Friday, June 30, 2023

Foodie Fridays: Made Pasta Al Telefono with Miggy

It's been my quest to learn how to cook more white pasta and tomato and cream pasta dishes. Miggy doesn't like red pasta, so I've been experimenting on making pink and white pasta the past few months. I've so far made pink pasta with scallops, tuna and mushroom alfredo pasta, cheese pimiento pasta and pasta pinangat.

Found out that pasta al telefono has a tomato and cream based sauce. I went through several recipes online to find something that was easy to make. The process was very similar to making pink pasta. It was even easier since I didn't need to add any meat. 

I've been cooking with Miggy a lot. I do that so he can learn the recipe and he does all the heavy stuff when needed. He always takes over when frying is required. I just normally prepare the ingredients and marinade. He enjoys cooking and I think he got that from his Papa Lolo. 

Here's our first attempt at pasta al telefono -

We learned a few things while making this recipe. One, don't let the pasta sit too long in the water after cooking. Two, make sure the pasta is fully drained before adding it to the sauce. It was a bit soggy, but it was tasty. We will probably reduce the pasta next time so we could finish the dish in two meals. And next time we'll try this with penne pasta (I forgot to buy, hehe). 

More about how to make this on Recipes for My Son,

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Throwback Thursday: Dayrit's, a Childhood Favorite

We had an unplanned lunch at Dayrit's the other day. It's one of my favorite restaurants since I was a child. I remember it used to be situated near the windmill in Magallanes. It eventually moved to the other end when the Magallanes commercial area was renovated and rearranged. Newer restos like Pancake House, Krispy Kreme and Starbucks now occupy the area. 

Sorry I forgot to take a photo before I ate, haha.

I don't even look at the menu anymore. I always order a cheeseburger and special iced tea whenever I get to dine at Dayrit's. Mom used to order a sandwich and Dad always ate roast beef. I remember ordering spaghetti once when I was a child. I was surprised it was served on a hot plate shaped as a carabao. It took a long time before it cooled down, so I never ordered it again (haha). They still use carabao hot plates! Miggy's order was served on it the other day. 

And sorry, forgot to turn the plate around, haha.

I'm a bit alarmed though, seems there's only one branch left? The website so far only lists Magallanes as a branch. The resto was full when we arrived, so I hope it's always like that. I would be heart broken if the restaurant closes down (praying it won't!). 

Daddy's favorite roast beef.

I normally get some processed meat from Dayrit's too. My favorite is their chorizo. I normally use it to make chorizo pasta. You can watch how I make it here, Next time I need food if I have visitors, I'll make sure to order from them since they make really good home cooked meals. 

Will be back soon!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Wellness Wednesdays: Vitamin Sea Again!

Mentioned yesterday that I'm vitamin D insufficient. I thought I solved the deficiency already last year. Maybe it's a new issue. I haven't been going out and only recently started gardening again. My new doctor probably decided to include getting my vitamin D level checked because my previous doctor had me drink supplements for joints. 

I now have an excuse to go to the beach, haha. I was honestly anxious about going to the beach again. I was not sure how my body would react. I was so happy when I was able to enjoy the beach. I didn't have the same issues I experience when I swim in a pool. I was also able to try paddle boarding (seated) and got to enjoy the floating bed with Sweetie. 

We celebrated family birthdays last week in Bohol. We got lucky because the weather cooperated. Originally, it was supposed to rain all week. The rain came late at night and that meant everything was fresh by morning. This time we just spent time swimming and skipped the toys. The water was so clear and perfect for just hanging out. The fresh air was perfect for my compromised lungs (the AQI in Manila has been very bad because of Taal). 

I was honestly tempted to ask if we could extend, but we had important appointments we couldn't miss. Health is wealth and I wanted the boys to also consult with my new doctor. Maybe for my birthday? Hehe.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Creative Happy Tuesdays: The Clown Quilt from My Teenage Years

Unearthed another one of the quilts I made under my Mom's supervision. I think Mom bought the clown fabric for this project so I could experience it. We were using scraps from Tita Maming's garment shop for our quilt projects. I super loved those scraps. They were perfect for hand quilting. 

Mom took care of cutting up the fabric for me. It already had lines I followed when I pieced the cut fabric together. I sewed everything by hand. Mom and I bought the rope from Divisoria when she first brought me there. I was amazed with the variety of materials for crafting. Mom and I continued visiting Divisoria for many years. 

We were not familiar yet with bag knick-knacks, so I just embroidered this part.

I'm surprised the bag is still intact. I remember using it as my school bag and it carried heavy books and notebooks. Mom took care of closing the sides on her sewing machine.  I think that's what made it sturdy. I will just need to change the rope since it is already unraveled. I kept favorite projects and things in a crate. It moved where I moved since it's my childhood treasure chest. 

I'm still on break from sewing right now. I experienced pain on my right arm after I finished the food processor quilt project. My new doctor included vitamin D for my blood test. I'm apparently vitamin D insufficient. My doctor will probably give me some supplements/meds to correct that. At least it's not a severe deficiency like I had 2 years ago. Good excuse to head to the beach!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, June 26, 2023

Home on Mondays: Family Health

Most people probably don't need to see a doctor until they are in their 30s. The first 3 decades of my life was uneventful. It was only when I had pneumonia in my early 30s that I became sickly.

One thing I learned belatedly was getting medical insurance for myself. I usually had medical insurance from work so I never had to worry about it. Now that I understand it's importance, I'm making sure we have it.

Transitioning back our health support system has been difficult. Asked friends for referrals and tried cold calling doctor offices didn't work. We couldn't get an earlier schedule. You need a referral to make it work. Thank you to the collective efforts of our friends, things are finally starting to work out.

My needs are very different, but I realized that I need to make sure my boys are healthy too. I've been worried about the effects of COVID-19 in them, so I insisted we all see my new cardiologist as a family. So that's going to be our focus for the month of July.

Health is wealth. Make sure your loved ones are healthy too. 

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Miracle Sundays: Limitless Capability

A few weeks ago I was thinking about my new mission. My movement has been pretty limited for a few years now. I have good days and bad days. Accepting that I'm no longer the same busy bee I was before was a long process. It was hard to accept that I'm no longer capable to do a lot of things. 

I realized that I got a major re-direction memo from God. He wants me to do something else. The immediate mission I had to do was to protect my Mom and let her live the way she wanted. I felt the void once she left and that was when I started to think about what to do. 

I've been afraid to commit to anything because the bad days come randomly. I've postponed and cancelled a lot of meetings/meet-ups since I've been home. Even video calls are hard to commit to. I was praying about my mission when I came across a Godwhispers message, it said, 

"Just as the moon depends on the sun for the light it reflects, so do your limited capabilities depend on My infinite power to accomplish your dreams. I Am your Enabler, God 

P.S. I make all your impossible possible."

It hit the spot and struck a chord deep within me. I knew then that whatever my mission is I can do it even with my limited capabilities. He will make it possible. May we all remember that with God, anything is possible. 

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Plantita Saturdays: The Oyster Mushroom Finally Grew!

I made some mistakes growing oyster mushrooms for the first time. Disaster struck after a month. Apparently, I was supposed to leave the cover open partially when the pins started to appear. Good thing the seller guided me after I reported what happened. 

Removed the bad pins. I wiped the plastic with hydrogen peroxide to kill the molds. I've been very vigilant and have been inspecting the substrate. Good thing I caught it early and it hasn't re-occurred. So I followed the same regime. Made sure the cloth was wet twice a day. I also wiped down the counter with hydrogen peroxide mixed with water to make sure the area was super clean.

Probably because the substrate already pinned previously, news pins started to grow just a few days after. I made sure to fold back the cloth when that started to happen. I was so surprised how fast the pins grew. And this is how it looked eleven days after I cleaned it up -

Oh, I'm so excited to see more pins grow! My friend Inyaki told me they're going to look like aliens. It's true! They remind me of aliens in cartoons, haha. I'm now thinking of what to do with them. I might do Daddy's yummy oyster mushroom atsara. Hopefully I'll find the recipe :)

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Friday, June 23, 2023

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

It's a very busy week in our family! Today is Sweetie's birthday! Happy, happy birthday Sweetie!

I know you cringe every year when you add +1 to you age, haha! I don't think you need to worry because you still look the same! And soon you'll be a golden boy! Woohoo!

Happy, happy birthday! Love you forever! ❤️

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Happy Birthday Miggy!

Happy, happy birthday to my unico hijo, my only one, Miggy!

It's almost 3 decades now that I received you as my biggest blessing! I cannot imagine my life without you and I am grateful everyday to have you as my son. You have been my anchor, my strength and my inspiration. I hope and pray God will bless you with everything you are praying for.

Love you B <3

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Wellness Wednesdays: Old Photos

Anchoring on happy moments is one good way to solidify your coping mechanism. On my Mom's 40th day and house blessing our parish priest shared a problem they've been encountering a lot. He said there are a lot of young ones (the youth) who are troubled. They encountered a number of them who tried to take their life. 

Kuya gave an overview on how to use NLP*. He demonstrated a technique where he processed the negative action/thought with a positive event. Happy thoughts certainly help overcome negative experiences. Our mind sometimes tricks us to dwell on the negative and it tends to immobilize us. It has happened to me and still happens every so often. 

The grandkids with their Papa Lolo. This was taken during one of our trips to Bali.
Our flight was delayed so Dad regaled the kids with war time stories. 

Old photos that elicit happy memories is one of my coping mechanisms. That's the reason why I file my photos properly. I have a ton of albums in my Google Photos and I can easily access it on any device. Every so often Google Photos highlights a happy memory. That's why it's been easy to do throwback Thursday posts.

Daddy covering his ear on New Year's Eve.

Sometimes I share the photos to loved ones to remind them of those happy memories. My titas also do this whenever they unearth something from their baul. My Tita Chu just sent me a photo of me and her daughter when we were just kids. It was my first time to see that photo and it immediately brought back that time when they visited from Australia.  

So the next time you're feeling blue, pull up some old photos. Better yet, frame them around your home so you can easily get a happy boost whenever you need it :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The Handmade Quilt Blanket I Made for Mom

I gave the first queen sized quilt blanket I ever made to my Mom. It was a huge yellow pinwheel quilt. I toiled over it for over a year. 

I pieced it together by hand. I wrestled to properly sandwich it with wadding. Quilted each stitch by hand. Manually made the binding (I didn't have tools back then). 

Putting together the quilt was a journey to show Mom how much I love her. I wanted to show her my appreciation for everything she taught me. Quilting a blanket by hand is an enormous task.

I told myself back then that I needed to make the quilt blanket for Mom to complete what she was trying to teach me. Summers were always filled with crafting sessions. Mom didn't teach me how to cook, but she taught me to love creating. 

I don't have a photo of the full blanket when I finished it. I am hoping I'd find it in her things. I'm not brave enough yet. Hopefully soon 🙏

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, June 19, 2023

Home on Mondays: Our Shiny New Garden

When we moved in to our new home, I was quite happy we had a pocket garden and a small back garden. It was nice and relaxing with bamboo trees planted on the perimeter. I wasn't so hot about the carabao grass, but I said it could eventually be changed. 

Eventually, the grass started to die even though we made sure to water it (and more during summer). Not sure if it died because it didn't get enough sunlight due to the bamboo trees. Or the soil wasn't deep enough or lacked nutrients. It became really gnarly when it rained. The garden became very muddy and we noticed the soil started to erode. 

We brought up the issue with Architect Wansi. He advised to fence the bamboo and bushes by building a planter box around it. We asked if it would be better to use turf grass. He said it would be expensive since it would need to have concrete as it base. Plus turf grass is quite expensive. Since we were going to have the drainage system fixed, we said we'd do it. 

The garden was the last thing to be fixed. It was important to finish everything else first so we could protect the turf grass. It was finally installed a few weeks ago and we're happy with how it turned out. We always joke if the grass grew after heavy rains. Of course, we were nervous when the habagat started to bring in a lot of rain. We saw a vlogger show how his garden got flooded because his turf grass blocked the drain. Good thing Rod re-worked the drainage system well because things are going well so far. 

Here are some before and after photos :)

Pocket garden


#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Miracle Sundays: Don't Let Hurt Turn You Into Someone You are Not

"Hurt people, hurt people." 

I've heard this line many times on films and reflection vlogs. It's true because I have experienced it. You can hurt someone with words and with silence. Sometimes when you don't an address an issue immediately, things can snowball into something bigger. 

A cousin told me that it happens to them. As siblings, they fight every so often. Go silent for months and then just move on without talking about what happened. "You just drop the issue and move on?" I asked. She said, "Yes, move on as if nothing happened." She explained to me that sometimes it's better not to dwell on the issue and just focus on loving each other. 

Things get worse when you become engrossed on making a point. Ask yourself, is it worth ruining the relationship? Is the hurt turning you into someone you are not? It really does take a bigger person to move beyond the hurt. So always remember to pray and seek guidance and company.

Have a blessed Sunday everyone. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Plantita Saturdays: Trying to Grow Mustasa Again

Finding good mustasa in the grocery has been frustrating. If there's any, they're usually so small. The veggie stands in our village haven't been selling them too. I tried growing them last year, but things went haywire when we had renovations done. I think also it didn't get enough sunlight where I placed it. 

I bought a new pack of Ramgo mustasa seeds since I think the ones I got from other sources aren't that good. I've always been more successful when I use Ramgo seeds. Planted them just before typhoon Chedeng hit. I let the seeds propagate in the garage and they soon started popping out. 

After a week, some of the sprouts were about 3 inches. They were leaning already, trying to find more sun probably. Found time to transplant them yesterday. I mixed loam soil with some organic fertilizer and coco peat. I hope that would be a good mix for the mustasa to thrive.

Now I just to need to make sure to water it properly, then feed it some fertilizer in a month. I potted them in fours and will just transplant if they all grow. Normally there would be some spoilage. I hope I'd be able to have multiple pots of mustasa. If I have a lot I can always harvest and give some to my friends. It's good with beef and sinigang

Hope to have a good harvest!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, June 16, 2023

Lakwatsera Fridays: Vivid Sydney and My Fave Places

I loved visiting Australia. It's one of those places I can walk around freely without fear of getting mugged. I walked around a lot and the best thing is people would go home early from work. After work I'd walk more and sometimes cross the Pyrmont Bridge to the CBD to visit some favorite places. 

Chanced upon Vivid Sydney during one visit. I just watched a vlog about it last night and remembered how fun it is. The lights were beautiful all over the city and the vibe was very festive. I'm not sure when they resumed it, but I'm glad they did. It's something you should experience at least once. 

Vivid Sydney

Whenever I cross the Pyrmont Bridge I normally go to Queen Victoria Building. There's a nice toy shop there where you can buy items not easily found in Southeast Asia/Japan. Of course, I always visit Lincraft. It's my favorite craft shop in Australia. JB Hifi is also one of my must-visit places. That's where I was able to buy box sets of my favorite 90s shows like Ally McBeal and Charmed. Plus Beauty and the Best from the 80s. Too bad they did not have Doogie Howser (it's on Hulu though).  I never finished it and it's not easy to find online.


When things get busy I stick around Darling Harbour. I sometimes go to Coles which is between the office and where I stay. They sell a lot of baked goods and I normally bring back some muffins for the boys. There's also a convenience store near the hotel where you can buy some ice cream (did that until I discovered there was a huge freezer of ice cream at work, haha). And there are a few restos in the mall I frequent, but I oftentimes just get some takeout from the fastfood when it's late. 

Yummy scallops

One place though I'd like to visit again is the Sydney Fish Market. I want to go back to eat scallops again. I never had the chance to visit again because the food places were only open on weekends. Maybe someday I'll get to visit again :)

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Throwback Thursday: A Scary Hospital Story

I've been warded in the ICU a couple of times now. The thing about being in ICU that makes me anxious is when a Code Blue is called. It is very disconcerting since the call is announced over the PA system. The announcement will also wake you up if you're asleep. If you're a patient, you'd also see blue flashing lights. 

The scary incident though did not happen in ICU. I was in a regular room. I woke up suddenly when a code blue was called. It was a few floors down. I found out because part of the announcement included the room number. I prayed for the patient and tried to calm down. A few minutes later things quieted down and I tried to sleep again. 

I suddenly felt a presence in my room. I don't know, but I felt it was the patient that coded. She was confused and was lost. I remembered what Olive told me about why spirits come to you. They recognize that you can help them. She said don't get scared, just pray and talk to them to move on. 

I immediately knew that the patient probably did not know she had passed. So I prayed and told her to follow the light. I added that she shouldn't worry because everything will be alright. I just kept repeating the prayer and then eventually the heavy presence disappeared. 

I think I posted about this on FB back in 2021. One of my titas scolded me for entertaining the spirit. I told her I just prayed and hoped she'd leave immediately. I was honestly super scared, good thing Olive taught me what to do. For any situation, the best thing to do is pray :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Wellness Wednesdays: Precious Moments in the Garden

It is believed that the color green help calm us down. Being exposed to nature helps us to de-stress and that's what we do when we go on vacation. We either go up a mountain or get some vitamin sea. Whenever I go on vacation I always feel like everything's going to be alright. 

My inflammation markers were always raised. It went down for the first time early this year. It took two long years after I stopped working before it went down. Stress sticks around your body for a long time. It can ruin your body and I'm a testament to that. It was one reason why my doctors forced me to retire. 

And spending time in a garden or backyard helps reduce stress. I went on a rampage last week sowing seeds. It rendered me useless for a few days, but I was happy tired and calm. I was ecstatic when I saw some of the seeds sprouted. Seeing something grow helps nurture your soul. I had the same feeling when we were stuck at home during the lock down. 

Gardening was my Mom's secret to long life. My doctors in Singapore all believe it's a miracle I'm still alive. My new doctor said what I've been through is a lot at my age. My Mom was very sickly when she was young, but she outlived her siblings and lived a long life. I think I'll follow her footsteps and make gardening one of my full time hobbies. I'll get free vitamin D, hopefully get a lot of fresh air (once Taal calms down), and calm my mind so I can keep my ESR down. 

Happy gardening (or nature tripping) everyone!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Creative Happy Tuesdays: New Quilt Cover for My Food Processor

After six weeks of working on it off and on, I finally finished the new cat quilt cover for my food processor. I adjusted a lot from the Pinterest pin inspiration. Made the cat face wider and I softened the face by making the eyes more pronounced. 

The Front

Decided to make another cat to form the back pocket. That's where I'll put the tools of the food processor (so it won't get lost!). I like how it turned out. I also like how the colors nicely merged together. 

The Back with pocket.

Here's how I assembled it -

Now, I have to finish the cover for the blender. It's going to be quirky!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, June 12, 2023

Home on Mondays: House Blessing

We were told that the house was blessed even before we moved in. We still wanted to have it blessed since it's our new home. Wanted to do it sooner, but one repair job led to another, so I just targeted to have it on the birthday week of the boys. Thought it would be good to do it on Mom's 40th day. 

We invited Fr. Loc, our parish priest, to do the blessing. He said he remembers previously blessing the house. I guess that happened before we moved in. He mentioned though it's good to have your house blessed yearly. He said maybe we can do it next on Mom's death anniversary so we can remember easily.

I took some videos, but I had a hard time keeping up with Fr. Loc when he went around the house. I think Kuya has better footage. After blessing our home and our family, we settled down for some merienda. We just ordered some pancit malabon, barbecue and pichi-pichi. What was more enjoyable was getting to know Fr. Loc better. He moved to our parish during the pandemic I think, so we never had the chance to know him. He knew a lot about Mom though. 

Hope we'll soon clear up the living room of boxes. I'm hoping we can have a belated house warming with friends. That would be our next target. Glad we finally finished most of the things that need to be fixed. We're going to wait until the basement tiles give up (some parts are already broken). We're just exhausted already from working on renovations. We just want to enjoy our still fairly new home for now.

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Miracle Sundays: Mom's 40th Day

Time flew by so quickly and yesterday was Mom's 40th day in heaven. Kuya and Ate Joy came home so we can get together for a padasal. We wanted to have a mass, but the parish said it is better to just include her in the mass intention. Please remember my Mom in your prayers :)

After the prayers, we shared some merienda with Fr. Loc. I couldn't help but remember those times Mom and Dad invited priests in our home. Those were really happy times and we were able to share to Fr. Loc the history of our parish. Mom would have loved to be around for it. 

Miss you Ma. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Plantita Saturdays: Terminated the Oyster Mushrooms :(

Oh boy, right after I posted about the progress of my oyster mushrooms last week, I was horrified to see some green spots on it the next day. I immediately contacted the seller for advise. A friend who grows oyster mushrooms also had warned me about possibly getting mold. The seller confirmed it was mold and advised me to remove all the shoots and pins. 

I cleaned the cutter with hydrogen peroxide and I wore gloves when I cleaned out the pins and shoots. I was so sad, but I knew it would get worse if I didn't do it immediately. As I was cleaning, I thought the other two were spared from the infestation. I was told that the other one could possibly be okay. I was advised to spray it with water, but if it doesn't grow I should also remove the shoots. Well, I had to remove it also the next day. 

So, I'm back to zero with my oyster mushrooms. Good thing I caught the mold early because it was only on the surface. I wiped the plastic with H2O2 and hope things would be better this time. I also cleaned the sink and area. I'm thinking though whether I should move the oyster mushroom somewhere else. The place has to be dark and humid. 

Oh well, this is the gardening version of tastas as Mom says. She always told me, "If it doesn't work out, tastas, and do it again. 

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Friday, June 9, 2023

The Exit Plan

We watched a lot of TV when I was growing up. At that time we were not loyal to any channel. We would switch channels based on the program that we wanted to watch. We eventually started to watch shows on channel 2 (ABS-CBN) more and more. That included the noon time show, the news (Daddy preferred the late night English news), and then the telenovelas hooked us in. 

It's been years since we had cable TV. I got used to just watching TFC when I was in Singapore and then eventually signed up for Netflix. I tried HBO for a few months, stopped the subscription and now trying out Disney+. Content preference obviously change through the years. There are staples though that you can't live without, usually news, noontime shows and Netflix (maybe?). 

The past few weeks I've been watching news about the Eat Bulaga issue. It is heartbreaking since I grew up with it too. I remember seeing TVJ in person when I was a young child in Alabang Country Club (yes, I remember!). I thought they were giants! I was a tiny thing back then. To be honest though, I have not watched Eat Bulaga for a long, long time now, but I do remember it was fun to watch.

We don't know what's really happening behind the scenes, but one thing I learned through the years is to always have an exit plan. I always knew I was eventually going to go back home, I just didn't know when. Leaving something you love is painful, but with careful planning you can make it easier. Oprah left her show after 25 years. Bob Barker left the Price is Right after 35 years of hosting it. I can just imagine how hard it must have been for them to leave their shows. The same goes for TVJ, moreso since they left due to conflict. 

I had ten jobs before I joined my last employer. By that time I knew nothing lasts forever when it comes to jobs. That fact was reinforced by living in another country. I honestly thought I could go back home after 5 years. I did not expect it to stretch to ten years. I told myself that I would stay only until Miggy finishes his studies. When he did and decided to go home, I knew the time had come. 

To be honest, I didn't plan my exit well. I only caught up with planning it properly because I got sick. After agonizing and praying over it for a few months, I knew I had to put things in action. In between napping, doctor visits, getting confined, we planned what to do. I did not want to burden my family with my illness, so we planned it carefully. 

Change is constant. Nothing in life is permanent. What would you do if your current circumstance changes?

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, June 8, 2023

What You Need to Know About Vog/Smog/Bad Air Quality/Haze

I started understanding more about air quality when I lived in Singapore. I was there when the AQI reached 300+ a few years ago. They gave us N95 masks at work and I remember we were sent home when the air quality reached unhealthy levels. I remember giving an uncle my extra N95 mask on the bus ride on the way home.

Luckily, there was a lot of materials available in Singapore about air quality. The National Environment Agency ( in Singapore has a website full of resources. They publish air quality info on their website,, and the info is also available on their social media sites. I started reading more about haze and air quality when I started to have asthma. At that time I didn't know it was asthma because I never had it prior to living in Singapore. 

Here's a few things you need to understand about air quality.

What is air quality? I simply understand air quality as the measurement of how clean or dirty the air is. It can be referred to as haze, vog, smog. 

What causes bad air? Air pollution can be caused by many things. A few I could think of right now include vehicle emissions (car/trucks/planes/trains etc.), emissions from volcanoes, your friendly neighbor's siga*, fire etc. 

How do you measure air quality? From what I understand governments install sensors to measure the concentration of air pollution. In Singapore, they publish information by area. In the Philippines, I normally check the IQ Air website to check for information. The data IQ Air publishes normally comes from volunteer contributors who install sensors in their building/area. 

How does a report look like? Here's an example of the air quality in my city right now (as of writing) -


How should I read this report?

The number, 153, refers to US AQI. My understanding from my experience in Singapore is this refers to the concentration level of PM10 in the air. PM10 are particles with a diameter of 10 microns or less and inhalable into the lungs. It can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. This is usually dust (from roads, dry riverbeds, farms, construction sites etc.).

The smaller number in the box with exclamation point, x11.8, refers to the concentration level of PM2.5 pollutant in the air. This are teenie tiny particles that can easily get into your lungs. It is more dangerous because it can cause heart and lung issues. This is likely what triggered me to have asthma and have frequent ER visits.

How to protect yourself from inhaling pollutants?

This is something I've been doing for many years now and moreso now since I'm immunocompromised and my lung function is down in the dumps. Here's what you should do:

  • Always check the air quality in your area. If your area doesn't have it, nag your local government to install sensors.
  • Wear a N95 mask. Those surgical masks you used to wear to prevent getting viruses won't work as it doesn't block those tiny air pollutants. 
  • Stay indoors and follow what the AQI alerts recommend.
  • Use an air purifier (I've used them for many years now and here's a review of the different brands I've used).
  • If you have asthma, make sure you have your medicines and go see a doctor if you are compromised. 
  • I also have mint tea and essential oils on hand as preventive measures (a whiff of bad AQI immediately triggers asthma for me). 

Take care everyone!

*When your neighbor burns leaves or trash, which is btw prohibited by the Clean Air Act.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Wellness Wednesdays: Facing a Big Problem? Look 10 Years Ahead

I faced a huge, life changing circumstance when I was 17 years old. That's when I had Miggy. The best thing I did was to speak to someone who had gone through the same thing. It felt like talking to myself 10 years later. She reassured me that everything will be alright and just go on with your life. 

And that's what I did. My parents took care of us, had me finish school and encouraged me to do well at work. I used the circumstance to do better. I made it my primary goal to do everything so I could take care and provide for Miggy. I did everything I could to provide Miggy the love and care he needed. 

I did not do it alone. I leaned a lot on my parents. We only became fully independent when we moved to Singapore. They still helped us even though we moved out when Miggy was 15. We even moved closer to them a year after we moved out. It was comforting to have Mom and Dad nearby as we learned the ropes. We were all ready by the time we moved to Singapore. 

It's almost 3 decades now since that life changing moment. I never looked back, I just kept moving forward. Faced a lot of other issues and I just always thing that things would be so different in the next decade. Since I was 17, I've worked for more than 10 companies, moved across 9 homes, lived abroad for 10 years, visited countless countries, etc. etc. 

What I need to do now for myself is to look ahead and shape the next ten years. I was hard at work the past ten years and that ended in disaster for my health. Well, God Whispers said the other day, "Just as the moon depends on the sun for the light it reflects, so do your limited capabilities depend on My infinite power to accomplish your dreams.

Look ahead, have faith and pray.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Creative Happy Tuesdays: The Cat Face

I'm slowly learning more about quilting cute stuff. I'm now finishing up the second kitchen gadget quilt cover I started early last month. Took me awhile to figure out how to add the face that's why the project dragged on. I decided to make it easy for me and just used felt fabric for the outer eyes.  That's what's challenging with Pinterest inspired designs, you have to figure out how to do things since most pins don't really have tutorials. 

Here's how it turned out -

The two panels will form the front and back part of the cover. I'm putting together a third one to hold both sides of the cover. Then I just need to bind it together to form the cover. Ohhh so excited!

Will post the tutorial once internet connectivity becomes more manageable :)

Update: connectivity finally got better! Here's the tutorial:

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Monday, June 5, 2023

Home on Mondays: Switched to Washable Filters

The plumbing fixes we had made are working well. It got tested with heavy rain and the frequent water interruptions. Rod finally came to check the water filter he installed. It's supposed to help clean the water before it goes in the tank. The initially installed a disposable filter to see how dirty it would get. Here's how it looks after a month -

It is advised to change disposable filters monthly. Each filter costs approximately PhP600+. It would be expensive to change monthly. Washable filters cost about PhP800+ each and can be used for up to five months. All you need is to wash it down with a hose. We'll be able to save a lot with washable filters. Yay!

The set-up has worked well for us and I like the safety precaution features of the pump we use. I was worried we'd have to pay a lot just to get our tank cleaned regularly. Mom had an underground tank and that was really hard to manage. Aside from getting a good pump, also make sure to work with a master plumber to ensure your safety. Thanks Rod and team for the amazing work!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Miracle Sundays: On Personal Missions

I have been randomly checking old posts from my blog. Found one post where I did a lot of introspection in 2007. I was pondering on my mission and the funny thing is I've been thinking about my current mission. 

Part of the reason why I went home was to be with my Mom. I woke up yesterday thinking about how to get moving. I've been holing up at home. Much of the past few weeks was spent recovering, sliding back down and recovering again. I told myself I need to get back up and do something productive. 

I finally finished one of the cat quilts I've been working on. It dragged on for awhile and I missed my deadline. It's not perfect, but I finished it and it's going to be useful in my kitchen. What it tells me is I should and create new long-term goals. I've been afraid to make them because of my medical condition. 

I made big hairy goals early this year. I have goals for our home and family, crafting, wellness and even a bucket list. I should probably print it out and put it up where I could see it often. Almost half a year has passed and I haven't made a dent on the goals I made. Gotta crack the whip and get going!

2007 is so far away now. One thing I learned though is not to overthink. Just keep going and pray as you go along with life. One good thing about having a medical condition is it makes my options simpler. I just need to get things going and follow through what I've set and listen to any new calling :)

Happy Sunday everyone!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Plantita Saturdays: One Month of Growing Mushrooms in Photos

Finally got some good progress with the mushrooms. Made the mistake of covering it fully for a few weeks. Good thing the seller advised me to adjust the wet cloth. That helped get the pins to grow faster. If I did it correctly, I would have been able to harvest by now. It's a good learning experience the past few weeks and I hope to harvest soon!

Day 1

Day 5

Day 7

It looked the same until I was surprised by pins on day 20.

Day 23

Day 27

Day 29

Day 31, late evening

Day 32

Day 33

Looks really promising! I'm now scouting for a yummy recipe that requires oyster mushrooms :)

#BeKind #StaySafe