Random | I am one of the 45% Jobless Filipinos

rain drops
"Be strong and don't be afraid! God is coming to your rescue." ~Isaiah 35:4

Last August 16, I became officially part of the 45% jobless Filipinos, a number that one government official finds as something to be "joyful" about (such a callous remark from a ranking government official! šŸ˜ž). But life must go on, like they say. So here I am now, trying to be strong and finding my way out of this unfortunate situation.

Losing a job gives a person anxiety and a feeling of worthlessness. Also of betrayal. And these are what I felt after knowing that I would be laid off. I tried to be strong during the convo with my boss and good thing it was done via phone call (because of this pandemic) so somehow, I think I was able to fake strength. But right after I put down the phone, I cried. And I cried a bucket! When my brother called me to comfort me the day I was officially notified, I cried even more. It was my first time showing helplessness and weakness to him. And it sucks! I consider myself the face of strength for my family but that time, I felt so weak and helpless.

Feeling anxious and worthless and helpless right after losing a job is okay, but wallowing in that situation is not. So here I am now, trying to rise up from the situation. I'm now working on improving my craft and learning something new in the hopes that I would soon find a new job. To people like me who recently lost a job, let's make use of our "free" time on something useful and of value. Let us be productive despite being jobless. And let us not lose hope! If we can't find a job related or similar to what we used to do, then maybe it's time for us to find something else. Maybe we should give thoughts on some other passions or interests that we may have put on hold because we thought we got a good job. I got some other interests that I'm putting on hold because my line of work gives me financial security but maybe, it's time for me to work on it, too.

When I left a job that offers security and tenure 7 years ago, one of my bosses told me to think it over a million times because it's an unknown future I'm walking into. And I know that but here's my reply to him (not exactly the same words but the same thoughts), "I'm not afraid of the future because I'm not a one-skill-only person. If I couldn't find a job related to my current interest, I could find and learn and do something else. There will always be something else out there." I am a "Jill of several trades", not of all trades of course, and not a master but enough for me to survive. I will find and learn and work on a new trade, if need be. With all the trials I've been through in life, losing a job is just another trial I have to go through and overcome. I know I can survive this, just as how I survived the many trials I had before. I did it 7 years ago, I can do it again now. 

I'm positive I can find a new job eventually, if not soon. So for everyone like me who's reading this post, let's have faith in our dear Lord, He is our refuge and our provider. He will help us get through this. Happy and blessed Sunday everyone! šŸ˜Š


PS: I know I said to be productive and improve yourself and all but don’t forget to relax also. It’s okay too, to sit and do nothing, once in a while. Or just play games, if you’re into it (I am! šŸ˜›). Just don’t forget to always be in control of yourself. Remember, anything  too much is bad! Stay safe everyone. šŸ’›

Guest Post | One Hundred Days of Summer

I will always be grateful to The Pinay Wanderer for this opportunity as a guest blogger. I have my own blog, ofliea.com, yet, I need to collaborate with other blogger to expand my blogging experience.

In October last year, we were blessed to buy our own car. When the rest of my family are planning for a road trip to Tablas Island then to Boracay, I was excited to drive from Marilao in Bulacan to Legazpi City in Albay, where my in-laws live. Then, I started checking AirBnB. I looked for hotels and resorts in the province of Sorsogon for a night of stay or two. I started plotting the itinerary. We are bound to leave on April 8. But we stayed at home.

At the onset of the enhanced community quarantine, I had headaches. I keep on thinking about what will become of us with this situation. I decided to divert my attention and started planning to travel from Marilao, Bulacan going around the Philippines. The last destination on my itinerary is Palawan where I can no longer travel with my 1996 Honda Accord.

I had so much fun doing research. Among the facts that I looked for are where to stay, travel time from one province to another, and how many days should I stay to enjoy the place. The most challenging to look for on the internet is the schedule of ferries that cross one island to another.

When I was about to end the whole itinerary, I realized I can actually go around the Philippines in 100 days. Then I also realized that I missed most areas of Mindanao. It is because of the remoteness of each provinces. I needed to pass by Batanes Island too. I guess I won't be able to bring my car to the island.

It must have been fun to start traveling right now, as it is summertime. I would love to feel the wind while on a long drive from Pangasinan to Zambales. It would have been great to meet new friends, see new views, and sleep on different beds.

Unfortunately, we need to stay at home today to travel tomorrow.

Let's connect on Twitter. Let's share photos on Instagram. Contact me on Facebook to know more about me.  

Random | Work From Home, Life During Lock down, 6 Things to Keep Your COVID-19 Anxiety at Bay

fortunate to be able to work from home
The Philippines (and the whole world) is going through very trying times. COVID-19 outbreak that has started in one country has now spread to so many countries in the whole world. The COVID-19 positive cases is now above 2 million and still counting, death toll is rising, lots of patients in critical conditions. Every government is trying to control and curb the spread of the virus, issuing lock downs and restricting movements of its people. The Philippines is one of the countries affected by this pandemic and our government and the people are struggling to to get through it. We are a third-world country and our resources are limited so the people are panicking, getting more anxious as the days go by.

The pandemic and lock down has caused lost of jobs for many. But I'm glad I still have mine, for now. I'm one of the few fortunate members of Metro Manila workforce that can do work from home during these crazy times. And I'm very grateful for it. I was supposed to terminate my internet connection last January (see this post for the reason) but my provider gave me a 6-month discounted rate so I didn't terminate it. Glad I didn't; otherwise, it would be very hard for me to work from home since my mobile connection is very slow. I was able to control and discipline myself anyway, so I probably am not terminating my DSL connection, even after the 6-month discounted rate is over.

Anyway, going through this crisis emphasizes some of the realizations I listed in this post. I'm glad I started eating and drinking right again. Also glad that I started doing some fitness exercises once again. Even though I'm staying home, just like everyone else, I still do some indoor cardio workouts. And I'm happy to say I didn't gain weight (lost a few pounds, actually), even after more than a month of just staying home. I still do struggle financially, but I still can manage it, for now. I'm thankful and grateful always, especially to our Lord Almighty because He is always there for me, for my loved ones; thank you very much dear God!

But there are times that I can't help but get anxious. I can't help and wonder what the future holds for me, for my family, for everyone. Because I'm scared, just like everyone else.

During the first week of the lock down, I'm so anxious I cried almost everyday. On the very first day of the lock down, I felt body pains. I had stuffy nose, too. So every few minutes, I took my temperature. And one time, I got a reading of 38°C! OMG, I don't know what to do. I don't want to go to the hospital because I know that most hospitals have COVID cases. So I just read and researched a lot about the disease. The articles I've read just compounded my anxiety and I got scared even more, actually. Then I found an article comparing the symptoms of COVID-19, influenza and common cold (see photo below). This list calmed me somehow but I still slept that night anxious. The next day, my anxiety made me automatically reach out for the thermometer as soon as I woke up; glad to see a normal reading once again. My body pain is milder, too. (The pain is probably because I did a workout 2 days before the lock down.) So I'm somehow relieved, I'm okay, I said to myself. But I know I'm not 100% okay. I still cry up to now, mostly when I'm saw sick and death posts related to COVID-19. But I'm better now, compared to the first 2 weeks of the lock down.

I forgot the site where I got this, I hope it's okay to post it here.

So how did I overcome my anxiety?  What are the things that kept me sane during this lock down period? Here they are dearies, the 6 things I did (and still doing) to keep my sanity and overcome anxiety brought about by the on-going health crisis.

STOP reading COVID-19-related articles

I'd like to think that I'm the kind of person that doesn't get affected by the negativities around me. So I read a lot! I read about the disease, I watched videos that discusses corona virus. I even read and watched stories of people who have gone through with the disease. I listened intently on the symptoms they felt. And then unconsciously, I will make an inventory of the symptoms myself, checking if I do have one or more of their symptoms. Crazy, isn't it? And then I remembered my doctors' reaction during one of my check-ups before this lock down started. One of them said "you are not sick, do you want me to say you are?". The other one said "I think you have fibromyalgia", sort of saying the pain I'm relating to them is just in my head. Prior to my check ups, I read a lot of articles related to the symptoms I felt, those are what prompted me to make consultations with them. And then it hit me! When it comes to health-related issues, I am affected by what I'm reading (or watching), without realizing I'm actually affected by them. So I stopped! I stopped reading all and every posts I saw on Facebook that are related to corona virus and COVID-19. I still do read some COVID-related articles but the ones I read were just those DOH updates, just so I am aware of what is happening around me.

Boost immune system by eating and drinking right

Eating and drinking right, these are the two things that I tried to do everyday but especially now that we are in a health crisis. I don't have anything against those who are engaging on a very focused diet but for my self, I believe on a balanced one. I eat and drink mostly everything, as long as I do it in moderation. Of course, I do stay away with junk foods and sodas, as much as possible . They aren't good for the health, anyway. This habit keeps me sane, too, because I know I'm doing my part to keep myself, my body, strong and healthy.


Before the lock down, I always make sure to do 10K steps a day. There are some days I wasn't able to do it but on the average, it's 10K steps per day. Also, every weekend (since January), I do around 30-40 minutes of walking-jogging-walking at the park; a total of around 1 hour of cardio exercise including the walk to and fro my place (my place is just around 1.4 kilometers away from the park). But now that we are in a lock down, I cannot do it anymore. So every other day, I try to do a 15-20 minute indoor cardio workout and then a 30-minute workout on weekends. These workouts keep me sane, too, as the workouts assure me that I don't have breathing issues (I am that praning hehe).

Watch inspiring and/or funny videos

When it comes to watching, I used to enjoy only spy/military/police-related movies and series. But nowadays, I enjoyed watching short and funny FB and/or YT videos, too. I like watching Smile Squad by Markian and his friends (search them on FB, if you're interested). I also like watching videos of The Hungry Syrian Wanderer on YT; they are inspiring videos. Basel (the vlogger) is a funny guy, too; I don't get bored watching his videos. I don't even click 'skip ads' on his videos so I could somehow help him do his good deeds. Surprisingly, I enjoyed Camille Co's YT videos, too. I'm not into fashion and make-up stuff but I still watch her videos. I like her personality and the way she presented her content; she's kinda funny, too. I also like watching her videos where her hubs is present; such a lovely couple.

Reach out to Family and Friends

I'm used to living alone since my younger years. But with this on-going health crisis, I suddenly felt the need to be with my family. Of course, I can't as my work is here in the Metro. Although I can do work from home in the province, telco signal and internet availability there is not that reliable. Besides, I was traveling to and from work using mass transportation (MRT) so I'm afraid I might have caught the disease unknowingly and I don't want to infect them so I stayed here, alone. Thankfully, we now have cellphones to communicate with our loved ones so I just called them from time to time, making sure that they are all okay and reminding them to stay at home and to always practice good hygiene habits. 


I do like to think I am a strong person. But this COVID-19 pandemic made me realize I am not. There are times I suddenly cried and I don't even know why I'm crying. When these crying bouts happen, I pray. I pray to the Lord for my family's safety, for my BFF's safety, for my relatives' and friends' safety, for my self and for everyone else's safety. I surrender to Him all my worries, all my fears, and pray that He gives us all the strength we need to go through with this crisis and come out alive, strong and healthy. This is the most important thing that's keeping me sane these days, even when I'm just alone here in the Metro.

~ oo00oo ~

Oh wow, I made a lengthy post today. šŸ˜€ I hope you read it through, learn something from it and get inspired with it. Let's all pray that this COVID-19 pandemic ends soon so we can all go back to our normal lives; though this "normal" might be different from the "normal" we have, before the crisis and the lock down. Stay healthy,  stay safe, stay home everyone! Blessed Sunday to all! šŸ™

Random | Ala Eh! Interesting and/or Funny BatangueƱo Words and Expressions

Batangas: Lalawigan ng Magigiting
photo source: Google street view

As I have mentioned in my About page, I am a BatangueƱa, though I was born in Pangasinan (my mother is a Pangasinense). My father is a full-blooded BatangueƱo and I was raised there. When I first started my work here in Manila, my officemates usually kid me with "ala eh, batangueƱa ka pala" (translated as "oh, you're from Batangas") imitating how BatangueƱos say "ala eh". Batangan or Batangas Tagalog is a dialect of the Tagalog language and is used mainly in the province of Batangas, though neighboring provinces like Cavite, Laguna and Quezon sometimes used it, too. It has strong accent placed normally on the last syllable of the word. The sentences usually end with the word "eh", too. Batangan also has this characteristic of separating and changing the vowel of the last syllable of the word, making the vowel the last syllable. For example, in Batangas, gabi (night) is pronounced as "gab-e" rather than "ga-bi".

Batangan or Batangas Tagalog usually elicit laughter and/or shock from other Tagalog speakers. Listed below are some of the interesting Batangan words you may have heard from BatangueƱos out there.

  • Ala eh - the most common Batangan expression stereotyped with BatangueƱos. This phrase normally signifies hesitation or disagreement to something and is usually present at the beginning of the sentence. For example, BatangueƱos would say "Ala eh, ikaw na la-ang mag-isa." which means "Go, just do it by yourself."
  • Are - pronounced as "a-re", which means "in this place" or "here". This word is normally used when pointing out misplaced thing that is usually nearby. For example, BatangueƱos would say "Are ga o, di mo ga makita? Ikaw ga'y bulag?!" which means, "Here it is, can't you see it? Are you blind?".
  • Bahite - meaning broke or with no money. During this quarantine time (because of COVID-19) here in the Philippines, I would normally see BatangueƱos post saying "Bahite na ako eh" which means "I have no money" or "I'm already broke".
  • Banas - meaning "hot" or "humid" though ManileƱos associate this word with trouble or displeasure. For example, BatangueƱos say "Kabanas naman ngay-on ah" which means "It's so hot today".
  • Barek - which means "to drink alcoholic beverages".  A common expression in Batangas: "sinsay muna dine at tayo'y makabarek" which means "come here, let's drink (liquor)".
  • Basaysay - which means "bahay" in Tagalog or "house or home" in English. I didn't know this term actually, I just got the meaning based on the context of the sentence it was used. I saw this on a BatangueƱo post in FB about the government's call on COVID-19 that says "Tumimo sa basaysay" which means "Stay at home".
  • Gulamot - another term I usually see on BatangueƱo posts nowadays (again, because of the quarantine) which means "kamay" in Tagalog or "hands" in English. So the famous COVID-19 pandemic expression "always wash your hands" when spoken in Batangan is "ika'y pirmeng maghugas ng iyong gulamot"
  • Hikap - which means "gala" in Tagalog or "to wander or go around" in English. See Tumimo below for the sample usage.
  • Laywan - which means "bubuyog" in Tagalog or "bee" in English. I recently saw my cousin's post about getting honey from a beehive near his house and this is what triggers its inclusion here. An example usage of this word: "Ika'y mag-iingat sa laywan" which means "Be careful with the bees". 
  • Liban - which means "tawid" in Tagalog or "to cross (the street)" in English. BatangueƱo students who are studying in Manila: "Liban na tayo" or "Tayo ng lumiban"; ManileƱo friends: (staring); BatangueƱo: interpreting his own words then say "Tawid na tayo" or "Tayo ng tumawid" which means "let's cross the street". ManileƱos or other Tagalog speakers stares because they thought "liban" means "to skip classes".
  • Mamay - a Batangan word for "lolo" or "grandfather", it's also used to refer to elderly male BatangueƱos. This is one of the famous Batangan words too because normally, BatangueƱos use mamay when they want to prove or confirm something. For example, BatangueƱos say "Ay totoo yu-on, itanong mo pa sa mamay" which means "It's true, you can ask grandpa about it".
  • Papagayo - which means "saranggola" in Tagalog or "kite" in English. I normally see this word nowadays too because in Batangas, summer season is associated with kite flying, especially with male teenagers. And adults too, actually. An example use of this word: "Tatayog ga naman ya-ang papagayo mo?" which means "Will that kite fly high?".
  • Pirme - which means "lagi" in Tagalog or "always" in English. See example usage of pirme in the gulamot entry above.
  • Pumirme - another Batangan word for "tumimo". See definition and example of tumimo below.
  • Sakol - which means "to eat with bare hands".  An example use of this word: "Kasarap namang kumain nang nakasakol eh" which means "It's good to eat with our bare hands".
  • Tumimo - which means "tumigil" in Tagalog or "to stay (in one place)" in English. This is normally used to tell the children to stay in one place or inside the house. For example, BatangueƱo parents say "Hikap ka ng hikap, ika'y tumimo/pumirme sa bahay" which means, "You're always moving (or going) around, stay at home". 
  • Ulaga/Usbaw - a Batangan derogatory word which means "stupid" or "foolish". Though a derogatory term, this word is usually used as an expression between friends joking around so is usually taken lightly. For example, BatangueƱos say "ika'y ulaga" to a friend which means "you are foolish".
  • Utay-utay - which means "dahan-dahan" in Tagalog or "take it slow or little by little" in English. For example, BatangueƱos say "Utay-utay la-ang, pasasaan baga't matatapos din ya-an" which means "Just take it slow, in time, it will be finished".
  • Yayao - which means "aalis" in Tagalog or "leaving" in English. This word usually elicit a shocked expression from non-BatangueƱos because they thought the person is bidding farewell because he is dying. BatangueƱos normally use this word as follows: "Ako'y yayao na" which means "I'm leaving".
I hope you've learn something about Batangas and BatangueƱos from this random post of mine. If you have BatangueƱo friends, ask them to read the samples to you in a true BatangueƱo way. Enjoy and have fun!

~ oo00oo ~

Because of this COVID-19 pandemic and the Luzon lock down, I now have more time browsing through FB posts of my BatangueƱo relatives and friends. Reading through their posts make me smile somehow, despite the fears and worries brought about by this COVID-19 disease. I imagine hearing them say these words and phrases with true and legit BatangueƱo accent to non-BatangueƱos and how non-BatangueƱos would react to them. Anyway, this is what happens when boredom strikes, you write random post haha.

~ oo00oo ~

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad! Jesus died for us because He loves us and He has risen to fulfill His promises to us. He will always be there for us, moreso during these trying times. Let us all rejoice and be grateful to Him for the gift of life and for saving us all from our sins. Let us also pray for His guidance and protection to us all and let's pray that this COVID-19 pandemic ends soon. God bless and Happy Easter everyone. #StayHealthy #StaySafe #StayHome please.

Zambales | Mt. Pinatubo Day Hike in Photos: The Crater

the beautiful Mt. Pinatubo crater
It was almost 29 years ago when one of the world's largest and most explosive volcanic eruption happened. I was then a part-time sewer in a small garment sub-contractor in my hometown. I, together with my co-workers, were stay-in sewers; that is, we live in the same building where we work. The night before June 15, we slept leaving our windows open, just as we normally do. In the morning of June 15, we woke up having sands (ashes) in our mouth. I looked out the window and saw thick ashes in our window sill and on the streets below.

There's no cellphones (smartphones) back then so we don't know what's happening. We went down and check out newspapers. Then we found out that Mt. Pinatubo, a stratovolcano located in the mountains of Zambales erupted. This hometown of mine is in Bauan, Batangas; around 172 kilometers from Mt. Pinatubo. Imagine that! Actually, it reached as far as the Indian Ocean (source), that's how explosive Mt. Pinatubo eruption was.  This wrath from Mt. Pinatubo and the Baguio earthquake (earthquake was felt in Batangas, too) are the two most unforgettable disasters I've experienced in my teenage life.

Mt. Pinatubo crater, at another angle
Fast forward 2015, I was with friends who are into mountain climbing, when I finally saw with my own eyes Mt. Pinatubo, a magnificent beauty created by a catastrophic disaster. It's such a beauty that it lures many tourists, both local and international alike. With the onset of dry season here in the Philippines, I'm quite sure Mt. Pinatubo will again be one of the top tourist destination in Northern Luzon. Most likely, blogs and IG posts will again be flooded with Mt. Pinatubo photos.

For those who are into nature tripping and photography, Mt. Pinatubo is a place to be. Going here is kinda pricey but it's all worth it. It's also quite an adventure riding a 4x4 along lahar-laden field surrounded by ash/sand walls and then concluded with a 2-hour trek to the crater. Come and see this beauty that is Mt. Pinatubo. 

By the way, in this post are various Mt. Pinatubo crater shots I took during our 2015 adventure. I hope these photos inspire you to go visit and see Mt. Pinatubo, too.

Welcome to Mt. Pinatubo
Mt. Pinatubo crater and my hiking buddy
foreign tourists, enticed by Mt. Pinatubo beauty
Mt. Pinatubo crater and TPW,
emotera sa pinatubo :P