Sunrise in Oslob

How We Transferred to Oslob, Cebu During the Pandemic

Hello Summer! It’s been a busy 2.5 months as we started our new beach life here in Oslob, Cebu and I promise, I will be catching up on my blog posts and vlogs until I get more current with what’s happening with us. I may still insert some throwback travel posts from the past since I’ve collected a ton all these years. But for now, here is a vlog on how our transfer from Cagayan de Oro (where we lived, half the time, the other half was in Claveria) from Sept. 1, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2021) to Oslob, Cebu happened, how we got quarantined for 14 days when we got here, and what we did while in quarantine (Jan. 9-22, 2021)

For those who are considering transferring to their respective provinces in this time of the pandemic, you can check out this related blog post:

BOAT TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS DURING A PANDEMIC IN THE PHILIPPINES (FROM CAGAYAN DE ORO TO CEBU

Continue reading
boat travel

Boat Travel Requirements During a Pandemic in the Philippines (From Cagayan de Oro to Cebu)

The first time we traveled during a pandemic was back in August and it was just within Cagayan de Oro City so the only documents that were required were barangay exit pass for our family, barangay clearance for me and Mahal, and health certificates for us three either from a doctor or the city health office certifying that we were in good health at that time. It was quite easy. This time around though, we were moving from Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao to Oslob, Cebu which is the southwestern part of Cebu Region. We traveled by land and then by boat from Cagayan de Oro port to Cebu port then traveled by land again for 3-4 hours outside of Cebu City

The following documents were required of us (and I assume it would be the same for people traveling by boat between regions anywhere in the Philippines). Just keep in mind that once you have all these travel requirements, their validity will last for only 2 weeks. So you better have your travel itinerary ready and make sure you’re good to go! 

Continue reading
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…

Continue reading
Halloween

How to Celebrate Major Holidays During a Pandemic: Halloween Feature + a Guide

In case I haven’t said it enough, Halloween is my most favorite time of the year! So we celebrated it in a major way the past month. Maybe because I feel like I’m still a Wiccan at heart (I used to cast spells, call out spirit guides, and share my experiences in my old Wiccan blog), but more importantly, for some reason, I turn into a child-like nymph whenever Halloween is around the corner! Teehee. Suffice it to say that I’d like to celebrate it for as long as I can, even after it’s over. Haha! So this blog post here is my last attempt to still hold on to it. After I publish this, my next blog posts will be about other aspects of my life like Tuz’s exciting 5th birthday, our everyday life, travels, Christmas, etc.

Before the pandemic, and as far as I can remember, during Halloween, I used to go out, attend costume parties, and even host events during Halloween. It’s the most magical time of the year for me and doing those things really made me happy! I know it’s hard now that we are living in this new normal but it is still possible. I made it possible, and I will continue to make it possible. Haha! Watch my Halloween vlog below:

Continue reading
house transfer

House Transfer in the Middle of a Pandemic

I mentioned in my previous life update that one of the things I got busy with the last 3 months was our transfer to a new home. It was last July, when out of the blue, we just suddenly decided to move to a house and leave our tiny pad behind where we lived for three years in Cagayan de Oro City.

If this is your first visit here or you don’t know yet what it was like for us to live in a tiny space, you can read my Tiny Pad blog posts here:

REAL TALK: TINY PAD TOUR AND BUSINESS UPDATE IN THIS TIME OF PANDEMIC

TINY PAD – LIVING SMALL IN A BIG CITY AND THE REASONS WE DO IT

Continue reading

7 Months Into the Pandemic – a Life Update

Hey! How’s everyone doing? How’s the pandemic treating you? I’m writing this down at 3:41 on a Saturday morning (although in my work hours, it’s 2:41 PM central time on a Friday) after 3 quick months of grueling schedule in my home/work life! Man, those 3 months just really flew me by! I’ve been working, and studying,  and taking care of our household, helping Mahal with the biz, and of course, being a mother to an almost 5-year-old boy who still has a very irregular body clock just like his mom! LOL! I’ll probably be babbling a bit at first about how tired I’ve been, how I’ve just gone through a week of depression towards the end of this 3-month-work-study-life marathon; how I thought I was acing this pandemic because for the most part, I’ve been grateful for the boatload of work and opportunities coming in; that I really don’t have the right to be sad because I am still VERY blessed. We are still alive, healthy, productive, and living good lives considering the world situation we are in. And after those 3 months of being on blogging hiatus, I feel like I’ve just come up for air… I’m starting to feel alive again; I’m starting to make new plans for the future… Anyway, let me breathe a little here and give you an overview as to what’s been happening to me the past 3 months that I haven’t had the time to blog here. So here are my updates…

Continue reading
Philippine Homeschooling Hack

Philippine Homeschooling Hack In This Time of The Pandemic

To dear parents, are you enrolling your kids in school this year? Or are you homeschooling them? Homeschooling in the Philippines is not yet a common thing but because of this pandemic, it seems to be the only right choice to do to protect the health of our children. If company employees are adapting a work-from-home situation, then why not homeschool as well?

And so, I’m just so excited to share this video intended for parents living in the Philippines who are worried about their kids either missing a year of schooling due to the pandemic or efforting to homeschool their kids who used to be enrolled in either public or private schools, more so those who have lost their budget for private school tuition fees. There’s a hack that you can do that won’t cost you a lot of money, it can actually even be free! Continue reading

Real Talk

REAL TALK: Tiny Pad Tour And Business Update In This Time Of Pandemic

THIS IS AS REAL AS I CAN GET! This was an unplanned rant and rave video. I was testing a camera app I downloaded to my 7-year old Samsung Note 3 which I also had repaired and this was the unexpected result of that test. Pardon all my fats, pls! Lol! 😆😆😆

I also realized how verbose I can be! I never knew myself to be this talkative! I can go on months without talking to someone (yep, introvert here) but once I start talking with no one trying to stop me, I can go on, and on, and on.. hahaha! THIS IS ME IN THE MIDST OF THIS PANDEMIC! How about you??? How are you???


Anyway, here are the links of the topics mentioned in my monologue.

Continue reading

mother

How to Celebrate Mother’s Day in This Time of Pandemic? [4 Tips]

I think this is the hardest time in recent history for all kinds of moms out there —>  for moms who are forced to be at home with their children 24/7, especially school-aged ones; moms who are forced to be away from their grown-up children because of the quarantines and lockdowns; moms who are pregnant and about to give birth and are scared of finding themselves giving birth in overcrowded hospitals; moms with babies, with sickly children, with big kids, with teenagers… basically all kinds of moms.

The pandemic has placed us all in situations that are new to many of us, and for this reason, I salute all moms out there. There is a saying that goes “I can imagine no heroism greater than motherhood.” by Lance Conrad, The Price of Creation, and I do think it’s true.

Just the other day, Mahal jokingly asked me: “So, where to this Mother’s Day?” I just laughed! Of course, there is no other place to go but to stay home. Whether you celebrate Mother’s Day in the kitchen, in the bedroom, the living room, the bathroom (LOL)… staying home is still the safest place to be in this time of the pandemic. Though some quarantines have been eased in some parts of the country (like in Cagayan de Oro City, some malls have already opened, to the dismay of many residents), it still feels unsafe to do any kind of celebration outside. So we must stay at home. What can we do to celebrate this special day? I have listed a few things I would love to do as I celebrate my special day as a mother. Feel free to add more as you see fit in your situation.

Here goes…

Continue reading

Work from Home

How Do You Start Working Online From Home In This Time of Pandemic?

I’ve been working from home a little over two months after I retired from my corporate job in Dec. 2007 as a Human Resources Officer IV in one of our country’s government financial institutions. But I still remember vividly how I felt, what I did, and how it got me to where I am now — living the life I want and doing what I like. Like any employee quitting his/her job, I was, of course, scared… Scared because I was letting go of a job that a million girls my age at that time would probably die for because of how high my income was compared to my peers then. At the age of 24 (since year 2002-2007), I was already taking home a salary equivalent to the income of a manager or vice president. The company I was working for then wasn’t included in the country’s salary standardization law and my salary grade was quite high because my step-grandma was one of the board of trustees and I worked for her as her Executive Assistant V (that’s nepotism in this country which I’m not proud of but grateful for at that time). I was also excited because, for the first time in a long time, I could breathe. That company was laden with politics and being an introvert who preferred working mostly by myself, I didn’t bode well with making chitchat during office hours nor hobnobbing with the higher-ups just because I was the granddaughter of one of the Board of Trustees. I felt like I was surrounded by “plastic” people and I felt suffocated and stressed out most of the time. So it was a breath of fresh air to get out of that situation and take home with me more than a million peso in retirement money. I was lucky!

Nevertheless, I still went through some sort of period of depression for about a month after I retired. I retired effective Dec. 15, 2007 and I was just watching TV series like Dexter and 24 from what I remember that whole time. I kind of felt lost and didn’t know what to do next. I was so used to the hustle and bustle of corporate life then all of a sudden I wasn’t doing anything. So I did what I could… I majored in being a couch potato for about a month, never really sleeping but just watching reruns of TV shows and eating on the couch. I seldom took a bath too during that time, lol! I had a full-time helper under my employ so I could afford to literally do nothing but just be a potato on my couch! Hahaha! After I forced myself out of depression mode (thanks to The Secret which I also read and watched over and over around January 2008), I began to see the light. Someone in my Yahoo groups contacted me to apply as an online executive assistant to a Texas CEO in the US, and the rest, as they say, is history. Here I am twelve years down the line, having had numerous clients from the US, Israel, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, having done all kinds of online work you could think of, including being a ghostwriter who authored an erotic novel (hahaha!) which actually paid for my 2-week Siargao vacation back in March 2012. Those were the days! I’d work online either from home or from anywhere I fancy just because I could.

I’m aware that times now are different. These days, people don’t have this choice to either work in the office or work from home. Many employees now, including high ranking company officials, are being forced to work online from home to avoid getting sick due to the currently incurable Covid-19, formerly known as the Novel Coronavirus. Many even lost their jobs and don’t know where to get their next paycheck to support their families. The economy of 100+ nations all around the world is suffering from this pandemic and companies, big and small, as well as workers of various industries, must learn how to adapt, cope, think outside of the box, and come up with other ways to get the job done to stay afloat amidst this global crisis.

Are you one of those people affected by this? Are you having a hard time transitioning from working in your company’s office premises to now having to work from home with your kids, spouse, maybe even with your parents, siblings, and house help puttering about inside your home while you try to get some work done? Or did you lose your job and don’t know what kind of work you could do next? If you are, I hope my tips below will somehow lighten your struggle and serve as a guide to you in these dark times as I share with you how I did it before and how I continue to do it for more than 12 years now. Just bear with me whenever I make a little side chitchat because I’m just talkative like that. After all, having not seen any “officemates” for more than a decade, and having lived by myself for most of my adult life, writing has become my outlet for all of my stories untold. Hihihi! Here goes…

Continue reading

creativity

Ten Basic Creative Principles We Can All Use Especially In This Time of Pandemic

On my previous post, I was talking a bit about how we need to be a little creative when marketing and selling in this time of pandemic. After all, we need all the help we can get to make sure we can still financially survive this crisis despite all odds. On this blog post, I’d like to delve into the topic of creativity a little bit more by mentioning the ten basic principles I learned before from a 12-week course I took on the Artist’s Way (a course in discovering and recovering your creative self created by Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan). These ten creative  principles are: Continue reading