Today I Learned: Series

New Castle, NSW | Nov 2018

There is a saying that we learn something new every day.

But I’m not sure I do.

So as an effort to be mindful to make sure I learn something new every day, I will start documenting the things I learn (or realise) daily.

This is also an attempt to increase my blog posts. The goal is to write anything new I learn — it can be as short as a sentence; but I can also opt to explain it. Basta kahit ano lang, as long as I write it.

Another thing I see beneficial in this is that this may improve my memory. I find that when I write something down and try to explain it in my own words, I have a higher chance of remembering it.

So for today, I learned: nothing. HAHAHA.

Medyo fail and first TIL entry ko, hahahaha. Pero I want to be honest. Wala talaga akong natutunan today. :))) Actually meron naman, but it’s work-related so better not to write it. I might be violating a confidentiality agreement pa. So from tomorrow on, I’ll try to be more mindful to actively learn something new (non-work-related) every day para may ma-post ako.

How about you, what did you learn today?

Missing Mondates

I miss Kevin and my’s Mondates!

Before we had our vacation four months ago and left Singapore, Kevin and I always went on a date on Mondays. It was a practice we did for more than a year. I got the idea of setting an intentional, regular, weekly dates from a blog I follow. Actually, the practice was intended for couples with children. The idea was to set aside a time for your spouse where you were alone without the kids.

Kebs and I don’t have kids yet, but we thought we’d also want to set a regular date so that we already have the routine once we have kids. Advance kami mag-isip hahaha.

We picked Monday as our date day so we had something to look forward to the start of the week. We also tend to be less busy on Mondays, which made it easier for us to build the habit of leaving the office on time. There are fewer people in restaurants, movie houses, and date places on Mondays — we usually don’t have to reserve. And most of the time, nobody schedules a meeting with us on Mondays which makes it easier and more convenient for us to maintain the habit.

These dates weren’t fancy. There were no agendas. There is nothing exceptional about our Mondates. We still go out on dates on other days — there is no difference between our Mondates and our random/spontaneous dates. And we still have dinner together every single day. There is nothing extra special except that I feel like it’s our time together.  Our family and friends knew that Monday nights are for the two of us. I feel like it’s ours.

We were not able to maintain it after we left Singapore in July because our routine changed and we had no pattern for three months. We were on vacation mode in July and August and were with family. I think we were able to squeeze in some Mondates; but most of the time, we wanted to maximise our time with our family and friends so we sacrificed our alone time — we thought we’ll just pick up back the habit once we moved here in Sydney and establish a routine again. And to be honest, I lost track of the days — who remembers which day it is when on a long vacation?

But we’ve been here for two months now, and we’ve never had a single Mondate! We have reasons/excuses. It was the first time Kevin and I rented a place on our own, so it felt like we were on a date every day. In addition, we didn’t have a routine yet, so everything was new, everything was exciting — there was no need for Mondays to “have something to look forward to”. Eating out is also expensive here and we were trying to skimp since we didn’t have income for two months (and counting for me at that time). And on top of those, restaurants and cafes close early on Mondays here in Straya! Even if we wanted to go on a date, we didn’t have too many choices (or maybe we didn’t have any choice at all)!

But Mondate was our little tradition, and I miss it.

I hope to create a new date tradition here. And I don’t want it to be on any other day. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are not that dependable — they can be busy. Thursdays and Fridays defeat the purpose of starting the week right; plus, it’s already nearing the weekend — we’d probably be more excited about it than our date night. Only Mondays are perfect hehehe.

Coffee on the balcony on Mondays doesn’t sound bad. Orrrr leaving the office at 430pm and going on a date before the restos and cafes close! PERFECT!

Wala pa palang picture ‘to, so let me share a picture of Kevin and I na walang kinalaman sa blog post na ito, as usual HAHAHA.

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Mahogany Forest, Bohol | July 2018

Gilmore Girls

I’m feeling emotional.

I’m watching S7E22 Bon Voyage of Gilmore Girls — the last episode! I’ve been watching the show since the past few weeks and now that it’s done, I’m feeling very emotional! HAHAHAHA.

The intro song is currently playing in the background. Well, actually, hindi na pala because I paused it so I can post this.

WAAAHHHHH. Last. Episode.

Although meron pa naman palang Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, but that was shot a decade after this last episode.

Anyway, I’ll unpause this na, and watch!

LATERS!

Why Do I Blog?

It’s been a while since I last posted a blog. It’s not that I forgot to; I just don’t know what to write. I’ve been feeling confused.

What can/should I share?

What should the tone of this blog be?

Who is my audience?

Why do I blog?

I honestly created a blog as a substitute for (Bullet) journaling. I type faster than I write. So I thought that by creating a blog, I can document my life/thoughts more often and much faster than traditional writing.

But the interweb is a scary place. I couldn’t be as open and as vulnerable as when I write to my journal. So wag nalang ako magblog noh? HAHAHA. But I like the efficiency and the reach of having my own blog. Imagine pag mamatay na ako and pag mawala yung journal ko, wala nang makakabasa non. Kawawa naman mga future anak at apo ko (HAHAHA feeling ko din talaga eh noh? Feeling ko naman magugustuhan nila alamin ang buhay ko hahaha. Pero malay mo diba?). Whereas having a blog means easier access to my life and thoughts (forever naman na ‘tong blog ko noh, even after a hundred years? SANA! I wish WordPress more power to last more than hundred years more!).

Also, maybe in the future, a complete stranger might stumble upon my blog, and get something from it? I hope. Ako kasi, I like reading personal blogs of others. Chismosa kasi talaga ako. And I learn a lot from others’ life lessons and perspective. So baka mapunta sa ganon din ang blog na ‘to. 🙂

So this post is a reminder that I blog for my future self. For my future children and grandchildren, for family and friends who would want to get a glimpse of my life. It is a reminder that I should not be afraid to blog. This is my space. There’s nothing wrong with sharing a part of my life and thoughts.

Wala pa palang picture ‘tong entry ko, so let me share a picture of me in a tropical blouse against a random wall in Cebu last July.

Cebu
Temple Tower, Cebu, July 2018

Moving to our new home

I don’t intend for this blog to be all about migrating to Sydney. Pero ito talaga yung ganap ng buhay namin ngayon eh, kaya ito lang din mashi-share ko. Hahaha.

A lot has happened since my last post. We already bought appliances and furniture; we collected the keys to our new apartment, and the appliances and furniture have already been delivered. We only need one final step: that is to live there. Hahaha. Kevin and I are still staying in the Airbnb place we rented in Canterbury. We’ll be officially moving to the new apartment tomorrow!

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Bj, Paula, Kevin, me, Richard, and Arlene. Taken inside the bus, on the way to The Good Guys.

Bj, mare, Jack, and hilaw went with us to buy appliances at The Good Guys last Saturday. Ibang pang kwento how happy I am that my friends are all in Straya! We’ve been together since college. That’s half our lives! We’ve seen each other’s nene days, until now that we’re older and a little bit wiser. Anyway, it deserves another blog post of its own.

We bought the majority of our appliances at TGG: washing machine, fridge, TV, microwave, iron, rice cooker and electric kettle. Lucky our friends were with us because they did the haggling for us! In Australia, you can haggle the prices of appliances or show them an online store with a lower price, and the stores will do a price match! Ang galing! Kebs and I are not really good with negotiation, especially about prices. Kaya it was really helpful that our friends were there to do it for us. HAHA. They also helped us decide which products to buy. Ang dami kasi talagang options. Nakakahilo! Naubos talaga energy ko.

The next day naman, Sunday, we went to buy our furniture at Amart. Tita Tess, Dadi’s highschool classmate, accompanied us naman. Sa ibang post nalang din yung kwento why we have contact. Hahaha. We were able to buy our bed frame, bed mattress, sofa, and entertainment unit. If mahirap mamili ng appliances, mas lalong di hamak na mahirap magdecide which furniture to buy! May kasama na kasing aesthetic factor. Tapos ang mamahal pa! Lech. Ang mahal pala talaga ng mattress ano?! The ones that I liked were super expensive. I had to adjust my level of arte-ness para makapili ng mattress within our extended budget. Extended talaga, kasi yung original budget namin, mukhang spring lang ang mabibili. HAHAHA.

Buying these things and deciding which ones to buy is really a big deal for me because this is Kevin and my first time to buy big purchases like this! Ang lakas maka-adult at maka-asawa ng feeling! Because although we were already living independently in Singapore, we rented a furnished condo. Ang biggest purchase na namin before ay yung printer namin. HAHAHAHA. It will also be the first time for Kevin and me to live alone. We had housemates in SG kasi. That’s why feel na feel ko talaga ang pagiging adult at mag-asawa ngayon!

We still have a long way to go before we get comfortable in our new apartment. First, we have to do the initial cleaning pa (wipe all the cupboards at cabinets, and vacuum and mop the floor). Wala pa kaming kitchenware, which we need para mas lalong feel na feel ang pagiging home-owners. We need to think about where to store and how to organise our things. We also have to create a routine — when and where to exercise, how to maintain the cleanliness the house, etc.

Madami pa, but we’ll take it one step at a time. And enjoy the process! Hindi na mauulit ang first time struggles na ito. 🙂

We found us a home!

When we moved here, our accommodation game plan was rent an Airbnb accommodation for the whole of September, then find an apartment where we can move in on October.

We had a month to look for a permanent apartment. At first, Kevin and I were very eager to find a place. We thought we’d have to finalise the apartment on our first weekend here. We were set on getting an apartment in Canterbury, with the budget of $400/week for a 1-bedroom apartment, or $450/week for a 2-bedroom.

That all changed when we did our first three house inspections. We realised that the budget we had set, and the apartments we wanted in Canterbury wasn’t a match. So we decided to adjust our budget and the suburb where we wanted to stay.

We then started looking for suburbs in the west-side. Before we even got the chance to inspect any of the houses there, Kevin’s officemates gave him the advice to check out apartments in the south of Sydney. That’s when he learned a lot of good things about the suburb Hurstville.

Lucky are us because when we checked apartments for rent in Hurstville, there was a brand-new apartment building open for inspection! We immediately went there the next day to view the units. We instantly felt that was what we were looking for. We then applied for one of the apartments right then and there.

And now, we finally have our place here in Sydney!

We don’t have a picture of our house yet, so let me show you a picture of Kevin and I from last weekend at the Darling Harbour area.

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Totally unrelated, pero hayaan niyo na. HAHAHA. I think this is our first official photo together as immigrants in Sydney! Thank you to Mark and Thessa for taking us here and for taking this shot. 😁

Anyway, so we have a house now. We’re moving on Monday, 24 September. I’m super excited to buy the appliances and furniture we need; and to start building a home. I have a looooonnggg list of items to buy. HAHA. We plan on shopping this weekend.

Exciting times!

First week in Sydney

It has already been a week since we’ve been in Sydney.

We’re staying in an Airbnb accommodation until the end of the month. Hopefully, we’ll find a permanent apartment by then so that we can finally settle in already. At sana nga makalipat na kami, dahil ang mahal ng Airbnb if we decide to extend pa. Although, in fairness, kaya naman mahal ‘tong accomm na ‘to, kasi ang ganda! Here’s what the apartment’s balcony and balcony view looks like:

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Hindi kasama si Kevin sa unit. But that’s where Kebs and I had our brunch yesterday. Ang lakas maka-abroad noh? Especially because we had crunchy clusters topped with greek yoghurt hahaha. Ang relaxing lang. And it feels very different from what I’m used to. Can I just add (of course I can, blog ko naman ‘to HAHA): ang cute ni Kebs noh? Ang amo ng mukha niya talaga. ♥

(Totally unrelated topic, but very present — as in happening at this very moment: I’m eating watermelon with sooo many seeds, pero bakit parang konti lang ang naluluwa ko? HAHAHA.)

Anyway, it has only been a week, but I feel like madami nang nangyari — parang ang tagal ko na dito. We already received the boxes we sent from Singapore. YAAAY. We had them shipped to Hilaw and Jack’s house. Since nagwwork na sila, nobody will be at their home when the boxes arrive; kaya Kebs and I spent the night at their place last Tuesday, para may magrereceive ng boxes the next day. We left the boxes at their place lang muna, para isang lipatan nalang — only when we move to our own apartment na. Mejo malayo yung bahay nina hilaw from where we’re staying. We took an hour-ride train going there. We then realised that Sydney is much, much, bigger than Singapore. In Singapore, walang malayo. Lahat napupuntahan in less than an hour. Or if more than an hour yung biyahe, you won’t feel like it kasi parang ang liit lang talaga. In Sydney naman, I don’t know why, pero I feel like and lalayo ng mga lugar. Is it because mabagal ang trains? Or dahil ba suburbs look different from each other, kaya feel na feel kong nasa ibang lugar na ako? Or maybe dahil mas malaki talaga and Sydney kesa sa Singapore? HAHAHA. We also realised na ang mahal ng pamasahe dito! A$3 bawat sakay. Ang. Mahal. Don’t get me wrong ha? Kevin and I are not complaining. We’re very very thankful we’re here. I’m just merely comparing what’s our reality now versus our reality for the past four years.

Since we’ve arrived, I also have had a few phone calls already for possible work opportunities. I’ve personally met two potential employers last Thursday — one meeting with a recruiter agent who scheduled me an interview tomorrow (Tuesday) with B (initial of the company). He gave me tips on how to answer interviews. Dapat daw STAR format. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. When asked a question daw, do not answer with yes or no only. You have to elaborate your answer based on the STAR format. Another personal meeting I had was an interview with C. Actually, I had two phone interviews with them already since last July nung nasa Pinas kami, but they wanted to see me in person. Parang inulit yung dalawang phone interview ko. They probably wanted to see how I answered in real life. Hahaha. Thankfully, I got an offer from them the next day. Huhuhuhuhuhuhu!!! I’m suuuuupppeerrrrrrr happy and thankful!!! I feel really super blessed!!!

We’ve also already inspected eight apartments last Saturday. Dito kasi, iba ang process when you want to rent a house. We’re not new to renting, kaya I have an idea how it is in other countries. Or at least in SG and PH. Sa SG and PH, when you see an advertisement of an apartment for rent, you schedule a viewing, then if you like the place, you’ll simply tell the owner na you’re interested. That’s when you pay the deposit and advance payment. Then move na. Easy diba? Here, it’s different. First, hindi ikaw (usually) ang magsschedule ng viewing/inspection. When there is an advertised unit, there would also be a schedule on when interested renters can inspect the house. So madaming renters yung pumupunta at a small window of time. If you’re interested sa unit, you then submit an application. It will depend on the landlord if they will approve your application. Pag hindi, hanap ka na naman ng iba.

In a week, nag-iba na din ang sinet namin na budget for the house. HAHAHA. Initially, Kebs and I were set na $400/week (another thing na iba dito is rent is priced on a weekly basis) for a 1 bedroom apartment. And then nadagdagan ng $450/week for a 2-br unit. Nung nagtingin kami ng apartments that we may like, we realised na mahihirapan kami maghanap ng unit na gusto namin with the initial prices we set. Kaya tinaasan na namin ng slight hahaha. Another thing that changed is the suburb where we were looking. Nung una, gusto namin dito lang sa Canterbury and suburbs nearer Sydney CBD. Yung mga 15km-away lang. Now we’re looking at apartments in Granville, Merrylands, and Parramatta. These are suburbs na mga 25km-away from the CBD. May derechong train naman, so okay lang. And mas madami kasing choices don, at lower prices. Siguro we’ll just have to add additional 20mins sa travel time namin (one-way). This afternoon at 4pm, there is an inspection schedule for units that we like in a new apartment building. I hope may makuha na kaming unit dito. I’m really excited to settle in already. To buy appliances and furniture and kitchenware (hahaha ‘yon ‘yon eh!).

On a lighter note, in a week, I realised I need more pants and socks! I currently only have two pairs of pants, and I don’t own too many socks either. I’m always in shorts and slippers. Kailangan ko din pala ng legit jackets. I used to think na ang jackets ay pang porma lang. Boy I was wrong. Kailangan pala siya sa ibang lugar hahahaha.

It’s Kevin’s first day of work here today. It’s also the first time he’ll be going to work after two and a half months of break. GRABE NOH? Two. And. A. Half. Months. na break! Where did time go? I don’t think we’ll get this chance again, kaya I’m very thankful we got to experience it. It’s also the first time in two and a half months (talagang paulit-ulit yung two and a half months, ano? HAHA) that I won’t be with Kebs 24/7. HAHAHAHA. You would think that we need this space, na okay maging hindi laging magkasama; pero truthfully, I already miss him. It’s only been 3 hours since he left for the office. Medyo na-senti pa ang gaga! Hahaha.

Osha, masyado nang mahaba ‘to. Kain muna ako ng ice cream. Ang sarap talaga ng ice cream dito!