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Hello 2018: Here’s to a new and better year full of happy experiences and adventures!

Its been a month:Β Its been almost a month since the last post but December has always been such a busy month. The first week of December was spent preparing materials for the coming weeks for the TV show (which meant up to at least the second week of January 2018). The days up to Christmas was spent uploading updates and monitoring as usual, just a few last minute shopping for gifts (Ate F and I always start the gift-hunting around September) and ‘Simbang Gabi’ at Sto. Domingo Church, Mary Queen of Hope, etc.

#ThePromise: Yes, and not ashamed to admit it, there are still moments of sadness because we truly miss Ate M. And going to mass every Sunday plus holy days of obligation is also our way (promise) to pray for and honor her. You see, when she was still alive, she would scold us if we missed Sunday mass or a holy day of obligation and reminds us constantly that a TV/online mass (unless you are sick) is not enough. Because it is only in an actual mass celebration that we receive the sacraments and blessing.

Dr. Love and Padre Pio: Speaking of blessings, Ate F and I considers clicking upon Bro. Jun Banaag, O.P.’s TV/Radio show as one of them. We began the habit of watching Bro. Jun since June 2017 not only because of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, but because his words of advice indirectly counselled us on how to deal with the loss of Ate M.

“How are you?”: On coping with the loss of Ate M., I am so grateful for my Sarap Diva Family, blogger-friends, neighbor-friends and Betan brods & sis’ whom have constantly been checking up. You see, a person whom have lost a loved one does not really need a production number of a gesture to show that you care. The sincereΒ “How are you?’ every now and thenΒ is more than enough and has been such a great source of strength for me.

“Kami na ang pamilya mo.”: I cannot forget feeling so numb, probably/definitely still in denial and trying hard AF to look ‘ok’ when I went to the first Sarap Diva pre-prod meeting after Ate M.’s death. My butt has not yet landed on the chair and Direk Louie Ignacio said, “Kami na ang pamilya mo.” Those words meant the world to me because I felt so alone, ‘ulilang lubos’ as they say because there were so many things going on that I just blocked crying/grieving and just want to focus all my energy on being creative.

Filling the empty space and gaining weight: A downside on putting grief on hold is stress-eating. Yes I admit it, when I can’t sleep because of overthinking, I eat; when I feel there’s too much down time, I cook (and eat); when out doing errands then I’d suggest to eat lunch and dinner out; when there’s no time to cook, order (fastfood) takeout or delivery – I consciously know its to seemingly fill an ’empty space’Β within me and did not know it may happen to me but yes, it did. I don’t do fat jokes even with friends because that is so mean AF but expected it somehow on me since hitting the scales at my heaviest. And the diet struggle is real especially since reaching the 40’s.

Going back to old hobbies:Β I went back to the art & design world, delved into urban gardening, visited museums and exhibits – just went out as much as possible. As much as it was therapy for sadness, it made me realize again that there is more to life; that there is still so much to create, to experience.

40’s, the #TitaHits:Β Speaking of the 40’s, I’ve come to realize that a lot and I really mean A LOT of what our elders has warned us are so true and they are so right! Will compile and make another blog post about this but in the meantime, here are some of my advice/warning to those aged 40 below:

  • Take care of your skin and moisturize, moisturize, MOISTURIZE!
  • Wear makeup sparingly during your teens to mid-20’s; you will need that make up when you are much older
  • Sleep is important and do more of it while you are young; when you get older it will be harder to go to sleep
  • Do not exercise only at the gym; go out for a nature walk, do some gardening – just be with nature!
  • Eat your vitamins; do not rely on manufactured pills/tablets and try eating healthy at least once a week
  • Collecting material things are not that meaningful; instead collect memories
  • Buy/use well-made products & better if locally made; buy according to need not want (imagine the savings)
  • Vick’s vaporub for colds, pimples, etc.; Pond’s Cold Cream to remove makeup; baking soda is life!
  • Katinko. Bengay, Salonpas and Sensodyne are your friends as you ‘mature’!
  • The truly rich people wear simple clothes and nearly no jewelry & makeup; there’s no need to impress any one when you have such financial freedom

Anyway, that’s it for my first 2018 blogpost. I’ve a few restaurant and movie reviews on drafts and will publish within the week. I truly hope, ardently wish and fervently pray for every thing that is good for every one this 2018. Cheers!