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Thirty Three

It’s officially been one full month since I’ve turned a year older. I always try my best to at least do a birthday blog no matter how bad I am with this so I can keep myself accountable of the progress (or lack thereof) I’ve made over the course of my life. So here goes..

The past year felt like a blur—a fast-paced cloudy struggle with lockdowns, quarantines, working from home, lots of transitions, anxiety inducing moments, and lots of mentally draining situations. But it has also been a year of persevering, of trying to look at the bright side, trying to keep a positive mind, and trying to always look for that light at the end of the tunnel even though the world seemed like it was falling apart; and I have to give myself a pat on the back for that. It’s been one heck of a year, but we’re still here.

Even though there are many times I feel like I’ve achieved nothing the past year, I think of all the moments where I felt alive, when the little happiness gave me hope, when it motivated me to get up and get at it. This might sound really cheesy but it does help. All the podcasts I’ve listened to, all the meditations I’ve done, all the hard work I’ve put into my jobs, and all the relationships I’ve nurtured whether offline or online have really contributed to my mental and emotional wellbeing. And I thank life for that.

Playing tennis has also been one of the factors of me releasing stress, and that has been such a great sport to go back to. Now that I play it so often, I’m kind of regretful that I stopped when I was in elementary school.. oh well, there’s a reason for everything.

As Gemini season comes to a close (yes, I went there), I’d like to end by writing down good memories I had over the past month. I celebrated my birthday with my closest friends and family, caught up with friends I’ve haven’t seen in a while, took mini staycations and trips that livened up my soul. I also had the chance to get my first dose of the vaccine just a few days before my birthday.. and that was one of my goals for this year. I am grateful to be healthy, happy, to be working, and surrounded by people I love. With that, a happy birthday to me.

No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

Maya Angelou

A Year Into

All we have are staycations.

It’s officially going to be a week until a whole year has passed since the country declared a lockdown due to the coronavirus. I thought I’d pop in here to write about what I’ve been up to since the year started.

Blogging hasn’t been on my mind for a while, thanks to my purchase of multiple Hobonichi planners and trying to do a good job of making sure I fill every page. It’s happened with my Hobonichi Weeks so far, and it’s nice to be able to spend at least a few minutes every day to jot down what’s going to happen soon or what’s happened in the past so I can look back on the year and feel like it’s been productive, despite all the shit we’re currently being dealt with, even until now.

International travel has of course, been nonexistent for a while and continues to be, and I’m not sure my anxious self even dreams of wanting travel until this is all over, or at least until I receive the vaccine which seems like long ways to go. The vaccines have just started arriving into the country and while I may be in one of the important groups to receive a shot (working in a school and everything), there’s not enough to supply to even cover the whole HCWs yet. I do hope I’ll be able to get it by at least the first half of this year, though.

Work and freelance still continues to be a huge part of my daily life, and it’s something I am extremely thankful for. It has its challenges, but to be able to make money and fill my day with productivity has been the best thing to combat my anxiety. I guess I’m a workaholic after all.. something my ex always complained about back then.

Another thing that’s really kept my anxiety at bay is of course, fangirling. Getting back into it full-time (almost) is filling my days with excitement and I look back 10 years ago when I first got into it due to a short funk after university feels like it’s come full circle or something. There are no K-pop concerts nowadays, but everything online is enough for me. The amount of K-dramas I’ve burned through the past year alone has already surpassed what I’ve watched before that. That’s quarantine time for you.

I’ve recently gotten back into tennis, after about 2 decades, lol. I used to play it as a kid back in Jakarta and since the year started, I’ve woken up at 5am most Sundays to go play with my mom and friend, with a coach. She’s maintained her “pro” status after all these years, and it’s so nice seeing her still active since she’s turning the big 6-0 this year. I’m thinking of doing something big for her birthday, and I hope by then the pandemic won’t be much of a hindrance. People are starting to celebrate their second quarantine birthdays, and it sucks to even think about it.

Guess what I’m saying is, despite how fast the year has passed and how each day feels like the uncertainty continues to kill us, I’m still glad I’m here. And there’s always tomorrow to look forward to. Cheers to a better 2021.

My thoughts on Terrace House: Tokyo 2019–2020

If you, just like me, have been following Terrace House, and which lead you to have stumbled upon my Subjective Ranking posts one way or another (thank you!), you must know by now that this season didn’t fare the best in terms of its outcome.

Even with my excitement that it was coming back to Tokyo hoping that it would “go back to its roots” ITC style, in the beginning I already felt detached from it. I wanted to root for the new members and like them so much.

I didn’t hate the cast mates per se, I just didn’t feel the connection I used to have when I first got so attached to it, which made me an instant fan of the show from the beginning. I guess I was sort of in a Terrace-House-is-my-favorite-show bubble that I couldn’t not support it, so I soldiered on. I didn’t want to admit to myself that it wasn’t what I expected, because I was rooting for it so much.

Having said all that, Netflix international has decided to cut the season until Kaori’s departure, leaving out everything that happened after that. I followed the Netflix Japan schedule and was up to date with the progress of the show until the end, even when they took a short break and came back. With 2020 largely in limbo because of the pandemic, not only did they decide to halt filming and broadcasting, the biggest thing happened in Terrace House history is the passing of one of its members, Hana. It’s not my place to write about it and I only choose to comment and write about things based on what I see, but it was such an unfortunate incident that shook the whole fanbase and lovers of the show, including myself.

I will not be doing a subjective ranking of this season. It would be in poor taste to attempt to even do so.

I would, instead, like to thank Terrace House for being there for me the past 3 years and comforted me like a warm blanket. Because of the show, I became part of a Reddit (now Discord) community that bonded over episodes, the slightest bit of nuances, and panel interactions. It will leave a big impact in my life.


Quarantine Chronicles

It’s been a minute and half since I’ve written in here. And still it seems like this pandemic isn’t really showing signs of stopping a year into the whole thing. It’s just been crazy and a rollercoaster ride for everyone, and holy shit I am alive to live and witness it. Who would have thought we’d be here? The future is uncertain, but no one and their mother thought that we would have to live this future. We’re all feeling the same things, the same uncertainty, and navigating a totally new experience collectively. Excuse my lack of a better phrase, but that’s fucking insane.

I guess I wanted to check in because the bouts of anxiety I’ve been experiencing all throughout this year is something that I can’t really place. There are highs and lows but it’s a

I’d like to navigate this entry into a more positive note by listing down things that kept me sane through this whole year, and still continues to.. even up until this pandemic ends, or will it?

  • Animal Crossing
  • Books
  • Work and side hustle
  • Online friends
  • Family & friends
  • Koko, my dog
  • Netflix
  • Korean entertainment
  • Online shopping
  • Yoga & meditation
  • Food delivery

Friday’s 10 Happy Things, v16

I’ll always welcome a view like this.

It’s been a hot minute (almost 4 years to be exact!!!!) since I posted one of these things. With everything going on in the world right now, and my recent state the past few months of anxious highs and lows, I feel like I need to do one of these again.

1) Laughing so much from our cousin group chat. This afternoon my cousins got into a bit of a funny streak of roasting each other and they were just the funniest. I recorded some

2) Meeting deadlines. Can I get a fuck yeah?? This week is one of those crazy work weeks—both for my day job and side hustle—and work just kept pouring in. I only have a bit of stuff to do before the week ends but other than that, I’m good! On to next week’s grind.

3) Good food day. It’s the last day of my the monthly visitor and I’ve been eating up a storm the past 3 days. My coworker who is in charge of ordering lunch for us today made a really good choice

4) Nice weather. The rain has sort of been non-stop in Cebu for the last few weeks. Today was a nice welcome as it was sunny in the morning, and rained for a bit in the early afternoon, nothing too crazy, just the right amount. I hope my plants are happy.

5) The COVID situation in Cebu is sort of better, should I say? I don’t want to jinx it.. because while it hasn’t completely gone away, I can say that things are finally starting to normalize with the “new normal” and that’s due to the crazy strict protocols we’ve had for the most part of the year. People have been diligently wearing masks, face shields, and practicing rules that are working, and now the city is starting to open up.

6) Spotify’s Time Capsule. This was such a welcome playlist and the past 2 week’s rotation of songs have been such jams and take me back to simpler times.

7) Home hangs. In-person social life has sort of restarted for me and my friends here in Cebu, but we’ve mostly kept it in each others’ homes. It’s been so nice to finally be around my friends and reconnect with everyone without being it coming from a computer screen.

8) Tomorrow’s salon appointment. Technically it hasn’t happened yet, but I’m looking forward to finally step foot in one after a few months! My last one was quick because I needed to just chop off my long quarantine hair, but tomorrow is something to look forward to. The salon also made me feel a bit better by sending me a long list of safety guidelines.

9) Bills paid. Even though this has been stressing me out, I realize I have to turn it into something happy because it means I can actually pay bills, I have work, I can buy things I want, etc etc. I have to be grateful!!!!! Amen.

10) You know who you are. If you don’t (haha), just know I am grateful for you.