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!

OZ.jpeg
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.

Sydney.jpg

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:

AirBnb pic.jpeg

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!

Touchdown Sydney!

ANLAMIIIIIIIGGGG!

We’ve finally moved to Sydney for good today. Ang lamig. Asan na ang Singapore and Philippine weather?!

But I guess I have to get used to different seasons now. I have to get used to changing wardrobes every quarter or so. Di ko pa ma-imagine how that works. I’m a tropical girl whose clothes are the same from January till December. I’d just have to learn as the seasons change. Now it’s Spring. Not sure when Summer will be. I think it’s December? There are a lot of things we have to learn!

We have to learn how tax works, what Superannuation is, how to commute, what’s the best credit card for mileage, what’s the best mobile service provider, and the list goes on! It’s overwhelming and exciting at the same time.

We usually get asked why we moved from Singapore to Sydney. Kasi, if it’s only for the money, staying in Singapore would have been a better choice. The main reason is stability. In Singapore, we were employment pass holders, whereas we are permanent residents here. Another main driver is building a future family. It’s not easy to raise a kid in Singapore mainly because of pass reasons. Siguro it’s not too hard during the first two years of the kids. But when they start to go to school, it’s a different story. Priority of slots is given to citizens (syempre), then permanent residents next, and foreigners last. We know some kids who could not enrol for a few years because they don’t have enough slots at any school! Imagine. Bata palang, out of school youth na. HAHAHA.

Anyhoo, will Netflix na. Laters!

(HAHA bigla nalang natapos ang kwento?!)

Packing for Migration: What NOT to do

IMG_8276
Totally unrelated picture of Kevin and I in Porto, Portugal.

Kevin and I are moving to Sydney tomorrow, September 3rd.

I have many ideas of what to blog about migrating — applying for a visa (which includes preparing for PTE exam), steps on how to apply for AU immigrant visa, what I felt about applying, why we decided to move (we’re currently situated in Singapore, which is not a bad place at all), etc. But this blog is solely about what not to do when packing for migration based on our experience.

So without further ado:

  1. Do not go on a 2-month vacation before migrating (without starting packing)
  2. Do not pack your things only a week before your flight
  3. Do not try to buy extra prepaid luggage only less than 48 hours before your flight
  4. Do not skimp on boxes — you can never have enough

HAHAHA. We did all of these, and look where we are now — we’re on our last night in Singapore, and we haven’t fully packed! Haha.

Osha, I have to sleep now. We’d have to repack and restrategize our luggage tomorrow morning for our evening flight, before we handover this house.

The next time I blog, I’d probably be in Sydney already!

First Blood

Hello.

I am not sure how blogging works. I just wanted a space where I could write what’s in my mind. Usually I write it in my BuJo, but my mind is faster than my writing, kaya I thought of creating this space — hoping na kasing bilis ng pagttype ko yung utak ko. Haha. This space is more for me than for anyone else (for now). I do not plan on giving the public (naks!) the link of this blog. It’s my own little secret (again, for now — baka sumikat akong blogger in the future HAHA).

Anyway, I have been thinking about creating a blog for the longest time. Masaya isulat yung mga nasa isip,  kasi when you read it after some time, nakakatawa. Or at least ako natatawa sa sarili kong sinusulat. But what made me create for real now is reading the book The Diary of Anne Frank (Google mo nalang kung about san yung book — nagmamadali ako ngayon, kailangan ko pang tapusin pagpack HAHA). You get to see a sneak peak of what she went through, and how she is as a person because of her thoughts. I want this space to have the same effect. I want the future me to be reminded of what and how my current self thinks/feels.

Also, I have a lot of conversations in my mind. I talk to myself a lot. And minsan, maingay na sila, paulit-ulit. I need to put them somewhere para matahimik brain ko. That would be one of the purposes of this blog.

Hopefully I get better at this habang tumatagal.

Laters! 😀