Typhoon Ulysses: My First Flood Encounter


Morning of November 12, 2020.  My parents and I were astounded to witness the flood waters rising! It continued to increase as the hours progressed although the strength of the storm was no longer felt.

My niece was optimistically awaiting for the water to enter the house. Equipped with rain boots and accompanied by  her gadget to  overcome boredom, she was sitting patiently  by the door to  welcome it, she mused! We even  created  paper boats, saw it sink and laughed! 

Earlier on, my mother instructed my father to elevate the furniture in case the water gets inside. Despite their age (both are seniors), they managed to prop the furniture on the batibot and ghost chairs. Her prudence saved us the energy and time to clear what was in the living and dining room while the rain water was getting higher.

Around 4 PM, it slowly krept in and the inevitable happened. We had no way to stop it though we remained prayerful and knew that God was in control. The anxiety attached to this sudden phenomenon was new to us. We are grateful though that only 2" of rain water was in the house. It started to subside around 7 PM and the whole night, my younger brother, his wife and my nephew cleaned and cleared the first floor. They disinfected the marble flooring the next day. 

Stubborn mud and debris from the typhoon's aftermath were all over. I am grateful to see the sun shining, signifying hope to those affected. Our property is 1.5 to 2 meters high from the street. Many of our neighbors had a hard time slumbering because their beds were dirtied with the flood! We have no right to complain after seeing the situation in Cagayan and Marikina. Still, we continue to praise our Jehovah for protecting us. 


K-drama Bliss

The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) accidentally allowed me to discover a different new world that made me cry, laugh and forget time. I witnessed and immersed into the lives of protagonists and villains I have learned to adore especially when the story continues to unfold because of their acting prowess fitting their characters. I exposed myself to varied genres (i.e. fantasy, thriller, romantic comedy, drama, tragic) and high caliber actors and actresses (not just the famous ones because of their looks). The more I watch, the more I understand the hype behind the sought-after Korean drama series.

I am amazed at how the writers creatively build plots that are out of this world which consequently make me wonder or guess what the next scene will be. I am stunned at the twists or even valleys and peaks of some I have watched. Most endings are happy; some, open-ended. A few, tragic. Yet every time I finish watching one, I find it hard to scout for a newer story. 

Below are the titles of some K-dramas that pierced my heart. I may have discovered all these only now and I have many many more discoveries to do in the days to come. The good news is, there are free apps available for easier access:

     Woman of 9.9 Billion
     W (Two World)
     The Heirs
     Scarlet Heart Ryeo
     The Doctors

What is your favorite K-drama?


COVID-19: The Good After The Enhanced Community Quarantine

As someone who telecommutes, being home-bound was never a problem. In fact I am able to have a flexible work schedule, eat nutritious cooked meals and linger longer in bed when everyone gets out of their houses before the sun rises to avoid the traffic rush. I look forward to the occasion when my parents and I buy our groceries, attend church services, enjoy a hearty meal at our go-to restaurant or simply waste time in a mall to people watch. And I seriously miss doing those. Surprisingly I am surviving! 

It is not all that bad though during this time. 

1. Making a quick trip to the supermarket, drugstore and the wet market are the only times my parents go out. The village we live in has a curfew. It is mandatory to wear a mask at all times when outdoors. The good is, our expense has decreased since we only spend on the necessities. 
2. The air is so much cleaner. With fewer vehicles on the roads now after the lock down, it is no surprise that the level of pollution has immensely decreased.
3. I am grateful that the industry I am a part of is not affected, enabling me to continue to work and earn a living.
4. Today's technology allows my family and the rest of my brethren to continue to listen to God's Words via online streaming. 

This pandemic will stop. I just don't know when. And I humbly ask our good Lord to end this global event once His will has been accomplished. 


Excellent Customer Service

There are countless retail businesses and industries these days who cater to the various needs of their customers. A few have withstood the economic uncertainties throughout the decades and have remained unfazed by all these. 

Jollibee for instance, acquired many of its competitions and has continued to expand locally and internationally.  I remembered treading  the closest branch at Araneta Center (back when I can still walk and when delivery wasn't as popular) for my all-time favorite Jolly Hotdog. The consistency of the taste remains to this day. Throughout the years, they have added many more food choices to their menu. Even the foreigners adore some of their bestsellers as I watch the vlogs they have posted online.

I love the the SM malls too. They pioneered in making their establishments accessible and wheelchair friendly to persons with disabilities (PWDs). They provide ample parking spaces designated for the physically challenged as well as the seniors. One will feel valued when entering their store although their prices are much higher compared to the other establishments I've been to.

As a consumer, I am compelled to those business organizations who prioritize my needs. They give high regard to an outstanding customer service and skill that will make you want to visit again. However, with the constant price increase of a haircut for example from my favorite salon, Bangs, I hesitate. Php800 is pricey, right?! Yet, I go out happy and content. On the contrary, I regret going to a place with a lower service fee due to incompetence or the lack of know-how and wished I went to the former. Have you had a similar experience?

As an adult, I continue to be in awe at how festive the holidays can be at the SM malls. The stellar decorations are truly breathtaking. May we all remember the true meaning of Christmas and not be overpowered by materialism and commercialism. This season, may you find true joy in Christ - our rock, strength and fortress. Enjoy the merry season! 


Random Acts Of Kindness

Early this week, my mother and I went to the grocery. While I was looking through a wide selection of merchandise in an aisle, I noticed an elderly woman smiling warmly at me. I smiled back.

"Ang bait nyo, ma'am" (You are very kind ma'am) was the response I received from the technician of my internet service provider (ISP) when I offered him a glass of cold water on his way out of our house after remedying an issue.

Yoshirin-san, my Japanese student, excused herself for a moment while we were having a video lesson. She collected the various omamori (good luck charm) displayed in their guest room so I could see the actual object which was our topic of discussion. 

In the like manner, my mother who is not so expressive with her feelings shows that she loves tremendously by cooking (and meddling with our lives). She is passionate about this. She continues to watch cooking shows, reads new recipes online, plans and prepares for it and surprises us with a new dish!

Ephesians 4:32 states, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." How did you experience kindness recently?