Monday, October 31, 2022

Home on Mondays: Tips from Firefighters

We are forever grateful to the firefighters who helped last Saturday. I realized yesterday after chatting with the village security that firefighters aren't just the firemen who deal with the fire. They also include the first responders, your village security/tanod/your neighbors who call the fire station. 

We've received a lot of advise the past few days on how to deal with a fire and how to prevent fire from happening in your home. Here's a list of the tips we've received the past few days:

1. At the sign of fire, immediately turn off the circuit breaker of your house. The fireman told us it was very good that Sweetie immediately turned it off. 

2. Build a firewall around your house. The National Building Code provides guidelines for the firewall. Thickness of the firewall depends on the hours it should be resistive to fire. We're having ours checked since it has some damage. 

3. Unplug everything when leaving your house. If taking a vacation, better to turn off your circuit breaker. 

4. Don't take leaks for granted. A fire can start when your plugs/sockets get wet. We actually haven't been turning on the lights in our kitchen because of an unresolved ceiling leak. 

5. Cross-check and make sure that your electrical wirings are not compromised. Make sure that the contactor that made your house did not use substandard materials. 

6. Check for open wires. We sadly just discovered after getting another contractor that there are open wires around the house. Good thing we have taken precautions after suspecting that there were electrical installations that were not up to par. If you have an old house, electrical wirings and plumbings only last 40 to 50 years, so make sure to update those in your home.

7. At the sign of fire, evacuate the premises immediately and bring only essential items. We only brought my medication and important documents. Sweetie had us place important documents in one place so it's easy to grab in case of an emergency.

8. Have N95 masks on hand. I inhaled the smoke even before we knew there was a fire. Fire smoke are nasty and can ruin your lungs. Effects can come 24 to 36 hours after. I'm actually not feeling well and have set an appointment with my pulmonologist. I should have probably had myself checked by the medical personnel onsite last Saturday.

9. Have a fire extinguisher in your house. We were told though that this is only good for fire that's just starting. First responders tried to use a fire extinguisher, but the fire was too big already. 

10. Have emergency numbers on hand. We're lucky we have Google to help search for emergency numbers. It's important though to have the numbers of your village first responders (barangay/village security). We were lucky that our village security OIC was a fireman, so he knew who to contact (that's why 15 firetrucks came!). They had to go to the barangay hall though since there was no one manning the fire station at the time the fire broke out.  

Here are the BFP Paranaque phone numbers:

Barangay Sun Valley tanod: 0966-8208752

Those are the tips I could remember from the top of my head. Do share if you have other tips :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Sunday Miracles: The Firewall

I normally have difficulty sleeping whenever there's a typhoon. The wind was crazy yesterday when I woke up and I prayed to calm myself. I prayed for protection for everyone and I also said a thank you prayer that we were safe at home. I told myself to just keep praying and everything will be alright. 

A few minutes later all hell broke loose. The smoke I thought was siga was actually a fire. I am so grateful for Sweetie because he really took charge of the situation. He woke up Miggy, had me wear a mask and told us to bring essentials to the car. He parked the car and me outside the house where I could monitor the smoke. Miggy stood in front of the house for any emergency. 

First thing we did this morning was to check the firewall. It was deformed in several places. It was only then I realized that behind our firewall was where the fire started. The firewall and the quick action of the village security saved us. I only counted 6 firetrucks, but 15 actually arrived according to the village security. 

Just last week I was thinking that the firewall was a nuisance. It was keeping the wind from coming in our property. I was used to not having a very tall firewall since my childhood home had open space around it (except for one side). The neighbor also had an easement, so we did not need to build a tall firewall. Well, now I'm glad we have the firewall.

It took me a long time to fall asleep last night. My heart rate was elevated the whole day and experiencing what we did was overwhelming. I fell asleep thinking that the horrid firewall I didn't like saved us. We also found out how the village security went the extra mile to get help immediately. If the fire lasted longer it would most probably reach our home. 

The firewall kept the fire out. It is now damaged and would need repair. It was prayer that grounded me and reassured me that everything will be alright. We eventually went back home, turned on the electricity. The strong pitter-patter of the rain helped us to calm down.

Our prayers and heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped. Also praying for all those affected by the typhoon. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Fire Behind Our House

It smelled like someone lit a candle when I stepped out of the shower. It lingered and I thought Sweetie lit a candle. I peeked in the bedroom and he wasn't there, so I thought a relative from heaven was visiting. I looked out the window and was surprised to see a lot of smoke. It was then I heard a commotion outside. I then went out of the bedroom to tell Sweetie that there was probably a fire at the back of our house. 

He immediately went outside since he saw the neighbors pointing at our roof. At that time I called my friend whose house is adjacent to us. I told him to check since it looked like there was a fire at their house. After that Sweetie turned off our electricity and told us to bring important stuff and head to the car. It was best to evacuate the house for safety. I only got my hand bag, all my medications and important documents. 

I was already coughing badly because of the smoke by the time we got out of the house. Sweetie parked the car across the street. I prayed hard as I watched smoke billow out from behind our house. I prayed for rain and it rained a bit. Good thing the wind died down around noon. Sweetie left me in the car to check the situation. 

Seeing the smoke shift from white to black I started shaking. Of course, I was worried it would reach out house. I told myself though to remain calm because it won't be good for me to be stressed. I called Miggy and asked him to stay with me in the car. Soon enough four fire trucks arrived and I knew the issue would be addressed already.

After awhile, a neighbor passed by and advised to have our house checked. I called up Sweetie to request the BFP to check the back of our house. He soon came with a fireman and they checked the area. The fireman felt the firewall and said it wasn't warm. He also said it was good we immediately turned off the electricity when the fire started. Whew! Soon enough the neighbor passed by again and said that he went up their roof to check and said everything was in order.

Visited my friend and they were all okay. No one was injured and the fire was limited to the structure, it did not reach their main house. We're also all okay, albeit a bit shaken. 

Thank you Paranaque fire department for responding immediately. They sent 5 to 6 trucks. Barangay Sun Valley also sent an ambulance on standby. 

Thank you Lord for sending rain and for protecting all of us. 

#BeKind #StaySafe


Friday, October 28, 2022

Lakwatsera Friday: Ho Chi Minh

I've been to Vietnam a few times and what I remember from it is good food, great coffee and lots of motorcycles, like lots. Friends told me to be careful when crossing the street and only ride a specific taxi brand. I didn't need to worry since I was always with someone, but boy it was really hard to cross the street. 

There are a lot of churches in Ho Chi Minh. Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon is one of the most famous. It was established by French colonists and was built with materials from France. Too bad though it was already late when we finally got to see it, so we just admired it from outside. 

Another beautiful building we saw was the Sai Gon Central Post Office. The lights accented the arches and windows and it looked really pretty at night. I collect stamps so it would have been nice to visit the post office, see old stamps and possibly buy some new ones. Maybe next time. 

The highlight of my trip was trying out traditional banh mi (baguette). My friend bought a couple from a street vendor and that's what we had for lunch. It was filled with pork and tasted heavenly. Now I'm craving for one and wonder where I can get it here in Manila, haha. 

It was a very short trip and what made it memorable was spending time with the community. The wildest thing we did was try out scorpion! Haha. Good thing I only took a bite because it made me feel warm for a few hours (more like a warm, fuzzy feeling). 

Maybe someday I'd be able to go back with the boys so we can experience visiting Vietnam fully :)

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Throwback Thursday: Required My Students to Blog

Once upon a time in the distant past, I was a college instructor. I was entrusted to prepare my students for the real world. I was given the last subject in their syllabus. It was essentially the summary class of their whole course.

Since the students were set to graduate with a degree in organizational communications, I knew they were going to do a lot of writing in their future job. They also needed to quickly understand issues and problems and figure out how best to communicate information and solutions. So, I forced them to blog to train them to assess information, identify important points and communicate it properly.

Blogger friends, c 2008-2009

I remembered what I did because of recent issues of vloggers. What happened was the result of very high emotions. It's nothing new because these things happen everywhere. There was a lot of tsismis in the blogosphere way back, haha. 

Well, what happened this week reminded me why I started blogging in the first place. I've been asking myself why should I continue to blog daily. I've been in a rut the past few weeks and it's been very difficult to write. 

I stopped attending and organizing blogger events before because I felt it wasn't aligned with the purpose of my blog. I blog mainly for myself to chronicle what's going on and what I learn from it. And that's what I wanted my students to learn, to be purposive and to keep learning. 

I did bump into some of my students. A number of them went into digital marketing. It was all still very new when they graduated. They said they went that direction because of me. I loved reading their weekly blog posts and I hope they did learn something from it. 

Give a holler if you were one of my students. I barely made it out of that term alive, haha.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays: Plants Will Love You Back Always

I had a huge headache yesterday. I avoided taking meds by spending some time with my plants. I just rubbed some oil on my forehead and then spent some time in my mini-veggie garden. It was raining yesterday, so there was a cool breeze blowing in the garage. 

Growing sili from seed. Mama Lola would be proud of me!

I've been propagating veggies where my car used to be parked. Some of the seeds I germinated on a seed tray last month have grown. It's been a joy to see them grow from seed to mini-plants. I hope I'd be able to harvest some of them by Christmas. 

Cosmos plant. Hope it will flower soon.

There's just something about working on plants that grounds you. I feel at peace whenever I prepare the soil and scoop them into a pot or seed tray. Then I feel hopeful whenever I put in the seeds. I eagerly await the seeds to germinate after planting them. Seeing them sprout makes me smile. I will definitely be super happy when I eventually get to harvest something. 

The tumeric I propagated is now super bushy!

It's no wonder why so many people have become plantitos and plantitas during lockdown. I got into it again in May 2020 when everything was on a standstill. It was hard to get supplies though, but I managed and after a few months I was able to harvest some tomatoes and bell peppers. 

What I like best is I get to learn new things since each plant has it's own special needs. And when you're able to satisfy what they need, they love you back with flowers and fruits. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Creative Happy Tuesdays: Santa Placemat and Coaster

Almost done with the Santa inspired placemat and coasters I'm working on the past two weeks. Cutting the fabric and piecing it together was easy. Adding the best was challenging since the fabric I used wasn't made for quilting and I wasn't sure how I was going to sew it on, lol. Sweetie said it was the most important part since it would make the design look less like a sushi (haha). 

Glad I got metallic gold and silver thread, it made the piece more Christmas-sy. I realized the white strip will likely be soiled once we use it, but that's fine. What's important is I have a cute placemat and coaster set for Christmas.

Now it's time to bust out our Christmas plates. Hopefully we'll be able to locate it before Christmas!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, October 24, 2022

Home on Mondays: Visited Landers Superstore for the First Time

I've been browsing through Landers' website for a few months now. I've been getting groceries somewhere else, but I was curious. I did not see the need to be a member until after we visited S&R (haha). I was a bit disappointed in the branch we went to and I got more curious about Landers. 

Signed up online yesterday and went to the nearest branch bright and early today. Got my card and in no time we were walking around the store. We went through each aisle to assess what they have in stock. I made the following observations:

  1. As usual, they have a lot more foreign brands than local ones. They don't carry the full line for the local ones. 
  2. They carry smaller sizes.
  3. They have more options for clothes and they have Netflix show shirts. 
  4. They carry a good number of Christmas decors and have more affordable wrappers.
  5. They have more variety of chocolates. I didn't notice the candies though, but they had a gazillion biscuits and junkfood.
  6. They have a nice selection of cookware sets, home stuff and kitchen appliances. 
  7. They sell super huge TVs. 
  8. Their milk tea collection was interesting and they have Japanese beverages.
  9. They carry other Singaporean tsitsirya (not just Irvin's). 
  10. They have a cafe (aside from a fast food counter), barber shop and pharmacy and a gas station (well for the branch I went to). 
  11. Nice selection of meat and fish. Best to buy veggies elsewhere since they carry only organic ones (pricey). They sell seeds though. 
  12. Some items they sell cheaper, but some items are more expensive (i.e. Spam).
  13. They had a lot of wine, but that's something I don't really buy haha. 
  14. Surprisingly, they sell laptops and phones. 
  15. They also had a long row of vitamins.

This is what made me super smile today, haha.

Check-out was a breeze since we were early. They have 26 cash registers though. Best to bring your own bags since they pack your stuff with open boxes. What I liked best was the pharmacy because they had stocks of my medication. That's very important for me! Getting a haircut is for free for members and just PhP150 for non-members. We also tried the cafe. I liked the chocolate muffin since it wasn't that sweet. I paired it with an iced latte. 

I don't think I'll be doing my groceries at Landers. I'll just probably go there when I need beverages and chocolates I can't find elsewhere. The biggest pull will probably be the pharmacy (haha) and the easy access to a barbershop. The store is also a good place to do some walking (that's why malling is my cardio, superstores will make do for now since I'm not allowed to go to the mall).

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Sunday Miracles: New Mama Mary Book is Coming

The new edition of "Mama Mary and Her Children" book is going to be launched on December 8, 2022. I wrote about helping out for the seventh installment of the book last August and I'm ecstatic that it will be available soon. If you are a Mama Mary devotee or curious to learn more about her, you would find great stories on how she has helped and worked through many people. 

I read the whole book to help edit it. There were so many heart warming stories that made me smile. The stories are also a reflection of what's been happening to families because of the pandemic. One story I liked was how people from different cultures became closer after discovering their devotion to Mama Mary. 

After going through all the stories, I just felt grateful that I went through life with Mama Mary by my side. I was a child when my Mom taught me how to pray. I grew up seeing her devoted to Mama Mary and that's what helped cultivate my relationship with Mama Mary too. The book reminded me about all the times I found comfort in Mama Mary. It's a great book to read for your soul. 

Join the launch on December 8, 2022 by registering here,

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Plantita Saturdays: Banana Peel Tea to Produce More Flowers

My tomato plant became so leggy because it wasn't getting the right amount of sun. We didn't realize that our bamboo trees had become bushy and blocked the sun from reaching my tomato plant. The plant was housed in a huge pot which is unmovable. It survived the higad infestation, but I wasn't able to save it from aphids and black insects I couldn't identify.  

Since the tomato plants grew so long, some parts of it would break whenever there's a typhoon. I immediately planted the stems that broke off. I just stuck them in soil and they surprisingly grew. They are now as tall as the old tomato plant. I realized though that they produced very little flowers. The flowers would also easily break off or just die. 

From my tomato plant last year.

One of the things I used to do often in Singapore was make banana peel tea. I would just dunk banana peels in warm water for 24 hours. I would then use the tea to water the plants. Banana peel provides much needed potassium for your plants and helps them produce more flowers. I reviewed this method by watching a few videos and picked up a few tips -

  • Saba peel is better than lakatan or latundan. Saba has more nutritious content that can benefit your plants. I used lakatan though for the banana peel tea I made recently and they still managed the tomato plant produce more flowers. 
  • Simplest banana peel tea recipe - leave cut banana peel in water for one week. 1:5 tea to water ratio when you use it to water plants. 
  • You can also dry the peels under the sun. Once dry use a blender to chop them up, then add to the soil. 
  • Make camp juice by combining banana peel, 3 tablespoons of sinangag eggshells, 1 tablespoon epsom salt plus water in a blender. Once done add 1 tbsp to 1 liter of water in a spray bottle. Use once a week. (You can watch how to make it from this channel). 
Warning though, homemade fertilizer can smell nasty since they ferment over time. So far my plants prefer the homemade fertilizers I've been making for them. I have the pellets, but I noticed they can only do so much. I think going the extra mile for your plants would produce better results. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, October 21, 2022

Lakwatsera Fridays: Shopping in Harajuku

One of my favorite places to visit in Tokyo is Harajuku. It's a strip of trendy shops accessible by train. I usually go there after work since it's prettier to see at night. I normally head to Takeshita street. It's where you will find big and small shops selling pop culture items and lots of anik-anik. There's also a huge Daiso in the area (probably the most accessible if you're staying in Tokyo).


I liked walking down Takeshita street since there's a lot to see. The bigger shops normally sold branded items. The smaller shops sold a lot of collectibles. Good thing I was pretty disciplined since I managed to keep myself from buying too much stuff. I just got a few Yoda collectibles and a pair of earrings. I just saw a vlog feature the area and I was happy to see it's back to it's vibrant vibe. 

I was looking for non-Japanese food when I went to Harajuku for the first time. I found Wolfgang Puck Express on the map and saw that it was accessible by train. That's how I found Takeshita street and I would try to visit the area when I have time. I was able to bring Sweetie there once when he accompanied me. It was a great experience. 

If you're planning to visit Harajuku, best time to go is between 6 to 9 in the evening. Don't go too late since the shops close early. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Throwback Thursday: Vivid Sydney

Before the world went on lockdown I was able to see a bit of Vivid Sydney. It's the annual celebration of creativity, innovation and technology. They usually have installations and projections all over the city. I read it returned this year.

I chanced upon it in 2019 and saw it with some friends during a business trip. We headed to the area of the Sydney Opera House and walked around to admire the installations and projections. The Sydney Opera House was a sight to see. They projected different images on the building. It's best seen in person (here's a short clip). My photos did not do justice to the beautiful images. 

Some of the installations reminded me of the Winter Illuminations in Japan. Uncle Fumio and Tita Pet brought us to see it when we visited them in Tokyo. The installations in Sydney though featured animals. They were so pretty. I didn't take that many photos because I wanted to relish the moment. 

What made the experience of seeing Vivid Sydney was seeing it with friends. It would be fun to go back someday to see more of the installations and projections across the city. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays: Why You Need an Air Purifier

The air quality today is really bad. I had to put the air purifier on high mode since it was triggering my asthma. I'm not sure what's causing the air quality to be bad lately. DOST-Philvocs reported that Taal Volcano emitted 4,422 tons of sulfur dioxide (Source: DOST-Philvocs Twitter). Add that plus vehicle and factory emissions, then that's maybe why the quality of air has been bad. 

Sadly though, we don't really have a government agency here in the Philippines that provides real-time data on air quality. In Singapore they track it everyday and it's posted by on their website and Twitter account. Air pollution is bad especially for those with respiratory ailments like asthma. I only started having asthma when I moved to Singapore. It became worse as years passed. 

The pollutants from bad air causes respiratory ailments and other diseases. The "WHO data show that almost all of the global population (99%) breathe air that exceeds WHO guideline limits and contains high levels of pollutants, with low- and middle-income countries suffering from the highest exposures." (Source: WHO). 

What I normally monitor is the status of PM2.5 in the air. It's fine particulate matter that can go into your lungs (more info here). Breathing this can make your illness worse or cause lung cancer and/or heart disease. That's why it was a double whammy for me, I already had a heart condition and my lungs were scarred from pneumonia even before I moved to Singapore. 

To protect myself and my boys we have air purifiers in all our rooms. It really helped me when I lived in Singapore and we brought home all of it. I've tried and tested a number of air purifiers in the past ten years and I made a review of which one is most useful and practical for me. So don't wait before things get worse. The air wasn't this bad before, but I guess with our volcanoes angry plus more vehicles out there it's just going to really get worse. 

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Creative Happy Tuesdays: Christmas is Coming!

After browsing through my quilt books and Pinterest, I finally decided the theme for my holiday quilts. It's going to be all about Santa! I have a pretty ambitious list of things I want to make so I thought I'd make it easy to make. 

It usually takes me 1 to 2 days to just cut fabric, a few hours to piece things together (if I'm using the sewing machine), another day or two to sandwich the quilt and another day or two to prepare and work on  the binding. I found it more efficient to bunch up the work because it's faster. 

Working on a small space forced me to find a more efficient way to enjoy my hobby. My sewing table functions as my cutting area, ironing table, sewing area, sandwiching area and dining area. Yup, since it could get very warm during the day we also eat in the craft room. We used to use the family room, but the lights need to be fixed. 

I'm pretty happy how I assembled the placemats. I just used fabric that I already have and used old mattress protectors instead of wadding. I'm bent also on re-using old sheets as backing (must find ways to save since things are quite expensive nowadays). It will take a bit more time to finish it since I need to figure out how to attach the "belt buckle". I also always procrastinate when it comes to binding because I make them from scratch. 

My seat cover project is currently on a standstill. I was able to piece it together and sandwich it already. I struggled a bit making Santa's moustache. I'm now stuck figuring out how to make the nose and the tip of Santa's hat. I'm still practicing how to make it, so far I'm not happy with the result. 

Have to get moving on my projects since I have to evacuate the craft room by end of the week. I hope the contractor will be ready to install the cabinets next week. Yay!

#BeKind #StaySafe #CreativeHappyTuesdays

Monday, October 17, 2022

Home on Mondays: Went to S&R After a Gazillion Years

It's been years since we last visited S&R. Got some stuff from it online, but it's just different being there in person. We finally had the chance to go today. We went early on a weekday to avoid the crowds. 

Since our last visit was a long time ago, we decided to check out each aisle. The first thing that greeted us were holiday decors. The TV section followed and a section of kitchen appliances. The coffee maker we've been eyeing for a few months now was available. We decided to just get it when the kitchen renovation is done. The next couple of sections were more home and living stuff. I did notice though that they don't have as much stuff as they used to have. 

I was excited to see what kind of gardening items they had, but there wasn't that many. After that we moved to the consumables section. Got some laundry and kitchen pantry items. We noticed though that all their stuff are "large". I remember S&R always had bigger items, but they used to have some smaller sized items. I guess they're focusing on those who buy in bulk. 

We were not able to complete our grocery list. Some of the consumable items were just too many for us and I don't want things to spoil. The options were also pretty limited (especially chocolates and orange juice!). We did mark some items we plan to get once we're done fixing our home. It's still fun visiting S&R, it was just a little sad that they have trimmed down their selections. 

Do you shop at S&R? Should we try visiting Landers? 

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Miracle Sundays: Thrombosis Day 2022, What You Need to Know About Blood Clots

It was World Thrombosis Day on October 13. I completely forgot about it since I was busy with my quilt projects. I thought I'd blog about blood clots today since I noticed there are more people joining the patient group I'm in that had it due to COVID-19. 

I had pulmonary embolism in 2018. It was detected after being misdiagnosed as asthma for over a year. It was only found after my second opinion doctor ordered a CT scan. My first respiratory doctor kept dismissing my complaint for shortness of breath as severe asthma. Even the ER which I visited several times thought it was mild pneumonia. 

That time I had a second venogram, one of the many tests I went through.

Blood clots in the lungs (PE) or legs (DVT) can be caused by several things. It can be genetic, a compression in your pelvis (May Thurner Syndrome) or provoked by pregnancy or birth control pills (common). And now it can be caused by COVID-19 (read more here). After the boys had COVID-19, I insisted having them checked by a pulmonologist. 

The cause of my clots is unknown. After going through so many tests I thought I'll just let it remain a mystery. I'm just grateful I survived two episodes of pulmonary embolism. The huge clot though from 2018 is still hanging out in my lungs. It did not dissolve and has progressed to pulmonary hypertension. That's the reason why my doctors told me to retire. 

Be vigilant. Blood clots can be fatal (mortality rate of up to 30%, read more here). Clots also cause stroke, heart attacks etc. (read more here). I used to be so stable, but like other patients my mental health has been affected by the recurrent clots (read more here). It is, after all, a traumatic event. 

If you've recently been diagnosed with PE or DVT, it's best to join a patient group. I found comfort through the group and learned so much on how I can improve the quality of my life. Here are some helpful links -

Surround yourself with loved ones and those who would support you. Avoid stress and keep praying. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Plantita Saturdays: Planted Carrots!

Found a pack of carrot seeds when I organized my collection of seeds. Planted a bunch of seeds in mid-September and it was the only one that survived the rat rampage. They had grown pretty well when I checked last Monday and I thought it was time to transplant them. 

I read that carrots require full sun, but cool soil. They are good companion plants also for tomato. I thought the huge pot where I had my tomato plant was the perfect place to transplant the carrots. Removed the dead tomato plant first and doused the soil first with boiling water. It's supposed to kill pests and their eggs. I did that because the tomato plant was infested with black insects. 

Before I transplanted the carrots I also added compost and crushed eggshells in the soil. I think the soil was undernourished when I had the tomato plant in it. I read that carrots require a lot of potassium and phosphate. I'm still waiting for the homemade calphos I made to mature, so hope the additional compost and eggshells I added would suffice for now. 

I'm now using my soil moisture sensor to check if the plant needs watering. Learned the hard way that you need to check (my garlic died). The weather keeps changing, so it's hard to gauge when the soil needs watering from sight. I read that you need to increase the water when the carrot roots mature.

I originally thought it'll take 8 months before I could harvest. I just checked again and they said it will take 60 to 80 days before you can harvest the carrots. If things go well I'll be harvesting carrots by Christmas! Yay!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, October 14, 2022

Lakwatsera Fridays: The Beautiful Town of Taal

Chanced upon a feature about Taal earlier while browsing YouTube. It was interesting to find out that Taal Lake used to have bull sharks since it used to have salt water. Previous eruptions caused the Pansipit River to become smaller and this prevented salt water from Balayan Bay from coming in. Eventually the bull sharks stopped coming too. 

In 2019 we had a family vacation in Tagaytay. Our parents joined us and we spent a day in Taal. Mom remembered seeing the church when she was a child. There was an ongoing wedding ceremony when we went in the church. It was a delight to see the church all lighted up. We hung out in the church for awhile to admire the beautiful interiors. 

We wanted to dress up in traditional garb for a family portrait, but we didn't know where to go. We just went around the town and then headed back to Tagaytay to eat at Bag of Beans. We were supposed to go back the next day, but that was when Sweetie had a knee accident so the rest of our vacay was spent in the hospital hehe. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Throwback Thursday: Lachi's and DFAT

Yesterday, Sweetie searched for Lachi's videos on YouTube. Of course, my vlog from 14 years ago came up! I laughed because I seemed to be a totally different person. Also watched Ria's Lachi's vlog from 2009 and was surprised to see myself. I think we got so busy with wedding preparations after we got back from Davao, we didn't get to see the DFAT vlogs. 

2008 <3

Lachi's is one of my super favorite restos. It's located in Davao. Whenever I go there I eat two dishes, the unforgettable pork ribs and pork marinara. They have sinfully amazing desserts. Whenever I go to Davao I visit it several times and also bring home goodies. Sigh, I miss Lachi's a lot!

We watched several videos last night and saw newer ones from recent DFAT seasons. It made me miss going to Davao more. I think the best thing about joining blogger food events before was meeting new friends.We were hoping to visit them this year, but we decided to stay put after the boys got COVID-19 after our trip to Bohol. 

With one of the Lachi's twin owners, Mike, and blogger friends.

Well, if you ever find yourself in Davao. Do visit Lachi's! Saw from more recent videos that you need to reserve since they're always full and they may still be closed on Sundays. 


#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Wellness Wednesday: Sing and Be Happy

For a decade in my life I was actively serving in church through the choir. I was not sickly back then and I guess I was in tiptop shape. We usually just walked back home and walked to the nearby cafe after church Or we'd go hang-out in one of our houses. 

As the quote says in the photo, "Singing improves breathing, circulation and cardiovascular health, aids in motor control and coordination, leads to increased alertness and energy, protects the upper respiratory system from infection, and stimulates antibody production." (University of Frankfurt, University Clinic Charite)

Ahh, all my lung issues started after I stopped serving in the choir. My life drastically changed and I focused on other things. I didn't realize back then that aside from being able to serve, I was also taking care of my health. When I was part of the choir we usually had to sing loudly and that required a lot of lung power. After mass we would also practice for at least another hour. I honestly never had to exercise. 

And singing with friends also benefits your mental health. I went through several issues, but never got depressed. My friends always kept me company. I was away for many, many years but we've always kept in touch. I'm hoping to finally have a get together with them this Christmas (when our house doesn't look like a bodega anymore haha).  

It was only after my second PE that I started to sing a bit again. I would sing along whenever Sweetie played the piano. It helped improve my breathing. I also listen to music to help calm me and put me to sleep. 

“He who sings frightens away his ills.” – Miguel de Cervantes

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Creative Happy Tuesdays: A Peek at My Christmas Projects

Google Photos reminded me that I started the Christmas tree skirt on September 9, 2021. I had planned to finish it during quarantine. The 9 days were cut down to 6 though and I ended up sleeping through it, haha. I didn't finish the tree skirt because I was dilly-dallying over the fabric I used. I wasn't sure if they looked good. 

I was about to start making some place mats, but I was distracted with the seat cover offerings on a shopping platform. I couldn't find any that would fit my fat dining chairs so I decided to make my own. The funny thing is I ended up using the same fabric as the tree skirt, so I guess I'm going to stick to it now. I'm on a "use what you have" phase. 

Pieced together the seat cover design the past few days and spent the weekend sandwiching it. My goal for this project is to use what I have on hand. I was able to use leftover wadding from previous projects. I don't throw out wadding I've cut because I can still use the tiny pieces as filling. Those will go into the nose and the hat. Maybe I'll make small noses also for the tree skirt. 

I'm going to lose access to my craft room soon since the contractor will be fixing it. I need to pack everything again and this means I need to plan what I could work on for the next six weeks! Hope my projects turn out okay. 

#BeKind #StaySafe