I used to work in a Manufacturing Company for more than 16 years. And I didn’t imagine that I will be soon leaving my job. Though, I have friendly work mates, approachable superiors and a good working environment. As a mother of two kids, my children are still my top priority.
Before I plan to leave my job, I ask myself how can I help my husband in providing our daily needs when I permanently stayed at home taking care of our children. It’s not easy to decide when you’re about to think your financial stability. But since then, I started to search online if there’s an online job that I can do while at home taking care of my kids. I have joined different online business which I thought before as a home base job. Unluckily, I was scammed, not just once but more. I also tried online selling, but I think I’m not good at it.
Until, one day a friend introduce me to search an FB group, the Filipina Homebase moms (FH Moms), a group who are dedicated to helping all Filipina moms out there who are aspiring to work from home to be able to land an online job or start a digital business through our virtual community, events and regular training sessions.
I started to watch their training videos and webinars and learned a lot of things in working online. As a beginner, there’s always a fear and what if’s. But my goal of having a job didn’t stop me. I prepare all the things I needed to start working online.
But getting an online job is not that easy. As a beginner with no skills, you need to get into the needle hole. Until I decided to enroll in one of FH Moms online courses to gain more skills. I took E-Commerce Virtual Assistant Online Course last October 2019. After graduation, I applied in onlinejobs\ph. And luckily I was hired as an Amazon FBA Product Researcher. Thanks to FH Moms, Mommy MK and to all mommy trainers for their dedication in imparting their knowledge to all aspiring moms like me to work from home.
On 16 March 2020, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared the entire Luzon under “enhanced community quarantine,” which is effectively a total lockdown, restricting the movement of the population with exceptions, in response to the growing pandemic of COVID-19 in the country. Additional lockdown restrictions mandated the temporary closure of non-essential shops and businesses. This quarantine came two days after the implementation of the community quarantine of Metro Manila.
This stunned everyone but for others a relief since to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission is to stay home, have a strong immune system and a healthy body.
Some are against it especially those who are earning daily and employees under the no work no pay status. But again, our health is our top priority. Let us give our Local Government Unit a chance to find a way to help those in need. Let us stop pointing fingers.
To those who are fortunate enough to be part of a company that is mindful of your well-being and the safety of your family, send your prayers as one way of thanking them.
We do the supermarket run for my senior parent since they are both high risk, we do not allow them to go out of the house. I only talk to them by our gate. I also run errands for my sister since she lives alone with her 4-year-old daughter.
I’ve been working for almost 4 years and I always feel tired because of all the workloads and constant deadlines. I do not have time to play with my kids since the first thing I do when I get home is to rest.
But in this trying times, I realized that we are given this chance to rest and to be with our family. I was given this precious moment to watch my kids play, teach them new things and talk more often to my siblings abroad.
This is a reset, to rediscover ourselves and reconnect to God, let us not waste it by complaining and disobeying the law. Let us listen silently to God’s message in all this chaos. Let us all be thankful for every day that we are waking up healthy. Let us pray for those still battling for their lives and pray for our front liners, they need it more than ever.
Together we can help fight this battle of the unknown, we may not be part of the battlefield but staying at home is a big help to stop the spread of CORONA VIRUS. This too shall pass.
This opportunity to travel and explore Europe is one of my answered prayers. Exploring other countries especially Holland was one of my faith goal and God is so faithful for allowing me to explore this place for free. Join me as I share with you my dream land : The Netherlands!
A few years ago, I was allowed to meet a warm, friendly lady who owns Sunshine Au Pair in the Netherlands, I’ve got interested in this program since this will allow you to travel Europe for free (will write another blog on how I joined this program). Last June 2018, I was invited to come to the Netherlands as an Au pair and was excited and nervous at the same time, it is my first out of the country adventure, and I am traveling alone.
The Hague ” Den Haag“
My Beautiful Host family is living in a small city located in “The Hague”. It’s the 3rd biggest city in Holland and it is where Peace Palace and Binnenhof are located. Hague also has a lot of beautiful parks and gardens where you can go for free. One of my favorite and go-to is the Haagse Bos.
The first few days I was adjusting on their time and weather (jetlag is real) I came during summertime and daylight is much longer than night, its 10 in the evening but the sun is still out! That gave us a lot of time to explore the city.
I also meet a lot of Aupairs from other countries who are also part of the program, but most of them are Filipinas. Some came directly from the Philippines (like me) somewhere previously an Aupair from Norway and Denmark. Other girls were from Finland, China, Indonesia, Argentina and many more. The Netherlands is a friendly country, peaceful and you can feel that you are safe. Dutch people are friendly and nice which is maybe that is the reason why there are a lot of Expats who want to settle there.
I was so blessed to experience the four seasons in the Netherlands. Post-Spring-Summer, Fall-Winter. I was amazed at how dutch can eat and read books under the sun while Filipinos used an umbrella on a sunny day. One way of understanding cultural differences, They do not experience sunny weather for so long and that is why they make the most out of it. On some days the wind is cold but sunny and it’s a perfect day to walk and roam around.
Shopping Stores and Foods
Shopping stores are everywhere (I always convert to peso, so it’s pricey). There are also a lot of Asian restaurants to dine with. My favorite is Full Moon Express wherein they serve pork belly and roasted duck with rice and greens + Cola. Dutch are known to eat a simple meal such as bread and coffee for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, bread, and soup for dinner. Bread in all meals while for us Filipinos “rice is life”. I am not a fan of bread but in Holland, I started loving their bread because its affordable, my all-time favorite is their croissants and Stroop waffles that is perfect with coffee!
The Netherlands is rich in its culture and history and is known for its famous painters and museums. They have a Museum card that serves as a personal card that allows free entrance to about 400 museums in the Netherlands.
I can say that Holland has a very organized transportation, it is accurately linked with Google Maps. It indicates the time the train leaves and arrive. They use an all in one card which you can use for all transportation.
TRAVEL – GIETHOORN
This is one of my highlights during my travel to Holland. Giethoorn also is known as “The Venice of the North”.Beautiful nature, old houses, ride boats in channels or walk after numerous wooden bridges.
Living a Dream
Living in The Netherlands is like a dream, beautiful brick houses, nice places, cool breeze. Meet a lot of ex-pats and local and was able to experience the western culture, travel and most of all developing friendships all around the world and opening doors for opportunities. It is a great way to develop oneself as well on how to be independent and find purpose in your life. It’s a great way to know yourself more because living abroad is not an easy one. So make sure if opportunity strikes, grab it and make sure to make the most out of it.
“There is no greater warrior than a mother protecting her child”
Moms are very keen on protecting the family especially their children. Unfortunately, most moms are not financially equipped. They exhaust the budget in food, education and utility bills. Other important matters like the family’s health and safety are on the end list in most Filipino families. One of the health and safety issues of the family is acquiring dengue from mosquito bites. To prevent dengue and other mosquito acquired sickness, window and door screen installation in the house is needed.
Since it is expensive to buy aluminum and screen materials plus the installation cost, I opted to make a budget-friendly window and door screens. These screens offer the same protection for my kids and also have a better benefit because it is easy to clean and washable. You can also personalize your screens and make them fashionable and colorful.
To make the screens, you only need basic sewing tools. Check the materials below.
Needle / Sewing Machine
Small Hammer and Shoe tax (for wood frames) or Rugby (for concrete)
Steps in Making Door and Window Screens
Measure the frames of windows or doors. For doors, make sure that the length does not touch the ground but is not too short to leave a space for mosquitoes’ entry.
Cut the Velcro according to the height and width of the window or door frames.
Detach the two Velcro, the hook and the loop. See Figure 1. The rough and edgy is the hook while the smooth side is the loop.
Attach the hook on the window frames and door frames using nails and hammer for wood frames ((Figure 2 and Figure 3) and rugby for concrete.
Join the two velcros by reattaching the loop on the hook and pin the tulle only on the loop side. Make sure that the pins are secured.
Detach the loop. You now have the actual size and fit of your door or window. Provide three inches allowance in every corner of the frame and cut.
Sew the loop and tulle and attach your finished screen to your door or window
The basic raw materials are listed below. Price may vary depending on the city you are in. Other materials listed above are excluded since most households already have it.
1 rim of velcro = Php 150.00
Tulle per meter = Php 35.00
Making your own mosquito screen is fun and fulfilling. It is like hanging your personalized curtains that provide better airflow and protection from mosquitos. Cleaning your screens is also easy. Simply rinse the dirt off then soak with detergent for an hour and rinse again.
Below pictures are my work in progress and finished window and door screens. You can also add magnetic sheets to keep the screens closed.
True freedom happens when we let go of the bitterness in our hearts…
I’ve been thinking about how to start writing a good blog. I have a lot of thoughts running to my mind and it’s draining me. Usually composing good writing has a beginning, a middle and an end. (okay) this blog is about CHANGE and how one person can make a big IMPACT to your LIFE.
Life is a series of adventures. Every now and then, we long for changes and start life with a new package of hopes and dreams.
A few years ago, I met this person by accident. We crossed our roads in Hong Kong. I was in a tavern waiting for my comrade. Then she passed by to the bar where I was in. I noticed that she was looking for somebody. She noticed me and asked if I saw her friend. I replied I didn’t notice. From there, we started conversing and she offered me a drink. We had a good conversation. She was pleasant, friendly, and humorous so I got attached to her. She invited me that night to roam around to experience the nightlife in Hong Kong. I enjoyed it a lot and listened to her story. We didn’t notice that it was getting late and I forgot that I have a friend to wait. So we ended there and exchanged our Viber. That’s how our friendship started. Until our friendship deepened.
How did she make an impact? When I shared my life story with her about my grudge, She listens to my story. When I finish my story to her, she commenting on being who am I . She honestly told me and no sugar coating that I’m full of PRIDE. I don’t admit the existence of truth when I’m wrong. From then I found out that I don’t acknowledge to be corrected. When I realized that I was full of BURDEN and PRIDE that I kept for a long time.
I met you as a stranger, Took you as a friend. I hope our friendship Will never End…
From there I CHANGED. I confessed and surrendered all my BURDEN. I put away and let go of all of the hurt, hatred, and bitterness. I have learned to focus on the brighter side and be thankful for all the blessings that are coming my way.
And to this person, I meet 3 years ago, Thank you so much. I will forever be grateful to all of the learnings you imparted me I will always treasure and keep this special bond we have.
“Grandmothers are voices of the past, role models of the present and opens the doors to the future.” Helen Ketchum
With all the global tribulations that humanity is facing in modern history today, I decide to dedicate this blog to my grandma, whom I call “ Lola Vita “ , as a breath of fresh air from all the hustle and bustle. To set the record straight, this is a tribute for my grandma but she is still alive up to now. I hope that whoever reads this blog, will find in their heart the importance of family, specifically the grandmas, and what this blog is all about.
Having lived for 38 years and counting, my life revolves around the two strongest women I know that ever exists, my Lola Vita and my mom Nelia. I don’t know, but writing this blog makes me teary eyed. It invokes a web of emotions, ranging from happy to sad and scared. I am always mushy whenever I talk about these two people, whom I look up to the most. I will just make another blog for my mom Nelia.
Let me start my narrative in chronology- from my elementary to high school, post-graduate and the present.
I lived in the province of Agusan del Norte, in the municipality of Buenavista. Our place was quite laid-back. With all the green rice fields, untamed landscape of the mountainside, and the briny breeze of the abundant seas, I could say that people in our place were calm, respectful and congenial. However, my life growing up was not privileged. It was a constant wrestle of what food to put on our table on a daily basis. It was really hard life. But, without my Lola Vita, it could have been a totally different ugly face of poverty. Revisiting these memories of my childhood drew a flashback of hardships and triumphs.
During my elementary years, my Lola Vita had played an essential role, not only financially, but also an icon for my morals and values formation. She had sold anything under the sun. If she taught she can earn a peso or even a cent out of it, then my Lola had definitely found a way to market it. She had absolutely been a jack of all trades. Talking about money, she had been really good at that. She had not earn much but she was able to send her seven children to college single-handedly. My Lolo Cesar( Lola Vita’s husband) died when my mom was still in high school. Today, I kept wondering how she had managed her finances while raising seven children. I am baffled up to now. She really did a remarkable job as a parent and was indeed pedestal-worthy.
Whenever I asked for something, my Lola Vita had not given anything to me right away. I needed to toil and sweat first. I remembered one time, I asked Lola for a xylophone because joined the drum and bugle in our school. She gave it to me; however, the condition was that I needed to dry ten sacks of rice grains in the street. At that time, I pitied myself having to undergo all the ordeals before I can get something I want. I also asked myself why my classmates were able to afford all the materials things they needed without having them to work for it. Nevertheless, my Lola Vita had never failed to reward us all her grandchildren after all the hard work. She had done an exemplary job in balancing hard work and reward. She treated us by going to city in her favorite restaurant, at that time there was no Jollibee or Greenwich. Whenever she brought us to the restaurant, she had reminded us always that she would only pay for one cup of rice. So, if I wanted to eat more, I needed to bring my own rice but I had to hide it in the bag. I graduated 1st honorable mention in elementary. I could remember, during my graduation, Lola Vita was there and standing so proud of what I achieved. Those memories in my elementary had a special part in my heart.
My high school had been fun-filled. This time was different, because I developed my own circle of friends that I pretty much got along. I remembered when my parents had a big fight; I would go to my Lola Vita to asked money for school. She was not hesitant to give me because she knew back then that I was serious about my studies. During summer, as a growing up teenager, I envied some of my classmates because they had things like organizer, nice notebook, and nice lunchbox. I would go to my Lola Vita and asked for these things. She would give me chores to do, and if I could finish it, the she would give me what I needed. My Lola Vita had always been there for me and the rest of her grandchildren every step of the way. My high school had not been completed without my Lola Vita in the picture.
After I graduated college, I realized a lot of things that my Lola Vita taught me and those were not gone to waste. I valued money and I did not squander my earnings. I always prioritized needs over wants. I learned to give respect to the people around me regardless of their position in the society or what their job was. All of these, I paid gratitude to my Lola Vita.
Fast forward to present, today, year 2020, my Lola Vita is 90 years old and physically getting weaker day by day. I am having a hard time reconciling my thoughts that her days are limited. As to when she will still be with us, no one knows the answer. She now has Alzheimer’s disease and she could not recognize me anymore. It torments me so much; that looking back, the person I used to see who is agile and full of life is now lying in her bed staring back at me like I am a blank wall with all her memories erased. It seems like her memories are stolen from her, kept in a void ,and lost in the abyss of a black hole that cannot be retrieved. I don’t know how I could ever repay her for all the good things she has done for me. I wanted to tell her that I am so lucky and grateful, and I love her so much, but it has no use now because she could not even recognize me.
Whenever I go to her room, I would play classic Visayan songs, songs of Pilita Coralez, and that would lighten up her face and started singing these songs. It is a bittersweet emotion because I am happy that she still has memories of these songs ,but ,sad as well that all the memories of me, she already has forgotten. I wanted to teach her about how to use the gadgets and apps like Facebook but she would just stare at me like I am not even there in front of her. My mom is the one taking care of her full-time and I will just take turn when my mom needs to go out and do some errands.My Lola Vita now wears diaper because she no longer can feel the call of nature. It pains me so much every time I ask my Lola if she is okay and she would reply to me that her body aches. If only she could transfer all her physical pain, I would gladly do that.
Just recently, this March 2020, she got confined in the hospital because she is having hard time breathing. She is diagnosed with pneumonia and enlarged heart. As she is in her bed, with all these equipment to her mouth to help her breath with ease, like oxygen and dextrose, it is a a very depressing sight to look at. She could hardly talk and move. We , her family, are all gathered together around her to give her moral support and make her feel that we all love her and we still want her to fight and be with us. Days gone by and she is slowly gaining back her strength. She is back on her feet after being confined for four agonizing days. I thank God for giving Lola another chance to live and spend more time with us.
What makes life precarious is that there are things that we don’t really have control. We are just here passing in this world for a time and it has an ending. I will just cherish the remaining time that my Lola still has for us and up to when, well, only god knows. I just wish there will be a day wherein my Lola could be strong again and with a sharp memory, I would really tell her how much I love her and I will be forever grateful. I will not be the person I am today if not because of her. She occupies a big chunk in my life. Thank you so much Lola for everything and as long as you are still with us, I will always play the Visayan songs you like. I always wanted to see the smile on your face. It is priceless and something money can’t buy.
My Lola Vita is an indestructible bond that holds our family together. She is my angel and my hero.
The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) may be hitting us hard right now, but we must not let it defeat us. We must stay focused and positive and be thankful for the good things, big or small, that we’re experiencing in the midst of this community quarantine.
Camaraderie and Humanity
Since we are starting to run out of personal protective equipment (PPE) for our front liners, a lot of different individuals or groups on social media are making a way to donate some face masks by sewing washable face masks using the best suitable materials as a substitute to the disposable one. Others were able to make masks and protective suits made from non-woven fabric, which can repel liquid, and some are making DIY acetate face shields.
Some big companies are also donating what they can and helping out those who are in need. Other restaurants are also donating food for the medical staff by cooking what they have in their kitchens to avoid getting them spoiled and deliver them to different hospitals.
We may be stuck at home, but now is the perfect time to appreciate the power of the Internet, social media, and some of the tools and applications that we could use to communicate with our family and friends. These are also the best weapon for those who are working from home. Let us also appreciate the shelter that gives us warmth and protection despite our current situation.
Spend Less, Save More
Make use of this time to save up. We can’t go out to spend money buying unnecessary stuff, eat at our favorite restaurants, or go on vacation. But we must remember, these things are just temporary and we could all do those some other time when this is over. For now, let’s enjoy home-cooked meals and the stuff that we already have at the comfort of our home.
One of the best things that we should be thankful for in times like this is the time that we get to spend with our family at home. We get to enjoy meals together, communicate more with our spouse, playing and reading books with our children, staying late at night watching movies together, and a lot more.
Let us savor this moment and time we have with them, especially when you don’t get to do these during ordinary days due to work. Let’s also be thankful that we’re lockdown with our loved ones. Just think about those front liners who can’t be with their families and sacrifice their health just to help others and contain this virus.
Healing Mother Earth
Some people can’t help but noticed a recognizable change in our environment, the same thing with other countries like Italy and China. There is less pollution, so the skies and water are clearer than before. Our Earth is healing.
The Power of Prayer
Lastly, and most importantly, we have more time to Pray and talk to God. I know that this is something we should be doing daily and not just because the coronavirus is happening now, but it’s never too late, right? Let’s make use of this time to get to know our God, read His words and know His plans for us. Thank Him for all the blessings and provisions, pray for our doctors and all the front liners, pray for our government that He may give them wisdom at times like this. Let us also pray for all the people all over the world that are being affected by this virus. Let us pray hard and sincerely that we may win this battle soon and have our fresh start. But for now, let us all do our part, just stay at home and be safe.
“Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while until His wrath has passed by.”
Mask is a common thing in the healthcare industry. As a healthcare professional myself, I got used to wearing disposable masks when I was working as a hospital Pharmacist. However, here in the Philippines, the general public does not usually wear a mask on a regular basis.
As far as I can remember, it was only in recent years that it was made popular by Korean celebrities. Yes, most Filipinos are hooked on “K-Dramas” as they call it. (Not a fan, but I love CLOY though and about to finish watching it in Netflix – for the 2nd time😊). It is said that aside from using a mask for protection, Korean celebrities probably use it as a way to hide their identities.
Well aside from Koreans, I’ve also seen other celebrities who wear mask, including a Norwegian DJ whose pictures and music videos usually show him wearing a black mask with the AW logo (learned it from my kids). And because celebrities wear them, eventually it has become a fashion statement – an accessory. Even my kids jumped into the bandwagon and started nagging me to buy them some masks. Good thing they have it in department stores and bazaars (usually the ones made of cloth with character designs). So here they are in their cute masks on.
This photo was taken in November 2019 and little did we know that they will soon be maximizing the use of these masks. In January this year, the Taal volcano in Batangas erupted. The ashfall was massive and reached nearby provinces and being a resident of Cavite, we are badly affected. At that point, authorities urged those affected by the ashfall to wear an N95 mask. An N95 mask is built to block at least 95 percent of very small airborne particles and is designed to fit the face compared to a regular mask. People lined up to buy N95 masks while others opted for disposable face masks or cloth masks due to the scarcity of supply. The eruption has subsided the following days but ashfalls are still present, so everyone is advised to wear masks.
Then the Coronavirus disease emerged. The 2019 (COVID-19), initially named as the novel coronavirus (2019-NCoV), started in Wuhan, China in the latter part of 2019. The spread of the virus became uncontrollable and has become a global crisis.
With all these things happening around, wearing a mask has suddenly become a necessity. Masks are worn by people everywhere (and later on, there’s nowhere to buy it from – mask shortage is real!). To address this shortage, health authorities even issued some guidelines on wearing masks.
However, despite the recommendation by health authorities to only wear mask in certain situations as mentioned above, the demand for mask continuously rises. For most people, wearing a mask is not an option anymore but a necessity. As the avilability has become very limited, people continue to look for alternatives. DIY cloth masks are everywhere, and even international designers do their homemade masks – that’s fashion and protection combined. Well, it won’t hurt to put some color and design on our masks, right? Here are some of the cloth masks that I purchased recently.😊
Health authorities explain that using a cloth mask is a last resort option and not considered as personal protective equipment since their capability to protect against the disease is yet to be proven. But for the majority, it is better to do everything possible to protect themselves than do nothing at all. Wearing a mask, together with proper sanitation, including handwashing/disinfection will help us fight coronavirus. We are advised to avoid the crowd, thus the government implemented a lockdown, or as they call it, “enhanced community quarantine”. So for now. . .
” I believe in the immeasurable power of love; that true love can endure any circumstance and reach across any distance.”-Steve Maraboli
Many of us are engaging this kind of relationship and also, I’m one who is engaging this kind of relationship so that I make a blog that I can call LDR. This kind of relationship is not easy to accept but like me I should accept it when those days came to us and I assume this as challenging our relationship.
My bf and I are no strangers to a long-distance relationship and through trial and error. We figured out how to make our long-distance relationship work. We met on a dating site two years ago. We started chatting after that then a lot of Skype calls. We just fell in love after a few months as we started chatting online. And it grew more from the time we met in person.
He decided to come to the Philippines after a year of chatting. We were together for two weeks before he had to go back to his country.
The first time I dropped my bf at the airport was very emotional because I don’t know when I will see him again. Before he went through security he turned around and gave me a final hug goodbye. We did long distance for two years now. It wasn’t easy. There were a lot of Skype and Viber messages and flights back and forth for visits.
We did long distance for two years now. It wasn’t easy. There were a lot of skype and Viber messages and flights back and forth for visits. Now, we are engaged!
Long-distance relationships are emotionally challenging and it needs a lot of patience and understanding, but if you can make it, they are also worth it.
Waiting is a sign of true love and patience. Anyone can say I love you, but not everyone can wait and prove its true.