Lifestyle Blogger. Promdi. Filipina.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Netflix Review: Her Private Life

Have you ever been a KPop fan? I loved listening to Super Junior, 2NE1 and Big Bang back in the day, but I was never as big a fan as some people are today with BTS.  Still, as someone who used to fangirl for local celebrities, I totally understand the world of being a super fan. The Netflix series Her Private Life focuses on the life of a young woman working in an art gallery in South Korea who is secretly a fangirl for a KPop star/idol. 

I was not expecting to like the show. I was initially watching when I discovered that Kim Jae Wook, who played the Waffle Guy on Coffee Prince, is the lead in this one while I was browsing through suggested shows on Netflix. As I went on watching the show, I became hooked because of the comedy (it was so funny my family would turn and look at me when I suddenly laughed out loud), the love element (because the chemistry of the lead actors was so good) and the fact that the female lead was doing a job that I once wished I could do: curating art. It was also amazing to see how she was able to do that job, be a fangirl (who managed her own fan site) and still be an independent woman who also helps her family (and other people when they need it). She deserved all the good things that eventually came her way because she worked hard and was a good person.

One of my favorite parts of the show was when she spiked his drink with coffee, which as it turns out he was allergic to. That was the ice breaker that started their relationship for me. A romance that started with an allergy…reminds me a little of how the characters first got together in another Korean drama called Lie to Me. I also cannot forget to mention the scene where they told each other how they felt! Considering most KDramas I've seen have very conservative kissing scenes, I was surprised to see that!

The supporting cast for this one had their own stories that were part of the show. I liked that they were included without getting in the way of the main story but at the same time it did not feel that they were just stuffed into the story just for the sake of it. How both lead characters lived their lives around their friends, co-workers and family were as much a part of how their story and their love developed as anything else that they did together. I would love to see a spin-off of Si An's character, the little brother who was a KPop idol. Like how he could find love even if he was a star or something like that.

I have watched a couple of other Netflix shows from Korea but aside from Crash Landing on You (by far the best I have seen so far), this is one that I consider my favorite. It has such a good mix of drama, romance and comedy. It was not a tearjerker like Crash Landing on You, but it did have its touching moments. Mostly, I love how it showed a couple while they are in a relationship. How you accept each other’s personalities and quirks, how it is not always perfect, how it is a partnership that you need to work together on and all that. 

Most Korean male lead characters end up too dominant to the point of being problematic because of how they treat the female lead but in this one, I did not think it was the case. Sure, he was your typical grumpy, bossy guy. But he was never out of line when he did so. With what he had been through when he was abandoned as a child, you could understand why he was the way that he was initially. 

The character Ryan Gold is probably one of my favorite male lead characters in a KDrama. As the art director who used to paint but lost his mojo, Kim Jae Wook did a good job playing this aloof character. He could have coasted on just being the hot guy of the show, but he gave depth to his character in this one. There was more to him than brooding and looking pissed off all the time.

Another thing I loved about this character was that he went out of his way to help Deok Mi even when she did not ask for it.  As grumpy as he was, his heart was always in the right place. I think that was what drew him into a relationship with her, when he just wanted to help her out of her “scandal.” He also showed a very secure side of him when he supported her as a KPop fangirl. He did tease her, but he was supportive to the point of giving her a special gift on her birthday related to her idol. I remember thinking that he was such a sweet, mature and very secure boyfriend when he did it. When he let her do her thing in New York, it proved even more that he was the ideal, supportive boyfriend. I was half expecting him to ask her to stay with him and miss out on her opportunity, but he ended up going with her and giving up his job instead. How many guys will do that? I wanted him to be MY boyfriend after finishing the show!

I hope that Kim Jae Wook does another show like this again with someone like Park Min Young (Deok Mi), who seems to do well no matter who she is paired with (and she has been in a few good ones already). I would love to see him as a lead in a rom com like this one more time. He is already nearing his 40s, I hope they still give him projects like this even if he is older!

If you enjoy KDramas and would love to laugh and feel kilig while watching a hot guy and a cute girl, I suggest that you watch this show. It is worth the time binge-watching it!

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Book Review: The Selection Series

I have been doing a lot of re-reading these days. Mostly fiction, mostly Romance, but also some Young Adult (YA) books that are targeted more for the teen market. Recently I have re-read a series of books from Kierra Cass called The Selection. 

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Like the series I did a review on previously, this has a set of five books, with four spin-off novellas from the point of view of the other characters in the series.  I liked the one about the Queen since she seemed to be someone that was just featured in passing in the other books. Another book, The Soldier, would have been nice to have been set later on in the series, so that readers could have gotten an understanding why in the later books he ended up with who he was married to.

The first book, The Selection, is set in a future era where America is no longer the USA but another nation that is now ruled by royalty. It introduces the selection process where the Maxon, the Prince and heir to the throne, is to select a bride from a group of women who are brought to the palace for him to get to know. It is amusing to think that in some future world, the concept of The Bachelor managed to survive where (apparently) Halloween has not. 

The first three books revolve around the selection process, and the growing relationship between Maxon and America, who eventually becomes his bride despite the odds against them. The last two books then focus on their daughter, who must undergo the same selection process twenty years later.

I found that the first three books that were about Maxon and America more exciting than the last two about their daughter. I found the story of the of the former to be more high stakes compared to the latter. The first story was exciting since not only was not just about the relationship between Maxon and America. It was about the friends that were made along the way. It was about politics, intrigue and the complexities of their modern world and the utopia that Maxon was aiming to achieve for their future. 

It was moving to read about the things that the characters had to endure in the first three books. The domestic violence that Maxon experienced in the hands of the King was surprising considering how different he seemed to be in his youth. The punishment that one of the participants of the selection experienced when she fell in love with someone else was also jarring. Considering that it was set in a future world, it was a heartbreaking that the punishment was in the way that it was dealt. The fact that the author was also willing to kill a character who was finally redeeming herself, just when readers became emotionally invested, was shocking but at the same time a wise move. It made me as a reader feel for the characters and the stakes even more. 

The last two books, The Heir and The Crown, were for me a bit lighter fare compared to its predecessors. I felt that the process was not as difficult this time around. There were still rebels and there was still political intrigue, but as a reader I felt that the daughter had it easier than her parents. It was, however, nice to revisit the older characters and see how they were doing twenty years later. If only for that, I enjoyed the last two books as well.

It was not surprising that the books have been proposed several times to become a TV series. There have been a couple of pilots made for TV, but both have not pushed through. Recently however there has been news that it would become a movie (the first book at least) on Netflix. 
As disappointed as I am that the TV series never worked out, I am also happy about it because I know that if it was not executed in the way that the readers who loved the books expected, it would feel like a wasted opportunity. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Netflix would do a good job and that the movie will turn out to be a series of movies to cover the entire story.

This series is a long read, but if you have got the time and you do not mind reading Young Adult books, I would highly recommend this. 


Friday, May 8, 2020

Quarantine Stories: Work from Home

There is one more week to go before the Enhanced Community Quarantine (supposedly) ends. According to the news there are currently meetings going on about whether that quarantine will be extended or not. At this point, anything can happen. One thing is for sure though, I will continue to be working from home for the entire duration of the pandemic due to government rules social distancing, especially for people with “co-morbidities” like me. It appears that for the foreseeable future. I will be doing my work online at the mercy of my internet service provider and my aging laptop.  

work from home
Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

I am not sure if I am happy or sad about being allowed to work from home. Mostly sad, I guess? It is such a challenge to work from home and be at the mercy of whatever available technology I have available. Most of my files are in my computer at the office so I have had to adjust to working from scratch as much as I can. My tablet and my phone are busy these days as I try to make use of them to help me accomplish my tasks easier. I do not think I have ever done an internet speed test as often as I have lately just to check if I am having issues with my ISP because I need it to get my work done.

Another point of concern about working from home is how difficult it is when the other people I work with are not as tech-savvy when it comes to doing their jobs at home. When we’re at the office, I can usually help them when they can’t figure something out with a website or one program or another but now that we are not together, it takes doubly longer for me to get the work that I need from them because of a whole slew of issues. Adaptation is a word that they are seemingly having a problem with. They need to learn to do their work and adjust to this “new normal.” It is frustrating to be waiting all the time for people to complete things. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one working while at home because I do not see the output that I am looking for. I cannot exactly get mad at anyone even if that would seem to be the normal reaction. This is an unusual situation and we are clearly not prepared for this. 

I have tried to get people into making use of apps for communication. I tried getting people on Zoom but just the process of installing it on their phones or home PCs or laptops was a problem. I really should not have been surprised considering that using Facebook Messenger as our means of communication was already challenging at best since people took forever to read and reply to messages.

My Meralco bill is another issue. I have had to use my laptop all day, every workday. I have had to turn on my air conditioning all day to work in this extremely hot and humid weather. I am consuming more electricity than I normally would at home so I am quite sure I will faint when I get the bill eventually when they stop averaging the consumption.

Honestly. I have always wanted to work from home. I have considered doing that long before the pandemic and the quarantines started. I think I do my best work on my own and being at home where I can focus in a comfortable space with no distractions has proven to be good for me. I have accomplished more work at home than I usually do if I am in the office. The only delays I have are a result of me waiting for other people who are also working from home and have not been able to have as much output as I do. I think that if I worked from home and needed to work with others who can do the same, I can accomplish even more than what I do now. 

Being at home is less stressful for me compared to being in the office. I love that I am with my family, especially at a time like this. Even with all its challenges, working at home does have its advantages. I wear comfortable clothes at home. I do not wear makeup and I do not have to travel to get to work. I cannot complain.

Still, I do miss the way things used to be. I often wonder when things will get back to normal, but the way things are going now I think that will not be for an awfully long time. 

Will things ever be the same? Will things ever be “normal” again? Sadly, the answer is feeling like a great big NO.

I hope life proves me wrong.


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Beauty Review: Rose Quartz Roller

Beauty is a category I do not tackle as much in this blog. I think it is because I have always considered myself low maintenance when it comes to that department. Sometimes though, I give in to a trend or two to give it a try. I was looking at an ad from a beauty supply store on Instagram and decided that wanted to try their rose quartz beauty roller. 

According to a review I saw online, beauty rollers are a trend these days because its benefits for the skin. It is a massage and workout for the face, helping to slim it down by making it look less puffy by increasing the circulation of blood and lymphatic flow in that area. An added benefit is that it helps whatever skin care products you use to be penetrated by the skin easier.   

rose quartz beauty roller

The beauty roller that I bought from the online shop Beauty Matters is different from most of the rollers I have seen online because both ends of the roller can be used on the face. The roller end is for most parts of the face while the other, flatter end is for use around the eye to help remove eye bags. Aside from that, the roller is also USB rechargeable because it has a vibrating feature that supposedly helps it to be more effective.

Most rollers for sale are commonly made of one gem: jade. These days, there are other types like rose quartz and amethyst. The roller I bought was both a rose quartz and amethyst one, with the latter being a flat gem that can be used for the eyes. Both gems are attachments you can place on the handle, which makes it easier to pack in case you want to bring it with you when you travel.  

From what I have seen from beauty bloggers, they use this after washing their face, usually when they put on serums, moisturizers or whatnot. After I read that Dr. Vicki Belo does not advise the use of moisturizers, I have stopped using them so when I tried my roller, I just used it on a bare face. It felt good on my face, it was like I was exercising my facial muscles while I was working it on my skin. Some vloggers place the roller in the freezer so that you use it cold, but I did not see the point since I was not even halfway through when that cold feel ended. The gem itself is a bit cold to the touch anyway so I do not think that it matters much if it was in the freezer or not.

Being the low maintenance person that I am, I have not used the roller that often. I think I used it a couple of nights and mornings the first time I got it. I cannot see any significant visible change in my face or skin just yet, but then it could be because I do not use it regularly. It does help me to look less puffy in the mornings though.

Beauty Matters was very efficient: they answered my inquiries, processed my order the day of payment and I got it just a couple of days later, with a nice little note, cute packaging and a free facial mask. I love it when online shops make the extra effort, that was very much appreciated!

facial mask

As far as battery life goes, I have not had any issues with it at all. I have used it several times by now, but the battery has not yet run out. It was already charged when I got it so I cannot say anything about charging time but given how small the roller is, I am thinking that it is a quick charge. 

My only issue with the roller was that after a few tries, the gem from the eye attachment came off. I had to buy superglue to put it back on. I hope it does not fall again later; I was lucky it did not crack the first time it fell. It is my favorite part of the whole roller process, so I do hope that it doesn’t fall off again. 

Would I recommend this purchase to anyone? I would say yes if you are into the whole beauty/self-care thing. If not, I would suggest trying a roller that it not battery operated since this version is a bit more expensive than the manual one. If you like the manual version, then maybe you can upgrade to this one.  


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Movie Review: Love Wedding Repeat

If you have followed my blog or social media for some time now, you would know that I love a good romantic comedy. Love stories are big on my movies to watch list, so when I heard that Sam Claflin (who I adored in Love Rosie and Me Before You) had a new one on Netflix called Love, Wedding Repeat, I decided that I was going to watch it and make a review. 

In life, I think that while some believe in destiny, the way that we get there may vary depending on certain decisions that we make. Just one small change can influence so many other things happening around us depending on what we decide to do. This concept is the main premise of this story. Specifically, how the simple seating arrangement at a wedding, depending on who sits where, can result in many different outcomes and events, including a potential romantic relationship for Jack. 

Based on the French movie Plan de Table, this movie set in Italy, where Jack (Sam Claflin) is trying to make sure that his little sister Hayley’s wedding goes on without a hitch. She had asked him to spike an unwanted guest’s champagne with her anxiety medication so that he can fall asleep at the festivities and not ruin it. Unfortunately, Jack had placed the medicine into a champagne glass just before a group of children had run into the reception area and rearranged the place cards on their table, resulting in the glass going to someone else. For the rest of the movie, the narrative revolves around the various ways that the day will end depending on who gets the spiked glass of champagne. Seated at the table are these eight people: Jack, Hayley’s male best friend/Maid of Honor Bryan, Dina (the woman Jack is attracted to, played by Olivia Munn), awkward/weird friends of the bride Rebecca and Sidney, Amanda (Jack’s ex) and her boyfriend Chaz, and Marc (the unwanted guest who wants to profess his love of Hayley during the wedding reception). 

Because the story revolves around the eight people in the one table, naturally the film needed an ensemble cast who could carry the whole story. Sadly, it did not work for me. I did not think that the scenes were are funny as they were supposed to be. I could see what it could have been, but for some reason it just did not work. Maybe I just do not get British humor as much, or maybe the cast just did not gel as well as they should have. It got to the point that I did not want to finish the movie anymore because I was not enjoying it.  

The only reason that I was able to finish the movie was because I was casting it from my phone to my Google Chromecast while I was doing my daily workout, which mean that I couldn’t stop it until I finished my exercise. Not a good sign for the quality of the movie if you ask me. It was disappointing since I have always been a fan of Sam Claflin and this is the first movie of his that I hated. 

It was too bad that I ended up being disappointed about the movie because I was looking forward to it since the first time that I heard about it. It was a beautiful setting and it was a very good-looking cast; it is just too bad that it ultimately ended up boring me. I have read that the original French film was a flop, so now I am surprised that they even made a remake of this in the first place.  

If you want to watch a good romantic comedy, pick something else. It had potential because of the concept, but it just did not get executed in a way that worked.


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

On YouTube: Marion's Kitchen

One of my biggest frustrations is not being naturally good in the kitchen. The thing with me and food is that I appreciate it better than I can cook it. Do not get me wrong, I can cook. It is just that I am not as good at it as my sisters, who can make a meal from scratch and do not rely on recipe books to do anything.  I, on the other hand, prefer to do my cooking via an online search on YouTube, Facebook or even Instagram for any easy recipe with ingredients that are not hard to find. I pick a dish, follow instructions from a printed recipe or watch a video and then I come up with a finished product. I think I take longer than most to finish since I tend to be a bit on the obsessive-compulsive side, but most of the time things turn out well. 

One of the people who I love to watch and turn to for tips and recipes that I would love to try out is Marion Grasby. She is a chef, blogger and former contestant of MasterChef Australia, a TV competition that searches for the best home cooks in Australia. She was one of the frontrunners in her season but did not go all the way. Despite that, she was able to use her time at the show to diversify into other fields: she became a TV presenter, a cookbook author and is the owner of her own food company called Marion’s Kitchen. Apart from all that, she is also active on social media. Apart from her website, she has her own Facebook Page, YouTube channel and Instagram where she shares recipes for people to try out.

Being part Thai because of her mom, most of the food that is presented on her social media are Asian Food. While she does post other types of recipes from time to time you will still be able to notice that there are some influences from Asia with the way she prepares them or uses some ingredients. 

I enjoy watching Marion Grasby’s videos because she has this calm presence when she prepares food. I tend to be the stressed-out one when I cook so seeing how she does it makes me wish I could be the same. It all seems so easy when she does it! It seems like you can do it yourself because it is not that big a deal to do so (how I wish that were true for me).

A recipe that I have made a version of (because I love steamed fish) is this one. I was not this Zen when I was preparing steamed fish. How does she do it? 

Another thing I enjoy about her videos is when she has her mother, known as Mama Noi, joining her when she cooks. She seems so sweet and adorable and you cannot help but feel like you are listening to your mom as she patiently teaches you to cook. I know that is not the case for all mothers (in my case, my father is the cook in the family), so watching her is an enjoyable experience for me. There are always some cute or funny moments between her and Marion too so that is cute to see. It reminds me of Chrissy Teigen and her mom (who is, coincidentally, also Thai). 

Here is a video featuring Mama Noi herself from Marion Grasby’s YouTube Channel:

Once the whole pandemic situation is over (will it ever be over?), I would love to try cooking again. It is not easy to do these days because it’s so hard to find the right ingredients these days with us having to make do with whatever is available in stores but when things get back to normal (?) I’d want to get into the kitchen again and, preferably, try one of Marion Grasby’s recipes. 

Until then, I will keep watching her videos and craving for that future that seems so far away.


Monday, May 4, 2020

My Meditation for Stress Relief: Coloring Pages

Art is something that has been a part of my life since I was a young girl. My father had an appreciation for it so drawing, coloring, and painting is something that I have been exposed to at a young age. While I cannot say that I have a talent in the arts, I enjoy the practice of making it and love seeing works of art that catch my attention. It has been a hobby for me to sketch from time to time. It gives me a sense of calm that is hard to find when I have a lot on my mind.

I think it is my appreciation of art that pushed me into the habit of coloring when I am feeling too much stress. There is something about the whole process that soothes me whenever I do it. During my early days of working, I used to buy coloring books (that were meant for children) or download coloring pages that I could work on. I remember my father shaking his head when he found out that I do this, but hey, whatever works right?

While there were several adult coloring pages that I found online that had cool drawings and all, I was happier when I discovered that there are actual coloring books for adults that I could buy. I had bought one by Johanna Basford called Secret Garden which, because of the intricate details of each illustration and my obsessive compulsiveness, I have not yet finished after all these years. I have another one that is Korean and features food, mostly sweets. I will start that one when I am finished with Secret Garden, whenever that is. 

adult coloring pages
Work in Progress

With the whole COVID 19 quarantine situation, I have had the chance to making the coloring thing an activity that I can do with the kids, particularly with my young nephew. Initially I started off with him being my “color picker:” he would tell me which colors to put where and that would result in a page that turned out quite different from what I expected it to be. I guess his interpretation of things at a young age is still different (and dare I say, more adventurous) so his work with me has a totally different perspective. We have progressed to him coloring a page on his own. He has not finished it yet, since it is a lot of work even for an adult like me. I like that it is teaching him patience (if not a tendency to grind my colored pencils to stubs as he colors in a more intense fashion compared to me).

adult coloring pages
My nephew's WIP

There has been an argument online about the therapeutic effects of coloring on people. Some say that it is a good alternative to therapy, while some argue that it does not help those with mental health issues completely. In my opinion, the process of coloring helps me to relieve my stress, but I cannot say for certain that it can help in other ways. For me it is a form of meditation to calm my nerves after a long day, like a little yoga for my brain in a way. I would not go too far as to say that medically speaking it is something that works. I have never been in therapy, so I have no idea which is better or not. It helps, but it is not the cure for anything. 

adult coloring pages
Finished work

I find that the way I color at any given time shows the emotions that I have when I am coloring. I remember a time when I was heartbroken about something and the colors on the page ended up all dark and depressing without me even noticing that I did it. When I am not that stressed, the colors end up light and bright. Most of the time the colors I pick are not intentional. I tend to go with what I feel and not think too much about it until I see the result.

If you enjoy art like me, you may appreciate and enjoy the idea of having a coloring book (or two) at home. It is a good way to decompress after a whole day at work or to pass the time in a non-gadget/digital way. One book, a set of pencils (or crayons, or markers, whatever you prefer) and you are all set! 

Share some of your work with me if/when you give it a try?


Sunday, May 3, 2020

Netflix Review: Crash Landing on You

With the news of North Korea and South Korea exchanging gunfire this morning, my thoughts suddenly went back to the Korean drama Crash Landing on You on Netflix. If those characters existed in real life, what could the be doing right about now? What would Captain Ri do?  

Crash Landing on You is one of the Netflix shows that became extremely popular here in the Philippines and is one of the highest rated series in South Korea. It tells the story of Yoon Se Ri, an entrepreneur with a successful business empire who accidentally gets stranded in North Korea under the protection of a soldier/captain named Ri Jung Hyuk and his group of soldiers. Despite the risks and the odds (and several futile prior attempts), they are able to smuggle Yoon Se Ri back into South Korea.  

Unfortunately for Se Ri, Capt. Ri’s enemy follows her to South Korea to get revenge, so he follows him to protect and save her, with his band of soldiers following him to take him back soon after. In the end (spoiler alert), she is saved, Capt. Ri and is group of soldiers go back home and they are again separated by the border between the two Koreas. 

The series is one of the best Korean dramas that I have seen so far. My emotions were all over the place watching everything unfold. I was laughing at the funny scenes, crying at the moving ones, and as giddy with kilig at the romantic moments of the show.  

Before watching the show, I did not have any idea what life in North Korea might be like. All I knew was that they were separated from South Korea and that they never crossed each other’s borders. Getting a picture of their life from the show made the idea of it more real to me. I cried so much thinking of the loss that the lead characters felt from being separated from one another. I cried feeling how the friends she made in the North, the people she came to love, would be a big loss to her because she would never see them again.  

I fell in love with all the different relationships that were presented in the show. It was about family — the ones we are born with and the one that we make. It was about friends and the bonds we make with the people we least expect. It was about love and how we acknowledge it, fight for it and make the best of it. Each type of relationship on the show from the families of both lead characters, the power struggles in Se Ri’s family and in Capt. Ri’s life as a soldier, the bond that Se Ri formed with Captain Ri and his soldiers and with her neighbors in North Korea, to the unexpected love story between Seo Dan and Gu Seung Joon had an interesting story to tell that complimented each other to make up the heart of the entire series. 

One of my favorite parts of the series is the reveal that Se Ri and Capt. Ri were, in a way, destined to be together from the start. They had run into each other in Switzerland on several occasions, way before he became a soldier. A song he wrote and played on the piano while he was there was a song that had been in her mind for years, and it is this theme song that I enjoy listening to now long after I’ve finished the show on Netflix. I have put the music from the show on my Spotify playlist, that is how much I have enjoyed it. 

I have seen Hyun Bin (Capt. Ri) in several shows but this is different from all the others he has done so far. He always plays this arrogant character, even as a male lead. But with Captain Ri, he is all heart and he is a good guy through and through. I loved him in this one. His chemistry with co-star Son Ye Jin (Se Ri) is so good and I know a lot of people agree because everyone else is hoping they get together in real life. 

Crash Landing on You is now on my list of all-time Korean drama favorites. If you are a fan of Korean dramas and you have not seen this one yet, what are you waiting for? 


Saturday, May 2, 2020

Book Review: Blue Bloods Series

These quarantined times has given me the opportunity to do some reading and I found myself going back to some old favorites, one of them being the YA vampire series Blue Bloods by Filipino American author Melissa de la Cruz. Writing a book that involves fantasy, action and adventure is something I have wanted to do for some time so I knew that the author’s success in writing this series is something I can learn from.  

Here is a little review of the series: 

Set in Manhattan, the series of books follows Schuyler Van Alen, who tries to navigate around her newly discovered identity as a Blue Blood, otherwise known as a vampire. She discovers that she lives in a world where humans are unaware that vampires exist and live among them. These vampires, it is revealed, are actually fallen angels. They live on earth following cycles of life and death via a form of reincarnation until they are forgiven and given an opportunity to return to heaven. On earth, they are led by the incarnation of the Angel Michael. He is supposed to be joined by his partner the Angel Gabriel but in the book she is introduced as being in a coma, a result of not wanting to be bonded with Michael in this incarnation after falling in love with a human. I think this is an interesting theory about the origins of vampires and that new idea was remarkably interesting to me and I wanted to learn more through all the books.

Fallen Angel
Fallen Angel Image by Sergei Tokmakov from Pixabay

The series has a total of seven books, along with a couple of companion books and some spin-offs. Blue Bloods, the title of the first book, introduces the reader to the world of the vampires, their origins and their lifestyle. There are also mysterious vampire deaths that are occurring that lead to the death of Schuyler’s grandmother. This becomes the start of Schuyler’s journey to try to answer the questions she has about her origins and the deaths that are happening around her, meeting and involving a few friends along the way. 

The first book would make the reader think that the series is centered around Schuyler alone but once I got through the other books, I discovered that the author also gave attention to the other characters. This made rooting for just that one person hard to do while reading this series.  

As with most teen books, there is a love story involved. It’s not just about the love triangle that involved Michael, Gabriel and her human partner but also a love square (if there is such a term) that involves Schuyler: she is in love with Jack, who is bonded (since their time in heaven) with Mimi. To make things more complicated, she also has feelings for her best friend Oliver, who also feels the same way. I will not spoil how it all works out in case anyone wants to read the series, but I would like to think that it was resolved well, and that the series ended on a good note. 

I think the series was a good mix of adventure, love, action, fantasy…I was reading this as an adult and even if this is supposed to be teen fiction, I found myself entertained every step of the way. One of the books even had this adventure in hell that reminded me a bit of Dante’s Inferno because of how they described the journey to get to a certain character, who was a demon (of sorts). 

The only comment I can give about the series is more of a generalized question on most fantasy fiction books that involve teenagers: why do they all act and speak like adults? I often forget how young most of them are when I was reading the series. I always seem to picture them as older because of how they behave. It is something that is not unique to this series alone, because there are a lot of other books where the leads are teens that are the same way. Is it an American thing? Or are we Filipinos a bit on the conservative side? Or is it just me? 

When I first read this series, I immediately thought that these books would make good movies, or a TV series at least. With how Shadowhunters had their chance as a movie and TV series, I hope that this series could have the same opportunity. I read somewhere that Walt Disney Pictures has the rights to the books, I hope that they will make use of it and actually make a movie (or movies — franchise, anyone?) or series, especially now that they have their own streaming service. 

If you like vampire stories, or if you are interested in stories about angels and demons, you might like the Blue Bloods series. I liked it then, I still like it now all these years later.  

Friday, May 1, 2020

Quarantine Stories: Health

The quarantine we’re all in has given me a lot of time to think about several things. Mostly, it has me thinking about my health. While there is a hospital and a clinic near me to go to in the event that I need a doctor, it’s not exactly something I’m inclined to do given the state of the world we’re in right now. With all my pre-existing health conditions I have, the best thing I can do for myself at the moment is to make sure that I stay healthy. 

According to the World Health Organization, people over the age of 60 or those with underlying medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions, and diabetes are at risk for COVID19. Among the ways that we can slow the spread of the disease and avoid infection is frequent (and proper) handwashing, wearing a protective face mask, and social distancing. For people like me who have all mentioned medical conditions that make me at risk for the disease, another way to take precaution is by making sure I am as healthy as I possibly can. 

Some precautions I take are things I already did prior to this pandemic. I already take maintenance medicine for my health. I forget to take them sometimes due to brain fog (a result of another health condition) but my sister recently added my medicine schedule on Gcal to make sure that I don’t forget during this pandemic. Apart from my regular meds, I have also been careful in other ways: I was already a germophobe to begin with so the whole handwashing and use of alcohol and disinfectant wipes have always been second nature to me. 

Staying at home during the quarantine has its advantages and disadvantages for my health. One advantage is that with limited resources, we haven’t been able to choose what types of food to eat. Lately, with our neighbors always having vegetables readily available, we have been having healthy food often. That was not always the case when I was away at work during the weekdays. 

Another thing I enjoy about staying home is that I get to see the sun more. I read that Vitamin D is a good way to keep one healthy against the coronavirus, so I have taken to sitting outside in the sun during the early mornings. I don’t usually get to do that because most of the time I’m inside the office for work and don’t get to enjoy the sunlight the way I do lately. 

Not needing to go to work has also meant there is no excuse for not having enough time to exercise. While I can’t exactly go to the gym, I do have an elliptical that I have placed in my bedroom that serves as a glaring reminder for me to work out at least for 30 minutes daily. I wish I could say that it is an easy task though: this hot and humid weather lately has made exercise a challenge. Depending on the weather, I find myself either doing fitness activities daily or just getting it three times a week (and feeling like I am having an asthma attack every time). There has been some weight loss so I am not complaining…after all that was not the goal but more of an additional benefit. 

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

There is also this one thing that I have been doing as a result of this pandemic that I consider a precautionary measure. I found this doctor who did a video of breathing exercises that is supposed to help clear your lungs to make sure you stay healthy. I’ve been doing it daily, sometimes even more than once a day if I remember to. 

I feel like with this pandemic, it’s all about watching and waiting…and hoping that in this “survival of the fittest,” we end up as part of the survivors. Nothing feels certain and the future seems too unpredictable to even think about.  

The only thing we can do – or should I say the only thing I can do – now is to take charge of the one thing I can control and that is making sure that I stay healthy. I hope everyone else is doing the same. 

Friday, April 17, 2020

My Reintroduction to Ju Ji Hoon

One of the things that I have been doing to distract myself from the gravity of the whole quarantine/COVID 19 situation has been watching K-Dramas. One of the shows that I watched on Viu was an old favorite, Princess Hours (also known as Goong). Here's a trailer of the Tagalog-dubbed version:


Princess Hours is one of the first K-Dramas that I watched and is one of my favorites, mostly because I loved the chemistry between the leads Ju Ji Hoon and Yoon Eun Hye. Both were still newcomers at the time and as kilig as it was to see them together, it was fairly easy to tell that Ju Ji Hoon was still a bit stiff and that there was still (a lot of) room for improvement. It was a good thing his role called for a character that did not show emotion that easily so his obvious lack of acting experience was excusable. Watching the show many years later made me realize how problematic this whole love story was. The fact that Ju Ji Hoon's character had the tendency to shout at and just grab Yoon Eun Hye's character in several scenes is a big no no in real life. I guess when I was younger I overlooked these things in the name of kilig but now that I am older and (probably) wiser, I was disappointed that I liked Ji Hoon's character when I first watched it. I have heard of the Netflix show Kingdom when people were going crazy over it during its first season. I never watched it because historical-themed K-Dramas are not my thing. Now that season 2 is here, I finally forced myself to watch the trailer and was surprised to find out that Ju Ji Hoon is one of the lead actors of this show. I hardly recognized him but when I did, I was really impressed!


The last time I heard about Ji Hoon was when he was involved in some drug-related scandal. Not sure about the details, but I remember being sad and thinking that the scandal was the end of his career. I'm happy to find out that it wasn't the case and that he has bounced back in a spectacular way by being in a show that is popular all over the world. Now that Ji Hoon has bounced back from his scandal, I would love to see Eun Hye do the same. She had her own share of issues with a show she did in China (again, I don't know all the details) and she hasn't gotten back on track with her career in a while. I would LOVE to see her do a reunion project with Ji Hoon one day. They did a rom-com with Princess Hours, maybe this time around they can do a drama since they are both older. After seeing Eun Hye in Missing You, I know that she can pull off heavy drama as well. However, with the success of Kingdom, I don't know if that is possible. I know season 3 hasn't been announced yet but considering the feedback on season 2, another season seems likely. Ji Hoon looks so good now that he is older. His face has matured and has changed, his Princess Hours days make him look like a baby compared to how he looks today. It was such a surprise, but it was a very pleasant one!


Just on the knowledge of his involvement in this show alone, I will definitely be catching up on the Kingdom train. I've also learned that he has another show, Hyena, on Netflix as well. My niece was also telling me about these movies called Along with the Gods that are also on Netflix which -- surprise! -- also star Ju Ji Hoon. What rock have I been hiding under that I wasn't aware of all this? I guess now anyone can guess what I will be doing during my free time in this quarantine.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Quarantine Thoughts: Highs and Lows

The lockdowns happening all over the world has resulted in a number of highs and lows. It's not surprising that people feel a surge of contradicting emotions from everything that has been happening everywhere. I have been working from home, but it's hard to completely focus when you see so many things on TV and read about so much depressing news online.

The lows, of course, are obvious: the number of deaths, the number of people infected, the fact that health care systems all over the world are not ready for something of this magnitude, the shutdown of economies is all so depressing and scary.

It is so easy to get into a black hole of internet conspiracy theories and terrify yourself with all the bleak facts and figures regarding the COVID 19 virus. It is far easier to get angry with how things are happening than it is to try to be positive with all the news that we get daily.  

I'm not saying that we shouldn't be angry. We have every right to feel upset over what is happening. This is something that we are all unprepared for. None of us expected things to implode the way that it has.

There are way too many toxic exchanges online with regard to the way that governments all over the globe are handling the situation. I think that while people can and should point out when things are not working, I don't think that negativity is the answer to what is happening. None of us are experts at what is going on. We are all (hopefully) doing the best we can given the circumstances (with the exception of those people who are still not following the lockdowns and are harassing the families of COVID-positive patients, obviously). 

Governments should do what they can. We the public should point out when things don't work so they can do things better. If other governments are doing better, maybe suggesting to and/or applying similar practices are better than arguing against it just because that person is from a different political party. Now is not the time for politics and grandstanding. There is so much work to be done. People need to work together if we are all going to survive this pandemic. We need to follow the quarantine guidelines. We need to follow social distancing. We need to take the necessary precautions whenever possible not just for ourselves but for the people we love.

The uncertainty of it all brings out so many fears not just about health but also about how we are all going to survive this pandemic and the lockdowns if we cannot work. It's hard not to wonder and probably believe that things will never go back to normal after all of this is over.

Nevertheless, there are still many things that can help to lift ourselves up from these depressing and scary times. The stories of people who go out of their way to prepare food for the healthcare professionals at the hospitals are inspiring. Seeing how ordinary people who, even with so little, do what they can to help their neighbors during these interesting times warms my heart. Businesses that made the shift to making personal protective equipment and disinfectants to help doctors and nurses while they save people from COVID 19 give you hope that things are going to be OK.

The donations that are pouring in from private individuals are overwhelming and gives you hope that we are all going to get through this together. The way so many people are giving so much of themselves online to help lighten the load of people -- from celebrities going online live to interact with their fans to musicians who give free performances and the artists and other creatives sharing free online lessons -- you can feel that there is a sense of community in the midst of this isolation that we are all holding onto. The fact that we have that in these trying times tells me that we can all count on each other when they matter the most.

Here in our neighborhood, it has been all about sharing and community. Sometimes a neighbor would be at our gate to hand over vegetables or fruits from their garden. Other times it would be a meal or a snack that they had more than enough of (something that we also do as well). I think as long as we all have each other's backs, we can all make it out of this in one piece. 

The church being online and accessible to the public has also been a blessing. I may not be much of a practicing Catholic these days, but the fact that the church has become so accessible during these trying times has meant a lot to me. Watching Pope Francis doing the Urbi et Orbi blessing alone at the Vatican was so moving and comforting. It made me feel that it's not just us against this virus but that God is also here with us. 

Another high that I think has come out of this quarantine is the time that has been given to us. I don't think I'm the only person who has commented that I would do this and that if only I had the time. Well now I do, and it's time I got around to it. I'm sure that it's been the same for a lot of people too. 

I'm grateful that this time has, in spite of the reason that it has happened, given me an opportunity to be around my family more. It has also given me time to reflect and get to know myself better. To know what is important to me an what I should be giving priority too. 

Apart from knowing ourselves better, this situation has also enlightened us on the people around us. I remember there's a quote about how circumstances do not make a person, but rather they reveal it. How someone reacts to the present situation certainly gives me an idea of the kind of person that someone is. It's an eye opener not just about that person, but also about how I should interact with that person moving forward. 

Sadly, we are not all going to have the best intentions at heart. There will always be people with different ideas in mind. This pandemic has made me see that no matter how you want to see the good in everyone and want to do the right thing, not everyone is going to be the same. However, being aware of that and being less naive about it is balanced out by the people who, on the other hand, have impressed me with their action in these times. Let's just hope the latter type of people will eventually outnumber the former.

I look forward to the day when the threat of COVID 19 ends. When it will it end? I have no idea. I feel that even if the lockdowns are over, the threat will still be there until the vaccines and cures are developed. Until then, I will continue to hope, pray and be inspired by the good things that happen in spite of the bad.

I hope we will be OK soon.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Quarantine Thoughts: Survivor's Guilt

Quarantines have been happening all over the world due to the spread of the virus COVID 19. So many lives have been lost, with so many families unexpectedly losing people that they love without getting the chance to say goodbye. There are so many doctors and nurses worldwide bravely fighting to their deaths just to save the lives of others. So much sad news on TV. It's terrifying and heartbreaking at the same time. Sometimes it feels like all you can do now is pray that it all ends soon.

Watching the news and hearing about how the world outside has been throughout all this breaks my heart. Hospitals are full, and you would be hard-pressed to find one that can take you in right away if you are sick, COVID 19 or not. I have read countless stories of people who were sick with non-COVID diseases who have had to go to multiple hospitals just to seek treatment. Some were not even lucky to make it to one alive and, COVID or not, families are advised to cremate their loved one right away just to be sure. While I cannot blame hospitals for taking that precaution, it is still a devastating thing to deal with for the families.

Due to the high risk of infecting others, COVID-positive patients are isolated. In a way the disease is not just a physical issue but also a mental one. As one survivor put it, you have to fight against the fear brought on by the isolation and not give up if you want to survive. 

I don't know if it's the same in other countries but here in the Philippines, if those patients die they are cremated right away. Their families see them alive one moment and in a container of ashes the next. It is a difficult thing to process, especially when there are cases where the surviving family is being treated unfairly by others due to the fear that they may have the virus themselves.

With the news that a vaccine may only be available as early as 18 months from now, things are certainly all up in the air in the meantime. Even if the lockdowns were to end, without a definite cure, without a vaccine, we are not safe. I know I say this often, but this has never rang true as much as it has these days: tomorrow is never promised. At this point, it seems all we can live for is today. 

One person shared online that during a peaceful and quiet moment, he felt this terror. He shared how his brain is trying to process all these mixed feelings from the uncertainty of the situation that he started to cry. It was comforting to know that there is someone out there who feels the same way.

I have been having mixed feelings about what is happening in the world right now. I feel this gratitude that my family is home and that we are safe. I am grateful that we are all healthy and together. I feel thankful that in spite of being one of those people with existing medical conditions that puts me at risk for the disease, I am still OK. But in spite of all that, there is also this fear over how my family will survive this quarantine if it stretches out longer than what we expect. I've already had conversations with people at work and there is a possibility that they will no longer be able to pay us if this goes on longer. Without any savings left, I can't help but wonder how my family can have enough to sail through this lockdown if I no longer have money from work to depend on.

When I watch the news, all my worries turn into massive guilt. In a way I suppose I'm feeling some form of survivor's guilt about the whole situation. I find myself wondering how I can complain about money when there are so many people out there who have lost someone they love to this? How can I worry when I am still so much better off compared to other people whose income stopped completely when the lockdowns started? What are my concerns compared to those people in the healthcare/medical profession who have to see death on a regular basis, risking their lives even when it feels that everything is hopeless? I am healthy. I am safe. Shouldn't that be enough?

My mother, who is a devout Catholic, has been leading us in daily prayers to save the world from COVID 19. We pray the rosary daily, and the "Oratio Imperata" at least three times a day. During these prayers, I find my thoughts drifting to those people who have been directly affected by this disease. I find myself thanking God for those people who carry on in spite of the circumstances. I thank the Lord for the inspiring people who have stepped up to help in whatever way they can. Again, that survivor's guilt creeps in when I have these thoughts.

During those prayers, I find myself apologizing that I haven't done anything to help except to stay home. I feel guilty that there has been nothing else that I have done to contribute except being at home and praying. I wish I could do more, not that there is anything else for me to do given the current state of my resources. While understandable, I still feel guilty all the same. 

As I've mentioned earlier, it's a mix of emotions. I feel so much gratitude since I have existing medical conditions that put me at risk for the virus and yet I am fine. I am happy about that but I feel guilty at the same time. Processing my feelings about the whole thing is a challenge, but as a friend of mine said, it's OK to just feel whatever I feel. None of us have been through anything like this before in our lifetimes. Whatever/however we feel is valid and should be acknowledged. Some of us compartmentalize, and that is fine. If that is how we can get through this, that's OK too. It's what we do or how we act on those feelings, be it now or later on, that needs a lot of thought.

Everything feels so uncertain. I have started to question the things that were important to me because so many things have suddenly felt trivial compared to the gravity of the situation we are all in. I feel that the world will never be the same after this. 

Whatever lesson God wants us to learn from all this, I hope that we take it to heart. I hope that it makes us all better people. I hope that we can ultimately end up a better world for it. I hope that one day we can look back and remember that it took something like this to turn the world around for the better.

Hope. Faith. Prayers. Family. Health. Safety. That's all I have right now. Thankfully, right now, that is enough.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Sunday Update 11: Week 2 of ECQ

Week 2 of the Enhanced Community Quarantine has come and gone. There are two weeks to go. Everything still feels so uncertain since the number of infected and deaths keep rising by the day. There is no definite word on whether or not this lockdown will end at the intended date. I can't blame the government on that since it is hard to decide when things keep changing every day...unfortunately for the worse. I hope everyone is staying at home and keeping themselves and their loved ones safe.

My mother commented on something that gave me a little bit of an eerie feeling. She told me to listen, because it was quiet. Too quiet. I stopped to listen and yes, it was. It's like everyone is trying to wait and listen for when this is all going to end. 

As I've mentioned in my last post, I have been working from home. I actually like that I have been keeping myself busy, since sitting still and being given the opportunity to think puts me in such a state that I don't want to be in. This past week it had gotten to the point of me crying in my room out of sympathy for all those in the medical profession who are fighting the good fight, for the people infected, the people who have passed away and their families who cannot even be with them. After that I found myself crying even more out of worry for my family and feeling helpless that I cannot be sure that we will stay safe throughout this whole thing. 

One thing is for sure: things will never be the same after this. Not for me anyway. I have found myself countless times wondering about the things that have been taking much of my time and wondering: does it matter? Now that we are all in this situation, do the things that felt important then actually matter when all is said and done?

I had a little panic attack this morning. My chest felt tight, my throat felt constricted and I was finding it hard to breathe. Naturally, my brain went on "what if I have COVID 19" mode before I remembered that I haven't been outside in 2 weeks and it was highly unlikely that I have caught it anywhere during that time. 

This stress that I have been feeling is something that I haven't acknowledged much since the lockdown started but my body is starting to tell me that I can't hide from it any longer. I've been having rashes/hives that look like welts appearing on my body at various times of the day. With everything I've been feeling it would be nice to get some help and see my doctor but that this point I feel safer being at home than going out to a hospital. 

Spending time with my family has been one of the benefits of this lockdown. The fact that I am surrounded by them is the one thing that is keeping me sane, which is why I feel for everyone who is sick who can't be around family. I feel for the frontliners who -- even after they get home -- cannot be close to their loved ones because of the fear that they will infect them. 

Mornings have been my sweet spot this past week. I've taken to getting some sunlight on me while walking around our front yard or on our upstairs terrace (no matter how small it is) while I drink my morning tea. For two days straight I've seen two unusual sightings: one was an eagle (yes, I'm sure) and another was a bird I've never seen before that just perched on our gate for a few minutes. I don't know if this is a normal thing that I just never noticed before, but it was a nice thing to see.

I have heard people say that things are going to get worse before they get better. I hope that we can skip the worst and move on to the better...I hope that one day soon we can all step out of our homes confident that we are not putting our lives at risk. That we can be confident that being sick will not mean that we will be on our deathbeds.

There's nothing more that I could ask for right now than for things to get better. God, let things get better. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Sunday Update 10: COVID 19 Quarantine

Week One of Enhanced Community Quarantine of the entire Luzon area is over. How has quarantine life been for everyone?

Here in my neck of the woods, I can’t complain. Our area hasn’t had any confirmed COVID 19 patients and I am hoping that with the way things are being locked down that we won’t get one. The thought that the virus has not reached our area gives me and my family a little sigh of relief every day.  I'm a little concerned that there are still people violating the quarantine but I hope the local government can control that in some way to prevent the spread of the virus. My family and I have been praying the rosary daily, along with the Oratio Imperata recommended by the Catholic Church  (that we do three times a day at least).  Prayers go a long way, but I really hope that people all do their part too to make sure this doesn't spread. 

Since the announcement of the quarantine this past weeek I have been working from home. While our office is required to have a skeletal workforce present, I had asked for a work from home arrangement given that my state of health puts me at risk for the virus. It’s been very good so far. I have probably gotten more work done being at home than being at the office. I can’t explain why, I just am more productive for some reason. The only thing that delays my work is when I have to wait for feedback from other people from the office who are not so adept with the whole work from home thing.  Still can't complain. This is new for everyone and we are all trying to do our best with what we have and are taking things day by day.

While most people have either been bored, restless or have succumbed to that black hole that is Tik Tok, I have found myself enjoying the isolation. I guess being introverted has its advantages. Apart from the time I use for work, I have been using the quarantine to either sleep or watch Memories of the Alhambra on Netflix. After Crash Landing on You I found myself wanting to watch more of Hyun Bin, so I decided to binge on that other show. I just finished the entire season so I will post a review of those shows one of these days.

As someone at risk for the disease, I've been doing what I can to stay healthy. I make sure that I get some Vitamin D in the morning and sit out in the sun for a bit. I try to get some exercise on the elliptical or by shooting hoops with my nephews at our garage (more like trying to shoot hoops -- I only got 7 in about 15 minutes!). I also try to get as much sleep as I can and take my regular maintenance meds and vitamins. With the extra time I have at home, making this much effort to be healthy has suddenly become possible. It is so far from my whole "exhausted from work" mode which usually means I get home, have dinner and go to sleep only to go back to work again the next day (and the cycle goes on and on after that). Even my weekends used to be about decompressing from the work stress. This past week I didn't have that now that I'm working from home. Go figure.

I know a lot of people are ranting or raving (or sometimes both) about how things are being run during this period, but I try not to get too stressed about it. Something like this probably has not happened in a long time (or maybe it has never happened at this big a scale). While it’s disappointing to see how we are not ready for what is happening to us and it is alarming and scary how this virus is infecting people and taking lives, I think everyone is doing the best they can in the way they know how (even if that how can sometimes be misguided or have questionable motives). That being said, I also think it is everyone’s right to speak up for what is wrong to be corrected -- but we also have to do our part and cooperate (by staying home) to ensure that we can recover from this as quickly as possible. 

This quarantine has got me thinking about the things that matter. Considering how life-threatening this virus is, it does make me reassess the things that are going on in my life. Remember that hypothetical question, “What would you do if you knew you only had days to live?” Given how unpredictable this whole situation is, it does shake me up about the things that matter to me. It makes me think of which things should I focus on, which ones should I not put too much stock into and who I am as a person. It reminds me of the things (and people) that are important to me. It makes me realize the things that I truly value and the things that I should do with my life if I am given the opportunity to. 

Plus, given the varied reactions of people around me to this crisis, this situation is also showing me the true character of the people in my life. I’ve realized that not all of them have the same moral compass as I do. I’ve realized that some are way too stubborn for their own good. It can be disappointing if not for the fact that I have also seen people who have stepped up in this time of crisis. People who do more than their fair share. It gives me hope in spite of everything that things will be alright. 

One thing that just popped into my mind during this quarantine is how if this doesn’t end well for all of us, I would leave this earth without romantically loving someone again. I say “again” because the last time that happened was (prepare to be shocked) 17 years ago. Yes I’ve dated and I have had “relationships” in that past decade and a half or so but I can safely say that I have not loved in the truest sense of the word (for me) since that one person way back when. I would be more than happy to find that kind of love (or someone even better) if I could. I guess this is what the quarantine has done to my brain. I’m not bored, but I am feeling the need for a love life. Not just any love life but a love life with THE guy. I’m normally fine without one but these days, when my mind has too much idle time to think and the threat of a virus is always on the news, I find myself wanting that kind of love again, if it can still happen. 

I hope everyone is doing well in spite of the quarantine. I know there is a tendency to feel restless and stressed, but let's all use the time we have to do the things we've always found ourselves "too busy" to do. Read that book. Exercise. Spend time with your family. Take up that thing you've always wanted to try. Reflect, pray and use this time to reassess your life and plan on how to make it better. Let's try to make the best of what we have. We (you, my readers, and me) are all still better off compared to others who don't have enough to last until the end of this quarantine. We are not exposed to the virus on a daily basis like the brave and hardworking health workers who are taking this virus head on. 

We should all make the best of this and stay home, for everyone's sake.

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