Saturday well Spent

First of all, I would like to share with you the joy that I have now in my heart because I reached 1000+ views in this blog. I love writing and sharing my insights to people reason why I decided to finally create a blog. Since end of 2019, I finished three notebooks filled with my thoughts and devotions. This is really therapeutic. It eases my anxieties and makes me stay on the “now”. If you are one of the subscribers of this blog, I hope you find it entertaining and useful (maybe! haha).

This news that I got from wordpress made my day.. My feelings this morning though was a bit under the weather. I got frustrated with the carpenter who was supposed to repair the roof of our other house where somebody is renting. I paid this man twice already. He did a bit of the repair, but then the water drops became worst. And he did not manage to come back there and repair again.

Fortunately, it did not rain today and I decided to ask the help of my brother. He will be available tomorrow for it. And because I was not really in the mood today, I asked my brother if we could go to their newly renovated house.

He was delighted to know that we will go there together with my children. My mom was also with me. I told him around 9 in the morning, we packed and went there at 11. My brother already cooked “caldereta” (pork with minced liver, carrots, potatoes, cheese & tomato sauce) and also “palabok” (noodles). Oh, I was so hungry when we reached there.. my smile was literally from ear to ear. The bad mood that I had just washed away.

It was frustrating because I always give my trust to people fully. I never thought that there are really those kind of people who will neglect their responsibilities when they already received money. My brother and his wife told me that this is really common. Oh my! As if I was born yesterday. Lesson learnt for me.

Anyway, it was good that we had some chitchats about life and what are the things we could do together. My sister-in-law is also into business and so we had some discussion on how we could collaborate. I need to admit that I will be busy for the coming months because I am homeschooling my two kids.

My mom though was so happy to see the plants that my sister-in-law’s mother have.

A lot of Aloe Vera plants

We took some baby plants there. Then bought 2 sacks of loam soil to plant those in our garden.

The cats of my sister-in-law grew so fast too. She was the one who influenced me to take care of cats. She has 1 munchkin cat and 3 persian cats.

So adorable Grey

It’s good to have siblings to talk to whenever you feel down. My siblings do the same whenever they are not fine. Sometimes, I can easily feel if something is wrong.

Days are not perfect. Sometimes it will not really go according to our plans. Last night my husband already told me to just don’t mind about this carpenter and think that what we gave him is just a part of our blessings. I hope it helped him.

Life is good and I just need to be cautious of how I would give my trust to people. I am so naive and I should not be like this at this age. Haha. The bad mood that I had did not last for an hour. Thankful mentality still won in my mind and heart.

Another rainy day

Just as we thought that the rain will continually stop, it was just resting. June is the beginning of the rainy season here in the Philippines. From then on, the weather will be unpredictable already. Typhoons coming are normal happenings already. Reason why, majority of the Filipinos know already what are the things to prepare during this season.

I walked through our garden and saw some of our plants were ruined by the heavy rains. I was so eager to work on it but the rain comes occasionally. I actually don’t know what that plant (the one in the picture) is for, it was just given to me by my neighbor. I just decided to pull those and plant tomatoes instead. I would also pull the spinach out, I am still thinking of what vegetable plant to replace.

It rained the whole day yesterday, until the power was cut off. We just finished our dinner when it happened. I was checking on my kids’ reaction because it is very rare that they experience brownout. I was expecting my youngest daughter to be scared but surprisingly, she was enjoying the darkness. The candles were easy to reach as well as the lighter. So, we had lights in an instant.

For some reasons, my eldest daughter thought of reading her books. She brought all her books downstairs for her to read. (Thank you brownout!)

While everyone was enjoying the brownout, I immediately fill the water containers as there might be water shortage. Since there is still water, I grabbed the opportunity to fill the containers.

Took this photo when there is already electricity

I was expecting the worst already, not having electricity for days, but surprisingly, it only lasted for 2 hours. Kids were very happy to blow the candles when the electricity was back. Something that we also enjoyed when were kids.

Today’s weather is still the same. Raining occasionally, we don’t have choice but to stay inside the house. I thought of doing live selling online. I still have some stocks of the clothes that I am selling. Fortunately, I managed to sell some. It’s nice to be always productive.

Hopefully, there will be sun tomorrow so that I could plant the tomatoes.

My Amanda Movie

The night before yesterday, I finally had a chance to watch this movie called “My Amanda”. This is a Filipino movie based on two people who were bestfriends but they are of opposite gender. The takeaway of the movie was for people to be aware that platonic relationships do exist. And I firmly believe on that because I also have a “boy” bestfriend since college since, whom I haven’t spoken for years till yesterday.

So after I watched the movie, I grabbed the phone and finally called my friend. It has been 9 years, I think, that we did not speak to each other. It was so surreal like it was only yesterday that we did not communicate. Having known that he is good in Canada with his family makes me happy. We have been inseparable before and never imagined that we could be “family people” even if we are so childish.. haha.

Oh my, it seemed like yesterday, I remember vividly our adventures together doing everything for my crush to notice me.. Haha. He was there during those times. The never ending talks and bullying that we have in school and in our home.

It was really good to have a guy friend, especially during our teens because personally, I was able to know guys well. What they think about girls, how to win them (haha!), what they usually want to talk about.. Since I was boyish before, I really did not find myself being so close to a girl like how I was close to my bestfriend. I was easy-go-lucky when I was a teen and I was not into a lot dramas especially when it is about boys.. Something that most of the teen girls were having problems about.

I know our story is far from the movie. The movie was good but I found it a little boring.. Sorry! Maybe because my sister told me hints of how it will end. Why did I find it boring? Because it was somehow predictable. I mean not because I somehow knew the ending, but you will already know the next scene of the movie. Did I expect the man to profess his feeling to the girl? I honestly did not.

I just remembered my good friend after watching the movie and I am thankful that it opened doors for us to communicate again. I am so excited to meet his family and for him to meet mine. I am sure he will get along well with my husband. I don’t know when it will happen but I know it will.

Earthquake and rain in the Philippines

It has been a wet week here in the Philippines, particularly here in Luzon. Well, the rain literally paused because we haven’t seen the sun for the whole week, however, today, the sun shone brightly.

I forgot to share with you guys what happened 2 days ago. There was a strong earthquake here in the Southern part of Luzon. I was awaken by the shaking of our bed last Saturday morning, around 4:50am. It was really strong and again I panicked.. I checked the dining room as we have hanging lights there and the fixtures were really moving. I shouted at my daughters to wake them up, and thought of putting them under the table. My mom was upstairs also, and I shouted really loud for her to come down.

I was being optimistic about our new house not to be destroyed so easily by the earthquake.. And then there was an aftershock. My thoughts were on my father and my siblings who were not with us. I sent them messages asking if they were okay. We all waited of what could happen next. There was no aftershock anymore and so I asked my daughter to sleep.

My prayers that time are for the people who are greatly affected by the floods because of constant rain and also by this strong earthquake.

Everything was okay with my family. My sister though got dizzy as she was sick during that time.

The rain continued until yesterday. I grabbed the opportunity to sew some pillow cases. The main cases of our throw pillows were broken and so I made replacements by using an old bedsheet.

This is my first time to actually make a pillow case from scratch.

This is the “cotton” of the pillow without the case
Successfully sewed 3 of these
Throw pillows with the proper cases

During the week also, I made this facebook page for my new side job (should I say).. I applied to be a part time agent of a real estate company. I was accepted, though there was no commitments, I just needed to post videos and do marketing stuffs on the facebook page. I will share with you more of this on my next blogs.

I also cleaned the house thoroughly. I felt that the house needed my extensive cleaning because of our cats..

Today, I woke up with the sound of the children playing outside.. Apparently, my neighbors woke up so early maybe because there was no rain anymore. I bet a lot of stay at home moms washed clothes today. I had a week of clothes to wash and I was so glad I did it. I still hung it on the covered part of our house because it was still drizzling.

My children was able to walk and play their scooter outside as well..

Life is really unpredictable.. I bought a retractable tent last week to cover our chairs and table outside because of the hotness in that area, then the next day, it rained.

Either it rains or shine, life must go on. It shouldn’t stop, we should still move forward.

Is it okay to act okay if you are not okay?

Is it okay to act okay if you are not okay?

When I had my first anxiety attack last 2019, I was not really anticipating it because I was not aware that I worry too much. So when I woke up that morning and I cannot breathe, I got panic and I informed my husband immediately about it.

After that, there were still episodes of the anxiety attacks and I just need to tell it to my loved ones.

I had known that one of my loved ones (whom you would not imagine) had been betraying me for a long time, and it made my attacks so frequent. Some, I am not even saying to my husband because I eventually knew how to handle it.

A lot of crying, sleepless nights, questioning, during those times.. This was early of 2020..

Because I suffered from that for over a year, I managed to fight for it. I did not keep it nor hide it from my husband or my loved ones. They knew I was going through something. But, I searched and searched of how I can be okay.

I don’t want to pretend that I am well, because I don’t want to make my situation worst. This is something that I needed to do to heal.

That is why when I feel like I cannot breathe because of constant thinking.. I usually inform my parents about it. Though I don’t want to disturb my husband, I just need to tell it to him too.

If you open yourself to people and show that you are not okay.. HELP will come. Yes, some people will say that oh, you just need to shift your mind by thinking of something else. Well, I hope it is that easy. That is the reason why you have to tell your loved ones that you need them to listen to you. Because sharing what you have in your mind, releases the anxieties. Know the people who genuinely love you.

This is based on my personal experience. I fought on how to deal with this and I now knew how to handle it.

Top 5 Things to Prepare When There is Typhoon

It’s raining cats and dogs here in our place for almost two days now. I was not expecting the rainfall because last weekend was quite sunny. I decided to buy a retractable tent for our coffee table outside the house.

After I bought that, the next day, it rained hard. We were still able to eat our breakfast yesterday morning but after that rain started to fall. It was then that we learned that there is a typhoon now here in the Philippines.

This morning when the rain was not that strong, I decided to put fertilizer on our plants outside. I put some on the papaya trees and chili. I was not able to put on the bougainvillea and roses because heavy rain fell. We were stuck here at home now (well as usual) haha. But I myself is vigilant on what could happen next during typhoon.

I would like to share with you the top things I prepare here in the Philippines when there is typhoon.

  1. Foods

I usually buy groceries good for a week and fortunately I have enough stocks for us. I also have to be sure that the drinking water (purified) is sufficient for us for the whole week.

2. LPG

This is the liquified petroleum gas, the one that we use for cooking. I usually check if the stocks is still okay as there might be problems when we run out of LPG during this time.

3. Candles/Rechargable lamps

We have lots of candles here. I always see to it that it is within our reach especially when electricity supply is cut off.

4. Water

One of the important things to prepare is water. We have two big containers for water. Usually during these times, we fill it in because when there is no electricity, there is also no water.

5. Charge phones

As we are always anticipating brownout, that is why during these times, we always make sure that our phones are fully charged. In case of emergency, it is always easy to reach us or to reach others.

I still feel blessed to be situated in a place where we usually are not that affected by typhoons. Worst is no electricity and water. I think this is part of living in this world, to be experiencing typhoons and some natural disasters. What’s important is to be ready and to move on afterwards.

Tips on how to Ease boredom for OFW

I have been blogging for almost three months now and if you read some of my blogs I mentioned there that my husband is in Singapore now, away from us for more than a year now. We have decided this set up because it is financially practical for us.

You may not be able to imagine how I sustain living without him (physically) for that long. But I think it is also unimaginable how my husband was able to cope up with us away from him. Between us, my husband is more patient on this journey. Even if he is the one who is alone and misses our children, he still manages to remind me to stay faithful that the day will come when we will be together again.

I would like to share you the things that my husband do to ease his boredom while living alone in Singapore.

  • Constant Video Calls
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

It is more of a routine actually. My husband calls every time we are going eat. Through that, it is as if we are eating together. Sometimes, he calls in the morning before he reports to work and he always calls at night before we sleep.

  • Watching the CCTV cameras

We have CCTV cameras at home not only for safety reasons but also for my husband to see us whenever he wanted. He can also look after our kids through the camera. My kids listen to their father as this is one of the things that we taught them.

He sees my kids play, watch tv, play ukulele, fight (haha), when I cook, scold my kids, etc.. He is like “big brother” in the Big Brother house. (haha)

  • Read Books
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I know when my husband is utterly bored when he already reads book. Surprisingly, he managed to read a lot of books for a year of being away from us. I am so impressed on how he can sit down and be still reading a book. Books are a source of wider imagination and perspective in life. However, it is really not my cup of tea. I would like to read blog though.

  • Walking

After dinner, my husband would tell me that he will just have a walk. I know the area where he stays in Singapore because we lived there for almost 5 years. It was near a canal and have a nice pathway to walk. He usually finishes 10000 steps. He also do this for him to have a good sleep at night.

  • Watch movie/documentaries

Whoever invented Netflix is genius. Everything is there. All the categories that we wanted are there. My husband loves documentaries and he is always fascinated to watch those. He likes to watch movies too. We sometimes asked each other of the good movies to watch.

  • Listen to Podcast
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

With listening to podcast we cling to Spotify. It is also a good source of knowledge especially on how to be motivated, what are the good investments, etc. It’s nice to hear good words from people who experience skills and hardships first hand. I also learned to listen to those and it is really motivating.

  • Biking

My husband and his colleagues at work usually do biking on weekends. They bike for hours targeting to go around Singapore. They usually manage to finish a distance of 50km or more.

  • Cook

Not only to ease boredom but because it is economical. My husband learned a lot of dishes. Some I taught him, some was taught by his father. He usually cooks vegetables, grilled fish and fried noodles.

  • Work Hard
Photo by Michael Burrows on Pexels.com

My husband’s performance at work is impeccable. This is because he can focus and concentrate a lot on his work. He is already like that, but it is enhanced because of his aim of making his mind busy.

Faith is what keeps us together. This is also what gives us the strength to move on and let the day pass.

Simple Joys of a Stay at Home Mom

Since last Wednesday, I was occupied by a lot of things as my parents and siblings were here to celebrate my younger brother’s birthday. The celebration was not really ordinary, like blowing cakes and a lot of foods. It was a two day celebration of eating together, drinking wines, chatting and a lot fellowships. It’s good to be together once in a while, especially now that we are stuck at home.

Whenever my father and brother are here at home, I always take advantage of their time and strength (haha!) to help me with the tasks that I cannot really do. One of which is the clothes line at the back of our house. Rainy days have started here in the Philippines and my goal of putting the clothes line is already long overdue. Good thing I have them to help me.

This is not only what they did at home, my father trimmed the grass and the plants. My brother cooked our meals. He is a good cook. While my sister, took care of my kids.. Haha.

While they are doing those, I arranged stuffs at our backyard and the drawers in our rooms. Things that I cannot really do when I am busy cooking and taking care of my kids.

Before
After

That is only one of those, some of the drawers, I also arranged. So nice to look at now. Today (Friday), they came back to their respective houses. At least I was able to accomplish a lot of things while they were here.

Our government allowed kids to go out of the house to play or go to neighborhood. But of course with the masks on. Since my eldest daughter had been asking me to eat quesadillas, in which a restaurant here nearby prepares, I decided for us to have snacks there. It’s a very cute restaurant built near the house of the owner. It’s a cozy place to stay in. There are lots of plants there, different varieties and well taken cared of.

I think this plant is a rose. It looks so artificial but it is real.
There are two couches there. My children enjoyed sitting there while eating.
A picture while waiting for the orders.

They enjoyed the food and the ambiance of the place. My youngest daughter was even lying down on the couch. I asked her not to do that.. Haha. No one was there but us.

Seeing my loved ones happy is something that I am very grateful for. I am still waiting for my husband though as he is still in Singapore waiting for a chance for him to go home.

I have a faith and that faith gives me strength to move on with my life while waiting for my husband. I still feel blessed because my husband talks every now and then..

Investing in real estate

First of all, I am writing this post not to brag but to inspire. When somebody talks about good things that happened to them by working hard and investing on something, my husband and I are always inspired. Of course we need to think about it and really study about it before we will do the same. We’ve learnt our lesson on some things about investments, sadly, we learned it the hard way.

When my husband and I got married, we took the risk of buying a parcel of land in Cebu City. It was a risk because, we just got married, my husband is new in his job, and I, though was in a good company, was not certain if I will also be retrenched just as my other colleagues were. I think, it was a good investment because the value of the land that we purchased 11 years ago, appreciated for almost 300%.

It was 2013 or 2014, when my husband and I again decided to buy a house and lot near my home place. As we knew how tiresome it is to pay the mortgage every month, we decided to pay it in cash. We saved the money for almost two years. We were already in Singapore back then and both of us are working. It was a small house and lot, around 80 sqm.

The decision of paying it in cash was not something that I could recommend, especially if you are just earning an average salary. During that time, our savings were completely consumed. I was the one who was in charge of savings, and it was very difficult. My husband even asked me, how did I manage to save.

Mortgage is fine because the value of the property is also increasing. We’ve learned about it and so we acquire a bigger house and lot. It was a risk actually because, we bought it in a bigger subdivision and it is somehow pricey. We are about to pay this for 6 years in the bank. The value of the house and lot that we bought is now higher than the interest of the loan that we had in the bank. We somehow earned already on this property.

This house is where we are living now.

For us, it is a necessity to have a vehicle here in the Philippines because the transportation is somehow troublesome. My husband was thinking of buying a SUV (sport utility vehicle) however, I was really not into it because, firstly, it is expensive, secondly, I am not used to driving big vehicles. So, I gave a suggestion to my husband if we could just buy a sedan, then buy another small house and lot. He gave in to my suggestion and now we acquired another property. This will be payable for 15 years.

For the past, three days I was busy cleaning our first house and lot (the small one) because someone wants to rent it. My mom was living there before then, I asked my mom if she could just be with us. A lot were asking me about this property, if it is for sale or for rent. The location was good and the neighborhood is quiet. It was ideal actually.

My husband and I were excited because this is the first time we will be earning from our investments. The last house and lot, will be turned over to us, eventually, we will also lease this unit.

Advantages

  • This is a good investment for retirement. After 15 years when we settled the last unit, the rentals for the two units that we had will be our allowance. This is a good source of income.
  • It appreciates overtime. Unlike vehicles, real estates appreciate. Especially when you acquire the house and lot in a good and reputable developer.
  • An investment that you could pass to your children. It’s good to have peace of mind knowing that your children will have something from you when you expired in this world.

Disadvantages

  • Might take longer time to sell. This is not an investment where you could just sell it right away when you need money. Of course you could pawn it to the bank, however, you will be on the loosing end.
  • Higher transaction cost. One should have an adequate amount of money for the transaction cost of buying real estate. The equity payable for 12 to 24 months, bank loan fees, insurance, etc.

Tips

If you are wondering what is happening now in the land that we bought in Cebu, the answer is nothing. Please remember that a land without a building is not profitable. It will certainly appreciate but you will earn while you are paying the mortgage.

If you want to invest also in real estate, do a lot of research. Study the location, know the developer, research on the best bank to mortgage. Do not be excited.. Take time to study and think about it.

We are still planning on what to do in this property. We need a lot of savings still.

Please do not get me wrong. This is not a walk in the park journey. There are a lot of sacrifices just to acquire the properties. We are just mindful of our future.

Pork Ribs Humba Recipe

If you are a Filipino, you might heard about this dish called Humba.. This is the sister recipe of the famous adobo but this is the Visayan Version. This is usually cooked on the southern part of the Philippines, the Visayas region.

My husband is from Cebu, and I first tasted this humba when I was there in Cebu. I really loved the adobo taste with the sweetness. The pork is well cooked and well marinated with vinegar and soysauce.

Since I have been craving for humba, I bought pork ribs and some of its ingredients to cook it today.

Sharing with you my simple pork ribs humba recipe.

Ingredients:

1 spoon of cooking oil

8 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 kilo of spare ribs (chopped)

3 parts (ladle) of soysauce

2 parts (ladle) of vinegar

80 g of salted black beans

115 g of pineapple tidbits

1 spoon of sugar

2 glasses of water

salt and pepper to taste

How to Cook:

  1. Fry the garlic in a pan.
  2. Once the garlic are already a little brownish. Add the washed spare ribs.
  3. Add, salt, pepper, soysauce and vinegar. Cover the pot.
  4. Once it boiled, add 1 glass of water.. Then add again the other glass of water.
  5. When the meat is already tender, add the salted black beans. Cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the pineapple tidbits and sugar. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Add salt and pepper if required.
  8. Serve hot.. Enjoy!

These are the ingredients that are available with me.. Some are putting dried bay leaves and banana blossoms.

My kids loved it. They were hesitant at first to try it but since they knew adobo, they liked it when they tasted it.

I have added a video of how I did in my facebook page.. Kindly visit Maybahay ng OFW page.