Sunday, April 9, 2023

Saving Will Benefit Us all the Time

It’s amazing to know that we are already at the second quarter of 2023. When we’re busy at work or at home, we noticed that time really flies so fast but if we’re idle, a day seems like forever. 

I can still vividly remember the year 2020 wherein the Pandemic crippled us in so many ways. Ahhh…I bet no one can ever forget that year. Every nation seemed frozen in time during lockdowns and it’s an awful sight and memory to even recall. On February 2020, I still managed to travel to UAE mainly to Dubai and Abu Dhabi with friends for a much-needed vacation while COVID-19 virus is creepingly spreading around the world. It was indeed a blessing for we’re still able to come back home safely before the lockdown begins in March. I can’t even imagine myself being stranded in a foreign land during those time so I’m very lucky and grateful.  

Our national and local government are so strict in implementing rules and guidelines at the onset of the lockdown to the point that we just need to stay home all the time. Buying food and other supplies where only assigned to my brother to lessen the chances of everyone being infected in our family. Those days are trying times for all of us; the news of widespread infection, thousands of deaths each day throughout the world, scarcity of food supplies are shocking and enough for us not to go out if not needed.  

Our business was forced to close along with other businesses worldwide. Many workers got laid off while some are asked to work on a schedule basis maybe just 2 days in a week or so. Ahhhh.. during those days, our finances are greatly affected and eventually the flow of income was non-existent that lasted for many months. The savings that we have at the bank served as a saving grace because it kept us survive the everyday living.  

Those that deeply affected are workers that left with no job and have little or no money to support their families. Local government tried their very best to somewhat fill the needs of the community by giving food and medical supplies for families that have no means to survive anymore. Lines on the distribution areas seemed like an endless link of hungry people waiting for their rations. However, one of the many things that the pandemic has positively brought to people is the community of people helping people in times of adversity. Many individuals and non-govt institutions set up various community pantries where anyone can donate and those that need food supplies can freely receive as long as social distancing is observed.  

The pandemic and the extensive multiple lock-downs made me realize that saving money is really vital and that we need to save if we can. Despite being so cautious, on August 2020, I still got infected and sadly infecting my 87-yr old mother with COVID-19 virus. It was indeed a tough time for us. With the hospitals all full in capacity, we were turned down by 3 hospitals. There’s a moment that we’ve almost given up but a miracle or a blessing happened. My mom and I survived and finally recovered from that nightmare if I can say. 

The pandemic taught me many realizations, from being thankful each day and knowing that waking up each morning is such a great blessing. Life is really short and we all can go anytime. Also, saving is essential and cutting down some unnecessary spending became a goal. In terms of buying or shopping, finding good deals or mark down on products is a must because every penny saved is valuable. The crisis also helped me to think new ways to generate extra income and fortunately I was able to put up a small online store. Aside from the revenue that I am getting from my graphic designing works that online store sure is a big help. I know I’m guilty of overspending specially on material things but I surely did slow down.  

These days, my frequent browsing online, reading and watching financial influencers and creators, I became more interested in saving more money and investing because of the lessons that pandemic taught me. We never know when will another intense crisis will arise so it’s better if we have something to pull out of our pockets.  It's not bad to splurge at times or treat ourselves once in a while but let's also make saving a habit.
There are actually lots of sites like that I was able to browse and it can actually help us learn more about inflation, saving and investing. I know it’s not easy to learn about them overnight but if we study more, we can actually accomplish that.  Passion and determination to succeed are also factors that can help attain our goals.

With the world already opened up, businesses rolling, traveling are back to normal, less people getting infected and workers back to work, I can say that we survived the pandemic and we are stronger than ever. We can also thank the Lord for saving us and giving us another opportunity to live and experience new things in life.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Me and BTS

It’s already 2 years and 3 months that I’ve been an ARMY (BTS fandom). Just in case you didn’t know BTS is a South Korean boyband and is the No. 1 boy group in the world. It has 7 members : Kim Namjoon (the leader), Kim Seokjin, Min Yoongi, JungHoseok, Park Jimin, Kim Taehyung and Jeon Jungkook. 

These good looking guys aged 26-30 are not just pretty boys, as they are also composers, producers and talented artists. I came to know them in December 2020 after watching an episode of Ellen Show where they are guests. After watching a video or two of them, the rest is history. I am more than happy to know them most especially when I am at my lowest point in my life. After recovering from COVID and still mending my broken heart from the death of my 11-yr old dog, I came to know them. Their music sooths me, their funny antics made me laugh, their personalities attract me and so much more. Their music brings joy to me and the rest of the fandom. Who would have thought that at my age, I’d still be fangirling and be a K-Pop fan. 

 Music knows no age so I’m enjoying every bit of being an ARMY. I also got to meet new friends with the same interests. Some are half my age while some are just quite near or older than me. Age doesn’t matter because we all have the same love for our “boys”. We love them dearly and will support them all the way.  

They released their PROOF album, on June 10, 2022, 11 months after their latest single CD Butter. Proof is the core of BTS’ history. It’s a 3 CD album introduces three new tracks, one in each CD: “Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)”, “Run BTS” and “For Youth”, each in different genres conveying their own messages.  

On June 13, 2022, during their 9th FESTA anniversary since their debut, they announced that they will go on a hiatus as a band and that broke our hearts. It turned out that they will pursue going solo for the time being so they can explore more and expand their musicality. Even though they are doing solo activities, they are NOT disbanding.  


 Right now, one-by-one they are releasing their solo albums, collaborating with different artists and they all became ambassadors of different bands. 

RM- Ambassador of Bottega Veneta 

YOONGI - Ambassador of Valentino and NBA

HOBI - Ambassador of Louis Vuitton 

JIMIN- Ambassador of Christian Dior and Tiffany 

V - Ambassador of Celine 

JK - Ambassador of Calvin Klein  

 Jin the eldest has already enlisted at the military on Dec 2022 and will be out by June 2024. He had released a single album THE ASTRONAUT before he enlisted and it is a gift for his fans, us ARMY! RM (Namjoon), the leader also released his album last year named INDIGO. While Hobi had a mini-concert like performance at Lalapalooza in the US and released a digital album called: JACK in the BOX. 

Jimin, my bias just recently released his solo album FACE and his single track LIKE CRAZY topped No. 1 at the Billboard Hot 100 (April 8, 2023). He is the 1st Korean soloist to have achieved such recognition. Wow, I am so proud of his accomplishments and he deserves all the love and recognition that he is getting right now.  

 Suga, is set to have concerts in the US, Indonesia and Singapore by April till June 2023 and we are just so proud of him. A documentary of his journey is also set to be released. 

   V and JK will be the next in line to release their solo albums and I we’ll support them as well.  

 They also each released Photofolios and I’m proud that I have collected all of the 8. My next project will be is to complete all their solo albums. I already have Jin’s The Astronaut single album and Jimin’s FACE album. Need to save more to get the others: RM’s Indigo and JHOPE’s Jack in the Box.  

 They already received numerous awards, like ARTIST f the Year, Album of the year just to name a few. They also have spoken at the UN and have met US Pres. Biden in the white house. Attended so many shows, performed at the Grammy's and so much more!

  BTS and ARMY have a close idol / fan relationship. The boys usually posts on Weverse to updae or just to say hello to us. They also go on LIVE so we can interact with them.  They also have their personal Instagram accounts except for JK who just deleted his acct. to share their pics or videos for the fans.  

  Hobi is enlisted in the military this April 2023 and eventhough we’ll be sad, we just need to accept that they will all enlist in no time as part of their duty as SK citizen.  

  I am so excited for their individual projects and will be rooting for all of them all the way. My support for them is massive and will not trade my love for them on anything else. from humble beginnings, they are now the most sought after band / singers.

 I’m an auntie (tita) of BTS and happy to be one. !!I will wait for their comeback hopefully by 2025! BTS is here to stay and so am I.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Finding Ways to Enjoy Long Weekend and Holy Week

Summer is officially here in our country and almost everyone complains of the heat all day. Gone are the chilly days especially in the early morning that we experienced last January and probably around 1st week of February this year. Summer here in the Philippines can be so intense. Imagine, a 34-36 C temperature plus the humidity especially around 1-4 pm can be exhausting. An airconditioned room is the best place to be in for you to combat the heat. While a cold beverage (water is the best) is a way to cool down bec. a heat stroke is not an option for everyone to experience. 

Anyway, it’s Holy Friday today and most of the people are at home because school and most offices are closed for the holiday. While most of the religious Holy Week traditions are done at churches and spiritual places. With that being said, it’s also long weekend and what a great time to bond with the family during this time. While most of my friends and relatives packed their bags and flew to their dream summer destination or take a road trip out of town, here I am with mom and brother’s family stuck in the house. Our summer outing plans are non-existent yet as we don’t usually go for a vacation during the Holy Week but if I found a nice resort for us maybe around end of April or early May we’ll take the time to have some fun under the sun. 

Yesterday, Maundy Thursday was spent going to various churches for our Visita Iglesia as we call it and did our Station of the Cross. The kids opted not to go with us so they just stayed at home for sure they endlessly played online games and browsing the net. These days, everyone is online doing personal or business transactions, ordering stuff, studying, playing, communicating and a lot more. Technology and the world wide web are already very accessible and we are all taking advantage of its usefulness in our daily lives. Also, all of us have different ways to enjoy and find recreational activities that can keep us pre-occupied when we feel bored or if we have spare time to entertain ourselves. I myself, love playing games. I still remember playing Super Mario on our ‘family computer’ machines and even tetris and other games on game consoles. 

Now, playing games online is also amusing most especially if I found an interesting game that can stimulate my mind or have me thinking solving a mystery or what-not. However, a non-complicated game can be engaging as well. We just have to choose what we find enjoyable and worth our time. Just now, found this Flower Shop game and it’s a floral business simulation game where you must swiftly serve customers floral arrangements. There will be customers that will buy flowers arrangements and you need to quickly serve or give their order so they will not leave. 


The level one was pretty easy but as level rises, there are more customers to cater and you need to be fast hahhaha. It’s a simple game but your quick action is needed as there is also a time limit for each customer and once you did not serve their order, they will leave. I need to practice a little bit more to master the game of speed to accommodate all the buyers. 

Found this cute game, Power Puff game named The Powerpuff Girls Panic In Townsville wherein you need to help Buttercup, Blossom, and Bubbles save the city. Played the game and found myself chuckling when a building collapsed due to my negligence in keeping the meteors destroyed. I’d better step up my game to help them save the city. Definitely will share this game to niece who happens to be a fan of Power Puff girls when she’s still young. I’m pretty sure she will be excited to play this game despite her age being past her teenage years. 

 Once you love a character in your childhoods days, you’ll still be young at heart to play a game or even collect their merchandise with their picture on it. We still have the weekend to have a good rest and play some more since it’s back to work and school come Monday.

 What about you? How will you spend the long weekend?