Sunday, December 1, 2019

The Less I Know, The More I Save...

  • The less I know about makeup, the less I get tempted to buy and hoard. I’ll just stick to the basic: 

Yep, my entire makeup collection

  • The less I exposed myself to YouTube vlogs, the more contented I get with what I have.
  • The less I know about fashion, the less I shop. 
Know your style. For me, I gravitate towards athleisure type of fashion. Comfort over trend. 

  • The less I know about skin care and current hyped ingredient, the less I get tempted to buy and look for another holy grail product. I’ll just stick to the basic: cleanse, scrub (towel), moisturize and protect.

Why complicate life? 

Less is definitely more.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Story of Tiger Woods and Stray Dog Problems in the Philippines

I must admit, I wasn’t into dogs. I grew up with dogs but I wasn’t really the main caretaker. I saw stray dogs here and there in my hometown, but they were just there. I didn’t notice them. I didn't pay attention to them. Sure, I saw them but I dodged them because of the fear of getting bitten and worse, contracting rabies. I didn’t take a second look at them and I didn’t feel sorry for them. It was just a few years ago that I got into dogs. Remember My Ganni Bear?

Since owning dogs, especially Golden Retriever, I realized how ignorant most Filipinos are when it comes to dogs. How many times I experienced shrieking, complaining, shouting to get my dogs out of there way because they are so big and they might bite them or their children. Gosh, I could just punch them in the face. I even got shouting match once with one of my neighbors because, while I was walking my dogs, Stark barked so loudly because of a cat and ,if you know Golden Retriever’s bark, you’ll understand how deep and loud their barks are. He shouted in Illonggo to get them out of the way because he is scared. Kalalaling tao tapos takot? I said : What an ignorant fool, they are freaking Golden retrievers! They don’t bite! I said: You dare shout at me because I’m a woman? You demeaning, uneducated fool. Go back to where you came from. (Well, I didn't say it like that but almost like that.)  So, a few steps after, he saw that children were petting my dogs. Eat that, you ignoramus fool! I have so many stories like that. BUT, on the other hand, people fear to get near my house because of my dogs, so I think it is working out just fine to ward of burglars.

Here comes Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods and Kevin right outside my gate

I’ve met and became friendly with a stray dog. I named him Tiger Woods because of his spots. Around that time I met him, I also became friendly with another dog, the neighborhood kids called him Kevin. Kevin was a rambunctious dog, barking at night or chasing trisikad and flipping all the trash can while Tygz (Tiger Woods, pronounced as "taiygz") was a quiet dog. He would just stay under the cars and trucks just outside his human’s house but his human seemed to not pay attention to him. Kevin and Tygz were best friends. They would run around the basketball court just in front of my house and I saw them every day. I became their regular feeder. Until one day, Kevin disappeared. I searched for him and I found out that he was picked up by the city pound. I looked for him but I couldn’t find him so I let him go. I cried and prayed for him. Tygz, on the other hand, always dodged the city pound and I commend him for that. I said, maybe because he's an introvert and he always stay below cars and came out when he heard my gate opening (which I purposely made so he’d hear) We became friends, I get to hold him. I even planned on adopting him but he always escaped. 

Tiger Woods
I even let him go inside my house so I could adopt him!

I guess he wanted freedom so I let him be.

Fast forward almost 5 years, he passed away.

He had lost so much weight this past few weeks and he had been going to my house less and less. Three days ago, I saw him limping and I thought he got run over by a car or something. I checked closely and he couldn't stand because he was so thin. He was malnourished. I rushed him to the vet and the vet said he had cancer. Yesterday, I took him in. He went out to pee and poo and just got back in. Oh he was struggling to get up and my heart broke into pieces! I fed him and give him water and made him comfortable. I didn't know it was his last day. 

Tygz, at his final day

Yesterday, at around 9 PM. He passed away. I got to say goodbye to him. I saw him took his last breath and I said: Your suffering has ended, Tygz. Be at rest now. Please say hi to Pepper for me. 

My heart ached for Tygz, but I know that he is at a better place now. He is playing with Pepper and Ganni and he is happy. I also felt at peace knowing that I gave him a comfortable last day. 

To Tiger Woods: 

Remember it took me a while to come near you? It took you a while to warm up to me but I never gave up? It was worth it. The day I cut off the tight collar wrapped around your neck was the day we became best friends. You were invisible to other people, but I saw you. Thanks for being our walking buddy. You walked with us so many times. I still find myself looking at under the cars for you but I know you are at a better place now. Maayong pag biahe, Tygz. You are never invisible to me. Thanks for almost five years of friendship. May we meet again someday when my time comes. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

You Tube Addiction

It's my pride that I don't have ANY social media accounts. Yep, no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Though, I love watching YouTube videos to a fault. I am addicted to it.

I decided to take a break from watching YouTube videos.

I can't deny how useful YouTube videos are. Hey, I learned how to cut my own hair to save money when I was still working abroad. 

I used to love watching vlogs to cure my homesickness. It served a purpose but I thought it got out of hand.

So, On October 27, 2019, at around 1:00 PM I stopped watching YouTube videos cold turkey.

And man... the first two days were difficult but I've never had enough time in my life.

What was my YouTube viewing habits?

As I said, I started watching YouTube to cure my homesickness and to be updated with what was life back home. I do remember that I loved watching Say Tioco's videos. When she became well-known, I searched for another not-so-popular vlogger, and I came across Anna Cay and Simply Rhaze's videos, but when they got popular, I searched for another not-so-popular Filipino vlogger... you know the pattern.

I don't know why, but I don't like watching popular vloggers because of the sponsorship, the biased- reviews and somewhat curated or scripted lifestyle and I don't want to be fed with consumerism and materialism information through vlogging, so I constantly searched for budding vloggers. Well, that was just my thing. I don't have anything against those vloggers I've mentioned. 

The Process of Quitting

Oh man, the first few hours were insane. I just noticed that I picked up my phone randomly and just scrolled automatically through my YouTube newsfeed, and I started journaling to analyze my emotions and feelings towards it. The second day was worse, so I decided to pick a book and start reading again. Since I haven't read a book for a long time, it took me a while to get into the groove of reading and it was difficult to absorb information, so I swapped my Think Like A Freak book to Harry Potter books and I've never been so happier. Once I get into the groove of reading again, I'd like to progress into more difficult books, just like before. Man, I remember reading books constantly in the US. I could do 2 books a week but now, my reading comprehension skills have slowed down. I need to strengthen it again. 

It has been a week since I quit watching YouTube and I feel free. Sure, I still will watch YouTube videos in the future but I would love to be selective about it. I love watching anything related to ESL teaching to hone my teaching skills, but for now, it's put on hold until I can control myself. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

South American Trip Highlights

I did a six-week-long vacation to South America. Even though I enjoyed it immensely, I thought it was too long for me. Came the third week of my trip, my heart started to ache for my dogs, for my routine and my home. I came to realize that three weeks is enough for me so never again.

I went to four countries: Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. I've never felt unsafe and I was really surprised with the great number of tourists there, especially in Peru. I've met so many people from different walks of life and I've learned a great deal about myself and the people I've traveled with.

Here are some of the highlights of my trip:

  • Swimming with sea lions at Lima, Peru. The water was freaking cold and the picture that I took didn't give justice to the amount of sea lions that were there. Probably millions of sea lions were there. Apparently, they thrive at that place because there were no predators. We weren't allowed to touch them. 

Looking at this picture makes me shiver. I remember how cold it was. 

  • Went to a 3-day camping trip at Amazon, Iquitos Peru. Mosquitoes there don't listen to bug sprays! I found a sloth and I got to touch it.. Ahhhh! Cutest thing ever! (though I couldn't post pictures of the sloth because you could clearly see my face. hehe) 

Seeing the Amazon in person was an indescribable feeling!

  • I did a 4-day Classic Inca Machu Picchu trail and it was the most expensive and the most difficult trek I've ever experienced. Nevertheless, it was still a very memorable experience. 

Machu Picchu

  • I visited Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia and I thought I've seen the most gorgeous sunset IN MY LIFE there.

  • I also biked the Death Road in Bolovia and it was  a very scary and very nice and exhilarating experience. FYI, it wasn't really that scary because the road has been improved and it was also wide for bikes but you just have to be mindful of rocks and pebbles. Nevertheless, I survived it. 

I'm the most "pequeno" one

Wearing my Death Road, Bolivia Survivor Shirt at Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Christ the Redeemer.
The second Seven Wonders of the World that I saw during my trip.

Jon Bon Jovi

Red Hot Chili Peppers 

Paragliding: The best way to  enjoy Rio

Addicted to Acai in Brazil
Paulista Avenue, Sao Paulo Brazil

Foz de Iguazo, Brazil
The widest falls in the world and where Black Panther the movie was shot 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

When an OFW Comes Home for a Visit.. (and a Perfect Gift for OFWs)

My Kuya, who is working in Taiwan , and his family just visited me for the first time in three years or so. It was my first time to meet his wife in person and it was my first time to meet two of his three sons. 

Being an ex-OFW myself, I know how expensive it is to come home because everyone expects the balikbayan to pay for everything. The timing of my kuya's homecoming was such a bad one because I am saving for my South American trip, so hindi ako nakaka gastos ng bonggang-bongga masyado. I told him about that. 

He also told me that he wants to pay for all the debts little by little. Modesty aside, ako ang nagpa anak sa tatlong anak nia. When I was working in America, I gave monetary support... lots of it. He considers it an "utang" but I don't consider it that way at all. So hindi ko alam how much I gave him in total. 

My kuya gave me a pasalubong for my South American trip, a Nike shoes! It feels damn good to receive something from abroad pala, but nahiya ako masyado. 

Though, I told my brother point-blank that I won't be able to spend because of my upcoming trip abroad, he understood naman but I made it to a point to also spend because I know how it feels like to get depended on one hundred percent. I told him that the next time he visits, I will be more lenient with my spending. In fact, I already promised him a lechon for our island hopping plans when he visits me a year or two years from now

By the way, we went to SM and it was my first time for me to see how my Kuya interacted with his kids. They played at SM Cebu Amusement Center and I could see how proud my Kuya was. As in. It was kind of a magic to see him that way. I guess that's how parenting feels like? I told him about my observation and I'm so proud of him for being a good provider. My mama told me that growing up, we didn't experience those kinds of things. I told her that that's why kuya is working hard to take his kids to those kinds of places. 

At SM Cebu

We went to a quick beach trip.
I haven't been to this place, but it looks gorgeous!

Before my Kuya left, I gave him gifts... My old finance book and My Papa's old jacket:

I've made a post about this book. This book has always been my favorite local personal finance book. I've already done reading it several times, so it was the right time for me to hand it over to someone else. The jacket was my Papa's old swimming coach jacket. My Papa gave it to her sister when she went abroad and her sister (my aunt) gave it to me when I went abroad (In fact, I have a picture where I wore this jacket, which I posted on this blog). Now, it's with my brother. My brother was utterly surprised and it made me feel good. 

Few days after he visited, we talked on the phone. He was moved with the message of the book. He said that tinamaan daw sia sa Step 1 so how much more sa other steps. 

I think those gifts I gave were perfect. I could tell how delighted he is.  

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Random Updates

I haven't blogged for a long time, but here are random updates about my life:

  • I still can't get over Pepp's death. I still can't accept it. Guilt is still eating me alive. The funny thing is that  depression made me work so hard that  my salary hits close to Php 40k a month.As I said in one of my previous updates, my usual target is Php 22k a month working 5 to 6 hours a day,five days a week. Imagine how much I've worked just to hit that amount. But then few months of just going and going and I crashed. I suddenly felt lost.I hated my job. I suddenly felt discontented. Floodgates of anxiety opened up. I felt less confident, less sure of my choices in life. The trigger point? Pepper's passing. Don't you dare tell me "it's just a dog", I'd punch you in the face. You don't know how it feels like. 
  • I adopted a puppy. Her name is Vers. Guess where I got her name from? 
  • I felt like Vers is Pepper reincarnated. I found her exactly two months after Pepper's passing. She came to me after I took Stark for a walk just outside my house. I looked for the owner, but walang nag claim so I adopted her. She acts like Pepper. She sleeps like Pepper. Her mannerism is like Pepper. Maybe I just missed Pepper so much that pinipilit ko ang mga personalities nya with Vers. 
Vers at first few days after I adopted her. 

Vers the Fierce

Vers, at present time

Vers and Stark
I purposely put some little bars for my gate after I got Vers kasi lumolusot sia.

  • I adopted kittens,too. I have long been feeding animals outside but it's my first that I adopted kittens and keep them at the third floor of my house. Now I'm worried about them. I will be leaving for six weeks so I don't know sino ang mag take care sa kanila. I'll figure it out. 

I don't know why they like sleeping in my empty pot

The whole gang

Do you see them? 

  • My friend gave me a pair of hamster. I have dogs, cats and hamsters. Imagine that!

I will be rehousing them into a bigger glass container once I arrived from South America

  • One time, I went to the vet to get Vers vaccinated and I overheard a conversation about the price of the American bully. I rolled my eyes several times because there are sooooo many animals that needed home, and people are buying dogs and cats. It just doesn't make sense!
  • On the other hand, I shouldn't blame them. I bought Pepp and Stark. Through them, I became an animal lover. I still would like to get a Golden Retriever in the future, but I would pick someone that needed my help. I miss Pepp so much,it's killing me.
  • Stark is okay. He loves Vers. They play together. They go on walks together. Stark seemed to enjoy the company of Vers, but he goes crazy over the kittens. 
  • I'm going to South America. This has been my plan since two years ago. I even bought a ticket six months before Pepp's passing. I'm going to four countries: Colombia (Pablo Escobar. Narcos fan here!), Peru (a 4-day trek to Machu Picchu), Bolivia (Salt Flat and Biking the Death Road) and Brazil (Rock 'n Rio- Red Hot Chilli Pepper and Bon Jovi's concerts). I'm also going to Amazon jungle, swim with Sea Lions among many activities that are lined up. 
  • To prepare for my South American trip, which is coming up very very very soon. I have been walking around Mactan area. If you see  a dork who is wearing a hiking boots, that's probably me.I also have been going up and down the stairs everyday. Well, I'm going to do a lot of hiking (4 days going to Machu Picchu) and biking (Bolivia's Death Road) so I need to build my endurance up. 

That's it for now, folks! I will tell you how I got over my "I-hate-my-job" phase. Next time. :) 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

UMID: Detailed Timeline from Application to Delivery

What is UMID?

The Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID) is a four-in-one identification card that Filipinos can use to transact with government agencies such as the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG Fund. The UMID is also accepted as a valid ID in all other transactions

I applied for my UMID card at SM Cebu on March 27, 2019 via the SSS counter. I arrived there at 10:00 AM and was able to do everything within 40 minutes. 

1. Get a priority number. 
2. Wait for your turn. You will be asked to fill up a form. They will ask for an ID. 
3. Submit the form and wait for your turn to be called for your picture to be taken. 
4.You will be given a stub of paper: 

Note: The staff told me that if my UMID won't arrive within two months, I should go to my nearest postal office and claim it there.


1. Application: March 27, 2019 

2. I received a text from SSS on  June 12, 2019 

3. The UMID card was delivered to me on June 19, 2019. 

It took approximately 3 months from application to delivery.