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Let's help build a home for my birthday

My birthday is coming up (it's on November 8) and instead of gifts, I am hoping you could donate to Compassion.ca, specifically in helping Kenyan families rebuild their lives by providing stable homes. With Safe Housing, we can all make a difference in providing stable homes to 149 families in 11 centers across Kenya.



We all dream of having our own house. I know I do. But when we think about having our own home, we think about how many bedroom and bathrooms we want, what color scheme we will use on the wall, the style of our kitchen. Meanwhile, these families just want shelter from strong winds and torrential rain and I hope that we can make a difference.

For a minimum of $10 CAD, you will give me a birthday gift and we will help provide a home to this families.

Give a Gift

My fundraiser code is 8-10011711 so Compassion can keep track of this little campaign. Please feel free to share this short post to your friends and help me celebrate my birthday this year!

Matthew 25:40: The King…

Two countries at once

Have you watched the movie "A Walk to Remember" or have read the book? I will never forget one of Jamie's wishes, to be in two places at once. Landon made this happen by bringing her to a boundary of two states (North Carolina and Virginia). Ever since seeing that movie, I thought to myself, I should do that.


Last Sunday, my parents and I went to Seattle to buy Jollibee, visit Pike Market, and attend Sunday Mass at St. James Cathedral. On our way back to Canada, there was a long line of cars at the border.


We were right at the Peace Arch. I told my parents I will go down to stretch my legs and to take photos. I was so giddy since I felt like this is the only chance I have to be at this park.



I did what Jamie did, I placed my right foot on Canada while my left foot is still in the US. I was smiling from ear to ear, thanking God for the opportunity to do that.



I was so happy! Upon arriving home, my sisters and I were discussing where else can we go that we can stand or be …

My Canadian Dream

My mom wanted our family to migrate to Canada for a better life, better compared to our already good life back in Philippines.

Personally, I moved to Canada for three things:
To be reunited with my parents and siblings (they moved here 2 years before I got here) andFor the "free" healthcare. It's not really free but it's feels secure to know that when you go to a clinic, you don't have to pay anything.My "Canadian" dream. For this post, I would like to share more about my Canadian dream. Okay. It's not really a "Canadian" dream since I have been dreaming and planning all these things back when I was still in Philippines but somehow, I am able to achieve more of my dreams here than when I was there.
One of my biggest dream is to sponsor a child's education. I really wanted to sponsor a child through World Vision or any other organization.
Last month, when I celebrated my 1st year Anniversary at Gumstix, I decided that it's time to co…

Happy 150th Canada Day!

It's my second Canada Day and Canada is turned 150 years young.

Why do we celebrate Canada Day?
My brother and I were discussing last Thursday (while watching the Canadian Football League game between Ottawa and Calgary) what's the equivalent of Canada Day in the Philippines. I told him it's the Philippines Independence Day. How come we don't celebrate it back there?

As migrants to Canada, how come we (our family) feel this joy and excitement as we look forward to celebrating Canada Day? How come we don't feel the same way back in Philippines? Is this about patriotism? Does this mean we hate the Philippines?


On top of head, the only difference I could think of is the way each country celebrates the day. Back in Philippines, there's no fanfare, no parade, no celebration as if indirectly telling Filipinos that this day is just any ordinary day and we're not celebrating anything. Not only that, in the news, you will learn and hear about people protesting again…

DoorDash: Changing My Food Adventure

I have been posting about new restaurants I try but as you can see, I don't post as much about it. Does it mean I don't try new places anymore?

Not really. Every Wednesday we have team lunch at the office and I get to pick where we order our food. With so many food delivery application and services to choose from, I end up using DoorDash. I did try to use Pandora once but being unable to add your credit card and getting a 500 error is just unacceptable so we stick with DoorDash.

Below is a map of restaurants I am able to try because of our team lunches every Wednesday.



Hopefully, I remember to update this map every Wednesday. Do you have any recommendation on where our team should eat next? Comment below!

Vacation: Travel Back to Canada

I write this in the comforts of my home back in Canada. My mom and siblings are all home and busy eating the Goldilocks goodies I got for myself. It's great to be back in Canada!
Manila I woke up at 2:00 AM (Manila time) on Sunday and I didn't want to get up. I don't want to leave. It's more than leaving Philippines. It's leaving Jomar and my life here. Alas, I had to face the reality that I have decided to immigrate two years ago to be with my family.


As we head to the airport, I was quiet. We hugged just outside Terminal 1. The guard told us that there's a section in the departure area where family members and friends can stay and wait. I asked Jomar to stay there while I check in.

There was a long line and after checking in I was informed by the lady at the counter that I had to go to the travel tax counter. I walked there and they photocopied my Canadian PR card and gave me a receipt. I didn't had to pay anything.


I went to where Jomar was and there is …

Vacation: Seventh Day Back Home

It's my last full day in Philippines and I am heartbroken that I will be far from Jomar again.

Today, we had breakfast in KFC. KFC back here is so much better than the one in Canada. Sorry KFC Canada. I also missed their gravy.


After having breakfast, we went to Salon de Matt. Haircut is so much cheaper here. For $10 CAD, I could get a great haircut plus tip. In Canada a haircut would cost $30. Moreover, the haircut in Manila includes shampoo.


After getting a haircut, we went to SM Megamall. My mom asked us to buy contact lenses for her. I also end up buying her preferred coffee from the Philippines. Lastly, for myself I purchased Goldilocks baked goodies.


We were supposed to go straight to Glorietta for lunch with Ms. Aileen. Unfortunately, we forgot our gifts for her back in the condo. From SM Megamall, we had to stop by the condo then go to Glorietta.


My vacation is now complete that I saw Ms. Aileen and Jay! It just so happened that they also took a few days off from Singapore…

Vacation: Sixth Day Back Home celebrating Life with Friends

Ever since moving to Canada, I have not experienced dipping my toes in salty water. I also know Philippines has the best beaches in the world so I really wanted to experience the beach before going back to Canada.

We decided to go to Anilao, Batangas. Ms. Myna and Mitch arranged the place and itinerary. Mama Chelle prepared a feast because she's celebrating her birthday as well. It's truly a trip celebrating life with friends.

The day started with Ms. Myna picking us up from the condo with Kuya Michael (the fastest driver ever!). We met with Mama Chelle and their van on the other side of EDSA. We quickly stopped by Shell Magallanes to buy Mama Chelle's cake while their van went ahead.

We met again in Jollibee along SLEX for breakfast. It's so great to see everybody! Mama Chelle, Mitch, the kids (Josh, Jarred, and Kaylee), Mama Nancy, Ms. May, and Ate Jonah. Jomar and I ordered the same food as yesterday.

After breakfast, I purchased butter mamon from Red Ribbon and off…

Vacation: Fifth Day Back Home with Best Friend Forever

Ugh. It's my fifth day back home. My vacation is almost over. I can't believe it! For today, I scheduled to meet with my high school best friend, Deci.


Before meeting with her, Jomar and I had breakfast at Jollibee! Yes! Longganisa meal, corned beef meal, and 2-pc Chicken Joy just for the two of us.

That's a 900 calorie meal for breakfast. If that's not enough, on our way back to the condo we saw someone selling taho! Of course, I purchased some and we enjoyed it by the pool area.


After that, Jomar and I went up north of Metro Manila to Trinoma and SM North EDSA. I lived in Quezon City most of the 1st 25 years of my life.

Because of that, my optician is in SM North and I decided to get my eyes checked for free (sorry, Canada eye care is way way cheaper here). I decided to have my lenses changed to one that would turn into a darker shade when it's bright outside (instant sunglasses). It costs Php 2,500 (~$70 CAD) but I had to come back at around 7:00 PM since they s…

Vacation: Fourth Day Back Home with This Lovely Ladies

It was my fourth day back in Manila. I spent it with four different ladies who played a big role in the different stages of my career and life.
Mama Chelle My day started with breakfast at the Google Philippines office with Mama Chelle and Wayne.

I first met Mama Chelle when I was at Orange and Bronze Software Labs, Inc (O&B). She was head of sales and I was a fresh grad Jr. Business Analyst and Quality Assurance engineer. We had not much interaction then, except for that one time where we went to Gelatissimo and I shared my work challenges and she gave me advice.

We became so much closer when she moved to Codeflux because that's when she started helping out with the Google communities. She and Jomar worked closely for the community and since I am Jomar's plus one, I became a volunteer for the Google Developers Group. I helped with registration and welcoming attendees, usually with little Josh (who is now a teenager).



I am just so happy and fulfilled to see her and Josh w…