It was twelve years ago when I pushed a giant papaya out of my lady parts. And fifteen months ago, I did the same thing. I wish I could say that having a baby at 24 isn't all that different from doing it at 35. But nope. I sneezed my first born out. The second one, however, felt like those exaggerated, nowhere near accurate depictions of labor and childbirth in movies. Except, it was real albeit there was no moaning, screaming, or howling on my part. My doctor had to break my water because my labor was not progressing and a few hours later, I was still stuck at 6cm.

It was excruciating. 

And that's coming from someone whose pain tolerance is considered at a dangerous level. You know how many times I brushed off pain only to find out later that it was a more serious injury? Like how a whole durian fell approximately 4ft. from the truck to my arm, ignored it like it was nothing because I was worried about the durian that I already paid for when it rolled from my arm to the canal. I didn't know I was bleeding until a friend pointed it out. Instead of crying "ouch", my initial reaction was, "uy, akong durian!" Yes, I had my priorities sorted out.

This probably stemmed from being born a walking disaster that I got exposed to physical pain at an early age. I have ran full speed into walls, dislocated (probably broken) a few bones here and there, and had deep cuts without flinching or tearing up. If anything, it was the earful, what-have-you-gotten-yourself-into-this-time scolding of my mom that scared me more.

But back to where we were...

I got over that horrifying 17-hour labor without epidural. Of course, it goes without saying that the child is going to hear this story for the rest of his life and I declared I am never having another baby ever again.

But here we are. 24 weeks in and still willing to go through all that labor pain after all. Plus, pregnancy when you are nearing 40 comes with a lot of risks. I do pray that everything will go smoothly and safely though—for I am excited. Really. Because after two boys, we are finally having a girl! Yes, quota na ako.

Anyway.

I am running on autopilot. I refused to believe that mom brain is real until recently when I squeezed lotion on my toothbrush... twice (it was on the second time when I learned what a lotion tastes like). I always find myself pouring water into a glass, leave it on the kitchen table, and never drink it. I oftentimes ask the husband the same question at least three times in less than five minutes. I have an extensive vocabulary but I was reduced to someone who fails to retrieve simple terms on the tip of the tongue. If my recent posts came out incomprehensible, now you know why.

I already gave birth twice. And even though I had few lutang and sabaw episodes, it was only in this pregnancy when I noticed that my brain went AWOL big time. Legend has it that I will have it back one day. Someday. When all three children are old enough to pay their taxes, I guess.

18 weeks (2009, 2020, 2021)


 

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I take pride in my DIY skills

I was born creative. But if we're going to be honest here, I only do it because I am cheap practical. If I can do something with what's available, I will do it if it means saving more money for better things like books I don't get to read.

I don't go great lengths though. I know little of carpentry and nothing of plumbing, robotics, pottery, nor baking—if that's what you're thinking. But I do love crafting. I'm good at repurposing broken and useless household items to even more useless stuff.  

I DIYed almost everything in our wedding—invitation, welcome board, giveaways, cake topper, ring holder, and guest book. All costumes in all the themed parties I have attended, Rhett's school event costumes, and even few of the household items that we still use are DIYed too. I mostly craft things that look pretty and cute.

But I have never created one that's used for the halloween. And I have to make one for Jan's virtual halloween party with workmates. No chance of throwing in one of my totally believable excuses to not do it after deliberately forgetting to checkout the wolf hat that he initially planned to wear because I was reluctant to spend his own money for a single-use item. 

Like, duh? Dude, we do not go half-assed by doing things that are not well thought out here. 

The event is happening in less than 24 hours and all I have are scratch papers, an old cardboard, a pair of scissors, and a bottle of glue that seem to have dried out. 

Since it is a virtual party, a full-body costume, while encouraged, is not necessary. Albeit we could have gone extra and pulled off a Hannibal Lecter. But right now, this is the best I can come up with:

This "mask" and a green screen that is actually orange. 
It's not perfect yet. I still have to poke holes for the eyes on it. And Jan's probably going to wear white or orange to blend with the background. But this is how it's going to look on Zoom.

It is not creative creative and it did not take a lot of effort to make. But obviously, this warrants a blog post because it is brilliant. We'd probably win the scariest costume award, if there will be one.

We have been experiencing internet losses for five days straight. Other than disagreeing with your wife, this is the scariest thing that is happening wherever you are in the world. Our mood, mental health, jobs, relationships, and subpar lives depend heavily on the internet. And I know everyone agrees with me, right? Right.

Yes.



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I remember reading a friend's post on Facebook that said he will never ride the jeepney ever again. Another also shared about his first jeepney ride after so many years like it's a lifetime achievement or something. Knowing that they're not even someone you can consider rich, I was so quick to silently judge them for being maarte and hambog

You see, I grew up riding the public transpo. I have been commuting daily since I started kindergarten and I am well-aware how poor the public transportation system in our country is. DIRTY. CROWDED. HOT. Not to mention, it can also be DANGEROUS knowing how public transpo drivers can be ruthless and aggressive. You have to watch out for perverts and pickpockets, too. 

But as dreadful as it may sound, such things never really bothered me. 

Well, I didn't have a choice.

Until I first started driving our own car more than three years ago. I instantly fell in love with the lifestyle. How some people are nicer to you and sometimes treat you like a VIP despite dressing casually in a posh establishment. How you suddenly exude confidence to carry yourself well every where you go. Or how people become interested and strike up a conversation about your brand new car and you take pride talking about it. 

Or how you can get from point A to point B with any outfit, or lack thereof, and not be judged about it. 

But for the most part, I love how travel time is reduced significantly. For someone who is always running late, this is a life saver. I can reach my destination in 30 minutes that would take me an hour or two on a bus or a jeep (we don't have an MRT here and the poorita in me doesn't include the taxi as an option). I can go home earlier and still have a little energy left to be productive or perhaps craft pretty useless things like a butt cover for my cats. 

Ass-cessory.

The security, comfort, and convenience during rain, heavy traffic, errand runs, and emergencies just shifted my standpoint regarding public transpo, specifically jeepneys. 

I do not want to ride one ever again.

I wondered if Jan feels the same. Between the two of us, he is more experienced to the torments of riding a jeepney. People can easily give up their seats for me or I simply get lucky to fit just one butt when no one else can, while he has to fight his way in, boxing out hundreds of people who were also after that most-coveted, one and only available seat in the jeepney that comes once in a while, then only to be seated next to a stranger that reeks of booze, cigarette, and sweat. 🤮

I asked if he will still ride a jeepney again. His reply was a quick, resounding NOPE. It sounds arrogant and condescending, honestly. Especially if you hear that straight from someone who is coming from the middle class and whose car is not even a luxury. Nagkakotse lang akala mo na kung sino.

This is Bill, our 2018 Suzuki Ertiga GL (MPV).

But I understand him. I understand my friends now. And today, another friend posted about the same sentiment. She got her first car just a few months ago, said she can no longer imagine herself commuting ever again. I do not know what it's like to be riding a public transpo this time during the pandemic. But I do understand where that kaartehan is coming from.

Some time three years ago, I already gave up the idea of riding a jeepney. I mean, I still CAN but I would rather not for the reasons I mentioned above and most especially for this:


Nope. NOT GIVING THIS KIND OF FREEDOM UP.
😂😂😂



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 Okay.

This is not something that a lot of people can relate to. But in case you are wondering, this is how I got by those raging pregnancy hormones during the isolation. I've heard a few kids play this but from what I know, this game kept A LOT OF PEOPLE (mostly adults) from spiraling downward during the pandemic. It is truly a life saver.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the most expensive game I have ever bought ($60 + Nintendo Switch Online membership worth Php350/year). But with the number of hours I have played, you can tell that it is absolutely WORTH IT. If I didn't have children and a business to attend to, I would have probably spent more than 5,000 hours with it.

A few days ago, Animal Crossing just released a major update and I have never been so excited to play a tedious game my entire life.

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I often find myself reminiscing about the old days.

Those days when we get to eat out and go on spontaneous road trips every week. The time when we don't celebrate special occasions over food deliveries. The time when we conveniently fake fever to have an excuse for skipping work. Or those days when I can just hug and kiss my husband every time he comes home. Sigh.

I can't believe the Pre-covid Era was already 400 years ago.

A lot of things evolved since then—including my tolerance for things that make me cringe. Of course, when you are isolated, it's no longer a surprise how one soul can be engulfed into this strangely gratifying dark side of the internet even if it offers a ton of cringefest

Apparently, my time for the internet ballooned and this is how I see social media platforms in 2021:

Facebook: A place for everything. News, memes, marketplace, motivational quotes, horoscope that justify toxic behavior, flexing, and so on. But best of all, it brings out the inner Aling Marites in me. It is a place for parinigs to good-for-nothing spouses, keeping tabs of your friends' love lives (from dating to breakup), and for calling out cheating partners, kabits, and palautangs. Trust me, it has all the drama you will ever need.  

Instagram: For flexing, flexing, and did I say flexing?

Twitter: I don't use this app but I would visit it once in a while when an issue—mostly political—goes trending. If you are easily-offended or like to bath in toxicity, this platform's perfect for you.

YouTube: Our torture chamber. This is where Jan and I listen to songs that get perpetually stuck in our heads such as, "I like to ate ate ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays." We also binge-watch mouthwatering vlogs of Mark Wiens, Mike Chen, Sonny Side, and anyone who travels for food that leave us hungry afterwards. Other than that, it has a lot of tutorials, parodies, conspiracies, gaming streams, and screaming goats that you would probably enjoy. Or not.

TikTok: I have installed this when it exploded during the height of corona. But I only got to use it a few days ago—only to have it uninstalled a few hours later. I have seen some creative videos that I did enjoy. But I would say it's a platform mostly for people who want a brief shot at fame, doing dumb and stupid challenges for the likes, and letting out the inner slut. It's just sad to see content creators (real talented ones) who don't get the recognition they deserve here.

I do not know how many times I have said this before, but I really wish this pandemic is over. I'd really like to get out and take a breather. It's only a matter of time before you see me upload those heavily-filtered selfie videos just so I can validate my self-worth because I am running out of valuable content to share. 

Hahahahaha. Syet.

Also, those surgical face masks don't really fit me well. (T⌓T)

I might need a kiddie mask.


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I have been solo-parenting for almost a week now. 

And that's because our cat, Appa, bit Jan on his left leg. While Jan thinks the biting was an accident, I think otherwise. That cat has been plotting to kill me since day one but was miserably unsuccessful so it decided to take it on the husband who has a softer spot for animals than I do.

We have been bitten by the same cat a thousand times. So why is it suddenly a big deal? Jan's leg got infected that it rendered him useless—at a time when I needed him most. SMH. He had high fever, his entire leg got red and swollen, and he couldn't walk. Yes, it was that bad. Judging from the grimace on his face every time he moves a muscle, I could say it's another near-death experience, probably worse than his man flus. But you know what's worst? I had to get my lazy ass up and do everything. 

Okay, I lie. He still did the laundry.

Tip#328 for a lazy wife on how to let the husband do the chores without the reluctance and side comments: Try not to be good in what you do and you'll see him insisting on doing things himself. In this case, the clothes he washes look and smell cleaner than the ones I did. I am a genius, I know. You're welcome.

But still. 

I have been solo-parenting a heavily caffeinated mini dictator who turns into an adorable toddler a second before I lose my sh*t while my hormones are on crazy overdrive because another one is on the way. You see the ordeal I had to go through? Anyway, I am now thinking of fabricating a sob story so I can guilt the husband into giving me a daily massage because once he gets well, I need all the pampering and takoyaki I can get. 

If not, I'll just find ways to screw him up by asking for unreasonable pregnant wife demands. You know, just to spice things up a bit. A sineguelas during this season should do.

Had to drive Jan to to hospital in my pambahays, unkempt, and with a toddler in tow because we don't have a yaya. We had to patiently wait for a few hours outside the hospital. Good thing I was able to transform the back of the car into a makeshift playroom. I can't imagine how hard it for those who are in the same situation-when you don't have a choice but to bring a baby with you-but are taking the public transport. Damn this corona. I really hope this pandemic is over.
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I was asked to do a speech after my name was announced. I don't exactly have an affinity for speaking, let alone an impromptu one. Usually, the words I compose in my head are not the same words that come out of my mouth. I only wanted to be grateful but instead, I uttered:

"I wrote my entry without the intention to win."

And that was only half the truth.

You see, when I decided to join the blogging competition, I would be a hypocrite if I say I didn't want to win. I wrote my piece with the Php30,000 prize money on my mind. Well, that's almost half of Rhett's tuition fee balance. Who wouldn't want that?

So I started brainstorming for topics only to be confronted by the fact that I do not have a story to tell. I do know I have the writing prowess, pero hindi ko talaga kayang tapatan ang kwento ng iba. My story pales in comparison with others. Yes, it was a mistake to read other entries before starting with mine. But I wrote anyway because I wanted to challenge myself to write something inspiring out of the ordinary. The last time I did this, my article inadvertently went viral. Sort of. Not that I'm trying to do the same thing. 

It took me at least twenty revisions and a hundred self doubts before I published my entry. And truthfully, by the time I submitted my piece a day before the deadline, I had no intention of winning. What I just wanted to do was share what I feel and make a difference—to myself at least.

The last time I joined this competition, there were 70+ entries and I did not make it to the top 20. I thought of the same thing when I learned there were 108 blog entries this season. Being part of the top 40 was good enough. And while I only hoped to win from any of the raffle draws during the virtual awarding (unfortunately, there wasn't any), I unexpectedly bagged 5th place.


Honestly, among all the writing competitions I have won, this one felt like the biggest win (hence, the blog post). The feeling is just amazing when you least expect it. It feels like winning first. It was a real surprise. Unexpected. But I know it is well-deserved.

What else can I say? If you want to achieve your dreams and aspirations, you have to do it for yourself. Not for the glory and certainly not for others. If you free yourself from expectations, that's when you will realize how unstoppable you can be. 

As for me, more than the ego boost, becoming Php10,000 richer, and helping WWF-Philippines, this experience strengthened my dream of writing for the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards. Sure, winning might be out of the question here. But if I muster the courage to write and submit what seem to be a daunting 10-page typewritten essay, then that means I've already won.


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Last year, we celebrated the Kadayawan Festival at home. Wait. Let me rephrase that. Last year, we stayed at home and did our usual routine—otherwise known as work—without even knowing that it was already Kadayawan. This year would definitely be different. We plan on having a feast from different restaurants and that's all thanks to Grab's Kadayawan FEASTival!

Stressed na. Makaorder nga. 😁

And do you know the best thing about this other than getting our stomachs full? We get to have the chance to win up to Php10,000 worth of GrabFood vouchers! 

Yes, you read that right. Want to know how to make your Kadayawan Festival extra memorable too? Read the details below:

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I was mindlessly scrolling Facebook, when this appeared on my feed:

Doesn't it creep you out when Facebook is making weird and sometimes disturbing assumptions about you? It's as if Facebook is telling me, "Hey, here's some beautiful shit we thought you would like."

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Instagram