Monday, June 29, 2015

Being Debt-Free and Lovin' it: Things I Prepared Before Deciding to Come Home For Good

Reading my old posts while I was still abroad and itching to come home for good, I thought of the times I wrote that certain post on how nervous I was and how I kept reassuring myself that everything will turn out okay. Looking back, it was crazy! It's like, "Man, why did you feel that way before? Now that you're here, it's not too bad,right?!"

Here are the things I did before going home for good:


One thing I prioritized before coming home for good was to be debt-free. It feels really good to not have any debts hanging over your head. It's like you can choose to be working or not and the enormous kilig feeling you feel that your hands aren't bound to any lending entity out there is priceless. It's the freedom I feel knowing that I don't have to pay  mortgages every month, that I can choose to stay home and take it easy for a little bit till boredom push me to find work. I can't even begin to describe how amazing it is to be owning your own life and money and not being able to slave your life to work. No more singing: "I owe, I owe... so off to work I go!" 


Before going home, I want to have my housing secured so that no matter what happens, I have a house to call my own. Nobody would kick me out or no bank will threaten to foreclose my property coz it is already mine. Shelter is one of the basic needs and I must have one before packing my bag and head home. I got it and I'm thankful.


I was lucky enough that I didn't really grow up with a materialistic mindset. Yes, there was a phase in my life that I became materialistic because "I didn't have this growing up so I must have it now" but I am glad I was way over that phase. I appreciate the life that I am living now together with my two dogs and my younger brother. It's like I can choose to work or continue to live simply and for now, I am leaning towards "living simply."


I squirrel away two years worth of expenses before deciding to come home for good and since my life changed recently (see post here) and my expenses got down by few thousands, I realized I have enough emergency fund for at least 3 years or so.

No place like home indeed

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wet Market Sunday

I've been really busy last week so posting my last week's Wet Market Sunday thing slipped off my mind. 

Last week total grocery bill was Php 455. I still have a bunch of fruits from last week so I didn't buy more for this week. I also still have fish and meat.

My brother hasn't been eating at home lately so my grocery bill went down by few hundred pesos. I have been regularly eating oatmeal, fruit shakes, scrambled eggs with veggies in it- something quick and easy coz I'm lazy whenever my brother isn't around.

What I bought:

  • Veggies: Php 70
It seems like it is not a lot of veggies for Php 70, right? But to tell you honestly, this is more than enough. The sayote is super heavy and the carrots as well. I even have leftover veggies from last week. I don't think I'll pay Php 70 if I buy these in the supermarket.

  • Sawdust for Stark and Pepper: Php 20 for a kilo

  • Eggs: Php 24 for half a dozen ( Php 4 each)
I still have 7 pieces of eggs left from last week so I only bought 6 this time.

  • Broken rice of Ganador: Php 66 for 2 kilos ( Php 33 per kilo)
  • Corn grits for Stark and Pepper: Php 60 for 2 kilos  (Php 30 per kilo)

Random Snacks:

  • Cupp Keyk Flavor Combo: Php 56.60 ( A treat- whenever I need some sugar in my system.)
  • Baker's Best Bread: Php 22.65 (For workers- I still have 3 loaves left from last week. I usually freeze them so they wont go bad and defrost them a day before I use it.)

  • Kopiko Kopiccino: Php 60.90 ( 10 pcs)
  • Cooking oil: Php 22.50
  • Unique toothpaste: Php 50
  • Fresca Tuna: Php 21.80
  • Pancit Canton: Php 8.70


Veggies: 70.00
Sawdust: 20.00
Eggs: 24.00
Rice and Corn grits: 126.00
La Nueva grocery shopping: 242.75
Random snacks while in the wet market (spicy peanut and tempura) 15.00

TOTAL: PHP 497.75

Monday, June 15, 2015

Phone Talks: The Cheapest Phone Out There

I don't know how my phone got broken, but it just did. I must have dropped it or my little raptors just clawed it, who knows! (I call Stark and Pepper "raptors" after watching Jurassic World.) But the best thing about having cheap phone is you don't really care that much, you don't fret if it suddenly go kablam, you just don't coz it's cheap. Though I did have this "sayang" feeling at first but things get broken and at least it's not too expensive to replace , I consoled myself.

So I marched to Unitop and got myself the cheapest phone that was available in one of the cellshops there:

Brand: Qnet
Price: Php 399
Added Feature:
• It has built-in flashlight
• FM 
• Free earphone

It's blue, what more can I ask for. Ha!

For Php399, I could not complain. Just the basic, just so I can text and call and just so people could reach me... just what I need. Nothing more, nothing less.

I wonder if this phone is the cheapest in the Philippine market? Hmmm.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wet Market Sunday

Reader's Question Answered:

Question: Is that weekly supply of food and grocery? Hindi ka ba bumibili sa sari-sari store, say if you run out of oil or something like that?

Answer: I've just realized that I never bought anything from the sari-sari store since the day I arrived. It's not because I don't support small stores, is just that I am used to an American style of buying in bulk. Plus I do weekly meal planning and list everything I need, rummage through my pantry to see if I still have that certain ingredient before going to the grocery store/ wet market for our week supply of food and everything else. This is how I usually do things since my OFW days, it got carried over in my present life.

What I bought:

  • Eggs: 12 pcs for Php 40 (3 pcs for Php 10) 

Got 3 pcs leftover from the previous week

  • Veggies:  Php 69

  • Kakanin: 5 pcs for Php 20 

My week isn't complete without buying some of these

  • Pork Bones for Stark and Pepper Php 43 

A two-meal treat for My Loves

  •  Bread for the workers: Php 66.75 (Php 22.25 each)

  • Yan-Yan Peanut Butter  255 g Php 58.65
  • Ram Instant Oats 1.1 KG Php 94 (Yay, made in the Philippines!)
  • UFC Hot and Spicy Banana Ketchup Php 22.40 320 g ( My boss once laughed super hard when I told her that we make ketchup out of bananas.)
  • Cafe Blanca Php 57.70
  • Eight O'Clock Litro Pack for the Workers Php 33.40 (Php 8.35 each)

  • Dazz Dishwashing Bar: Php 6.30
  • Surf Bar : Php 17.70
  • Chlorine 1/4 kg Php 21


Ciao for now

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Santander/ Oslob: Whale Watching and First Beach Experience! (PhotoDiary)

May 23-24,2015

First beach adventure with Stark and Pepper (and my first beach experience since I arrived.)

Golden Retrievers are water dogs so I was excited for them to finally experience the beach. Here are some of the pictures:

Ahhh, a much needed short vacay!

Preparing for the 5-hour trip to Santander
Don't they look silly on those dog diapers?
Silly but cute!

Stopping over for lunch

Kissing my Baby Girl

Starky's First Dip

Pepper's First Dip

Getting down and dirty with.... a coconut husk!

They really were enjoying the water

Simple joy of life.... a husk!

Stark's First Lechon!

Pepper's First Lechon!

Mommy, we want breakfast!
Stark and Pepper eager for their breakfast

Early morning dip

Early Morning Walk on the Beach

Early Morning Travel to Oslob for Whale Watching

Gangster.. oh yah!
Swimming with Whale Shark

Kuto Time with Pep

Going Home and Stopping Over Gaisano Moalboal for some Sansrival McFlurry
Stark and Pep Love 'em!

Home at last!
Yah, they sleep beside me

Have you been to Oslob for some Whale Watching experience? Apparently, this is one of the popular things to do in here in Cebu and it's worth it, I'm telling you.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Electricity and Water Bill: April to May '15


Period from: April 30, 2015
Period to: May 30, 2015

Total Amount Due: Php 258.68

Since I paid through a collecting center (Prime Asia Pawnshop), they charged me a convenience fee of Php 3.00 so I paid        Php 261.68:

Our water bill doesn't go above Php 500 every month. If you notice the graph in the picture that showed our monthly consumption pattern, you would have seen that March and April were kind of high (March- I paid Php 407; April- I paid Php 396)because those were the months that cement were poured yada yada and all that construction stuffs.


Period from: April 21, 2015
Period to: May 22, 2015

Total Amount Due: Php 1,474.05

I am expecting much more lower electric and water bill for next month since my mother brought the TV to Albay and it's only me and my brother here. Though the fan rarely stops all through out the day because it's so darn hot here and I don't want Stark and Pepper to get heatstroke that's why I have been turning on the fan constantly mainly for them.

Is this too TMI or what? Well... whatever. ha! Hope this gives you an idea on how much does it cost to live in the Philippines.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Wet Market Sunday

Remember I was craving for "puto-sikwate" in my previous post, well... I'm enjoying it right now while I'm trying to post what I bought today!:)

  • Got some kakanin too: Php 5 for Php 20 (ate the the other one already while waiting for La Nueva to open)

  • Eggs: 3 pcs for Php 10= Php 40 a dozen

  • Broken rice of Ganador: 3 kilos = Php 96 (I know, I should consider buying rice in bulk, but we don't eat rice that much and I'm afraid it'll go bad if I'll buy a sack of it.)

  • Corn grits for Stark and Pepper (I mixed dog food, corn grits, veggies and sawdust/meat/pork bones for their meal): Php 31 per kilo. Got 2 kilos for Php 62

  • Star Bread: 5 for Php 20

  • Banana: Php 40 per kilo; Paid Php 37

  • Mangoes: Php 40 per kilo

  • Veggies: Php 79

  • Fish: Php 120 per kilo. Got only Php 50 worth

  • Ground Pork: Php 173 per kilo, got Php 42.56

  • Pork Bones for Stark and Pepper: Php 87 per kilo; got Php 42.28 worth

  • Menudo Cut: Php 192 per kilo; got Php 57.60 worth

  • Cooking oil: Php 23
  • Sardines: Php 25.40 (Php 12.70 each)
  • Winner Beef Loaf: Php 13
  • Century Tuna Flakes: Php 33.10
  • Brown Sugar 1/2 kilo: Php 19.90
  • Tang Litro Pack ( for workers):I just realized that different flavors equals different prices. hmmmmm.
 - Mangga Flavor (Php 8.55 each) 3 pcs Php 25.65
   -   Watermelon Flavor (Php 8.95 each) 3 pcs Php 26.85

  • Kopiko Cafe Blanca (This is just a form of treat for myself. I happened to taste this coffee for free because it was attached to a product I bought months ago and I fell in love. It was too sweet for me though so I usually add more water than the recommended water they put on the label. Yep, brief history right there!) Php 57.70
  • Blend 45 coffee 100g: Php 65.35
  • Sando bag (for Stark and Pepper's poo whenever I walk them out coz yah, I am a responsible pet owner you guys! Ha!): Php 12.75
  • Ice water bag (coz I make my own ice for the workers): Php 11.10
  • Ram Green Peas: Php 8.25
  • Lady's Choice Sandwich Spread: 55.75

Total: Php 934.24

It's not beyond my Php 1,000 per week budget, but next week I'm expecting much lower grocery bill since I already bought few weeks supply of meat and that fish that I bought, well.. it'll last us 2 weeks or so. Remember, my brother doesn't really eat at home that much coz he is busy with work and I regularly have fruit shakes for a meal. I only pig out whenever my brother is around coz man, nakakatamad mag prepare ng meal if you are just alone, diba?

Ciao for now.