Not all are called to be instafamous.

I don’t want to make it seem I pray all the time. My prayer times are mainly grounded on my feelings of either hopelessness or when I’m in pain or what not. I do try and maintain a constant conversation with Him through prayer.

But anyway, the times I choose to pray and devote myself to God, He reveals a lot of wonders. Especially now that it gets lonely and hard to be in a different country. It does have its rewards but as you know with life, it has ebbs and flows.

God is so good to us, He gives us what we need before we even ask for it.* I constantly worry about the kids and the laundry and what snack to give them or about how they are feeling being away from home and will they be able to have real relationships in school, and most of all, will I be able to nurture them to have a positive experience while we’re here. From the mundane to the most material of human aspects, this is what mothers need to worry about their children.

But worries is like a black cloud constantly blocking our sun that we don’t get to shine.

Our insecurities get the best of us and the only way to be out of it is the to be firm in the knowledge that God will provide for us because He loves us. That we walk with Him in every single moment. He has a plan so we can grow in His love and spirit.

Our relationship with Him will also allow us to know our mission in life. Basically, everyone is not called to be influencers or be multi-hyphenated. Some are just moms juggling taking care of 2 kids in another country of another language.

I am a firm believer of the fact that not everyone need to be world-famous or own start-ups or make ridiculous amounts of money. Life’s struggles are in the tedious everyday things: It’s clocking in for work. It’s not making your kids repeat their socks 3 days in a row or showing interest in the show they’re watching for the 1097th time. It’s checking in if there is enough rice stock for the week. It’s showing up for a Sunday meet-up no matter how hot it is outside or worn out you are. It is saying “Hi!” to your neighbours and checking in on your friends even just online. Sometimes if you don’t feel like it, say a prayer while at it. The more boring it is, the greater prayer you may offer for it. I think St. Josemaria Escriva said it best, “Great holiness consists in carrying out the little duties of each moment.

For now I think, for me, it is to take care of my family. To take care of my kids day in and day out. To teach them and spend time with them more than I could ever have than back home. And also take care of Kevin and not nag him so much. LOL.

*Like, I kid you not, we’re so short in cash we only had ¥2,000 in our bank account and we have 2 weeks till Kevin’s allowance comes in. Somehow, OUT OF THE BLUE, there was ¥100,000 child subsidy from the Japan government. WTH, right? Whut??? We didn’t even know we can get that. It’s so darn silly we are not even Japanese.

**Also, when Kevin went hiking in Mt. Fuji and I was left to take care of the kids. I was in deep frenzy because taking care of 2 kids is really a chore, let alone be left with them for a whole weekend by myself. But somehow, God didn’t leave us by ourselves. He sent us angel moms and their kids (who I’ve never met at all) who hanged out with us till night time. I basically had to drag the kids home.

***Also also, my sister applied again for visiting relative visa (2nd time) so I was a wee bit hesitant she’ll be granted coz honestly, guys, my family just visited here 3 weeks ago. But right now, I am busy listing down stuff for her to bring to us.

God is so great more than we could ever comprehend. If we would just allow Him to work in our lives and have continuous dialogue , I’ll bet each of us would be drowning in awe and would be just in constant tears being overwhelmed by Him. So so so many things to be grateful for.


On the loss of things*.

*Meaningful, at the very least.

I lost my engagement ring.

There are only about three things I (remember) losing in this world.

2 cellphone units and a ring. The second phone was knowingly taken/stolen from me while I was alighting from a bus, so whatever. I will still count that.

At the moment, I know, it is not the worst. There are a million things I know that can be considered worst, like, having a surgery for a fractured toe that was injured through being caught in a grocery cart wheel. Or having no job, or at present, the most serious of course, is having the virus.

Having lost a ring can be taken lightly*. However, I cannot stop feeling so ashamed and sorry for the fact that I, actually, did, through, all things my limited recklessness, and at the silliest of all places, our home.

I am not reckless when it comes to my things or generally, any thing. But looking back, I can be selectively reckless and imprudent on as to where I keep them.

Note: An open shelf in an accessible area is not the most ideal place to keep valuables.

I keep my bag by the door bay, open wallet and all, as if inviting people to come get it. At the back of my mind, I say, my real treasure are my kids, who I sleep with in bed every night.

So tonight, I will secure all my things, penny and all.

*My guilt and shame comes from the fact that my husband treasured that ring because he took time and a lot of effort in giving me the best that he can ever give. When I wear it, he always adores lovingly from my finger. Now I cannot give him that pleasure. ang drama. the end.

A Greater Divide.

I just got a mental wellness webinar in this time of pandemic which our company (I) arranged for all employees. I thought it was a refreshing time and also a worthy break from our usual everyday activities. What I basically learned from it is that we should have a “growth mindset” as opposed to having a “fixed mindset” that can trap us and leave us frustrated, cocooned in our box of anxieties.

A person with a “growth mindset” will have the ability to recognise his challenges, embrace his weaknesses, and then adapt and transform himself as to overcome his current environment and situation. It is not at easy task, but even a mountain can be climbed one step at a time and that we can always have help either from tools around us or from the people around us.

At the end of the session, we were also asked to make a statement that would encapsulate how we’d like to live our lives…basically, mine goes like this

I would strive to be grateful for the comforts in life that I enjoy and be able to share what I have to the people who need it the most.

My frustration nowadays is that I feel guilty not doing anything for the people heavily affected by this pandemic. The longer that this happens, the more people are getting in the quicksand.

The effect is deep – because it’s personal.

The effect is extensive – because it affects every aspect of our life, our way of life.

The effect is generational – because for those who are not able to work, their families won’t be able to afford education,  gravely limiting their future.

I am very saddened, my heart bursts into tears, and I cannot fathom enough how many many Filipinos are currently at the state of mercy.

There are an estimated 55,000 jeepney drivers in the Philippines. Due to nationwide lockdowns and the restriction on public transportation, many are left on the streets, not driving their jeepneys, but begging for help. Pounding asphalt on their feet because their livelihoods has been practically eliminated by the virus.

OFWs displaced are reported just last month to have reached 600,000 are seeking help due to the effects of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Public Schools are left on their own devices, literally. With the Department of Education having NO plan at all how to continue with the school year, school teachers are asking for donations from printers, reams of papers, USBs, and even basic phones to be able to communicate with their students. With the Philippine News Agency reporting that there are 20.5 M Public School students, from kindergarten to high school, I am at awe if they will be able to properly execute a quality education, if at all.

I am angry. Very angry, so angry I cry angry. I don’t want to feel this way because of our dumb shitheaded bully greedy thug politicians are so up in their own assess. This government, this democracy which has failed us miserably is still illuminated as the rightful and progressive style of government. Meanwhile, our Filipinos are suffering. More so because of this pandemic. None of those seated are whipping up the system to initiate a rightful and proper response.

I pray, what can or may do, some small thing that I can do,  for me to lift even a tinge, the heaviness of my heart.

To which direction I can give whatever I can gift.

Gold Standard

Parenting is hard.

Parenting two kids is harder.

Parenting two kids under a lockdown due to a pandemic is like being having a slow drill down your tooth, with your dentist not bothering to give a you damn heads up when the pain will end or if it will ever lighten up.

On some days, we delve into the situation as if it is normal as we can ever get…on some days, on most days, we go crazy thinking when we can even do things with normalcy: like planning beach trips, having our nails done, going out to watch movies on a whim, or just you know, not strapping on a bloody mask on our face whenever we go out for crying out loud!

Studies show that habits  are normalized after being done for approximately 21 days. So in case of this lockdown, we sure have passed the creation of habits but essentially, the anxiety remains. We are locked in not by sheer will but by the need to do so…and when we go out, we cannot enjoy it. On the contrary, we dread it and scrub away the outside world once we arrive home.

On days you aren’t positive or can’t hold up, I say: let it out. That’s just it, pent up emotions won’t do anyone good during a quarantine. Let it out and share your feelings even with your kids. Their emotional range and capacity is ever so amazing.

Anyway, what is more of a realization during this time is how we need to live in a space that is basically, pandemic-proof.

Bigger breathing and working space, bigger ref, bigger play. but also we need a bigger heart. To see beyond our needs and our homes, that there are those who might need our help. This virus is really a test for us all. There are two tests to know if you have a virus, but there should be also a test to know if we have the heart for this virus… we can only know it through prayers to God. Talking to him all the time is the gold standard.

Life in Quarantine

Let’s be frank because there is no other proper way to address this situation. There are two types of people stuck at home right now: they are either listless or restless.

In the span of 32 days that the whole of Philippines and the rest of the world are at home, all what we can think of is when are we going to be allowed to go out. On the contrary, when we were busy with our works in the outside world, we always dreamt of staying in. How ironic now that we are living the dream, we don’t seem to get to do all the things we always WISHED of doing at home.

so here are the things YOU might want to make tending to while at home:

  1. Sorting and throwing out your old socks and underwear which have worn out their elastic bands.
  2. Mending on old shirts you cannot wear because it has missing buttons/broken zipper/has small holes.
  3. Cleaning out your pantry (look deep into the exipired dates).
  4. Repotting plants and making fertilizer while you’re at it as well.
  5. Crochet, anyone?
  6. Decanting! You know those old mayo/peanut butter/tomato sauce jars, clean it up and put in other stuff like cotton balls/buds, cookies, whatever!
  7. Put your body into movement! Don’t forget, movement is life. Don’t just slouch in the couch.
  8. Stay in touch with your friends and help those who need them. They may be well inside your house, for all you know.

I was once told not to think of the end but how you can make use of your time. Think of all those things you can DO at home. Make use of this time. We are still alive and that is what matters above all.

God is good, all the time!