Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Pneumonia is Not a Joke

In 2008, I fell very ill and I had to ask my Mom to bring me to the hospital. Good thing I did because I had pneumonia. My lungs were filled with water and I was having a hard time breathing. 

I was in a daze for about a week and I finished up boxes of tissue because of the cough. Two weeks after discharge  I flew to Singapore for my annual checkup. My cardiologist was gravely concerned and had additional tests done. I was so thin and could barely eat. Everytime I ate it turned into a coughing fit.

I was less than 100 lbs by March 2009

I was diagnosed with asthma and heart failure. The lab also found possible strains of legionella in my blood. It's one of the worst causes of pneumonia and 30-80% fatal. It's a miracle I survived.

It took a year with many prayers and visits to churches to pray for a miracle before I started to get better. Other worrying blood markers also consistently normalized everytime I saw my cardiologist. Sadly, the effects of the illness still affect me today. I am kept stable with the help of my doctors and those who pray for me. 

If there's one thing I think I could have done after that very bad bout of pneumonia, I think I should have heeded the advise of my parents to rest more. I should also have sought to know what caused the illness so I could have the proper care.

I know the experience I had was extraordinary and that's why I worry whenever I have friends who get sick. I don't want them to end up like me, retired at a young age and barely able to do normal stuff. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

"Flying Tiger", First Look

I saw the announcement a few months ago that "Flying Tiger" was opening soon at Alabang Town Centre. I was only able to visit today since the weather has been bearable already. I also insisted with the boys it was time to go out. I don't remember the last time we went to the mall.

We were just going to take a peek, but the store was set up like a maze. You have no choice but to see everything. Like IKEA, there's no shortcut to the exit. We enjoyed our first look of Flying Tiger. 

If you like stationery and anek-anek, you will like the store. The store is originally from Copenhagen. Their take on decor is different from what we see from Daiso, Miniso, and Mumuso. I didn't look at where the items are made, but I saw some are made in China. 

I just got a few plastic plates and cups. I was planning to buy paper plates and disposable cups, but realised reusable plates and cups are better. Next time I'll go check out the stationery section. I saw they have cute planner pads. They also have a table for "last chance to buy items". There were some interesting items. I just resisted from buying, haha.

There's a couple of branches across the metro if you want to check it out :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, June 3, 2024

Complain When You Need To

I see a lot of posts of homeowners on Home Buddies who ask if their contractor did the right thing. Oftentimes it's about tile work, stairs, windows, roof, walls etc. Most of those who comment say the work is unacceptable and should be fixed. I guess people ask because most of us are first time homeowners. It is indeed rare to go through building a house more than once (unless you're very rich!). 

Our supposedly simple renovations dragged on. We were told that the work would finish in just two weeks. It's been two months now and it's supposed to finally finish today. Well, it was supposed to be finished in early May. We found a couple of issues with the work mostly because the last set of workers hurriedly finished their task. 

We waited a few weeks before we allowed them to come. We had to get well and have the house disinfected even though the virus likely came from their group. The good thing about our contractor is they do back jobs if there are issues. Oftentimes though we had to wait since they quickly move on to other projects. 

Looks fine, but there were issues with the drawer and floor. 

The project would have finished in two weeks if they provided materials on time and if they did the work properly the first time. There are many horror stories with bad contractors. We've so far stuck it out with this one since they do get the job done with supervision. I think that's required anyway for any work that you have done. Among all the work they did for us the best one is the plumbing and the garden work. It was outsourced to another company (haha). 

I know a lot of us tend not to complain when you have work done. I learned to give proper feedback and complain after working for an international company for 15 years, haha. I don't bottle things inside anymore especially when I pay for it. Demand the worth of your hard earned money. Just a few more tweaks and we should be done.

#BeKind #StaySafe


Sunday, June 2, 2024


I was thinking about my family the past few days and realized that we only have Sweetie's Dad left. We're almost orphans now. My siblings are also mostly abroad, so it's just us. I have my cousins, but they all live in other cities. We both don't have relatives where we live, but we have a lot of friends I grew up with in the neighborhood. 

My stupor changed when I realized I should be grateful. We have additions in the family! My cousin and niece gave birth in the past two months. I have a kalokalike who was born last year (poor baby, I hope she didn't get my temperament!). We lost our parents, titos and titas in the past decade, but our family continues to grow. My pamangkins are also set to marry in the coming months. 

I'm set to make this month different. We will finish fixing our living room and dining room so we can have friends over. My boys are having their birthdays this month. We haven't planned anything yet and just playing it by ear for now. I'm still trying to gauge whether I could muster up the strength to entertain, haha. Well, we'll see. I do want to celebrate though. 

I'm also grateful that we have our cat family. They've been a joy. The cat distribution system gave us six stay-in cats plus 2 who come in and out. They have been living harmoniously, except when Brimsley is having a bad day. She seems to have forgotten about her kittens and doesn't want them near her. She's allowed us to pet her lately and rubs against Miggy's legs often. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Bone Meal for Gumamela

My gumamela plants were not flowering again. I did some research and found out they like bone meal. My plants needed a top up of soil so I made soil mix with loam soil, compost, rice hull and bone meal.

And... Tada!

One of my plants had a lot of buds before the typhoon. Some survived and I noticed one blossomed today. Too bad it was already evening when I noticed it.

Anyway, you just need a tablespoon of bone meal for every gallon of soil. I realized we eat a lot of chicken and thought maybe I could just make it. Unfortunately, you need to boil it for 12 hours! Maybe a pressure cooker can make it shorter, but I don't have one so I'll just buy when needed.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, May 31, 2024

Resumed Pulmo Rehab

It's been a month since I last attended my pulmo rehab. I was finally able to attend today since I was feeling a bit better. I was strangely coughing on and off during my session. I wasn't coughing as much yesterday. 

My doctor prescribed salinase for me since I was coughing during my consultation. I think the cough got scared of my doctor because I promptly stopped coughing by evening. I had very little cough yesterday and haven't bought the salinase. I will buy it today to make sure the cough resolves fully. My doctor said it's post-nasal drip. 

The exercises during my session were light. My therapist made sure I didn't get too tired. We basically just woke up my body since I've been resting for most of the month. I also gave him an update on what happened and how I've been coping. We did not do any spinning today and will resume that in two weeks. I'll still try to do some spinning to see how much I can do per day. 

Life goes on. My focus now would be to regain my strength. I hope I'll be back on track in two months. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Lore Manila, One of Our Faves

We were famished after spending the whole morning visiting doctors. We only had a quick bite for breakfast. I don't think it even reached my tummy, haha. We've been to Lore Manila a few times and just can't get enough of their food. We finished our hospital visit at around one in the afternoon. 

Decidedly famished we headed to One Bonifacio High Street Mall for lunch. We went straight to Lore Manila. Ended up ordering a number of dishes. That's how famished we were. The only new dish we tried was the chicken sisig. It was perfect with the chorizo rice (oh, our first time to try this as well). 

We ordered again our favorites, the Davao kinilaw, molo soup, inihaw na liempo, and the five spice chicken with hawhaw sauce. Ahh, the food was so delectable and delicious. Every bite I took sent me to heaven (haha). Soon enough we were all full. We ordered so much food we had leftovers. We were happy we had leftovers we could eat at home. 

Maybe next we'll finally be able to try other restos, haha. I'm sure we'll visit Lore Manila again soon.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Adjusting Wellness Goals

I experienced a huge setback to my wellness goals. I was progressing nicely with my spinning time. Last time I had pulmo rehab I reached 12 minutes. I've slid back down to 5.5 minutes since I had COVID-19. I will resume pulmo rehab this week provided I feel well enough. 

My main goal this year is to be able to go biking outdoors. It is my one favorite sport. I don't have a bicycle yet. I will only get one once my therapist tells me it's safe for me. My boys want me to have a bike and full protection gear. When I used to bike around our village I never wore any protection. Well, I shall wear protection just to be sure. I just need to graduate with flying colors from my current pulmo rehab program. 

It's probably taking me longer to regain my strength because of the virus. Ugh. I feel so annoyed. I tried making baked sushi the other day and felt really tired after preparing the tuna. Good thing Miggy knows what to do, so he finished preparing the meal. 

Last night I did some gardening. I just added soil on some plants. Ended up really tired and just watched TV the rest of the night. I know I should give myself some slack. I just feel a bit down because of the setback. I have to focus on being grateful that the illness did not get worse. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Some Progress on the Heart Tote Bag

I've been working on this quilted heart tote bag for a few months now. Sewing time has been disrupted because of the renovation, getting sick and my things are still in boxes. I did set aside this project so I could work on it, but there's just been a lot of distraction. 

Sweetie and I exchanged places when the family room was finished. I'm now sitting at the far end of the family room. We switched since it makes more sense for him to be near the display cabinet. He does toy photography, so he has to access his collection often. I switched with him since I need more storage space for my sewing items. 

The boys set up my sewing table and I've since tried to put some time to sew. The only project I have accessible is the quilted tote bag I'm making for a friend. I made some progress! I sandwiched the top and quilted the heart by color. I scrambled to find thread since most of my materials are still in boxes. I made do with what I have and finished quilting yesterday. 

I thought I'd finish it by today, BUT, I can't find the roll of bag handle, haha. While looking for it I ended up fixing my gardening stuff and emptying a few bags. I hope to find it soon so I can finish this project and move on to a new one! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, May 27, 2024

Cute Pokemon Items

We have a small collection of Pokemon collectibles. We have a few Pokeballs and some gachapon figures which I got in Japan. My favorite though are the keychains you can add to your bag zippers. I had a Ditto which I unfortunately lost during a trip. We used to have a bigger collection (Miggy's). Unfortunately, all of them perished during Typhoon Ondoy. 

My prized Pokemon possession though is a pair of sneakers. I got it three years ago when we were still in Singapore. I still use it and match it with a Pokemon shirt and earrings. I should clean up the sneakers so I can wear it when I see my doctor, haha. 

Recently, we got two cups from Serenitea. They're so cute! It's just actually a sticker placed on the cup. It's cute, but we're not sure if we'll use it as a cup since the sticker will likely fall off after a lot of washing. Anyway, it's still cute, so we'll likely just add it to our collection. 

Do you collect Pokemon items? 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Typhoon Aghon

Our first typhoon finally came, Typhoon Aghon. I think it's quite rare not to have typhoons in the first few months of the year. I didn't notice we haven't had a typhoon in the past few months. Last year there were only 17 typhoons in the country. Normally there's more than 20, so it's been really unusual. That's also probably why summer has been terribly hot. 


It's been raining non-stop since yesterday. My plants are fully soaked. It's been a nice kind of rain in our area, but other areas have had it bad with flooding. I saw on the news that there are areas where trees have fallen. I hope everyone will be safe since the typhoon is still hanging around until Wednesday. 

Our cats have chosen to stay dry by our front door. We were surprised most of them were hanging out together there. Poor Mando was left alone in the laundry area by her siblings. She was calling us to come out and play with her from the kitchen window. We indulged her, of course, and was surprised she allowed us to pet her. Soon enough her siblings visited her and she quieted down. 

My favorite weatherman (meteorologist), Ariel Rojas, said the hot weather may come back after the typhoon leaves. Ugh. It's not rainy season yet since DOST-PAGASA hasn't checked off all the indicators. I hope the typhoons this year will be gentler. Just enough to water the plants and re-fill the dams. 

Stay safe and don't forget to pray!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Two Months After Propagating Solo Papaya Seeds

I've grown fond of eating papaya since my confinement in November. I usually order solo papaya together with my groceries since it's just enough for me. Last March I experimented on propagating papaya seeds. I washed off the goo and the let it dry for a few days. Then I placed it on a paper towel in a container. I sprayed it with water and left it on the bottom shelf beside the sink. 

It took three weeks before it started sprouting. I would check it weekly and I think I sprayed more water once or twice. I was worried it would just dry up since it was really hot in April. I wasn't sure when to plant it in soil. To be honest, I forgot about the seedlings. They had grown quite long before I remembered to plant them in soil. 

I transferred the seedlings to a propagation tray. I decided to do that so it could have water all the time. Good thing I did because I got sick right after planting the seedlings in soil. It survived for two weeks while I was unable to do any gardening. 

I was surprised to see the seedlings grow more leaves when I was well enough to go to the garden. It was the perfect time to transfer them to bigger pots so they could grow bigger. I mixed loam soil, compost and rice hull a day before I transferred the seedlings. I re-used some smaller pots which I disinfected first before I used them. I selected the bigger seedlings first and they seem to be adjusting well. 

Now I have to research whether I could grow the papaya in a pot. I don't think it will survive if I plant them on the ground since we have very curious cats. There are currently 15 seedlings and I hope a good percentage of them would grow and bear fruit. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, May 24, 2024

Wendy's, Coming Soon in Our Neighborhood!

A few months ago we saw an old building in our area demolished. They put up posters announcing that a Wendy's restaurant will soon rise in the area. Months passed and we eagerly awaited for it to be built. It's been 8 weeks I think since I passed the area and I was surprised to see the building has been built! 

They also put up a tall Wendy's signage which can be seen from afar (Chowking's higher though). I think when they finally turn on the lights we'll be able to see it from our home. I'm glad our neighborhood will have Wendy's again. There used to be one in SM Bicutan. I remember because we used to go there with my Mom and Dad. 

There are a lot of new establishments in our neighborhood. There's a lot of SME food providers and most of what we need is available in the area. SME businesses have extended far into what we used to call the "Fastract" area (a.k.a. Dona Soledad extension). The extension was almost empty when I did my driving lessons back in the late 90s. We also only passed by there as an alternative to go to the airport. 

Next time I'll take a video when we pass through Dona Soledad. I used to spend time mapping the area. There's probably a lot of things to update on the map now. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Burger Machine!

I found out that a new Burger Machine opened nearby. I read it from a group I follow on FB and they even gave me landmarks to easily find it. We were supposed to go to the hospital yesterday to see my doctors, but they re-scheduled. I thought it was a good idea to step out since I'm experiencing cabin fever already. I haven't gone anywhere since early April because of the heat. 

The easiest way to find it is to look for Phoenix Gas Station on Dona Soledad (Fastrack area, Brgy Moonwalk). There's a lot of parking space since the gas station is huge. I was so excited to go. It's been decades since I last got to eat at Burger Machine. There was one in Better Living before and we frequented it before. 

I was warned that supplies ran out fast. True enough, only the ultimate burger and double Bart Burger was available. We got 4 ultimate burger and 1 sansrival to take home. I was fascinated with how the crew prepared the burger. It's exactly how they used to prepare it decades ago. The menu though looks like it's been updated and they have other burger varieties. 

We ate the burger as soon as we got home. Sweetie recommended adding a slice of cheese. I wasn't sure if it would work since they added a dollop of Cheez Whiz on the burger. The burger was as yummy as I remember it. I think even better since it was the ultimate burger. I regret just getting one. Next time I'll order two, haha. 

Burger Machine <3 <3 <3 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Post COVID-19 Recovery

I'm now on day 18 and negative since day 12. Both my boys are well and living normally. Recovery for me has been slow with daily bouts of asthma. Not sure if it's because of the illness or due to bad air quality the past few days. I've been having some chest pain and body pain. 

It really takes me a while to recover from anything. I have co-morbidities, so I have to be really careful. I'm seeing my doctors again next week for a follow-up consultation. My cardiologist wants to make sure I don't have myocarditis. In the meantime, I'm trying to eat and drink recommended food and beverages to keep inflammation down. 

I'm also resting as needed. I had a hard time resuming my daily gardening chores (watering plants). I think my condition has improved today since I was able to water my plants by hand. It usually takes me an hour. It's part of my daily exercise. I have to remember to monitor my oxygen saturation while watering plants.

I'm praying to be better soon. Blogging has been hard for me since my brain feels foggy. I'm pushing myself to do it to make sure it doesn't become permanent! My doctors in Singapore told me to make sure I stay sharp and active. 

We can do this!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Hello Eevee

Mama Brimsley finally weaned her kittens last month after she was confined. We were very worried about her when she got home because she wouldn't eat. Miggy had to chase her around to get her to eat and drink some water. Eventually she started eating again, but started staying in the garage. She chose to stay in the original spot where we first saw her. 

We noticed she stopped visiting the laundry area where she used to stay with her kittens. She would hiss at the kittens whenever they approached her. It's been a month and she still doesn't interact with her kittens. It's like she's forgotten about them and she prefers to be solitary. She hangs out with Meredith, but I don't see them interacting. At least she doesn't hiss at Meredith anymore. 

Eevee. Photo by Sweetie

When we changed the polycarbonate that used to divide the garage and side garden to a gate. The kittens started to explore outside their usual area. Brimsley used to prohibit them from going over the divider. Without Mama, the kittens became more adventurous. Well, except Mando. The most she does is go on top of the gate and watch her siblings. She only comes out when I open the gate. 

It's Grogu who's been leading his siblings in exploring. We're a bit worried now because Pikachu and Eeven haven't been spayed/neutered. The Intruder has been courting Pikachu. We hope she doesn't get pregnant before we get her spayed. She needs to gain a bit more weight before she can be spayed. So far, she's been running away from the Intruder. We'll ask the vet if she can be spayed sooner than later. 

Eevee has so far just been mimicking what his Kuya Grogu does. He allows us to pet him if Grogu is around. He usually hangs around the sliding door wherever we are. It's like we have a guard dog, haha. We hope he'll be a bit more socialized soon. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, May 20, 2024

Preparing for the Rainy Season

It finally rained a lot yesterday. The rain that poured the past week wasn't enough to water the plants. Only the top leaves got wet, so I was happy it finally rained for real yesterday. I expect the plants would look healthier today. The rain provides them additional vitamins and they like rain water better than Maynilad water. 

One pain we had for a long time was water would come in through the sliding door. We had sealant placed a couple of times, but water kept coming in. It was annoying since we've had to check for water when it rains hard in the middle of the night. After careful observation we realized that the sliding doors needed to be protected with a canopy. 

So after almost three years we had a ready-made canopy installed. Since we had the floors replaced, the floor area of the sliding door was also adjusted. The tile was removed and the cement was applied. It's now a bit slanted to allow water to roll down. This will also help prevent water from coming in, although the canopy should do the trick. 

The canopy also helped cool down our family room since it's tinted. It's pretty cool in the family room already, but we can now do away with curtains. This means we can see the cats whenever they roam around. We also don't need to worry about rain anymore.

I think this will be the last upgrade we'll do for the house for the meantime. We'll focus on organizing it so we can have visitors. We're delayed once again since we all got sick and we're still recovering. We'll have to schedule the house to be cleaned and disinfected, then have the display cabinets returned. Hopefully next week when we're feeling much better. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Dad's 91st

Dad has been visiting me in my dreams the past week. Last night he was with me in a new house in New York. It was a strange dream since the house was between sky scrapers. Haha. Dad though was telling me to always be careful about contracts. Something I've been fussing over the past few weeks. 

Dad would have been 91 years old today. We were trying to get some Buddy's for lunch, but they're not available in our area anymore. We'll just do a belated celebration maybe when I go for my check-up. Resting for now and remembering Dad on his special day.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Still Not 100% Well

I still have intermittent cough and colds. I slept most of the day. I think more rest is what my body needs after battling COVID-19. I've been trying to pick up on my daily chores, but it's leaving me really tired after. 

At least I'm able to pet the cats. I've missed them a lot. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, May 17, 2024

Day 12, Finally Negative

I felt very unwell last night. It was a very rough night since I kept waking up. I managed to get up at noon. Still feeling sluggish. I got a tester to see if the virus is gone. Did the test and waited 15 minutes before I peeked at the result.

Finally  negative! Yay! 

I hope the coughing will be gone soon. To celebrate, I stepped outside to say hello to the cats. I've missed them so much!

Still have to take things slow, but hope my energy comes back soon. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Monday, May 13, 2024

Day 8

 Day after we went back home. Still coughing, but no fever. 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Day 7

 Day 7, still confined but feeling a bit better. 

Discharged by mid-day.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Dreamt of Mom

I guess I was delirious from a fever when I had a strange dream on Wednesday afternoon. Mom brought me to the airport. She was wearing her favourite pink shirt and told me to take care. I gave her a copy of my flight details because she promised to pick me up.

I remembered the dream because of the strange entry way at KLIA. There was a 3-level escalator without railings you had to get on together with your luggage. Then at the top you had to slide down together with your luggage. I went on the slide and had an exhilarating ride down. I woke up when I reached the end.

It's been awhile since I dreamt of Mom. I was drenched in sweat when I woke up. It got me thinking that maybe it was time to go to the hospital. By late night I asked the boys to bring me to the hospital.

Mom probably visited me in a dream to warn me that my illness isn't the ordinary flu. It did not cross our mind that it would be COVID-19. 

Thank you Mom for being my guardian angel 😇 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, May 9, 2024

It Finally Came for Me

Last night Sweetie took my temperature. It was once again 39'C+. It was very unusual for me not to respond to the meds I've been religiously taking since Monday. I did a quick search to find out how many days of having fever should you go to the hospital. Three to four days especially if the fever is above 39.4'C.

When Sweetie told me all our cats, including Kaley, Grey and the Intruder, were in the garage, I felt they were worried. Having all the cats at the same time in one place has never happened before. I told Sweetie I thought it was time to go to the hospital.

Arrived at the hospital at 2 in the morning. Luckily it wasn't a busy night. Did a work up and an antigen test. We've been taking all precautions to avoid catching COVID-19. Well, it finally caught up with me after avoiding it for four years.

Save for the high fever, dry cough and sniffles, I don't feel that bad. I probably got lucky with a milder strain. I felt much worse when the boys had COVID-19. I felt really bad back then but didn't turn out positive. 

The boys are going to be tested too just to be sure. I'm in good hands with my doctors and trust they will take care of me. I just hope I don't end up in the hospital for three weeks again!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Not Getting Better

It feels strange that I haven't gotten better. The sore throat is almost gone, but my temperature is still high. I read that if you have fever at 39.4'C for more than two days you should go to the hospital already. If things don't get better I'll ask the boys to bring me to the ER.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Still Sick

I felt a wee bit better but I still had high fever off and on. I just slept most of the day and hope the meds do their magic.

Monday, May 6, 2024

High Fever

High fever continued today. My temperature reached 39.7'C. I did an e-consultation and was given antibiotics.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Revenge of the Fifth

I wore a Darth Vader short today. Alas, it's been a bad day since I came down with fever. It went down for awhile, but now it's at 38.5'C. 

Not sure what I picked up. I only went out once this week to purchase my maintenance meds. I woke up with slight fever and then it progressed throughout the day.

Just going to rest for now. I'll do a teleconsult if things go worse. Hopefully not.

Have a blessed Sunday everyone 

Saturday, May 4, 2024

My Star Wars Quilts

Happy Star Wars Day! May the 4th be with you! 

I've been a fan of Star Wars since it first hit the big screen. I got to watch because my siblings would bring me with them whenever they watched it. I especially love Yoda and have a collection of his figures. I was hoping to share the new set-up for Star Wars Day, but the renovations are delayed and the display cabinets are still upstairs. 

I've been collecting Star Wars fabric. I've been using it sparingly because they're quite expensive. I've so far made a couple of quilt projects through the years. It's not that many since I want to use the fabric for special projects. Here are some of the quilt projects I've done:

Lightsaber blanket for Jet

Throw pillows

A bag

Bench cover (most recent project)

I want to make a quilt blanket. It's going to be a huge undertaking so I might do one more bench cover first before I dive into a project that's going to take months to make. 

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, May 3, 2024

Raising Others' Aspirations

A friend shared a write-up by Tyler Cowen about "The high return activity of raising others' aspirations" (see clip below). It reminded me of that time my grad school thesis panelists told me I have so much promise. They said I could go places. I just needed to get over being shy and I just need to be outspoken. 

My grad school marketing professor, Mr. Garcia, created a Yahoogroup for our class. He said he wanted us to speak our thoughts with articles he'd share with us. I hated reciting in class and jumped on the chance to share my thoughts through writing. Mr. Garcia talked to me after class one time and told me I raised very good points in the online discussions. He'd call me during class to recite after that. 

My thesis panelists and professor helped boost my confidence and believe in myself. After completing my MBA I had the lakas ng loob to apply for a product manager position. It was an attempt to shift to more marketing/business development work. Good thing I bungled up an interview at a retail company because it made me prepare more for my interview at a tech company. That's how I got into tech. 

Dev community, c 2011

I realized after my professors helped boost my confidence that I should do the same. I had the opportunity to build communities and part of it meant I had to develop leaders. I got to work with a lot of passionate individuals who also wanted to help others. Key to it was encouraging  them to reach their aspirations. A lot of them were introverts like me. I followed what Mr. Garcia did to me and put them in the spotlight too. 

That time I had Jomar do an HTML5 session

Well, I hope what I did helped others reach their potential, open doors and reach new heights. Sometimes the best thing to do is really take a step back and have others shine. Be the instrument to let others reach their ambitions.  That's what fulfilled me in my work. 

*Thank you to my friend for providing today's inspiration :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Pure Energy

Filipinos would know who is known as Mr. Pure Energy. It's none other than Gary Valenciano. My generation grew up with his songs and even until now you'd hear his songs everywhere. He just celebrated his 40th anniversary in the entertainment industry. He had a two day concert last weekend at the MOA Arena. He has one more day on the tenth of May. 

c2008 during a Nokia event 

How I wish I could watch the concert in person. I managed to watch through YouTube and I was super amazed with his stamina. He sang and danced all throughout the 3 hour show. Wow! From news clips he shared that he had several surgeries and has a chronic illness. It's a huge undertaking to be able to do what he did for the show. 

I personally huff and puff just going up a flight of stairs, so I'm amazed with how he managed. The message of his concert is simple. Just trust in God and He'll make sure you have the energy to do anything. I wanted to jump on my stationary bike while watching since I was so inspired with Gary V. Unfortunately, I've been under the weather so let's see how I fare during my scheduled pulmo rehab tomorrow. 

Watching the concert inspired me to do better with my health and wellness activities. We're now able to use our family room again, so I can shake out the stupor I've been on the past month. It's really hard when I'm unable to do my usual routines, plus the heat has been bad for me. I will add watching concerts to my bucket list. It requires a lot of stamina. I really need to get going and reach my biking goal. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

A Year Without Mom

A year ago, I woke up to the bad news that my Mom was gone. It was unexpected since she was actually healthier and stronger than me. I was very sickly back then and she'd tell me to just rest and not worry about her. I still did and would have Miggy call her to remind her to drink more water. 

Mom would have wanted to go that way. She always prayed to go while asleep. She said she didn't want to have a prolonged illness. She said she wanted to be independent and not bother us (her kids). She wanted us to live our own lives and not worry about her. Dad also used to say the same thing. They both let us fly as far as we could. 

The past year without Mom has been surreal. Incomplete. There was always something missing. Whenever we go someplace or order food, I'd always think what Mom would like. Any quilting project I work on, I'd always think what she'd think about it. Oftentimes, I'd ask myself, "WWMD?" (What would Mom do?). 

Going through her things has been therapeutic. It took me months before I could start working on it. I honestly haven't made a dent since she has a lot of stuff. I know what she left are things that are important to her. I smile whenever I find a childhood toy. I gave Kuya one of his squeaky toys last week and I told him Mom wanted him to have it. Imagine, that toy is probably 60 years old already, but Mom kept it. 

Tradition dictates that "babang luksa" happens after a year. We could now celebrate birthdays, attend parties, have weddings etc. Grieving for ones loved one never ends. I still cry whenever I remember losing my Dad and it will be the same with Mom. 

Love you Mom, forever. We'll be back home soon as you wished. Please intercede with Dad for us to finish all the paperwork! <3

*Babang luksa - lowering of mourning

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Reached the End

I just realized it's the end of April today. I've been under the weather again the past two days. I haven't been able to do anything except water the plants in the evening. I managed to do some sewing last weekend. I'm working on a tote bag for a friend using the rainbow strip quilt I made a few weeks ago. Alas, I haven't been able to continue work on it since some of my stuff is in boxes. 

April was quite unproductive for me sewing wise. I put all my quilting materials in boxes because we changed the flooring in the basement. My sewing/maker room is still empty. The work isn't done yet. It's delayed by two weeks! I hope they finish everything by end of the week. Some of my boxes were moved to the family room yesterday. I can probably resume some sewing tomorrow if I'm able to find my iron, haha. 

Quilting has been an activity that's kept me sane. I felt incomplete the past month. It's not the same when I'm unable to create. Even my blog has taken a hit. I've been posting late and haven't been consistently sharing my posts too. The heat probably contributed to my sloth-like behavior. I also don't remember when the last time I stepped out of the house. 

Anyway, a new month is just around the corner. Hopefully, things will be better!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, April 29, 2024

Tiles vs. Vinyl, What We Chose

Our home had tiles in the living room, basement and kitchen when we moved it. After a few months the tiles started breaking. The contractor who did the house replaced a few and then disappeared. We were forced to get help from an architect to fix things. We had the living room and kitchen re-tiled. We used tiles for the kitchen and re-engineered bamboo flooring for the living room. 

We only had the basement flooring fixed these past few weeks. I wanted to do it last year, but the architect said they were still okay. We had to cover the floor with rubber mats for safety. Things got worse and we decided to fix the issue. We reviewed options for flooring. Wood flooring was out of the question because they're expensive. 

We also wanted something that would be easy to install. Something foolproof. Tile was out of the question since we had a bad experience with it. The foreman explained to us that the tiles were not installed properly. I used laminate for my childhood home's basement. It's still intact after 2 decades. It requires rugby for installation. The smell would be bad for me. 

We watched a couple of videos and we thought the best option would be vinyl tiles. It could be interlocked, so no need for adhesive when it's installed. We were given the option for waterproof or water resistant SPC vinyl. Waterproof vinyl is a bit more expensive than water resistant. We thought waterproof would be better in the long run, so that's what we chose. 

It took a few days to remove the tiles. This is the noisiest part of the process. We were able to save some that came off cleanly. We'll use it for a future project. After the tiles were removed, cement was laid out to make the floor even. After cleaning up the interlocking vinyl was installed. Part of the process included removing the baseboards and cabinets to ensure the planks were installed properly. And now it's done!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Gift of Love

Kuya surprised me yesterday with a gift. At first I thought it was a box of pastillas, haha. Well, the gift was sweeter than that. It was a gift of love. 

It was the Divine Mercy 3'O clock prayer. Praying the Chaplet is for those seriously injured, sick and dying is a powerful way to receive God's saving grace. It also promises forgiveness of all sins and no punishment for sin. It is a miracle that happens quietly.

Praying for miracles. 

Happy Sunday everyone!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, April 27, 2024

My Cute Gardening Assistant

Since Kaley only comes to have a snack, Meredith has replaced her as my gardening assistant. She follows me around whenever I water the plants. Sometimes Grogu joins her. I'm actually glad they get along now. They used to hiss at each other when they were in the same area. I kept telling them that they should be friends since they live in the same place. 

I give them some treats to keep them in one place when I water the plants. The treat has catnip in it which I think makes them thirsty. I learned to place a fresh bowl of water before I start watering the plants since they tend to drink from the pot plates! Last night, Meredith drank from my watering jug, haha. 

My efforts with the garden are paying off. It takes me an hour everyday to water the plants. It takes a long time  because I use a watering can to water the pots individually. I was happy to see my gumamela plants flowering again. I recently gave them some banana peel tea. I have to continuously figure out what plants need to make sure they flower. 

Having Meredith and Grogu around whenever I water the plants makes it more fun for me. Lately, Brimsley's kittens have been exploring as well. They're pretty shy though, so hopefully they'll learn to play with me too. 

#BeKind #StaySafe