It’s practically the 4th week after New Year and I could say that for the longest time, I started the New Year on the way I planned it to be.. Sometimes, New Year’s are predictable, especially when I was still working in Singapore. It would be the same face, same situations, same scenarios.. However, due to this pandemic and the realities that I have to face staying at home, this new year is somehow different.
How was I able to say that I started my new year right? Let me share to you what I have done so far..
I used to write a “To Do List”, my husband always reminds me of this, though this has been my practice since I was studying in the university.
Since I have a lot of tasks here at home, some errands that I need to do within the year/month are needed to be listed.
COMMUNICATING WITH HUSBAND
Most of the plans that I listed are basically what my husband and I agreed upon. There are some that need to be postponed due to some reasons (i.e. budget constraint or time). It is very important for couples to have the same goals, to have their minds in sync for the future. Should there will be conflicts between them, the goals that they planned should be their motivations to move forward.
What is the use of proper planning if there will be no execution? Execution must also be planned, how we could achieve such goals.
Let me share with you one of my goals this year.. When my husband went back to Singapore for work, I was a little frustrated because I gained a lot of weight and for the first time in my life, my weight became 70 kilos. This is way too high for me. I was very alarmed.
Since then, I ate less carbohydrates and had a very strict diet. To date, for almost 2 weeks, I already lost 3 kilos. My exercise is more of cleaning of the entire house. Sometimes, I walk in our village. I do stretching every morning too.
Execution should not be all at the same time.. Since I already have the list of the things that I need to do. I prioritize those. What needs to be done first.
Part of the execution is for all things in the house to be organized. I am so blessed that my husband was here with me during the start of the year. We bought racks and boxes so that things here at home will be organized. It’s better to move and execute plans when everything is in order.
I organized all the documents too. Be it my daughter’s school activities or our medical records.
It’s good when planned goals are materialized. I remembered before when the brother of my grandmother approached me. Things were going smooth with me that time, and he told me.. “you seemed so lucky in everything you do”. I just answered him saying, “Tatay (grandfather), a person is lucky when she knows how to plan”.
There a saying that, “The mercy is from God, but the hard work are from men” (Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa). If we just keep on praying but is not doing anything about what we are praying for, chances are it would not be granted.
God bless on your 2022! We are just starting.. Let’s thank God for this brand new beginning!
We moved last February 2021 here in our new house and we kept on contemplating if we will have built-in cabinets or the usual cabinets that can be moved. I am really not into the built-in cabinets because I wanted to move furniture once in a while. We’ve been searching online, going to various furniture shops just to find an affordable and quality cabinets and wardrobes.
Until the news of IKEA’s opening spread around the Philippines through vlogs and social medias. I was extremely excited, knowing that IKEA is known to have affordable and good quality furniture.
As many of you know we lived in Singapore for almost 8 years and I am very familiar with IKEA. Singapore has two IKEA stores and we really love to shop there. Maybe it comes with age but we are really fascinated with the show rooms, furniture designs and prices. While we were shopping we were leaving our children in the play area inside IKEA.
Since my husband is already in Singapore, I went in IKEA Philippines alone to buy the wardrobes and cabinets. It is quite far from our house, around 37 km. I really didn’t mind driving that far as long as we could save money with the furniture that we will buy.
It can be located so easily. It’s just beside the Mall of Asia. The parking is really huge and I could say very affordable.
I arrived there around 1 in the afternoon and I was so hungry. Surprisingly the queue in the restaurant is quite long. There are tables and chairs though. The security guard was really controlling the people going inside.
I am in a diet now and I was supposed to not eat rice but I felt I needed to skip the diet because of my favorite fried chicken wings.
The restaurant is located at the 4th floor and beside it are already the show rooms. It is said that IKEA Philippines is the biggest IKEA in the whole world. Since I was able to go to other IKEA stores in Singapore, I could really say that IKEA Philippines is enormous. I spent almost 1 1/2 hours wandering and mesmerizing the show rooms. It was really inspiring to see various room decors. A lot many than of other IKEA stores. You would see room decors of living rooms, patios, bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, etc.. It’s really fascinating.
I took photos of the tags of the furniture that I wanted to buy. The tag looks like this..
These tags have the information you needed for the furniture. It has the measurements, instructions, location in the storage area where you could pick the furniture if you want to bring it home and not avail the delivery. Note the rack and section numbers to locate it.
I was constantly communicating with my husband about the wardrobes and cabinets that I was planning to buy. I had a lot of options and before we decided to buy we finalized first what we really wanted.
So, I went to the market hall in the 3rd floor and here you would see a lot of choices for house needs and decors. These are for the entire house.. You may want to visit this blog (SNEAK PEEK: Inside IKEA’s First Store in the Philippines) and see what’s inside the market hall. Oh my! You would really plan to be there when you see what’s inside.
I spent more than 3 hours there and finally I was able to order for the wardrobes and asked for delivery at home. Some of those that we chose, were out of stock and so I needed to change some of the previously agreed items. The delivery was not really expensive, considering how far our place is and the traffic going there.
Since I saw some of the items in IKEA in person, I could buy some that we needed through online. The virus is still very active here and we still need to be careful.
Today is January 13, 2022 here in the Philippines. While my eldest daughter is having homeschool, there are lots of schools who are having an “academic break” due to the surge of Covid cases. Many teachers asked for support from the government and their respective schools for this break. Students are asked to have a “mental break” because it is really exhausting to be staying at home for almost two years.
Last December, the cases went down to 200+ a day. We were so happy about this, reason why my friends and I grabbed the opportunity to have a reunion. Little did we know that there is this new variant, called Omicron that rapidly spreading around the world.
For the last two days, we are experiencing the highest Covid cases here in the Philippines. These are happening inspite of the number of vaccinated people. Now, it is hard to entertain the thought of my children being vaccinated and could go to school. I need to live one day at a time. The future is becoming blur, but hopeful that it would be better.
This morning, I got up so early to go to our municipality to pay property tax. I really don’t want to queue that’s why I went there so early.
When I got there, I was so surprised because parking is still okay. There is no queue outside.. no early birds like me. I saw a sign there that the trial court is closed today. I asked one of the cleaners, and he told me that the office is closed until tomorrow due to high Covid cases of the employees.
Oh no, this is really getting serious… AGAIN! Should I panic? No, I was thinking majority have vaccine. But I need to be careful on being close to my children when I get home. Nah, we survived 2020 lockdown.. I know the drills.
My family hasn’t changed a bit of what we used to do since the lockdown of 2020. I personally don’t want to be complacent about it. I have alcohol in our living room and in our rooms. My children have their little container for alcohol too. I don’t go near my children when I arrived at home. I rest for 5 to 10 minutes, take a bath, then freely be in our house.
The government is mandating people to have vaccines. If a person does not have vaccination card, he cannot go out anyhow. He cannot eat in a restaurant, ride a public transport, go to malls, etc.. I agree with this rule. The only way to beat this pandemic is for our country to achieve herd immunity, and this is to have everybody vaccinated.
Prayers can move mountains.. It can beat this pandemic too! 2020 and 2021 are over! Praying for better 2022. Hold tight.. Miracles do happen!
My husband went back to Singapore last Sunday (January 9), his flight was around 9 in the evening and I sent him in the airport at 3:30 in the afternoon. I am really not used to driving in Manila, however, I needed to bring my husband by myself because of this Covid. Usually my husband takes bus when he is leaving for Singapore.
Few days before that I was already preparing my daughters emotionally. During our bonding moments, I was mentioning their father’s going back.. I was mentioning the reason why he needs to be there. My daughters understood. They were seizing the moment that we were together.
During those days, the Omicron variant of this Covid, was already here in the Philippines. Experts say that this variant can spread quickly. We were so careful because of this.. Two days prior to my husband’s flight he needed to have swab test and have negative result. Hence, we opted to stay at home.
I cooked the dishes that my husband love. My husband kept on cleaning the house and making it organized so that it would not be hard for me anymore. My children spent a lot of times playing with their father.
The night of January 8, my husband told my eldest daughter that he will be going back to Singapore the next day. My daughter hugged him, and to my surprise, she cried. I thought, she already accepted it, she was okay with it.. Seeing my daughter cries, crushed my heart. I couldn’t cry in front of her because I wanted to talk to her and console her. It was hard. My youngest was sleeping already at that time.
The day has come for him to go back. It was a Sunday.. a lazy day for us. However, my husband still washed the clothes for me. We made it a usual Sunday. Until, I found my eldest daughter, trying to hold her tears in the living room. I again talked to her.
My husband and my youngest daughter came and saw us having a serious conversation. We told them that since children don’t have vaccine still, we cannot go to Singapore too. We told them that they need to have swab tests, putting a long stick in their nose. They knew how swab testing hurts, and their sadness just went away. They are still kids..
I was hesitant to drive my husband because I might not be able to go back home safely. The atmosphere in the car going to the airport was very light. We were having jokes, while concentrating in google maps going to the airport.
When we were already at the departure area, the reality just sink-in. I did not cry when we said goodbye to each other. However, when I was already in the car.. again driving by myself. All the hidden and succumbed emotions came out. I will never be used to this feeling.
I needed to let it all out because I was driving and I should be okay already when facing my children.
I admire those domestic workers that leave their children for a better future. The feeling of loneliness when departing is unexplainable.
It’s been three days since the day my husband went back to Singapore. We are back to our regular activities at home. I am praying that someday, we will be together again. I hope this pandemic will end soon.
Happy new year to you all! Before anything else, I pray that you will have a blessed new year and this would be a better year for you.
It’s been a while since I wrote here in my blog and a lot happened for the last three weeks. The last three weeks were the times my husband was here in the Philippines for a vacation.
If you read my last blog, my husband was able to come home to spend Christmas with us. Last November 2021, I already accepted that my husband would not be able to spend the holidays with us. The moment I accepted it, I felt peace in my heart. Then, my husband told me that the Singapore government’s rules on workers going back there have changed. That is the reason why my husband was able to come home.
My husband is back in Singapore now and I could say that we spent the time well when he was here.
When I told my daughters about their father’s arrival, they were so excited. They are very close to their father, to the point that they were not able to sleep well knowing that he will be arriving the next day.
My heart was so happy knowing that my youngest will be spending her birthday with her father.
We were so cautious about Covid-19 reason why we really made her birthday very intimate. We just spent it with my parents and siblings. Though, it was celebrated that way, my daughter was very happy because her father was here.
A Lot of Cooking
My husband is really not cooking. I know his cravings. He loves vegetables and fish. A day after he arrived I cooked “otan” (recipe from his hometown) and fried fishes. Otan recipe is from his hometown in Cebu, it is a mixture of different kinds of vegetables.
I was so excited to cook for my husband as I know he was not able to eat real home-cook meals. I always anticipated his coming back, and so the recipes that I will cook are already engraved to my mind.
My husband and I love to travel. When I was still working in Singapore, we always spent holidays outside of the country. Now that we are here in the Philippines, we thought it is time to explore the beauty of our own country.
We went to Subic.. This is in the northern part of the Philippines. My husband drove for more than 4 hours. It was his first time to drive that far. It was an experience that our family would not forget. My children saw a lot of beautiful sceneries while travelling.
We booked a condo from Airbnb and stayed there for 4 days and 3 nights. We always book on this app because it is really dependable. It was a pleasant stay. The views from the place we stayed were spectacular.
During our stay in Subic, we went to the beach. We are really fond of going to beaches. My husband is from Cebu where there’s a lot of beautiful beaches. This was one of his travel goals, to be able to go to a beach.
We spent more than 5 hours in the beach. Though there were lots of swimming pools in the resort, we opted to stay in the beach. My daughters enjoyed a lot. We brought the toys for sand castle making and we enjoyed playing in the sand.
We let our youngest daughter experienced being in a zoo too. We went to Zoobic Safari. My children were amazed to see well-taken-cared-of animals. There are lions, zebra, different kinds of birds, tigers, deers, donkeys, snakes, crocodiles and a lot more in that zoo.
Catching Up with Friends
Since Covid cases last December here in the Philippines decreased substantially. The government eased the quarantine rules. Hence, we were able to catch up with our friends. We have an annual get-together every end of the year and due to pandemic, we were not able to have our reunion for two consecutive years. Last December we were able to celebrate Christmas.
It is always a happy moment when we spend times with loved ones. It was good also that we were able to see each other complete and all healthy.
It was my husband’s first time to see our new house when he arrived. I saw his happiness seeing the fruit of his hard work. I am happy that he appreciated the effort that I gave for the house too.
Eating, sleeping, playing, practically doing everything together made my husband’s stay memorable. Pre-pandemic, we thought my husband could go home every month. Everything changed. And so, the usual things that we do together became so memorable to us. Those were the times that we really cherish.
This pandemic really gave us a lot of lessons. It made us realized a lot of things. It is still a blessing to be able to learn from this experience. I just pray that this will be over so that the time that we will be spending together will not be less. I also pray that people who are longing to see their loved ones will be able to go home too.
First of all, I want to say that I miss you all! I miss writing! I miss seeing people who are reading my blog. I miss sharing what is in my mind.
I have been thinking of writing a blog almost every night however, I became so occupied these past few weeks.
My siblings and I joined a bazaar here in our village. I am joggling, household chores, homeschooling and selling stuffs in the bazaar. Don’t get me wrong, I am really enjoying it. My brother is the one who is looking after the bazaar from 1 to 5 in the afternoon, and I am taking over from 5 to 8 in the evening.
It was really fun because the sales is doing good. We are selling K-pop merchandise and a lot of teens love it. My siblings and I are so amazed on the outcome of our little store.
I became busy too doing the grades of my eldest as Term 1 just finished and I submitted her grades to the homeschool provider.
As you could see, I am trying to justify my absence. I have been longing to write and share with you the happenings that we had for the past few weeks, however my earthly body is already tired in the evening.
Today, I really wanted to find time to share with you the happiness that I have. After one and a half years, my husband finally managed to go home. I knew about his coming home, since November, though I knew it will really happen, I am quite hesitant to share it because the situation is always changing.
As you may know, my husband is stationed in Singapore. It became so strict in Singapore for Filipinos to go home because before they were requiring a 14-day stay in a hotel, which will be shouldered by Filipinos. It was quite expensive. Plus, they needed to ask an approval to the government for them to be able to come back in Singapore.
I already accepted that my husband will not be able to spend Christmas with us. I erased the thought of him being with us this holiday season. I said, I will just enjoy every moment that we are blessed and are still able to communicate well through video calls.
When my husband sent me a message, saying… “Good news Ma, I will be home this Christmas”. Singapore already allows Filipinos to go home, it is not that strict anymore. No amount to be paid. I got teary eyed. My siblings who were with me that time asked me if I am okay.
The news about Omicron came in and a lot of countries panicked on this new variant of Covid. I don’t want to be pessimistic but I said, I just need to accept if my husband’s flight would be changed.
Good thing, it is only the quarantine period that was changed. The days he spent in a hotel for quarantine were prolonged for 7 days. He had his swab test on the 5th day of his stay and the result was released after 48 hours.
The bazaar made me occupied reason why the waiting of 7 days did not become agonizing.
When the swab test result was released yesterday (negative from Covid), my brother and I hurriedly jumped into the car and fetched my husband.
Oh my!!! 1 1/2 years is the longest that we became apart! I managed the lockdown alone only with my children. I managed to do manly chores. Look after our house that was being constructed. Taking care of my children alone. Talking to my husband only through videocalls..
The waiting is over! My husband is now home. He is now with my children. Playing with them.
God is good! My youngest daughter’s prayer every night is for her father to be home. Every night that is what she was asking the Lord. God answered her prayers. Praise God for a Merry Christmas!
It was the year 2019 when I became a stay-at-home mom.. If you have been following my blog, I mentioned quite a few times that I was once a working mom. My husband and I worked in Singapore, my children were with us too. We had a nanny to take care of them. I needed to go back to Philippines because of the amount of work that I had that resulted to multiple panic attacks.
Since I am now here in the Philippines, life became a little slow and more manageable. More manageable? Hmmmm..
I am a self confessed workaholic and I carried that attitude here at home. I learned that the amount of work at home is never-ending. Little by little, I was able to manage the household chores.
The one that I was not able to manage is my health. I should admit that my weight now is my heaviest already. Though I am busy with a lot of household chores, the amount of food that I am taking is more than my body can accept (Haha). Filipinos are rice-eaters.. We even have this hashtag, “rice is life”. My excuse was that I should not deprive myself on eating much because I am working hard here at home.
Another reason of my good appetite is the fact that we stayed outside the Philippines for a long time.. Now, every Filipino fast food that we crave or Filipino food that we want is just a phone call away.
I have hypertension already.. It started when I was stressed at work and had attacks. My lab results were okay that time. Everything was normal.
Until last week when I decided to have a check-up, reality bit me. The lab results are not satisfactory.
Cholesterol, Triglycerides and SGPT are above the reference limit. I was a little disappointed even if I should not. I asked the cardiologist if I can just exercise and have diet instead of taking medications. However, the cardiologist refused. She said, I needed to take it for 3 months then have a lab test again.
Before my check up with the cardiologist, I had my blood pressure monitored. I did it for a week so that my cardiologist would not ask me to take medications. However, since my cholesterol level is above the limit, I still need to take medications though my blood pressure is always normal.
I am still thankful that I could still manage the condition. I am now trying to exercise everyday.. aside from the everyday chores that I have. I am into eating more vegetables now and less rice. I need to cook my food separately because for sure my children wouldn’t like to eat those foods everyday.
I need a lot of cardio exercise like biking, skipping rope and running. I tried to do the skipping rope yesterday morning. It was so tiring.. After exercising, I felt I needed to sleep again but I also need to prepare breakfast for the kids.
Mothers should be healthy. I am my children’s strength.. How can I be their strength if I don’t have the strength?
It is not too late.. I should do what I need to do. Start now, no more procrastination.
Hi everyone! My daughter’s topic in her computer class is about websites (blogs, social medias, etc). She needed to explore the blog providers just like this WordPress. And so, I asked her to write a short blog of how she spent life during this pandemic. Enjoy!
The pandemic has been a bit bad lately and the spread of covid has worsen but the Lord is still promising to keep us safe. In the mean time let me discuss on what I did around covid.
During the pandemic I have been doing a few hobbies to make me more used to the pandemic like drawing, playing music and more , while I was doing a few hobbies 2 or 3 days ago it was my mom’s sisters birthday which means my cousin, aunt, lolo (grandfather) and uncle came to our house, they arrived 2 or 1 days before the birthday that’s when I started to like the pandemic more
the first thing that happened when they were here was swimming but only my sister could swim cause me and my cousin had period and the rest are busy so we just watched her play and my cousin and I also played a few games as well. next was that we ate a lot of food there was fish pork spring rolls and a lot more they were all so good, I have also been doing some stuff with my cousin like playing, drinking ice coffee, making jokes and teasing my sister, it was already getting better and they just came what might happened tomorrow.
The next day was actually kind of normal but the only thing that was not normal was seeing my cat bathed by my lola its because the cats hate baths so it was suprising and I was happy about it.
Now this day was the day my mom’s sisters birthday! there was a lot of food again and they took pictures and stuff and my sister got to use the pool again it was all fun I also got to play a little with my sister, it was all amazing there was also a few drinks so of course I drank some, after hours it was evening, my cousin and the adults were drinking alcohol and ate a few chips and fries I only came there for the fries and a few chips it tasted really good and that’s when my auntie’s birthday about to end. My cousin and I are just making a few jokes and we all went to sleep.
The next day was the goodbye , we went to Tagaytay and stayed there for a few hours and left. That’s when it was all normal again so what I do now is just study, playing, and more so basically the pandemic is going well in my opinion.
And that’s the end! Sorry that it was very short its because I did not know what to really say so I just thought about my auntie’s birthday and thank again for reading this its been a pleasure I hope that there will be more stories to share with you.
I had a blast last week as I had some bonding moments with my siblings. Since I started working, I became so occupied with my work. When I was still single, I became so eager to share my income to my family. I always wanted them to be happy.
Since I am now in the Philippines, it became often that we see each other.. because I was always out of the country before and so my brother. Our schedule rarely meets. For the longest time, it is only nowadays that we are complete.
They were here last Thursday until today (Sunday) because we celebrated my sister’s 40th birthday here at home. We are fond of celebrating occasions here in our place because it’s quite big for us. My sister’s birthday was yesterday (November 20).
Unlike me, she is quite reserve and quiet. However, we knew exactly how to make each other laugh.
Last Thursday was pretty special because we decided to go on road trip. We went to Sta. Rosa Laguna, like 30km away from our place. We decided to go there to shop as there are lots of factory outlets there.. We were there around 10 in the morning and started to walk and look for things that we could buy. Come 12 noon, we haven’t bought anything and so we ate our lunch instead. Lunch time was full of jokes and bullying.. We were so noisy in the restaurant.
We continued to walk and look… tried shoes, clothes. But after almost 2 hours, we did not find anything to buy. Oh my, I found the styles out-to-date, my sister agreed to it. My brother is so annoyed already and so I told them to just go to the grocery store. This was really the reason why we were there, to check the big membership based grocery store in Laguna. It was sister’s first time there and she was so mesmerized. We ended up buying a lot of stuffs for our homes.
Oh, we did some photoshoots also in the place where we did not buy anything.. Haha.. That is my pretty sister in the picture.
Friday was quite a busy schedule for me because I had blood test and ECG as part of my annual check-up. I will tell you about this on my next blog.
Anyway, on the birthday of my sister, we were so thrilled to decorate our patio. We decided to prank our parents because they did not know that we bought foods for her birthday. Usually we cook during occasions, especially when my brother is here as he was once a cook in Singapore.
We don’t have visitors because of the pandemic.. We ate biryani (Indian dish) in the morning.. My brother prepared it so early. Indian dish is quite troublesome to prepare. There’s a lot of spices. But it was so delicious. My father did not like it though.
Since my father did not eat much in the morning, he was expecting us to be preparing our lunch early. He kept on saying that he is already hungry. My mother kept on asking too, what are we going to cook. She even wanted to cook spaghetti. We told them our lunch is also Biryani.. Haha. We pretended that we were not hearing them. Haha.
We sneaked the foods in the patio. They did not have any clue that foods are ready there. When we called them, my father was so happy.. Haha. He was so hungry.
But I insisted to take a lot of photos first as souvenirs. My father was so annoyed. He was becoming angry already.. Haha.
We prayed and sung “Happy Birthday”. Food was delicious.. We bought food for boodle fight. This is where all the dishes are nicely placed on coconut leaves, including the rice. Then we ate it together using our hands. It was a nice meal.
Around 4 in the afternoon, my father asked us if we could drink wine already (so early). My father and brother drunk whiskey and the girls (except my children) had margarita. We ate barbecue and nachos to partner our drinks. It was a fun afternoon.
My family is not perfect. A lot of trials came but we are what we have. We have each other during our struggles. We can cry and lean on to each other. The best memories are the non-stop laughing and teasing.
The past week was a little busy for me as the term exam of my eldest daughter is this week and I need to prepare her for that. Though, she in homeschool but the school that is linked to her homeschooling is the one who is giving the term exams.
It’s good that she in homeschooling because our internet service provider is really a pain in my head.. It is online schooling, it will really be troublesome.
Days passed doing the same thing at home and also homeschooling my children. There are some ease on the quarantining here in the Philippines and I am not sure if I will buy the idea of my children going out as if Covid is gone completely. In Manila, government is already allowing children to go to the malls. Parents were so excited too because for the longest time, they are happy to see their children explore outside.
On the contrary, I am still hesitant to let my children come with me in the malls.. not unless they are vaccinated. Today also is the first day of the pilot run of face-to-face classes of the government schools. Again, I am still not in favor of this because children are still not vaccinated.
I became so paranoid because of the many news that I am receiving about people that I know who had Covid.. either they died or experienced a traumatic hardships fighting Covid.
Vaccination for Filipinos ages 12-18 years is now ongoing. Still a long way to go because many are still not vaccinated. I am still waiting for my children’s turn, they are 11 and 5 years old only..
I just wanted to update you of what we are doing nowadays. I am trying my best for children to be occupied and not be bored at home.
My youngest finished her lessons of recognizing letters and writing the capital letters. I saw some techniques online on how I could teach her writing small letters. I cut some cardboard, then put some guides on how to write. I added a plastic cover so that we she write there, it could be erased.
She is enjoying the learning experience of writing small letters. Next lesson would be reading using phonics.
Another thing I need to achieve is losing weight.. I would want to share it with you but I don’t know how to start. Sometimes, I am thinking of not depriving myself.. being on strict diet because I am quite busy at home and I deserve to be eating delicious foods.. Haha.. However, I am 15 kilos heavier than my ideal weight and so I really need to lose some for my future.
If you have some suggestions on how I could start my weight loss journey, please let me know.