought freshly cooked (fully cooked!) chicken and cake. 

That was a really remarkable way to manage an issue. I never even mentioned the issue to anyone which meant the restaurant had proper processes in place to address issue. I truly appreciated what they did especially since they are one of my favorite restos. What I went through today is the complete opposite. I would have understood, but they already made me wait a long time, blamed me for scheduling an afternoon visit, then tried to pass on the work which would have caused me to shell out more money. 

Of course, I got pissed and because they were just digging a deeper hole I gave them lengthy feedback. I explained that as a customer I have a right to request what time they could come especially since they only informed me a day before. I pointed out that I've been made to wait a few weeks for fulfillment and that changes in schedules have also affected the workflow of my contractor's electrician because they have to pull him out just to help us. I also explained that getting the electrician to do the installation meant I'd have to pay for his services too. 

Well, I hope they take my feedback as constructive criticism. I got the item from them because they were referred to us by our contractor. Their sales team was pretty responsive so I thought everything would go smoothly. They thanked me for the feedback and promised to do the installation next week. Well, we'll see how it goes. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Memories of Yellow Confetti in Ayala

My Dad had a law office in one of the buildings in Ayala Avenue in the 80s. For many years I'd take the Love Bus with a Tita or Manong Percy from St. Scho to my Dad's office. The memory of cutting up old yellow pages popped in my mind when I was comforting a friend yesterday. 

As soon as I reached my Dad's office, my Mom would change my clothes and give me a pair of scissors to cut up pages upon pages of old yellow pages. Then at a certain time they'd open the window and have me throw out the yellow confetti. Many others from other windows and other buildings did the same. My parents explained to me that we were doing that as a sign of hope for freedom. Once that started, groups of people would go out and rally. 

I was only 8 years old when that happened. I'm glad my parents allowed me to participate during that time. I was very young, but I knew that it was important to protest and fight for freedom. I guess I remembered it because I had to reassure my friend not to worry about the situation. What the enemy hasn't realized is we are all fed up with the atrocities and we'll definitely fight for what we all deserve. 

I had all these pins before. It's still probably somewhere in my Mom's house.
Was so happy when I saw this collection at the Malacanan Palace Museum.

I told her that those rallies in the 80s were much smaller compared to what we're seeing now. People were also scared because you don't know if you're just going to get picked up and disappear in the night. We're able to freely speak out now and show support for our candidates. Back then you had to be very brave to voice out your displeasure because you can end up in jail (and lucky if it's just jail). Some of them were my Dad's friends and I got to spend an entire day traveling with them from Manila to Bicol. It was a firsthand experience story telling history lesson for me and Miggy. 

I reassured my friend that there's no space for the dark forces to succeed. Pinoys are very patient to a fault, but as they say, don't poke the bear. It's already awake. 

P.S. Because I spent so much time cutting up yellow pages, I got so fascinated with it and wanted to work for the company that made it. I eventually did! 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Shake It Off

I'm honestly been feeling down the past few weeks since discovering what's happening in our backyard. Much as I want to quash with Thor's Mjolnir (the mystical Uru Warhammer). Told Mom I'm avoiding going to her house for now because I don't trust I could control my temper. It's been a test of character and I know I still have a lot to improve. I haven't been sleeping well also because I'm super bothered.

It doesn't help that there's a lot of things going on in the world. It feels like the pandemic opened Pandora's Box. The war has affected all of us. The elections. These are just some of the added triggers. I buried myself in multiple quilt projects to calm myself down. When my hands are busy it means I could stay offline and avoid negativity. Taking care of my heart and mind is important because if I get anxious it affects my body. 

Here's how I've been coping:

Quilting projects

I just finished two sets of potholders, a set of coasters, cover for our blender and my KitchenAid blender. I skipped filming the projects because I wanted to enjoy creating. 


It takes me an hour everyday to water my plants. I used to dread doing it, but I now enjoy it. My veggies are taking awhile to grow. I'm just making sure they don't die for now. I just got a rake and can't wait to try it later. 

Walking to Spin a Pokestop

Re-started walking to spin a Pokestop. It's just about a thousand steps every time we go. I always get a high after.

Puttering in the Kitchen

I haven't been able to do a lot of cooking and baking, but I just got a ginormous electric fan for the kitchen. I was able to bake though when it rained hard two weeks ago. Heat is my kryptonite! We haven't finished organizing our kitchen haha. 

Watching Happy Vids

I prefer to watch happy family vids now than travel vlogs. Also just discovered Jonathan Van Ness' show on Netflix. I only like some of the topics he's covered, but I like his energy. 

Time for me to water the plants! 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022


Saw Basel's (The Hungry Syrian Wanderer) vlog last night. It was where he picked up his father from the airport. They hadn't seen each other for 10 years. Basel was sent by his parents to the Philippines to be safe from the war. Later on in the video Basel shared that he cried when he realized that his father had aged without him seeing it. 

I know how it feels. I didn't see my Mom for almost 2 years. When I finally saw her last November I was super surprised with the changes. She had lost a lot of weight and she seemed frail. I cried when I got home and had sleepless nights over it. Sister Lirio told me to do the best for her since she's already 86. I cried even more. 

I always believed my parents would be around forever. I lost my Dad 11 years ago and I still pine for him everyday. It took me awhile to accept the reality that my Mom needs more care now compared to two years ago. The first thing I did was have her health checked. She only needed vitamin D3 supplements.

I've now taken over managing her household. Much as I want her to live with me, she's refused and doesn't even want to spend a night in the room we prepared for her. She still wants to live independently and doesn't want to leave her home. My friends said that's how elderly people are, they just want to stay in their own home. 

There are two more things I need to do. One is to ensure that Mom will be protected and two, make sure that her house is safe. I've briefed the architect and engineer what needs improvement. It's been a few weeks since they checked the house and I hope they'll soon finish the plan. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Monday, March 7, 2022

What if Your Friend's Child is a Troll?

Yesterday a friend pinged me for advise. He told me the son of one of our elders in the community has been sharing fake information and exhibiting troll-like behavior. He said he's called his attention several times about it, but he's just been ignored. 

Found this fitting photo of the friend who brought up the issue. 
Behind him is my Dad haha.

While I'm frustrated over the fact that I have friends and family who are fanatics of the dictator's son, they're still a loved one and I respect their decision even though it's exasperating at times. The elections happen only every couple of years and relationships are more important than voting for the same person. 

The son of our friend is probably in his early twenties. Miggy told me that it's really hard for their generation to grasp what happened during Martial Law since they weren't around yet and there's really a lot of disinformation on Tiktok and Facebook. I told Miggy that's where parents come in. Told him he's on the right track because we fed him the right information. His grandparents also made sure he knew what went on during Martial Law. 

Miggy's already an adult, but I was never anxious about what he does online. I made sure of that when he was younger because I would check what sites he'd go to. We were lucky because everything was still PC based when he was young. It's harder to check what they do on mobile and tablets. I'm not even familiar with Tiktok since I don't use it and don't have the patience to learn it. I tried it for a day and immediately deleted it because it was too noisy for me (#signofoldage).

Since our friend's son hasn't been listening to him I advised him to either step up on calling his attention or bring it up with the elder's sister who is a kakampink. I told him I wasn't sure who the Mom was supporting and I didn't want him to get in a bind. Managing the relationship is key so I thought it would be useful to ask the tita for help first.

With so much disinformation flying around, do check what your kids are getting themselves into. I do take time to read what my family and friends post online since I have the time to do it. I didn't see this one that my friend flagged since I'm not friends with him on FB. I would have immediately brought it up with his mom if I saw it. Hopefully the matter would be rectified and there would be one less troll online. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Sunday, March 6, 2022

How the Pandemic Changed Me

“If you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable . . . then you will find your joy in the Lord.” – Isaiah 58:13-14

The pandemic has definitely changed how we live. I was already making arrangements to work from home twice a week when the mandate to WFH was made. It was a blessing in disguise for me, but things got busier and I ended up working longer hours. What I missed most though was our weekly trip to church and eating out with the boys. Malling was my cardio exercise haha. 

I like just staying at home. My friends at work once had to kidnap me to join them for dinner. They intercepted my ride home and made me ride their taxi. I'm an introvert so I thrived just being home. The pandemic changed me and re-aligned my priorities. Here's what I've so far done:

1. Learned to bake bread. 

2. Took up gardening again. 

3. Developed more quilting skills.

4. Blogged everyday (this is my third year of blogging everyday)

5. And most importantly, prayed more. 

And lessons I've learned:

1. Rest is important. 

2. Health is wealth.

3. Be with family. Being apart for two years was heart-breaking.

4. Remember that God loves you. 

5. Trust that everything will be alright. 

Now that I'm back home I'm adjusting again. You just need to be flexible and enjoy wherever you can. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Saturday, March 5, 2022


It's not a rosy life for me. I was hoping things would be easier after I left my busy work life. I've been having some challenges which have been causing sleep issues again. I'm just looking at it as a way for me to become more seasoned. I'm just glad my siblings are behind me and supporting every step of the way even though they're far away.

I am usually very impatient when problems crop up. I want them immediately resolved. The current issue I'm trying to fix is a delicate one and I have to be very careful about making a move. It's been making me sleepless, but I feel this is a good way for me to learn to be chill. 

I'm actually surprised I've been able to hold back and not strike first, think later. It's probably because of all the crazy challenges I've been through. It's funny because when I attended the Youth Encounter when I was about to graduate high school we were asked to make a list of problems. I didn't have any. My life was so simple back then and the only worry I had was graduating high school with good grades. 

I lived a very sheltered life. The challenges started coming when I was allowed to experience the outside world. Made a lot of bad decisions, but Titay told me she was proud of me because I took responsibility for all my mistakes. My Mom told me that when you have problems it's God way of reminding you that He loves you. God truly showed me how much He loves me in the last 3 decades lol.

Have a problem? Just chill and listen to God's guidance. I know I've been sleepless because I've been itching to resolve it immediately. There are issues though that require time and patience to resolve. Hopefully it'll all be over in a week. 

Please pray for us. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Friday, March 4, 2022

My First Big Girl Moment

I remember the day when I felt I finally grew up. In September 2006 I flew by myself to the US for training. I was so overwhelmed and tried hard not to cry once I stepped out of the airport. It was the farthest I traveled by myself. I've always gone to the US with my family. 

It was evening when I arrived in SFO. It was very cold when I stepped out and everything looked massive. I felt very small and told myself, "This is it. You're a big girl now." I took a deep breath and looked for the van that would take me to Mountain View. 

That was the moment that transformed me to become a big girl. I was still overwhelmed for the rest of the trip. My manager said he was surprised I was very quiet the whole time I was there. It just took me awhile to take everything in. It didn't help that everyone towered over me. Everything looked huge. It's probably what Alice in Wonderland felt when she stumbled into another world. 

I grew in the few weeks we were in the states. I eventually started to blossom. I felt different when I got home. My perspective of the world changed. I was no longer just "the child of" but I had come into my own. It was then that I felt I was finally in-charge of my life. 

Have you experienced a similar transformation?

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely   

Thursday, March 3, 2022

The Sunflower

I've been following international news the past few days. Russia's invasion of Ukraine is heartbreaking. I saw a video of an old woman giving sunflower seeds to Russian soldiers. She told them they would bloom into sunflowers when they die. I also just saw a photo of a Ukranian ballet dancer now dressed as a soldier. 

I also watched the EU Parliament address of the Ukranian President. He said at least 15 children were killed yesterday and their Freedom Square was hit by missiles. He also mentioned that the Russian soldiers did not actually know why they were invading Ukraine.  There is also much disinformation happening in Russia. You can watch the speech here.

Of course from where we are there's nothing we could really do except pray for this to be over. More than 800,000 people have been displaced already, some of them Filipinos. Since I started using my hand as a guide for my prayers, I've been praying more for others than myself. My problems aren't as overwhelming anymore and I've become more grateful for the blessings. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely #PrayForPeace