This week

Starting the weekend on a thankful note!

✱ It's our fifth year anniversary yesterday!

Welcomed it with buffalo wings and cheese tart! Will celebrate more (expensively lol) over the weekend hehe ♥



✱ I got my backpay this week! 💸

And it took less than a month wow. Usually backpays take three months minimum and an enraged follow up with HR lol. But yeah, thanks White & Case! You the best!

So where did my money go?

✓ Most of it went to replenishing our emergency funds and paying our insurance policies
✓ I was also able to fully pay my iphone omg can you imagine the bragging rights haha 
✓ Booked a staycation for our anniv ♥
✓ Bought new bed sheets (long overdue) and a taller shoe cabinet
✓ The rest I spent on Shopee on random stuff like a karaoke mic hihi, a tripod, collagen drink, an ipad case, some stickers, leather tape, etc. You know, stuff that's been sitting in my cart for ages. Then I went ahead and added some more bwahaha. We just can't leave our carts empty right?
✓ Oh yeah I saved some too haha. That's me pretending to be a responsible adult. 

I'm so excited to receive the items I checked out but I'm also worried they'll arrive over the weekend when we're not here! Our reception doesn't hold items anymore and charges 50/day for items unclaimed within 24 hours so that sucks.

✱ Completed mandatory trainings

I've completed all the mandatory trainings assigned to me during onboarding, so now I'm left with nothing to do. Again. Still don't have my admin account, let alone admin rights so I can at least begin installing stuff. Oh well. Every time I raise it to my teammates they're pretty lax about it and tell me it's fine, enjoy it while you can haha. Guess I'll do just that. 

✱ Decluttered a bunch of stuff

Feels great to free the house of clutter every once in a while. I gave away a lot of things, and it felt so good cos I get to reclaim a little bit of space in the house, you know so I could put in more things bwahaha.

✱ My knees are recovering yey

Same old injury that keeps plaguing me every now and then. I thought I've overcome the fear of straining my knees during badminton but seems like I need to condition myself more. I wear knee support on both of my knees now lol. This one doesn't seem so bad though, unlike before where I had to use crutches. The moment my knee clicked in pain, I sat down, put ointment, and did a couple of knee circles. Thank God it's not too bad and I'm still able to walk properly though I had to sleep with my leg raised on a pillow because the swelling is painful. I wasn't able to come to work Tuesday as scheduled because I couldn't walk around with a painful knee, much more ride an angkas. Thankfully, the following days are much better.

Hoping for a great weekend! ♥

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What sucks


✱ Sucks that Kindle Cloud Reader doesn't permit reading of sideloaded books. Though who am I to complain haha. Maybe when I get super rich I wouldn't mind buying books directly from Amazon because what's wasting ~500 pesos on a potentially bad book right? I can just earn it lol. But right now, despite the little bit of hassle and the risk of getting badly digitized copies, I still prefer downloading through Z-lib. If Kinde Unlimited was truly unlimited I would have subscribed to it instead of downloading books one by one, but I know KU doesn't carry the same variety Kindle has so nevermind, plus at the rate at which I'm reading, I feel like paying $10 a month would be a waste. Although wait, if I average at least one book a month that would make the subscription fee worth it right? Considering a book is also around $10. Hmmm. Nope.


✱ I checked my Adsense earnings and found that my web and channel earnings have been segregated already which sucks cos it's gonna take longer to reach the withdrawal threshold now that they're split into separate accounts with separate thresholds. My web earnings is only around $10 and my Youtube is at $110, I wish I could combine them so I could reach threshold faster but oh well. My web earnings is probably gonna take another decade to reach threshold and youtube, uhm, if I get a steady amount of views despite my lack of new review content lately, maybe two years hahahuhu. Totally not looking forward to this anymore lol.


✱ Last week we went to Megamall to look for a monitor cos I just returned the ones I'm using back to White & Case. Thought I could buy them out, turns out they're not yet for lease return. And here I am excitedly looking for something exactly like what the office had provided me only to realize they were hella expensive lol. I thought monitors are cheap, like 3k cheap. Anyway. The one I used to work on is a Dell U2419H which is super great it's got like 5 USB ports, HDMI, DP, and can be mounted with a VESA plate. It's been the perfect monitor for my current setup where I alternate between my work laptop and personal computer everyday. Work laptop to HDMI, and my personal laptop to the DP. Which is why it's extremely important for me to get HDMI and DP, not HDMI and VGA like what most monitors have.

I tried to look for something similar online but couldn't find anything brand new. Added a bunch of models to my Shopee and Lazada cart hoping SM Cyberzone would have something on-hand that doesn't cost too much, unfortunately there were none that fit my specs requirements moreso my budget lol. I thought I'd get a good deal since it's 9.9 haha in the end I checked-out a BenQ (bengk? ben-q? hahaha) monitor from Lazada for a little over 6k (after promos and discounts) that checked all the boxes except for having USB ports for charging. So now I'm patiently waiting for it to get delivered. Last I checked it's been picked up already. I can't wait argh.


✱ My stomach has been hurting for two days now I don't know why. Last thing I ate before this was Behrouz' Chicken Biryani, and that was really good so if I may have caught something from that, well, no regrets lol. It's weird cos my tummy hurts but I don't feel like pooping haha it's uncomfortable but it doesn't hurt so much, maybe a 5/10. It sucks cos the pain level doesn't merit a sick leave, but the discomfort makes me want to just lie down the whole day. Hay.


✱ I smell like siomai


✱ Looks like my manager isn't coming in to the office today. Maybe I can squeeze in some reading time to get back on track with Surrounded by Idiots. I'm so close to not finishing it as it's not as interesting as I thought it would be. It's merely an elaboration of the four temperaments; sanguine, choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic, color coded into red, yellow, blue, and green respectively so it's easier to remember and attribute to people. So far it's been okay. Nothing mind-blowing. All I know is I'm most likely a combination of green and blue. Usually quiet, reserved, agreeable to a fault, with lots of inner turmoil lol. That's me pretty much. Still, I wanna get over this quickly so I can jump in to a novel. I need a story. This book is boring.


✱ My other blog, www.surfandperf.com is blocked in this machine (my work laptop) for being "suspicious" and I don't know why. I've already enabled https but it's still the same so I have no idea what's wrong. I may have to look at the add-ons and the bunch of js gibberish and remove anything remotely suspicious. Usually it's the outdated link references, but I wonder why even my empty blogs are restricted argh. I'm bummed because that's where all of my work notes are, in article format so it would suck big time to be denied access to it. Would be awkward to request for my own blog to be unblocked here haha. On the plus side, this one is accessible so I'm okay. At least I have an outlet.


✱ Hope I don't forget to bring home the samosas I kept in the ref earlier. Got them from Assad Mini Mart, just right behind the office. I would love to look around more inside but I couldn't risk smelling like masala when I get back to the office. The store smells very strongly of Indian spices and while that's heavenly for me, it may not be the case to the people around me haha. Sucks.


✱ I wonder when they'll credit my first paycheck. Is it on the day itself or a bit advanced? lol. Been refreshing the banking app ad nauseum and it's only the 13th hahaha. Well, it's already the 13th! Super spoiled at White & Case where they'd credit our paychecks at least two days early, sometimes even a week before, for unknown reasons. And on the rare times it falls on the dot, we all lose our minds haha.

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One to ten

13:15


It's day 5 in my new job. I've met some of my teammates, attended some meetings, and submitted everything that's required of me hoping I didn't miss anything. I'm not doing much yet. Understandably. 


I'm the only one present in this lane (so far). One of my teammates is sick, the other is remote, and my manager only comes in once a week. I'm trying to make myself as comfortable as possible given the seat sharing policy in this office. It's hard. Not having a place of your own lol. Although our team has a designated area and I've been sticking around in this cube for the past few days, it's not like I own it and can personalize it according to my very specific workstation preferences haha. I couldn't even adjust the monitors because who knows if I still have this desk tomorrow? I was advised to get a locker so I did. Unfortunately it sits on a different floor because there are no vacant ones on this level.
 

17:49


I wanted to setup my new locker immediately so I walked to MC Depot earlier this afternoon to buy a padlock. Maps says it's only a 550m walk from here; mostly flat. Of course it didn't mention the numerous stoplights I have to wait for and the scorching midday BGC heat that threaten to burn through my darkest sins. It was so fucking hot. And I only walked for ten minutes! Maps says eight, but given my short legs therefore small strides, ten's about fair. 


Approaching the depot felt like nearing an oasis. I'm almost there, almost half the battle. It should be cold there. I stepped into the warehouse and thanked God for the shade. But where's the cold. Fucking hell. There's no airconditioning in this place. Fucking hell. Might as well get over this as quickly as possible. I was sweating profusely the whole time I was picking a lock (pun intended) and lining up at cashier. Thankfully there's an industrial fan by the counter that brought temporary relief to this agonizing quest. I thought MC Depot caters to a certain demographic, being at BGC lol, but it doesn't even have airconditioning. How anti-rich.


Should've bought a hanky. Beats me why I have to do this so early in my shift (see title). Should've done it now, in the afternoon, as the sun sets, where I wouldn't melt into a puddle of tinted sunscreen.


Well at least it's done now and I don't have to carry my headset, mouse, mechanical keyboard, and tumbler from now on every time I come to the office. Yey.


I wonder if I can go about my entire shift not talking to anyone. I have a seatmate now. The area is starting to fill up with people.

I'm worried about my backpay. I haven't received news on whether I can buy out the two monitors I was supposed to return on my last day. Our local IT says there's a high chance I can buy it out, but I haven't heard anything. If it can be bought out I should have received a salary deduction form already. Otherwise, they would've told me to return it. The longer this goes unsettled the longer it will take for my clearance to get routed to completion. Argh. And we're stinking poor already. 


I should get a banh mi. And Vietnamese coffee. Hope they accept card cos I'm so fucking poor right now.


19:03

They don't.

My laptop spacebar is doing an annoying squeaking sound. I kept my mechanical keyboard in favor of a more silent option because uhm I feel like my pretentious typing is gonna tick some people off. Who's this newbie who doesn't even have anything on her plate yet and yet types like she's resolving a P1 incident lol.

I badly want to go on an Ikea shopping spree. The mobile app is buggy and I can't add items to the cart. Somehow it gets deleted so it's no use using it as a wishlist of some sort. I want a taller shoe cabinet, frames, a fake plant, an uplighter, and a storage box. Also some meatballs.

Update on my monitors. I have to return them to the office. Damn. Here I thought I could buy them out. They were very good monitors. VESA compliant, has HDMI, DisplayPort, and tons of USB ports for charging. I'm looking online for similar monitors and they're so damn expensive. Should I bite into this second hand Dell monitor that's exactly what I need? It sells for only 5k but is probably hit and miss with the quality. Most reviews are good but I don't wanna risk ending up with a spotty screen as I'm gonna use it as my main monitor.

19:57

I just checked out a VESA mount and a laptop stand. 


20:31

I really don't know what to do. I think I could work from home tomorrow if none of my teammates are coming in to the office. At least I could get up early and try to go to Megamall to probably buy a new monitor. Now I'm excited. 

I shouldn't have completed the mandatory training yesterday. I should've chopped the modules to bits so I'm not left with absolutely nothing to do on a day where there are a lot of people around me (who are probably wondering if I'm an equal opportunity hire on account of my inability to speak [and socialize]). It's hard to pretend you're doing something productive. I've scrolled through the code of conduct, re-read the welcome email a hundred times, but I really can't do much without admin access. Once I get my admin access I can pretend to look busy again installing stuff and reading Confluence articles. 


21:15

Wow I think I can survive an entire shift without talking to anyone woah. You can tell by the length of this brain dump how badly this asocial animal needs an outlet. It's not like I didn't utter a single word in the past eight hours. I did talk, you know, to the guards. And the staff at Family Mart and Banh Mi Kitchen where I bought dinner. That counts as social interaction right? I'm not totally mute the entire day.

Clock is ticking and I can't fucking wait to get home and pack up my two monitors and drive them back to my old office. My old office. My beloved old office. Hay. Did I make the right choice moving here? 

We'll see on the payslip haha. But for now, let me regret leaving my beautiful motorized standing desk at White & Case. I miss my old office.

21:54

I've brought some of my stuff to my locker and also took a walk outside around the building. Just to pass time. And yet here I am still waiting to clock out. Just a few minutes more before I punch out of our timetracker that, according to my manager, nobody really checks cos we're on an honesty system around here. Still, I have to show some integrity right? At least on my first six months, kidding. Haha.

22:05

Hallelujah I'm going home!

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Celebrating my unemployment


I don't really know how to write this post but I just have to say last week was one of the most memorable weeks of my life as I spent my last day at the firm "partying" with my officemates and spending the rest of the week in Baguio (our favorite place) to rest, mostly eat, in celebration of my unemployment haha.

Here's my Weekly Monotony!


Last daaaayyy

August 23, 2022! Booked the lifestyle room and enjoyed the whole night just eating, singing, and occassionally attending to issues hahaha last day na nga eh may humahabol pa. I have the sweetest teammates, they really took note of my favorite foods and endeavored to have them available for our small salu-salo! I had planned to order Frankie's for everyone but the weather was so bad that day and most of the stores closed early. Even BPI closed early and I was supposed to run an errand with them argh. In the end I got wings from Buffalo Wild Wings haha sarap naman!

Anyway. Sobrang natouch ako. My friends got me cheesecake, Mama Lou's pizza, Amber's spaghetti and palabok, and mooore! Huhu sobrang daming food. Red and Henry gifted me a new phone case too huhu! And Camille got me SAMOSAS kami lang mahilig sa Indian food HAHAHA it was so good I hope more people would appreciate Indian food it's THE BEST!!!

White & Case will always have a special place in my heart. It's the first time I felt this comfortable in a company. Like I said, I could retire here. I really appreciate this day a lot, the effort it took for my friends to come in despite the stormy weather! The fooooood and the overall thoughfulness. I will never forget you guuuysss huhu. We're not complete in this pic but you're all in my heaaart hihi ♥



It was a delight having to experience our lifestyle room din! The Grand Videoke HD is the bomb! The sound system is perfect, we have mic stands, a big ass TV, there's even a PS5 but we just really want to sing hahahaha I love it! ♥

But all things must come to an end. After surrendering my stuff napaisip ako kung tama ba tong desisyon ko hahaha oh well, too late! HAHAHA

Baguiooooooo

We love Baguio so much we keep coming back. The last time we went there we stayed a week at an AirBnb and tried to live "locally" as in not like a tourist. We bought groceries, I cooked every day, and worked like usual. In the afternoon before my shift starts we go out and explore, one spot a day, then come home right before it rains. Okay we did touristy stuff din pala haha. But everything worked within our schedule so it was perfect.

Giraffe Boutique Hotel

This time is different. We booked at a hotel and just planned to eat all day everyday lol. At least I did. Jeckie went to an MMA gym haha. We've been eyeing The Manor at CJH but it just never went within our budget haha maybe next time. We stayed at Giraffe Boutique Hotel through a friend's reco and we loved it! I'll give it an 8/10.

We got a Superior Room that's 3.5k per night so not bad! It's beautiful, spacious, I love the colors. Just look at this ♥


I specifically requested for a room with a lot of windows but I didn't realize it meant getting the corner room that's right beside the road and the outdoor garden. You know what that means. Noise! Our first night was terrible because it was very noisy outside, if it's not the dogs barking, it's cats literally fucking around. And very early in the morning as the restaurant kitchen bustles I could've cried at the painful sound of cutleries clanking and of people talking and going about. We also had a cockroach incident. Could've soundproofed the room better but I don't really know what that entails. 

Besides the noise, privacy was also an issue. I requested for windows because I wanted better lighting and ventilation but I didn't realize we were facing a very busy part of the hotel and people kept walking past haha. In the end we
 had to keep the curtains down the entire time. So much for the view right.


But that's just on the first night. The succeeding nights were better, it's not always noisy and even when the curtains are drawn it's always cold hehe. So yeah, despite the noise and privacy issues, overall we stll had a great stay. Will write in detail on a separate blog post. :)

Mangiamo Ristorante Baguio

I think the best part of the hotel is their restaurant, Mangiamo. It means "let's eat" in Italian ♥ 


If you are to stay in Baguio, you must try dining at Mangiamo. They serve delicious authentic Italian food that is so much worth every penny. Probably the best Italian we've tried. The chef is Italian too. I think we ate here two or three times. I recommend the following: 


Mangiamo pizza - so freaking good, has truffle and ham, best pizza ever!!!
Tagliatelle w/ truffle cream sauce - if you love truffle, this is a must!!! It's not on the menu but is usually on the board
Mushroom soup - okay we love mushrooms. This is so legit, filled with wild mushrooms, not salty, not too creamy just pure mushroom soup goodness. 
Caesar salad - if you love a garlicky caesar dressing this is lovely 
Tiramisu - argh just typing it down makes me crave for it
Apple pie ala mode - just the right serving! Perfect to cap off your meal 
Prosciutto crudo e melone (parma ham and melon) - my goodness this is delicious! We loved prosciutto wraped mango when we we first tried one in Bora, but wow I love this melon one more! ♥

Now that I've started with the restaurant roll call, next up!

✱ Visco's

Everybody loves Visco's strawberry shortcake but have you tried their restaurant offerings? It's delicious!!! Especially their fried chicken. Reasonably priced too. 


I got the original fried chicken and Jeckie got the honey mustard one. We both enjoyed it. The chicken actually reminds me of Ellen's fried chicken in UPLB. And the gravy is buttery. Love it! ALSO, the ceasar salad on the side is delicious. Must try!

✱ Overtones Ito Sushi Bar & Japanese Restaurant 

Aaahh Jeckie's friend recommended this to us. Like Vizco's, you can find this along Session Rd., between Sizzling Plate and Pizza Volante. There's a small entrance there that's easy to miss because it's just a narrow entrance that leads to a flight of stairs. So don't miss it! 


I ordered Chirashidon, a favorite, and it's delicious! There's salmon, mackerel, octopus, UNI, tamago, crabsticks, etc., and lots of rice I couldn't finish. Besides the uni I also loved the squid wrapped nori. Super delicious! Jeckie got the wagyu sirloin. The cut was pretty thin so for medium rare it quickly turned to well done. So maybe next time get it rare? Teriyaki sauce is delicious! My iced mocha too!

There weren't a lot of people dining in so I'd say this one's a bit underrated. It's also a bit pricey for something along Session Rd. hehe


Grumpy Joe


We though we're being careful with our restaurant choices so we went with one that's highly recommended by the internet. There was a line when we got there. We were 9th. We looked at the menu and everything looked promising...


... until my first order came. The corn chowder soup. It doesn't look too bad but the mound of grated cheese on top made me wonder, they use this type of cheese? I mean for a restaurant of this level I was hoping they'd opt for something more refined. Did we just fall into the hype?

Uhh yeah. Cos everything that was served after was underwhelming. The ony thing overwhelming is the serving size.

Corn chowder soup - it was okay for 85 pesos but the mound of quickmelt was a bad precedent of what's to come
Spicy buffalo wings - not spicy, not buffalo. Had we ordered barbecue glazed chicken wings we would've enjoyed this, but we didn't so it turned out disappointing. 
Grumpy Joe special burger - oh this one will make you grumpy. So here's a burger, with a thin and dry patty, a pineapple slice that's thicker than said patty, ultra thin pickles, some cucumber slices, and caramelized onions siting right in the middle of the pineapple slice. There's also lettuce and a slice of fake cheese. Sauce? Maybe, I couldn't sense any. Did Joe make this when he's mad? Cos it shows. It's an abhorrent attempt at an aloha burger. Jollibee is laughing its ass out. The fries on the side however, tastes great! 
Greek salad was so so, I don't get why this is marked a best seller
Five cheese pizza - this was supposed to be a bestseller but the moment I tasted quickmelt cheesefood (apparently they use Eden) in there, I was defeated. I mean it tastes okay. But it's not 5 cheese delicious. Eden cheese isn't even real cheese. Yellowcab's 4 Cheese is much better. 

So much for the hype. I think this is okay for big families with kids in tow. Jeckie says it's elevated school canteen food. Harsh but totally apt. I think kids would love the food here. But foodies? Beware. 

✱ Oh My Gulay

Hmm. Located along Session Road at La Azotea Building, you have to climb 6 flights of stairs in order to get into the restaurant. It's on the 5th floor but there's another flight when you get to the restaurant entrance so yeah, siguradong gutom na gutom ka na pagdating mo sa taas haha. Obviously this is not for the physically challenged. The place is a visual feast. A museum slash nature sanctuary. It's like a mini Tam-awan Village! They serve vegetarian food so I know not to expect too much. 


We both got sisig. Which I regret. Jeckie seemed to love it. But to me it's just tastes like scrambled eggs. The sliders were disappointing too. Patty too dry. Remind us to stick to originally vegetarian dishes next time like eggplant lasagna, vegetables samosas, salads, humus, etc, and not converted meat dishes because I swear, they never come out as good.

I ordered pumpkin soup but it took too long to come out so I just cancelled it. I also ordered mango crepe but they gave out peach crepe so I had it remade. They must've rushed my order because the crepe was still hot when they served it. Consequently the mangoes got warm so it's not a good experience. They probably thought to compensate by drizzling extra chocolate syrup but heck they went overboard haha.

I'm not happy with this experience but I'm willing to try again, definitely with a different dish. 


✱ Lemon & Olives Greek Taverna

Finally got to try this! I'll tell you right now, this one's worth the hype unlike Grumpy Joe haha.


We ordered special lamb chops for two which came with L&O Salad, Poikilia, and lemon pilaf rice. Ordered hummus, plain yogurt drinks, and I got me some Turkish coffee (which I realized isn't my cup of tea lol).

Just looking at the photos already makes me wanna come back! 

L&O Salad - absolutely delicious. Everything was balanced. I loved the peaches. It reminded me of Go Salad's Sweet Caroline except they use honey lemon vinagraitte instead of honey balsamic. It's sweet and tangy and my goodness I could eat this all day.
Lamb chops - lamb is an acquired taste. I had to eat a lot of lamb dishes to realize how delicious it it. And this one is great.
Hummus - simple, savory, creamy, garlicky, tangy. It's so balanced I love it.
Poikilia - an appetizer plate. There's pita bites, sausages, and cheese sticks. I love this spread. Everything tastes good, specially the cheeese!!!

Aaaand that's it for my Baguio food diaries! I already wanna go back cos there's still so much we wanna try! Despite Grumpy Joe haha, I think this is still one of my favorite vacations! 

I'll be starting with my new job on Thursday so wish me luck! ♥

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Today


I completed transitioning all my work items to my teammates. Whew. This is it. 


A couple of weeks ago I filed my resignation at the firm and now I'm down to my last two weeks here. I should be relatively free from now on seeing how I've finished handing over my work stuff to my teammates, but I still have to fix a couple of issues on one of my robots, and that's what I intend to do next week. After that I can relax. Well, after that AND after hearing some news from my new employer. 

You see, I'm kindof feeling anxious that it's been 10 days since I submited all of the requirements they asked for and I still haven't gotten any form of confirmation besides the autoresponder. The deadline they set for sending requirements is not until next week, so maybe I'm just worrying unnecessarily. Actually it's because I randomly saw a post earlier about rescinded job offers that got me thinking. Then again, this won't get me anywhere. Worst case scenario: they rescind. So I retract my resignation and get to keep my job at the firm (which pays well and has great benefits). Still sounds good right? 


But fudge I already bought a new phone and changed my number everywhere hahuhu.

Speaking of new phone. I bought an iPhone 13 Pro because of cinematic mode and didn't realize it was too heavy. And that I didn't need the additional macro lens. And that I would be cool with just the iPhone 13. Which is 30g lighter and costs 10k less. I'm having buyer's regret, mostly because my wrist is hurting from holding it and it's only been three weeks.

I should probably limit my screen time. Or get bigger hands yeah.

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Today...

... is quite a good day! I vacuumed, made some coffee and resolved to get back to doing 10-min ab workouts daily. About a month ago I finished a 36 day streak, which is 6 days over my goal of just 30 days straight! And then we went to Boracay and I forgot about it. I'm proud that I was able to stick to something that long. I even documented my progress, or lack thereof, to prove something. And if anything, I've proven that 10 mins daily is not enough to lose weight hahaha. I didn't lose weight, didn't tone up like I expected, heck I didn't get abs. Of course 10 mins daily won't cut it. I remained fat, although for what it's worth, I didn't gain weight so that's a good thing! So yeah, I'm gonna continue with this just because it feels good to put some movement into my extremely sedentary life. Plus I really need to work on my core and basic mobilities cos I feel like my body is starting to rust, I can't even pick up something on the floor without my back complaining.


Here's to hoping for positive physical changes!

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[Review] Part 2 of my Wink Laser Studio underarm whitening experience

Part 1 here[Review] Part 1 of my Wink Laser Studio underarm whitening experience where I spent 12 sessions and figured it's not enough! 

As usual, this is an in-progess post! Will update this as I go along...


✱ Session 13: May 28, 2022 (Podium) 

I'm gonna start with session 13 since this is just a continuation. Here's a photo taken before the session, which means it's last session's result. Pretty pleased with how it's coming out so far hehe also because I have a better photo haha


✱ Session 14: June 25, 2022 (Podium) 


Not much has changed but it really has improved a lot.



The sessions now are more focused on the center part where it's still a bit dark. This area is usually the longest to treat because it's the part that folds and is exposed to more friction. In terms on UA habits, still the the same, Deonat tawas spray (aloe), and in the shower I wash it with Pond's facial wash, the pink variant. I think it's called Pond's Bright Beauty Serum Facial Foam now. The packaging used to be Pond's White Beauty Facial Foam. 

By the way, I thought I'd share something to encourage you about this freaking long UA whitening journey, so here's something I unearthed recently while I was cleaning my inbox... a photo of my UA four years ago, that's 2018 BEFORE I STARTED with SkinStation's Underarm Diode Laser Hair Removal... 


It's dark, hairy, rough, and itchy. So yeah, we've definitely come a long way haha. I can be patient wahaha!

✱ Session 15: July 23, 2022 (Podium)

Here you go! I feel like there's not much to say after 15 sessions so I'll just leave a photo here, which was taken the day after cos I forgot to take one before the session hehe.



✱ Session 16: August 20, 2022 (Podium)

Since we're only targetting the center area, the nurse told me we can shorten the gaps between sessions and do it every three 3 weeks. So that's what I'm gonna do.



✱ Session 17: September 10, 2022 (Podium)

I don't know but it kinda looks darker to me.



Actually, I'm not totally following the advice of the nurse to avoid physical activity/sweating within 48hrs. We play badminton every Sunday and my Wink sessions are always on a Saturday so it can't be helped. Anyway. Despite of that, I still think we've come a long way. It's just that I'm not seeing any significant progress lately. Could it be that my lifestyle is countering my progress? Hmm. 

✱ Session 18: October 1, 2022 (Podium)

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Life lately

✱ Long overdue oil change!


Last weekend we had our long overdue oil change and PMS at Shell Dahlia. We're supposed to do it every 8 months or 10,000 km, whichever comes first daw. But well, it's been 15 months and the car has only been driven 2,000 km since. We usually go with the distance marker cos it looks more practical, but at our current rate it'll take us over 5 years to get the oil changed lol and that's something no one should ever do unless you enjoy riding an active road hazard.

The mechanic says everything looks good except for the AT fluid which needs changing. Have to buy this from Toyota directly so we'll get to that this weekend. It's the first time I heard of such fluid. Apparently it's used to lubricate the transmission component of the car to ensure smooth shifting from gear to gear.


We got the battery checked as well cos it's going 2 years and 10 months already and I feel like the headlights are starting to dim. The battery tester says it's at 62%, mechanic says it still a good number but if we're starting to observe some performance issues then it's probably time to change.

I did some Googling and it found that SOH (state of health) refers to the condition of the battery cells relative to its age, maybe like our phone battery health? SOC (state of charge) is the battery level relative to its capacity, so it's uhm 99% charged in a 62% capable battery. RES (resistance) - I don't really understand this but it says the lower the value of the internal resistance, the better the battery can discharge a high voltage load. Today I learned! Thanks to this Q&A.

✱ Maya and my first crypto purchase


So Paymaya recently rebranded into a neobank and it's offering 6% p.a. savings as its early access promo. Naturally I have to try. I pulled out a small amount from CIMB and transferred it to Maya. For CIMB to GCash to Paymaya, transfer fee is  ₱15 via InstaPay. Maya Bank is not listed yet so I have to move from Paymaya wallet to Maya bank account within the same app.

Since they also offer crypto on the platform, I tried that as well. Don't really know much about bitcoin so I just bought ₱500 worth. I mean it plumetted quickly cos I bought it on a downtrend lol but that's fine as I only intend to watch it fluctuate.

✱ Looking out 

You know I'm dreading RTO so much that I started handing out resumes to several companies through LinkedIn. I'm specifically avoiding consulting firms and agencies and so far I've gotten to three HR interviews. They all happened last week on Friday. It was a back-to-back-to-back interview begining 3pm and what can I say, I think it only made me more grateful for the firm lol. 

Company 1 has enough budget for my asking, offers permanent remote work, but I don't think I'm a good fit for the role. It's an automation testing role that uses technologies I'm familiar with but have never used within the scope of testing.

Company 2 has no budget for my asking, so they tried to encourage me by sharing their benefits. I was a bit hopeful about this company because the Jobstreet and Glassdoor reviews are good, and they're listed in Great Place to Work PH so those count for something right? But again, I don't think I'm a good fit because they wanted an automation tester with experience on Selenium and Cucumber so I'm definitely not the person they're looking for. Their max budget for the role is pretty much my current basic pay already so I decided not to pursue. The benefits are okay but not stellar compared to what I'm currently enjoying.

Company 3 is also a no-go. The position looks promising, very relevant to what I'm currently doing. The tools and technologies match, my years of experience check out, and it's a big company with a big infrastructure so it excited me how much I could learn from developing in such a scaled up environment. However, as much as I felt the fit, they couldn't possibly meet me at my asking price. Their budget is way below my current salary. And my asking, according to the HR is already on the executive level lol.

So yeah, after the call HR formally told me they'll keep me in the pool but would not pursue with my application. We talked for over 30 minutes, starting with a long primer on the history of the company, it's partners, subsidiaries, and parent conglomerate. It's actually the same company I worked with 10 years ago as a fresh grad haha, and back then the HR didn't give me this intro lol so I actually learned a lot haha.

It's kinda sad that none of the interviews worked out for me. It made me wonder if I'm actually overpaid or I'm just looking at the wrong companies lol. Actually no I'm not overpaid, some companies - specially local ones - just don't have the budget haha. Also, as my husband says, "better overpaid than underpaid".

It also gave me an insight at how blessed I am with the firm. In 5 years my pay has increased by 56% so I'm still on track as far as my personal standards go. My workload is manageable, my teammates are all great to work with, my manager is cool, and my office friends are a delight. I've become so comfortable I don't wanna leave. Also I don't wanna lose the iphone plan I literally can't afford it haha.

Okay that said I think I'm gonna give RTO a chance. Still actively responding to promising opportunities though, specially overseas ones!


✱ YouTube payout

Good news! I just got my second YouTube payout! I'm saying it's YouTube but it's actually Google Adsense so that's a combination of my blog and vlog earnings. The income ratio being 25% blog and 75% vlog so yeah it's mostly YouTube. I set my withdrawal threshold to $200 and I was able to reach it in six months! I know it's not that big, when I got in the Youtube Partner Program (aka monetized my channel) my first payout came nine months later. So this arriving three months early is a great thing! It means I'm still earning lol. It's fun to get paid doing stuff you enjoy no? lol

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Ah, life

For the first time in my life, I voted! May 9 was a monumental day for me. It's the first time I gave over zero fucks for this goddamned country. For a while I had hope for the Philippines. That while being less than 24 hours. Cos not even two hours after the voting period closed my heart began to sink. With every passing hour I tried to make sense of things. How is this possible? Has anyone applied Benford's law to the election results? The answer is yes and the data trend checks out. Read: PH 2022 election results analysis using Newcomb-Benford’s Law

So eventually the feeling of defeat turned into acceptance. Whatever fucks I invested during the day dwindled back to zero. Apathy. Then to a negative. Hatred. I was never proud to be a Filipino. This time I'm ashamed.

Now I'm back to usual. Lazy. Unmotivated. Didn't take a day to lose all the hope I had. Maybe because there was never much to begin with. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day.

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Samgyup with the fam with our new portable stove


I have always wanted to treat my parents to samgyup but we could never find a weekend that's not too crowded and ma-traffic. My parents are always wary of going out and as much as possible would rather dine in at home than expose themselves to the horrible Metro Manila traffic, and also people lol. And then I got a portable stove and an outdoor table and the first thing I thought was finally, we can eat samgyup at home!


It was a fine Sunday afternoon when we gathered at my parent's roofdeck. Jeckie and I brought meat for grilling. And to complete the samgyup kit we also came with some kimchi, minced garlic, and of course a bunch of lettuce!


Setting up the portable stove was very easy. It comes in a cute carrying case and also includes an English manual so you won't get lost. You may get this Gem portable stove from True Value. Don't forget to also purchase a butane gas!


Just place the butane gas in place, aligning the notch collar on the index arm. Our butane can is too big so we can't close the cover but that's fine! Press down the black lever to lock the cartridge in place. When it's firmly set turn the ignition knob all the way down to Max, then turn it a bit more till you hear a click. The burner should ignite automatically.


Didn't think it was so easy to set up your own samgyup at home if you have a portable stove with you!
 


Get the stove along with this Lifetime table that's adjustable and extremely portable and you've got yourself an easy to setup dining set that you can take with you anywhere you want. It fits just right at the trunk of our car and even the backseat. This portable Lifetime table is also available at True Value. I couldn't be happier about this table cos it's so multipurpose and compact, I can use it to work and just stow it away when not needed.




Needless to say we had loads of fun eating together this way. It was a welcome change dining in an indoor-outdoor space under the bright sun in a cool afternoon. It was worth hauling a bunch of things up two flights of stairs haha!


Already excited for our next picnic!

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Life lately: bye Bob, new office, and our dismal Eton stay


I'm usually very lazy at work but last week I achieved peak laziness cos I was just looking forward to the very long weekend. We didn't have anything planned aside from visiting our parents. But of course things inevitably come up when you have so much free time so we finally had the car washed after a long time, sold off Bob, met with the Chancos, and checked in at a hotel in anticipation of the scheduled power outage in our condo.

Here's my latest Weekly Monotony...



Bye Bob


Jeckie bought this training dummy two years ago and sold it off for less than half the price. After he went back to the gym it's not being used much anymore. I was initially against getting this in the first place cos it's fucking expensive but it's his money and we (kinda) have space for it so whatever. I also wanted a punching bag but I'm fine with the standing hotdog types. This Bob is too big and bulky. Thanks for the memories though! Off you go to someone who can hurt you more! :D

First day at our new office!
Our condo announced a tower-wide power interruption from 9am to 5pm on Monday so I took it as a chance to finally check out our new office and setup my things in hopes of maybe getting a bit of my mojo back lol.

Our new office is beautiful. 


It almost looks like I'm in a different country with that view. Like downtown Minnesota lol. But as much as I love the new vibe, it's not enough to make me wanna come here regularly.

All I know is that I don't want to go back to the office; for two reasons:

First and foremost, the terrible commute. Normally (pre-pandemic) I only take one ride to and from work. Now I don't have that option anymore. Because they moved the bus stops, what used to be a 350m walk to the nearest stop is now a 1.6km pilgrimage to an MRT station. Not walking distance considering my short legs and sweaty genes. Besides the bus stops getting a lot farther, the buses that usually get me to work are now ALL GONE. There are no more LRT-Ayala-Leveriza buses plying EDSA from the North. So taking the bus is off the list. Well, I could walk to MRT Boni, get off at Buendia station, take a jeepney, then walk to the office. But that's one very exhausting option that's well beyond the kind of suffering I'm willing to subject myself to. Plus, its not available all day round. By the time I get off of work, the only available mode of transportation is a cab.

So what now? The only option I'm considering is taking a cab/Grab to and from work. Not very economical. Plus, it's not always easy to get a ride!


Next reason why I don't want to go back to the office: Our 60-40 hybrid work situation means I have to maintain two workstations now. One at the office and one at home. And because I've gotten used to my current setup I kinda want my office setup to be the same. That means I must have a wireless mechanical keyboard (very specific with this), wireless mouse, laptop stand, chargers, etc. Just because I don't wanna keep bringing them with me in case I wanna work elsewhere. I picked up a lot of kaartehan in the two years I worked at home that I'm not willing to let go lol. I have very specific workstation needs now. I mean I could just work 5 days in the office to avoid having to maintain multiple setups, but do I really want that? Specially when there's an option not to? Hahaha I'm kinda conflicted about this actually. On one hand, I don't wanna keep bringing a laptop to work cos it's risky and I have to bring a bigger bag, you know the hassle. On the other, I want the flexibility of working at home specially when there's not much going on at work. 


With the thought of mandatory RTO looming ever so closely, I had to weigh my options. Is it worth it coming back to the office, what with the terrible state of our public transpo? Or should I look out for remote jobs and leave? Oooor look out, figure out my market value, and use that to gain leverage at the firm? lol Maybe I can demand for a permanent wfh setup and ofc a pay raise? Ugh. I don't know.

Although to be honest, I don't think I'm strong enough to get an offer at this point. I'm not confident with any of the skills I've put in my CV, and I kinda feel stuck at the intermediate level with regards to the technologies I use in my line of work. At this point, as a senior, I should have advanced knowledge on something right? But alas, I feel lost, career wise. Oh well.

I've submitted applications to nearby companies lol, hope they notice. At best, I'll get a new job that's walking distance from home. At worst, I get to keep a job that offers great benefits, has a light to moderate workload, and pays me 6-digits. Nothing to lose no? So I'll just keep passing resumes lol. Got an opening? If I can't get somewhere within walking distance, maybe I can try getting out of this country.

Eton Mini Suites

Before I forget, we checked in at Eton Mini Suites for two nights because of the power interruption at our place. What can I say, it's probably the worst hotel we've stayed at.


The rooms are tiny but they're neat alright, the people are polite and hospitable. But the amenities are subpar.

❌ There's only one TV remote (Cignal) so we can't control the TV itself in case we wanna attach our HDDs. Hassle naman to fumble through the buttons under the sceen so nevermind lol. 
❌ Also I hit the TV a whopping 5 times during our stay because it's in the way. I told you, the room is tiny. TV is mounted on one side of the wall and even in its least obtrusive position it's still a darned obstacle.
❌ Parking is hella confusing. Good thing it's not Jec's first time in this building. Actually their office is just right behind so he has tried parking at Eton before
❌Wifi is limited to 2 devices only, which is the first 2 gadgets you connect. If you wanna connect another one, you can't just disconnect another to free up a slot. You have to call front desk to reset your wifi device list. At minimum we have three devices with us (2 phones and an ipad). Sometimes we bring a laptop to work pa so good luck with that. Good thing I have data. 
❌ Also, wifi is slow. 5mbps tops. Smart 5G has good reception in the room though. I'm getting 200mbps+ which is great. I mean I can see the Smart building from our room haha there's probably a nearby tower too.
❌ The walls are freakishly thin. I could hear our neighbor playing music and talking. I didn't complain about them, cos they're not even noisy they're just plain talking to each other and yet I can fucking hear them! Oh wall.


❌ The worst part really is the shower. It freaking leaks. You have to face the showerhead a certain way to avoid water from spilling out into the room because the shower door has gaps. I've reported this and housekeeping acknowledged that it's been a known issue. Not much they can do about it except provide us with extra rugs and mop the floor. I wonder when Eton is planning to fix this at all.


Stuff I'm neutral about...

🔘 There's nowhere to put our things so I had to request for a desk and chair
🔘 There's no water kettle and hair dryer, had to request for those too
🔘 There's no restaurant or in-room dining

Stuff I'm okay about...

✔️ The people are nice and hospitable. As expected.
✔️ AC gets cold naman haha
✔️ Bed and pillows are okay
✔️ Location is great but honestly just go check-in elsewhere hehe

I couldn't find any reason to recommend it. The obvious lack in square footage they could've made up for room features but meh. We're not really fuming mad about this experience because we had low expecations. And they were met can you believe it haha.


Look, we're still happy despite our lackluster stay. It can only get better from here right?

Happy Weekend!

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😞

My throat has been hurting for almost three days now. I think I must've overloaded on sweets last week. I was afraid it might turn to covid (again) but thankfully, I haven't gotten the rest of the symptoms. Just this one heck of a pain in the neck. And it doesn't seem to be getting better. I've been downing a lot of water, consquently peeing a lot. Been spraying Kamillosan, and now swtiched to Difflam cos it's more targetted and has a numbing effect. I've also avoided eating anything sweet! And yet, every time I wake up my left tonsil stings like hell. Urgh. Hope it's nothing serious.


Been feeling down lately because I haven't been to the gym in almost two weeks now because of my knee injury. So yeah, I haven't worked out at all and it sucks. I feel heavy and ugly and fat, and somehow my cravings are back huhu. So this is how it feels to withdraw from a habit that's been working for you so well. I can't believe I'm saying this but I love going to the gym. I love getting wasted in sweat. I love the changes that I'm seeing in myself, the strength I'm gaining from each workout, the clothes that are starting to fit. The scale hasn't budged significantly but I'm feeling lighter, stronger, and better every day ever since I started working out regularly. I can't wait to be back but I'm also afraid to get injured again. Huhu.

Earlier this afternoon I went to follow-up with an ortho who advised me to get physical therapy sessions. After that I don't know anymore. I think it's gonna take over a month to fully recover and regain my footing. Right now I couldn't run or jump. Thankfully I could walk properly now so I was able to return the crutches I borrowed from the neighbor, but I still can't walk for lengths or stand for long.

Hay. Been struggling spiritually as well. Struggling in a sense that I think I've lost it completely, and I feel like I don't want it back. Don't need it back. Cos somehow I may just be keeping it for the sake of having it, but deep inside I know I'm hollow. Do I let faith fill this gaping hole? Or should I seek something more tangible like knowledge and confirmation and evidence of what's real? I'm not even that plagued about the lack of truth in my life. I don't know where to begin. Maybe I don't even want to begin.

lol


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[A Raving Review] Staycation at The Peninsula Manila

I think we just had one of our best hotel staycations ever. 


Booked two nights at The Peninsula Manila hotel (or Manila Pen) to celebrate my husband's 30th birthday. Originally we just wanted to try out their Beef Wellington, then we decided to indulge with two nights because... I don't really know hehe guess we just wanted to enjoy the place more.

Watch: [Room Tour] The Peninsula Manila - Deluxe King, Amenities, The Lobby's Beef Wellington




The Lobby

It's not my first time to stay at Manila Pen, I remember having a girls night out here with my cousins three years ago. The hotel didn't have much impact to me then, despite their gorgeous lobby, cos for the most part we were nine girls nervously waiting for our rooms. We only booked two rooms and we can't get caught "overbooking" lol. Is there actually a rule about this? XD

Now that we got to really check the place out, I must say, it's really one of the best hotels in the metro. And what set them apart for me is not the grand lobby, nor the impeccably clean and spacious rooms, not even the delicious food at The Lobby. You know what placed them a notch higher than other 5-star hotels we've tried? It's the level of hospitality. 

They don't just listen to you, they relate. I asked if they allow pets at the lobby, and besides the answer no haha, I also learned the person I'm talking to has a pet. The F&B coordinator who came to check on us while having dinner seemed very pleased that we're enjoying our food, actively engaging with us about the menu. And the security who led me to front desk when we got locked out on our second night, even accompanied us back to our room to make sure that the locks are fine and not just low in battery. Even checking out was a delightful experience cos nakakahawa yung energy nung nasa front desk? hahaha

It's the small things that really make a difference. You get tired of the niceties after a while but knowing that they'll go the extra mile to cater to you is something you don't get to see that often within their range of hotels.

Deluxe King Room


We got a Deluxe King room which has a nice view of Ayala Triangle Gardens. I could even see our new office building from the window, which isn't a very good sight hahaha. I didn't expect to like this room that much. The walls are all white, something I'm not used to in hotels. Usually they're beige and warm and textured so this was different. It's got a modern Filipino touch to it, mostly white, with dark wooden furniture, and streaks of blue. Interesting!


We loved the bathroom. The bathtub is bigger that it seems, the water pressure is perfect and the hot water is scalding... which is a good thing haha of course you have to temper it but I love how we're able to easily setup a relaxing hot bath.


The highlight of our stay is really the Beef Wellington at The Lobby. We ordered this at least two days in advance, and it was very well worth our penny. It came with Red Wine Jus for the sauce and Potato Gratin on the side. It's our first time to experience steak and potatoes this way and my goodness we're definitely ordering this again. Looks at bit meager on the plate but the weight on the tummy is gravid. Took a while to realize that it's indeed a very dense meal, with steak that thick and a pastry shell covering its entirely, it's one you definitely can't take lightly.

And that's pretty much it! I have no complaints. We didn't get breakfast cos it's too early for us. Booked through Agoda for around ₱9k/night. The Beef Wellington costs around ₱4.8k which serves 2-3 people. Check out my Youtube video for a hotel tour. 

Hope to be back! ♥
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How to Prepare for a Staycation

 
Photo Credit


So what exactly is a Staycation? A staycation is a vacation where you take time off from your normal routine and spend it at home. You might be staying with family or friends, or you may be staying at a hotel or Airbnb. There are many reasons why people opt for a staycation instead of taking their usual vacations.


It’s a great way to focus on slower travel which is proven to be far more sustainable, in the long run, this could be a lot cheaper (as staycations tend to be off-season), and there isn’t the stress of having to execute a big trip. In general the new normal has staycations and it’s something that plenty of people are loving. If you’re interested in creating your own staycation then these tips will help you out.

Why are staycations becoming so popular?

Staycations give people a chance to recharge and rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul. While regular fast travel can do this, it tends to be stressful as well. Slow travel is all about taking things in, taking in your surroundings, environment, culture, and everything else. It’s all about traveling but at a much slower pace.

How to prepare for your staycation

The first step is to make sure you have enough time for yourself before you start your staycation. It's important because it will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed with tasks or responsibilities when you're on vacation. If possible, try to do this at the end of the week so that there are fewer distractions during the weekend.

When it comes to preparing for travel, it can get pretty overwhelming and hectic as you’re having to plan, pack the essentials like some dog urns, food, toiletries, and anything else that could be considered a major essential. Depending on how long your staycation is and where you’re at, you may not need to worry about overpacking.

Choosing the right destination for your staycation

If you are going to plan a staycation, you should make sure that it is worth your time and money. You should also make sure that you are not going to be bored on your trip. There are many ways of choosing a destination for your staycation. You can choose from popular destinations or some lesser-known ones depending on what you want to experience during your trip and how much money you can afford to spend. 

But it’s also going to help narrow it down depending on the season you’re going. If you’re going on a staycation during the summer then it may be best to go off the beaten track to somewhere less known. This way, you’re saving money, avoiding crowds, and your staycation will be a lot calmer as well.

Taking time off from your daily routine is important to ensure that you are able to make the most of your work and personal life. While a lot of people tend to think of taking time off as a luxury, it can actually be seen as an investment. When you take time off, you are freeing up your mind and body so that they can rest and heal. This allows productivity to increase over the course of the week. Staycations are the best time to get out of your routine of what you do every day. This new environment and new pace in your life can truly help you with feeling recharged. 


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