Typhoon Rai (Odette): Nightmare Before Christmas 

Just when you had everything planned out for the remainder of the year — your tasks, projects, finances, celebrations… the biggest typhoon of your life hit you — metaphorically and literally. 

We were minding our usual business… I was working and finishing my deadlines for the week and getting ready for client meetings. Mahal was busy with the resort. Everyone was working. Though we were getting news reports about an impending typhoon, upon checking, the eye of Typhoon Rai or locally known as Typhoon Odette won’t be hitting us but instead, it will head straight to Cebu City which is 3-4 hours away from where we are. We had plans of doing our Christmas shopping there that weekend so we figured that we just had to reschedule. Plus, we’ve already experienced so many kinds of weather conditions here that we became complacent. We felt confident that it’s just another one of those storms. There could possibly be a brownout (electricity getting cut off) that will last for an hour or two, or at the most overnight, but that was it. We didn’t do any kind of preparation at all — we didn’t save water; we didn’t charge our phones and electrical devices; we didn’t check if we still have enough gas; we didn’t buy supplies… nothing. It was as if it was just another day in our beach kind of life

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The Root of Happiness (And How I Found It Around Halloween)

I’ve been listening to Rob Dial’s podcasts. He’s a mindset mentor and one of the things he discussed was about happiness and the root of it or the key to achieving it. He based it on what Will Smith said before that it’s not the material things nor money that will bring you happiness (I think many of us know this already), but it’s peace. Peace is actually what I have been experiencing just recently, around Halloween time. It’s not because Halloween is my most favorite time of the year and this year’s celebration has been the happiest Halloween I’ve had so far (I thought last year’s Halloween celebration was the bomb! Didn’t think we’d top that off this year!), but it’s more than that. 

I’m not sure if I mentioned it here before or in some other diary of mine, but living here in Oslob, for as long as I can remember, wasn’t really a good idea for me because I know and I feel that there are people here who don’t like me… they don’t like me because I’m with Mahal… because I used to be married to someone else… and maybe because I am just the kind of person they couldn’t believe achieved so much in life without much help from others. The way people think here is that you can either only be successful if you work abroad or if you’re married to a foreigner. I’m neither, so, maybe that boggles them. Honestly, I don’t really know why they don’t like me. The reasons I mentioned above are just my assumptions. 

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ON SURVIVING THE 7-YEAR ITCH ON OUR 7TH ANNIVERSARY AND STRIVING TO LIVE A BEACH KIND OF LIFE DESPITE THE PANDEMIC

As our 7th anniversary was fast approaching, I was tapped by Mommy Ruby of CDO Bloggers Group to participate in a campaign by a certain insurance company. It was about being stronger now despite whatever it is that we are struggling with. What came to  mind was about being stronger than my demons because as I’ve mentioned before, my emotional and mental health haven’t been that well lately. 

Below, I am sharing with you the original draft of what I wrote in that campaign which in a way helped me recognize my power, my strength, and sense of resilience.  

And further down below, You can watch the entire video on how we spent our 7th anniversary despite the lockdown here in Oslob. ❤❤❤

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ENJOYING THE SARDINE RUN AT MOALBOAL, CEBU… A SCUBA DIVING ADVENTURE

Yey! We’ve now come to the 3rd part of our scuba diving adventure. Whew! It really took me a while, huh? So sorry about that. Aside from being so busy the past several weeks (which I told you about on my previous blog post), my mental  and emotional health haven’t been so good the past couple of months. So whatever strength and joy I still have in me, I just divert them to my priorities which are my work, Tuz, and our family.  

Anyway, I’m so happy to be publishing another blog post today and I hope to do it more frequently (Daily perhaps? Before I start my day at work like now? Hihihi! ) Writing about anything and everything about my life continue to be cathartic for me especially during these uncertain times and I’m happy to share whatever I can with you, my dear readers. Thank you for always checking me out!

So again, let’s dive in!

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Discover Scuba Diving: DAY 2 at CEBU SEAVIEW DIVE RESORT in MOALBOAL

Oh hi there! I know it’s been a while but I haven’t forgotten you. 😉 Work has just been so overwhelming (I just recently got another new client so yay for me!) but I don’t want to complain considering that we are on the 2nd year of this Covid-19 pandemic. Having multiple work, being able to pay the bills, and being able to buy stuff we need and want at this time is very much a blessing so I can’t complain. I must not complain! How about you? I hope you’re all still doing okay wherever you are. 

Me, I would just like to give myself a little more pat on the back than usual because I also take care of our home (a.k.a. chores); I take care of Tuz and his home school activities; I take care of Mahal and his needs… I’m a superwoman! Lol! The important thing is we are all still fine, healthy, and thriving. Just recently, a few of our neighbors have died from Covid so we are just really thankful that we are all still okay. Thank you, God! Of course I am worried all the time which adds to my energy getting depleted a lot faster than usual that I’d resort to watching Netflix (currently addicted to Grace and Frankie) to relax and chill after work is done instead of blogging, vlogging, and finishing all those online courses I bought (which was my original plan but all this anxiety is getting me bogged down). So today, I am ending my inertia (of blogging laziness) by updating my blog and hopefully getting started with Marie Forleo’s B-School (after I finish her book Everything is Figureoutable). Mondays and Tuesdays were supposed to be my blogging/vlogging days that got replaced by beach days. Yes, you can find us at Mahal’s sister’s private beach every Monday and Tuesday, swimming, snorkeling and picnicking (and soon paddle boarding once I decide to buy a paddle board online). Saturdays and Sundays have become our chore days (laundry, doing groceries, cooking big batches of dishes for the whole week, Mahal doing his hobbies like bonsai-making, and me planting herb seeds and taking care of our little herb garden if I’m not playing with my guitar or reading. I also plan to add painting to my weekend repertoire). Then Monday-Tuesday we’re off to the beach, then Wednesday-Friday is where I focus on finishing my work deadlines. It’s a simple but good life (for me at least coz being productive and busy with so many different things makes me worry less). I’ll blog about our Oslob life once I’m done getting you updated with our scuba diving adventure. 

So let’s dive in! 

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Cebu SeaView Dive Resort Review: Day 1 of our Scuba Diving Adventure in Panagsama Beach, Moalboal

OMG! A scuba diving adventure! Finally! I’ve been urging Mahal to try scuba diving since he has been looking at posters when we were in Malapascua last May for Mother’s Day. He likes doing adventurous stuff like me. I’ve tried scuba diving a few times before in my 20s and 30s and after my last stint in Batangas more than 10 years ago, I didn’t dare scuba dive again because though I like going into adventures, my heart sometimes couldn’t take the suspense of it all due to my hypertension. So, I’m happy to just let Mahal do it this time while I take take pictures and videos of him. 🙂

Anyway, before Mahal took his scuba diving lessons last month during Father’s Day, we first enjoyed the dive resort where we stayed — Cebu SeaView Dive Resort which is in Panagsama Beach in Moalboal, a place famous for the sardine run. I joined my diver friends back in 2010-2011 for a sardine run in Pescador Island, also in Moalboal and it has been fun! I wanted Mahal to experience it too and Tuz and I will just enjoy it from above by snorkeling. So that was the plan.

In the meantime, we enjoyed this little dive resort first off the coast of Panagsama, Moalboal in Southwestern Cebu.

Here’s our HONEST and DETAILED review about Cebu SeaView Dive Resort :

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Welcoming New Year

Welcoming 2021 – A Look Back

Time flies so fast when you’re having fun! Can’t believe it’s Feb already — my birthday month!!! I was supposed to start a vlog about our new beach life right now but there were still a lot of videos I filmed last New Year’s. And because I’m OC (obsessive-compulsive), I can’t seem to make the new ones without putting a closure first to 2020. So here’s a little look back at how we celebrated the end of 2020  — the last celebration we did at Cagayan de Oro — before finally, FINALLY, settling down in Oslob, Cebu — the land of the whale sharks… one of my few favorite places in the Philippines (Boracay and Siargao are the other two) 😉 

It’s just a quick vlog full of laughter and cheer which made me realize that those good vibes we exuded as we bid our goodbyes to 2020 and welcomed 2021 with renewed spirit and vigor really helped us bring about the same kind of energy to this new year. As the life gurus keep saying — WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS. And every single day since we got here in Cebu last Jan. 7, I’ve been feeling so festive, as if it’s Christmas and New Year all over again every single day, and for that, I am truly thankful. Even on those days when I’m hormonal and I feel like crap, I just focus on our good life and things start looking brighter once again. What you really focus on expands! Try it!

For now, here’s a little look back last Dec. 29, 30, 31, Jan. 1. After this, I’ll be sharing with you my life stories about the brand new life we’re now living. 🙂

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unboxing Christmas gifts

5-Year Old Tuz Unboxes His Christmas Gifts [Christmas in the eyes of a Child]

This is the first Christmas that we’re giving Tuz Christmas gifts. In the past years, we would just spend Christmas at a hotel resort, party, feast, and be merry as a family with no gifts! Now that he’s five years old, we thought that he would be able to appreciate receiving gifts from Santa, just like it was the first time for us to give him birthday gifts when he turned 5 last November.

The idea for what gifts to give him (they were mostly toys for unstructured learning) came from a lawyer I spoke with last month. We were having an affidavit done to process Tuz’s last name and for Mahal to formally acknowledge him and use his last name (long story short, I had Tuz when I was still married to my ex so to avoid problems, his last name on his birth certificate is my last name and he has no middle name). I’ve been annulled for two years already (declared null & void ab initio – meaning the marriage never really happened in the first place and that I’ve always been single) so it’s just about time for us to start processing his paternity. Anyway, in the middle of chit-chatting with this lawyer, she suggested that we buy unstructured toys for Tuz… toys that help him solve problems on his own… He already has some of these toys at home but I bought some more as part of his independent homeschooling program. 

Here’s Tuz getting excited about Santa delivering his gifts and him finally opening them! I hope you enjoy the vid! Christmas is really for the kids!

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New Year Charcuterie Boards

New Year’s DIY Charcuterie Table Design

As I’ve mentioned on my Christmas blog post, we’ve always celebrated the holiday season at a nice hotel resort in the city. That’s where I would usually see wonderful buffet table settings including charcuterie board offerings. So I said to myself, why don’t I try to recreate that here at home and have that nice hotel resort buffet feel? Perhaps, I can already use some materials we already have here inside the house, and the rest, I can buy at the store? So that’s what I did! 

I just want to document here the layouts I’ve made. The idea came to me right after Christmas. I didn’t want to order any more food from Food Panda. We also didn’t want to cook. But I love to decorate and arrange things so having charcuterie boards on the table sounds perfect for what I didn’t want! Lol! So if you’ll check my Christmas blog post, there really is a huge difference in terms of the look of our buffet table. The two table settings we had last Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were nothing compared to how pretty our New Year’s Eve and New Year’s table settings were. I didn’t know I could do such an instagrammable and Pinterest-worthy charcuterie table decor. What do you think? Is it just me? Or aren’t these charcuterie table settings so pretty? 

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New Year's eve

My Little New Year’s Eve Diary

When I think about what 2020 has been for us, I have nothing but prayer of thanks. 

Though this pandemic did affect some aspects of our business, we were able to pivot, adjust, and not only survive but thrive. Truth is, in the 3 years that we’ve lived in Cagayan de Oro, 2020 has been our most successful year. And for that, THANK YOU, GOD! 

A huge part is because living and working from home is not new to us. We’ve always been the introverted type and my work has always been online, so it didn’t really change our routine much. And because most of the world turned online, business has never been better.  It also helped that we got out of our tiny pad. Since travel was restricted, our original plan of living somewhere half the time and living in the tiny pad the other half of the time was no longer possible. I needed space to breathe and just be and I’m so happy we got to experience living in a cozy house here in Cagayan de Oro City. Before the year approached its end, we even got to host online and overnight parties

But don’t get me wrong… There were dark days, yes. Days when I felt like the world was going to end as if we’re entering the era of zombie apocalypse…

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