life update or something like that

life update or something like that

I turned a year older the past week, I’m a Martial Law baby, by the way. #NeverForget (my birthday charot) #NeverAgain. It was a quiet and peaceful birthday, since I live alone and working from home the entire week (yay skeletal system!), I didn’t have anyone to celebrate it with. Cat asked if I have plans weeks before, but with how the government makes rash decisions and change quarantine classifications na akala mo walang maaapektuhan, I decided to not make a fuss about it.

I wanted to cook spaghetti with meatballs, but friends had food delivered at home so I still haven’t cooked it until now. Still trying to finish everything they’ve sent in; I still have some lechon, chicken salad, and cake. I was thinking about how birthdays are celebrated now, it felt like my friends had a potluck, sans their presence so I had to finish everything by myself.

Best thing about this birthday would probably be having fiber internet again! My generous friendly kapitbahay, Emier, recently moved out huhu bringing his internet with him (nagshe-share ako monthly, hindi ako ganun ka-parasite ha! Hahaha!) so I went back to using my old PLDT Smart prepaid WiFi.

Anyway, last Saturday night (9/18), I inquired to an agent about having my own internet (finally!!!). By Sunday (9/19), she arrived, had me filled out forms, and by Tuesday (9/21), internet guys are already installing the internet! WHUUUUT? PLDT, pwede palang mabilis?! Haha!

Side story, this is the first time I have internet installed under my own name because I could not be bothered to do it lol. Prior to sharing the internet with Emier, I used a prepaid WiFi. In my previous home, Eloisa had it installed and I just pay my share; in Makati, I only use mobile internet lol how did I survive?!; in Sampaloc, I just connect to my aunt’s WiFi or go to my brother’s house haha! So sobrang #adultingtingz nito sa ‘kin because commitment. You know how much that word scares me chz.

I just really, really hate getting involved with utility companies haha. But when you live alone and have no one to do it for you, you’re left with not much of a choice.

Main reason of having one installed is me going back to school. And since everything is done online, I need a decent connection. Also because internet iz lyf.

Going back to school is fvcking overwhelming. BAKIT ANG DAMING READINGS??? HAHA. Course guide pa lang 60 pages bakiiit di ba sasabihin niyo lang naman anong mangyayari bakit 60 pages hahahuhu. For someone who is so used to reading 240 characters on a daily basis, yes I spend an unhealthy amount of time on Twitter, I am just THAT overwhelmed. Haha!

Pagod na pagod ang ate ninyo. I can’t remember the last time I had to give 101% of my focus and attention to something. This is draining me, mentally. And it manifests physically. Like I can now sleep earlier than I used to because pagod na pagod ang utak ng ate girl ninyo. This is even harder than work, tbh.

I can now understand why people who go back to school after years of working rants a lot about it, nakakapagod, mga mhie. Di ko alam bakit ko ‘to ginawa sa sarili ko. Haha. Cheka. I mean I know why I’m doing this and I just have to go back to that “WHY” and also tell myself, “gaga, gumastos ka na dyan.” Anyhoo, my GC self is coming back shuta, along with my insecurity like “wow ang tatalino ng mga kaklase ko, grabe ung mga backgrounds nila ambobo ko bakit ba ko andito” haha.

But you know, I’m happy about this new endeavor. Endeavor? Haha. I’ve always liked learning new things and I can only watch so much reruns of Friends and k dramas to pass the time during this pandemic. Might as well do something productive, ‘no?

The other day, I went school supplies shopping. And can I just say, buying new pens is both therapeutic and expensive. Ang saya pero paano umabot ng P500 ang 3 ballpen, 3 refills, 1 notebook, at 2 post it notes? Paano??? Man, studying is expensive. Sana bayaran na ko nung sa raket ko because I want a new monitor (and mechanical keyboard and wireless mouse!), so it will be easier for me to have multiple stuff open at once, I need a bigger screen, my Mac’s screen size is not sufficient but we’ll make it work for now! Found one I want, but still contemplating if I should shell out from my savings to buy it or just wait for my payment or 13th month pay. Ay, ewan.

Anyway, just writing all these before I go back to finishing my assignment due on the 30th. And then start with all the activities and readings and research and contribute on the discussion board because required. I AM DROWNING in school works yet why am I updating this blog? Such a procrastinator. I haven’t changed.

I still have a few life updates but I think I shall finish my assignment first. Oh, I am sooo rusty, any school/focusing tips would be helpful! Listening to lofi music on the background while studying actually helps, kinda like white noise ganyan. Pomodoro technique, not so much. I’m open to new techniques haha!

Mad Woman

Mad Woman

March 11, 2021

Cleaning up my phone and saw this long-ass rant I wrote a few months back. I’ve no time yet for another update, so let’s just dump this here.

Time and time again, you are reminded that men are trash. 

********************

You start your day thinking it’s going to be a good day; you wear your favorite black cotton shirt and your favorite pleated skirt. It’s in a shade of pink that complements your complexion so well. Not to mention it’s Korean-inspired. After a year of bingeing K dramas, you’d almost go for anything “Koryan”. You go out of the house and not a minute later, a vacant tricycle drives by. Yay! You didn’t have to wait for ten minutes to get a ride to work. 

Time check: It’s 7:45AM. About damn time you don’t rush to the bundy clock. You stepped out of the vehicle in a really good mood, wait, is that a spring in your step I’m seeing? The next thing you knew, your co-worker who always has something “nice” to say about every piece of clothing you wear is walking right behind you. You almost stopped in your tracks. You feel another comment on how “good” you look. Tangina. Masyado pang maaga. “Uy, si Ate Mina!” he said. In that tone that annoys the hell out of you. He proceeds to call another one of the boys to inform that you have “arrived”. That spring on your step? In a split second, you were stomping your feet.

“Fuck this,” you swear under your breath. It’s not even eight, “I am not mentally prepared for this,” you said. 

Why is he here? He wasn’t supposed to be in this shift. This is the exact reason why you wore this skirt again. The three-week shifting schedule due to the pandemic and him not being in the same schedule as yours is the very reason you’re excited to dress up again!

For the past weeks, I noticed how you didn’t realize you were subconsciously and strategically choosing clothes to wear at work. Choosing midi skirts and pants over your array of dresses and skirts that fall above the knees or God forbid hugs your curves (or the lack of it). If you do wear a dress, it’s always going to be something loose or long, something that does not “attract attention”. Dressing up became no longer fun for you. 

See, you’ve always said you don’t wear clothes for other people. You no longer care about what they’d say. But clearly these days, you do. Every day, I see you carefully pick an article of clothing that will not solicit unnecessary comments from certain officemate/s because you just don’t have the time for that. He likes taunting other boys to say something “nice” as well about your #OOTD. The thought of having to deal with something as “trivial” as this is something you don’t want to spend your energy on, you thought to yourself.

I know, I know, you tried to call him out a number of times. “Para kang timang lahat na lang ng damit ko may comment ka!” “Hindi ka ba nakakakita ng legs ng ibang tao? Try mo sa Facebook mo.” Nothing worked. Your not-so-subtle way of “this is uncomfortable, this is not funny, please stop before I lose my cool” is going over his head. 

So you try to convince yourself, “Okay lang, kaopisina ka naman! Biruan lang.” 

One time, just as he said, “ang sexy talaga ni Ate Mina” you gave him a death stare. It worked… for a few weeks. 

Then it started again. Did he just think you were having a bad day, then? 

Two weeks ago, you wore this same shade of pink that complements your complexion. This time it’s a dress. Like a chismosang hindi pwedeng hindi ipagkalat ang chika, he couldn’t contain himself over the “news” of what you’re wearing. You were pissed. But you are reminded you’ve been told to play nice even before you started working here “Bawal maldita dito, Mina ha,” your boss said. He knows how mean you can get. And since you promised you’d lay low, you continue to play nice even if you’re seething with rage inside. 

The entire day you’ve felt harassed. I don’t know how you managed to keep calm over this. I was almost proud of your self-restraint. But this should not be one of those instances. 

This isn’t you. Did tweaking the way you look altered your personality as well? How the fuck are you this meek? Speak up! You know this isn’t right!

This isn’t us. You have to let the bitch out. Wake up! Release the Kraken!

******************

You start your day thinking it’s going to be a good day; you wear your favorite cotton shirt and your favorite pleated skirt. It’s in a shade of that complements your complexion so well. You go to work.

Time check: It’s 7:45AM. You stepped out of the vehicle and the next thing you knew, your co-worker who always has something “nice” to say about every piece of clothing you wear is walking right behind you. Another comment on how “good” you look coming right up. “Uy, si Ate Mina!” he said. In that tone that annoys the hell out of you. He proceeds to call another one of the boys.

“Fuck this,” you swear under your breath. “Fuck this Mina Good Girl persona.”

Before he can utter another word, you turned towards him and FINALLY snapped, “TIGILAN NIYO KAPAPANSIN SA SUOT KO HINDI AKO NATUTUWA HA!!!”

His stupid smile was instantly erased from his face, shuts up and walked towards the entrance. You were walking right behind him. 

You clocked in, still a bit shaken. “That felt fucking good,” there was a smile underneath your mask. You were finally starting to become yourself again. And no, you tell yourself, telling people off when you’re uncomfortable wasn’t trivial. Speaking your mind and saying how you feel is not trivial. But you know that it wasn’t enough. There are a lot more things you want to say, to clarify. You’ve started this. You need to set things straight. You have to put an end to this.

And you did. You gave him a piece of your mind – all the things you wanted to say, maybe not all, but at least enough to make him understand that the behavior does not sit well with you. It’s uncomfortable to get noticed over how you dress. It’s time-consuming to think of what to wear that will not call attention. It’s maddening to try and keep your cool when you feel wronged but not knowing how to address it without being brutally frank. How do you sugarcoat something like “nababastusan ako sa kung paano ka maka-react sa mga sinusuot ko. Di ako natutuwa. Gusto ko manapak ng tao. I want it to stop.” Ultimately, you are just fucking mad at yourself for allowing it to happen.

But in the end, you did it. You were gaslighted, but still, you did it. 

Why is it that every time a woman calls out a guy for how he treats her, 99.9% of the time, they turn into “nice guys” and gaslights said woman. “nO, tHat iS cLearLy nOt whAt I mEanT wHeN I sAid/Did tHat.” Sure, Jan. There was no malice whatsoever in your words/actions. That was all in my head.

Ikaw ang malisyoso mag-isip. Ikaw ang nag-overthink. Ikaw ang feeling. It’s all in your head.

Why do guys do that? you wondered. I guess we’ll never know. Maybe that’s what keeping their balls attached to their penis. You imagine the next time a guy gaslights you, you might just literally set his balls on fire.

But for now, you let it go. That’s for another battle. At least this time you’ve made it clear. Hopeful that no one will make another unnecessary comment about your clothes.

At least for a while, because we all know it, men are trash.

**************************

As of this writing, I have never felt that way again. All persons involved are ok now. Guess speaking up really works, we should all try it sometimes. Bye!

get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’

get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’

We’re year two in this hell-hole and I’ve yet to see even the tiniest bit of ray of light that signifies we’re about to see the end of this tunnel. I’m telling you man, the entire world’s having concerts, reopening dine-in restaurants, schools, and bars, and here we are, still thinking lockdowns would solve this problem, still have an inutile for president, and mygahd, still wearing goddamn mother fucking face shields.

There are days I dream of just becoming a cow in New Zealand. Aaah, the life. Or think of ways on how to get out of this country, because the future is bleak. I don’t even know why my friends are having kids. Lol. In this economy? In the time of Duterte?

Sometimes, the entire situation we’re in gets under my skin I find myself having a hard time breathing and so I tell myself to breathe, breathe, breathe. Actually no, my watch tells me that. Lol. It works, but sometimes, breathing exercises can only do so much.

So to keep my anxiety at bay, I’ve tried doing things that will keep me busy. You know how y’all started making Dalgona coffee last year and getting into Tiktok because we all thought the lockdown would only last a month and we’ll be going back to our old merry lives eating samgyupsal with friends, gallivanting in Camiguin by September, seeing your OFW parents by December and yet here we are celebrating our second quarantine birthdays, getting COVID, losing jobs, and yourself in the process? Wala, ako lang ba yun? Grabe, no?

Ewan, I just keep remembering this specific line at Shawshank Redemption, something Red and Andy said, “In life, either you get busy living or get busy dying.”

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing… getting busy living. Not making Dalgona coffee in 2021.

The only kinda mainstream thing I tried along with the rest of the world is becoming a plantita. I’m not as obsessive as I thought I would be, probably because my apartment does not get enough sunlight for me to be that invested in it, but if my apartment sits in an east-facing location, you’d bet I’d probably have a jungle right now… and two alive fiddle leaf figs, monstera adansoni, and several mayanas. RIP to all my plants that did not survive my humid, kinulang sa natural light apartment.

current plant babies sunbathing before I get them inside once the rain comes. Plz stay alive bibis

But just like everyone else, I’ve had my fair share of quarantine phases. I’ve had friends who learned the kalimba, started baking and selling them, moved back to the province, started a business, painted her house, even had one who had her nipples pierced. Hahaha! The things we do to survive, ‘no?

So at first, I’ve had my cooking/air frying phase. I’ve always known how to cook, my mom made it a point that this is a life skill all her kids will take when they leave the nest, but I’m so proud I’ve learned to make leche flan, cookies, basque burnt cheesecake, my own mango salad, a juicy medium well steak!, pizza, beef in mushroom sauce, kimchi fried rice (thank you Chezka for the recipe!), molo soup, siomai and gravy from scratch!!!, and yes, my friends, it may not be the standard adobo, but I have cracked the code to pork adobo – my Everest.

Buttered garlic shrimp
my kind of steak huhu

Last year, I bought my first air fryer and I’m telling you, I have air fried a lot of shit. If I can only air fry rice, I probably would. I was so into it, my mama and a friend bought one because of me LOL. #socialmediainfluenza

Annyeonghassayeoooo! Like most people, I was pulled back into the rabbit hole of K drama. No, this was not the first time I watched K dramas, I’m kind of an OG K drama baby – the kind who have seen Full House when it started airing in GMA, along with Coffee Prince, Endless Love, Jewel in the Palace, the works.

Look at this cutie
So obsessed with Hae In last year Jane Photoshopped me with him hahahaha!

But this time, I was so into it that at some point I even tried learning Hangul on Duolingo just so I can start multi-tasking while watching. I know! The dedication! I know someone who would laugh at this and roll his eyes if he ever reads that, but walakongpake! Di mo ko mapipigilan! Chz.

I got bored after a while, because bakit pa? When I can already understand some of their most used phrases all thanks to subs!

These days though, I’m taking a little break from k dramas because Money Heist released its new season, I’ve also been rewatching Walking Dead, Friends whenever I need a background noise, and I’m currently watching Downton Abbey.

I knew I needed a break because sobra na yata yung napapanaginipan ko na si Park Bo Gum at Jung Hae In na mga jowa ko? Lol. But I guess that’s normal, two of my friends also said they have dreamt of two other Korean actors, lol, paano tayo umabot sa ganito?

When I moved from QC to San Juan, I got addicted to “ayusin ang bahay” phase. This was way before Home Buddies became a thing. Silent Korean vlogs and their minimal style became an unhealthy obsession lol. To be honest, this phase, is the most expensive quarantine distraction I’ve put myself into. I bought matchy-matchy containers, white and wood rattan pastel-ish interiors, the works! I can’t believe trash cans can cost 500 pesos, but they do! Grabe.

See previous post (Apartment Haul) for some of my budols. #SalamatShopee

I still have things to buy before I can achieve my dream apartment interior hanash. For starters, I still want a sofa even if I don’t know where to put it, and I’m itching to replace my dining table with a round table, but we’re getting there. I’ve finally replaced my old fan with a more ~*aesthetic*~ one, so at least I’m happy about that. One budol at a time. Makakabili rin tayo ng Brita pitcher at mapapalitan mo rin ng Modori Sodam ang mga panluto mo self, chill lang tayo.

Then of course there’s the music and crafts phase, which I really do enjoy. It made me feel so ~*artistic*~ and that I can do anything I set my mind into. Like, galing yarn???

Excuse my voice. Lol

Last year, I started teaching myself how to play the ukulele and safe to say, I am better at it than I was before. I still need to watch YouTube tutorials to play some of the songs I want to play, but I think I’m getting good at it. I randomly post my “covers” (wuw covers) on my YouTube channel (wuw pls like and subscribe, hit the bell button!) or on stories and Instagram for progress checks and proof of life posts lol.

Last week, I sent my mom a video of me playing The Carpenters’ Top of the World, one of her go-to karaoke songs, because I miss her, and wala lang, I just like it that I have other ways to show her that I miss her, aside from telling her I miss her. O di ba, biglang nag-alok ng free diamond necklace si madam after. Bilhan daw niya kami huhu. Hahaha #win

Speaking of YouTube tutorials, I also learned how to macraweave/do macrame last August, after the gov’t mentioned they’re putting us back into ECQ.

So far, I’ve already made 3 wall hangings, two of which are to be given away, and just tonight, I’ve made my first macrame purse. I don’t know if I’ll keep doing this, or I’ll just do it until I finish all my ropes and give them away as I make them, or do it as side business? I don’t know. A friend asked if she can order a table runner from me, another one said if I can make a smaller piece, she’d buy it, and today, I sent the purse I made to my tita and she asked if I’m going to sell it. Haha. Ewan.

I’d probably give them away as Christmas gifts for a more personal touch? Because “P.S. I made this” haha. Ah, I don’t know! I hope I can do more of this because it’s really therapeutic and helps me get my mind off things but I’m not sure if I’ll have the time like I do now because I’m about to go back to school, di ko rin alam bakit, but here goes.

Sunday Currently

Sunday Currently

Reading a translated English copy of “I Decided to Live as Me” by Soo-hyun Kim. Just a few pages in. And in all honesty, I am too preoccupied I have been reading some lines over and over so I put it off. Damn, my head’s in another place.

Writing this. I know. What a filler post after saying I’m going back to writing. Truth is, my head’s all over the place I can’t concentrate. Sa totoo lang, I wanted to write something but I think I’m going to have to “write drunk, edit sober” the fuck out of it. And if ever I get the willpower to write everything that has been going on inside my head, I think I will need a shot of courage to hit publish. Vulnerability and me are not part of the usual branding. Also, in as much as I appreciate people reading whatever I write, I am not too comfortable getting asked what are these things about. Because if I do have the courage the say it, I will write it.

Listening to Oasis’ Wonderwall on a loop because “there are many things that I would like to say to you, but I don’t know how” “Back beat the word is on the street, the fire in your heart is out”

Thinking about different scenarios in my head and how things will play out in reality. Think Dr. Strange seeing 14,000,065 different futures and only one of them defeats Thanos. But as a pessimist, all 14,000,065 scenarios in my head end up getting me defeated. Sometimes I wish I can be like those people who wear their hearts on their sleeves.

Smelling myself. I need a shower.

Wishing for a better government. Enough of this government running the country like a fucking headless chicken. Please register to vote! We are 40-million strong! We can oust the turtle!

Hoping that all my family and friends are well. Or on the road to recovery.

Wearing an old muscle tee that says “In Vogue We Trust” blasphemous, I know. And super short shorts that was given to me by an old friend/housemate.

Loving wow hirap mag-isip. I guess my new plants, new ~aesthetic~ electric fan. 

Wanting an iPad Air 4 kahit parang hindi ko naman kailangan. Damn, all these unboxing videos on YouTube. I want a lot of things actually. 

Needing a vacation. A trip to the beach preferably, where I can play songs on my ukulele, drink an ice cold flavoured beer, and make the waves take all my worries away.

Feeling so, so confused… about things. 

reclaiming my sanity

reclaiming my sanity

I’m sorry I’m a little rusty. No, scratch that. If I’m going to be really honest, I’d say not “little,” but a lot. Yung klase ng kalawang na hindi na kayang i-save ng WD-40. Tapon mo na lang.

I feel like a little child learning to color inside the lines. I was typing “like a little child learning how to ride a bike” but I realized I am 32 (about to turn a year older in a few weeks) and still don’t know how to ride a bike. So there’s that. Pwede rin naman. Haha.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve written something for myself. Even my journal now only documents my bi-monthly budget system.

Rent – x,xxx

Utilities – x,xxx

Insurance – x,xxx

…and so on and so forth. Ubos ang pera sa isang kisapmata.

A writer with nothing to show for it. How original. So I thought I’d try again because I miss it. Because I needed it. Who knows, maybe I’ll be back in shape if I start writing again. Does writing also requires some sort of muscle memory?

But don’t get too excited. Remember I said “try.” How nice, ‘no? Really living up to this blog’s name.

Oh, yeah, there were some bursts of brain dump/word vomit in that dotted notebook whenever I needed to exorcise my demons AKA di-makatulog-tigilan-mo-na-kaka-overthink-mo-Carmina-di-ka-iniisip-nun-please.

It’s not that I didn’t try, I did. I really did. One time, I even unearthed an old notebook where I dump my ideas hoping to flip a switch and start writing again. Obviously, wala akong napala.

I envy the people on my WordPress Reader List. Buti pa sila consistent magsulat. Saan ba nakakabili ng drive na patuloy magsulat? May cashback ba dyan? Pwede ba GCash dyan?

Sometimes, I’d stare at my cursor for minutes on end hoping something would come out. Nothing. Nauuna akong sumuko lagi, what is there to write about when the world is falling into pieces? Pissed, I’d end up watching another k drama/scroll like a fucking zombie on my socials until I feel guilty for wasting my time on the internet again.

Sometimes, I’d think “Wala namang magbabasa, bakit pa magsusulat?”

Other times I’d be like, “Wait, what if mabasa nila and they figure out that I’ve been faking it all this time? Huwag na lang.”

Ya girl’s crazy, I know.

But you know what? I also realized this thing that someone told me, “Kelan ka pa nagkaroon ng pakielam sa sasabihin ng iba tungkol sa’yo?”

So sige, like a little child learning her ABCs, subukan natin ulit. Wala naman sigurong mawawala sa ‘kin. If I’m lucky, I might even reclaim my sanity.

6 Money Mistakes I Made In My Twenties

6 Money Mistakes I Made In My Twenties

I was listening to this Linya-Linya Show episode a few days ago and they were talking about money matters and how the “fellow 22s” (listeners of the show) may enjoy having financial freedom earlier than the rest of the kids who don’t listen to the show. Chz. They talked about compounding interest, resisting online budol, pyramiding schemes, pagpapautang, etc. It’s a good effisode, Salve Duplito explains everything so well that even people who know nothing about investment can grasp the concept easily, but I felt it was lacking in the basics of spending and saving up your money.

Hep! Hindi ako expert ha, lalong hindi pa ako mayaman pero after working for a decade and handling and mishandling my money in more ways than one, I just felt compelled to write about my own money mistakes because feeling ko lang naman ha, mej intermediate na yung tips on investing na nabanggit sa episode. Over the years, I have learned that may tamang paraan ang tamang paghawak ng pera o ang paggastos nito – lalo kung hindi ka lumaking Ayala o Sy o Tan. Kung lumaki kang tulad ng mga nabanggit, hindi para sa ‘yo ang pang-hampaslupang learnings na mga ito.

Not paying attention to my Personal Financial Management class in college

When I was in college, we had a minor subject called Personal Financial Management and I didn’t pay any attention to it, as in wala akong maalala sa topics, kaya ayon, boblaks ang finances ko in the first few years, bukod sa maliit din naman talaga ang sweldo ko at hindi pa ako marunong makipag-haggle sa tamang sweldo noon. On a side note, sana itinuturo rin sa eskwelahan kung paano ang tamang pag-negotiate sa sweldo, ‘no? All I can remember was trying to finish requirements for that class so I can focus more on my major subjects. Little did I know, yun pala ang may pinakamalaking ambag sa totoong mundo kaysa sa Introduction to Mass Communication class na pinagka-stress-an ko many years ago. Nagkainisan pa kami ng groupmates ko at one point jusko hindi worth it.

What I Learned: Wala talagang ambag yung media theories sa buhay ko. Shattered lahat yan when I started working in the media. Kaiyak. But knowing how to handle our money is something we all should know how to do na sana yung mga PFM classes idudukdok sa isip ng bawat estudyante na tipong may disclaimer na “kung ayaw mong masayang ang perang kikitain mo pag nagtatrabaho ka na, ayaw mong mangutang o ma-scam or worst, maging taong grasa pagtanda mo, makinig ka sa klaseng ‘to” ganyan. Siguro mas nag-pay attention ako. Sa halip, bukod sa sarili kong pagkatuto sa mga kanda-leche-leche kong money decisions haha, I also learned from friends how they handle their money, yung mga real-life experiences at syemps, researched on the basics and tips of this and that when it comes to money.

And to this day, I still continue to look at loopholes on how I handle my money and try to make things better. Reddit has good stories from people on how they save up, even PESO Sense on Facebook if you want to learn from people’s firsthand experiences and mistakes. Kaka-inspire yung mga grabe mag-ipon dun!

What budget???

Satrue lang, wala rin naman talaga akong iba-budget during my first year of earning money. As a minimum wage earner, laging ubos talaga sweldo mo promise. Tapos late ka pa lagi haha so may kaltas ka pa nyan. Jusko. Minsan, binabalikan ko yung days na yun tapos naiisip ko paano ako nabuhay sa ganoong klaseng sweldo every cut off? Jusko apaka-thankless. Haha!

Years later, I started earning better, but I still didn’t know how to handle my money. Basta mabigay ko na ang ambag ko sa bahay, all my money are as good as “yes, I will buy that shoes!” “Kain tayo sa masarap!” o “Nood tayo ng sine thrice a week!” Kung may matira sa ATM bago ang next payday, then yes, more money to spend! If wala, e di tipid-tipid!

What I Learned: There are a lot of ways to budget your money. It’s easier for people who gets the same amount of money every fortnight or every month, it’s harder for those who work freelance, because you have to be more mindful and predict your earnings and it’s waaay harder for those who run their own business. I do not have an idea on how they do it, wala nun dito hehe.

But as someone who has experienced earning through salaries and from freelance work, magkaiba sila.

When I used to do freelance, I was super, super stingy when it comes to money since I don’t know when I’ll get another gig na malaki. You really do have to be mindful of your expenses. I used to list all my expenses para alam ko saan napupunta pera ko. I rarely spend money on wants because I always think about “the rainy days.” Hindi pa ko ganun kagaling mag-negotiate for my work, so maliit lang din ang kita than other freelancers. I earn more on the side now that I know how to value my work. Sobrang laking difference!

As someone who gets the same amount every payday, my budgeting’s as simple as the zero-based budgeting system. I distribute my money on expenses, savings, and wants. Other people do the 50-30-21 system. Basta ako, whatever it is that you end up following, please please always put money on your savings account. It also helped that I first started listing down my expenses so I’d know where to cut back on expenses para sumakto. If kulang, e di raket ka. Kung may gusto kang bilhin, either raket ka or pag-ipunan.

If I do get a project, I divide it by three. Say for instance, I get a project that will pay me P30,000. I’d allocate 10,000 to savings, the other 10,000 to emergency fund, and the other 10,000 for my present self. I could spend it any way I want to or even save it if I want to. Basta guilt-free money for spending yun. Before, I usually put everything on my savings account, but it left my present self so unhappy because she worked hard for it, pero ni hindi man lang niya na-experience maski piso so she ended up having “utang to self” tapos nakaka-guilty din. Not a good feeling. So what I did, I rewarded her with guilt-free money to spend, because she earned it naman. Kahit gaano pa kalaki o kaliit yan, yan ang sistema na nagwo-wor sa ‘kin ngayon. 3k for a quick project? E di tig-wa-1k sila! Future self happy, crazy kailangan mo dagdagan emergency fund mo self happy, and present self happy. Everybody happy!

Too lazy to open a bank account separate from my payroll account

I remember treating my payroll bank account as my savings account na rin haha. Yes, ganun ako ka-naive before. Basta nasa bangko naman yang pera na yan e. Di yan mawawala. I was never taught to open another bank account separate from my payroll. Nor did I have the ‘common sense’ to do it, then. Sobrang YOLO wooh! I fell into the “bata pa naman ako, marami pa kong time mag-ipon” trap. And I fell hard.

Nung nahimasmasan ako, I tried opening one at the nearest BPI sa office, but BPI denied me of opening a bank account for reasons I will never understand. Kesyo ayaw tanggapin yung temporary ID na bigay ng GMA. (Hindi kasi ako regular employee) Kesyo bakit daw mag-o-open ng bank account and I was like ahm, para makaipon??? Di ko maintindihan bakit kailangang harangin ang mga tao na magbukas ng bank account kahit na sabihin mong reason ay para sa savings po. I got so pissed and humiliated na hindi ako in-allow ng dalawang BPI branch to open an account so I put it off for at least a few more months. Ang sakit ma-reject ha. Naisip ko, okay lang, ipon na lang siya sa payroll account ko, keri lang yan. I-track ko na lang nang maayos. Spoiler alert: hindi ko na-track nang maayos yung ipon ko.

So the little savings I had then was more volatile than the stock exchange. At one point, I’ll have 25,000 in it, then the next payday, I’d end up only having 17,000 because I splurged on yet another thing I was coveting back then. Taas-baba siya talaga. Tataas kapag may pag-iipunan, bababa kapag biglang may bibilhin o biglang magta-travel. Labo talaga mga mamsh. Di ko alam paano ako nabuhay before basta alam ko masaya ako, at sobrang carefree sa pera! Ah! To be young, wild, and free!

What I Learned: If you can, open a different account for your savings, emergency fund, travel fund, o kung ano pang fund yang gusto mo. And if possible, open sa may mga mataas na interest rate when it comes to your emergency fund. Currently, digital banks like CIMB and ING yata are the ones that offer the highest interest rates, yes, special shawarawt sa kaibigan kong si Jet na nag-share ng tungkol sa digital banks. After learning about this, I moved my emergency fund to a digital bank. Bye, BDO!

Currently, I have (1) idle savings para sa ikatatahimik ng kaluluwa ko and for emergencies eme, (2) an account for revolving fund (where I put money for insurance na kinakaltas, paluwagan na hindi ko alam kung nag-start na ba this year, and pansalo lang ganyan pag naubos na yung sa payroll lol di ko alam para saan talaga ito), (3) an account for business before na gagawin ko na lang ngayon na for travel fund yesss umaasa talaga ako na makakapunta pa rin ako sa Reykjavik at makakakita in person ng northern lights, (4) an account for actual emergency fund, an (5) old account na payroll na nilalamanan ko pang-grocery lang (6) checking account where I put money for payment lang sa rent lol. And my (6) payroll ngayon.

People laugh at me when they find out I have too many bank accounts. Hindi ko rin maintindihan promise. But I intend to close at least two of them para mas maayos buhay ko.

Anyway, I’m still thinking if I should move my idle savings sa ING or yaan ko na lang siya dun since it’s the longest one I have, finally pinag-open din ako ni BPI lol. Kasi ang hirap na natutulog ang savings sa bangko gaano man ito kaliit o kalaki sa bangko. Talong-talo ka sa inflation sa totoo lang. Magkano na nga ulit baboy ngayon?

Not starting an emergency fund right away

It was only in 2018 when I learned that I need an emergency fund separate from my savings. I was mind blown. Lol. Akala ko talaga yung savings ko na na-start ko na pag-ipunan, yun na yun for everything basta may savings ka, dun na ung for emergencies, for travel, for hanash, etc. Kasi for years, umepeks naman sa buhay ko. Dun ako kumukuha for fun, for emergencies, for travel. Mali pala yon.

Buti na lang I have an officemate then who was so interested in keeping her finances always in check and told us the value of having an emergency fund separate from savings, etc. I think nobody told me about this because people think I have always been diligent with my money and/or I already knew about it. I WAS NOT as diligent as I should be with my money and no, I DIDN’T KNOW.

Growing up, we weren’t taught how to save money. Save from the usual, mag-ipon ka para di ka maghirap, mag-ipon sa alkansya, wala na kong naaalalang learnings sa pag-iipon. I remember living in “abundance” in the 90s even if my mom was a full time housewife then. Thankfully, wais ang nanay ko so we were able to get by with her salary and papa’s income when she entered the workforce. We were never really taught on the value of budgeting, emergency fund. Daily basis ang dating at labas ng pera sa yelohan ni papa, so daily rin ang “budget” namin. Mag-iipon kapag tuition for school, kapag kulang, uutang muna kay Sandra (our resident bumbay), si papa in charge sa needs, si mama in charge sa wants. We get by, kaya siguro walang lessons kung paano ba mag-budget nang tama ng pang-matagalan na may ipon ka pa rin, may tira for emergencies and future you. Wala rin kasi kaming emergencies before talaga na matindi. And if meron, nakakayanan naman. Natutunan ko lang nga na dapat part ng sweldo mo nilalagay sa rainy day fund nung nawalan ng work si Monica sa Friends tas sabi ng tatay niya, “Ten percent of your salary goes where?” “In the bank!” Other than that, I had to learn things on my own.

I was just lucky that I didn’t have to start in the negative. Meaning, my parents didn’t make us pay for our younger siblings’ tuition. Sure, there were times when I had to give school allowance to our youngest brother, and pitch in for his tuition, but it wasn’t that big. Thank you, PUP! Dose pesos pa rin per unit! But we weren’t as lucky as well in the sense na wala kaming lupain, walang sariling bahay, walang pamanang pag-aawayan at pagpapatayang magkakapatid. In short, saks lang – pag nagsipag ka at sinwerte ka, may chance kang umalwan ang buhay, kung mamalasin at tamad, handa ka na bang maging taong grasa?

But I no longer want to dwell on the financial education I didn’t get from my parents, because I still consider myself lucky enough and extremely grateful for having parents who shouldered their responsibility and obligation in paying for their kids’ tuition and raising them the best way they can afford. Others were not as lucky as we were.

What I Learned: Of course, after learning a lot when it comes to finances from Giezl, I opened a separate bank account for my emergency fund right away. Every payday, I put a fixed amount on it that I can use on a rainy day. This literally came in handy almost two years later when the pandemic hit and I quit my job last May. I was calm. Actually that was an understatement, I was for the most part, elated. Para akong natanggalan ng tinik sa dibdib because I was overworked and I was starting to feel unhappy and unfulfilled with my job. So I watched K dramas all day and didn’t bother to find a job right away because may huhugutan ka pa naman, oks lang yan. I was able to take care of myself mentally. It was one of the best decisions I’ve had because if wala akong emergency fund, I wouldn’t have had the courage to leave that job in the middle of a pandemic.

If you haven’t already, ideally, your emergency fund should be 3-6 months’ worth of your expenses or 3-6 months’ worth of your salary. Depende kung gaano katagal mo siya gustong ipunin. Pero ayon sa mga eksperto, mainam na unahing ipunin ang perang ito bago ang paglagay ng pera sa investments o stocks o bonds. Bakit? Kasi liquid ‘to e. Kung bigla mong kailanganin ng pera dahil nawalan ka ng trabaho, nagkasakit ka, o di kaya naisipan ng China na pahintuin ang buong mundo ng higit isang taon at magkalat ng bagong nakahahawang sakit na walang bakuna, prepared ka. Kung inuna mong kumuha ng kotse or condo, okay investment sila, pero magiging pera ba agad yan na madali mong ma-withdraw in an instant kapag kailangan? Hindi di ba?

“Deserve ko ‘to!” and other budol stories

Back when hindi pa ganun ka-sikat ang online shopping, nauubos ang pera namin noon sa pagsubok ng iba’t ibang kainan sa Maginhawa at Timog. Stress eating sa trabaho. Nakaere ka na? “Yes, kain tayo sa masarap!” Sweldo at ang dami kong pagod sa episode na ‘to? “Yes, I deserve those shoes!” Back then, meron akong jacket na ang tawag ko ay “my Abalos jacket” kasi binili ko yun after ko mag-shoot sulat at edit ng episode ni Abalos in 3 days! Pinapangalanan ko mga gamit ko in my mind after episodes na umere haha! I have shoes, dresses, and lipsticks named after case studies/guests from my shows.

What I Learned:

In retrospect, kakatawa siya pero sobrang wasteful! If only I had the self-control not to “reward” myself with things I wouldn’t even use years from now, ang dami ko sigurong pera. At one point, I had more than 50 pairs of shoes na umaabot pa ko sa point na tinatago ko ang purchases ko sa nanay ko kasi pagagalitan niya na naman ako sa binili ko. One time, bumili ako ng 6 pairs of shoes in one day tapos jinudge ako ng kaibigan kong si George. Aanhin mo ‘to? aniya. Natawa lang ako. I’ve had shoes na once or twice ko lang gagamitin tas di ko na ulit gagamitin kasi di ko na bet. Ugh. Sobrang sayang. These days, I only have around 15 pairs, still a lot, but a far cry from my 50 pairs just a few years back. In fact, ilang beses na rin akong natanong ng mga pamangkin ko bakit konti na lang sapatos ko, okay lang, mas marami naman akong ipon ngayon haha.

And that’s just the shoes! Imagine the clothes! The skincare! Jusko. These days, naaalibadbaran ako sa maraming gamit that I still frequently declutter, whenever I can. I’m not saying I am now able to not give in to impulse buys and purchases, but I’d like to think I know better now. Add to cart lang, di muna iche-checkout. Check out lang kapag alam mong gusto mong dalhin sa buhay mo ang gamit na ito even five years down the road, otherwise, bakit pa? Bilhin lang kapag kailangan. Kapag one month na pero naiisip mo pa rin, e di bilhin mo na.

It also helped that I live in a small space at nagkaron na ko ng sense na ayoko na ng maraming kalat. I find joy in seeing my place na hindi visually cluttered. Problema ko naman, furniture and plates and other tita tingz are more expensive. Haha! But at least they’re functional naman. Lol. The shit I tell myself, no? Basta ang ending, mas maayos na ko ngayon. Promise, peksman, mamatay man!

Not making my money work for me

When I started saving up, ang saya ko every time nahi-hit ko yung goal ko for the year or month na savings. Kaso mo, nawawalan pa rin ako ng pera because of inflation. Yung value ng pera ko, hindi na ganun kalaki ang value next year. Tapos ang interest rate, meh lang. Mas mahal pa ang pamasahe sa jeep. Talong-talo.

What I Learned:

Thank God for friends talaga na maalam sa pera ‘no? A few years ago, a friend invited us to join a coop handled by his mom. Every month, maghuhulog kami ng certain amount, kung ano yung kaya mo lang, bahala ka, tapos ipapautang yun, then at the end of the year, susuweldo kaming lahat, with interest! na mas malaki pa sa bangko! I treat it as my extra 13th month pay, pandagdag sa napakagastos na buwan. So everybody happy!

Kung wala ka namang ganyang option, pwede ka ring mag-upgrade ng Pag-IBIG mo! May MP2 fund na pwede mong paglagyan ng ipon monthly. Voluntary ito at pwedeng kumita ang pera mo up to 8%! Downside lang dito is hindi mo siya pwede galawin for five years, kaya nga sinasabi kong magsimula ka muna sa emergency fund since yun ay madaling withdraw-hin kung kinakailangan.

Some friends naman are into side businesses, I tried that, but hindi talaga para sa akin. Kaya ang ginawa ko ay…

…investing! NOTE!!! Hindi ito malakihang investment tulad ng usual angel investment na alam mo. Kung ano lang din yung maluwag sa bulsa mo na kaya mong mawala o malugi, yun lang din ang invest mo. Another friend got me into this, nag-start lang talaga kami sa kumustahan. From k drama to Park Bo Gum and our fave oppas, update on their kids, I started asking about investments and stocks since sabi ko nasa journal ko matuto and lo and behold! Isa sa ‘min may alam na okay and we all said we want to try it too! So ayun. I invested and we’re just waiting on the returns by next week! If it goes well, I’d probably just re-invest para yes, sabi nga ni Salve Duplito, mag-compound ang interest. O pak, may full circle!

I still want to know more, especially when it comes to real estate because that’s a lifetime commitment, although so far wala pa naman akong balak bumili, because you’ll never know, if another Duterte takes the Malacanang seat, baka mag-alsa balutan na talaga ako. I’ll probably decide by 2022. Mag-iipon na lang muna ako. Mukhang masaya naman nanay ko sa pagtira malapit sa beach, mukhang sasaya rin ako dun kung sakali, uso na naman ang WFH, so beke nemen. Kinikilig pa nga ako sa idea ng pagtira ng ilang kembot lang sa beach, so let’s see. But until then, I will keep on trying to learn more about handling my finances better, para mas masarap na ang tulog ko sa gabi.

On that note, kung may ambag kang learning or pro-tip in saving, share it! Because sharing is caring! Sabay-sabay tayong umachib ng financial freedom! Bye!

P.S. Bawal ako utangan, wala akong ipapautang. Thank you. Bow.

Apartment Haul + Unboxing + Review

Apartment Haul + Unboxing + Review

I’ve gone crazy on online shopping. What have I done???

The past months have been a blur of work, k drama, and obsessing over Korean home aesthetic YouTube videos. I have consumed 70% of Korean-subtitled silent vlogs that are so calming I didn’t have to meditate for months. Lol.

current room situation

As I have just recently moved in to a new home after moving to a new job, I have done nothing but search Pinterest and YouTube on how I’d want to decorate my apartment. It’s pretty small (around 18.61 sqm, yea, my neighbor and I were both bored one night we measured our apartments, his is bigger, I demand a refund chos), so there were 3 rules I set when I started looking for stuff:

  1. It should be well within my budget.
  2. It should be something I’d want to bring wherever it is I move into next.
  3. It should be functional, practical, and fits my ~aEsthEtiC~.

There were other things that I’ve bought of course, like my bed frame, dining/kitchen prep/storage table the past months, but here are the stuff that arrived last week. I (un)knowingly checked out a loooot of stuff than I normally would after realizing I saved more than I allotted for the holiday budget so it was like Christmas morning last Friday and Saturday, only I know all the gifts I’m going to get and I paid for all of them lol.

Before we start, fair warning, walang sisihan kapag may nabudol. Lol.

Oh yeah. I got so excited over this that I filmed an unboxing video and assembling the lamp and drawer. Hihi. Enjoy the ripping of parcels ASMR. Lel.

First budol on the list is this label maker.

Look at these uniformed babies

It’s similar to the one my mother had when we were kids that she use to label our notebooks, put “captions” on photo albums, and general label-making. I was pretty nostalgic about this item. Hers was neon pink and green that is so on brand with her loud personality, while I got a beige and black one. I got it so I can finally put a label on my relationships amber bottles and drawers so people will stop asking me, “alin dito yung dishwashing liquid?” and also I can finally transfer my shampoo and conditioner in similar bottles. I just started to hate brand labels in general. Heh.

I also consider this label maker as the only real gift that I bought because my friend, Ven, sent some money on my ShopeePay account like a good ol’ sugar momma! Shawarawt Venice! Maraming salamat, labyu!

It’s easy to use once you Google the how-to video. I was a little stupid to throw away the instructions sobrang excited ko magbukas ng items haha! It makes me feel like I’m crafty, kahit hindi, and felt like I put an effort in labeling stuvvz. Nifty! Fairly priced at P229 (?) basta less than 300.

Second budol is this room and linen spray that has been sitting on my cart for weeks now. So apart from pretty stuff, I’ve also been into making my home smell niiiice! Last year, I bought a set of scented candles with a room linen spray and I’ve been in love with them ever since! So I was looking for other scents and came across this Olive scent, so tinry ko na siya.

It comes in this spray bottle at 100ml. Got it for P160.

Okay naman yung smell, just “not quite my tempo,” FRESH BAMBOO PA RIN MGA ULUL!!!

I also got this door stopper (?) I honestly don’t know if it’s really called a door stopper. But I will call it that because it stops roaches and other insects from coming inside my unit. One of the things I didn’t take into account when I signed the lease contract was the fact that while I do have a laundry area, that area has an open sewerage hanashi where insects can crawl in and minsan may amoy rin at different times of the day. So really, getting this stopper is two-for-one for me because not only am I blocking roaches from coming in, I am also blocking that awful smell. #apartmentlearnings No one from my friends or family who has visited mentioned it, so I guess maybe ayaw lang nila i-mention or ang arte ko lang talaga.

sorry for the shedding, hindi pa ko nagwawalis hahaha

The only non-home essential I got is this blush/old rose puffed sleeves dress that is sooooo pretty and such a steal at P349! Sobrang ganda ng tela and well-made, if only I was a bit taller and weigh more, no need to repair this, but such is life, I’m going to have to hem this before I get to wear this baby out!

One of the best buys from this bunch is my Google Nest Mini 2 in Chalk. Akala ko talaga once I “finished” furnishing this studio, my wallet would be able to breathe. But NOOOO. I got reeled into making my home smart after I always get tamad to stand up just to turn off the lights. Di lang dapat maganda, dapat matalino rin hellooo!

Alam mo yung nakahiga ka na? Tapos kailangan mo pa nga palang tumayo para patayin ilaw? E kaso walang switch near you? Daworst. Awow first world problems. So yun.

I am never clicking on Spotify again charot minsan nagloloko net so bumibitaw. PLDT, yo, WTF!!!
Look at her blending so well with the gallery wall

I never really thought I’d be getting into the smart home eme, I really thought hanash lang siya huhu but now that I got my Nest mini for a week pa lang ha!

Side story, when my father came in last week to drop off my nieces, I told Google Assistant to play a song tas yung mukha nilang tatlo was “Yo, WTF???” HAHAHA! Priceless!

Grabe, ang dali niya utusan, hindi tulad ng mga pamangkin mong puro “wait, tita” ang alam isagot sa ‘yo haha joke lang mababait yan naglilinis ng bahay basta pakakainin mo lang lol. Mas mura pa rin Nest Mini at P1,899.

This brings me to the Nest Mini’s partner, the Smart Life Smart Bulb – the very reason why I wanted a smart home. So easy to connect to Google Assistant! May dimmer! May warm light! May RGB colors! 9 watts lang! If you don’t have Alexa or Google Assistant, pwede ng i-kontrol via app. Budget-friendly at P333 compared to Phillips Hue series na ang mahaaal. Sobrang layo sa tri-color light bulb ko, OMG!

Both the Nest and Smart Bulb are fairly easy to set up comnsidering I’m a tech noob. I also got a smart plug that I’m going to use for my electric fan, pero hindi ko pa nase-setup so no review on that item yet. It’s the same brand as the bulb’s.

I got this Nordic desk lamp after seeing it first in one of the Korean vloggers I’ve been watching. I was in love! I tried forgetting it, telling myself that I don’t need a desk lamp since I already have one. But then Pao, my niece, needed one for home school, so I gave it to her.

After searching on Shopee and Lazada, looking for unique pieces, wala talaga kong makitang gusto ko. I keep coming back to this particular design, so I gave in. And thank God I did, because this went way beyond my expectations! The gold stand, the frosted glass kineme, I don’t know how to properly describe furniture hahahaa, they fit so perfectly grabe, even the angled shape, gaaah! Plus! Ganda ng bagsak ng ilaw! Soft lights!!! Worth it sa P2,044.

Another thing I hated about this unit is the fact that it has almost no storage space available, save for the cupboards sa kitchen. Other than that, waley. Bare as in bare talaga. So I kind of have to buy a lot of storage containers/cabinets/drawers because ayoko talaga ng cluttered space. I like clean, white space, I get irritated by visual clutter so to make things better, I got another drawer! You may have seen this white metal desk drawer a lot of times. Normally, I don’t like stuff that a lot of people already have, but this one is just so simple na pwede mong ilagay kahit saan, at babagay siya dun. So I got it for all my little abubots that I can’t seem to get rid of kahit na ilang beses na ko nag-declutter I’m—

it doubles as a bedside desk, too!

Anyway, it was a little challenging to assemble it it took at least 1 1/2 hours, just watch the video, kapoy gyud, nagkamali ako ng isang beses, but buti na lang, oks yung material. Seems sturdy. I don’t know if this is legit Ikea or an Ikea dupe, but whatever, I’m sold by it. Got it on sale at P2,299 with a free Fixa Tool Kit from Ikea worth P999!!! Guys!!! First time ko naka-receive ng free gift na gusto ko! Usually mga sample skincare eme lang pamigay, but this one, this is a LEGIT FREEBIE! I’ve been meaning to buy a hammer because feeling ko need ko ng mga pang-handyman stuff for minor repairs and I’m just so happy that I got it for free! Other free gift to choose from include chairs, bed sheets, glass containers, I mean DIBAAAAAAA! So glad I clicked that ‘free gift’ button haha!

Saving the best for last, the last item is this much awaited (almost 2 months ko hinihintay dumating from China pota) Plia-Inspired Transparent Chair that is so popular in Korean house tour vlogs. Shet. The amount of time I spent looking for this chair, grabe ha!

So finally, parang alam na nung daliri ko ise-search sa Shopee and one day, OMG! Nagkaroon sa Shopee! However, since it was a new item posted, walang reviews. So I was having second thoughts. Bilhin ko na ba? Bilhin ko na? My friend Chinny knows just how much I obsess over home pieces these days, and isa talaga to sa naloka ako kakahanap. So one day, may nag-review rin! Sa wakas! I immediately ordered one after asking for discount from the seller (nagtaas from 2,552 naging 3.5k so sabi ko there is no discount anymore? So ayon, binigyan ako ng discount haha!) and I got it for P2,919.

Story time!!! I looked for it everywhere! – on Instagram, FB Marketplace, Carousell, Shopee! But they were so expensive! I couldn’t bring myself to pay 6k for this when I saw it on Alibaba and Ali Express and they’re being sold for 2k lang and muntik na ko umorder dun if only the shipping wouldn’t cost like 10k hahaha! Like ano ko? Hilo? It’s not as if tulad siya nung rattan cantilever chair na ang price range talaga is between 7.5k to 8.5k no.

My two favorite chairs in one photo! Yes, I’ve become that person who obsess over chairs now.

It arrived last Friday but since the admin of the building is only until 4pm, di ko na inabutan. I was only able to receive it on Saturday and I literally said, “OH MY GOD!” upon unboxing because sobrang ganda! My only problem was may parang mark (can be removed naman I think di ko pa lang alam ano pwedeng ipambura, baka Kurin water haha). But other than that and the long wait, IT IS SOOOO PRETTY.

Overall, I am soooo happy with these purchases! 10/10 would do it again hahaha!

Fuller

Fuller

I’ve been thinking long and hard on what to put on my year-end essay considering what a shit show the year that was, I mean, if you’re reading this, you’ve lived through it, you know how it was. Kailangan ba talaga ng rehash?

But being the overthinker that I am, my thoughts would always go to “well what if I write something insensitive or tone deaf?” to “well do I really need to overshare kung marami namang mas grabe pa pinagdaanan sa akin?” that it is now January 3 and I haven’t written anything yet. I’d also like to blame it to that quick and much-needed vacation I went to to take a break from this Black Mirror episode we all couldn’t seem to get away from, but who am I kidding, apart from the overthinking, it was just too much Netflix bingeing, scrolling past home stuff and then buying them, bingeing on YouTube room makeovers, and daydreaming that I couldn’t find the time to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the previous year.

But now that I have, if there’s one word to describe my 2020, that would probably be “FULLER.”

in body…

Back at the sea after 9 months!

Maybe it was the quarantine, the stress, or maybe it was just my age finally slowing down my metabolism that I noticed that I am finally gaining weight. Or I don’t know, maybe it’s just my excessive use of air fryer. Lol.

Now, I have not yet confirmed this with a weighing scale, I don’t own one, but I’ve noticed quite a few times that some of my clothes, particularly some bottoms I own don’t fit me or now fit me better. Last October, I went to H&M to buy Andres’ birthday gift and I tried on a pair of pants. I usually get the smallest size (32) but that time, it doesn’t fit well I had to go a size up. I thought it was just a fluke, but it happened again this December. And then, I also got a size 34 swimsuit and it fits me like a glove.

And just look at this New Year’s eve photo! Look at that arm!

The swimsuit I mentioned is pictured above. Look, I now have curves! Now, if only I can finally start doing home workout exercises to tone this body, especially my tummy area, and start to get and look healthier.

…mind

Photo from another lifetime circa February 2020

In more ways than one, I’d like to believe that I have grown over the past year. I’m still re-reading last year’s journal and as always, at 31, there were still some cringe moments over past decisions I’ve made. Ang tanga-tanga. But a month after I turned 32, I think I became wiser, stronger, and dare I say, braver.

Anyway, as I re-read the previous year’s bujo, I am laughing at my “Paano Mag-Breakdown Kapag Adult Ka Na” entry – long story short – Being an adult means scheduling your emotional breakdowns because of work deadlines. Gusto mo magbayad ng rent and online shop? Cry only on your own personal time.

I’m also happy to report that my social media is a lot healthier now. Maybe this was the result after I started giving less fucks, unfriended people, repeatedly chose myself, remained self-aware, and became even kinder to myself. My empathy alone is far different from the apathetic version of me just a few years ago. Although I need to go back to telling myself three nice things everyday.

…and spirit.

Christmas 2020 where I was happy and content being surrounded by those who matter most in my life.

It was slow, but steady. Just the pace that I want. In a lot of ways, there was clarity, peace, and contentment I haven’t felt in years – my personal wins. I’d like to credit these to my moving out and living alone alone again after three years. I needed the solitude to process the things that were happening to me and to the world around me.

I acknowledge that 2020 has fucked up all of us mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, some more than others (but please allow me and forgive me for saying the next few things), but despite the 2 mej COVID-exposures to positive cases (survived both), quitting a job, and feeling anxious that I constantly have to remind myself to breathe, the past year has taught me a lot. Like giving more to those in need, checking up on friends does not cost anything at all, doing a good job will always be a good investment (the number of side projects I got the past year just cause I work well allowed me to survive financially), learning a new skill at this age is not impossible, and continuing to be a force to be reckoned with, because you really never know who you touch and influence.

Oh yeah, I finally understood why my MAPEH teacher always say, “health is wealth” kala ko talaga rhyming shit lang siya, gandang poster-making slogan lol, and yes, if you haven’t started already, build an emergency fund. It saved my ass when I didn’t have a job.

2021 does not guarantee a life free from COVID, but let me hang on to that tiny sliver of hope that things will get better soon – mga May 2022 siguro.

Anyway, I hope it’s not too late to say, “Happy New Year!” and I really do hope that you celebrated it (safely) with the people who mattered in this life.

One Fine Day at the Beach

One Fine Day at the Beach

We started the year right by celebrating the new year by the beach!

As water babies, we were all so upset that a lot of our beach trips have been cancelled due to the pandemic. I was supposed to be on a solo trip to Camiguin on my birthday, but like most of my plans the previous year, that didn’t push through. Sucks. I know, I know, that reeks of privilege.

So when we had the chance to visit a nearby beach in the metro, of course, we grabbed it! Don’t worry, we wore masks around people, practiced social distancing, wash our hands as much as we can, and kept to ourselves during the trip. We were responsible travelers.

Anyway, here are some shots from the beach that I was too lazy to edit!

It wasn’t a beach-beach, but a sandbar in Calatagan.
BB had fun walking on sand. We had to drag him because he stops at every tiny hole made by crabs.
What is this hole? Can I put my foot in it?
It fits!
Bilisan mo, naiwanan na tayo!
Hey there, starfishy!
But Tita Shey, there’s a starfishyyyy
A quick family picture with Tita Shey – the ultimate third wheeler (in this case, fourth wheel)
I caught a live one, daddy!
Pusit for lunch!
“Inaamin ko noon na minahal nga kita, pero ngayon, wh-wha-what? BINABAWI KO NA. Ischupid!”

Hello from my legs that are not beach-ready at all!

Missed frolicking in the beach!
This post is brought to you by…
“Kuyaaah, aawra ako, please move the boat.”

He didn’t move the boat.

If you’re still up for it, here’s a video I made from that day. Don’t expect too much, I just stitched up videos I took from my phone, hehe. And then recorded that same music I played on the uke on my phone. Gaaah! May voice over recording option na sa iMovie! But still want to learn Premiere though

Overall, I missed just sitting on the beach… listening to crashing waves, salt in the air and my hair, and feeling the sand in my toes again. I wished there was less wind and the sun shone brightly that day, my lamigin ass can’t handle the water so I was only able to go up to waist-length of water. Di ko kaya ang ginaw. 😦

Excited for more beach trips, fingers crossed things go back to normal soooon!

How was your New Year’s celebration?

6 Lessons To Learn from Start Up (May or may not be applicable in business and/or in life)

6 Lessons To Learn from Start Up (May or may not be applicable in business and/or in life)

*SPOILERS AHEAD* Proceed with caution.

Hi! Please allow me to talk  write about this drama because this is kind of my way to get over something. Kailangan ko lang i-word vomit. Ang lahat ng ito ay opinion ko lamang. Hindi ako business or life expert lol. Bear with me.

Sooo, I just finished binge watching the latest K drama everyone’s been watching, Start Up. I’ve been meaning to watch it since it started but I’ve already learned my lesson from watching Hospital Playlist and Record of Youth as it airs na hindi ako dapat sumasabay sa airing because I am soooo impatient when it comes to watching dramas. I like watching them in one go, I hate waiting. And boy, like Dal Mi, I was so glad with my decision because I finished watching it on a weekend, (even after going out the entire day on Saturday and cleaning the apartment on a Sunday morning) and let me just say, IT WAS SO WORTH IT!

I enjoyed it so much because I love rooting for characters who do everything in their power to reach their dreams. I think I enjoyed it even more because I also enjoyed Shark Tank (a US-based show where startups pitch their businesses to actual investors and then they decide if they want to invest in the company). And also because I have a little idea of how start-ups work after being part of start-ups and one of those required me to interview start-up CEOs as well, so sobrang satisfying niya to watch. Even the jargons they use natatawa ako because that’s how it is, it also made me so nostalgic listening to them talk about MVPs and risks and burn rate. Huhu. Can’t believe I’d miss my old job, konti lang. Haha!

And since I enjoyed it so much, I was taking down notes whenever there are lessons that popped up in episodes, and let me share some of them here.

Start with “why”

As in most things in life, purpose is very important. In fact, it is so important that it should be the core of your being. In one scene, CEO Yoon said, “As long as you know your why, the rest will follow.” This is with regards to In Jae not knowing her personal why, aside from proving herself that she’s capable of succeeding without her stepfather’s money and connections. Later on, during Demo Day, when Do San’s father stormed the presentation and hijacked the Q&A, In Jae finally found her purpose: to change the world for the better. CEO Yoon smiled and said, “She finally found her purpose.”

TBH, this does not only apply in businesses, but in life, ‘no? I mean, I’m sure we’re not put in this world just to walk aimlessly all our lives (pwede naman mga 30 minutes lang daw sabi ni Dal Mi though haha), but there should always be a reason behind everything, right? And I think that even if you sail off without a map, if you follow your north star, you are never really lost.

Having passion is good, pero sometimes passion equates to bursts of inspiration lang e so hindi siya sustainable. When things get hard, your purpose will keep you going, not your passion, based on experience lang haha, you go back to why you even started and it will restore your passion at a whole new level. Even Simon Sinek says this, di ba? You have to find your why. And the best thing about it is that this is something that not only a few privileged ones can have, it’s biologically embedded in every single one of us.

So… why do you do what you do?

Find a problem that you want to solve (and fall in love with it)

If you noticed, this is something that is always recurring in the show. For businesses to thrive, you need to find a solution to an existing problem. I first noticed it during the first exercise in Sand Box. They were trying to find CEOs based on trends (I took it as CEOs should have the ability to be in touch with what’s happening around them and how they can address problems), then it popped up again when they were tasked to choose a topic and SamSan Tech devised a solution to find forgers for the Hackathon. And then again when they were trying to find where to use the image recognition technology the boys already have. It was clearly shown when Do San developed the app NoonGil because of halmeoni’s condition. And later on, when Dal Mi pushed for self-driving cars because of halmeoni and her deceased father as well. May pattern di ba? Anchored on pains ng customers yung solutions palagi. Don’t even get me started with feedback loops haha!

All of these sounds oh so familiar, I remember covering sessions in my previous job about identifying problems and trying to find the right solutions for them. In one of the sessions, one startup CEO said he finally realized why their startup failed because they were all focused on earning money, but they didn’t really know what problem they were trying to solve. 

Our CEO then said you should be in love with the problem, not the solution. Because if it’s the other way around, what if the solution doesn’t fit with the problem, pero ipinilit mo? So dapat, loyal tayo sa problem, mga besh. 

We’ve seen this time and time again with Dal Mi. Her pains are always related to her halmeoni who raised her after her father died. Once she learns that she’s losing her sight, everything she does is all about how she can make her halmeoni’s life comfortable. From NoonGil’s first update, to adding the meds, and then the self-driving car, lahat yun para mas maging maayos ang buhay lola niya and katulad ng mga lola niya.

Right Timing 

In Shark Tank, you would hear the investors say, “you are too early, this is not yet investable for me. And for those reasons, I’m out.” This is where I’ve learned na oo nga, may right timing sa lahat, hindi lang sa pag-ibig, even in investing in startups. You need to be not too early because there are still a lot of risks, kaya ang nakukuha usually na investors are family and friends sa seed stage. Kasi they know you, trust you, may emotional attachment, so kahit may bigger risks, madalas, G pa rin sila. Pero when it comes to investors, they are experts on this, so alam nila kung kelan sila papasok to invest in a business.

Likewise, sa mga startup naman, they should also know when to start selling shares, Minsan they might be too early to sell their shares and lose more in the process, mababa pa yung valuation tas lugi sila kasi pag nag-boom na yung business, ang laki na ng nawalang shares sa kanila. This was shown when Dal Mi told her sister about her plan to scale up CheongMyeong and she initially said no because of their current valuation, but later on asked CEO Yoon for her advice on possible inventors to partner with. 

Don’t let other people’s opinion define you

In the series, Ji Pyeong is a character with a sharp tongue. He says what he thinks without even batting an eye, no sugarcoating, #nofilter. Masakit kung sa masakit. If mahina ka, hindi ka tatagal dito. Starting a start-up is not for the faint of heart. Mauubos at mauubos ka. Worst, you might even end up like Yong San’s brother. But if you’re strong enough to stomach all the constructive criticisms and use them to your advantage and power through it, you might end up a ‘unicorn’ or a start-up with a billion-dollar valuation. 

Find partners that align with your goals 

This applies both in finding partners and investors. Sobrang meant to be ng partnership ni Dal Mi and Do San for me, recipe for success talaga. The former is a visionary, a true innovator, while the latter is an executioner. With that kind of partnership, Do San’s dream of becoming a unicorn is not too far-fetched. 

Likewise, you’ll also need investors who share your goals. There were quite a few times where SamSan Tech, later on CheongMyeong, asked help from their mentors to help them find the right investors. Yung same kayo ng values, etc. para parehas din yung pupuntahan nila.

Know your strengths + have a clear plan.

Do San is very, very smart. No doubt about that. However, he is not cut out to be a CEO. For years, walang nangyari sa team niya. They have an amazing tech that even got worldwide recognition, pero wala silang plano. So even if investors were lining up outside their office after winning first place in the prestigious CODA, wala pa ring nangyari sa kanila. They were even stupid enough to fall for another team of developers copying their tech, thank God for Ji Pyeong for preventing that from happening! 

So when Ji Pyeong told Do San that he should recruit a CEO if they were lucky enough to enter Sand Box, it was good that he followed his advice. Since he’s clearly more invested with perfecting their tech, has little to no people skills and charm at all, and has absolutely no clear plan on where to take his company, it’s obvious why walang nangyayari sa kanila, and so he needs another person that can be the CEO so he can focus on his main strength: coding. 

Enter, Dal Mi. She’s good with words, keeping up with trends, and looking for the right problems to solve. She finds ways to monetize the boys’ tech and make it work in different industries. Truth is, even if you have the tech, the inventors don’t give a flying fuck about it kung hindi mo naman alam saan mo gagamitin o paano mo gagamitin para kumita ng pera in the next five years or so. Paano mo gagawing relevant yan sa buhay ko?

Basta ako, ang nakikita ko pa rin dyan sa image recognition na yan is to license it to other industries that need it. They can keep improving it and just wait for royalties diba, but what do I know? I’m just a mere employee who has 4 seasons of Shark Tank as my business background hahahaha!

And of course, follow your dream! I specifically love that scene with Park Chan Ho where he gets a new ball for young Do San. Tapos pinalitan niya yung “follow THE dream” to “follow YOUR dream” after Do San’s parents kind of decide which path Do San should take in the future. It resonates so much since a lot of parents tell their kids to follow the path that they think will make their kids happy, but really, they’re becoming shackles that make their kid’s dreams even harder to reach. 

Bonus: Do not shit where you eat. Sa ‘kin lang naman, pero ang kumplikado na magpatakbo ng negosyo, kung jojowain mo pa yung kasama mo, mas gugulo ‘pag biglang nagsinungaling ka pala sa identity mo tapos yung mentor ninyo yung totoong penpal mo haha! Tropahin mo na lang. Sa drama lang nagwo-work yung nagiging okay kayo ulit. Lol.

Heniway, ayun lang. Na-exorcise ko naman na siguro ‘tong show na ‘to sa sistema ko ‘no? Even if wala kang planong mag-start ng business in the near future, this show is a must watch! Sobrang saya mag-root for other people kahit hindi mo sila kilala. It also gives you some sort of perspective to “start up” something. Doesn’t mean it has to be a business, but should be something that you really love. Tignan mo, napasulat ulit ako. Haha!

To end, not that anyone needs to know, but I’m #TeamDoSan all the way! I love Ji Pyeong, but Do San “pa rin mga ulul” charot haha but that’s for another listicle so byyyyye!