Lifestyle Blog from the Philippines

Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Re-Follow

My social media accounts are things that I check almost every day. I follow a lot of people, mostly people who I know personally, but I also follow a lot of people that I admire: writers, celebrities, fellow bloggers, and other influential people. There used to be a time that I felt that I was following too many people so I did a purge and unfollowed people who I felt had posts that I did not agree with. Recently, however, I did a re-follow and followed back some of these people. Why? I felt that it would be a healthy thing for me to do so. 

Image by ijmaki from Pixabay

Yes, I know that sounds weird but it’s not like I re-followed anyone who is toxic or negative. I decided that I should be open to listening to people who have different points of view and interests from what I have. It’s about re-following people who are also open to a discussion/conversation about topics that we do not always see eye to eye on. I feel that to grow as a person, I need to open myself up that way.


Friday, April 9, 2021

My Past Life Regression Experience

One thing that I have been interested in for the longest time is the concept of past lives. I know that most Catholics/Christians frown on the idea that we are given second (or third and fourth and so on) chances on earth but personally I would like to think that we do come back as different people so that we can learn and become better until we are ready to move on to the next life. 

I have been reading a lot about this even when I was still in elementary school. I have always thought (believed and imagined?) that I had a past life. I am obsessed with history, with reading and learning about how people from the past lived, what their personal stories were, and what kind of environment they lived in. I also have an interest in old music, and I have always wondered if there was a reason for that.

There are people who I have seen on TV who have gotten help from people to look into their past lives. I remember watching people on TV who are said to have psychic abilities and could see the past lives of the people they meet and I used to wonder if I could meet them because I wanted to know and confirm that I did have a past life (or lives, for that matter). Unfortunately, I have not met people like that (yet) so I had to try something else. 

My searches on Spotify yielded podcasts that help listeners to undergo a past life regression session. I have not been able to find feedback on these podcasts from people who have tried them so I was not sure if I should. Someone discouraged me from it because without feedback, how could I tell if those hypnosis sessions affect me? It was too risky. 


Thursday, April 8, 2021

I Can Never Be An Influencer

The recent “scandal” involving a photo of Khloe Kardashian has raised a discussion on authenticity among celebrities and social media influencers. I find myself conflicted about this issue. On one end, I think we all try to show the best versions of ourselves online and for that reason it should not be a surprise that her photos are edited. Plus, for celebrities like her who use social media as a means of income as an influencer, I think it is a given that her posts would be edited and curated. As far as businesses go, she is the product, and of course, she would need to present it the best way possible. She may not be her “authentic” self, but she is being authentic to her image and her brand by posting her edited and curated photos.

The kind of scandal Khloe Kardashian (my favorite of the sisters, to be honest), made me think of how I would never want to be in her place. Behind the glitz and glamour, I'm sure that there is so much pressure for her to be a certain way all the time. In a recent post about reputation, I mentioned that maintaining some form of reputation online for me seems to be a very tiring thing to do. All the planning, curating, and editing is a lot of work. I could never be Khloe, that world all too much for me. 

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

As a blogger, I have been approached to write about certain products in the past, but I found myself uncomfortable doing so in exchange for payment when it is not something that I believe in. I think that is one of the reasons why I never transitioned to being an “influencer.” Well, that and the fact that I do not have it in me to do all the work involved with doing this full time.

I am posting this not to diss any influencer, vlogger, or blogger. In fact, I must tip my hat to these people because what they do involves a lot of work and commitment. I just find myself struggling with doing the same thing because of issues such as authenticity in my work. I do not think I can be genuine with what I write/review if I was paid to say something positive about it. While some can do it, I do not think I can be real with my audience if I was planning everything that I share or if I was being prompted with topics for my posts. 

Image by Piyapong Saydaung from Pixabay

With my anxiety, I do not think that I can show or share as much to be an authentic “influencer” because there are some things that I would prefer to keep private, and I feel that is not what having an online/social media career would be about. You need to be out there often, and I do not think I am comfortable with that either.

Some people would probably argue and say that most people are not their authentic selves online anyway and I agree. I just do not feel that I can be comfortable with presenting myself in that way. I have friends who have encouraged me to transition my blog into a vlog or to use my Instagram to monetize what I share. I have looked into it, and I have tried some elements of doing so. Yes, I have tried the SEO of things, the affiliate links, the ads, the planning and coordinating of my blog with social media, the hashtags, and all that. I did not go all in, but I did dip my toe in the waters to see how it would go.

The experience made me realize that I did not want to do it that way. I have been blogging as an outlet, writing to release stress and just share my thoughts with the world. Yes, it seems too bad that I am not doing what I can to monetize it when there is a potential for it, but I feel that it would not be doing what I loved if I went in that direction.  It would spoil things for me. If it works out that I can be who I am now and still make something off it, then well and good. But if I go down that route of monetizing things and doing the work, I feel it would be better for my mental health to just stop doing this altogether. I do this to relieve stress, not to add on to it. 

So yeah, I can never be an influencer. With me become more and more into an introvert as I get older, I think that it is actually for the best that I do not turn into one!


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Netflix Picks: The Bonfire of Destiny

Anyone else doing Netflix binges while they work from home? I have been doing a lot of that lately. Mostly I watch shows or movies that I have already seen before, so I do not get distracted from what I am doing for work. Eventually, I decided that I needed a change and picked this French drama called The Bonfire of Destiny (La Bazar de la Charite).

Originally aired in 2019 in France, this miniseries is inspired by a true event that happened in Paris in 1897. The fire at the Bazar de la Charite becomes the main event that pushes the show’s main characters to various directions in their lives, changing them completely. I originally wanted to watch it with the French audio, but I figured I could not work and read subtitles at the same time, so I decided to use the English audio provided by Netflix instead.

The series is revolves around the story of three women: Adrienne, her niece Alice, and Rose, who works for Alice’s family. The women are from different walks of life: Adrienne is married to a rich and powerful man but is in an unhappy and abusive marriage, which has led her to have an affair with another man. Alice is young and happily engaged to Julien, while Rose is planning to leave the country with her husband, who like her also works for Alice’s family. 

As the three women all gathered to attend the Bazar, a fire broke out and many people, particularly women and children, were killed. This was mostly because the men were all pushing women away to escape. It was during the fire that Alice saw Julien (who had left her behind) push Rose into the fire just so that he could get away. She was rescued by Victor, a petty thief who she ran into earlier. She could never look at Julien the same way again after what happened, not even if her father had promised her to Julien in exchange for his money since, apparently, they were broke.

Adrienne, who left the Bazar to be with her lover, used the fire as an opportunity to fake her own death to get away from her husband. Rose, on the other hand, was taken by a rich woman who wanted her to take the place of her daughter, who died in the fire. With her face disfigured from the fire, it was easy for her to take her place, albeit reluctantly because she was nursed back to health.

The events that happened after the fire revolved around drama, romance, politics, and conspiracy. It gave each woman challenges to face as a result of what happened to them in the fire. I would like to think that all three rose to the challenge and despite the heartbreaks that they all experienced, they were able to come out of it happy with where they were in the end. 

I really enjoyed watching this show. I loved that the episodes were not that long and there were only eight episodes. It made the show easy to watch because it was not dragging the drama along for the sake of length. I also liked that the bad guys in the story got what they deserved and that Julien had the opportunity to redeem himself from the bad things that he did. I love it when redemption is given to characters like him.

The last episode was a bit open-ended. I felt that the show could end there but that they could also continue with the story of the three women if they had wanted to. Unfortunately, the show was a limited series and ended there. Because of this show, I think I will be looking out for shows that may not necessarily be what I am used to but could possibly as entertaining. 

If you have a Netflix account, I highly recommend this show. Let me know if you have seen it!


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Valuing My Vision

What would you do if the doctor told you that you have a problem with your vision and could possibly go blind? How would you feel? How would you react? I cannot imagine what I would do if that happened to me. But it is something that my co-worker recently went through. As someone who has had bad vision my entire life, losing my eyesight is something that has made me very scared and more determined to value my vision.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

My officemate was having migraines a lot, we all thought that it was from the stress of work and the pandemic. That and the fact that she is functioning as a single parent at home since her husband is working overseas. She has always been wearing reading glasses, so she figured the headache could also be the result of needed to change her glasses — something that she has been putting off because of the pandemic. 


Monday, April 5, 2021

Guilty Pleasure: The Graham Norton Show

I love talk shows. I have loved them since I was a young girl. Oprah will always be my favorite, but these days if I want to watch a talk show that would make me smile, it will have to be the British program The Graham Norton Show. It is that one show that is guaranteed to make me laugh when I need it most. Thank God for online videos!

Living in the Philippines means we do not get the show on TV. I only discovered the show on Facebook, and I have been watching and following it from there and from their YouTube channel since then. From what I’ve been able to gather online this is a show that has been on air since 2007, with the show featuring the same things that most talk shows have: several guests who share a couch while they talk to the host, a musical guest, and the red chair portion where people share a story and there is an option for the guest (or Graham himself) to pull a lever to dump the speaker if the story was not interesting enough. 


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Sunday Update 19: Too Much Anxiety

 It is already the second quarter of the year. The world is still reeling from the COVID 19 pandemic that started last year. While a lot of countries have already vaccinated most of their population and have been opening from previously implemented lockdowns, there are those who are experiencing either their second or third waves of the pandemic. For us here in the Philippines, well, I think we have not yet gotten over our first wave just yet. And it is making me feel anxious and antsy about it. 

Today marks the first day in almost a year since I went back to the hospital. I had to get some lab work done for my check-up with my doctor. I had been putting it off because of the increasing number of COVID-positive cases in our area. I had registered yesterday to be part of those priority cases that will be vaccinated earlier, and I am required to present a medical certificate. I am left with no other choice but to visit my doctor if I want that vaccine.

Image by kropekk_pl from Pixabay

My anxiety was at an all-time high at the hospital this morning. I was so scared of bumping into people or into anything in general while I was there. It did not help that I was told there would be a delay and I would have to wait since they were disinfecting the whole place. Plus, the lab person was busy taking samples for COVID tests (another anxiety trigger when I was told this). At one point they even turned down an emergency case and told them to go to the next hospital because they would not be able to treat the patient (who I could see inside the vehicle, it seems he fainted and people were simply holding him up to sit) because of the disinfection process and lack of proper staff to help. 

I did not want to stay there long and being told to do so made me nervous. I felt that my heart was beating so fast from fear of getting infected in the hospital. I know they do not accept COVID cases in that hospital but that did not make my fears and concerns any less real. I was in a state of panic when the lab person came out to talk to me. She was refusing to take the blood sample from me and asked me to come back the following day, explaining something about how one of the tests had to be sent to Manila and since it was a Sunday, that would mean a delay in the test processing. 

It was hard enough for me to be there this morning already, so I pleaded nonstop until she finally relented and took my blood for testing. She said my test results would be delayed, but I really did not care. I just wanted the test over with so I could leave. My check-up and medical certificate would have to wait a bit, but at least I am halfway there. 

I want that vaccine to give me some peace of mind, especially now that my boss has (again) taken away some of my work from home days because, according to him, some of my co-workers were jealous of my schedule. It did not matter that I was at risk because of several health reasons or that I was more productive at home and worked while I was at home. He wanted to be “fair” to the rest of the employees, which has resulted in decreased productivity on my end: all I can think of at the office is how long I can safely stay in one spot in the office before I move around or open windows or something like that. I am in a constant state of fear of getting the virus in the workplace that I cannot think straight. I keep noticing when people are not wearing masks at work, when someone coughs or sneezes or when people eat together. It makes me so nervous during those 8 hours that I should be working at the office. I get so worked up about it that I end up going home exhausted from all the worrying I do. I cannot help it. 

I hope that I can get my check-up done this week so that I can present my medical certificate for vaccination. I hope that I can get the vaccine soon. It would really help me feel a little bit better about all this. With the number of people in the news getting infected and not being able to get treatment because all the hospitals are at full capacity, the only time that I feel safe is when I am inside our home, specifically inside my room. 

Keeping my fingers crossed that things work out and I can get that vaccine soon.


Saturday, April 3, 2021

Revisiting My Catholic Side

One of the things that I was obsessed with when I was younger was learning about the saints — Catholic saints, in particular. I loved learning about them and wondered how they lived. It was a thing for me as a child that I sort of forgot as I got older.

I was raised as a Roman Catholic, with a mother, grandmother, and aunts who have trained every child in the family early on about daily prayers, hearing mass, and all the other traditions and beliefs that any good Catholic should know. So even before the religion classes in grade school taught me about the rosary or pray the Angelus, I could recite the whole thing by heart. Yes, we were that kind of family. The kind people called in Tagalog as “sarado katoliko.” The direct translation of that is closed Catholic, but technically it means we are a strict Catholic kind of family.


Friday, April 2, 2021

Play Taylor Swift's Reputation Here

The word reputation is defined as the “belief or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.” To put it simply, it is about what other people think of a person, thing, place, group, or business. In these times where most (if not all) of us make use of social media, we all have, whether we like it or not, our own images or reputations based on our social media profiles. It could also be the title of a Taylor Swift song (and the album it was included in).

We live in times where things you say or do can come back to you in a negative way (see my previous post on cancel culture), so a lot of people are incredibly careful about how they present themselves not just in the real world but (and most especially) online as well. My mother’s most oft-repeated sentence fits into this whole idea: “What would people think?”


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Do We Really Need Cancel Culture?

This era of social media and the internet is an interesting thing. The online world is a great way for people to express their opinions and reach out to more people than was ever possible in the past. It helps make this large world feel smaller, its people are more connected. We get to learn more from each other. With the internet, we get to expand our world and our thoughts and ideas. We can call to action people from all over the world to support causes that are important to us, and it can make a difference for the better. But, as much as it can do a lot of good, it can do a lot of bad as well.

There are many things that I believe we could do less online: trolling, fake news, and the like. But the biggest thing that I find myself conflicted about is cancel culture.  That act of calling out people and “canceling” them is something that I feel does a lot more bad than good.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Yep, Still Single

When are you getting married? 
Don’t you want to get married? Are you scared of commitment? 
You should get married! You’re wasting your genes! 
If you don’t want to get married you should get yourself pregnant at least – you’ll regret not having kids when you had the chance! 

Being a single woman in a later part of life can be very annoying, especially when you're at a family gathering. Everyone wants you to get married or have kids. It can get tiring to answer the same questions repeatedly. I know (most) people mean well but it is still such a pain.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Book Review: Swipe Right

One of my recent reads was a book that I enjoyed reading…I seem to enjoy reading about couples who seem to get the love right, but the timing so wrong because this is another one of them. Swipe Right by Stephie Chapman is about Fran and Ollie, new recruits at a media content agency who start off clashing with each other to work friends.

Credit: Hera

The story revolves not just on the friendship and the wrong timing romance (they met when she had a boyfriend, and Ollie was seeing someone else), but on Fran’s project for work as a result of her recent breakup: dating and evaluating men that she meets from an online dating app. 

That whole date evaluation was a bad idea from the start. Interesting yes, but was trouble waiting to happen. Of course, Fran’s dates later find out that they are part of the anonymous date evaluation that she is writing about and things end up badly for her. I think anyone could tell her that doing this when the people you write about are ones who you hardly know, there is the danger that they will react in the ways that you do not expect. The guys she dated were such characters! It makes you wonder what kind of people are on these apps! If there is any lesson I learned from this part of the story, is that you need to be careful and discerning about dating someone from those online dating apps. I am glad that I gave up on that a long time ago!

Fran and Ollie’s story and how things developed and progressed between them unfolded in a way that gave readers time to see how this made sense even though they were drawing a line because of their respective relationships. The spark, the chemistry between the characters was definitely there for me, no matter how other readers think otherwise. 

I also enjoyed the supporting characters in this one. Some books have supporting characters that were just background and fillers for the story but I thought that the group of people they had in this one enhanced the whole thing instead of just fading away when they were not necessary.

My only complaint about stories like this (not just for this book) is that it is always justified that the leads fell for someone else because their respective significant others are the “villains” of the story. It just feels too convenient. I think it would be realistic to just show that people can sometimes outgrow each other or that – surprise – the lead character is the bad guy or girl in this for falling for someone else while in a relationship. 

While I did love how Fran and Ollie were together, and I loved that part where the book talked about the photo of the two where they just had this spark with each other. I wish I could see that photo, it sounded like such a great one that I could practically picture it in my mind!

I was happy that the lead characters had their happily ever after in the end, but I was a bit conflicted with how it was handled. I think that Ollie messed up so much, and he did not fight for what he had with Fran enough and broke her heart more than once. I think that Fran should have made it a little more difficult for him before they got back together. I think that the writer should have done more to redeem Ollie in the eyes of the reader to make him worthy of Fran after everything that happened.

Swipe Right is a good read for me, romance novel readers and chick-lit readers would probably enjoy this too.


Friday, March 26, 2021

Book Review: The Substitute

Picture this: you are going home to your parents because your mom has planned your wedding – to a fiancée that you have already broken up with. You could not find the words to tell your parents about because they have already spent so much on the wedding, so you go home on the date agreed anyway. What are you going to do? If you are Megan Vandemeer, you could get lucky and meet someone like Josh McMillan on your flight home. This is the story of the book The Substitute by Denise Grover Swank. 

In this story, Megan gets drunk on the flight and Josh tries to help her off the plane to her family. They mistake him for her fiancée, and he goes along with it because he found out that one of the people that he planned to investigate during his trip was Megan’s father. 


Credit: Denise Grover Swank

I thought that the premise of this book was hilarious because for one thing, how could you get engaged and have your mother plan your wedding even if they have never seen or met the guy? Still, the way the characters were presented and the complicated family dynamic they had I think it made a bit of sense.  It was also a stroke of luck that the purpose of Josh’s trip, which was to find out who stole their company’s idea and applied for the patent ahead of them, was made easier by becoming an insider in the Vandemeer family.  

I thought that the relationship between Megan and Josh was cute, particularly since they had chemistry and they had to pretend that they had been in a relationship for a long time. All the almost-but-not-quite-caught moments added to the feels of this story. Of course, it would not be a good romance if it did not have its share of villains, who try to stop whatever it was that was going on between the two of them.  

There are so many characters in this book, some of whom have spinoff books of their own that I plan on reading in the future because I enjoyed this one. It was a sure sign that I loved this when I could picture certain actors as the characters in the story. One character, however, that I could not imagine any actor for was also one of my favorites: Megan’s grandmother. She was this old lady who wore what she wanted, did, and said what she wanted – often with hilarious results. There was never a dull moment when she was around! I loved how she did naked yoga and wanted to sketch Josh’s butt! That was so funny! 

While some of the events in this book seem too unrealistic, I opted to enjoy reading them unfold instead of picking on what was too much or what did not make sense. It was a fun ride that led to two people falling in love and having their issues with their families work out in the end. It was a whirlwind romance that both did not expect when they were on the flight to Kansas, but it ended up being a happily-ever-after for them anyway. 

If you like a feel-good romance with the pretend-relationship trope, this is a good and quick read. There are some funny moments, some romantic ones, and some notable moments of friendship. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books on this series. Will try to write reviews on them when I am done. 

If you ever decide to read the book after seeing this review, please let me know. I would love to know what you think! 


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Never Stop Learning

The best piece of advice I have ever received about life is this: Never stop learning.

I used to think it meant that after college, I should continue my education in other ways but these days I think of that advice as including and beyond the academic experience. It means learning in the biggest school ever, life.


Monday, March 22, 2021

Book Review: The Perfect Dress

It is always refreshing to read love stories that feature characters that are not always given their time in the spotlight. One such book is The Perfect Dress, which features a plus-size female lead along with a group of friends who are plus-sized as well. 

Credit: Montlake Romance

In this book by Carolyn Brown, Mitzi is one of the owners of the bridal dress shop called The Perfect Dress, along with her best friends Paula and Jody. The book tackles the stories of each of the girls from The Perfect Dress, not just Mitzi’s story. All the stories presented issues that ranged from failed relationships, parental issues, and struggles with their weight as plus-sized women. I loved that the stories shared here are more of adult issues as opposed to stories from most romance novels that tackle young adults who have different problems altogether. 

I thought that it was cute that the book was set in the south, where people say “y’all” and were all about “what would people think” and small-town gossip…I think that it is the kind of setting that fits well with people like me who live in a small town where the thinking of people are remarkably similar to that of the book. It made it all very relatable to me. 

As far as the stories of the characters are concerned, I thought that Mitzi and Graham’s story was cute. Being schoolmates who meet again as adults and fall for each other and the awkwardness of it all, especially since Mitzi has taken his twin daughters under her wing at the shop. 

Paula’s story about having a child with a man who was – for lack of a better word – a scumbag, was a little annoying in the sense that while she was being the bigger person and owning up to her responsibility, I felt that the guy deserved a little more than an almost break up with his wife for cheating. He got away with a lot and it was not fair. 

Jody’s story about ending a long relationship and ending up with someone else was nice, but I felt that it was rushed and did not show much about how it developed. I wish it were shared a little more since there was a lot about her previous relationship that was tackled. There was not much shared about Paula’s relationship, but it still got more later on than Jody’s did.  

It was a little off-putting that Paula and Jody were portrayed as having mothers who were so bad to them. Their mothers were very soap-opera mean and I thought they were a little too harsh, especially when you see that Paula has a sister who her mother seems to treat better. Is the author trying to say that mothers hate plus-sized daughters since Graham’s ex-wife is the same with their kids? I was very curious about that.

I loved that this book made their female characters strong and independent and that they placed an emphasis on how plus-sized women deserved their stories and yes, the perfect dress at their wedding. I just wish that the book did not keep talking about how the women were big like we need to constantly remember that fact. Other than that, I thought it was a nice, light-hearted book and is a quick read for anyone wanting to pass the time with that has a plus-size romance lead.

Lately, I have read books with Asian, Latino, and African American leads, now I have read one featuring plus-sized women. I think it is refreshing to find that there are now books that place other women other than the single skinny white woman as the lead character. I look forward to more of these. If you have any recommendations, I would love to learn about them!


Friday, March 19, 2021

Throwback Post: Online Friendships

This is an old entry from my old blog, edited/updated for this one. Hope you like it! I've been missing these people since I haven't seen anyone for a long time now. Hope they're all doing well!

I remember during the earlier days of the world wide web, people used to say that it was hard to trust people online. Can you make real friends online? Do the online friends you chat with tell you the truth about who they really are? In these days of catfishing and trolling I think a lot of people will still answer in the negative but thankfully, my experience with online friendships has been very good. Yes, you can make real friends online. I know I did.

In the early days of blogging, when it was more about personal experiences than it is about OOTDs or the latest events and places to see and be seen, I came across people like me who were trying out that new thing called a blog. Through the years, even though some of them have since moved on and stopped blogging, we have kept in touch through social media and have even met once or twice (as much as my faraway provincial life can take me). The friendships, despite the distance and the lack of face to face encounters still exists. For that, I will always be grateful. It is amazing to see all of us grow up and move on with our lives: getting married, have kids, move to a different country (or in some cases move back home). My online friends have been there to support me when I had surgery and was worrying about the possibility of cancer. They were supportive during the loss of my father. If that isn’t proof that online friendships are real friendships, I don’t know what is.

online friendships
My Blogger Friends

It was through online friendships on a showbiz fan forum that I made some very good friends of mine. It was also an online friendship that paved the way and helped maintain the friendships I gained as a football fan. In my home-office-home kind of life tucked away in a rural part of the country, it is my online friendships that have helped me thrive and keep in touch with people who have the same interests as I do. People who help me keep in touch with a part of my life that I had once left behind when I moved to the province. 

online friendships
Football Friends

If you’re also wondering, I would also say yes ladies: you can also make friends with guys online without the assumption that it is for dating or hooking up. This was once a fear I had about online friendships with guys (due to an overprotective father who probably thought all men online were predators). I have had male blogger friends who have never made any false assumptions of the friendships that we had online. You can make friends online without dating them. I’m not saying that there are no guys who are online to find girls to date or hook up with, but I am saying that there are guys online who are there just because they are. And if you are friendly, they can be too and you can both keep it at a friend level without worrying about any expectations.

I guess that’s the thing about being online and not seeing a person face to face. You don’t need to make any assumptions because of your gender. You relate more to them as a person. I could be wrong, but that’s how my experiences have been so far. I’ve been lucky, I guess. That’s not to say that I haven’t crushed on anyone that I’ve been friends with online. That has happened too. BUT since he was clearly just being a friend, I didn’t want to ruin it. That crush has passed, that ship has sailed and I’m good with it.

To sum things up, I have been blessed to have made some very good friends online. People who I would like to be in touch with until we are all too grandparent-levels old. I am grateful for the friends I’ve made, the friendships I’ve maintained, and the friends I will still make online. It’s a scary and often catfish(y), troll-laden online world out there, but sometimes, if you look hard enough, you will find there are still good people out there and that it’s not such a bad place to be.


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Film Review: Love, Rosie

Cecilia Ahern is one of my favorite writers. I first started reading her books when I discovered P.S. I Love You and I have read almost every book she has released since then.

Love, Rosie (also known as Where Rainbows End) is one of the books Ahern released around the same time as P.S. I Love You. The book is about best friends Alex and Rosie, two people who grew up falling in love with each other but afraid to tell each other how they felt. I fell in love with the book and was very excited when I heard that it was going to be made into a movie. Obviously, I watched it as soon as I had the chance.


Monday, March 15, 2021

Movie Review: The Lost Husband

One of my favorite movies way back when was the film, Safe Haven. I fell in love with Josh Duhamel’s character of a small-town guy/ dad who won over Julianne Hough’s heart. I have not seen him in any romantic films in a while so when I heard about the movie The Lost Husband with Leslie Bibb, I decided to watch it online.

The Lost Husband is about Libby (Leslie Bibb), who lost her husband in an accident and is left with two young girls to take care of. Living with her mother, with whom she has a complicated relationship, she finds it hard to get over her husband’s death. The movie starts with her moving out of her mother’s house and to her Aunt’s farm in Texas.

On the farm, Libby’s Aunt tells her that she wants her to help manage the farm with the help of their farm manager, James (Josh Duhamel). Of course, as any fan of romantic movies knows and expects, it is the whole working together thing that gives the two the chance to fall for each other. Several moments were (I guess) meant to be romantic, with them being locked in a freezer together and James kissing Libby in front of people who were making fun of her looks, but I did not feel the romantic vibes between the two as much as I would have wanted.

At one point it is revealed that James is helping take care of his ex-wife, who had a stroke. With Libby still not over her husband’s death and his current situation, there was obviously hesitation on both sides to give their relationship a try. Not even him bonding with her kids was enough to encourage that. 

Eventually, however, Libby finds her moment of closure and James finally gets his ex-wife to her parents so that he can move on as well. They end up kissing and that is the end of the movie.

As I mentioned earlier, the romance just did not give me the feels. I would have loved to have felt it, but I just did not, which was too bad. There was also a side story about how Libby learns she actually grew up with her Aunt as a child before her mother took her away, but I felt it was not that necessary for the plot or her story (or romance). I would have been happier with more romantic moments, to be honest.

There was a bit of an easter egg of sorts in the film for fans of the late 90s - early 2000s TV: in the scene where there were women making fun of Libby’s appearance, one of the women was Carly Pope. Carly played Sam in the series Popular, which also starred Leslie Bibb as her stepsister Brooke. The funny part about this is that in Popular, it is Leslie Bibb who plays a character who plays the flashy, popular type while Carly Pope plays the simple, unpopular one. In this movie, their roles are switched. I do not know if that was done on purpose to include Carly Pope, but I felt that it was a good nod to the series that I enjoyed watching in the past. And for another TV actor appearance, there was also a cameo from Kevin Alejandro (who plays Danny in Lucifer), as Libby’s husband. 

I was really hoping for a good romance starring Josh Duhamel again. I was disappointed with this one. Is it because he is older or because the story was just not good? I am not so sure. 

The Lost Husband can be bought or rented from YouTube. 


Friday, March 12, 2021

My Not So Minimal Mother

Is it just me or is a certain generation just obsessed with having a lot of everything? 

Just to clarify, I am talking about the difference between my generation and that of my mother. I would like to think that I am more into the minimalist type of living: I may accumulate stuff, but when the time comes that I feel that I have too much, I purge everything and give away the things that I know can still be used. I do not like the feeling of having too much. Even before Marie Kondo introduced this whole keeping only what sparks joy thing, I had a habit of keeping things minimal. I think it stems from the period when we moved around several times. I did not like the idea of packing and repacking too much. 

Image by Igor Schubin from Pixabay

With my mother it is a whole different deal: she loves having things on “display.” It can be figurines, knick-knacks, anything you can show off to other people when they visit your home. She even places a whole range of plates, cups, mugs, etc on display shelves. None of them have been used. They just sit there. That is apart from the plates and cutlery that are only used “when there are visitors.” There is just too much stuff that does not have that much function in our home.  For me, it feels that if you are not using it, it really has to go. For my mom, it feels as if things are reserved for events that to me hardly ever happen.  

I find all these little trinkets awkward to have. For one it is not child-friendly and will surely be something you have to look after if there are children around. Plus it is such an effort to clean when there is so much out there on display. I do not understand why there is the need for all of it in the first place.  

I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have told my sister that I want to take out all of the plates and cups on display because they are never used anyway. Of course, my sister reminds me that unless I want to get into a fight with my mother, everything stays where they are. It just frustrates me to look at everything and know that those things will not be used in my entire lifetime and yet they will have those special spots on the display shelf.  

There is something about not having too many things that I equate with having a clean home. I find that it is also (for me) a good way to clean the clutter of my mind when there are not too many things that clutter my vision as well.  

My mother’s trait of having too much stuff is not limited to kitchen/dinnerware or living room displays. Take this for example she, the senior citizen who only goes out to church has more shoes and clothes than her daughter (me), who regularly has to go to work. While I go for having a practical number of clothes and shoes, she is more of the “one can never have enough of” persuasion. 

I cannot help but wonder if there is a psychological explanation for this. I wonder if there is something about her generation that makes them be the way they are. I know my mother is not alone in being like this. I have talked to friends whose parents are the same way. What possible satisfaction could they get from having all these things without using them that I do not see or understand? 

What do you think?  


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Film Review: Somewhere in Time

The movie Somewhere in Time is one of those classic films that I’ve loved since I was a child. The episode of Jane the Virgin which had Jane Seymour as a guest sparked an urge to write a post about my love for this movie. When I saw her on my TV screen, I had a flashback of the first time I saw the movie that I think made me become such a hopeless romantic.

I haven’t seen the movie in such a long time – 20 years would not be a stretch – but I can still remember the scenes that I loved from the movie. That part where the old Elise asks Richard to come back to her is one of them.  I thought that it was sad but I found the scene where Richard realizes that he has a modern coin while he was in the past and goes back to his time to be the most heartbreaking. Even as a child, I understood how Richard could be so devastated by going back to his time because he was so happy in the past with Elise.

This is the movie that made me fall in love with Christopher Reeve. I knew him as Richard first before he became Clark Kent. To this day, he is my Superman standard. Henry Cavill may be hot and all, but he is no Chris Reeve. Brandon Routh came closer to the Chris Reeve mold so I like him better.

To this day I am fascinated by this film and can never resist watching Jane Seymour in her other projects because of how much I loved her in this movie. I remember grieving when Chris Reeve passed away not just because he was Superman, but because of this film. I was so young when I first saw this. I would love to be able to see it again. It's such a classic movie that I'd love to share with my nephews and niece when they grow up.

I digress, so let’s move on. The theme song from the movie was the first non-lesson piece I tried to learn on the piano. I didn’t get far with it except for the first part but I remember just being taken back to my favorite parts of the film just from hearing the music.

Has this movie been digitally restored? I'd love to see it if there is one. It would be such a special thing to watch again.

Does anyone else out there like the movie too? I'd love to hear what you think of it!

This is an old entry from my old blog, edited/updated for this one. Hope you liked it!

Monday, March 8, 2021

Book Review: That Weekend in Paris

This is a silly reason to read a book, but when I saw that it was about a country singer and a songwriter, I thought that it would be a good thing to read. Add to that the Paris setting and I immediately thought this would be worth the purchase and the read. If you are interested in a book with those elements, read on for this review of the book That Weekend in Paris by Inglath Cooper.

Credit: Fence Free Entertainment, LLC

In the book, Dillon is on a plane to Paris to get a hold of country star Klein Matthews, in the hope of snatching him up from her ex-husband’s company and into her own. Her marriage had not ended well, and she thought that getting his biggest talent would be a great way to avenge the fact that he cheated on her with a younger woman after suffering from breast cancer.

The idea was simple enough, but then Dillon apparently met Klein before and felt an attraction to him even when she was married. She did not act on it, but there was a spark during the first time they met when she “discovered” him and had her husband sign him to his company. After meeting Klein again in Paris, she then discovers that Klein was attracted to him from the first time they met as well. I think that it does not take a genius to guess where these two go from there.

Klein and Dillon start spending time together in Paris and travel out to the countryside, writing songs together along the way. As romantic as everything starts, the prospect of going back to their respective realities mean that whatever they were feeling for each other on that trip was a one-off thing. Dillon still has to deal with her ex-husband Josh, who seems to be having a change of heart and wants her back. Klein, on the other hand, finds out that his ex-girlfriend had given birth to his child, a child that he thought she had aborted before and was the cause of their breakup. And if that is not complicated enough, Klein’s ex seems to be a psychopath who was secretly poisoning him for breaking up with her and is manipulating him to be with her because of her ambition to be rich and famous. 

The Klein-Dillon love story seems to be a case of love at the wrong time – twice. Eventually, as with all romance novels, they end up happily ever after and become sort of a power couple in the country music scene. 

I wanted to be really into this story, but it did not work for me as much as I wanted it to. I felt that there were some elements that they could have emphasized more. I felt bad because some parts were not necessary for the plot of the story that could have been removed to make room for the parts that I felt were missing. The whole older woman and younger man romance was not even addressed as much, which I felt was something that could have been used a little more in the book. I did, however, love that it dealt with adult relationships and adult problems such as problems when a marriage does not work out or when couples deal with issues such as when one partner has cancer.

As someone who has a special place in my heart for country music, I wish that there were more of that world in this book instead of just introducing their lives in it then moving on to life beyond that. The book does have its moments, but I really wish that there were more to it. It was nice, but it could have been better.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Movie Review: Hello Stranger

A work acquaintance of mine recommended this movie to me and I didn’t get around to watching it until recently. Being a rom-com and Asianovela fan I was curious about this but it took a while for me to get used to listening to the Thai language enough to enjoy the movie.

The story revolves around two Thai tourists in Korea. One was there to enjoy a trip he was supposed to take with his ex-girlfriend and the other was there to attend a friend’s wedding. During the course of their trip, they bare their hearts to each other and fall for each other in the process. Sadly, the relationship doesn’t progress because the guy gets back together with his ex-girlfriend, who followed him to Korea.


Monday, March 1, 2021

Netflix Picks: Book Club

There is a movie that I have been meaning to watch but have been unable to find for rent, streaming, or purchase anywhere until recently. I was very intrigued by this movie, so I was happy when the film was finally available on Netflix. The title of the movie is Book Club, and it stars Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen as a group of friends who have been together for 30 years and have a monthly book club together. 

While all the women are in their later years, they all have different stories. Vivian (Jane Fonda) is a successful businesswoman who owns hotels and refuses to give up her independence, which is the reason why she has not settled down. Sharon (Candice Bergen) is a divorced federal judge who has not remarried since splitting up from her husband fifteen years ago. Carol (Mary Steenburgen) is married and frustrated that something is missing in her marriage. Diane (Diane Keaton), on the other hand, is recently widowed and is being convinced by her daughters (one of whom is played by Alicia Silverstone) to sell her home and move closer to them (and effectively taking her away from her own set of friends).

During the course of the movie, each character experiences a personal journey as they tackle their latest book club topic: the 50 Shades of Grey series. Vivian runs into her “one that got away,” Arthur (played by Don Johnson), and starts reconnecting with him. Sharon starts dating again. Carol tries to bond with her husband in several different ways. Diane travels to Arizona to see if she can move there and meets/falls for a charming pilot (played by Andy Garcia). 

I really enjoyed watching this movie. I love that they can give the story of older women justice by showing them as real people with varied personalities. I think that we live in a generation where most movies are about younger people being the lead characters and for stories to be mostly about younger people’s stories and struggles. It is great to see that someone has made a point to emphasize that just because you are older you do not fade into the background. You still have a life; you still have stories that you can share, and you can still be a leading character in your story.  Having these characters portrayed by such an amazing cast is an added bonus. 

I have seen some movies recently that did not have the kind of romance and spark that I was expecting from them, so I was happy that while this is not a romantic movie, the scenes where Vivian and Arthur were together as well as the scenes between Diane and her pilot was sweet and romantic. The feels were definitely there. I certainly did not expect to be swooning while I watched Andy Garcia and Don Johnson romance their leading ladies, but I did end up doing that!

I got so invested in each character’s story that I was rooting for them to find the happiness that they deserved. I am glad that they all got that in the end and that they were able to have a movie like this to show that there is room for stories like this in movies. I would love to see more movies like this. Movies like this made me realize that there has not been much room for stories of the older generations. Getting older myself made me see that this is something that the world needs to make room for. 

Book Club is an entertaining film to watch if you are not too youth-obsessed when it comes to movies. It is a good film about friendship, romance, and the personal journey of a group of women that I think you would enjoy.


Friday, February 26, 2021

Pandemic Diaries: Disappointments

One of the things that I have learned during this pandemic is that sometimes, life can turn on a dime and lead to things that we never expected. For the most part, it has led me to things, to life, that I am not used to. It has also led other people to different situations in their lives and, just like me, they are forced to act (or should I say react) the best way they can because of the circumstances.

It surprises me how this pandemic has brought out the best and worst in people. Some people surprised me with how strong they have been through these times and who still make the effort to help other people out in these crazy times. But then there are also those people who surprised me in a not-so-positive way by acting in ways I never thought they would before this pandemic. People who are taking advantage of the situation and using it to get ahead of others. It is disappointing to realize a person’s true nature this way, but it also helps me to see which people I need to keep at a distance or be careful of in the future. 

Image by photosforyou from Pixabay


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Movie Throwback: Bituing Walang Ningning

Back in the 80s when I was a little girl I was a big Sharon Cuneta fan. I loved her movies and the theme songs that came along with them. One of those movies was Bituing Walang Ningning, which was recently aired on PBO. 

Bituing Walang Ningning is a movie about Dorina, a poor girl who is a fan of superstar singer Lavinia. With the help of Nico, Lavinia's former flame, Dorina eventually becomes a star herself and is popular enough to compete against her idol. In the end, however, she chose to give up her career for a life away from the spotlight with the man she loved. 


Monday, February 22, 2021

Netflix Picks: We Can Be Heroes

My nephew is currently seven years old. I used to bond with him watching Baby First (which these days he says are “for babies”) but now we bond while watching cartoons on the Cartoon Network. During one appointed bonding time with him, I decided to try something new: we watched the movie We Can Be Heroes on Netflix.

We Can Be Heroes is a sequel to the movie The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl that attempts to continue the superhero story now that Sharkboy and Lavagirl have grown up and, like all other heroes, have their own child. This movie is directed by Robert Rodriguez, who was also the director of the original film as well as the Spy Kids movie series. 

In the movie, there is an alien invasion happening and Marcus Moreno (played by Pedro Pascal), a retired superhero, is forced to suit up and leave his daughter Missy under the care of the Heroics Headquarters. Missy joins a group of children whose parents are also a part of the superhero team called the Heroics, which includes a new grown-up Sharkboy and Lavagirl.

The Heroics end up captured and the children decide to take it upon themselves to escape and rescue their parents using their own powers. They stop over to train with the help of Missy’s grandmother, (who had trained the Heroics) and then they travel to the alien spaceship to attempt their rescue mission. 

After several challenges, the kids all realize that they have to work together and make the best of each of their talents to save the planet and their parents. In the end, it is revealed that the aliens were actually not serious about their takeover but were merely testing the children to see if they are ready to become heroes themselves.  

I thought that We Can Be Heroes was a good movie that shared some good lessons for kids and adults alike. It taught lessons on leadership, teamwork, and how sometimes adults take things too seriously and end up complicating things. It was also a fun, light-hearted watch for kids because my nephew enjoyed watching the different powers that the young heroes had. To this day he plays and pretends to be one of the kids in the movie when he says he is a superhero.

My favorite part would have to be realizing that one of my childhood crushes, Christian Slater, is in the movie. I know I am aging myself with that one, but I have not seen him in anything in a while so it was great to see him acting again. Another (more current) crush, Sung Kang (Han of the Fast and the Furious movies), is also one of the parent superheroes in the film along with Slater.

Sadly, while this is a sequel of the Sharkboy and Lavagirl movie, the original Sharkboy was not able to reprise his role in this one. This meant the actor who took his place mostly stayed masked compared to the rest of the heroes and did not say much during the film. The original Lavagirl, Taylor Dooley, did most of the (unmasked) talking for them. 

I have heard that some people were confused about who the original actors of Sharkboy and Lavagirl were. Some thought that Alexa Penavega, who was in Spy Kids (another Rodriguez film) was also Lavagirl. Add to that the confusion that some people think her husband, Carlos Penavega, played Sharkboy. They even had to go on Instagram to say that they were not part of the movie because people seemed to think they were. I have to admit I had confused Alexa for the girl who played Lavagirl too. 

If you want something to watch with your kids that is light and shares some good values, this is a movie that you might want to see on Netflix!


Friday, February 19, 2021

Pandemic Diaries: Mental Health

There is a lot of emphasis during this pandemic on making sure that people take care of themselves not just physically but mentally. I have seen a lot of people post tips to make sure that we all have our self-care days or moments because our mental health is just as important as our physical health during these times. The mind is a very powerful thing. If we can keep ourselves positive and mentally healthy during this challenging period, I believe it can help us to be physically healthier as well. 

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Movie Review: Baggage Claim


Do people marry because they want to and are committed to it or because they have to?

That line was the premise for the movie Baggage Claim, a romantic comedy starring Paula Patton. The story revolves around a single 30-something who is being pressured by her mom to find a significant other after her younger sister announced her engagement. She then goes off to find Mr. Right in time for her sister's engagement party.


Monday, February 15, 2021

Netflicks Picks: Rebecca

As many of you are aware, I have been spending a lot of my free time watching movies and TV shows online. Sometimes I catch good ones, sometimes not so much. Other times, I am not so sure. The Netflix movie Rebecca, starring Lily James and Armie Hammer, is one of those movies.

Labeled as a romantic thriller, Rebecca is based on a novel of the same name that was published in 1938 and was turned into a film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940. The story revolves around a young woman who meets and falls in love with a rich widower named Maxim de Winter. The two have a whirlwind romance and end up married, and she is introduced to his household as the new Mrs. de Winter.

As the new lady of the house, she attempts to befriend the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, who is hostile to her from the first time that they met. Mrs. Danvers even manages to set her up to fail twice to anger her husband, and she realizes that she is in over her head with the situation that she had married herself into. 

I know that it is supposed to be a thriller, but it did not feel as much to me. It was attempting to, that was obvious, but it just did not have enough to make it feel scary or creepy to me. The sets were amazing, the costumes and the lighting were wonderful, but apart from that, I did not feel entertained while I was watching the movie. I felt like I was waiting for something that just did not happen. 

I felt that there was more that could have been done or established with the mystery of the first Mrs. de Winter’s death, who was named Rebecca. The complexity of her character could have been more emphasized along with the events that lead to her death. Armie Hammer was puzzling enough as the charming yet mysterious Maxim but sometimes it fell flat. Although I have to admit that given his recent controversies, watching this movie again might give him a creepier look now that I have seen the alleged messages and photos from his supposed finsta (fake Instagram aka secret personal Instagram account). 

Lily James played the naïve Mrs. de Winters well. She was so in love and charmed by this man with wealth and good looks that she did not think twice about marrying him and going away with him even if she barely knew who he was – to the point that in the end after everything she still joined him for their “happily ever after.” 

Kristin Scott Thomas, who played Mrs. Danvers was probably the best actor in this film. She was able to show the bitterness she felt from Rebecca’s death, the loss of the young girl that she practically brought up, and her anger that she was replaced. Unfortunately, I did not think that it was established well enough why she would go to the extremes that she did in the end (or why she even stayed after Rebecca died, for that matter). 

There were scenes where ghostly events were happening, but for the most part, they did not make sense to me and I do not think that they led to anywhere in the story except as a space filler. I really wish they could have tied things together a little better.

Rebecca was a visual treat if you like films from that particular era, but if you are looking for a really good story and you were hoping to get some scare factor in, this might not be the movie for you. 

If you want to view it with renewed interest in Armie Hammer and the controversies he has been in, I think the knowledge of his alleged creepy behavior would be helpful in having the effect on you that the movie is obviously trying to give.


Friday, February 12, 2021

Looking for a Heart of Gratitude

In these trying times, it is extremely difficult not to encounter bad news. The act of opening up Facebook and Twitter or any other form of social media means encountering the latest in the slew of negative news that could be anything from the environment, politics, or the pandemic and its related issues. With so much bad news it is sometimes a struggle to stay positive, especially when people we know or their family, friends, or loved ones have suffered and died in the past year alone. 

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

These days it feels so hard to find the light in the dark. There is so much going on during this pandemic that it has given me so much anxiety and paranoia. These times have made me have low points that I have not felt in a long time. 

It is also no joke to be semi-quarantining with family. While I do go out for work once a week and my sister does go out when necessary, most of the time we are all just at home together, all eight of us in one home. I completely understand why a lot of relationships are failing during this pandemic because constantly being around the same people, even those that you love can take its toll. With me and my family, I think we get on each other’s nerves sometimes with the pressure of this pandemic and it is not easy being in the same place 24/7 means we cannot give each other the space we need. We do not fight or anything, but we are all aware that we sometimes get annoyed with each other. Thankfully, being a family that loves each other, we do our best to be patient with each other. When one is annoyed, the other steps back. So far no one has clashed yet in our house, but even stepping back can be stressful in itself so it is still a challenge. It made me realize that cabin fever is real, and it is not good. 

Even before the pandemic, I have read that one way to keep ourselves positive is to be more grateful for what we do have in our lives. Many people recommend listing at least three things that we are grateful for every day because it helps a person to focus on the good things in life. It will ultimately help to give a person a more positive outlook, which I think is something that we all need during this pandemic. I have to admit that it can sometimes feel like a challenge to list down those three things daily with everything going on around us.

I find myself worrying too much these days. When I list what I am grateful for every day, it is always these things: I have a job. I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I have my family. I am alive. I know that that is supposed to make me feel better but for some reason it makes me worry even more. I find myself thinking I have a job, but for how long? I have a roof over my head and food to eat, but how long can I afford to? I have my family, but I worry about all of them and their health during this pandemic. I am alive…but again, for how long? I also have this guilt about having the things I am grateful for when I know people who are struggling and are worse off than I am. My mind just will not seem to let me win. 

These days, if there is anything that I pray for (apart from the end of this pandemic), it is to have a heart of gratitude. I need more positivity in my life, and I need to see the world in a different light if I can. I wish I can keep my mind and my heart focused on gratitude; I really need it right now.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Movie Review: Coffee Shop

If you have read some of the reviews I've made on this blog, you would know that I am a sucker for made-for-TV movies. I once caught another one on (the now-defunct) DIVA Universal that got my attention for two reasons: (1) it was about a coffee shop and (2) the leading man had the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen.

Coffee Shop is a romantic comedy about a young woman who owns a coffee shop that is in danger of being closed down. Starring Laura Vandervoort, it features a life I’ve dreamed of having: owning a small coffee shop (and ending up with a really nice guy, I have to add that). 


Monday, February 8, 2021

Book Review: The Five-Year Hitch

This is a new one for me. Whenever I listen to an audiobook, it is usually one that is based on an actual book that you can read. These audiobooks usually take hours to finish and if I get tired of listening, I could switch to reading them myself. For the Melissa de la Cruz book The Five-Year Hitch, I could only listen to the book, because there is no written copy for me to read (that I know of anyway). Despite that, I decided to give it a try since it featured the voice talents of two actors that I admire: Rachel Boston and Daniel Di Tomasso.

Credit: Audible

Rachel and Daniel have previously worked together with Melissa de la Cruz on the TV series Witches of East End, an adaptation of de la Cruz’ book of the same title. Based on that, I think it is a given that these two would be able to play well off each other since they have already worked together in that series. I loved that show and I love seeing these actors in their individual projects. I knew from how they act on romantic movies for TV that they would be good people to listen to for a romantic audiobook like this. 

Unfortunately, this is a short audiobook and apparently a special audio-only project for Audible. It was about an hour and thirty minutes and I really wish that there had been more to it because I was enjoying listening to the two actors play the leads in the story that was being presented. 

Do not expect this to be the kind of audiobook where the actors narrate events the way they do in books. The Five-Year Hitch sounds more like a podcast where the two lead characters are being interviewed about their love story. I found that to be a refreshing change to most (if not all) audiobooks that I have read, and I think that with the way that the actors delivered their lines, it was a good thing. It sounded like a real couple sharing their story. I could imagine sitting with them somewhere while they shared their story.

It is a quick and easy listen, and I enjoyed it. However, I have read that so many people are complaining that this was not good enough and that they did not enjoy it, but I have to disagree on that. It was a good story, and the actors played their characters really well. If there is any complaint that I have about this it is that it was too short and that there should have been more. They could have gone on to talk more about their story so that it can be longer than it is because I enjoyed listening to Rachel Boston and Daniel Di Tomasso. 

If you enjoyed stories of friends who ended up together like One Day and Love Rosie, you would enjoy this audiobook. It is a light-hearted version of these two stories, where the two friends come and go into each other’s lives and end up together in the end. 

I would love to see this as a TV movie or something similar. I thought this was a cute story that would be great on screen, hopefully also with Rachel Boston and Daniel Di Tomasso. I have not been on Audible for a while now but I when I read about this, I signed up again and I think that it was worth it. If you have the time and would like to listen to a romance-themed audiobook, this might be a good thing to check out!


Friday, February 5, 2021

Confusing Coins

To my readers from the Philippines: is anyone out there as confused as I am with our coins? 

We have so many coins here in the country: 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, Php 1, Php 5, Php 10, and Php 20. Take note that there are also two versions of these coins. One set is from 1995 and another was launched in 2018. Both sets are still in circulation and are considered legal tender.

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

I find it so confusing that we have these two sets of coins. There are coins from one set that are the same size as the other, but both coins would have different values. It can get confusing when you are in a hurry and accepting change or paying someone with these coins. It can also be a bit of a hassle when the coins get old and become dirty because it is hard to distinguish which coin it is. 

It is tough these days because whenever I buy things the change would almost always be in coins – the smaller denominations. I got to the point that I had to use a coin purse because of all the coins I have with me. But then sometimes there would be too much that my coin purse would be full, and I cannot even zip it up. 

I think the whole situation, along with the fact that they are so hard to differentiate from one another, confused me to the point that I started to hate using coins. I began to avoid using them. Whenever I am given coins as change, I tend to put it in my piggy bank of sorts: I opened a coin hole from a used alcohol bottle and use it to keep my coins. In a year alone I was able to fill it up with various coins, mostly the smaller denominations, so it was an achievement that I was able to fill the bottle. My sister suggested that I should open up the bottle and have the coins exchanged since the older set of coins might become demonetized and that would be a waste of money.

The bottle is deceivingly heavy. I weighed it at 7lbs before I opened it up. I say deceivingly because it was small but very heavy and yet when I counted the coins it only had Php1,251.40 in coins in it. I managed to exchange some of the coins, but not all of them. Apparently, some places do not accept the smaller denominations (25¢ and below) because they do not have much use for them. It makes me wonder why we even bother with the smaller coins if a lot of places do not accept or use them anyway. They give it to us as change and when we try to exchange a bunch of them for paper bills, they do not accept them. The fact that I had so many of them that it could amount to a paper denomination meant that it was ultimately a waste of money. That is definitely not good. I mean, what is the point of having them in the first place then?

Security issues aside, it would be nice if we can have the NFC payments here in the country, so that you do not need to take out money when you are paying someone, and we could all easily pay each other without the use of coins or paper bills. Maybe I am just obsessed with Korean shows that show how they use that there in South Korea or maybe I am just really, truly sick of these coins and how they confuse me so much. 

Do these coins confuse you too? What do you do about it? What do you think of NFC payments? Leave me a message and share it with me!

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