Lifestyle Blog from the Philippines

Friday, April 30, 2021

Thoughts on The Sussex Interview

It is sad…just sad all around. I saw the interview that Oprah Winfrey had with Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle about how their life was when they were still active members of the royal family and now that they are out of it. I felt sad watching the whole thing. Sad that they had experienced what they did, sad that the outcome was something that caused a rift within their family, and sad knowing that after that interview, things will not change for the better.



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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Twenty Years Promdi

Back in 2001, I got sick and was brought to the ER. It was an unusual experience since the people who brought me were people from work – an officemate and two students from China who just arrived in the country to study (that was what my job was about at the time). When you get sick, the first people you think about (well, for me anyway) is your family. And I was feeling upset that I had none of them around while I was in incredible pain – although I did appreciate that despite the language barrier, one of the students was giving me acupressure on my hand that was helping with the pain while we were on the way to the hospital.

My parents were equally upset that they were not around to help me out. They were already living in the province at the time, and I had chosen to stay because I had a job in Manila. When I went on leave after that ER experience, it was a no-brainer for all of us to have me apply for a job that opened in the province, right in the town that my family had moved to. Twenty years later, I am still here. We may have moved homes a couple of times, but I am still in the province and I am still a “promdi.” In a few years, I would have been promdi more than I have a been a city girl. I never thought that would happen!

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

My Blogging Journey

Last January marked the 18th year that I have been blogging. While this site does not have all the entries that I have posted from the very beginning, there are some reposts here and there that I have added from previous incarnations of my blog. I cringe at the thought of having my earliest entries included on this site! 


Image by DarkmoonArt_de from Pixabay

I was only in my 20s when I started blogging. I had been going through a tough time in my life and someone had suggested journaling to me as a way to relieve stress. Another friend doubled down on that suggestion by introducing me to blogging, which was fairly new (?) at the time. I was introduced to this online world where people shared their lives, thoughts, and feelings on their respective blog sites, and I have not looked back since. 

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Former Dream Jobs

My sister and I were recently talking to my niece (her daughter) and our nephew about what we had wanted to be when we grew up. My niece is trying to pick what to concentrate on for Senior High School and we were telling her how in our case, we did not end up where we thought we were supposed to go. 

Take my career journey for example. As I mentioned in a previous post, I never expected to end up where I am today. I did not expect to be in a more Administrative position, involved in HR and in Business Development. I did not take a course related to these things. My degrees are for the arts and for marketing, not an educational path that you would expect to lead to the industry I am in today.

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Monday, April 26, 2021

Can't Stop Watching: Air Force One

Have you ever had that one movie that you just cannot stop re-watching no matter how many times you have seen it? The kind that you were not planning to see but once you flip the channel and see that it is on, you end up watching it? I have a movie that is like that for me. It’s weird since the lead actor is not exactly my favorite and the genre is not really my usual flavor, but I still end up watching it anyway. That movie is Air Force One, starring Harrison Ford. 

There are other movies with similar themes of being trapped in a vehicle and needed to save other people and escape. Speed and Snakes on a Plane come to mind when it comes to that theme. For this movie, Air Force One, the official plane of the President of the United States, is hijacked by a group of terrorists who want to have their leader freed from prison. 



Fortunately for everyone on the plane, the President is a Vietnam War veteran, so he knows his way around risky situations such as this one. He manages to overpower some of the terrorists and get in touch with the Vice President (played by Glenn Close), who helps him with his efforts to take over the plane. 

The President/Harrison Ford then dumps fuel to force a landing, but when that was not successful, the President and VP tandem work together to convince the terrorists to lower the altitude of the plane for refueling in mid-air. By doing so, they manage to help many of the hostages escape via parachute, except for the first family and key officials loyal to the President. 

Main terrorist Sirius Black – sorry, had to say it – Korshunov (played by Gary Oldman), attacks the President and he ends up dead, but not before Harrison Ford says the most memorable line from the movie: “Get off my plane.” Classic!

My favorite part of the movie would have to be when they are all transferred to another plane via zip line, particularly the part where Harrison Ford fights to get the last transfer against his Secret Service Agent/undercover terrorist. When he gets onto the military plane and the pilot announces the change in call signal, that is the scene that gives me goosebumps every single time. “Liberty 2-4 is changing call sign. Liberty 2-4 is now Air Force One!”

I cannot tell you how many times I have watched this movie because it has been too many to count. Just this year I think I have seen it maybe three to five times already because one of the cable channels we have keeps playing it (and I, ever so addicted, end up watching it).

I am aware that the movie is cheesy and very dated (the President and one of the hostages initially attempt to communicate with the White House via fax machine), but I still cannot help but watch it when it is on. I find it entertaining and enjoyable despite the cheesiness. I think I may have even memorized a lot of the lines at this point, which just proves how often I have seen it. 

What about you? What is that one movie that you cannot help but watch over and over again? Leave me a comment and share it with me!


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Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Sunday Update 22: I am Not OK

When is the job more important than your life or your mental health? These days, I’m sure that many would say never. Personally, I am questioning the same thing myself.

As I said in last week’s update, I had an RT-PCR test done at work with the rest of my co-workers with the help of the Philippine Red Cross. Someone had tested positive previously and we all had to make sure that no one at work was infected. Thankfully, none of us tested positive and we could all breathe a sigh of relief. Still, it was a big risk (and some have said, out of line and against health protocols) for our boss to order us to report for work even while we were waiting for the test results. I can’t imagine the stress I would be going through if someone had ended up testing positive. 

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Saturday, April 24, 2021

The Karaoke Evolution

My family loves to sing. We all got it from our father who always loved to sing and encouraged us to do the same. When I was a little girl, I remember we even had what they called a minus-one/karaoke machine where we could sing our favorite songs from a cassette tape and that you could choose to sing on your own or with a voice guide. You could either use a songbook for the lyrics or sing on your own if you know the song well.

Image by Please Don't sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay

As I got older, the concept of videoke was born. This was much better and easier since you can watch the lyrics on the TV instead of reading it from a songbook during the minus-one days. I remember going to videoke bars where you could rent a room to sing as much as you want for the booked time you had (much like the Korean noraebang).

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Friday, April 23, 2021

The Career Journey So Far

In a recent post, I shared that it is now my 20th year at my recent job. Given my age, most people would probably think that this is the only job that I’ve had since I graduated from college, but that is not the case. I have tried several other jobs before I settled into this one. And when you find out the types of jobs I’ve had in the past, even you would feel like me and be surprised that I ended up where I am now.

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Revisiting Wayne Goss

The pandemic has brought about many changes for a lot of people. For me, one of the changes that happened in the past year is the fact that I hardly ever wear makeup anymore. It has gotten to the point where I feel like I do not remember how to put it on. 

The fact that I wear a mask and a face shield whenever I’m out made me feel like the less I put on my face, the better. I know a lot of other people still wear makeup, but I haven’t felt like doing so underneath all the layers of protection.

Still, there are days when I need to put on makeup. I have video meetings sometimes and, if I am home for them, I am usually mask-free. That means putting on makeup so that I do not look pale or look like I am just lounging at home. 

Because of the need to put on makeup again, I decided that I needed some help. Of course, I went back to the one person who I knew could help, Wayne Goss

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A Discovery of Witches Season 2

I love reading. I love books. I love it when books come to life on TV and in movies, especially if they get it right. One of the books that turned into a TV series that I enjoyed was the adaptation of the series A Discovery of Witches.

The series, as I have mentioned in a previous entry, is adapted from the All Souls series of Deborah Harkness. The first season covered the first book, and recently, they aired the second season, which is based on the second book, Shadow of Night. 

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Smile Issue

Back in the day, I used to love smiling. These days, I do smile, but in photos, I rarely do now. It is not that I am not happy, but it is more of me being more conscious of what I look like when I smile these days. 


Image by Giulia Marotta from Pixabay

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Monday, April 19, 2021

When This is All Over

I was going through my newsfeed on Facebook this morning and I saw that people in Israel can now go mask-free when they are outdoors. People are basically back to normal now and have no worries about this pandemic. I envy them so much! At the rate things are going here in our country it will probably take a while to get to that level. Maybe a year – or more. I’m hoping it would not be as bad as I am thinking but these days, I’m more of the hope for the best but expect the worst kind of gal. 

Still, those photos from Israel made me think: what would I want to do when this is over? When people are allowed go out to see friends and family again and be able to go mask-free without worrying about a virus that can take your life? What would YOU want to do?

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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sunday Update 21: COVID Scare

It has been a difficult week. I had scheduled an online check-up with an app and the doctor did not show up, which meant waiting 2 hours for nothing. I went to the office for two days to work there, something that has always made my anxiety levels go up because I am afraid of the COVID 19 virus. 

For those who have been following my work stories since the pandemic, I used to work one day at work, then the rest at home. Then my boss placed me on the five days at the office schedule, even if the law says I can work from home because of my comorbidities and I can do my job well enough from home. After a while, I resumed a one day a week at the office, but then after my boss said people were jealous of my schedule, he placed me on three days a week at work, with my only concession being that one of those days was only during the morning. I cannot even begin to share how nervous that makes me feel. Looking at my accomplishments from my previous schedule to my current one, I have shaved down my productivity so much because of how worried I am if I am being careful at the office. Can you blame me?

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Saturday, April 17, 2021

April 2021 Playlist: Country

I have not done a playlist post in a while. With the summer (oh sorry Philippines, it’s actually the “dry season”) here already I thought it would be nice to post music that I enjoy listening to that helps distract me from the summer heat (and the stress of COVID, to be honest).  This month, I share with you some of my favorite country songs with my April playlist!

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay


Country was never the type of music I listened to when I was younger, but now that I am older (or should I say, more mature), I have started having an appreciation for this genre. That is not to say that I like all country music, but there are some songs that I have grown to love that I cannot help but sing or dance along to when I hear them.


Play It Again by Luke Bryan is a song that I (literally) love to play again. I sing along to it too (and maybe dance along as well). I completely fell in love with this to the point that like the girl in the song, I want somebody to play it again after I hear it. 

I do not think many people know that Lucy Hale, who played Aria on the show Pretty Little Liars, tried her luck with country music. Her song Loved is a sweet and feel-good song that I can’t help listening to over and over again. 

My playlist cannot be complete if it does not have country royalty Tim McGraw and Faith Hill in it. To me, their song It’s Your Love is a classic. I love singing along to it. 

Wanted You More by Lady A (formerly Lady Antebellum…dropped the second name to be politically correct?) is a song I only discovered when someone sang it on a reality competition a few years ago. I love this more than their previous hit, Need You Now. Another song I discovered by watching a singing competition on TV was Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves. I discovered it on the Masked Singer, of all things!

If I had a country crush, it would be Sam Hunt. I love almost all of his songs, but I Met a Girl is something that I sort of pretend that he’s singing to me, so it is a personal favorite!

Tonight I Wanna Cry by Keith Urban is probably one of the earlier songs that got me into country music. I felt that it had a pop feel so it was not hard a transition for me to appreciate it. 

Again, who would have a country playlist without Shania Twain? Her song Man I Feel Like a Woman is such a female anthem that is fun, empowering, and such a nice song to dance along to (while I sing to my hairbrush!).

As a Swiftie, I loved the song Babe by Sugarland, which also features Taylor in the backing vocals. This is another song that I love singing along to while I pretend that Brandon Routh (who played the male lead in the music video) is my cheating husband.

There are a couple of songs that I fell in love with when I heard them on made for TV movies. I had to search for them on Spotify just to learn the title and who sang it. They are the songs Sweet by Johnny Douglas and I Love How You Laugh by Carey Moore and Josh Rush. Some songs, on the other hand, I discovered through a Country playlist on Spotify, like Keeping Score by Dan + Shay featuring Kelly Clarkson, Lovin’ Lately by Tim Rich featuring Tim McGraw, Thank God I Got Her by Jonny Diaz, and Love Like Theirs by Maddie Wilson.

Of course, there are country songs that I love that broke into mainstream charts like Meant to Be by Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line, Last Name by Carrie Underwood, and Honey Bee by Blake Shelton. Speaking of Blake, I also love the song from his ex-wife, Miranda Lambert. The song Somethin’ Bad About to Happen featuring Carrie Underwood reminds me of Carrie’s songs Last Name and Before He Cheats. It has the same feel to it, and I love that!

Another feel-good-sounding song for me is I Look So Good (Without You) by Jessie James Decker. But the one that really makes me smile when I hear it is Sweet Home Alabama by Lynrd Skynrd because it reminds me so much of the movie that has the same name (it stars Reese Witherspoon if you want to check it out!).

In Case You Didn’t Know by Boyce Avenue is another song that tugs at my heartstrings. The original is from Brett Young, but this version from Boyce Avenue is my favorite. 

Lastly, I am a fan of a couple of songs from Rascal Flatts. Bless the Broken Road is a classic and I think so many people have used this song for weddings and whatnot but my big fave is What Hurts the Most. It’s a song that really makes you feel the pain from the story of it when you hear it. I love the duet version of this, with Natasha Bedingfield I think, but I can’t seem to find it on Spotify.

Do you like country songs? Is there anything on my list that you like? Leave a comment and share the love!


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Friday, April 16, 2021

My Sworkit Journey

I read online that one of the things that can help a person prevent the infection of serious cases of COVID is regular exercise. During the start of this pandemic, I started exercising more regularly, something that my doctor would probably be happy to hear. I used to exercise a lot in the past, but after my thyroid surgery things just went downhill for me and workouts became sporadic to nothing at all. I was so frustrated that I would work out daily and not lose weight at all, so I stopped. It was only when the pandemic started that I found myself workout out daily again.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

It was difficult to work out after a while. I wasn’t doing it to lose weight so that was not the issue, but it became boring to do the same thing all the time. I needed something to shake things up and to motivate me to work out more, to work out harder than I used to. I found myself going back to an old favorite, the app called Sworkit

As I mentioned before, I was only using the free version of the app. Thankfully, when I logged in again, I discovered that Sworkit had given me the paid version – for free! I don’t know why, but I am truly grateful because now I get to try the workout routines from the app and benefit from the features that come with a paid account. 

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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Netflix Picks: Tiny Pretty Things

 One of the things that I have a weakness for in terms of movies and TV is if the story revolves around dance. That is the reason why I decided to check out the Netflix series title Tiny Pretty Things, which is based on a book of the same name. Based on the lives of people involved in a Chicago ballet school, the series is jump-started by the literal fall of their top dancer, Cassie. Her incident triggers the arrival of a new dancer Neveah, who enters on a scholarship. 



The series is a quick watch at only ten episodes for the first season. I have no idea so far if there will be a second season. I guess it was not as big as Bridgerton to get an immediate renewal. There is no news that it was canceled or that it was a limited series so there is still a chance that this is a show that will still have more stories to tell. The way it ended gave it room to have a second season, but it was also satisfying enough to end with just one season.

Most of the characters in the show are dancers. There is Cassie, who is lying in a hospital bed for most of the series. It is what happened to her that becomes a curiosity for all the other dancers. Neveah is the new girl who takes Cassie’s place on a scholarship, much to the dismay of Bette, who thought she was good enough for the position as she is the younger sister of Delia, a graduate of the school and a ballet star.

There are also the boyfriends: Nabil -- the French-Muslim boyfriend of Cassie, Oren -- Bette’s boyfriend, Ramon -- one of the top choreographers in the world and boyfriend of Delia, and Caleb -- who is secretly sleeping with the school’s director, played by veteran actress Lauren Holly. 

Other main characters include June, the dancer who becomes Neveah’s roommate, Isabel, a detective who wants to find out what happened to Cassie, and Shane, a gay dancer who becomes Neveah’s confidante (and is in a friends-with-benefits secret relationship with Oren). 

The show features a lot of dancing, but for some reason, I cannot get myself interested in the dancing as much as I am with the complicated stories that each of the characters is involved in. There are a lot of stories in this series. Maybe a little too much for ten episodes.

There is so much about how big the loss of Cassie in the school was as she lies in a coma in the hospital, about the determined detective wanting to find answers about what happened to her and who and why she was pushed from the roof of the school. There is the fight to be the top girl in school, which Bette is determined to be no matter what it takes. There is also the complicated relationship between Oren and Shane, and the rift between Oren and Nabil, and the secret relationship of Caleb and the school director. Add to that the secretive background of the choreographer Ramon and you have this large mishmash of stories that sometimes makes it feel so hard to keep up with. 

I also have to say that there is a lot of sex scenes in this show. Way too much considering how old the kids in the show are supposed to be. Maybe I am being old and conservative in that observation. I know that kids are having sex. It is just that there seems to be way too much in this show for me to wrap my head around. 

While the dancing is good – apparently all the actors are dancers themselves – I do not think that the acting was up to par. The acting seemed very cheesy and soap-opera-like for the most part, which was something that I did not expect from the show. 

If you are in it for the dancing like I was, I think that you would appreciate the show. But if you are looking for good material, this may not be the show you are looking for. 

I say watch it, but keep your expectations to a minimum. 


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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Two Decades At Work

This year marks my 20th year at my current job. I work for a public utility company, specifically in the water industry. If you asked me on my first day at the office if I saw myself here twenty years from now I would have said no. I can’t believe I am still here, to be honest. It is not where I had envisioned myself to be in the long run, but at the same time, I am grateful for being where I am today.


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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Pandemic Diaries: Waiting for My Vaccine

Have you been vaccinated yet?

For many other countries, the vaccination process is already well underway. Friends and family from the US in particular have already been vaccinated, something which I am sure brings a large amount of comfort in these uncertain times.


Image by Ali Raza from Pixabay

Here in the Philippines, we have started the vaccination of healthcare workers and, in some areas, vaccination for senior citizens and persons with co-morbidities.  I am actually very jealous of my friends who have been sharing that they have gotten their first shot of the vaccine already. 

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Monday, April 12, 2021

Baumgartner Restoration

Art is something that I have always interested me. When I was a student I took art classes and I always enjoyed learning about and appreciating works of art, particularly those with historical significance.  I loved learning about the background of a painting, what it was about, what it told about the time it was made, and what story it told. 

I recently discovered the YouTube channel for Baumgartner Restoration, a Fine Art Restoration studio based in Chicago, Illinois. It is a studio that has been around since 1978 and is now being run by Julian Baumgartner, the son of its founder, R. Agass Baumgartner. Based on its website, it works on restorations with clients from small museums, universities, art galleries, art dealers, collectors, and private clients.

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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sunday Update 20: Uncertain Times

Another week, another quarantine classification update. From ECQ, we are now on MECQ. Whatever that means. So far to me, it seems the same as ECQ except that the curfew hours are different. Oh, and this time, we get to wait until the end of the month for the new quarantine classification. Yay.


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

These times are so uncertain. You can’t plan ahead because there is no way to tell what could happen tomorrow. The fact that hospitals are still overwhelmed by the number of COVID patients and how the local health units are unable to test all the people who need to be tested shows that we are still not recovering from this. I think we are (very) far from it. It doesn’t help that people are speculating about the health of the President and are wondering about the stability of this government.

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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.

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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. 

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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!





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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!


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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. 

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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. 

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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.


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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.

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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?”

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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.

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