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Quarantine Chronicles

As many of you probably know, the world is being hit by a pandemic. I can’t believe we’re actually alive to witness such a crazy thing. We’re at the 4th month of the year but it feels like one long hellish January. Bad things after bad things have happened since the start of the year and at this point, the future feels a little bleak. I decided to write something in here because this quarantine is also testing my mental health, if we’re being entirely honest. The past two weeks I was still going to the office for about a few days a week so I’m only really feeling the effects of it now that I am officially housebound.

I should be used to it, right? I was a digital nomad for 2 years. The staying at home part is fine, it’s the reduced mobility and having no choice of places to go is what’s been quite stressful. I decided to make a schedule for myself because we still have about 4 weeks left of this, and I hope by sticking to that schedule time will pass by quickly and the next thing we know, it’s back to the usual grind.

My weekends are still actually missing, but that’s coz I don’t know what to do yet!

With that, I’ve decided to create a list of things I’ve been doing that have been personally positive, and things I can’t wait to do until this all blows over.

  • Everyday yoga or exercise – can you believe? Even my gym membership didn’t let me do this shit. Which reminds me, my membership ends this month and I have no more plans to renew it, especially since I can work out at home like this. I will miss the group classes though.
  • Work – it’s one of the main things keeping me sane right now, to be honest.
  • Fangirling – it may not be part of the schedule, mostly coz it’s embedded in me, lol. Whether it’s Terrace House or K-pop, that’s already on the list.
  • Cleaning – no cleaners for about a month or so, so I definitely had to put deep cleaning once a week. I clean a bit every day or so, but I need to do that deep clean on weekends to make sure I like the space I’m in, for my room to be a healthy place to stay with everything happening right now.

Now the things I want to do once I get out of this quarantine? Call me Queen Superficial, but so many things I’ve been taking for granted that I miss!

  • Pamper myself – that includes a good wax session, a facial, a nice hair treatment (or even a haircut coz my hair can’t be helped), manicure and pedicure, all the girly things that I’m always like, “Ok later I have no event to attend anyway.”
  • Unlimited sangria with my friends where we laugh all night without a care in the world. I’m actually tearing up as I write this.
  • A visit to my OB GYN – I’m due for my annual visit to check out my PCOS and my yearly maintenance meds are almost out. I need to know if my condition has gotten better for me to move to the next step.
  • A good brunch with mum and sis – nothing beats our food trips.

Real life can’t come any sooner. I’m just hoping this will all seem like a long break from things, and we can bounce back better than ever.

Hello 2020

Happy new year! It’s so hard to explain what 2019 was like for me. It seemed like something that just passed by and I had no control over it. If there’s one thing I came to know about myself in the past decade, it’s that I hate having no control.

I’ve had 3 weeks off this holiday season—perks of working in a school—with no travel plans. And in beneath all of the adulting things I had to do like visit my doctor, go to the dentist, and score myself a dermatologist that I have to see regularly (more on that soon, or just ask me), the thought of having no routine gave me hella anxiety. Wop wop. Anxiety’s been with me the past decade starting full time in 2009 and as years go by, it’s still my enemy most times. Every year I make strides for it to change, but I admit it still gets left in the back-burner because of other priorities and life in general. This 2020, it’s going to be an uphill climb but I’ll try my best.. wish me luck!

Last night the family went to dinner at a restaurant in the mountains and we welcomed 2020 overlooking different fireworks displays around the city. It was definitely something new for me and I’d love to experience something like that again, a nice way to welcome the new year.

Thanks to FB Memories, I was able to look back at all my Christmases/holiday seasons for the past decade:

  • 2010 – Jakarta
  • 2011 – Medellin (last one as a “balikbayan“!)
  • 2012 – Medellin (first Christmas being back in Cebu for good)
  • 2013 – Medellin (aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda)
  • 2014 – Jakarta
  • 2015 – New York and the East Coast
  • 2016 – Singapore
  • 2017 – Cebu City
  • 2018 – Jakarta & Semarang
  • 2019 – Medellin (with Typhoon Ursula 😭)

I don’t want to write about Typhoon Ursula because that shit was traumatizing since we were so close to the eye being at the province and everything. I still can’t sleep well at night so I’m taking comfort that it was over and hopefully I don’t ever have to deal with anything of the sort again in the near future.

New Years’ resolutions and goals? Who are they? But really, mental health restoration is at the top of the list, as well as being more comfortable saying no to things that don’t serve me, and saying yes to things that will challenge me and help me move forward. Also, read more books girl!!! My book-reading has absolutely plummeted the past few years and I really want to change that.

Thank you, 2019 and let’s be a little kinder to ourselves as much as we hope 2020 to be kinder to us (what?). Cheers to the new decade.

2019 in a (long) Jiffy

Hello, it’s August 1 of the year 2019! So much has happened this year, yet I still feel dumbstruck that’s it’s already August.

I wish I could stop talking about time whenever I write in this blog, but it’s just something that can’t be helped. I wish blogging were more in the list of things I would like to do frequently, but it’s just something that can’t be helped. I wish I knew all the answers to life’s questions at 31, but it’s just something that can’t be helped. If this blog were to be around in 10 years time, I bet I still wouldn’t have the answers.

Postgraduate Diploma: Done!

The first half of the year was crazy in more ways than one. After coming back from a long Christmas and New Year vacation back home in Jakarta and a bit in Singapore, I was not ready to face my 2nd semester. It meant a 2-3 month practice teaching in a public night high school after work, and just more academic weight on my shoulder. Week by week I kept wondering what made me do further studies but come May, I survived and graduated, culminating the weird and confusing academic year. Was it fulfilling? Yes. Did it give me answers to life? No.

We’re done!!

What’s next for me? Honestly with recent developments and the most grueling Mercury Retrograde? I don’t even know anymore.

31st Birthday

I can’t even remember what I did on the day of my birthday anymore. I was at work because it was a weekday. Since my birthday and graduation were just a week apart, I had a small celebration where I gathered my closest friends and family in one of the nice coastline housing areas in Cebu, complete with good food and good company. It was a good day, but I have no cheesy reflections. I must be getting old.

West Coast Trip

After the crazy first half of the year, we traveled to the West Coast—a first time for me! I think my mental health also fed off my excitement because I did not experience any pre/during/post long-haul flight anxiety and panic, and it felt like such a blessing to be able to feel that way.

Lake Tahoe was everything and more

New York and the East Coast was a blast, and I wanted to know if the West Coast could top that. Newsflash—I can’t even say anymore, because it was definitely another experience that cannot be compared. California has a different charm and I could actually see myself living there(!!!!), Las Vegas was crazy that just made me go “What the fuck?” the whole time, and Taipei was quick yet great, thanks to longtime friends.

Work & Everything Else

Work is what keeps me sane on most days. I’ve immersed myself so much into it that I lost my social life for a while. After getting back from California, I definitely made up for lost time and suddenly my social calendar has been flourishing the past few weeks. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been in Cebu for 7 years, when I said I’d stay for 2 and consider what I’d do after. Cebu still gives me the happiness, it’s crazy and I don’t even know why.

Terrace House: Opening New Doors – A Subjective Ranking

Previous seasons: Aloha StateBoys & Girls in the City

If you’ve been reading my subjective rankings, you’d know how this goes by now. For those who don’t, just read on.

I realized it took a while for me to actually rank the members of Opening New Doors because I guess it didn’t create much of an impact for me? I loved it—but I did not super love it, I just realized. I still have a softer spot for BG&ITC and Aloha State (believe it or not) at the end of the day.

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I said hey, what’s going on

Fuckin’ hell, it’s already September. Can you believe?! I’ve come to the point where I don’t know what to write about anymore, that even my other blog is currently enjoying an annual drought. Usually I don’t let more than 6 months pass without publishing an entry but it just couldn’t be help. Was I that busy this year? I certainly still had time to watch Terrace House and a bunch of Korean dramas, so I can’t really say that I was too busy to write in here. I guess the need to formulate a proper blog post kind of lost its charm on me and updates result into bite-sized micro social media posts in the form of Instagram stories or Twitter updates. I don’t even post that much on Facebook anymore.

Nowadays I feel like I’m chasing something with no definite destination. Is this how 30s feel like? Isn’t one supposed to have things figured out by now? 20s was a long, winding road full of reckless pursuits and bad decisions that I guess I’m trying to make up one way or another? I know nothing’s perfect, but is it wrong to hope for things to start falling into place in this third decade? Or am I overthinking everything again like I always do? Too many questions, hardly any answers. That’s my life.

To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to survive. Yes, it is as dramatic as it looks and I am actually very serious about it. But somehow life keeps surprising me and letting me know that it’s actually on my side, despite the many instances where I feel like it never is; and that’s good enough for me.