Saturday, December 16, 2017

When Health Problem Strikes In: Part 5 - Realizations in Life

         I was planning to delete this blog after I found out that I have cancer. I realize that it would be senseless and irrelevant to pursue my financial advocacy in this blog with the current condition that I have today. But I also realize that I need to release some thoughts running in my head after the operation and this blog is a perfect platform for it since it has been my witness in all the trials and difficulties I've experienced for the past four years. Here are some thoughts I'd like to share here:

1. Trust God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

          I have a classmate who has been my constant guidance from the day I met her in TUP and until now. She was calling after the operation but I was constantly rejecting her calls, and texted her that I am not prepared to talk to her. Like I said, I was kind of rebellious that day but after few days she visited me in our house.
         " I was crying to her and I told her my sentiments -- "Bakit binigay ng Diyos sa akin to' Ate Marl, alam mo kung gaano ako ka-pessimistic sa buhay noon, kung kelan ako naging positibo, di bumitaw sa pagsubok at nangarap ngayon pa nangyari to...Ang sagot lang nya sa akin ---Kasi mas matatag ka ngayon kesa noon, hindi ka nya bibigyan ng pagsubok noon kasi di mo pa kaya pero ngayon alam ng Diyos na kakayanin mo na."
          "Ate, parang nawala lahat ng pangarap ko, naka-graduate nga ako ng college at nakapasa sa board exam pero ang haharapin kong pagsubok ngayon "Cancer" naman... At sabi ni Ate Marl, "Umasa ka at magtiwala ka ng lubos sa Diyos at wag sa sarili mong talino at kalakasan." Yan ang gustong mangyari at mabago ng Diyos sa yo."
         Her words enlighten me. I've been too focused with my goals and my worries as well that I forgot that God is the one who's in control of my life and I should trust and rely on HIM completely.

2. We all have the same destiny. (Ecclesiates 9:2)

          The first doctor who first examined and suggested that I should undergo an operation asap paid me a visit after my operation and her words marked in my head. These are her words:
          "Hija, How are you? So your ultrasound is right. Be strong and don't be sad. 
We all have the same destiny. We are all destined to die. The moment we were born, we are also destined to die in the future. No one is exempted, not even the doctors. We just don't know when and how, but the why or our "purpose here on earth" will determine the length of your stay here.
You now have your own battle. A battle you have to fight and win. Know your purpose and fight cancer. Believe me you will have a different perspective in life after you win this battle.

3. Family and friends are gift from God.
         True enough "No man is an island" and prove that it is true while I was recovering.
          First, confinement in a charity ward wasn't really bad. I was surrounded by seven patients, three of them just gave birth so I am surrounded by three angels who cries alternately at night. It helped me a lot not to feel so alone while I was trying recover there. During daytime, we talk and share our experiences in recovering, we try to console one another if someone is crying and misses their family and we also had fun when someone is sharing some stories, pictures of their kids and family to us. Well, the only disadvantage there is their strict rules in visiting hours but aside from that disadvantage I will still prefer to be confined in a charity ward.
          Second, it was only there that I realize how lucky I am to have a family. It was during the lowest moment in life when your family will definitely steps in not just an act of obligation but an act of love and concern. I really felt that - my kuya who has been constantly monitoring me, giving me a light massage, putting socks on my feet and assisting whenever I want to sit, stand or walk, our bunso who stays at night to watch over me even if he has a job in the morning, my younger brother who gave financial help to me, comforts me and tells me not to worry too much and my mother, who gave an utmost care to me - that time I felt so special, the kind of feeling I never felt before. Well, I used to pretend that I am the strongest in the family and now that I am weakest they gave their full support to me.
        Yes, our family and friends are the living proof sent by God to help us in our most difficult days of our lives.

4. Listen to your body and prioritize your health.
        Based on an article I read last week, "ovarian cancer" is a silent killer. All the symptoms are common - fatigue, back pain, pelvic pain, loss of appetite, weight loss and frequent urination but I ignore it thinking that they are after effects of my hard work. Another thing, my kuya who has a background on reflexology was constantly telling me that the nodules I felt on my sole foot is a sign that I have a problem on reproductive system but I also ignore his warning. I also ignore the importance of monitoring - two years ago I found out that my cyst on my left ovary was gone but after that I become too complacent that miss my schedule in ultrasound and pasmear so when the cyst on my left ovary grew again it is now malignant. Have I had a regular check up every six months, I would have prevented the growth of this malignant cyst.

Note: Have a regular check up, ultrasound and papsmear every six month not annually. I've talked to one of the patient in the charity ward and she told me that she has a regular check up annually but after a year her cyst came back and grew bigger that she had to undergo operation again.

5. People are more important than material things.
        I love going to the malls. I love looking at the display of expensive bags and clothes dreaming that one day I'd be able to wear them, ( I just dream of it anyway, no plans on buying them). I love looking at the furnitures, appliances and house decors thinking that in few years I'd be able to buy them and put them in my newly renovated house (one of my dream goal too). Everyone will agree with me that the world is full of material stuffs and people are being too materialistic today. I'm one of the guilty ones but after the surgical operation my attitude towards these material stuffs changed. They became irrelevant to me. I realized that people around me are more important than those material stuffs and would prefer to spend time with them instead of having those things. Believe me, you wont be able to think of those material things if your lying on a hospital bed.

         These are some of the realization I can share for now and hope that it can help others to appreciate their life more.

Just in the mood for sharing.
Have a great day! God Bless and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

When Health Problem Strikes In: Part 4 - Recovery and Release


          Recovery after the operation was difficult. I was trying so hard to accept my present condition mentally but I am so weak physically. "Nahihilo, nanginginig, nasusuka, sinisikmura at kumakabog ang dibdib" -- it was really alarming to experience those feelings and so I asked the doctor who's in-charge that day,..and he answered, "Mam, after effects po ng anaesthesia yan, nasa katawan nyo pa kasi yung tira." And the suggestion was to move, to drink water and urinate as frequent as possible to flash out the remaining meds inside my body. "Bukod sa hirap kang bumangon at nahihilo pa, hirap kayang umihi ng bagong opera." I know those who had a cesarian operation will definitely agree with me. Funny because after operation you need to do these three important things - "Umihi, Umutot at Tumae" before the doctor can approve your release.

        While I was recuperating I realize how delicate and connected our body is. In every simple gestures that I do it I felt the pain and reaction on the affected part of my body. "Sa simpleng paghigop ng tubig, pag-nguya at paglunok ng pagkain, pigil na pag-inat at paghikab, pag-ngiti, pag-iyak at pagtawa, at lalo ang pagbahing at pigil na pigil na pag-ubo -- lahat konektado sa katawan natin apektado." Really amazing - how God was able to create a sturdy and durable body we have on the outside but a soft and delicate one on the inside.


          Three days after the operation, finally I was able to "fart" six times but before that they administered a suppository first on the second day to help me release that "fart" and that gave the doctor's approval to finally sign my release. The hospital bill went up to P94,239.48 (no doctor's fee included since I am under social service) and went down to P 79,853.66 (less another discount from social service) but still my mother doesn't have enough money on hand to pay for it. There was only an approximate P20k plus  left from the P55k I withdraw for my operation (Note: I already gave an initial P30k downpayment  before I was admitted). My Philhealth was not credited also since they require a minimum of 3 months contribution to qualify for their benefit (Note: I started my voluntary contribution last October 30 only). So my mother had to beg again to the social service but they require me to stay again in that ward for another three days for further investigation I think. But I told my mother that I cannot stay another night anymore, good thing my younger brother was able to produce the remaining amount. And finally I was home December 4 at 8pm and I was so happy to be with my family again especially with my two cuties - baby Sam and Kenji.

Note: Don't be like me, prioritize your Philhealth contribution even if you don't have a job. Take note that you need a minimum of three to six months contribution before you can use your Philhealth benefits in your hospitalization needs.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

When Health Problem Strikes In: Part 3 - Operation and Findings


        December 1, the day I faced my fear. I was brought to the operating room at 10am and the operation lasted for almost seven hours. Yes, I was in the operating room for almost seven hours and damn I woke up twice during the operation, "nagising, nakita at nadinig ko sila habang inooperahan ako". I was trying to voice out something but they couldn't hear but I managed to move my hands and the anaesthesiologist saw and gave me another shot to get me to sleep again. And when I woke up, I asked the nurse, is it total? and she nodded. I was brought out of the operating room and my cousin who is a nurse in that hospital assisted me and I asked her, " Ate, total ba?... Oo ging, total -nag rapture e? I saw my mother and my brothers from afar because my cousin won't allow them to go near me because I might cry which is bad for someone who had undergone an operation.

         Though there were patients around me in that charity ward that night still I felt so alone and lonely. I have no complaints with regards to the services and facilities in that charity ward but one of the disadvantages there is that no relative or visitor is allowed inside especially at night except for the visiting hours (5pm to 6pm & 11am to 12pm. I wanted to cry but managed to control it. While everyone was asleep my mind is wandering, flashing back all the mistakes and memories that I had before. There's no one to talk to but to God alone - asking Him what I have done wrong or what I should give up again. Honestly, I was kind of rebellious that night because I knew there was something wrong with me that's why it took seven hours to finish the operation but I also knew that there's a reason or purpose why I am still alive. I wanted the presence of my family especially my mother but I had no choice but to pray that the time will pass by quickly so I can see my family.


          I managed to get some sleep and when I woke up my brother/bunso's already beside me and he asked me, what I want? I just smile (since I can't still move) and tell him, "dyan ka lang muna" and I hold his hands but after few minutes the nurse announced about the visiting hours so I told my brother to just go outside and have his breakfast.

         And then the doctor came,..."Miss. Grace, kumusta ka? nangalay ang paa ko kahapon, ang tagal natin, then I smiled and she continued, "I have to be honest to you, malignant yung cyst sa left ovary mo and nakadikit pa sya sa uterus mo so kailangan kong tanggalin lahat pati yung mga kulane sa paligid", Initially, nasa stage 1c yung cyst mo pero yung kalat nya we still need to find out about it."

       And so I have cancer but I don't have reaction when the doctor explained it to me.I just don't know what to think and what to say. I felt so helpless and senseless good thing my mother arrive and somehow I felt like a little child again. The nurse advice me to move my body little by little and my mother assisted me. Really thankful that my mother was there, her presence at least gave me some comfort while trying to process what the doctor have said.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Excited for Christmas

          Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Not only that it is a season of joy but it is also the reason I can use so I can get my hands on decorating our humble abode for this very special occassion, "ang babaw ng rason no?". But seriously, it is only then that my father would allow me in his teritory, "by the way sala is his teritory - where he eats, sleeps, and watch TV  and that's the reason why I couldn't arrange the chairs and tables accordingly. We'll I cannot reason out with him since he had a stroke already but he allow me every Christmas to decorate our house. Our special agreement as I always remind him every year -- "sa inyo ang sala mula 2nd week of January to 1st week of November, sa akin naman ang 2nd week of November to 1st week of January, kontrata natin yan 'de." I allow my father to do whatever is convenient to him in our sala after he had a stroke last 2008 but every Christmas he allows me to redecorate our sala, rearrange our wooden sofa and his favorite wooden sofa bed, and finally put on the Christmas tree in the corner, and here's the outcome:
Our New Arranged Sala
          I used the old christmas tree and decors but some of them we're already damage and doesn't look good anymore so I had to buy but just few decors to complete my traditional christmas tree. I bought 1 star (P25/), 3 poinsettia flowers ( P20/each), and two christmas runarounds (P25) just to complete the decor in my Christmas tree.
Dining Area
          I also bought new table runner (P199.75), microwave (P179.75) and blender cover (P129.75). I really love it and I was so excited to put it on. My mother sais, "Bakit ba nagmamadali ka ilagay yan, malayo pa Christmas." and I answered, "Ma, baka di ko magawa to pagtapos ng operation ko." so she just let me continue decorating last week.

        I am really excited this Christmas, who wouldn't be  if you have kiddos in the house like these two cuties here.
My six month old niece - Baby Sophia
My 2 year old nephew - Kuya Kenji
 Have a merry and wonderful Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

When Health Problem Strikes In : Part 2 -Second Opinion, Acceptance, Preparation and Second Thoughts

Second Opinion
           After four days of confusion and indenial I need to get my senses back, so we went back to the hospital at around 6am - the required time for patients in charity ward to fall in for social service and check up. I was interviewed first at social service office and was given a requirements (brgy certificate of indigency, certificate of no property in city assessors office, proof of billing and my brother's payslip) for it before we went to another OB check up. Another doctor checked me up and somehow my worries lessen a little bit - here are some of her words and medical diagnosis,:

        "Miss Grace, parang dermoid cysts sya medyo malaki talaga yan at napansin ko movable yung cyst mo kaya di mo siguro nakakapa noon kasi minsan nagtatago pero mas maigi na movable sya kasi possible na benign yan at hindi malignant. Pero still operation is required, to rule out the possibility of malignancy and another thing malaki na ang cyst mo kelangan tanggalin kasi me possibility gumalaw at ma-twist sa ovary, mas delikado yun pag nagkataon."

Acceptance & Preparation
         I was relieved but I can't be too complacent because I still need to undergo operation and find out what's that cyst inside me. Now that I have convinced my mind that I really need to undergo operation, I can say that am prepared mentally but not financially - 60k to 100k is still needed for the operation in charity ward atleast it lowered 50% than its initial estimated amount of 120k to 180k that was given to us but only If I'll be approve in social service.

          My mother was a bit pessimistic again and we were again arguing about it. She was saying, "kung kulang savings mo mangutang na lang tayo ng pandagdag para maoperahan ka agad" and I answered - "hindi yun ang punto at di dapat ganun agad agad ang decision, kapag nabaon tayo ng utang sa operation ko, anong isusunod nyo, wala pa naman akong trabaho? pano kung malignant? kung hindi naman pano ako makakarecover agad na alam kong naghahagilap kayo ng pera sa ibang gamot kong kailangan at sa mga susunod pang kailangan." My mother, got my point. I do understand that my mother is in panic, we know how mother's react when it comes to the needs of her children. But I remind her, "Ma, kelangan ko yung tatag at maayos na disposisyon nyo." Wag kayong mag-panic at mag "nega" agad."  I know my mother's strength as well as her weakness and I know she's a tough mom in dealing with these kind of problem.
          I was able to get Brgy Certificate of Indigency, my brother (our bunso) was able to get Certification of property from city assesor through his friend who works there and I was able to submit all the requirements after a week and was approved and given a blue card afterwards.
         The doctor then gave me requests for the laboratory exam (ecg, xray and blood chem) which are pre requisites for the operation. After complying with those lab exams I went to the other doctor to present the lab results for clearance and was already approved. I was then scheduled on Friday for operation and will be admitted at the hospital tomorrow Nov 30.
     Last Monday, I also brought my blood donors in compliance also for my operation, it was also the day I found out that I passed the licensure exam for teacher.

Second Thoughts
       To be honest, I am still having second thoughts on that operation even though another doctor gave me an unsolicited advice last week, "hey, you need to undergo operation to remove that cyst inside - "hindi na yan matutunaw - 12cm x 19 cm malaking cyst yan at kelangan matanggal. I've research for the dermoid cyst (hope it is really a dermoid cyst only)and I was surprised to find out something - funny because it can have teeth, hair, bone, thyroid, sebaceous content etc. but risky because it can rupture with spillage of greasy content and can create much more problem inside.
      I thought of laparoscopy operation but I know that it is much more expensive. I bought carica papaya extract, magoosteen capsule, and honey because I was still hoping that it can make my cyst smaller and I was dreaming that operation will not pursue but hell no, it will proceed as schedule. My mother knows that I am trying to make an alibi to cover my fear. Tomorrow is really "the day - to face my fear."

 Just sharing again.
This is my third blog post to publish today.
Forgive me guys, I need to keep my mind busy to forget my fear.

When Health Problem Strikes In : Part 1 - Medical Diagnosis

          Last month, after the house assessment, I was all prepared and geared up for job hunting again but something unpredictable happened to me and it has something to do with my health. I was having an early morning conversation with my mother when I noticed something...

          "Ma, nagdadalang tao yata ako,...este nagdadalang bukol pala - me nakapa akong bukol sa puson ko habang nakahiga ako. Tumayo agad ang nanay ko at kinapa sabay sabi." Ay lintek kang babae ka, magpa check agad tayo." Sagot ko, "Ma, pagtapos na nating magbayad  ng tax sa cityhall." pumayag naman sya.

          After two weeks, my mother pawned her necklace and gave me two thousand pesos and she told me, "Magpacheck up muna tayo bukas bago ka sumabak na naman ng apply ng trabaho." When my mother sounded mandatory I have no choice but to follow her so we went to the hospital the next day.

At the Hospital

        My mother always has this hypertensive/nervous feeling that she cannot control when she's at the hospital. I told her, "Kalma lang Ma, ako ang nagpapacheck up." Then OB-Gyne checked up the mass on the lower part of my abdomen and she instructed me to undergo ultrasound and come back immediately with the result. So I went back after two hours and gave her the result of the ultrasound . The smile on my face faded as the doctor explained to me the result of the ultrasound and her medical beating around the bush just an straightforward and direct to the point explanation. Here are her words to me:

"Hija, makinig ka, may malignant new growth feature ang cyst mo sa left ovary mo, kelangan mo maoperahan agad at matanggal ang left ovary at bukol mo. Nakaantabay ang oncologist habang inooperahan ka para ma-examine agad yung bukol kung malignant talaga. Kung malignant tatanggalin lahat ng ovary mo pati uterus at magready ka agad sa apat na chemotheraphy para maagapan kung ovarian cancer yan pero kung hindi malignant isasara na kita agad." dere derecho di ba?

          I went blank that moment and my tears started falling, I can no longer hear the other words she's saying. I just heard my mother asking for the cost of operation and the doctor answered 120k to 180k. Then she asked me, do you have Philhealth? I answered, I do not have a job and I do not have Philhealth. Then the doctor called the secretary, referred me to the doctor from the charity ward and I was given some few instructions first before we head back home.
        On our way home, I was so silent because I couldn't accept the doctor's diagnosis & suggestion. My mind is in an indenial state that whatever explanation my mother gave me, I just oppose and disagree her. She kept on telling me not to think too much, we'll get through it or we'll find a way for that operation to happen. She was telling me also that it is okay to remove my ovary and uterus if it could save my life and I was telling her. -
      " Ma, madali mong sabihin yan, may pamilya ka na at nandito na kami ng anak mo pero ako wala pa ko pamilya at feeling ko pag tinanggal ang ovary at uterus ko senseless na akong babae. Kaya ng utak kong tanggapin ang rational na solusyon sa ganitong problema pero di kaya tanggapin ng sarili ko at lalo ng puso ko. Yun ngang ooperahan at bibiyakin ako di na kaya ng isip ko, yun pa kayang tatanggalin ang ovary at uterus at may chemotheraphy pang isinunod".  

          It was only an initial diagnosis but it really affected me. I can't sleep and I can't eat right for three days because I can't accept that this is really happening. Some of my friends in fb were giving suggestions like second opinion, herbal medicines like paragis, laparoscopy etc. but I am still saying to myself that maybe or probably something is wrong with the diagnosis but I always ended up defeated with the arguments happening inside my mind and that I have to face my problem and find a wise solution to it.

Not financially related, just pouring my thoughts and problems here.

Yes, I passed the LET!

          I was feeling kind of depressed lately because of my current health condition ( I'll write about it later) but I received a great news yesterday that totally changed my mood.

          I was sitting beside my mother at the hospital that day when I decided to open my fb and saw the greetings that one of my classmate passed the Licensure Examination for Teacher. I was happy for her but not for myself because I've set my mind not to expect anything, "ang hirap kasi talaga ng exam". Still curiosity knocks in, I searched for all the other names of my classmates,...including my name too.

          My mother started noticing me, "Ano ba yan kanina ka pa dutdut ng dutdut dyan sa cp mo."
I didn't mind my mother's words, I kept on searching until I stumble upon my name and burst out these words, " S*** Ma, pumasa ako, pangalan ko yan di ba?... Sorry for the word "S"... I couldn't contain my emotion that moment. It was really unexpected, my mother checked my cp again, "Oo nga pangalan mo nga, naks lisensyadong teacher na anak ko, Biro mo nakapasa ka, sabi ka pa naman ng sabi na babagsak ka." Di ko talaga expect Ma, Thank God talaga!!! There were really tears in my eyes, tears of joy but I tried to hide it because there's a lot of people around us yesterday.

       This is a short and impromptu post, I publish it first because I couldn't contain the happiness I am feeling right now --Lutang pa ko kahapon at ngayon pa lang nagsisink-in sa akin tong salitang to - YES, PASADO AKO SA LET!!! Proud Licensed Secondary Teacher - TLE Major!!!

 God Bless everyone!!!

P.S. Sorry I can't upload the screen shot of my name on the PRC list here.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Confession: I am a "Nagger Ate" at home

(Convo with my Brother)
Bunso: Ate, kelan ka mag-aaply?
Me: Pagka-graduate ko.
(After graduation)
Bunso: O ate, graduate ka na kelan ka mag-aapply?
Me: Pagtapos ng English training ko?
(After English training)
Bunso: Tapos na training mo 'te, kelan ka mag-apply?
Me: Pagtapos ng Japanese cuisine training ko.
(After Japanese cuisine training)
Bunso: Ate, kelan ka ba talaga mag-aapply?
Me: Patapusin mo muna board exam ko.

(After Board Exam)
Bunso: O ate, tapos na board exam mo, kelan ka mag-aapply?
Me: Papahingahin mo lang akong konti, mag-apply rin ako.
        Teka, bakit ba lagi ka nagtatanong?
Bunso: Eh, pano yan te', baka next year wala na ko trabaho, 
na-assign ako sa ibang department baka di ma-renew ang contract ko.
Me: (here's comes the nagger Ate)
"Yan yan na nga ba sinasabi ko kaya paulit ulit ako nagsasabi na
mag-ipon at paghandaan yang ganyang problema.
Alam mo na posibleng mawalan ka ng trabaho, di ka naghahanda.
Ano panggastos mo pag nawalan ka ng trabaho?
Pati pagbabayad ng utility bills ako na naman lahat.
Bago ko nawalan ng trabaho, nakaplano ako. Hindi pede ang ganyan, ilang taon ka na ba?
maging responsable ka naman sa buhay...etc. etc. etc......"
Bunso: Hay si ate, nag litanya na naman,...sige na ate pasok na ako sa trabaho, bye.

My mother looked at me and I just said, "Hinahigh blood na ako dyan sa mga anak mo Ma?
Ako lang ba dito sa bahay ang ganito ka-paranoid pag may mawawalan ng trabaho., noon si Kuya ngayon naman tong isa."
          I hate to admit that I am that kind of Ate in our house. Well, what can I do I have to. At times I felt that I am the only one who worries a lot over the possible financial problems that may arise. It is one of the reasons also why I decided to stay home and not look for a job. I want them to feel the real life situation today and not the fancy & luxury of malls of this modern day era. It's hard to mold their minds even if they are part of the family but I still try and hope that they will change.

          Life today is getting harder and more complicated as compared to the past and simple life we had before. I always remind my brother that "you cannot do something about your past but you can always prepare for your future" and that I think is what I want my brothers to realize and I hope they  will  soon.

How bout you?
Do you have that same kind of experience with your family?
Till then. Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Health Benefits from our City Government

           Almost 8 years ago my father had a stroke and was confined in ICU in a hospital. The cost of the hospitalization was really beyond our financial capacity. Both my parents were hospitalized that day but the good thing was they both had health cards & Philhealth which covers almost 70% - 80% of the bills and recovery expenses and the remaining amount were taken from our pocket.

         Fast forward...after more than 8 years I am so thankful that I'm still with my parents. But I still worry sometimes, I know it's a sin not to trust God completely but sometimes I can't help it. Why, simply because they no longer have health cards, "ang babaw no?" but its a big deal to me because I know that that there's a possibility that those health emergencies might strike again plus a regular check up and other medical requirements are needed (i.e. laboratories and medicines). And though I have set aside 20k for health emergencies, I know that it is not enough. I know that I am still not financially prepared and will never be prepared with this kind of emergencies and the only one whom I can turn to is God again. I always pray to HIM to provide instruments that can help me with my worries and I realize that HE was actually helping me through the health benefits we received from Taguig City government.

Here are some instruments in our community that God sent me to help my parent's medical needs:

1. Barangay Health Center - The health center in our area is a few blocks away from our place - my father has formed a habit of walking daily around our neighborhood and sometimes he would visit the Health Center whenever he's not feeling well (glad he is more aware of his health condition) and would often bring home the free medicines and vitamins that was given to him afterwards.

2. Free and Regular Supply of Maintenance Medicines - One of the things that I am really thankful with regards to the projects of our government today is the free medicines given by DOH. Regularly, we were visited by their representatives for check up and records and most importantly for the free supply of maintenance medicine. Amlodephine, Lozartan and Metoprolol were regularly supplied to my mother, my father and my Kuya too. Yes, my Kuya is hypertensive too and he is now taking Lozartan also. It helped lessen maintenance medicine expenses that my parents are currently taking. 

3. Free check ups - when it comes to specialists that my parents need like cardiologist, neurologist, pulmonologist, etc - schedule is given and patients need to follow the process before they schedule the patients' appointment to their doctor. It was a big help to me because regular check up with these specialist is needed because of the health condition of my parents and we know how much is the consultation fee these days.

Hospital Procedure

Doctor's Schedule

4. 40% to 60% discount on some laboratories - my father took 2D echo last week and 40% discount is given to him as a citizen of Taguig and 20% discount as a senior citizen. My brother and I contributed for the remaining amount. By the way, both my parents are now 69 years old already.

5. Free eyeglasses - eyeglasses are also given to the seniors and my parents also received those eyeglasses few months ago.

        So there goes some of the benefits we are enjoying in our community. It may not be good as compared to the benefits from other cities still it is a big help especially to us who belongs to a class C-D society and for a jobless citizen like me.

Have a great week ahead!
God Bless.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Job Hunting Series 2: Another interview experience & Online exam

          SECOND DAY

          My second job interview was last October 11. I was interviewed at 11 am and finished at around 12:30 pm, "grabe ganun pala katagal ang behavioral assessment." I know I pass that interview and so I waited. I skipped my lunch because I thought that I'll only be waiting for the formality of the result but I was wrong...there's another exam if you pass the interview - an online exam. So I took it again for less than two hours. Afterwards, I asked the coordinator if he has the result already - I was told to wait to until 3:40 pm and that's the time that I had the courage to ask if I can have a lunch break. I didn't realize that it was past 3 pm - my stomach was rumbling and my head was really aching. I had a quick lunch at Jollibee and went back. I was informed that I pass the online exam except for that cellphone brand exam which I have to admit that I am not familiar with the latest gadgets and stuffs related to it. (I am still an owner of a five year old myphone brand cp). I was again required to take the exam but my headache was really terriblethat day and so I asked if it can be rescheduled and glad they agreed to move it on Friday.


         After the house assessment inspection last October 12, I realize that I am not yet ready to work - not because I am not ready physically but because I felt that I still need to finish some things first before I can continue my job applicatrion. My mother told me, "Ayusin mo muna lahat ng dapat mong ayusin bago ka magtrabaho." So after thinking things over I went back last October 13 not to take the exam or continue the application but to inform that I am not going to pursue my application and be going back after another 30 days.

         So there goes my unfinished job hunting experience. I just felt that there are still some unfinished personal business that I need to attend to first before I can focus on the new career path I plan to take.

Till then.
Have a great day!
God Bless.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Job Hunting Series: Day 1 - Job Fair at Market Market

          For an introvert like me - staying at home with my family is a heaven that's why its hard for me to pull my feet out again of my comfort zone...but my desire to find a job was triggered when I saw the result of my calculated net worth. So I prepared 10 resume and a few photocopies of some of my credentials and went to the job fair last Tuesday.

Day 1
Job Fair at Market Market

          I went to Market Market where the Jobfair was held, register at the Dole booth and applied in five different companies :

1. HARTE HANKS -  is not included in that job fair but somebody approach me while I'm on my way to the mall and led me directly inside their office and immediately introduce me to the interviewer. I pass both the language and phone simulation test but they offered a technical support representative position which I think I am not familiar with so I requested the interviewer to give me time to think about it first.

2. TELEPERFORMANCE - pass the initial interview and referred for final assessment in SM Aura on the next day.

3. 24/7 - pass the initial interview and referred for final assessment in McKinley office on the next day too.

4. Alorica - pass the initial interview but didn't want the position and the account they were offering.

5. Intelenet - submit my resume and fill up some form and requested to be interviewed on the next day.

         It was almost 5pm when I decided to go home. it was a bit long and tiring day but I enjoy this job hunting experience.

Just sharing my experiences again.
Till then!
Have a great day guys!
God Bless

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Networth Update: HIT THE TARGET!

      Finally, after paying for last paying month of my laptop I can now say that I am really debt free. I now have the courage to calculate my networth and be able to estimate how much is needed to reach my target goal this year - to reach the 500K Target this 2017. But as I calculate my networth I was surprise with the result I saw in my calculator...YES, I HIT MY 500K TARGET !!!

          Yes, I know I'd be able to reach my first target 100k, since I deposited a portion of the last salary I receive from my previous company to reach it. I know I'd be able to maintain my 10k personal e-fund since I receive a 15k review assistance for my board exam...But reaching my third target which is 500k as early as today is really a surprise to me.

Here's the breakdown:

         I am now getting more and more excited in reaching my 1M goal. Hopefully, I'd be able to find a job so I can continue to reach my goals and dreams in life.

Have a really great week ahead!
God Bless Everyone!!!

3rd Qtr: Random Financial Thoughts and Updates

          I've been unemployed for more than eight months now. The last month payroll I signed was last January but I received the completion of my salary last March.

To date, I am trying to live within my side income of P 3000/monthly rent given by my brother and the remaining savings from my review assistance I received last August.

Here are some random updates I did these past few months:

1. I opened an atm savings account in Eastwest Bank. My reason - I closed my BPI Family savings account last year because I thought I will not use it anymore but I was wrong. I still need a savings account for cash loans should financial emergency situation arise. Good thing, I only need P100 to open that account and glad I was able to use it too in redeeming my FAMI shares.

2. Got my loyalty card in Pagibig Fund for P 100, started a voluntary contribution for P200 pesos only and my MP2 savings for P1000.

3. Glad I was approved in BPI Amore credit card application. I wanted a credit card that has no hassle in waiving its annual fee (BPI Amore card annual fee is perpetually waived). And what I do like most is the free access it gives to the customer lounges in Ayala Malls that my brother always teases me whenever we go to the mall. "Nanay at Tatay ko pede pumasok kasi senior, kapatid, hipag at pamangkin ko nakakapasok dahil may BPI amore card sya at ako naiiwan sa labas pero pede naman pumasok may bayad lang ang na P10, pero sayang din di ba? (my brother knows that I am kuripot and wont spent that P10)

4. I earned P2,000 cash credits in Eastwest member get member promo for the two approved members I referred, I received it last April

5. I earned P400 from selling Ice every month but I stopped selling now when I saw that there is a P1/kw increase in the billing this month.

6. I collect cans & plastics from our household consumption and sell them.
We pay P50 monthly for garbage collection  fee. We also give another P5 to the collectors every other day. But I saw them segregate our garbage and that gave me an idea to put it a separate bag and sell them after a month. Anyway, they were already paid for their services so why not save these trash and turn it into money. As what they always say-"may pera sa basura". Let's see how much money I can get from it after a year.

7. I collect some unwanted coins and deposit it in my savings account. Whenever I clean our house I always saw scattered 5cents, 10 cents, and 25 cents and pick them up and collect. I realize that it would be an addition to my savings account since the banks only gives .125% & .25% , I just think of it as an additional interes in my savings account.

         These are just some simple things I've done while being unemployed, simple things that contributes little things in my savings but great things in life. Like what I have written in my header, "All great things come from humble beginnings."

Till then guys.
Have a great day! God Bless.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Financial Update 2: Redeem shares at FAMI and MP2 Savings in Pagibig Fund

          Last August, I went back to Pagibig office to claim my loyalty card ID, pay another quarter of my contribution and request for a hardcopy of my total contribution. I was sad when I saw that the last payment made by my former employer was last April 2015 but was glad at the same time when I saw the breakdown of employee's share, employer's share and its dividend. Would you believe that the total dividend is higher than the shares made by the employer and employee, interesting di ba?
         Another financial step I made was to start my MP2 or Modified Pagibig II for P1000. I became interested on this program when I heard the news of the high interest rate of 7.43% they gave last 2016, you can also check it on this site -
          It made me rethink of my financial plans - since Pagibig fund is also a mutual fund I decided to redeem some of my shares in Fami and transfer it on my MP2 fund. So after a week, I went to FAMI and redeem my balance fund shares (3,793 shares) and a portion of my equity fund (1,150 shares).

         Balanced fund is the first mutual fund I opened last July 2014 since it is moderate risk fund I decided to have a dip on this kind of investment and gave three years on this fund to grow but unfortunately it didn't. Now I truly understand why banks are giving emphasis on risk when I inquired about UITF few years ago. But the good thing about attending financial seminars is that investors are prepared to take the risk and be able to know their risk tolerance. In my case, the 1k plus loss both in my balanced and equity fund is within my risk tolerance so when I redeemed my shares I already expected that it will have some losses based on the current market value of my shares.

          Going back to the main topic, the FAMI shares I redeem were directly deposited to my Eastwest Bank debit card and after it was cleared I withdraw it in their branch which is one block away from SM Aura and afterwards remit P17,000 in my Pagibig MP2 savings. Yes, I am more than a year advance which is really my plan to save me from the time and hassle of going back to their office every now and then.

         I still have some equity shares in FAMI, Philequity and Soldivo and I am still trying to figure out  on how to simplify my financial vehicles and re-align it towards my financial goals.

        So there you have it, another financial journey of a minimum wager...ooops - "financial journey of a jobless citizen", jobless nga pala ako ngayon. Promise mag-aaply na ko next week, I am just finishing the house assessment I applied in city hall para kahit papano may 10% peace of mind ako sa status ng lote namin.

How 'bout you?
Do you have changes in your financial plans?
Have a great week ahead.
God Bless.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Financial Update 1: Continued my Voluntary Pagibig Contribution

          Hi guyz!!! Sorry I haven’t been around for a while, ‘need to focus on some important matters. I miss blogging and I really miss my blogging world – reading blogs from my favourite sites and writing my own post. I am still jobless, eight months to be exact but I promise myself I will apply next month. Staying at home is my comfort zone that’s why I’m having a hard time pushing myself again out of my comfort zone.

         Anyway, this post is still in line with my financial goals. Though unemployed, I still have some financial goals  (500k Target this 2017)   set in my mind to fulfill. Part of that goal is to continue my contribution in Pagibig fund, so I went to their office in SM Aura Branch last May. Their office was almost jampacked but they had a systematic way of attending to their client's need (i.e. electronic numbering and segregation of transaction) so it only took me more than an hour to finish my two transactions - to apply for the loyalty card and to pay for the continuity of my Pagibig Fund contribution. It was very easy, as soon as my number was  flashed on their monitor I went to the designated staff and presented my MID number, stated my purpose for continuing my contribution as a self employed and voluntary member then automatically they encode my number and issued a receipt for the month of May and June (paid P 400.00 for 2 months).
         Afterwards, my other number was flashed on the screen again for my loyalty card application. So I went to the designated area, the Pagibig staff helped me fill up the application, took my picture, paid P100.00 and in just few minutes, I'm done again. Hey, their loyalty card has lots of freebies and rewards, I just forgot to take a leaflet but promise I will write about it.
         And that’s it. As easy as abc, I am now an active Pagibig fund member again.

So there goes my Pagibig application journey.
Till then! Have a great week ahead! God Bless everyone.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

New Savings Account in Eastwest Bank

          Hello guys!!! If you've been dropping in my blog once in a while you'll know that I've been unemployed for six months already but that doesn't mean that I can't save anymore.

           I sell ice, collect some scattered coins found while I clean our house, sell the household plastic cans & bottles (kalakal as they describe it), and the extra amount from the house rent I receive from my brother. These are the things I do at home to save little amount regularly.
          To gather these little amounts, I opened a savings account in Eastwest Bank where I can put all those amount I save. Would you believe that I only need P100 to open a Basic Savings Account here and for only P500 your money will earn an interest of 0.125% - the same interest given by other banks.

        What interests me is their low maintaining balance of  P100 only since this account is primarily set as one of my emergency fund and my separate account for all my earnings at home while being unemployed. I got to enjoy saving regularly without the worries of penalty if my account balance falls down on their required maintaining balance. Hey, its my emergency fund and it comes with the possibility of withdrawing most of its balance should the time of need arises.
        Another thing that encourages me to save in their bank is that their staffs are kind and accommodating especially for a small client like me. They would smile at me even if I deposit coins in their bank which is one of the qualities I am looking for in choosing savings bank. It's the same attitude of staffs that greeted me 22 years ago when I first enter the bank and open a passbook account of P100. Not going to mention its name but it's the largest bank now in the Philippines but they are not as accommodating as they were before.
          This savings account comes along with a debit card and a mini statement balance from their ATM machines so you'll be able to track down your transactions regularly. Their branch is located in South Market near  SM Aura where my mother and I usually hang out so its accessibility is  advantageous to me.

         There you have it, another experience shared. So even if I don't have a regular job anymore, I do save regularly no matter how small the amount is. Disciple is important in saving & investing and when we do it regularly it becomes our lifestyle too.

Till then. Have a great day ahead! God Bless.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Another course in TESDA

          My mother knows how I hate cooking so she was shocked when she learned that I enrolled in a Japanese cuisine "Washoku" course in TESDA Womens Center sponsored by ABC Cooking Studio. I am not really interested in cooking but I am curious and fascinated on how these delicious Japanese foods (based on the stories of my two classmates because I do not really know the taste of these Japanese foods) are being cooked and prepared. Here are some memoirs of my cooking journey in TESDA.
          On our first day, we went to the different stores where our trainer bought the ingredients needed on the recipes prepared for this week training and we went back to TESDA to start the lesson prepared by our trainer or "sensei" in Japanese term. Nine (9) recipes were prepared for us scheduled from Monday till Friday.
for Monday and Tuesday
for Wednesday and Friday
last day activity
         We had a little celebration on our last day and finally the distribution of certificates was done on the last part.
last day celebration
distribution of certificates
         This training really caught my interest and now planning to dip my hands in the world of cooking,  a  lot of experimentation I guess, hahah. But seriously, I was glad I became part of this training, really amazed on how clean and discipline the preparation of these Japanese cuisine.

Just sharing my experiences again.
Till then. have a great day ahead! God Bless.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Another Big Day

         Yes, I had another big day last month. After my graduation in TUP, I also finished a 100 hour training in TESDA and it happened last July 11. It was a very simple ceremony but I consider it as a big day because of the fun and memorable days I had there that I will truly treasure. Here are some of the photos of the fun and enjoyable experiences in TESDA.
first week
fun days
fine dining set up
last day
        Initially, my plan was to recall the basic parts of speech and further enhance my english communication skills but I never thought that I will learn more. My trainer was able to demonstrate variety of teaching styles and strategies and I have learn a lot from her. And what makes this training extra special is the enjoyable moments I had with my classmates that I consider my new found friends.
happy to receive my certificate
         The course was intended to those who wants to work as a customer service worker and TESDA NLSI not only offers this English Prof course, they also offer foreign language course such as Basic Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin and Arabic as well.

          I may not be financially productive these days but I felt that this was the most productive year I had in my life. I maybe unemployed but I want to use this time and opportunity to gain more knowledge. I am now looking for the online courses in TESDA and Allison while I'm currently reviewing for board exam.

Just sharing my experiences again!
Have a great day ahead!
God Bless everyone!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Minsan lang naman" Spending

          Graduation day... though it was a very special day to me it doesn't mean that I have to spend more on this occasion. I didn't practice the "minsan lang naman" saying that we should spend more money on this very rare event in life but instead I used it as a motivation to look for alternatives that can lessen my expenses on this special day.

On dress - Initially, my plan was to wear black pants and blouse but they told me it isn't suitable for the occasion. Luckily,  I ended up wearing the dress I borrowed from my sister in law. So why buy if you can borrow anyway, "minsan lang naman gagamitin, di ba?"
On jewelry - I spent ten pesos on my pair of earrings - yes you read it right, just P10 for the fake pearl earrings. I also found an old fake pearl necklace that I bought at P10 few years ago and used the pearl bracelet from Palawan given by my brother. "Minsan lang naman gagamitin" so why buy an expensive one, right?

On shoes - Initially my plan was to use my old black shoes with 1" heels but the school required a higher one so I bought a pair of bronze colored heeled shoes at P499 only. So even if "minsan lang naman gagamitin",  my mother told me I should own one because I might need it in the future anyway. (Can't borrow from my sister in law - her shoes has very high heels :))
New shoes / old bag
On bag - Well, we all know girls/women are addicted to bags especially on important occasion and I'm one of those guilty ones but I am sticking to my no spending on bag rule I set to myself last year. Fortunately, I found an old bag given by my cousin few years ago and it still looked good. "Minsan lang naman gagamitin, e" so why buy if you already have one anyway.

On make up - I actually plan on wearing no make up at all but after our yearbook photoshoot I became more concern on how to look more beautiful on graduation day. So I bought a cheap false eyelashes at P20 but my problem was who's going to put it on my eyelid. So my mother told me "hay naku minsan ka lang magpaganda, magpamake-up kana." So I spent P400 on make up and got an opportunity to wear that P20 false eyelashes I bought, "minsan lang naman di ba?". I consider it as a gift to myself, anyway.
final make-up transformation-with P20 false eyelashes
           So there goes my "minsan lang naman" story but whether it is a "minsan lang naman" spending or common day spending, we have to think thrice before letting go of our money. It's hard to earn money right that's why we have to spend wisely. How bout you? Have you had this "minsan lang naman spending moment" in your life?

Till then. Have a great day and God Bless.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Big Day

          Yes, my big day happened last July 3 at SMX Convention Mall of Asia - our graduation day. We left our house past 10 am and arrived at MOA at around 11 am as per school's advice but the program started at 1pm. We were tired and hungry but I didn't remember it that way because I was so happy and excited during that day. So to give you the glimpse on how my big day turned out, here are some photos:
With my mother
With my parents

With my classmates and our school's asst director
Resting while waiting - not used to wearing close heeled shoes
With my classmates
And of course our final moment on the stage
           The program ended at around 4pm and that's the time that I realized how hungry we were. We took our lunch in Mang Inasal with an unlimited rice meal and a big serving of halo halo, and we really max out our appetite with the unlimited serving of rice and their delicious special halo halo. Hey I need to be practical, right - no fancy restaurant for this special day but it was special for me because I'm with my parents and my kuya - sorry I do not have any picture of it because we were all preoccupied to ease our hunger that moment.

          So there goes my big day. Though not much happened but it was a very meaningful day to me - the fruit of my determination, the result of my hard work and the fulfillment of my dream all happened on this big day.

         Till then! Have a great day ahead!!!

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