Sunday, November 29, 2015


Someone posted a Facebook album of a family celebrating their Dad's promotion. The Dad and I went to the same university, he was a few years ahead and by the time I was graduating, he was also a professor, taking up graduate studies at the same time.

Back then, he drove to school, not the latest model but it was a decent model.  Obviously, it was a car provided by his parents, as if naman kaya nya bumili ng car at that age. He also went to an expensive Chinese all-boys school. Fast forward a couple of decades, he's married and has 6 kids - the first 2 aren't his, only the last 4 are, but he's taken responsibility for all and from the posts of the eldest (oo, chismosa ako at ni follow ko yun), he is a great dad.

One thing that stood out to me while browsing through the photos was that they were commuting. The album showed several photos of them riding a jeepney. Nag grocery pa sila and all I kept thinking was "ha ? nag grocery sila and pano nila iuuwi ? Jeep rin ? Ang dami nilang kids, how do you get a jeepney with space enough for 8 ? "

Back when I knew him, he was driving a car. Now, he does not na (unless they have a small car which doesn't fit 8 people ? pero parang impossible ), parang na downgrade* ? I couldn't get past that and started speculating how things might have progressed for him.

I was imagining different scenarios in my head in an effort to understand the situation  when I came across another friend's post on my newsfeed, sabi nya....

     "... for making me realize success is not measured monetarily."

And just like that, it clicked.


* thought I'd provide a little context about the term "downgrade" - I went to the state university and my classmates were from all walks of life. There were the obviously rich kids who come to school in expensive clothes and drive the newest model car every year and then there were the more deprived ones who one have 1 pair of jeans which they wear the whole week and then wash over the weekend. If it rained on a weekend and his laundry didn't dry, he wears pambahay shorts on Monday.

The happy part is that these days, yung mga deprived dati, they're doing really well with houses of their own. They also have their own cars, yung iba may investments pa na condo on top of their own house. Nakakatuwa, diba ?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cleaning up

Hubby stayed up late last night, inabot ng 4am, just putting these things away.

Ang galing. *slow clap*

This is our 4th bedroom. Since this has its own full bath and is quite spacious relative to the other bedrooms, I thought this would be a good room for my parents should they choose to stay longer with us some day.

My vision is to ultimately update the bathroom, medyo stuck in the 80s kasi complete with blue tiles and matching toilet. We also want the install overhead lighting - this may happen sooner than the bathroom project but we'll see.

For now, since their visits are so short, we have been using this as our "unpacking space" - meaning, the space I strew things about from the time I unpack a box and until I decide where they should go (this could be an indefinite amount of time). This is also where the stray things and all the kalat go if we have to clean up in an emergency (the kalat gets thrown in a bin and they go here). Because of that, I like to rummage in here when I get the chance, maraming surprises na nahahanap.

I can scrub a toilet and floors. I can even do carpentry, electrical, plumbing and even yard work. I budget, handle our finances and even do our taxes. But if I had to spend more than 2 hours cleaning up (meaning, "magligpit"), I get reduced to tears or hubby would just find me sitting in a corner, surrounded by loads of stuff and staring into space.

Feeling ko, lahat kaya ko except magligpit. If I were Superwoman, this is my Kryptonite.

Okay, I don't do insects either. Hubby is the designated spider-catcher, fly-swatter & silverfish-squisher at home, but I digress so let me get back on point.

Thankfully, this is one of the things where I get a clear view of how nice our partnership is. Kung anong hindi ko kaya, ginagawa ni hubby and vice versa because this was all him. I did try

I find this batch of cleaning up particularly impressive because we only had 1 sungit episode.

We also dropped off 2 big bags of clothes at the neighborhood donation box and the feeling is great. Nakalinis na, nakatulong pa. There are several jackets/coats in those bags. There's more to follow, sana makarami kami ng ma purge na gamit.

Wish us luck!

Sunday, November 15, 2015


I was on the phone with Daddy this afternoon when Mom kept butting in the background, asking about stuff. Eventually, Dad says, "o, you talk to your mom muna, she really wants to talk to you" and he passes the phone over to her.

So mom says, "I just really want to hear about how you are", in a tone na parang nag e explain pa and I say something like there's really no need for an excuse for us to talk - note that we talk almost every single day, wherever they happen to be, and our phone conversations almost always start with that line.

So she asks what we're having for dinner, and I start answering but she butts in at around the 3rd & 4th word and asks another question. I answer her next question and in the middle of the sentence, she interrupts and asks yet another question so I just kept my answers as short as can be. Para bang she's just asking for the sake of asking, but she's not really interested enough to listen.

For example:
Q: Kumusta na kayo ?
A: ok naman

Q: May bago ?
A: wala naman, ganon pa rin

Then we get to the point where there's a lot of dead air (quiet lang) and she we say our goodbyes and put down the phone and today, I particularly feel bad because I wanted to talk to Dad.

One time, I asked Achi if Mom treats her this way too and she said yes! We laughed so much while exchanging stories because her kwento is exactly the same as mine! Mom calls and starts with a line that makes you feel guilty, samples are:

"Pasensya ka na, alam kong busy ka, pero gusto ko lang kayo makausap"
"Gusto ko lang makabalita sa inyo, miss ko na kayo"
"Tumawag lang ako kasi gusto ko malaman kung may bago na, matagal ko na kayo hindi nakakausap"

... and like I said earlier, every day yan and then when you actually start to answer, hindi naman sya nakikinig so we just listen. Siguro gusto lang nya ng makekwentuhan and asking about how we are is an opener for her to tell her story.

Friday, November 13, 2015


We finally got the ice-maker in our fridge repaired.

It broke when we moved to our house 2 years ago. Hubby wanted it fixed but I thought it wasn't important - not for the $200-$300 I estimated it would cost.  I told myself that it was a 1st world problem, no big deal.

So for the past 2 years, we've been making ice the regular way in ice cube trays. We'd fill the trays with water, bring it downstairs to the freezer in the basement and when we  need ice, we bring the trays up and dump the cubes into the ice cube tray in our kitchen freezer.

Now, refilling the ice cube tray has always been my job. It wasn't something we agreed about but hubby has never done it and if I think about it, I was the one who put her foot down regarding the repair so I was it. Kaya lang, lately, I find myself forgetting about it or just getting plain lazy about filling the trays and bringing it downstairs. Medyo balancing act kasi yun each time, nakakatamad so for weeks now, we don't have ice. Not a really a big deal, but when you're having one of those days when you just want to have a sip of any ice-cold drink,... sorry!

So while waiting in traffic on my way to work last week, I happened to stop beside a FridgeFix truck. Bored, I read the text on their truck and took note of the company name. Did some research later that day and broached the topic with hubby. Surprise, surprise (sarcastic), hubby was totally on board with the repair. Side note lang, in fact nga kung siya ang masusunod, ni co consider pa nga nya magpalit ng refrigerator to get an ice-maker that works. *roll eyes*

Today, I found myself WFH (working from home) again unexpectedly. Traffic was a mess this morning and I decided to turn back home. Pag uwi, I figured it was as good a time as any to call FridgeFix. My thought was that if they could send someone today, I'd take it as a sign. Otherwise, hindi na.

And guess what ? As it turns out, they had a technician available for 2-4p. I accepted the appointment but when I put down the phone, medyo alangan ako because I have to pick up Swe-cha from daycare in the afternoon. What if the tech comes in at 4p, how long will he need to diagnose and repair ? So while thinking about cancelling, my phone rings. It was FridgeFix. They had a tech in my area who got freed up, they can be at my place in an hour. Ayos! That was the universe coming into alignment with our needs :)

Ice maker was  broken, couldn't be repaired. I thought the $350 repair estimate was too steep and got the price down to $300 flat (inclusive of tax and the house call - they charge a $75 house call fee which is NOT applicable towards repairs) and gave the go ahead.  I probably paid too much, but it was convenient because it fit my schedule.

Now, I am staring a this room-temperature bottle of coke and am waiting for the ice to form. Sana lumabas na!

Am sure that when hubby and Swe-cha gets home tonight, matutuwa rin sila. Etong 2 boys ko ang mahilig mag ice. Swe-cha keeps getting ice & pag ubos na "Mommy, more ice" pero never naman sila gumawa ng ice. Hay.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I had my birthday last weekend. It happened to coincide with the Great Wolf Lodge vacation that I booked - I booked this weekend because Swe-cha didn't have classes the Friday before so he wouldn't e missing any classes.

Everything worked out nicely and this is the first time in many many years, we had something that was close to a celebration on my birthday.

The last time that my birthday was celebrated with some sort of fanfare was in 2004 where my friends helped me throw a combined housewarming & birthday party. 11 years ago na pala yun, ang tagal na.

Got a very nice and touching card from Dad, he signed it for the entire family, including my new niece. Dad is thoughtful that way.

When we got back home, we gave Swe-cha a present. We'd been holding onto it for days, we knew that he wanted it very much but we didn't want to give it before our trip in case he loses interest in the trip. Sayang naman.

As we were unwrapping the gift, a sad thought crossed my mind "pambihira naman, ganito pala ang maging nanay, ako ang may birthday and yet here I am, giving someone else a present. Nasan na ang gift ko ?"

That sad thought was unexpected. I should be used to things by now. Hubby and I have never been gift-givers so birthdays and occasions pass by without fuss. One year nga (just a few years ago) he even forgot that it was my birthday and I had to remind him of the date. Nagtampo talaga ako nun.

So as we were tearing the wrapper off of the Marble Run toy that we got Swe-cha, I saw his face light up and he started jumping up and down with excitement. Ang saya saya nya! And that's when it hit me, THIS is my gift. My  heart overflowed with love, joy and happiness. I'm super thankful to the Lord for another year with my family.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Had a really weird dream last night.

I went to a spa where I was led to the massage room. I took off my clothes, wrapped myself up in a towel and went through a revolving door to the shower area. The revolving door was actually a cabinet which turns so it looks more like a "secret" passageway.

I took a shower and went back through the revolving door. When I got to the other side, I was in a dry market. It was in Cubao, according to the people there.

In retrospect, okay rin naman. The last time we flew home, the ticket cost us $1600/head, the portal-slash-revolving door in my dream was free. Yun nga lang, my clothes and purse were left behind in the massage room and I only had a towel wrapped around me.

I looked around and asked to borrow a phone from one of the vendors, it turned out that I also had a few P5 coins in my hand so I could afford a phone call. I called a number that I had memorized from a long time ago even though I didn't remember whose it was, naalala ko lang yung number and that I used to call it decades ago.

Someone answered, nasa America rin sya on vacation.


Lesson: always keep your clothes and purse with you.