10 April, 2020

Life in Lockdown: Unplugged

25 days in since our central government implemented the "Enhanced Community Quarantine" ( ECQ ) aka Movement Control Order in Malaysia or Stay-at-Home Order or Shelter in Place in other countries or bluntly ... a lockdown. I know that this is all in a bid to slow down or hopefully to stop the war between us and virus enemy that we don't see, but I still wake up on some days in disbelief that in this day and age of artificial intelligence and all sorts of technological advancements, we ... and not just Filipinos, but the rest of the world, are experiencing this global catastrophe.

It is a scary time. And none of us was prepared for it.
I won't say that I'm adapting. I also won't say that I could get used to this.
I'm still trying to wrap my head on everything that's happening.

How am I faring?
I am thriving and I am complying.

Those who know me offline know that I'm this little ball of unlimited energy who's so used to having her days filled with endless things to do. I must have been programmed that way. I like it. I really do. I was never a fan of meetings ( because there are a lot of things that can be resolved even via email ), but I can stay up until 6AM & just talk to someone ... over drinks, of course and I'd still be normal the following day. I dig deadlines. I hate not being able to go to work ... surprise! I enjoy planning, all that thinking & strategizing. I get excited when I discover a new restaurant, but I'm also a creature of habit when it comes to food. I have a designated hidden spot in my favorite bars. I find it interesting talking to not-so-random strangers. I get this certain kind of IK ( internal kilig ) with road trips — must be the grocery shopping before the trip, the stopovers, road trip playlists, over-priced food & drinks, the anticipation, and the hours that you spend in the car that bond you with the people you're with. Oddly, I don't like crowds, but I am happy being around and being with people.

Change was so sudden.
And this new reality that we're all in is pretty intense for me.


If you're reading this, you know that you're not alone, right? We have all been mandated to stay indoors. Some would still find a reason to complain that the government has harsh restrictions, but right now, without a vaccine, do we have a better choice? See? So, staying at home right now is good not just for our families, our friends, and our communities, but also for the world. Whether we like it or not, we're all in this together and we can only get through this together. So, when we are told to stay home, we all have to stay home — the same with the rest of the guidelines that we must all follow to survive this new normal.

The initial intent for this post was supposed to be about disconnecting and unplugging from screen time & social media, but I felt that the world decided to unplug all of us from the rest of the world and things that we loved to do outside of our homes. As much as it sucks, when I was doing all my reflective thinking at the start of the lockdown, amidst all these, I still found many things to be thankful for. For me, one of them would be the Internet. Yes? A resounding YES. Thriving would be extremely difficult if we didn't have Internet. And with that, here are a few Internet-related stuff that helped me do okay while in lockdown.

My relationship with Netflix during quarantined living is a lot healthier compared to when we didn't have the lockdown. Strangely, I'm not binging. I strictly followed whatever Netflix time I set. If I wanted to stick to my sleep hours and help my immune system, I have to put some discipline with my watching time. Are you doing the same? Anyways, I hope you find something interesting from my current list. I wrote just my TOP 5.
1. Hi Bye, Mama
2. My Secret Terrius ( DONE! )
3. Itaewon Class
4. Watching Again: How to Get Away with Murder
5. Watching Again: Suits

 HBO Go 
One of my friends threw in the idea. I had my friend check if Contagion was in the roster. Woohoo! That plus the 7-day trial convinced me to download the app. I knew they showed Contagion on cable TV at one time, but I never got to watch it because of work. Before HBO Go, I got YouTube Premium on trial because I thought that I could watch Contagion for free.Ö Nope. Kaya, maraming salamat talaga HBO Go.
1. Contagion
2. Blended
3. Mamma Mia
4. Pitch Perfect
5. Stepford Wives

Music ( with my gin mix ), well, the arts in general, has been helping me get through lockdown nights. Of course, there's still Spotify but I'm also thankful that a lot of artists have brought their shows online. While doing this, they're able to raise funds for health-workers and members of society who need assistance with food & other resources. The lockdown has hit us bad and many of our kababayans have not had work for close to a month now. Some of the artists whose livestream-ed gigs and virtual concerts that I watched were ...
1. Chris Martin's Together at Home gig
2. DJ John Robinson's lockdown parties on Twitch ( loved all the 80s & 90s songs that he played )
3. Gary V for Bayanihan Musikahan
4. Replay: Martin Nievera for Bayanihan Musikahan
5. Replay: The Company for Bayanihan Musikahan

 Online Learning 
I've always believed that learning doesn't stop in school. I've always made sure to find ways to educate myself with new learnings, one way or the other. And since we are not on a work-from-home arrangement, I have plenty of time on my hands plus I need to keep my brain working & grabbed whatever relevant virtual learning opportunity there is.
1. I enrolled in a social media marketing class. Got a lot of validation & affirmation here in what I'm doing at work.Ü
2. I got Master Class, too.
3. Webinars: Jonathan Yabut
4. Webinars: Lamudi Philippines
5. I've also been watching a few cooking videos ... fingers crossed if I will have a change of heart

Our government has extended the lockdown here in my country up to month-end, but really, who knows if it will even be lifted. I'm guessing that it will get another extension or two. Goodluck to our economy. And there isn't much that we can do, but to be good citizens of our countries — we need to continue to comply, stay home, and keep our fingers crossed for a miracle. Let's all strive to find the good in all these and do our best to remain strong for ourselves & our loved ones. Let's also try to be a little kinder to one another.

Kind of not connected to, but I checked the last post I did. Ang wild lang, because it was November 2017. I was going through a rough time then. Same as now. But writing somewhat made me feel better. Most of the time, it does naman talaga. I'm glad that I decided to inch my way back into it. Pain is one hell of a great motivator.

I want to end my comeback post with these words that struck me and stuck with me. They're from Gary V's Bayanihan Musikahan last Thursday. "When we are faced with fear, may we understand at least that there cannot be any faith if fear is not lingering around. What is it to have faith when everything is okay? But may the fear trigger the faith and may faith be fueled and sustained by hope."

Let's keep the faith & let's be nice to one another.
Here's to complying to be socially distant while doing my part to save the world.
_Love + Good Vibes. RUSS.

Thank Yous
» Writing Prompt from Bloggers, Unplugged via The Daily Post
» Image from Dan Burton on Unsplash

13 November, 2017


I do not even know where to start. I have been MIA for eight ( 8 ) months. Shame. I tell you, I have a perfectly solid and valid reason why it's been a ghost town in here lately. The past months have been nothing but intense craziness. My work place has been transferred to our corporate head office since March of this year. Stating the obvious, travel is 24-kms one-way, so x2, that would be 48-kms every day. It does not help that we have one of the most terrible traffic systems here in the Philippine. Imagine having to wake up at 4:30AM every single day if I want to clock-in at 8 o' clock in the morning. I didn't think I'd last, but luckily I am surviving. I just don't know if I will ever be able to adjust to this living in the South & working in the far North kind of thing.


I wish I'd get my blogging mojo back. I have tons of scheduled and unfinished posts that I have been wanting to share with all of you, but I just can't seem to bring myself to wholeheartedly write about them. I have been going to bed tired and have been waking up the following day still tired. So whatever little free time I have, I choose to get extra hours of sleep or hang with friends or simply do nothing. I try to enjoy these little un-frazzled moments.

Even in my 30s, I see that I am still a work-in-progress. As tough as the past months have been — transferring offices, a good boss resigning + a close friend resigning, everyone wanting to be a super cook in the kitchen, everything that came out from these experiences taught me a lot about myself and have shown me that I am resilient & can slay while I'm at it :)

Have you ever struggled in being a grown-up? What do you do whenever you feel like there's just so much on your plate? Any advice on how to make adulting easier?  Peace + ❥ Love + Good Vibes. RUSS.

13 March, 2017

Things I Love Sundays: Quiet Time

I didn't go home a couple of Saturdays ago. Well, it's no secret that I am an extrovert. I enjoy being around and with people yet there are moments when I crave for some quiet and peaceful time, alone. It is not something that I often get unless I impose it, which I did a couple of weeks ago. Sure, I like to hang with my friends, share stories, and catch up. I'm fond of night caps and late weeknights with colleagues. I dig long breakfasts. Yet three weeks ago, I had way too much of un-wanted chaos and noise. It did drain the energy out of me. I reached this point wherein I simply longed to take a break that sort of "people-fasting", to shut down, and just itched for everything to go on a complete halt.

Alone Time.

Of course - these things don't happen with a snap of a finger so the choice to not go home for a couple of days was a good one. No one knew where I was. There were no traces of me in social media for at least a good 2 days, but really, I was just in the city. But I tell you, that one selfish moment that I yearned brought me solitude. It may have been for just a few days, but it was glorious. And now, I promised myself to carve out mandatory weekly or if I'm lucky enough, daily me-time hours.

If you're curious » »» »»» nope, I didn't do anything out-of-this-world, but I was tempted to travel solo somewhere but I knew it would be 'bitin'. Being the responsible human being that I am, I can't just leave work and YOLO away... that would be super fun though.Ü My Mom thinks otherwise. I did little, me-time stuff and I liked it. I won't be surprised if I find myself booking a flight and going somewhere, alone. This is something that I have been wanting to do for the longest time, but I guess I'm just scared to do it. However, taking inspiration from my word of the year — courage, it may just happen one of these days.

I came across Think Simple Now and I love how they described alone-time as something beautiful and healthy. We all know how others frown upon solitude because most people think that it's lonely. That's just one way to look at it. Here's a snippet from Think Simple Now's article.

"There is a power in being able to find contentment in solitude. Bacon ( Francis Bacon ), wasn't far off when he ascribed god-like powers to the people who can enjoy solitude. If you are able to be happy alone, then even in the emptiest times in life you can find peace and even joy. I'm not suggesting solitude is better than being with people. Simply that it’s impossible to completely avoid aloneness in life, so it’s worth having a strategy to find joy in those moments. Enjoying solitude can also give you an independence that makes you less desperate with friends and less likely to cling onto lousy relationships."

P had his solitude, unplugged moment too. He went on this tour slash trek to one of the mountains here in the Philippines. He went with this group wherein he didn't know anyone. While there's a part of me that felt that I should have been with him climbing that mountain, I just could not get myself to be a clingy and demanding person. That was his much-needed, sacred me-time. If situations were reversed, I'd want him to respect my time alone, too.Ü Anyways he came back re-charged and all jazzed up.

Have you ever craved for me-time? What things do you enjoy doing alone? I like taking long walks. I can also spend days worth learning how to do make-up ( from YouTube, of course ), but next month or next next month, I'm gonna try to squeeze in taking make-up lessons.  Peace + ❥ Love + Good Vibes. RUSS.

Things I Love Sundays: Making 2017 Count