Showing posts from 2020

Top 20 of 2020

I am not sure how to do my year-end summary this year since we're too paranoid about travelling because of the pandemic. For inspiration, I read all the year-end post I've had since 2012.  I never realized how much I travelled before and how happy I was. Before, I was happy and broke, visiting new places and meeting people. Now, I am not broke, but I don't travel, and I am not as happy as I was during my carefree younger years. For fun, here's a link to all my year-end posts in chronological order: 2012: Travel Inventory 2013: Travel Inventory 2014: Travel Inventory To the year that was 2015 To the year that was 2016 To the year that was 2017 I didn't make a year-end post for 2018 Top 19 for 2019 2020 Year-End Summary For this year, I will make a list of the top 20 things that made me happy, I accomplishe

Christmas Eve Dinner and Celebration

2020 is a challenging year. Our family is big on Christmas. I remember the first time Jomar joined us for the first time, and he said it's amusing because you have a "program". LOL. We have a Christmas Eve dinner. My sisters usually pick a cuisine, and we either order in or cook wonderful dishes we share at 6:00 PM. After dinner, we would watch one to two random movies, and by midnight we would exchange gifts (secret Santa is an annual tradition). It's my first time preparing Noche Buena. I usually just bring desserts, and my mom and younger sister do the plating and table setting. This year is my first attempt at both! This year it's different. We didn't go to Richmond, but we joined via video call. They ordered Chinese food, and we did too. We ate at the same time and were on a call the whole time. After dinner, Jomar and I watched the classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life" for the first time. By the time the movie is over, it's 11:00 PM. We

Season and Life Changes

We are now experiencing beautiful, crisp, and a bit cold Fall weather in Vancouver. It's so beautiful. The seasons are one of the reasons I decided to stay in Canada. Beautiful trees in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery Robson Square Vancouver School Board Park on a beautiful day I am blessed to experience and see the seasons with Jomar. :) Other than seasons changing, I got a haircut after 15 months, and I will be leaving Gumstix after more than 4 years. Before and After Haircut - I love Suki, and I think I just found my forever salon here in Canada.

A tribute to my dear friend, Lik-Lik

I haven't had someone close to me pass away. That changed today. One of my high school batchmates posted in our Facebook Group that one of my high school close friends is gone. I cried—a lot. I still can't believe I won't see Lik-Lik anymore when I go back to visit. Our barkada will never be complete again. This is during our 4th-year graduation ball. Lik is the one in green. 2003 High School I was new to Miriam in 2003. I'm a transferee and didn't graduate from Miriam Grade School. I have no friends. On the way home on the first day, I have two batchmates in the school bus, Lik-Lik and Mary (Deci). I remember Lik-Lik saying hi and asking what section I'm in. That started years of friendship during high school and beyond. This is us during first-year high school with my school bus mates Lik (left), me (middle), and Deci (right). 2007 College In college, I went to La Salle, Mary went to Ateneo, and Lik-Lik went to UP. We met once a year (or more often), usually

A Couple Hours at Kits Beach

It's a beautiful Sunday when I woke up to my mom's message that they want to visit Kitsilano (it's a neighbourhood here in Vancouver, relatively close to where Jomar and I live). I called her and asked where they're planning to go. She went on to say that they're about live Richmond already and are going to pick us up. We hurriedly prepared for a day at the beach. I grabbed a book, a water bottle, and the usual contents of my bag. We also brought our folding chair. Before heading to Kits Beach, we went to the McDonald's along 4th Avenue. My parent's bought lunch. Baya, Jomar, and I headed to Cobs bakery and enjoyed their croissants. We drove going to Kits Beach, picked a spot under a tree and was enjoying the smell of the sea, the soft breeze, and the wonderful view. It's such a nice change of pace. We were physically distancing from other people and have hand sanitizers to use when we touch things outside what we have. Baya, Jomar, and I also walked alo

My Secret Food Blog

It may seem like I'm not writing much these days, but actually, I have a secret food blog. I have a separate blog just for all the food adventure I'm having with Jomar and my family here in Vancouver. I can't wait to have hotels open. I want to help stir up the tourism industry and enjoy a staycation. 🤞 For now, here's a photo of what I thought a beautiful path when I walked to work yesterday. Yes, I went to the office and prepared it (hid things) for deep cleaning. They'll spray chemicals all over to kill viruses, bacteria, everywhere. Anyway, I pray that the rest of 2020 becomes better.

Why is Chatra the best chat app?

I use Chatra at work and I absolutely love it! Why use Chatra ? The UI is the simplest of all the chat / live support apps I have tested. It's easy to use and not complicated at all. It's also the best-priced one based on the features available. I love the new Automated Answers ( ChatBot )! I wanted this feature for so long and one of the chat apps that have it is asking for $500 per month to get it. Chatra now has this feature for $19 per month (if paid monthly and $15 per month if paid annually). Typing Insights (This feature allows me to be ready with a response based on what the customer is going to ask next.) Visitor Banning (There are rare times I get jerks in the chat - asking if I'm single, where I'm from - just creepy people, so the ability to ban/block them is a big deal). They have an amazing support team

What is Google Workspace? Get a free 14-day trial and exclusive discount.

What is Google Workspace? Google Workspace is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps teams communicate, collaborate and get things done from anywhere and on any device. It's simple to set up, use and manage, so your business can focus on what really matters. Here are some highlights: Business Email Business email for your domain look professional and communicate as Gmail’s simple features help you build your brand while getting more done.   Access from any location or device Check emails, share files, edit documents, hold video meetings and more, whether you're at work, at home or on the move. You can pick up where you left off from a computer, tablet or phone. Enterprise-level management tools Robust admin settings give you total command over users, devices, security and more. Get a free 14-day trial and exclusive discount. Sign up using my link and get a free 14-day tri

Should I leave the Philippines? Things to consider before migrating to Canada

I moved to Canada and left the Philippines almost five years ago, and I thought of making a list of five things Filipinos should think about before deciding to move or work abroad.   1. Why are you leaving the Philippines? This is the most critical question. What's your reason for leaving? Are you currently mad at the government? Are you disappointed with the traffic? Do you want a better life for your family? Why are you even thinking about leaving? Answering this question is essential, and your reason  needs to be so strong and powerful that when things get tough abroad, it will be a source of strength. For example, if your reason for leaving is that you're disappointed with the government - WHAT IF the new country you moved into has the same problems? Are you going to leave again? My answer to this question : I want to be with my family. My parents

How different life is before and during COVID-19?

What's the difference before March 12 and after March 12? Let's start at the "beginning." March 12, at around 1 in the afternoon, I received an email from our VP of HR announcing that we will be working from home starting March 16 to last for a month, but can be extended as needed. Jomar is on the same boat, and we work for different companies. The weekend before working from home, we went to Mass (which would be our last, as BC has banned gathering with more than 50 people). We also celebrated Pi Day - we ate out and walked around Kitsilano. We didn't know that dinner at Red Beef Noodle would be the last time we're going to eat out.  What changed for us? 1. We're working from home. We're lucky to still have work. It means we're working in our small apartment and can hear each other attend meetings. I always tell Jomar it feels like we're in a co-working space, and I frequently apologize to him since I have more meetings. We ordered Domino'