Showing posts with label Story of My Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Story of My Life. Show all posts

I swear. Jan and I never ever thought that one day we would be called landlords. 

We think it's a title only given to the asset rich, cash rich. Since we are neither, becoming a landlord has never really sunk in even though it has been seven months since we had our first and brand new house rented out.

Don't get it wrong. Unlike true landlords, we do not earn from it. The rent goes straight to the housing loan that we will be paying for at least two decades. But since it is highly unlikely for us to live there for now, the renters will be paying the mortgage for us.

Good move, 'di ba?

May 2021. This was last time we visited this place to check that everything is ready for the new occupant.
I kind of miss this house, honestly.

A few months ago, I joined a private Facebook group made for landlords all over the city who discuss everything rent related. The topics go from tips and guides to rates to management to the legalities to experiences. And it was only yesterday when I found myself browsing through posts and reading the comments about the horrors of having tenants too horrible for words.

There are tenants who demand for more than what they pay for. Tenants who steal. Tenants who trash the place. Tenants who bother neighbors or those who constantly squabble with other tenants. Then there are those who habitually pay late, those who do not pay and refuse to leave, and those who do not pay and leave without notice. And worse, there are those who do illegal activities.

English precis: Tenant rents a house, turns it into a laundry shop,
then leaves the house leaving behind a hefty amount of unpaid bills (probably 4x the rental fee).
WTF, right?

All this time, I thought that becoming a landlord is an easy way to make money where you can just watch the rent checks roll in. Now I understand why most landlords are stricter with their terms. Beyond committing to the upkeep, one must be psychologically, mentally, and emotionally ready to deal with tenants regardless of behavior.

So far, the worst experience we had was when we kept the unit on hold for someone who then changed their minds two weeks later, without even bothering to see the actual unit first. I know it's their right. But they could have at least shown courtesy by informing us that they're backing out. A lot of time was obviously wasted and we have turned down a number of potential, probably better renters then. 

We were told that given the demand, we should have done it on a first-pay, first-served basis or at least limit the reservation to only three days tops. 

We were clueless amateurs, I know.

But we let it pass knowing there are others who were seriously interested. The house was new and desirable (tiled, with grills, with space for a carport, near a mall, located in a flood-free area, and situated in a good community), so it's no surprise that it was immediately occupied. 

Our current tenants are far from a landlord's worst nightmares. Thank goodness we were not wrong about them after evaluating their decency level basing merely on how they chat and their outward charms after meeting them twice. Haha. 

Although I am confident that they will do just fine, I still have the urge to visit the house. Not that we would come unannounced and bother them. Pero yung padaan-daan lang to check if the house is still intact. Haha. 😅 But of course, we're not doing that.

Anyway, after an hour of scrolling through those landlord-tenant stories, I realized how tenant-centric our Rental Agreement is. We are quite lenient and considerate with our terms and conditions. We are also not too strict about due dates—which I hope will not be abused. Thankfully, our tenants have not been late with their payments yet. 

As new "landlords", Jan and I still have a lot to learn. And we'd probably start embracing the fact that we could experience a horrible tenant one day. But I oh-so hope we won't because it will either teach us become better at dealing with such or it could turn us into one of those tough meanie, awful, and inconsiderate landlords the tenants warn you about.

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I think I have already done all kinds of haircuts and styles. Pixie, bob, short, medium, long, wavy, curly, side-swept bangs, curtain bangs, blunt bangs, corncrows, name it. But the most liberating of all is this:

No regrets.

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Warning: Too much information. Skip if you're easily offended or grossed out.


When Jan and I married, we had everything planned out. Since we’re not getting any younger, we wanted to get pregnant immediately. Oh how naive we were despite being in our mid-30s.

We had sex. Lots of it. We did it every day, every other day, in different positions, name it. We followed a strict schedule. And would you believe that I even did all sorts of ridiculous acrobatics that would increase my chance of getting a positive like raising my legs and hips after love making? Yes, it's as if I haven't studied Nursing.

It was also then when I regularly tracked my cycle. We bought a lot of pregnancy tests (PT). The good news is, we had sex all the time. The bad news, I wasn't getting pregnant. I even tested on days when I see a pre-menstrual spotting in hopes that it was just an implantation bleeding. It was downright frustrating. The disappointment of negative test after another is something I never thought would be so crushing.

I did it ten years ago. So I thought that it is going to be easy for me to get pregnant again. My periods came regularly. Jan and I are neither malnourished nor overweight. We had no reason to think it would not work right off the bat.

We were already five months into the journey when we both started to feel something wasn't right. I was secretly jealous of people who made conceiving look easy. And even without telling me, I knew Jan was having doubts about his manhood. It did not help that people are constantly asking when are we going to have a baby. Kesyo sayang ang mga lahi namin. Di na kami bata. Malapit na kami umabot sa finish line. Stop! Just stop. We know that. We are desperately trying, but you don't know that.

Then it started to wear on us. To save our sex life from becoming a chore, we decided to simply just stop trying so hard. So eff it! We'll make love when we want to. Doesn't matter now if we get pregnant or not. Good if we do, we'll travel the world if we don't.


So things went back to normal. Sex became more enjoyable again. But we haven't totally given up on the journey yet. I continued taking folic acid. We both slept well, gave up on caffeine (yes, no coke and milk tea for me), took vitamins, ate the right food, and became physically active again.

I felt good about myself. I did not mind any question asking for any bun-in-the-oven updates.

I believe the drastic change in our lifestyle helped in this journey a lot. I know a lot of people who had been blessed with a little miracle after trying to conceive for years when they started not just a healthy diet but also an active lifestyle. I'm no expert at this, but for those who have no issues and have been and are still trying, you might want to give working out a try.


Since our goals shifted from trying to conceive to just enjoying what we currently have, I did things that would make the endorphins and adrenaline regularly kick in. I ran miles, danced my heart out, and plotted itineraries for our incoming travels.

Then I started to feel unusually tired. I'd take 2-hour naps twice in a day even when I had a full 8-hour sleep at night. And as cliche as it sounds, I was terribly craving for green mangoes. That's when I had a hunch. I wasn't too hopeful but tested anyway since I still have one remaining pregnancy test lying around. And with wide, unbelieving eyes, I ran to Jan and showed him the stick with two fat lines.

We were overjoyed. And that is an understatement.


I know every trying-to-conceive story is different. Ours still fall on the average but even so, it was already frustrating and painful that I would not wish it to my worst enemy. I could not imagine the struggle and pain of those who have been trying for years! That's why I want share our trying-to-conceive journey because it is something we avoid talking about. But I hope this post finds its way to more people and would stop being insensitive about it.

So please, stop asking when are we going to have a baby because we are sick of telling you well-rehearsed lies like we have other priorities when deep inside we badly want to.

Stop asking when are we going to have a baby because even when your concerns mean well, it makes us feel inadequate and it inevitably makes us feel less of a person.

Stop asking when are we going to have a baby because you have no idea how physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting the journey is.

Stop asking when are we going to have a baby because you have to understand that not everyone can do it. And popping that question is akin to stepping on an emotional landmine. You just don't know how much it hurts when we think—much more when we talk—about it.

Stop asking when are we going to have a baby because it is none of your business anyway.

So if you have the urge to pop that question, JUST DON'T ASK. Period.

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There was a time when a fellow blogger walked up to me and said, "I read your blog and I look up to you, Ate Sar." (non-verbatim)

WHOAH! WHOAH! WHOAH! HOLD IT RIGHT THERE, YOUNG BUDDY! Because you don't know what you're talking about. But, thank you!

It's not the first time I heard someone say that but it never really sank in me because I honestly still think of myself as a misfit. Not worthy of being an inspiration or an "idol". I suck as a blogger and an adult too.

All this time, I thought that people who read my blog will see me as an internet drama queen who whines about working too hard but is lazy as fuck, or someone who constantly complains about being broke and still eats at Japanese restos every week.

I don't remember the last time I posted something beautiful or helpful. I only blog about the most trivial and uninteresting things in my life. I also rant, but in the most subtle, often (slightly) funny way, with an occasional use of strong language.

I think people see a different Sarah whenever they read this blog. But here's the thing, if you meet me in person and expect me to utter "shit" and "fuck" like how I do it here because I'm supposedly pissed off at the littlest things, then you're going to be disappointed.
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And a graphic designer at that?

Well, honestly, I've never been under the spotlight for being color blind. Or maybe I am just lucky not to be surrounded with scumbags who point at random objects and ask me what color that thing is the moment I tell them I am color blind.

It was back in college when I found out about it after taking an Ishihara test during one of our lessons in Anatomy and Physiology. I'd usually answer a random number in frustration because I cannot see what my classmates can. Apparently, I was the only one in our class with that defect.
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I am an average looking gal. Most of the time, I look like I just rolled and fell from my bed.
image via Imgur
On occasions, I look human. And even though I do not pass as drop-dead gorgeous, I'm not completely unfortunate looking for I've been told more often than not that I look like (insert pretty celebrity name here). While I may not see the resemblance, such words can certainly make my day.

I would usually say "thank you", but I just don't remember if the exact words were able to make it out of my mouth.
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This morning, just like every morning, I woke up earlier than my alarm feeling groggy. And to make things worse, I hit the corner of my bedside bookshelf with my head. I could have gone dramatic over a small, assumed-concussion like what I always do when my hormones go on a monthly overdrive and tell Jan my last goodbyes in case I didn't make it out of bed.
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I've had three boyfriends in my life and not one of them has ever courted me.

I don't play hard to get. If I like I guy who likes me too, it wouldn't take long before I commit.

I was 14 when I had my first boyfriend. He was my close friend and our relationship was born out of a deal. "Let's play a game. Kapag nanalo ako, tayo na". Parang ganun. It was nothing really serious. We were still too young and scared. Konting kilig dito, holding hands doon. Ganun lang.
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When people ask me about my current job, I tell them one thing. When asked about what my college course was, I tell them another. And then everybody would give me a second look in awe or most likely in utter disbelief and blurts out, "As in?! Ang layo!"  Kung sa Bisaya pa, "atik?! layua ui!"

I participated in a survey from students who are conducting a study about people who changed career paths after graduating in college. I thought of posting it online because it just might inspire other people who figured out their college course isn't all they want after graduating. So here goes.

And oh, what you will read below are not the exact words I wrote on the questionnaire.
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I used to be confident with my body. Back in college, I can wear whatever the hell I want. But of course, that doesn't mean I would go around in skimpy clothes. My wardrobe is still limited to jeans, shirt, and sneakers. But I can also pull off a bikini because, well, I had the body.

I was blessed with a great pair of boobies. I always get complimented for my even-toned morena skin despite living in a country where Snow White defined beauty. And yes, I will not deny that I have this beautiful mala-Aubrey Miles face (or at least, that's what most people think). Seriously.
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While some people are exceptionally lucky to always win raffle draws, I am perpetually the opposite. Perhaps I'd be struck by a lightning a hundred times before I even get a chance to win a scratch off lottery game.

But then again, I am still lucky. Just in a different way.

Several days ago, I won a nationwide Blog Writing Contest from AirAsia Philippines. And this isn't the first time I've won a contest. I've won several quiz bees, Math challenges (I detest Math, though), extemporaneous speeches, sports (MVP and Best Goalkeeper), and poster-making contests during my prime childhood and teenage years. I've won quite a few international logo and web design contests, too. And in the recent years, I've bagged some nationwide and local blog awards.

Yes, it does sound like I am blowing my own horn here because I am indeed blowing my own horn. And I am not ashamed to admit that. But what I'm only trying to say is, I've never won a contest I didn't work hard for.

And this is how my luck comes in.
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I was not born with a silver spoon.

In fact, I wasn't born with any spoon at all. I remember being poor. But I don't remember how it feels like to be poor, I just remember being loved. Looking back to where we came from, I grew up with hand-me-downs and that being treated with a slice of pizza would already mean the best day ever.

We also didn't have a house of our own, so it's no surprise that we moved quite a lot. From one church parsonage to another to the squatters area in Claveria to the shady slums of Piapi Boulevard to the outskirts of Puan, it's not a wonder living in those dog eat dog communities that I developed this astig (badass) personality. However, I was raised well. My dad worked two jobs, he's a church pastor and also a government employee. My mom, a public school teacher, who had to work to a far-flung area also sold ice candies and yemas for extra. We definitely had tough times. We almost had nothing but like I said, we have LOVE.
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How to be u po?

That's one of the comments I often receive whenever I post something on Facebook or sometimes here on my blog. I'm not a celebrity or something. But I believe every blogger who has a decent amount of followers has certainly experienced the same.

Not that I think our readers and followers worship our curated and seasoned lives on social media. But then, I think it's fun to answer that infamous question once and for all.

How to be me nga ba?  Here are 39 ways:
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I never really look forward to my birthdays. My 20s isn't all that awesome and isn't really my favorite decade. Climbing the hills of my 30s isn't that glorious either. At least, that's what the internet told me.

My face has been slammed with those "30 Awesome Things to Do When You Are 30", or "You'll Regret It If You Haven't Done These 30 Things Before 30", or "10 Life Lessons People Should Learn Before They Turn 30", or "10 Things Successful People Do By Age 30" yadda yadda. I never really read the entirety of such listicles because my attention span extends only up to 3 list items and the rest would already sound gibberish knowing I have miserably failed.

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If it wasn't for the review I made, I would not have blogged anything for almost two weeks. And so I start to think, in the name off all that is holy, haven't you done anything that is interesting, Sarah?

Actually, a lot happened. But I can only think of it as something worth shrugging or eye-rolling. Or something that's only twitter-worthy for it can only be summed up into less than 160 characters like, "Yay! It's the first time I voted. Just look at my blue fiiiiiinger!" or "Just saw someone took a Bacardi 151 shot. Reaction? Priceless. And now I'm curious because it feels like I missed something surreal", or "Ian Somerhalder just replied to my tweet! Best day ever!"

Okay, I made the last one up. Although I would have loved being that fangirl, but my twitter account is pathetic and I could not even remember the password. But anyway, on a Saturday when all the chores are done and my cat refuses to bath, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and might as well humiliate myself just to stir something interesting. Or not. Please don't judge.
When I was 5 or 6 and some time when I was 18 - 20
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My second name was derived from my birth month. So if I were born a boy, I would most likely be named June. And perhaps will be given a nickname Jun-jun. Which would make me cringe the same way I cringe when I think about the fact that some people still call me Jane-jane. Ugh.

I have always wondered, what would it be like if I were, indeed, Jun-jun? Just a few weeks ago, I found this beard and mustache toy scattered around the house, so I tried it on just for the heck of it. Add a bonnet and tsaraaaaan!

Presenting, Jun-jun:
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It's August. Cheeses, where did time go?!

I have made it more than halfway through 2015 and thought it would be good to see how I'm doing. I know it's still early to say this but so far 2015 turned out quite well. Although turning 30 this year didn't seem to have a really big impact in my life like how I expected it should be. Perhaps I am still having a hard time realizing that I've lived three decades already because deep inside, I still feel like I'm in my early twenties or maybe even younger. But of course, for 30 years, I've seen how life can sometimes be sneaky in delivering valuable lessons right in front of me. And there were those times that I just wish I had known them sooner in life. Just like...
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I am 30 today. And since I've already given myself a treat on the last few hours of the decade that has been my twenties, I decided to stay home, sit in silence and savor the moment being in complete solitude.

If there's one thing I've given myself valuable for my birthday, it is this solitude. Yes, I am used to being alone. But those moments were never profound. I never had this chance of having a complete possession of my own thoughts, my feelings, my senses, and my soul.
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Hello Sarah,

I'm sorry to interrupt the Chip War, I know things are getting pretty intense right there but this is something you need to know asap. Besides, the Accretians are probably going to win again anyway. So I hope you don't mind if I ask you take a back seat from RF Online for awhile and listen to what I am going say.

Do you recognize me? Probably not with the curly hair I'm sporting on. I've added an extra weight too. Well, just a little bit. Before you freak out and accuse me being a stalker, relax. It's just me, your future self. I'm writing this while I am taking a break at the office as I enjoy the beautiful view of the sea on my right. Yes, you've read that right. I'm working in an office doing stuff that has something to do with pixels and points, HTML5/CSS3, UI/UX, iOS and Android - things you apparently don't understand right now. You might be confused, but soon you'll find out why and how I ended up here.
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I remember the time when my friend Anne and I went on a ride to Jack's Ridge when I jokingly asked her to give me that cute little tin box from her car's dashboard drawer to which she was hesitant at first and told me she'd give me the Bible instead. I replied, we have a lot of that at home in different versions and translations as a matter of fact. Then she started asking me questions about the Bible to which I promptly and precisely answered. We discussed the Bible to the point that you can tell how much I know so much about the Bible. I even told her I read the whole book of Revelations, which is my favorite book of all.

She gave me that look of utter disbelief. Well, I couldn't blame her. I am known for being stubborn and mischievous, and being someone who have read the Bible is too far from how they've known me. Don't get me wrong, I just know the Bible - the same way I know my Science lessons. So, it's not what you think it is. I don't mean to offend anyone, but I'm not a devotee, a religious freak or something. But what shocked her the most was when I told her I am a Pastor's Kid (PK).

"PK ka pala? Really?!"

"Oo. Hindi pa ako pinanganak, pastor na papa ko."

"As in?"

"As in."

"Sure ka bai?"

"O, lagi!"

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