Covid-19 : Fun?Frustration?Fear?

This virus originated from China late last year. It spread all over the world and now, everyone’s scared and worried about health, both our own and our loved ones. Lockdown, social distancing, frequent hand hygiene were the usual national responses from different countries. With all these limitations, we all cannot go anywhere, we cannot do much, how do we cope?

Luckily, we have digital media nowadays.  It is easy to find something to do. We have Netflix, Facebook, Tiktok, which is slowly getting more popular over this Covid-19 period. On Facebook, I could observe people dancing, acting and singing with the help of this app. I also noticed people becoming more domesticated as everyone seems to be cooking and baking then posting which I kind of liked the idea as I am seeing plenty of inspiration for meals to cook after browsing on Facebook. I am also seeing so many photos of empty grocery shelves, some were making jokes about posting their own house plan stating that they’re making an itinerary to tour their own houses. Some are posting about front liners and thanking them which, to be honest, they truly deserve every single gratitude they are getting.

It is not only fear that’s arising. Hatred became very apparent as well. Hate about China, hate about other races, hate about each country’s political solutions and actions, hate about people who are hoarding. It seems that, aside from crowded hospitals and deaths, hatred became an indirect by-product of the virus itself.

It’s sad that people are becoming more discriminating racially than ever. We are all fighting the same enemy. We should fight this invisible enemy together by staying apart. Without mutual respect and understanding, it makes things harder. Distance between people is enough to say and make people feel that we actually care. Hate makes it harder for us to embrace each other again after this virus is over.

You are lucky if you have your family with you and that you know you can help prevent them from getting sick. Some do not have their families with them. They just have to pray and hope that their elderly parents won’t catch it. We are stressed and frustrated with what is happening, but we all are suffering and struggling because of this. Let’s help each other get through this more smoothly. It’ll be easier that way.

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Papa’s birthday

1-11 Feb 2020

We flew by Scoot as we were on budget and because we wanted to go stop over Singapore. I saw my dad from far away waiting for us at the arrival waiting area in Manila. His look has changed since the last time I saw him. It pinched my heart if you know what I mean.

We just went to have a Filipino meal in one restaurant and then had 1-hour massages. T wanted to have as much massage as possible while in the PH because it is cheaper. The next day was my dad’s birthday. We met with my sister in Tagaytay to have a buffet breakfast. It was a nice feeling to dine together again. We then went to Caleruega to attend a mass. It was my parents’ first time to go there while I have been there a couple of times. We used to do retreats there when we were in school. After plenty of photo ops, we went to my relatives’ home to celebrate the day with them as well. It was the first time T met a relative of ours. The next day, I had two migration documents to settle. We just had coffee at Manila Bay. 84357139_175477400352055_5163945858378498048_n

Our three days in Subic began. Papa drove for about 5hours. We reached Subic exhausted, so we just went for massage and dinner to call it a night. The next day, sadly, papa was not able to come with us as his knee was sore from driving for too long with air condition. I wasn’t used to that. Papa had always been enthusiastic when it comes to going to places. I felt sad but hey, we still went on with our day anyway. We walked by the bay and these men started talking to me about island hopping. I have read a lot about the island near Zambales but not much about Olongapo. He explained about Sampaloc island (1hr away), Mayanga Island (15mins away), SIlanguin Cove (2hrs away), Snake Island and Grande Island. He said their boat rent is P1k per 1hour and can go for a Sampaloc island for the whole day at P4k. Of course, I asked for a discount. They didn’t give me much but still, P3.5k was ok considering we had a white person with us.

Off we went snorkeling in between Grande Island and Sampaloc Island. We haven’t even swum for 5mins when a patrol boat came near us and told us that we weren’t allowed to snorkel there and that we could be fined P5k for it. The corals there were sort of dead and I didn’t see any fish at all. In my head how can you not allow swimming but allow people to kill the corals? Apparently, they said, it depends on the “gifts” offered. Disappointed, he headed back to the boat and decided to just travel to Mayanga island. Our only plan was to go for a day at Sampaloc but because of this, we had to turn back and spend a few hours at Mayanga. The water there was crystal clear though it wasn’t as still so, it was hard to snorkel. There were fishes in some parts. It was a small island with only 2 or cottages. After only a few hours we decided to head back. I thought they promised we would also go to Snake Island but we didn’t so we paid for the price of the whole day and actually just had a boat time of 4hours which was disappointing. We went home, rested and went for a walk at the boardwalk with papa.

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Mayanga Island water

I researched about Silanguin Cove. Yep, it’s super nice in photos. There were two possible ways of going there, one is by driving 45mins to a town, then taking the boat for another hour and boat costs P2k going there or from the same boatmen the day before at P4k (from P5.5k) for 2hrs in the boat but no driving. We chose the latter so everyone can just chill.

It was indeed a long boat ride especially the waves were not very friendly. The cove was not entirely visible from the main passage. It was nicely hidden inside a group of hills which served as a gate to a private beach. We snorkeled in there and unlike the Sampaloc waters, Silanguin Cove’s corals and wishes were so alive. It was so beautiful. Water was calm and there were not many people. That time, we almost owned the whole place.  Cottage rental was P800 and the entrance was P150 each person but the caretaker said we can pay P1k all in. We spent hours there until the sunset and truly enjoyed it. It was worth it. Heading back was dark and rough, therefore, I felt guilty and gave them extra P1k.

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Silanguin Cove water

These boatpeople also have a sideline of cooking for visitors. My dad loves things like that so I gave in. He said it was P1k for a huge fish and 1kg of pork and P200 for cooking. I gave him P2k thinking that that would include cooking but on the day, the boat people were not there and the cook asked us to pay extra P300. Food by the bay is always yummy to me no matter what the taste is but it was not worth P2.3k. We went home after that.

Suggestions

  1. Talk to several boat companies before actually heading there. I did not as I generally did not plan anything.
  2. Make sure to get your “baon” before heading to the bay or terminal.
  3. Make sure to discuss your itinerary in detail and that if it is legal to go there or not.

I was generally happy about the trip except for the feeling that I was a little ripped off in my own country.

We didn’t do much the next day. I just went for Dental cleaning and I hated the “White House” way of saying the price. Cleaning was said to be P800 but its case by case basis. Once you’re lured inside, they would check your teeth and tell you that the basic cleaning was P1.5k. Almost double despite I knew my teeth were not so bad as I go for cleaning every 6months. Anyway, this script of “case by case” was annoying to my ears. Why can’t they just give at range so it’s not shocking to hear once inside?

The next day, we went to meet my sissy for a hot-pot lunch and shooting. I couldn’t make myself do shooting as it was loud and scary. This was our last day in the PH. It was sad of course.

This Wuhan virus couldn’t stop us. We stopped in Singapore for 21hrs, therefore, we visited the Jewel, collected a document and met a few friends. I miss both my 1st and 2nd home now that I am returning to my 3rd home.

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P.S.

Every time I’d go home, I could see my parents changing physically. It breaks my heart. It feels like time is really slowly taking them away from me whilst I want to keep on holding on to them….

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Holidays in Queensland, Australia

24 Dec 2019 to 8 Jan 2020

Happy New Year! We decided to fly to Townsville because T’s mum and brother live here. We traveled a little bit as we went to Port Douglas for 3 days and Airlie Beach for a day. Both were beautiful though the latter is vaster than the former. We also walked around the Cairns’ Esplanade for a bit.

View of Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach

It was nice to explore further but to be honest, we were traveling on a budget. We just enjoyed what we could afford, and, in our case, we could afford food and coffee. All those islands hopping, jetski-ing, snorkeling were just too ex for us at the moment. Anyway, we were just content, and all these activities can wait.

This trip’s main aim is to just be with the family, and we were able to achieve that. I am happy.

On a separate note, I plan to have my own income-generating activity this year. I am hoping to completely change my career but if it is impossible, I would probably just accept the fact that I cannot change (yet). That would be disappointing, but I can wait

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Happy New Year!

 

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My 2019

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, I didn’t go for much traveling last year but I’ve gone through so many things. I quit my 13year job, moved to another country, started schooling, my fiancé got sick, I got married, we went for a mini-travel to Yarra Valley and Tasmania.

It was a colourful year. I experienced both happy and traumatic events. So, to celebrate Christmas and the end of 2019, myself and my hubby went to Queensland for 2weeks.

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Wilson’s Promontory Weekend

14-15 Dec 2019

We drove to Foster at about 1030am, checked in at about 2pm, then we drove for about 20minutes to Agnes Falls. It was a short walk from the Customer Service car park. We then drove for about an hour to Tarra-Bulga National Park. It was a good place to do short walks. I particularly liked the suspension bridge there. We then headed back to Foster.

In the morning, about 30-45 minutes from Foster, we drove to Wilson Promontory. There’s plenty of things to see and walk in the area. We only managed to do an easy climb up Mt. Bishop and walk along Squeaky Beach. We hoped and attempted to go to the Big Drift but we couldn’t push through with it due to time-constraint.

WilProm was just so gorgeous. There were plenty of mountains on one side, beaches on the other. There were caves apparently, also sand dunes. There are different types of nature to satisfy any nature-lover. Two days in this kind of place is not enough. I super enjoyed it. This is a highly recommended place for people who love nature and walks.

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Midlife Crisis

Have you ever felt like you are trapped? You do not like what you are currently doing but you do not know where else to go? You try to swim back up to your route, but waves keep on pushing you down to the unknown? What if you like the unknown better but you cannot afford it? You rely on other methods to get by but these methods don’t feel suitable? You try to depend on others, but people keep on stabbing you instead of helping you out? You know well enough that the only solution is within you, but you do not know how to start or how to escape from this prison? How do you start when failure cannot be an option? How do go when you feel old to start over? How do start over when people are denying you from detaching from your previous life or profession? How do you start over? How should I? I am lost. I. NEED. HELP.

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Juice Fast experience

fastingBackground:

T always had this nerve-related pain on his shoulder. He went to numerous medical professionals to have it checked but no one can diagnose. Disappointed with the ordeal, he took his healing into his own hands. He went on 60 + days of juice fast and 15 days of water fast which apparently made him feel a lot better. He did juice fasting a few more times after that.

I know he believes in this so much, therefore, I wanted to try it myself. I do not have much to complain about except for my floaters (eyes) and some clicking noises on my ankle, but I refused to have it checked because I am sure I will be advised to stop running and I am not quite ready for that yet. T said and, based on some readings, juice fasting or fasting, in general, can heal our bodies in ways we couldn’t imagine.

Finally, I’m on my 3 months break. T and I decided to go on a 7days juice fast. But of course, just like working out, we needed a “warm-up” and a “cool down”. We decided to be on a eggs, fruit, and veg only diet for a week to prepare our systems for the fasting, then another week of the same diet after the juice fast before slowly introducing meat again. I am a big meat eater and its only rare that I want to eat fruits and vegetables so believe me when I say THIS IS TOUGH FOR ME. I am intending to continue with a soft intermittent diet of 12-12hours. T is not.

Initial weight:

T: 83

P: 58

What’s on our Menu?

Day 1:

Lunch: Rock Melon and Banana

Dinner: Omelette with tomato, mushrooms and salad with spinach, mixed greens, mushrooms.

Day 2:

Lunch: Papaya and banana

Dinner: Omelette with capsicum, tomato, mushroom and salad with the same ingredients as last night’s, baked fries

Day 3:

Lunch: Papaya and banana

Dinner: Sauted mixed vegetables, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, long beans, mushrooms, tofu, eggs and rice

Dessert: Pineapple

Day 4: Same as Day 3

Day 5:

Dinner: Pizza and baked fries from dominos; Omelette with capsicum, tomatoes and more home-made baked fries.

Day 6:

Lunch: Lakshmi Vilas Vegetarian Restaurant’s veggie  curries, Dhal, chapati, pappadam, rice etc.

Dinner: Avocadoes, eggs, corn

Day 7:

Lunch: Lentil Soup

Dinner: Corn, mangoes, avocadoes, kiwifruit

We shopped for fruits to juice on Day 7.

Weight:

T: 79

P: 54

Start of Juice fast.

Day 8 and 9: Juice made of red and green apples, beetroot, carrots, kiwifruit, blueberries, ginger, spinach, lemon, celery

Feeling: I was feeling sleepy and my cravings were so strong. I am having bitter after taste.

Day 10: Rock Melon, Mango, red and green apples, lemon, carrots, kiwifruit, watermelon

Feeling: Sleepy maybe because I haven’t been working out.

We realized mangoes are not very good to juice because it only turned into a puree.

Day 11 and 12: Pineapples, carrots, strawberries, apples, and blackberries.

We have over-shopped last Sunday and we realized we had to throw away so many rotten fruits.

Day 13 and 14: We traveled to Portland and since juicing is inconvenient when traveling, we decided just to drink Nudie Fruit Juices.

Weight:

T: 78

P: 55

End of Juice Fast

Day 14:

9Pm: We broke our fast and had vegetable soup with pumpkin, mushrooms, cauliflower, peas, carrots, spinach, potatoes, corn, and broccoli.

Day 15: Same soup, nuts, avocado, honey, nuts

Day 16:

Lunch: Vegetable burger

Dinner: Pardesi Vaishno Dhaba’s Vegetable briyani, rice, Dhal Takda or Lentils with cumin.

Day 17:

Lunch: Boiled corn and nuts

I generally didn’t feel anything different; my floaters are still floating and my ankle is still clicking. I ran on day 17 again and I realized I didn’t have any discomfort after not running for 2weeks. Usually, when I stop running for a while, I would have some when I run again. This time, there’s none. T also felt better and his stance was better too.

Day 18:

Lunch: Vegetable Sushi from Bruce Lee Sushi. We also broke our no-dairy diet by sharing a slice of cake from Twisted Sista.

Dinner: Omelette with egg and tomato; Wrap with tomato, lettuce, mixed greens, and lentil patty. We also had baked fries and mango shake

Weight:

P: 55

 T:79

Day 19:

Lunch: Vegetable soup with mixed vegs.

Dinner: Same wrap as last night.

Day 20:

Lunch: Avocado

Tea: Nuts, peas

Dinner: Veg soup with egg and egg noodles; baked samosa

My tooth got chipped off. I am not sure if it’s related to my juice fasting but it was a weird coincidence.

Day 21:

Lunch: Baked Samosa

Dinner: Veg soup again.

Day 22:

Weight:

P: 53.8

T: 79

Veg diet was broken. We had tea at Isshin Japanese Restaurant in Forest Hill.

It was quite an experience. Yes, I didn’t feel much difference, but I am just hoping the whole programme somehow improved my system.

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Half a day in Mount Gambier

19/10/19

Hubby just had some work to do there hence, I went with him. I convinced him to stay over-night. With our short half a day, we managed to explore the town and surprisingly, there were so many things to visit near Mt. Gambier’s centre, Caves, Sinkholes, Lakes. They were all worth visiting. Hoping to explore more of it in the near future.

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Tasmania Get-away

July 2019

We arrived in Hobart early morning. We decided to hire a car and we drove around the city as we weren’t sure if we were able to check-in that early. After brunch, we tried our luck, and yey! to Wrest Point as they let us check in early.

We had a short rest and we headed up to Mr. Wellington. Unfortunately, due to snowing, parts of the road going up there were closed. We just walked around the nearby trails. We then drove down and looked for a place to eat dinner and found a seafood restaurant near the pier. Oysters were yummy but expensive.

20190719_120328_HDRThe next day, we took the ferry to Bruny Island. The island was full of nice views and viewpoints. My favorite, of course, was the lighthouse as it was serene up there.  They also have an oyster restaurant there which unfortunately we couldn’t visit. I checked their website and found out that their prices were a lot cheaper than anywhere in the mainland, even cheaper than the one in Salamanca Market.

 

The next day, we went to Salamanca Market. It was an open market by the pier which only operates every Saturday. There were a lot of food, music, and crafts. It was an interesting walk. We then drove to Launceston passing via Mount Fields.

DSCN3268There were innumerable trails to choose from in Mt. Fields with different levels of difficulty. Of course, we, for now, chose the easy trail, which was a trail that would pass through their 3 rich and beautiful waterfalls. They were stunning. Trails were also very easy to navigate. Next time, we promise to ourselves that we would try other trails. Hopefully, the one with snow.

Russell Falls

Horseshoe Falls

Lady Barron’s Falls

 

Driving to Launceston from there was a long and vertigo-eliciting process. After their amazing sunset, the road was very dark and windy. We could see a lot of dead animals on the streets because of this. There were very little possible stops for toilet or food along the way. So, fill up your fuel and empty your bladders before driving from Mount Fields to Launceston.

We then reached the city and headed for a nice meal by the pier, again. I wanted oysters again but it was just too pricey for me, so I had to control my urges.

The next day, T’s friend pick us up to show us the majestic Cataract Gorge. T was already complaining because there were more trails up there. I particularly liked the vastness and quietness of the place. We then went to a pub to watch their team play, then dinner. Our last activity was to visit a church for a short prayer.20190721_120453_HDR

I was happy and content.

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Yarra Valley Get-away

July 2019

To begin our mini-honeymoon, we went to a Japanese food buffet, Okami. They were ok, only the waiting time for the food to be served was quite long. Then we drove to a secluded place in Yarra Valley called Deville Healseville and spent a couple of days there. We used their spa every night to relax.

On our first day, we went around the town, looked for a church, viewpoint and we found this interestingly named restaurant called the Innocent Bystander.  We were hoping for a juicier story behind the name but unfortunately, it was all about wines. The owner wanted to make people’s wine experience more accessible and more enjoyable for people, hence, they decided to be a ‘bystander’ instead of a competitor.

20190711_152626Next day, we randomly decided to go to Lake Mountain. Without proper attire and preparations, we went to a snowy hill. This is T’s first snow experience and I was too excited for him. To enjoy the trip better, despite we were on cheap mode, we hired winter wears that cost us $108. We tried to convince ourselves that we paid for the experience. We did.

On our third day, we went to the Chocolate Factory. Of course, it was crowded. The only thing I enjoyed there was the free-taste of Choco. They were yummy of course, but a little bit pricey in my opinion. Then we drove around Yarra Glen. Then, we found Kinglake’s Mason Waterfalls.

It was a short trail walk from the parking space to the waterfall’s viewpoint. It was a small one, unlike those of the pictures from the internet. I just enjoyed the fact that T and I walked together using a trail. =) We then had Indian Food for dinner.

The next day was checkout, sadly.

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