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.

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