The “Phantom”

Who are you? I asked… Who are you that watches me like a thief in the night waiting for any moment to attack? And who are you that watches me but at the same time feels like you also have my back?

Are you the headless white skinny man who invaded my thoughts in my sleep two or three years ago when I was searching for meaning? Are you a girl friend or an enemy who mistook my tears for sadness? It’s not that I like or dislike the words you are brewing… But I do wonder how you broke into my private space and try hard to create all the mess?

You must be a very talented person… And that alone is my only “who are you?” reason… But I need to get you out of my system… As my words and how you quickly judged them…

I don’t want to be like Christine in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera… Come show me yourself, I said… so I can show you mine that is what I am asking… You cannot expect me to open myself up while you yourself are in hiding… If by doing what you do is fun for you and whoever is with you, then go live your life the way you want it to…

A good friend told me to just ignore you… It’s good but a part of me says I want to solve the case too… But it’s funny how I realize what a waste of time and like setting myself up like a canon… When all you are to me is like a lie, yeah just like a phantom.

So I thought you might need some good song to fill your day with more love than “hate”… ๐Ÿฅฐ

All I Ask of You – Andrew Lloyd Weber

No more talk of darkness,
Forget these wide-eyed fears;
I’m here, nothing can harm you,
My words will warm and calm you.

Let me be your freedom,
Let daylight dry your tears;
I’m here, with you, beside you,
To guard you and to guide you.

Say you love me every waking moment,
Turn my head with talk of summertime.
Say you need me with you now and always;
Promise me that all you say is true,
That’s all I ask of you.

Let me be your shelter,
Let me be your light;
You’re safe, no one will find you,
Your fears are far behind you.All I want is freedom,
A world with no more night;
And you, always beside me,
To hold me and to hide me.

Then say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime;
Let me lead you from your solitude.
Say you need me with you, here beside you,
Anywhere you go, let me go too,
Christine, that’s all I ask of you

Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime;
Say the word and I will follow you.Share each day with me,
Each night, each morning.Say you love me! RAOUL
You know I do.Love me, that’s all I ask of you

The “Rogue” Networker

It has been a week since I have transferred to a house here in Taguig City. The moment I landed in Manila, I was already staying in my employer’s quarters with free meals and other stay in freebies. That’s about one month and three days to be exact. Somehow I miss the monotony of staying in and of course, Anne my breakfast, lunch and dinner buddy… hehe… She is also under Finance but not under me… Under me are all Chinese expats who are on a Work From Home arrangement so I haven’t really met them in person yet… Maybe soon… hopefully soon…

During the stay-in period, I wasn’t really able to focus on my USANA business as planned since we are not allowed to sell or do any business inside the company premises… Charge to the first day orientation… But I do at times on weekends when I am inside my office… Kinda hard-headed huh! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ I can’t help but do it still on the side whenever I have the chance but for a few hours only. During these times, I have been inviting my friends and relatives to join me in USANA. I have been told by my upline, the one who invited me to join USANA, and “coaches” that whenever I do invite I should not mention that its USANA. Hmmmmm… That’s kind of “off” to me because I don’t do business like that. I always tell my friends, relatives and former colleagues that I am inviting them for the USANA biz. I hesitantly obeyed but I noticed that whenever I do their advice, I don’t get successful invites… It really doesn’t work on me. And they, my “coaches”, have been insisting to stick on the script and I am very awkward with scripts but when I open my mouth without scripts and just let my thoughts flow that is my thing… Tsk tsk tsk… Ok so I told them their style doesn’t really work on my contacts. I don’t want my contacts to feel that I am hiding something from them… I told them to be transparent and that I am proud to say its USANA. Well, they insisted on their formula and it was even stressed during the many Success Saturday events… Looking back, I was indeed invited by M telling me that its a project from Germany and only during the presentation did I know that it was USANA. They also haven’t told me that the minimum number of points for one BC is 200 not 300. I still choose to say its USANA… I don’t care whether my contacts would get discouraged after telling them its USANA but at least I told them my business. Another “off” moment for me was when R, the upline of M, asked me if I changed my website password. I said “Yes”. Of course I would change it. She and M told me that I should not change the password for them to assist me during the enrollment. I asked Mich why should I not change my password? I don’t want anybody getting into my website and checking on stuff. I can do the enrollment… I told them to teach me and I will do it… Well, I guess the “Yes Upline” can be abused… tsk tsk tsk… Though I did not share to them my password, I still attended the team trainings and continued to send invites.

Come April 17, the day when I was finally free!!! like a jailbird who just got out of Alcatraz… hahaha… ๐Ÿ˜… Thank you to my employer who graciously “delivered” me to my place safely. I could finally put out the things in my “very pink” luggage… And yes, I could already do the things that I have been longing to do like cook, sing, dance and hmmmm paint soon… I haven’t been to any nearest National Bookstore yet to buy the painting materials… This house is a lucky house coz I was able to get a total of three signups for my USANA business in just a matter of days after I moved in… After I got my first pay-in in this house, my “coaches” told me in front of my new associate about not changing the password and letting them in in our website so they can monitor the points…blah blah… Oh my God! What??? they haven’t moved on! These guys are annoying me already… I told them my side of story… I told them that I am sorry I cannot give them my password… Done! Oh! These people… Duh! I don’t like people sneaking on my stuff…. Don’t cross the line… Networking is a people business and business is about trust. I am very picky with business partners coz most people who I have done business with are there for their own ulterior motives.

I now understand why networking and USANA has been put into a bad light. Its not the company nor the network marketing as a business model… It’s always the people behind. USANA is a good company listed in the New York Stock Exchange which means that they follow strict government regulations in terms of communicating their financial condition to their stakeholders. The scientist founder, Dr. Myron Wentz, is a recipient of Albert Einstein award. The products are amazing and I tried it myself and I keep on using them already…

the left group are for personal consumption hihihi… the other side either for sale or be given to friends ๐Ÿ˜Š

And network marketing is a great business model…ask Robert Kiyosaki and Warren Buffet… My thoughts on why people are hesitant to this type of business is that they are not properly guided or educated (like me) on how to do the business or maybe felt used thinking that only the people in the upper levels could benefit… That is if you focus on those other people but if focus on your self and your team’s progress, you will definitely grow in the business… When I attended the USANA Virtual Asia-Pacific Convention, they say you have to be independent, honest and transparent. And I totally agree.

In my one and a half months of doing the business, I already recovered more than 10% of my investment just by earning passive income from sharing the business. I could not be happier with the platform that USANA provided to make this business easier for us to do. The dropshipping model makes it very convenient as well. My preferred customers, distributors and associates have very good feedback because the products arrived so fast. But I still need to learn about the different policies in countries where USANA is present coz I want to expand my network globally… as to how? I am still in the determination phase… I want this done properly… no hiding of details… no sneaky stuff… which means I am going rogue… I will tell people that I am doing the USANA business, the minimum number of points for one Business Center per geographical location and that I am a proud networker who will never ask my fellow independent business owners under me to give me their website password. My goal is to create a community of USANA users and to meet the founder of USANA in one of my travel incentives coz he is now my idol hahaha… So I would be able to personally thank and tell him that I am doing USANA and I am proud. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜Š

Transitioning at the Heart of Change

It was a smooth transition… never expected it to be but yeah… like a sign telling me you are on the right track… and yeah, the 14-day plan was executed well… thanks to all the people who, I would say, instrumental to making it happen! – my kids, my friends, my bro, my Hijo fam, the purok and barangay officers, the logistics guys, the caretakers, the cable customer service personnel, the laundry staff and pldt staff… love you guys! you are all my angels ๐Ÿ™‚ The first 7 days of the 14-day plan is not so action-packed but my mind was super busy overthinking how to execute what I have planned… LOL! ๐Ÿ˜The second week was super busy and the last three days, March 11-14, were definite in terms of our activities and place of stay since I booked it via AirBNB ahead of time…

March 1 to 7:

March 1 was a local holiday in Davao City while March 2 was my last day in Hijo and my team gave me a despedida cum advance birthday party… During the party, one of my team leads asked me if I am not scared going to Manila because he said that the people in Manila thinks so highly of themselves (well, based on his experience, I guess)… I just told him that I am not scared and that it is not my first time in Manila and I have made a bunch of good friends there during those times… So I am not really the type to generalize people based on few “bad apples”… Based on my experience, human personality is the same whether you are from Davao or Manila or Cebu or outside of the Philippines. The gravity would probably depend on the environment and culture that the person grew up in… My two cents… The rest of the first week entails more on inquiring how to apply for medical certificate since it is a requirement to be able check in at Avida Towers where my kids and I planned on having our staycation in, how to apply for disconnection of my cable, landline and internet subscriptions, and opening a bank account for my kids. For the medical certificate, I needed to get the purok and barangay clearance which the staff advised to be secured a week before our check in… I also plotted the whole 14-day plan in a white board and placed it near the entrance to our house so it’s visible to me when I enter and leave the house… It was also during the first week when I dreamed about my future colleagues even though I haven’t met them yet… It’s funny coz the scene was like this: “I was in a conference room and I was surrounded by some people… I introduced myself to them but I did not see any of their faces… At the end of my introduction, they were saying “pasalubong!!!” which means asking for some goodies that they expected upon my arrival Hehehe… Then I took out a handful of durian candies in my bag… I woke up after that… Hmmmm… I told my daughters about that dream and Pia told me “Well, maybe they were thinking about you mommu”… I don’t know but I have weird dreams about people… Sometimes I feel that people are communicating with me thru my dreams… So I end up overthinking my dreams… Overthinking about the message of my dreams… But when I check out on people in my dreams, they do not necessarily miss me! LOL! ๐Ÿคช So stop overthinking! haha! But I am that naive and gullible girl, so I bought Davao dark chocolates and durian candies for my future colleagues… hihi ๐Ÿ˜‡

how my pasalubong looked like ๐Ÿ˜€ 4 pcs of Davao chocolates and 9 packs of durian candies (coz I ate the other one pack ๐Ÿ˜‚)

On March 6, I attended a USANA business presentation as I have been invited by my former colleague at Hijo… It was around 7PM… I know USANA as a good and pricey supplements brand but when the presentor shared the business model, I got excited… I have been looking for a side hustle that does not confine me in any geographical location so when she told me about the dropshipping business model of USANA, I decided right there and then. I planned on doing this on a part-time basis and I didn’t expect that after signing up as a business center, I would be invited to a lot of trainings the following day… Oh my, I want to do this part-time and at my own pace only… But yeah, the learning opportunities at USANA are all inspiring and awesome…

March 8-14:

This week happened so quickly and the busiest week ever by far! On the first day of the week, I got the medical certificates and claimed my USANA products at Abreeza Corporate Center. I was so excited that I started using the CellSentials duo and the whitening toothpaste and read all the manuals in the starter kit. I have to be the product of my products so I can sell it well… There is a lot to learn definitely… The second day, I received the PSA birth certificates of mine which I ordered online… Thank God… everything was a breeze! I mean despite the busy-ness, all the things that I needed to get and do prior to my departure were received and done before my D-date which is so cool! ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you Universe! We continued packing our things in preparation for the transfer. Then come the day of transfer date… I contacted the logistics guys and transfer was made easy coz they are very systematic… The following day was my birthdate… Before the celebration, we cleaned and applied for the disconnection which was not very hard to do… No queue, which was surprising… My BFF, came to celebrate my birthday with us… We were supposed to go swimming after eating dinner but then maximum heads per unit allowed to swim is 2 only… I was intentionally “unhealthy” during the week… We ate unhealthy food that my kids love like sweets, meats, fastfoods, pizzas, cakes, etc… I did not exercise… My weight was usually between 52-53 kgs but now I am 53.8 kgs… LOL ๐Ÿ˜ On March 13 I bought the “pasalubong” goodies for my colleagues and then visited my mom and dad… After that we ate dinner and slept early in preparation for the next day… March 14 was my departure date… We woke up early… Ordered breakfast at Jollibee and went to the airport… I texted my ex that he can pick up the kids at 8:30am so I left the car keys to Pia at 8:15am and went inside the airport to check in. At the bag drop counter, I exceeded 12 kgs because I cannot leave behind the things that have sentimental values to me… LOL… ๐Ÿ˜… I know it was my fault but I felt like I was robbed because the crews were rude when I tried negotiating for a lower rate and asking them for solutions that could lower the excess amount like using my points, upgrading my booking etc… Actually, my fare was much lower than the excess… Thug life! LOL! So I gave the bag drop crew a “Very Dissatisfied” rating… Bad me! I know right?! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ I booked seat 1A so I could easily deplane without hassle upon arrival in Manila… But the funny thing was that Cebu Pacific deplaned their passengers starting from 31-32 seats because only the back door was opened… What the @!#&! ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ After getting the checked in baggage, I was fetched by the company van driver and the office seemed very near the airport since we got here in just about 10 minutes. They brought me to the isolation room to be quarantined… Oh my! Never expected this! But they were good enough to place me in an isolation room where I can have my own privacy… But yeah!!! ๐Ÿฅบ They issued me a laptop and made sign papers for my move-in and hey! It’s free meals!!! LOL! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

I formally started working yesterday, March 15… But since I am being quarantined and still in isolation, I had my orientation online and had been subjected to swab testing… Ouch! The nose sampling was kinda painful while the oral was no sweat! After that, I spent the day learning about the USANA business, advertising my products thru Instagram, reading the Boundless Potential book by Mark Walton and watching some Ted Talk videos…. Well, imagine me alternating all these! haha! ๐Ÿค“ I am super excited to meet my team already but only after the result of my swab test will come out… I am super duper excited to start working… Patience my dear… Transition? No fear! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜

“Silencing the Noise”

Today is EDSA People Power Revolution holiday here in the Philippines… It’s the 36th anniversary when our late President Ferdinand Marcos was removed from power and installed President Corazon Aquino as the first female President of the Philippines…. Hmmm… to be honest, I believe Marcos was the best President the Philippines ever had… for a number of reasons and yeah, because of what he has done for the country… Well, I am not so into about politics and I have a weird view of it… So I would rather talk about my “revolution”… As mentioned before, I experienced this “Separation Anxiety” throughout the month of February when the “me moving to Manila” finally came true. I should be thankful though and I really am… The universe has been very kind to me… It’s just that maybe I was hesitant being out of my comfort zone… not my first time in Manila but Davao has been my comfort zone – my kids, my friends here, the company, the house, the car, etc. My kids and I are always talking about how we will move things around here before my departure date… Pia volunteered to cook breakfast so she could spend time with me in the morning before me going to work… Ria keep on telling me that she wanted to go with me and never fails to give me her “juiciest” butterfly kisses.. My friends, well they wanted to keep in touch every weekend… At work, my bosses want to give me free lunch next week and I have been given free lunch by our Chief Corporate Legal Officer. So it’s nice to resign coz I have free food!!! hahaha…

thanks to Sir Gerryโ€™s lunch treat and Annaโ€™s Starbucks treat ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Š – 2/26/21

My staff keep on telling me that they have a surprise for me on my last day and I told them that I am no longer surprised hihihi… ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚

At this point when I wanted to sort things out alone is when it feels like people seek my presence.. I am touched… Guess the leaving calls for the staying… If you know what I am saying… And this weird feeling bottled up inside me is more like wanting to poop ๐Ÿ’ฉ and vomit ๐Ÿคฎ at the same time but I am in a game where you will be asked to choose only one option which is difficult… ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ No I am not lonely… The feeling is a combination of excitement and nervousness… Excited for my kids and I and a little nervous about my new challenging role… Can’t help thinking about March 14, my departure date… I have told a handful of people already… some are kinda sad coz distance would make me inaccessible… I could not forget the response of my BFF when I told her about it… She just said “Yey! I’m excited!!! What company and when?” which actually gave me the boost that I needed at that time. ๐Ÿ˜Š… With this little time I have remaining here in Davao City, I need to heighten my focus and spend more time with kiddos. And speaking of spending more time with kids, allow me to share the adventure that my kids and I made two days before today.

I took a two-days leave of the 15 days vacation leave I have last February 23 and 24. I filed it the moment I accepted the job offer. I was thinking of going back to Pearl Farm but my kids requested for another place and when we viewed the website, Pia got excited about the horseback riding and zipline facilities of the place. And so, book the place we did. In the morning of Feb 23, everything was relaxed. We woke up around 5am… I cooked breakfast and they took a bath… After eating breakfast, I took a bath then arranged our things to bring at Camp Sabros… I, then, started to activate Waze and searched for the direction going to the place. But before that, we passed by my Mom and Dad’s. Here’s our going to CS pics… It was a long and winding road going there like literally!!! But it was a lot of fun and therapeutic road tripping and singing along with our 90’s to Now playlist. ๐Ÿฅฐ

Upon arrival, we ate our lunch and then proceeded to check in at our cottage. Ms. Jacque called me when I told her that we were already in Camp Sabros and she invited us to have a bonfire and picnic at their spot. We prepared and waited for her arrival. So we took shots while waiting ๐Ÿ˜‹

Ms Jacque picked us up at around 4:30pm and we road tripped for a while and she toured us at the other side of the mountain. While nearing their place, the rain poured so the chance of having a picnic and bonfire went from slim to none. ๐Ÿ˜ซ We decided to go back to Camp Sabros instead and have some pizzas and other foods. The evening went well and we had a very nice dinner. After eating there is this dog who went near us and looks at me while wagging his tail… Oh I think the dog likes me… Hehehe… I mean this dog: ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

We were so full and we had a round of picture taking outside of the resto… Then, we bade goodbye to the gang and got ourselves ready for sleep… It was a long but fun day:

The next day, we planned to do all the rides we intended on the first day… I woke up at 5am but got out of bed 30 minutes after to do my 10-minutes meditation… The scene and the birds chirping were good background for my morning activity… I, then, prepared our breakfast which actually were just leftover food from the night before and some free coffee… ๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ”๐Ÿžโ˜•๏ธ

After eating breakfast, have prepared the bathtub for kiddos… and we took out our 2nd day outfit… ๐Ÿคฉ The place is so cold that when I tried to ready and checked my moisturizer (VCO), its state changed from liquid to solid… ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

proof that the place is cold even without aircon

This is it! It was an early check out in CS… At 11am, we needed to vacate the cottage… We took all the things out and proceeded to the reception area… Then, we took pics, went horseback riding, ate our lunch and ride the ziplines… My daughter went first… She was laughing coz I was the one who is more thrilled than her and she was quiet while doing the zipline… Where is the fun in that? ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคช The men who assembled her gears asked her if she was okay ๐Ÿคช…

It was a thrilling experience… We saw lots of giant ferns, pine trees and other exotic flora… After my zipline, we drove back to Davao City around 2:45pm and we arrived 2 hours after… We felt tired upon reaching the house and so I asked my kids that we all take a nap…

It was a fun adventure for us three… The memories we made there were something that we could look back on… Now it is time to look at the present and forward… No time to waste.. Pia requested that I teach her some tofu recipes of mine so she could cook it while I am gone…. I need to prepare myself for the March 14 departure… I will wake up tomorrow embracing the change and savoring the opportunity that the universe has gifted me… Imma start rolling my sleeves and hustle up!!! I can do this! Aja! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’“

“Spilling the Tea”

“SepAnx” is real… That is the word of the day for me this week… SepAnx is a coined word for Separation Anxiety which I just learned from my daughter. Last February 3, I just received a job offer in Manila… It was something that I was so excited about since last year but now I can’t help feeling this “SepAnx” thingy… The moment I received it, I emailed my resignation letter to my bosses… They called me and I told them that the opportunity is aligned with my personal and professional goals so they wished me well. The next move I made was inform my team, which was a funny and sad part. Here it goes:

Last year, the company had a “mass-termination” of our temporary employees… That didn’t sit very well with the rest of the employees including the regulars. Some left in silence while the others were openly releasing their “burnout” fumes which kind of affected the whole organization morale. Last February 1, somebody came to conduct a background check of their applicant who was our former employee. I was the one who answered to all his questions about the former staff. The CI went well and good and I was sure that the former employee of ours would definitely land that job. ๐Ÿ˜‰ However, after the CI, the guy had a slip of the tongue when he mentioned that there is another staff he wanted to check but still currently employed in our company. I was trying to ask for the name but he didn’t mention… Hmmmm… I would say I am a good investigator… hehehe… I couldn’t sleep till I uncover who that person is so I devised a plan and pretended that the guy mentioned the name… I suspected he/she is one of our team leads…

Came yesterday, February 4, I finally got the balls to drop the bomb to my team. But before that, I met with my 3 team leads and I drafted a meeting schedule in Teams entitled “Spilling”. ๐Ÿ˜€ They were so anxious and already had an idea what I was about to tell them… I started by narrating the whole CI experience and that it went well until he mentioned the last part… I applied reverse psychology and told them that the guy mentioned the name (even though he did not! ;-)) There were denials from the others.. then one of them admitted that it was her who applied but then she already decided not to pursue that application because of the many reasons she mentioned… After her admission, I told her that the guy never really mentioned the name and I said sorry to her and we were all laughing and they said I tricked them… hahaha… Oh well! I proceeded to the main agenda which is actually me spilling the tea. I told them that I am resigning and that my last day is on March 2 (since we are required to render one month notice)… They were shocked and asked me a lot of questions like why, where and what made me etc… I answered them all and one of the leads told me that I should announce it to the whole team… So he asked everybody to go inside my office and then I shared again to them my decision to leave. The whole morning was spent on well wishing and laughing.. I didn’t realize that I was laughing too hard that even others heard it. ๐Ÿ˜€ They said I have an infectious laugh… hahaha

I was relieved but sepanx is really seeping in me right now. My future employer asked me when I will onboard and I requested the date to be after my birthday so I could still celebrate it with my kids… And thankfully, they generously agreed to it. They already arranged for my airport pickup and the place for my relocation. Thank you Lord! ๐Ÿ™‚ After the tea has been spilt, there is no looking back now… only a look ahead… Although I will be separated from my kids for three months, I am so positive about what that future will bring. ๐Ÿ™‚

“Silence of the Lambs” – A Girl Talk

It was a rainy Thursday evening last week… it was dinner time…. I cooked Char Kway Teow for the first time which was totally unexpected because I was planning to cook Pho again but then I thought my kids would say, “Again???!!!” ๐Ÿ™‚ So I thought of something that I could use the Banh Pho noodles with and yeah the Vegan Char Kway Teow was “born”:

  • Photo by Food + Art on January 30, 2021. Image may contain: food.

Well, this post is not about food though. After eating dinner and sharing about the excitement we have had about the future plan, my daughter kinda turned almost about to sob. I asked her why and she began opening up something which I never thought would turn out to be the most satisfying conversation that my daughter and I had when I mentioned the word diary… yeah, this diary.

She started with saying that she googled my blog and it wasn’t easy because there were a lot of blogs with the same title as mine… so she added the word Bohol and that made her start to read which for me is a shocker because when I made this blog, she was there and she even commented on the first post I had… Well, maybe she forgot the URL. Anyhow, when she found my blog she saw the “Diary of a Hopeless Romantic” post which talks about me finding out about this boy and their conversation… There she began to cry and asked me why I talked about that part to my BFF, Iris (who is her Tita/Godmother)… And that he is never her boyfriend (oh my! i don’t know what is the definition of a boyfriend these days!!! ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿคช) I listened then when she is done, I told her that I am not bothered about her reading my blog and told her that I was kind of expecting her to read my blogs. I have nothing to hide anyway… I am so open to my kids even about my crush… so yeah! I told her that Tita Iris is her second mom and when I am gone (God forbid!), she can always refer to her anytime because she is the most understanding person in the world. I regard her as my soulmate… She is one of the very few people in the world that I could talk to anything about and I know that I will always have her back regardless. She asked me “why tell her mom?” and I told her “I got scared, I panicked… I have no one to talk to about it at that time that I know could very well relate because for one, she knows you and she is used to talking to kids with the same concern being a guidance counselor in a secondary school in Manila.” She said that she tried putting her shoes into mine but she could not understand why I should be scared about it at all… And I said, because you are not a mom… You could only wear my hat when you become one… She turned silent and she smiled saying that at least she was able to vent it out and yeah, I told her that I love it when she opens up to me like that. I told her my time with mom during my high school years… I was in my second year high school then… I arrived from school shouting “Ma! Ma! I have a very good news! My crush said he has a crush on me too!” hahaha… He said he likes my eyes during a truth or dare game back then… I was so happy and my mom was smiling… I was giggling… I told my daughter about how everything went up when I was so inspired. I want that same relationship with my daughter. That her thoughts are safe with me… But then I told her “maybe I should think that you are not me and I am not you”… We both agreed to that.

We began talking about my other posts and we were laughing and asked why do I always interpret songs. Well, that is me… I told her that I am a hopeless romantic… Love songs always move me and its either I am so drawn to them because of the lyrics, the melody, the voice or just plain appreciation of the artistry… regardless of whether it’s rock, pop, classical, jazz, broadway, etc, I could sing to all those love songs with my eyes closed, some protruding veins on my neck and a pitch-not-so-perfect… ๐Ÿ˜‚ I know I am cheesy… And I could say to the whole wide world that I am cheesy and proud!!! ๐Ÿง€๐Ÿง€๐Ÿง€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅ‚ why not?! ๐Ÿ˜‹ At the end of our conversation, I told her how I love talking to her like that and encouraged her to open up some more.

I am not a perfect mom… well, who is?… though I am 40-something (hehe), I am still a work-in-progress… What I realized out of that conversation though is that communication is key to any relationship… my daughter turned silent and harbored all those emotions inside of her while I too was silent and didn’t have a single clue that “that” was a big deal to her. I thought her irritability was part of either PMS or her being a teenager… Though I think I sometimes have the talent of reading some persons mind, I do not possess such ability all the time when people won’t let me in. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคซ Misunderstanding arises when a person either refuses to share or refuses to ask direct questions and make assumptions that may be untrue or just based on speculations… I am glad that everything is clear with me and my daughter now… Hope she will continue to open up. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿปโค๏ธ

Farewell 2020, Hello 2021: A Look Back and Forward

Two hours… two hours and we will be in a different year… A year that is hopefully better than this year… How I wish I could say “2020 please stay”, but my heart screams “Metal rat begone!!!”… ๐Ÿ˜ Yes 2020 may be the “worst year” in the history of our generation thus far but I think there are lots of “lessons to be learned” somehow… I’ve learned a lot to be honest and for some weird reasons, this year made me a lot “braver”. I wish I was this brave when mom was still alive so I could give her the world.

As I look back, the year started pretty high. I was in Siargao during same day last year. I wasn’t alone… I have made friends there with my roomies, locals and tourists… Who would have known that that would be my last travel outside of Davao City this year. All of my trips, both local and foreign, were canceled. Sigh! ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Fast forward to mid of the year… Covid has taken its toll at work… We have downsized and have to say goodbye to our temporary workers and even to regular colleagues who either has found better opportunities or just wanted to rest. There were challenges, a lot of them… but those challenges made us think of creative ways to keep the ‘boat afloat”. A lot of cases also surfaced which caused so much unexpected strain on our cashflows… I was able to talk to my HR friend, who is based in Manila, and she told me that there are lots of companies right now that needs to be “resurrected” finance-wise. So we are not alone. I could see why a lot of doors for Finance professionals have been opened. There were also some challenges I faced with regards to my personal life and I find it so cheap to fight over properties. Yeah, even though my family is convincing me to fight for my rights over it, I just find it stressful and not worthy a sacrifice for my mental health… So, I choose to just build my own “empire”… Hehe Yeah! You go girl! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜Š I can hear the song “Rise Up” by Andra Day in the background right now… Hihihi – “And I’ll rise up…I’ll rise like the day…I’ll rise up…I’ll rise unafraid…I’ll rise up…And I’ll do it a thousand times again…”

rise up like that ๐Ÿ‘†๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜˜

What is Christmas like amidst Covid? Well, I have always said that December is the happiest month of the year. And, yes, so far this year December is still the happiest month for me because it gives us another reason to smile and to share despite the events that occurred during the year. I felt nothing but 3G’s as the year was about to culminate this month. My 3G’s I mean, Give-Great-Gratitude.

Give: When December opened, my staff and my colleagues were asking me if there is bonus which usually is given every 15th of December. I, knowing the financial situation of the Group, have always been open to them about having no bonus this year since September stepped in… It was heartbreaking to see them sad but I do hope that they understood why… In the family, it is tradition to give gifts. My sister gave me money to buy gifts for me and my daughters coz she is currently in Canada… She was supposed to spend Christmas with us but Covid did not permit that… For my share, I chose to buy gifts for my staff instead. After all, it’s better to give than to receive… Here’s the presents my kids received this year:

since we did not put up a Christmas tree…

I do not have anything there… hahaha… Oh I have one… My foundation was empty already so I thought of buying to refill but I wrapped it in green gift wrap so I have something to open during Christmas hahaha… poor me! Oh no! rich me! hehehe mindset my dear! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜… I spent Christmas with my kids and have cooked a little for Noche Buena…

โค๏ธ twinning โค๏ธ

Great: I felt great coz despite the situation, we have Christmas Party!!! Yehey! Virtual though… ๐Ÿ˜ and one instead of three… Our theme is mafia… I don’t even know why the organizers thought of having mafia as our theme… What the heck! hehehe… But the “game” me still tried to dress the part… I thought of putting up a Japanese mafia costume but I ended looking like a Japanese manga because of my iconic wig, hahaha ๐Ÿ˜‹:

So iconic that when a friend of mine saw my IG story, he messaged me โ€œis that the same wig you wore 10 years ago at the Maersk Christmas party?โ€ ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ He still remembers! Yeah its a 10-year old wig… hahaha… Also, I won in the “Bring Me” game because I kinda โ€œpredictedโ€ that the first bring me item is a company ID ๐Ÿ˜Ž and my team won in the “Pictogram” (oh I forgot the name) game… My team amassed a lot of raffle items for our team New Yearโ€™s party this 1st week of January…

Gratitude: Well, despite the challenges we have weathered this year, there are lots that I am so grateful for… My friends and family, who made this year a happier and less “painful” year… Some of them said they missed me too… I think I am one missable friend hehe ๐Ÿ˜‚ so I met with one of my classmates in college:

i look like a loosely wrapped spring roll in a long dress so short dress for short girls all the way ๐Ÿ˜›๐Ÿ˜‚โ˜บ๏ธ

Good health, thankful that none of my loved ones got sick during the pandemic… I, too, have never been sick this year… Thank you my God! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜‡ My work, I have learned so much about finance… I used to say that I am an accountant by heart but now my work has leveled me up and the knowledge that I have gained in finance is truly appreciated… I could write my third book now but I think I need to add “technology” in the principles though so there is a lot to learn in this department. My students, I have learned a lot from them… They made me study and inspired me to unlearn, learn and relearn… Little did I know that the lessons we have had were to my advantage too when I took the online finance test. Thank you all so much. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜˜

How will I be spending my New Year’s Eve this year? Well, since there are travel restrictions, I could not go somewhere beautiful to celebrate around other people… So I am spending it at home alone… I started the day cleaning the whole house… I cleaned the car… Have the bedsheets cleaned… and rewarded myself for a job well done at cleaning with a Salmon Teriyaki and Red Iced Tea which I ordered from Tokyo Tokyo as my late lunch. Then, I took time to meditate for 20 minutes… After that, I took a super long bath hihihi ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜Ž Next, I made a macaroni salad and pasta which I will eat at midnight along with some cookies, round chocolates and red wine… Hmmm, I am thinking about what noise to make at midnight… Shall I sing? hahaha… Nah, I will just probably turn the TV volume up later… hehehe

I am so excited to welcome 2021! I can see better days coming so clearly! I couldn’t wait to be wherever my wings will lead me and I welcome the Year of the Metal Ox with open arms. Bring it on! 2021, are you ready for me? You better be!!! ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿฅฐ

On โ€œFeels like Homeโ€

Hmmmmm… Feels like home is one of the soundtrack of the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days sung by Chantal Kreviazuk… The movie had been on repeats in Fox movies so when I got the chance to watch it in full, I heard the beautiful song on the part when Kate (Hudson) and Matthew (McConaughey) were โ€œmaking loveโ€ โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š… The melody and the lyrics are something I can relate to very much… So before I deep dive on my emotions about the song, hereโ€™s the lyrics:

Somethin’ in your eyes, makes me wanna lose myself
Makes me wanna lose myself, in your arms
There’s somethin’ in your voice, makes my heart beat fast
Hope this feeling lasts, the rest of my life

If you knew how lonely my life has been
And how long I’ve been so alone
And if you knew how I wanted someone to come along
And change my life the way you’ve done

It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I’m all the way back where I come from
It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I’m all the way back where I belong

A window breaks, down a long, dark street
And a siren wails in the night
But I’m alright, ’cause I have you here with me
And I can almost see, through the dark there is light

Well, if you knew how much this moment means to me
And how long I’ve waited for your touch
And if you knew how happy you are making me
I never thought that I’d love anyone so much

It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I’m all the way back where I come from
It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I’m all the way back where I belong
It feels like I’m all the way back where I belong

Oh yes… the melody… I love the melody of the song… I could imagine myself doing some interpretative dance with FLH as background music… If only I knew how to do the figure skating, I would have that song as my routine song… Haha… I could imagine me on the ice with D.B. Sweeney (from the 1992 The Cutting Edge movie) as my partner so I would be like his Moira Kelly ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ˜Š…. I would definitely love dancing to the tune with someone special (whoever he may be!๐Ÿ˜Š)…

Oh the lyrics… Yes the lyrics of the song is something I resonate with… This would definitely be my soulmate song!!! ๐Ÿฅฐ So spot on… It feels like the song was made for me like Hello???!!! Did the songwriter (Randy Newman) know I existed??? hehe… I think he made that song for me and my soulmate.. Awwwwwwwwwww โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

The song is like a broken record in my Spotify… Itโ€™s on repeats!!! Haha… Oh how i wish I could sing the song to my soulmate… But I am still waiting for signs… Soulmate signs… Still waiting for that โ€œrainbow connectionโ€ ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ‘จ Hmmmm… so far nada! Nobody asked me โ€œWhatโ€™s your story, Lynn?โ€ yet… Well yeah, thatโ€™s my ultimate soulmate sign… hihihi ๐Ÿ˜‚… If anybody would ask me exactly that question, with those exact words? I would probably faint haha… or lose my senses ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‹ … Goosebumps!!! Well, I know my soulmate is out there waiting for me too… So my message to the Universe for my soulmate would be: โ€œSee you when I see you!!!โ€๐Ÿ’•

Recharge… Reboot… Reconnect

2020 is indeed one hell of a year…! well, yeah literally… so many unexpected twists and turns, highs and lows, uphills and downhills… in short, it somehow sucked the energy out of me… i need to replenish to figure things out… i really do!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜

About more than two weeks ago, I booked a โ€œLuxury Escape Packageโ€ at Pearl Farm Beach Resort… Was supposed to book for Christmas but the rates are double which is crazy so what better time than when it is โ€œcheapestโ€… ๐Ÿ˜‰ I chose PF since I think its the safest place to bring my kids with me during these crazy times and experience nature and โ€œvitamin seaโ€ at the same time… The day before the sought after day, we slept early than usual coz we needed to be at the wharf an hour before our scheduled departure…

Came yesterday, we were so excited! we woke up and prepared early and ate our breakfast by driving thru Mc Donalds and ordered cheesy eggdesal with some juice and iced coffee… We were the first one to arrive at the Marina Wharf… (charge to pure excitement ๐Ÿ˜‚)… While waiting, my daughter took a photo of me…

When the boat arrived, we immediately boarded and took our preferred seats… It took us about 45 minutes to arrive at the resort… Upon arrival, the staff greeted us with some welcome drinks… and then the pictorials never stopped…

hmmm… i looked constipated here… maybe its the rate that has been charged ๐Ÿ˜…
never mind the charges… just savoring the moment ๐Ÿ˜Š

We went to our hilltop room to fix our things and then went down for the Buffet Lunch… We ate sinigang soup, pancit bihon, fish escabeche, steamed veggies and some fruits, fruit salad and greens salad… After eating, we took photos… There was one staff who went the extra mile to volunteer as our photographer… so hereโ€™s our pictures:

After the โ€œpictorialsโ€, we went to our room to rest for about an hour and a half to prepare for the afternoon swim… High tide started around 3pm and we got ready for the activity…

waiting for our ride โœจ๐Ÿ›บ

I love the beach here… you get to swim with the fishes and starfishes… ๐Ÿ ๐ŸŸ not overcrowded… I can float for 15 minutes straight and I can feel the water carrying me… Hmmmm… I can do this all day! ๐Ÿฅฐ

fun! fun! and more fun! ๐Ÿ˜
love the silhouette and the sunset ๐ŸŒž

It was almost dark when we went up… but since we were like โ€œso deprivedโ€ of being in the water for months now, we planned to swim again at the pool after dinner… We went to our room to shower and then rested for like 30 minutes… We ordered for a 6:30pm dinner but it was served around 7pm… I ordered for pinakbet, salmon steak and soup for the day while my kids ordered spareribs steak, spicy chicken wings, french fries, fish and chips and grilled veggies… For dessert they ordered halo-halo while I ordered for buko pandan…

the pool is waiting for us ๐Ÿ˜Š
like a floating Loch Ness monster ๐Ÿ˜‚ hihihi
chill mode
what am i thinking?

We have the whole pool to ourselves… ๐Ÿ˜Š We went to our room past 9pm to shower again and prepare for bed… Oh, in no time my kids were asleep and they look so peaceful when they are sleeping… ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜

I woke up early as usual but went up around 7am since our breakfast will be served 8am… I woke my kids up at 7:30am… and were off to another set of activities around the island…

some cup of coffee
as they say, eat breakfast like a king
beautiful ๐Ÿฅฐ
be still ๐Ÿ˜Š
feeling euphoric with nature ๐Ÿฅฐ

It was almost 10am so went back to our room to get ready, fix things and prepare for departure ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ฉ… I donโ€™t want to wake up from this dream… ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‰

resort tour ๐Ÿคฉ
since our time is almost up…

My daughter is my biggest supporter of my headstand… when she found a perfect spot, she requested me to do it again ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜Š and i found out later that she posted this ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป in her IG story saying โ€œso proud of mommyโ€ ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ… super touched โค๏ธ … I remember sharing to my daughter years ago the Anlene commercial where an old lady was doing the headstand and I told her โ€œPi when I am old like her I will do the same thing as she didโ€…. then she told me, โ€œwhy wait getting old when you can do it when you are younger mamu?โ€… and I said โ€œyeah, right!!!โ€ ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

LOL! I have shorts okay?! ๐Ÿ˜‚
๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚๏ธ

After some time, we went back to the parola to wait for our boat ride… We still have time for fish feeding and pics taking…

here fisheeeeess!!! saved some bread for the fishes โค๏ธ
some corals and sea urchins
saying goodbye with a heavy heart ๐Ÿ˜ช

โ€œSome good things never lastโ€œ from Barbara Streisandโ€™s song… relate much ๐Ÿ˜ญ… But really glad that we have experienced this… It was meant to be… Had we booked last day of the month, we would not have been able to knowing that the government is implementing yet another stricter Covid regulations starting 17th of November… Thank you God for guiding my decisions… Have I recharged? Totally… I feel energized more than ever now and I am ready to take on anything life throws at me… Have I rebooted? Definitely… Yesterday is gone but the lessons and memories live on… Though I will not live in the past, I will savor every experience and use it to live a better present and a more rewarding future… Have I reconnected? Without a doubt… ๐Ÿ˜‰ I left my laptop to ensure that I wonโ€™t be thinking about work and just allow myself to look from within to outside around me and to allow myself to get lost in the moment… to feel the sand beneath my feet and the touch of the water on my skin… to hear the splashing of the waves along the shore… to pleasure my eyes with the beautiful sights of emerald green and blue sea water and lush flora… to smell the aroma of the food in the resto and to take a moment to meditate and listen to my inner voice… Will I be back to this beauty? Of course!!! What the @#$! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ But I need to work harder for this… maybe next year… This has been my favorite spot here in Davao and truly a wonderful escape from the busy city life… Till we meet again โค๏ธโœจ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

Diary of a Hopeless Romantic II

I was on the brink of moving on… Maybe this pandemic has that effect on everyone… it gives you a lot of time to do some introspection… or maybe it was just me… Everything came very clear to me on how I would live my life moving forward and I would say I have somehow made the boldest move in my lifetime.

As I was fixing some things and browsing on some old files and piles and with a background music in my Emo Playlist on Spotify, I found a black notebook without any label on the cover. I took it and started to turn the pages… In the center page, I found notes written in cursive bold black ink that started with “Dear Diary…”… Without hesitation, I read it and the story in that diary goes like this:

“My, oh, my!!! If he only knew how happy he made me each time he sends me a text greeting or message! His name is “Mark”, a name I assign to him because I already marked him as my soulmate. Haha… yeah! I met Mark in one of the unexpected moments in my life… Oh I remember how adorable he was back then. I was controlling my emotions the first time I laid my eyes on him. He was towering… maybe not the good looking type as far as societal standards is concerned… But for me he is a thousand times like Michael Vartan in the Monster-in-Law movie ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿฅณ… His accent and the gentleness in his eyes drew me closer to him… His energy is just so mesmerizing… But the impression I gave him was quite the opposite… I was talking to the other guys in the room coz I can’t just open my mouth around him…like a frozen bird around a predator… ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‹…. Yup! That’s me! We managed to keep in touch as friends though…

In my reverie, there were series of events that I could never forget… He invited me out. He asked about karaoke with his friends and I said yes. He also introduced me to his family and I felt very, very close to him already… We were together going out in places that I have never seen before… There was a time when we were out in the open fields, he asked me about taking the relationship to the next level… I could not remember what I answered to him then… when I was resting on my bed, he laid next to me… In those moments when everything was about to turn steamy, I open my eyes and realized its not real… I asked the gods to take him out of my head, but every time I pretend not to miss him was when I see him so often in my sleep.

Yes! I was broken and about to find myself again when I met him… I do not want to lose him as friend… I keep fighting my feelings so there would be no awkward moments between us… Just friends… Hmmmmm…. Yeah! I can do this! Aja!!! I would rather keep the friendship than lose him… But there is this one realization that I was able to make out of all these… He made me realize that I can still feel so strongly for a man after all the scars… I am not so sure if this is love but if it is love then I love love… We meet people in our lifetime either to break us or make us whole again… Soulmates I would say… But he is the soulmate who made me feel whole again… I feel so whole now than I have ever been… If fate decides to reunite and bind us heart to heart and soul to soul, I will be ready and embrace it with open arms… But as for now, I am signing off.โ€

And those were her last words…