Homeschool Beginner

Last post was a little heavy because of the frustrations that I am feeling with the politics here in the Philippines amidst the pandemic. Please bear me on that.. I am trying to be positive each day because I have accepted this pandemic and the consequences that this brings. Acceptance on the dirt Philippine politics is something that is hard to swallow.

Anyway, on a lighter note, last week was a little busy for me because of the two houses that we bought for rentals. There are some things to repair and fortunately everything is settled. I was joggling the homeschooling of my kids and the repairs of the houses. It was a little challenging.. Thankfully, I was able to find some good people to repair the problems.

My 11-year-old daughter is learning to be independent on her studies. It is actually a work in progress because she knew that I am her facilitator and maybe she is thinking that there will be some considerations. However, I am strict on disciplining her in terms of studying and time management. It’s rewarding also to see improvements on how she handles her deadlines, activities and projects.

At the start of every week, I usually prepare the lessons that my daughter will have. Since we have weekly schedules, I am very firm on that. Even if I need to run errands, I see to it that she has something to do for school. Since it is homeschool, whatever it is that she needs to clarify is done at night.

However, I see to it that we focus on her schedule and everything will be based on that. I want us to be on track in terms of the curriculum that her homeschool provider gave us. So far… so good.

I am satisfied with my homeschool journey. I also explained to my daughter the things that she needs on the traditional school. She hasn’t had much experience on studying here in the Philippines as we were in Singapore till 2019. So I am preparing her for the face-to-face school.. We always have recitations, projects and other activities that would enhance her confidence on facing her classmates or teachers.

For me, my youngest homeschooling is more challenging. I experienced her to attend an online school however, I am also the one who was teaching her. I introduced her to letters and writing them. But her hands needs some exercise and she needs to really develop her motor skills. So I bought her slimes and sand to exercise her hands and fingers. She really enjoys it. Surprisingly, her writings also improved. I can say that these are effective.

This week I am focusing on my children’s school. After all, this is really our priority. Are you also homeschooling your children? How’s your homeschool journey so far?

Pandemic and Politics in the Philippines

This is the first time I will be saying something about the politics here in the Philippines. I was away in the Philippines for almost 9 years and when I came back I was surprised on what was going on here.

Road Construction

We arrived here in the Philippines, mid of 2019, I was so excited to go to my hometown in Tagaytay. There were lots of road construction going on that time until now… It is good to have improvements however the road that they were supposed to improve were so good still.

Cars were lined up on the road because some were blocked. I was a little surprised on how the politicians are so concern about the road construction here in the Philippines.. Nah…I just learnt that 2022 is the next election.

Too Much Fights

I used to watch news on youtube or facebook but nowadays it is really a nightmare to be watching one. So far, we are having 5 presidential candidates and we are still not certain if there will be more. A lot of fights all over the news.. graft and corruptions being exposed by oppositions. Administration fighting back on opposition by digging personal issues on them.

Former son of a dictator also longing to be a president.. Some playing victims.. some pretending to be innocent.

Corruption Expose

Oh my!! It’s really frustrating when you learnt that the corruption on Philippine’s health department is so rampant.. especially during these times, when people are fighting for their lives, queuing to be in the hospitals, longing to be vaccinated first. Our government, they said, took advantage of this moment to steal and milk on people who were desperate to live.

Isn’t it a disgrace?

It is still Pandemic!!!

Our politicians were fighting as if there is no existing pandemic.. as if the Philippines is already doing great fighting Covid. They are all saying what the government should do.. what the government lacks.. what the government stole.

The Department of Education pushing to have face to face classes on at least 120 schools for reason that I don’t understand. Children are still not vaccinated!

Source: DOH Philippines website

Daily cases increased tremendously. They are saying because of the Delta Variant.. some are saying because of the government.

I don’t know..

Wife of an Overseas Filipino Worker

For someone who has been waiting for a loved one to come back, but is now feeling hopeless because of what is happening here in the Philippines, this is really heartbreaking.

I am not the only one who is experiencing this.. I personally know a lot of people who are suffering also. One has an infant whom he did not see since birth.. Others have parents who died but was not able to go home..

As a wife of an overseas filipino worker, I just accepted the fact that the politicians here are merely thinking about themselves and how they can stay in their position. I need to accept that this situation will take a long time. That is the only thing to do.. ACCEPTANCE.

Advantage on investing in real estate in the Philippines

Hello there!!! I had a project this week of being able to find a renter on our newly built house. If you are from the Philippines and working abroad, maybe you will find this post interesting. I will sharing with you the experiences that I have on investing on real estate.

I am really into investment since I started working. I opened a lot of businesses like laundry shop, computer rentals, buy and sell of mobile phones, etc. It just happened that I have a regular job that I asked my relatives to look after my businesses.. Sad to say, it was not properly managed. So I ended up wasting a lot of money for those businesses.

When I got married, I am so blessed to have a husband who has the same interests as me. We discussed on how we would manage our finances especially that we both worked overseas. The money that we earned were somehow more than we needed and so the opportunity of investing to something is good.

So we invested on real estate.. Since I went back here in the Philippines because of the stress that I had at work in Singapore, my husband became the sole provider of our family. It became challenging for him because we practically need to buy new things for our house here.

As we are risk takers, we again bought another house for investment. We planned to have it for rent and the rental would be our payment for the mortgage. The first 18 months of paying the equity was the challenging part for us.

Choosing the Location

If you are going to buy a property for investment, you should know where is this property located. People are more likely to rent a house near their work. In this regard, you should know if the property is near the offices, industrial zones, factories, companies..

Being near to markets, grocery stores and malls are big plus factors too. Near to schools should also be considered.

The house that we invested is very near to industrial zones and factories. It is near to the market, grocery stores, malls, schools and hospitals.

Safety of the environment is also one of the factors that we considered. We chose a guarded subdivision.

Before we confirmed buying the house, we did some research about the subdivision. Is it well maintained? Is the water supply okay? Internet is fast?

Why Real Estate?

I mentioned on my previous blog the reason why we chose on investing on real estate. The first 18 months of paying the equity was a little difficult for us. When the house was already built, I immediately posted it on facebook marketplace.

The appreciation of real estate here in the Philippines is quite impressive. What we invested is really not that much but I believe this is better than saving money to the bank. If you are looking for long term investment, real estate is one of the best choices.

How fast it was to have a renter?

Since I posted the ad in facebook marketplace, there was no day that I did not have an inquiry. Two days ago, I woke up with 8 inquiries asking if the house is still available.

Then before the day ends, I had nearly 25 people who sent inquiries.. I got a lot of schedule for viewing. Thursday night I closed the deal with a family who was so eager to live in the house.

The market is so huge. I was so impressed. If we have the money, it is good to have more real estate investments.

My Garden after the Rain

Weather nowadays is unpredictable.. Every morning, the sun is shining brightly then in the afternoon the rain is pouring. I am loving the weather though. I think I am used to this kind of weather just like when we were in Singapore.

It’s kind of cold already because Christmas season is coming.. The coldness in the afternoon invites me to always take a sip of hot ginger tea.

Because of the homeschooling and errands I needed to finish for the other house, I was not able to visit our garden. The grasses visibly need to be trimmed. Some of the leaves need to be cut.. Flowers bloomed.. vegetables grew..

Time flew so fast.. This garden was so bare when we got here in this house. The soil was not good for gardening and so I literally roamed around the town to see if there are some construction going on where I could ask for soil. Fortunately, I found one. There was a hospital to built on that area and so there are a lot of soil that needs to be disposed. I asked the foreman if I could have some and he said yes. I looked for a truck (hardware stores) and rented it. My siblings were here that time and they helped me spread the soil.

We planted two pine trees and other plants that we bought in the nearby town where a lot of nice plants are being sold. Look at it now.. There are 4 roses there but I think it was not caught by the camera in the picture.

These are my two rose plants.. The flowers bloomed after the rain. They are so lovely.. I haven’t experienced growing plants before. It’s really amazing to look at.

The other two rose plants have red flowers.. They have buds already.

I got so amazed also seeing an improvement on my little vegetable garden. Last week, it was a little heartbreaking to see my tomatoes and eggplants die. However, when I saw the bell peppers coming out, I felt so happy.

Gardening is relatively new to me. It’s a learning experience for me seeing the ups and downs of my plants.. Haha.. I would not give up on this gardening habit because there are results and it is really therapeutic.

I have been planting for only 6 months and so I can give you few tips for now. I had some tips on my previous blog about fertilizers that are available at home. Natural fertilizers are very effective. I always keep the peelings of the vegetables, mixed in the soil then put on the plants. This works for me.

Be Vaccinated

Last Tuesday, I had my second dose of Astrazenica vaccine (one of the vaccines against Covid-19). I must admit that I was quite uneasy about having my second dose because of what I experienced after my first jab. I had a lot of vaccines already since I also worked as a seafarer before, but I haven’t encountered this kind of pain from vaccine.

During my first jab, we were asked to take paracetamol after. However, I did not do it and so the feeling was quite heavy during that time.. So last Tuesday, after the shot, I immediately took a paracetamol and religiously took it every 4 hours. Surprisingly, I did not really feel what I felt the first time.. I just slept a lot. Now I am okay.

Scared to be Vaccinated

For the past weeks, I was quite busy with our other house that we would for lease. I ordered a screen door, protection for insects. It was installed today by the owner of the shop and his helper. So they were asking me about my experience about the vaccination.

From their questions, I figured out that they are not vaccinated yet. The owner of the shop is quite old already, I suppose he is already at his 60’s and the helper maybe on his late 40’s. They admitted that they were scared to be vaccinated.. This is due to some bad news from their colleagues after the vaccination. They were so hesitant to do it.

Our government here in our town is very organized in terms of the vaccination process. We just need to fill up a form, then submit, then the government will send us message on when we will have the vaccine.

Common Denominator

I read an open letter from a doctor about the current situation now in their hospital. There are a lot of Covid patients and one thing is common amongst them… They are not vaccinated.

They said that people who are vaccinated are super spreaders. I believe that, because you would not know if they have the virus.. because they are asymptomatic.

Vaccine do not guarantee that you will not have Covid-19 but it guarantees that that if you will have Covid it will not be severe or critical.

Expensive Hospitalization

My father visited us last weekend and told us some news about our relatives who had Covid-19. His cousin and her parents paid 1.5 million pesos (30,000 USD). His other cousin who was in the hospital that time was already spending 500,000 pesos (10,000 USD). Health insurance for elders here is not common. It is not required.

It is fortunate also that there are vacant rooms in the hospital.. Nowadays, they are saying that some hospitals are in full capacity already.

Vaccinated Great Grandfather

My great grand father who is 87 years old completed his vaccination last August. He is not even going out but he is cautious.

I admire his desire of being vaccinated. There was no hesitations in his part.

All of these, I have told to the two people I met today who are very hesitant to take the vaccine. They left me very eager to give it a shot. For the love of their families, they should do it. They were the ones who are going out because of their job. They mingle with different people.

I said they should anticipate the pain, they should accept that there will be side effect afterwards. It is expected to be 2 weeks, they just need to accept it. Our thoughts sometimes are so powerful that it could even affect our heart and our whole body. Worrying would not help us.. Vaccines are carefully studied and disseminated. I told them, “be vaccinated”.

Social Media Time-Out

I had a good friend whom I haven’t spoken for months now because he had a social media time-out due to his health condition. I noticed it few months back but I did not have a chance to look for him. I was wondering why it is sudden that he left social media.

This is not the first time that I experienced this, I mean having a friend whom took a pause on social media. I had one who is now in the US, my former at work. She was not active in her social media for a few months and little did I know that she suffered from anxieties.

Last week, I was also checking out on one of my friends who was very active on Facebook but suddenly deactivated her account. When I encounter this, I always say a prayer to them because for some reasons I know that there is something wrong.

Social media is a platform where we share our happiness to others. This is what I am believe in.. Be it superficial or genuine, we are trying to show people the joy that we have in our lives. However, what if there is a crevice of heartache? It’s hard to pretend that we are okay.. We need to fix that crevice first before showing to people our smile, our interests and reasons why we are happy.

My experience

2019 was a devastating year for me.. It was my lowest, as far as my existence here on earth is concerned. I experienced a pain where I never thought I could be experiencing. I did a lot of prayers, I asked my loved ones to pray for me.. It was a difficult journey.

I deactivated my Facebook for more than three months. It somehow helped with my healing. People might be wondering what happened to me. I cannot just post something there to portray that I am okay. It is hard.

I always want to inspire people. I may not be perfect but I want people to remember me as a person whom they look up to whenever they need a smile or comfort. I needed to figure out first how I could heal the wounds that I had in my heart. The lockdown helped me a lot.. (please don’t get me wrong.)

The three months of lockdown being away from family, having only my kids with me was very liberating. Ironically, this is what I felt. I had a lot of time meditating.. a lot of devotions. Being away from social media was an experience of the reality. I experienced being 100% with my kids. I experienced being there for myself.

Oh my, the journey healed me.

Healing

Social media is a great help when you seek an inspiration or an influencer. However, it wouldn’t be effective if our hearts are in pain. We will just end up being irritated on what people post.

I believe that a pause on social media is a time for healing. A lot did not come back anymore and they are okay with it.

Happiness without social media

We are in the era when we wanted to inspire people.. Social media is one of the avenues for this. People might find their happiness by posting good things about themselves. This boosts their self confidence and self worth.

Some people see social media as a venue of envy. On the contrary, it made them feel worthless. It made them feel hatred to people who are trying to inspire.

I think what we need to seek are peace and joy on everything that we do. Will this give me peace of mind? Will this give me a good night sleep?

We are all different.. What’s the point of doing something that could make you feel devastated?

Lessons on Gardening

I have been busy for the last few days because the weather here is quite good and I just noticed some of our plants are not in good condition.. Haha. I mentioned on my previous blogs that I am a newbie in terms of gardening. Oh my, I thought it is only to dig a hole, put the plant and watering it everyday. I did not know that certain plants have some rules on how to care of it.

Just look at this papaya tree. This was so healthy before, I could harvest papaya this month but suddenly it became like this. I thought it is because of the weather that is why it became ill. But the other papaya trees are still standing. Hmmmm… I put fertilizer and observed for a day. There was no improvement, it just died. I searched about papaya trees and I just learnt that these are sensitive plants. It should not be beside any other plants.

When I pulled the tree, I noticed the roots were twisted on the roots of the onions. I think that is the main reason why the papaya tree died.

I also planted tomatoes.. When I saw it becoming a little bigger, I put fertilizer.. Voila! It died. Nah, lesson learnt. I need to plant again.

I also noticed our bougainvillea plants have grown already and I don’t know how to manage it anymore.

There were no flowers anymore. It was just all around growing like an unmanageable hair. Haha.. I again checked what I need to do with these plants. I decided to put those in pots. I think I could manage them well now.

I bought some plants to replace those. It was tiring to pull those bougainvillea. I first dug a little then pull them.

I replaced those with plants that could withstand hot and rainy weathers.

They said these are also good insect repellants.

I did not took photos of the bougainvillea. If I succeeded on taking good care of those, I will show those to you.

PANDEMIC, a Test of Long Distance Relationship

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our 12th year wedding anniversary. This is the 2nd time, we celebrated it far from each other. The main reason is… PANDEMIC.

If you’ve been reading my blogs, I mentioned quite a few times that my husband is working in Singapore, while me and my kids are here in the Philippines. It became difficult for my husband to go home because Singapore is very strict to the people who are coming in their country. My husband has to pay a lot for the hotel stay and test. He also needs to have an approval from his company and from the government of Singapore.. It was tough.. very tough. He needs to stay there.

Being away from each other was tougher. This is actually the first time that we were away from each other for this long. People who haven’t experienced this would say that it is really difficult but if you don’t have choice, acceptance is the only solution. We accepted this scenario, this is something that we cannot control.

It has been 1 year and 5 months that we haven’t seen each other in person. I felt blessed because this situation came into our lives when we are already matured and secured in our relationship. I must admit that the notion of a married couple being away from each other is a little scary because relationship could be tested.

This pandemic made us realized how much we love and value each other. There were no days that we don’t speak and there are no hour that we don’t send message to each other. The love that we have for each other, and the faith that we have make us feel secured.

I met quite a few people who were in a long distance relationship but ended up separating because of temptations (maybe) or how their relationship was tested. I thought it is normal to happen for couple who are not together, not until we experienced it. The myth is not true.

Constant communication, honesty and security, for me, are the main keys to survive this long distance relationship. Sometimes, people would say that if you really love your spouse, you would not dive in a forbidden relationship. However, I think it is the commitment to be honest to your spouse is what makes a relationship succeed.

Security

Being secure is not only about your relationship but on the factors that affect your relationship.. What do I mean about this? I believe that my husband is not worrying on how I manage our finances, how I take care of our household, how I discipline our children.. He values me. He is secure that I could handle the responsibilities here in the Philippines. Disappointment is the least that he wants me to feel. This is also what’s in my heart. I value him.. the sacrifices that he is doing to our family, so I would never disappoint him.

We celebrated our wedding anniversary full of hope about what’s next for us. Gratefulness is overflowing in our hearts because in spite of this crisis, blessings come and we are healthy. Home is not a building, it is a feeling of being with the people you love and cherish. We always think of home, though we are far from each other.. We never left home. We are still together.

Our relationship has been tested but we cling to God.. we hold on to His promise that this too shall pass.

Start of Homeschooling

I had a very good sleep last night. For the longest time, I haven’t experienced sleeping at 10 in the evening, it was only last night. Usually when my kids are already sleeping, I get so excited to watch series or do anything that I want. Last night was different, I don’t have much energy to watch the new Korean series that I started.

Homeschooling started last Monday. I was so excited because I will be the one in charge of all the lessons of my children. We did not hire any tutor.

I didn’t know that I was tired because I was enjoying.. especially when I know that my children are learning.

I am waking up a little early to prepare my children’s breakfast. Before, it will only be bread or cereals but nowadays, I am cooking heavy breakfast for them. We, Filipinos, love to eat rice and so it is now part of my children’s breakfast.

In between our lessons, I usually do the chores at home.. Laundry, folding clothes, clean the house.. But I always stick to the schedule that I made for my children.

My 4 year old, learning how to write.
My 11 year old, taking notes of what we are discussing

I can feel that my children are happy that I am the one teaching them. They are very attentive and I can see the bond that we are having. If only I can do this until they finish their school..

I always wanted to teach or mentor someone, an experience that I had when I was still working. The thought that someone is learning from me is very rewarding.

How our Cats remove our stress

Sometimes when we are at home, we tend to think that we have a lot of time to spend with all the tasks in our head. However, the time is so quick, and the day ends up not finishing all the tasks.

With all the things that I have done for the past few days, the main tasks that I wanted to do, gardening and arranging the stock room, are not done. I still prioritize the preparation of my children’s homeschool, everyday responsibilities of cooking, cleaning the house and taking care of my 4-year-old kid.

I know I will be busy for the next months due to my children’s homeschooling. I got some projects in my head that I wanted to do.. We have a new house that I need to do some preparation for rentals.

Nah, may blog sounded like I am complaining.. Haha.. Please don’t get me wrong.. I am enjoying. Part of my enjoyment are my two cats.

Just sleeping & staring

My mom is here with us now. She helps me with other house chores and I am so grateful for that. We used to have cats when we were young but those are somehow stray cats. They did not stay in our house. However, our two cats now stay at home. They have their litter box where the poop and pee. My mom is not use to that.

She was saying that our cats are not doing much for us.. They are always sleeping and staring at us.

I told her that our cats are the reasons why my eldest daughter is not palpitating anymore. We went to the doctor and after couple of visits and laboratory tests, the doctor did not find any fault in her heart nor in her throat. I suspected that it had something to do with the violent games she played in her phone. She learnt from it and she’s not playing that anymore.

The cats are the ones who comforted her. Our cats are so clingy.. They are not sleeping with us but every morning, they are outside our door waiting for my daughter to come out.. for cuddles.

I too experience the warmth of the cats, how they are sent by God to comfort us. Sometimes, when I am tired in the afternoon and lying down, our cats will jump on the bed and cuddle me.

This is Pink.

Makes you feel important

When they need cuddles, they will ask for it. Asking as if they cannot continue the day without your cuddles. Blue, my other cat, usually is with me during breakfast. He is not asking for cuddles but he just knew that I needed someone to be with.

This is Blue.

They know you

When I am upset to my kids, I can see from my cats eyes that they too are scared. They don’t come near to me.. When I am not angry anymore, they will come to me and talk to me. I don’t know how they knew that I needed someone to be with.

They know my daughters, when they are eager to play them, when they can be irritating.

They are not pushy.

These pets are God’s gift to us. They comfort us and give us strength to go on with our day.