Friday, May 20, 2022

Kitchen Re-opening!

Alas! It's rainy season again according to PAGASA. Yaaaaas! It's been raining everyday for a week now. I am happy because it's not so hot anymore. More importantly, my plants are very happy because they're getting properly hydrated and getting vitamins from the rain. Our drum is also almost full now since we've been collecting rainwater. 

I haven't cooked for two months now. It was too hot for me to stay in the kitchen for long periods of time. We've also been eating in the craft room to avoid the heat. I had heat exhaustion in March and I realized that's how fragile I am. The only time I go out is when I water the plants late in the afternoon. Well, since the weather is cooler now I was finally able to cook again last night!

It was Daddy's birthday yesterday, so I made some of his beef mustasa dish. I made it with liver spread this time and it brought back happy memories of Dad teaching me how to make it. It's the only dish I learned from him because he would cook so fast and never measured anything. I prepare food like it's a science experiment by measuring everything haha. Daddy learned to cook from the original cooks of Casa Moderna in Naga (used to be called Moderna Bakery). He said that's where he hung out after school and they taught him how to cook. 

Here's how to make my Dad's beef mustasa dish.

My next target is to make adobo. I'll start with easy dishes since I'm still re-building my stamina. The booster shot did a number on me and I'm still reeling from its effects. Hibernating from the heat is done and now I need to get moving to regain the strength I lost. If the rain continues maybe I can bake some cheese cupcakes soon. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, May 19, 2022

A Few Days with La Sallian Brothers in Rome

Br. Armin Luistro, FSC yesterday was elected to be the first Filipino superior general of the Brothers of Christian Schools. This was really happy news for me. I'm sure he'll be able to contribute a lot to the La Sallian community worldwide because of his vast experience. I was also happy to see photos and videos of the occasion and it reminded me of the time I was able to spend with the La Sallian brothers in Rome a few years ago. 

My lazy blog post in 2020 didn't fully capture the amazing experience I had when I spent time with them. The time I spent at the La Salle headquarters in Rome (Casa generaliza istituto Fratelli Scuole Cristiane) is a cherished memory. I had been mourning the death of Br. Gene Tiangco, FSC. He took me under his wing when I was a student and he passed away a few months before I went to Rome. Spending time with the La Sallian brothers healed me. I felt the same love and care Br. Gene showed me and I knew in time I would find someone like him again. 

There was nothing but joy when I arrived in Rome. The name of the La Sallian brother who picked us up at the airport escapes me. It was a jolly ride from the airport and I learned a lot about the history of the Generalata from him. First order of the day was eating at the cafeteria. Then we had a short tour of the place. We thought we were going to stay at Casa La Salle (a hotel), but they made us stay in their quarters. Sweetie came with me, but we slept in separate beds haha. We also whispered to each other when we talked because we didn't want to disturb the brothers. We later on found out that they usually watch Netflix in the evenings LOL. 

The three most memorable experiences for me were:

(1) Realizing that the "ball" in the church that the Brother was hand gesturing to me was actually St. La Salle's head. [photo on this post]

(2) Seeing the relics of the saints. I was only familiar with them because the buildings in our campus was named after them. 

(3) Br. Bob Schneider, FSC (the most recent superior general) showing us the hallway which held the paintings of all previous superior generals. From St. La Salle they were able to build over a thousand schools across 77 countries in the past 300 years (source). It really does take just one spark to get a fire going.

I was also with Br. Ricky when I first saw St. Peter's Square. We walked from the Generalata to the train station and then walked again to the restaurant. I fell behind so Br. Ricky stayed with me (I had just started my treatment for pulmonary embolism when I went to Rome). 

The brothers did not want me to come home haha. I wish I had taken up the offer to stay there and teach them tech. I also wish I had taken up the offer to stay longer with them and see Rome with them. I turned down the offer because it didn't seem appropriate at that time and maybe I would have allowed them to adopt me if I hung out longer hahaha. 

Happy, grateful memories that I would always cherish. Maybe someday I'll get to visit them again. I pray all of them are well <3

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Breakfast Date with Sweetie

Sweetie surprised me the other day when he told me were going to go grocery shopping in person. I was shookt! I've been ordering groceries online since April 2020 and found his request unusual. I guess I've been moping around since Monday last week he probably thought I needed a change of environment. I was even more shookt when he told me we'll have breakfast out. OMG! This was all new to me. 

We attempted to go out yesterday, but I woke up with a headache so it was postponed. I barely had any sleep last night (#anxiety), but I pushed myself to get out of bed. I looked forward to eating something other than oatmeal (my cardio's mandate is to eat oatmeal for breakfast). Ahhh, it was such a joy to eat at Cafe Breton. The last time we ate at Cafe Breton was many years ago when Sweetie kidnapped me for a quick date. 

I got the excalibur and Sweetie got the dracula. The crepe was delicious as usual. It was my first time to try the excalibur and the combination of ham, emmental cheese, fresh cream and asparagus sauteed with onions and mushrooms was really tasty. I paired the meal with a cup of cappuccino. It was absolutely fulfilling since we waited years to eat there again. 

After breakfast we ran some errands. I was almost wiped out by noon, so rested at Krispy Kreme. They have a nice bundle for 2 at only PhP225. It includes 2 iced coffees and 2 original glazed doughnuts. It was a great refreshment and it's always a good idea to be full before doing groceries! Hahaha. Of course, we brought home food from Makati Supermart Coffee Shop for our late lunch with Miggy. 

It was a great day to go out. Still taking a lot of precautions and socially distancing ourselves to be safe. I was able to make 3k steps and it felt good, but I was pretty wiped out halfway through our grocery list. Probably need a check-up soon just to be on the safe side. 

Have a happy day everyone! Let your light continue to shine. 

#StaySafe #BeKind

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

When Your Parents Grow Old

I always thought my Mom would remain the same forever. The feisty tiger mom  who made sure I would learn to be independent and successful. I was lucky to be the youngest because she was much more strict with my siblings. She was still strict until I finally moved out of the house when I got married. 

Mom was our rock when we lost Dad. I didn't even see her cry. She took care of everything and just kept busy with her garden and crafts after. We were so worried we had Titay move in with her. She ended up taking care of Tito Mon and Titay until they passed on. She's the strong one. To her being too emotional is nonsense. 

She's now 86 years old and she has more energy than me. She still spends a lot of time gardening and doing crafts. Her memory though isn't as sharp anymore, but she's feisty and stubborn as ever. She refuses to move in with me and wants to remain independent. We're lucky because she has no maintenance meds and just takes vitamins. 

I realized though that we should have mandated to take over managing her home and finances. That's how the thief took advantage of her. I asked to take over it when I got home last November, but she refused saying that things were working well for her. Good thing the bank started sending automated messages whenever a withdrawal was made. That's how I caught the thief. So for those with elderly parents, do check their finances because bad people can take advantage of them. 

I've been doing Mom's groceries. The good thing about it I can order more healthy food for her. I remove unhealthy food from the grocery list that's sent to me every other week, i.e. noodles or canned goods. My siblings also send her food every so often. The bills are easier to manage now since I've been able to enroll all of them online. Gcash has been my best friend for paying bills haha. 

Taking care of an elderly parent should seriously be part of what they teach in school. Everyone has to go through it and it's easier if you understand what you need to do. I grew up thinking my parents would remain the same forever because that's what they told me. Mom made it appear that things were going well in her home. If not for the bank's SMSs I wouldn't have known the extent of the damage the thief was doing. 

Keep your parents happy while they're still around. Give them what they want even though sometimes it's not practical hehe. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, May 16, 2022

How I Deal with Trolls

It was late 2006/early 2007 when I first encountered a troll. I was new at my job and he targeted me. He even threatened to email our president to tell him about me. The troll did it through blog posts and everything he said was not true. I immediately reported it to our PR lead and he advised me to ignore it and don't engage. The troll even made me a mistress! He did it several times, but I just ignored it. 

Good thing I was given that advise because the troll just got tired and stopped. A few years ago I was the target of trolls again. Friends alerted me about it. They were discussing my political affiliations and beliefs. They couldn't find any because I never really posted anything. I focused on my work and just continued to do the job at hand. 

It went on for some time and they started to uncover who my friends were. I was worried that they would target my family next. I think it helped I had close friends in Davao because that confused them a lot! I did the same thing and alerted the PR lead in the Philippines. She also told me to ignore it and they'll take care of it if it escalates. They stopped when I told a close friend about it. Almost immediately the trolling stopped. (I honestly don't know what he did to stop them or what his involvement with them was). 

So I continue to ignore them. Nowadays it's harder to identify real people versus fake accounts. I noticed this when I was still in Singapore. The "Filipinos in Singapore" group had a lot of trolls in it and they were pretty nasty people. I would randomly check profiles and lot were new accounts, obviously fake. It was useless to engage because they would just attack you if you tried correcting them. The group eventually became this place of negativity so I just stopped reading. Honestly, the tech companies who own these apps should do a better job of policing it. Also, companies who have been involved with these troll armies should be held accountable.

The best way to protect yourself from trolls is not to engage them. If you encounter one, report their profile. It's also important to make sure that your online properties are kept private. Don't just keep accepting invites. If you must do something, just share verified sources (preferably from valid news outlets). 

Family and friends are best enjoyed in person and in real life. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn

Apparently the quote I used yesterday from Bishop Rey wasn't really made by him, but by another person. I only found out from schoolmates who pointed out things that were untrue. Another instance was the supposed interview on ANC. It was shared by a trusted friend. Another friend dispelled it. Goes to show that it's very easy to fall for fake news. 

At this time it is best to check the source of information. With so much disinformation happening, it might be best to avoid social media for now. I'm not completely staying offline, but I've kept myself from re-sharing what I read. Taking everything with a grain of salt for now since I don't really know anymore what's real and what's not. 

It's just noise and it won't help my mental health. I told myself after getting an anxiety attack last Monday that I have to protect myself better. It will probably be like this for a long time. One thing I learned this week is silence is golden. It is the best way to center yourself again. With so much uncertainty, it's really important to be grounded so you don't get swallowed by it.

“Earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.” - St. Thomas More

Have a blessed Sunday everyone.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Dear First Time Voter

I hate to break it to you, but it won't be the first time you will be disappointed. I have been voting for almost 3 decades now and only one presidential and vice presidential candidate I've voted for won, PNoy and VP Leni. I've had so many TOTGAs, but it never stopped me from hoping and praying that someday the right leader comes along and gets elected. 

Art by Tarantadong Kalbo

As Bishop Rey, Diocese of Imus said, "I am beginning to think that God never meant for Leni to win. Here mission was to waken us up... God showed us that if we get together and worked together, things happen. And maybe that brief moment was actually a glimpse of heaven." You may have been too young during PNoy's time, but we had good governance and that translated to a better economic environment which brought in a lot of investors. Corrupt officials were caught (pork barrel scam) and our debt was reduced which gave us good marks for credit.[more here] Of course, the administration had it's ups and downs, but I was so inspired and contributed back to the country where I could. 

The past six years was full of disappointment. I couldn't even continue the crisis response projects I started during the previous administration. I let things stew for awhile and then had the opportunity to contribute again. It was harder, but I pushed hard until I succeeded (read here). It was challenging, but I told myself to focus on the students and what was needed. That was what helped me have the strength to fight for what was right.

I know it hurts. I have friends both older and younger than me who are still having a hard time. Embrace the pain, but learn for it. Allow it to make you stronger. In time you will be able to use it to help others and contribute back to your country. We're lucky now because VP Leni and Senator Kiko are there to lead us and hone us to be better citizens.

"At alam ko ang aking kaya, alam ko ang hindi 
Alam ko ang kailangan upang makapagsilbi 
Hangga't may kabutihan, hangga't may pag-ibig 
Liwanag ang mananaig"
- Nica del Rosario, from the song "Rosas"

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, May 13, 2022

How I Dealt with the Thief

I have been staring at the screen for an hour already. I've been writing and deleting my draft. I just feel empty today and just going through the motions. The only good thing that's happened today is I've finally fully taken over my Mom's FB profile. I've been unable to change the mobile number associated to her account the past few months, but I was able to disassociate the kawatans number from it. 

Mother's Day with Mom

Well, not anymore and that fight isn't over yet. In the meantime, I've been able to slowly manage Mom's home better. I'm getting all her bills online, so it's been easier to manage now. I've been able to fix her accounts and I'm slowly rebuilding her savings. 

On election day I bumped into the thief. I smelled her before I saw her. She was right behind me and Miggy. I told the association office it was okay for me to let her in the subdivision so she could vote. I was just wary that she'd attempt to go to my Mom's house. Well, I didn't need to worry about her voting while we were inside the polling area. They weren't listed in any of the precincts. I also checked and good thing she did not attempt to go to my Mom's house.  

I know we'll be okay. A friend reminded me earlier that God is truly taking care of me. I've been able to dodge many bullets. I'm still processing what's been happening. Knowing that I have the biggest and most powerful backer of all behind me (God, of course), makes me less anxious. He is writing my story, your story, our story and I'm sure it will be beautiful. 

#BeKind #StaySafe


Thursday, May 12, 2022

Visited Tagaytay After 4 Years

It's been a few days since we've been plunged into despair. I wasn't feeling well when I woke up this morning, so I went back to sleep. It was after lunch when I woke up. I went through this phase last year after I had my second PE. My doctor said it was PTSD. I guess it's been triggered and I just hope it doesn't last. 

I've had to safeguard my safe space the past few days to protect my health. I'm lucky I'm surrounded by friends and my Ates and Kuyas in my neighborhood. They have been providing support and company. That's how I've been coping. There's so much misinformation out there, so it's best to take everything with a grain of salt. 

Just before the elections I was finally able to get together with some friends. We met up in Tagaytay and ate at Sonya's Garden. The last time we got together was in November 2019 and we also had good food back then. Good thing the crew at Sonya's Garden allowed us to stick around even after their lunch service. It was really great to see my friends in person and we spent it reminiscing and laughing at old memories. 

Laughing probably helped burn everything we ate at Sonya's Garden because we ended up having merienda at Bag of Beans (Twin Lakes). The last time I was there was in 2018 and the place had aged well. Saw the Taal Volcano and it's so different now from before. Still beautiful, but it will probably take a long time before it goes back to it's old glory. 

I was soon tired and needed to rest. We planned to be home by 5 in the afternoon, but it was already 7 in the evening when we finally left for home. We wanted to go back to the hawaiian bbq place, but it was already closed. We decided to have dinner at RSM (new one near the rotonda) since we needed to stretch our legs. It was a huge place, but there was just a handful of customers. It was a good rest stop for us and we ended up bringing home more food haha. 

It was good to look back at happy memories today so I could get going. I'm making myself busy by spending more time with my plants and sewing. Hopefully my veggies would finally be productive and I'm targeting to finish my tshirt memory quilt blanket soon. 

Hope you are all feeling better and coping well. Remember, Papa God loves us. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Shine Your Light

I did not want to get out of bed today. I felt paralyzed yesterday and had to prioritize taking care of myself. The anxiety attack felt like I was having another PE and it's not a good feeling. I had to create a safe space for myself to recover. I still have so many questions and wished my Dad's still around. He would have helped me understand and make sense of what's happening. 

Art by Robert Alejandro

I was in a better headspace last night and asked Kuya if he could do NLP for people in pain. So many people are going through the different stages of grief. I decided to keep silent for now so I could recuperate and think more clearly. I snoozed (and removed) a lot of the enablers and apologists in my stream. I realized their moral values are different and I don't need them in my life.

Last night I realized that the government that is supposed to protect its citizens has been compromised. They worked on it for decades. The whole electoral system is controlled by them. There are many videos of rampant cheating circulating and many stories of vote buying being told. Comelec claims there has been no report submitted. This morning Comelec said that claims of cheating will be hard to prove. It looks like they are not interested at all to investigate even if complaints are submitted. 

I wanted to ask my PolSci professors last night what should we do if the system has been compromised? The answer came even before I asked - 

Professor Danny Arao was one of my favorite professors. He created "Kontra Daya" and has been out in the streets protesting. My other professors have been serving as political analysts. Much as I'd like to join, my health would not allow me to, so I looked for other ways to help. 

I thought about changing my profile photos and the theme of my blog. I realized that's not the right thing to do. The fight is bigger than the candidate I voted for. The fight is to save our country from ruin. VP Leni Robredo stood as our liwanag sa dilim (light in darkness), but each one of us can shine our own light. It's not the time to feel downtrodden. Our option now is to accept or to fight for what is right. 

There are many ways to help, here's a list to check where you can contribute:

PPCRV - FBwebsite

1Sambayanan - FB, website

Kontra Daya - FBwebsite

If you are a witness to cheating/vote buying, have information on VCM breakdown etc., do report it. You may also contribute by sending food/drinks where needed. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


I had an anxiety attack last night. It was so bad I thought I was having another pulmonary embolism. Checked my oxygen saturation and it was normal. A friend pointed out I was having an anxiety attack. I immediately stopped watching the news and went to the bedroom to lie down. The boys gave me some ice cream and that helped calm me down a bit. Eventually used some peace & calming oil. It was already 3 in the morning when I finally fell into a fitful sleep. 

I have so many questions and the PM in me tells me it was just impossible for the transmissions to come in so fast. How could they have possibly reached those numbers when friends who are part of the BOC were still counting at city-level. Many precincts have also not closed because people were still voting. There were many, many posts last night, but I did not want to remain hopeful. I told myself to cling to what I learned at my previous job. When in doubt, look at the data. Determine the truth through data. 

So that's what I'm holding onto. The truth. I want to see first the true details of the data. That's how I will accept things. That's how I will cope. I was woken up by my tablet this morning. It strangely auto-played the Cebuyaas video of Doc Tricia speaking at the rally. She was sharing about how much fake news her family has experienced. She pointed out that they felt they were not alone because there was so many who have been defending them. She also reminded that the work doesn't end at the rally and that there is so much to do. 

VP Leni Robredo said the same thing in her statement last night. There are anomalies and it's best to get to find out the truth. If it's true that the numbers for us to win is not enough, our fight doesn't stop here. We have to continue the work. Ninety days may not have been enough and what that tells me is there is still a lot of work to do. 

And that's how I'm coping now. I'm trying my best not to overthink and be too emotional. It will not be good for my health if I do. Let's hold on to the truth and then go from there. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, May 9, 2022

Election 2022: The Guards have Changed

I had a short chat with Tito Mel while I was in line to vote early this morning. He's now 88 years old and headed the PPCRV in our parish since it's inception. I told him my Mom didn't come out to vote yet. He gave a few tips to get her going and said hope she'll vote this afternoon. I told him I'll try to bring her again if she's feeling better. 

Tito Mel is now retired. His children took over leadership of PPCRV, but they have also retired from it. When I went to the voter assistance tent to get my cluster number I realized I didn't know anyone anymore. All the volunteers were new faces. In 2019 I still knew some of them. Some of my friends who were volunteers of PPCRV decided to be Namfrel pollwatchers which is also very important. 

The guards have changed. My titos and titas in our neighborhood who used to run things have all retired, a lot have passed away too. It's now the time of the younger generation to take the lead. I was gone for a long time and trust that the turnover of duties has been smooth. Growing up I experienced being a volunteer for PPCRV, Namfrel and I was once a pollwatcher too. It is hard work, so be nice to them because they are there to protect your vote. 

The teachers are the heroes of the election. I really appreciated that the teachers in my precinct made sure that no one could see your ballot. They chased voters who did not cover their ballots with the folder. I didn't have any issues feeding my ballot into the VCM. I checked the receipt and the names I voted for were correct. 

Here's some tips if you haven't voted yet:

1. Know your precinct number and cluster. You can check through:

- COMELEC precinct finder

- Listings posted outside the polling center

- Voter assistance center/tent

*Do check your barangay FB group if there are any precincts that have been relocated. 

2. Have a list on hand. Include the number of the candidate and list out their last name in alphabetical order. This will make sure you don't take too much time and you don't overvote.

3.  Bring water and a fan and wear comfortable clothing.  

4. Be patient! 

Good luck and keep the faith!

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Mom for 27 Years

It wasn't easy for us. I was a single mom for over a decade. I was lucky though because I had Mom and Dad who were always there for us. And now Miggy is 27 years old. It's been a long arduous journey for us. It was just the two of us, then Jay joined our little family, tumultuous years when I moved to Singapore and eventually we decided to all live in Singapore. The hardest part was when Miggy decided to go back home after his studies. Being empty nesters was the worst thing ever. 

Good thing I took a break and was able to be with Miggy. What we didn't know was we'd be apart for almost two years because of the pandemic. And that's probably what broke me. Miggy has always been and will always be my powerhouse. He is the miracle that keeps me going. 

I guess other moms can easily understand what I mean. We carry our child for 9 months and would protect them with our life. What I realized when we became empty nesters, I cannot live without Miggy. Being apart for two years was more than enough time for him to be free (haha). I cried when I finally got to hug him after quarantine. 

My Mom played a huge part when Miggy was growing up. He was always with her when I was at work. She was the doting lola and there were times he'd prefer to be her because I was the disciplinarian. I must say he is the favorite apo because he's the one who she sees all the time (everyone else is abroad). 

Through the years my Mommy skills have grown and developed. We're now on a different path since he's already an adult. He takes care of me now more than I take care of him. One thing will never change though, our bond and love for each other. 

Love you forever Miggy. Thank you for making me a mom. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Our Generation's Battle

I've been trying to write for any hour already, but it's hard when you are overcome with emotion. Since I woke up I've been listening to campaign songs. I started getting teary eyed when I watched the theater flashmobs posted by Audie Gemora. What we have been experiencing the past few months only happened because all of us obviously want real change and a better Philippines. 

Artwork by Robert Alejandro

I got home late last night from a meetup with friends. I immediately watched the speeches made by Senator Kiko Pangilinan and VP Leni Robredo at the Naga Grand Rally. I must say it's one of the best speeches they have done. 

VP Leni gave her speech in Bicolnon. It was different from all the other speeches she's given because this one was more heartfelt and personal. She spoke about Sec. Jesse Robredo and how got into politics after his death. She was comfortable talking about what her family went through and the odds she faced when she ran for congress. The speech resonated well with me because she showed how an ordinary person who has a genuine heart can topple down dynasties and wrongdoing by doing the right thing through hardwork. It reminded me that there is nothing wrong with our system, the problem lies in the people that are sitting in power. 

Today is the last day to campaign. There are already many people in Makati for the miting de avance. Yesterday, I saw a group of people doing house-to-house. I got teary eyed seeing how they were doing it. May God bless and protect all volunteers working hard to campaign for a better future for all of us. 

The future is in our hands. Please make sure to check if your precinct is in the same location. A number of precincts in my barangay was moved and there's a lot of confusion on the exact location. The address Comelec placed is full of houses and there's no clarification yet. And when you vote, make sure to keep an eye on your ballot until it's properly fed into the ballot box. If you can, make sure that the teachers tear in half unused ballots at the end of the voting day. How I wish I was able-bodied and could still be a poll-watcher. 

Take care everyone. We'll be #TeamBahay later for the MDA. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Friday, May 6, 2022

The Pink Movement Brought Out Our Best

It seems just like yesterday when VP Leni Robredo announced that she was running for president. I was overjoyed because I prayed hard for it. I immediately changed my blog colors after the announcement to show my support. It's the first time I've openly supported a candidate since former Senate President Jovito Salonga ran. I was either part of PPCRV or prohibited at work.

A lot of people were hesitant about VP Leni in the beginning. There was a lot of criticism about her chosen color and campaign slogan. She won people over with her track record, integrity and good character. She was simply herself and that convinced people to admire her, even fall in love with her. 

VP Leni shared during her campaign in 2016 how she campaigned for a seat in Congress for the first time. A friend gave her a portable speaker and she'd go house to house.  She had no money to feed supporters and they would just buy bread from the bakery. Her sorties were small, done by family. Her sincerity shown through and she won by landslide.

It's unprecedented to run as an independent for president. People started supporting her by making their own campaign materials. Artists like Robert Alejandro made designs, allowing anyone to use it. Sorties turned into grand rallies organized by volunteers. More and more people showed up and supported house-to-house. Senator Franklin Drilon in a recent interview said he hasn't seen anything like this since the lead up to the EDSA Revolution in 1986. 

I would have also been out there to campaign if my health allowed me. What I couldn't do physically I made up for it by contributing where I can and praying. I'm equally as stressed as everyone else haha. The best thing about this election is seeing how Filipinos still love their country. It brought out the best in us. What that tells me is there is hope.

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Revenge of the Fifth: Be Vigilant

The fact that our country is on the precipice of peril is really alarming. That disinformation and proliferation of fake news is a contributor to it is depressing. A neighbor sent me a reminded this morning to be vigilant when I vote next week. The message sent information about how cheating can happen. 

BE VIGILANT. Don't take your eyes off your ballot until it is safely inside the ballot box. Make sure no one marks it or makes a tear on it. If your ballot is compromised, your vote will be invalidated. Also make sure to use the pen that Comelec provides to shade your votes. The machine will only read votes made with the Comelec pen. It's already 2022, you'd think the technology would be better for automated elections. 

But BE VIGILANT to ensure that your vote counts.

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

May the Fourth Be with You

It's Star Wars day once again! My Yoda collection is still in storage boxes.  Fixing our home is moving so slow. I want them to have a nice display case. I have loved Yoda since I first saw him on screen when Star Wars first came out. I liked his gentle nature and he's just so cute.

I like Yoda now because he's full of wisdom! Here's one quote that's so apt right now -

Election day is just a few days away. May we choose the best candidate that will serve the whole country and not just a few families. Knowledge and understanding our history is key. 

May the force be with all of us. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The Reality of a Bad Political Climate

I came across several tweets yesterday from BPO employees sharing the thoughts of their foreign bosses. They said they would consider moving their contracts to India if the dictator's son wins. It's a good discussion point because it's important to understand how the economy is affected by politics. 

I went through three Philippine Presidents while working for a foreign company. It didn't have a local office in the Philippines when I was hired as the country representative. My main job was to prove the need to have a local office. I had counterparts in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Pakistan who had the same task. 

I did everything I could to "prepare the market". I wore many hats, business development, marketing, community management, sales and I also did work for engineering and product. I was laser focused though on getting an office opened because I knew it would potentially bring a lot of jobs and get budget to run programs. For many years I did not have any budget to run programs. 

I watched enviously as Thailand and Malaysia opened their offices (Singapore was organized by my manager). No matter how much good work I did, the political climate just negated all my arguments. The president at that time was GMA and she didn't have a good reputation internationally. I also had to be very careful working with government. 

PNoy's win opened the floodgates for me. A year after he took power my goal to open the Philippine office was granted. The Philippines was also included in product launches. The Philippines was also the only emerging market included in the Chrome launch. We were the only market to launch YouTube with a program with the president (YouTube World View with PNoy and RTVMalacanang). I got a lot of support also for crisis response and other projects. 

My job as country rep ended when the office was opened. I didn't want to do sales so I had to look for another job and fate brought me to Singapore. I continued to work on projects for the Philippines. The ones I started slowly dwindled when DU30 took over. I tried to work on it, but the political climate was once again bad. My programs for the Philippines once again did not get budgets. I had to be creative and pushy to get support for the programs I was running for the Philippines. 

That's the reality of working for a foreign company. I really had a hard time getting funding for my projects for the Philippines when the political climate wasn't good. No matter how you prepare your market to be viable, decisions are influenced by the political situation. So yes, BPOs can easily move their business to other countries if the next president isn't politically respected internationally. 

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Monday, May 2, 2022

It's Unthinkable

I did not want to entertain "what if" thoughts. It's unthinkable and dangerous to think about losing. The moment of truth is just a week away. It is exciting and scary. We don't really know what will happen. I am hopeful though that the people's campaign wins for all of us to benefit. 

The biggest fear I have is for all the atrocities of the previous regime to come back. We've seen this happen in the last 36 years. Graft and corruption, plunder, extrajudicial killings, torture fake news, illegal arrests and many more bad things have been happening. 

Those things are still happening because the perpetrators are still in the system. I realized that Enrile's participation in the 1986 EDSA Revolution was all a farce. Did he stay back to ensure that eventually the Marcoses can regain power? 

If you look back at what happened post EDSA, President Cory's term was marred with many coup attempts. President Ramos had to contend with the power crisis. Then things went downhill when Erap won, got ousted for plunder, replaced by GMA whose was subsequently charged with plunder but cleared a month after DU30 took power. Progress was only made during PNoy's time. Remember he left 1 trillion budget for the next president. And DU30? He's leaving us with 13 trillion debt and we're still paying for the debt Marcos left. 

I was too young to join the EDSA Revolution in 1986. I was able to go to EDSA Dos and was there when GMA was inaugurated. We were all hopeful. We fought for it. We wanted things to get better. Then Oakwood and the Manila Pen rebellion happened. Impeachment complaints were filed 4 times, but the opposition only had 28 seats so it did not flourish. Then she pardoned Estrada. 

We deserve so much more than these people who have been abusing their power. I remember during PNoy's time the opposition was very outspoken. It wasn't a perfect presidency, but progress was made. Then budget secretary Butch Abad worked on fiscal transparency, but was later on charged by the Duterte administration. In our country they persecute you if you serve the people the right way. That's why I worry for James. 

Many avoid politics, but looking at our history the only way to get out of this countrywide hell is to choose the right leaders from top to bottom and hold them accountable. Let's learn from our neighbors who have gone through similar circumstances. It is our duty as citizens to ensure that these elected officials follow through with their promises. 

So think about it, you decide what kind of future you want. Do you want progress or do want things to get worse?

Your reading homework:

Why are Sri Lankas protesting in the streets?

General Ver's daughter reckons with her father and the legacy of martial law

Imee Marcos in London

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely

Sunday, May 1, 2022

The Old Blogging Days

I've been blogging now for more than 15 years. I started on Friendster and eventually moved to Blogger. I still use Blogger because it's easy to use and I never have to worry about back-end stuff. It's also been easy for me to find old posts. In the event I decide to stop blogging I could easily take it out and keep an archive of everything I've written. 

I've been blogging everyday since 2020. It started as a 30-day challenge which I try to do at the beginning of the year. I blog everyday to keep my mind active. My doctors were worried I'd deteriorate after being forced to slow down. They made me promise to keep my brain working, so I blog. 

I miss the old blogging days. I gained a lot of new friends back then. My involvement with the community started when SM Hypermarket asked if I could invite bloggers to try out their new resto, Taste Asia. It was supposed to be a small group, but ballooned to over a hundred bloggers. We had a few of those parties, but I eventually disengaged when it felt it was becoming too commercial. The parteehs was where I gained a lot of new friends across the country. 

My blogger friends were the ones who organized the original Philippine Blogger Awards. It ran for a couple of years and grew because of the support of some brands. It was fun, but it was really hard to organize and andaming tsismis! Hahaha. There were a lot of blogger events. There was iBlog, blogfests across the country, DFAT and many meetups. Those days were enriching since you can learn so much from other bloggers. 

Jayvee had an idea to collate photos, so I thought I'd start some albums where other bloggers can add their photos. Here are some:

Blog parteeh/Makati meet-up, January 2007

Philippine Blog Awards, March 2007

Davao Blog Parteeh, March 2007


Taste Asia Blog Parteeh 1, July 2007

Digitalfilipino Emerging Influential Blogs, August 2007

Taste Asia Blog Parteeh 2, August 2007

Come as Your Blog Parteeh, April 2008


Digitalfilipino Emerging Influential Blogs, August 2008

*Let me know if you have an album of an old blog event where you want people to contribute to and I'll add it here :)

#BeKind #StaySafe #VoteWisely