One of the things I dislike most about being an adult is getting sick. Let me count the ways…

(1) I don’t like when I’m sick enough that I need to miss work, because this means I have to use up leaves (if I do have any) or go without pay for the days I miss work when I’m not entitled to paid leaves. It also means I need to catch up with work when I get back after a sickie.

(2) As an adult, I am expected to take care of myself when I am sick. That means taking care of all my basic needs even if I am not feeling well. This includes preparing food for myself, keeping the place clean and organised, and even laundry still need to happen. It’s challenging to manage one’s energy to be able to do all necessary domestic things when you’re not feeling well.

(3) Going to the doctor or the hospital is now typically a solo activity. No one is expected to take you to the hospital. You’re lucky if you have a good friend or a family member who is available and willing to go with you. Otherwise, you drag yourself out of your house, drive yourself (if you have a car) or take the public transport to the medical centre or hospital, and do the same going back.

(4) In addition, going alone to the doctor or the hospital means that you don’t have any emotional or moral support for anything that you may find out about your health. Maybe the closest alternative is having your family or close friends reachable by message or call on your mobile, but of course it isn’t the same.

(5) Missing activities and events when you’re sick is not fun. Sometimes even if you’re able to go, you can’t enjoy it as much and you usually have to leave early because you are not feeling well. Total buzz killer.

(6) Medicine and other related stuff are expensive! Even with health insurance, some consults and treatments also cost a lot. And as a responsible adult, you are now in charge of paying for all my own expenses. Goodbye shopping money.

(7) It’s always hard to decide if I’m too sick to go to work or to go somewhere or if I am well enough to do so. But I don’t have another adult to decide that for me, I am my own adult and I have to wrestle with myself to figure it out.

But most of all, getting sick never really feels good. No matter what illness – whether the usual colds or flu, body pains, injuries, short illnesses or persistent ones, minor conditions or acute or serious conditions – it’s always bound to make you feel bad.

And if you were wondering why I write about this, I am sick right now. Nothing serious but a whole lot annoying, and I’ve been semi-stuck at home for the past week. I’m doing my very best to be well enough to get to work tomorrow. I must.


Lately I’ve been hearing that term, ‘olive-skinned’. What does that even mean? I have always thought that olives are colored either green or black. But I’ve heard colleagues call themselves olive-skinned, compare how “dark” they are from other friends or relatives… and I look at them and they look much fairer than me!

“When people say “olive skin”, they generally are talking about a slightly darker complexion, usually in the light brown range, that has a naturally-tanned look.” –

Back home, I thought I had much fairer skin than most people. Colloquially they called it mestiza, and somehow it was effortless for me because that was my natural color. A lot of people were aiming for fair skin, and whitening products was big business back there.

I have not considered to artificially whiten my skin, and I don’t think I will. But right now I completely feel like the immigrant that I am. This is the risk of being in someone else’s country. I am no longer Snow White, no longer the fairest of this kingdom. I’ve never heard anyone call me olive-skinned or yellow-skinned yet, but I can feel how different I am from everyone else.

Perhaps I should use this realisation to my advantage. I should accept that I am unique, I am special, I am quite different especially in this new world that I am trying to conquer.

Come Alive

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
― Howard Thurman

I go through phases. Been through a stoic state for quite some time. Days go through like clockwork of things that need to get done and need to happen. My “adventures” were adventures of other people that I only ride along with, or serendipitous incidents, or things that I have forced myself to participate in and enjoy. A steady boring cruising through life for the past few months. But how I long to come out of it soon. I’m slowly feeling like someway somehow I’m on the way to coming alive again.

Humming music, singing songs in my head through lull moments – it may seem a simple thing, but it’s somehow a significant change for me. Music is a piece of my soul, and a piece of my soul is starting to speak to me again.

I crave for more colors, more glitter, more bling to cover myself with. I crave to garb myself in nice clothes. I want to look beautiful, to feel beautiful. It matters to me again.

I miss that feeling, that passionate aliveness. I’m not there yet, but I’m longing to be closer to it again.

“I did not know I was on a search for passionate aliveness. I only knew I was lonely and lost and that something was drawing me deeper beneath the surface of my life in search of meaning. There is a hunger in people to go to those deep depths; to know that our lives are sacred; that our hearts are truly capable of love. It is a yearning to be all the we can be. A longing for what is real.”
― Anne Hillman, The Dancing Animal Woman

Bridget Jones and my raging hormones

bjdThe trailer for ‘Bridget Jones’ Baby’, the newest Bridget Jones movie was very much appealing to me and I’m meaning to watch it soon, but I honestly haven’t seen any of the previous movies yet. That was until two nights ago, when I chanced upon their first movie, ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ showing on TV. Watching it for the first time, I found it to be much of a delight.

I don’t know really. Is it because she’s single and on a challenging search for that elusive love, and it is something I can pretty much relate to? In the movie though, in the craziest way, in a wonderful chance, she found a wonderful gorgeous man who was willing to take a chance on her. Mr. Darcy.

Wait, he sounds familiar. Oh yes, Pride and Prejudice. A little googling told me that Bridget Jones book and movie are actually loosely based on Pride and Prejudice, especially on the BBC series starring Colin Firth. Oh yes, Mr. Darcy. I was also in love with the Mr. Darcy from the 2005 movie version of P&P.

Okay, back to Bridget. And her Mr. Darcy.

Oh, I don’t really know if it was such a good idea to watch the movie while I am hormonal, highly emotional, and all that shiz. Somehow it has uncovered and unearthed all that subconscious longing and that unfulfilled desire for the love of my life, who somehow hasn’t shown himself yet after all these years.

I’ve enjoyed watching Colin Firth, Mr. Darcy. Where do I find myself a real life man like that? So I was pining for my own Mr. Darcy during and after the movie. Then went to bed (alone).

Lo and behold, my dreams may have revealed to me my hidden desires. Wonderful vivid dream about a guy I was in love with from long ago. It was the sweetest dream I’ve ever had for the longest time. I wish it never ended.

Honestly, I don’t really think I want him back, whoever that specific person was in my dream. But how I long for that feeling again. Why has it always been so elusive?

I had to watch the second movie too, ‘Bridget Jones – Edge of Reason’, since it won’t be long until the third movie is available in the cinemas for me to watch. I watched it tonight, and again just fell for Mr. Darcy even harder. Perhaps I did not relate with Bridget in the second movie as much as the first, since I didn’t agree with her reasons for questioning her relationship with Darcy. But Darcy has just been such a delight.

Within the next hour I shall go to sleep, but now I am already wondering what dreams will come this time around.

Pardon my tongue

The first time I ever travelled abroad, I was 17 and went to see relatives in the US and Canada and spent almost a month there. When I came back home, they said I sounded like I picked up a bit of an accent, but it went away soon after.

The same thing happened during my trip when I was 21. I spent 5 weeks in Canada, came home with a little bit of a Canadian tongue that also faded as soon as I came back home.

This time, it’s the first time ever that I lived aborad for a long time. When I arrived, I wondered if I would ever pick up their local accent. But I am much older now, at 31, and I seem to have frozen my tongue. After 10 long months of being here, I still sound like myself. So many strangers have correctly guessed that I am Filipino just based on my accent. Those not familiar with it mistake me for an American though. Perhaps I won’t be picking up accents as much as when I was younger.

Probably there are several factors.

  • I spend lots of time with Filipino friends and relatives who speak straight Tagalog.
  • I live in Sydney, and it is a very diverse mix of people from different backgrounds, everyone speaking their own way.
  • Even at work, everyone comes from a different background and speaks a different way.
  • Maybe I’m too old to be picking up accents that easily. 

The true test is when I come back for a visit. I wonder if I’ll sound any different. 

Good riddance

I was pining for a boy for the past few months…

I was pining. Longing, waiting, hoping that this certain someone will cast upon me his attention.

It was a boy. I no longer dare call him a man, since most recent realisations revealed that he is nothing but a boy.

It went on for a few long months. Call it madness. But mostly a waste of time.

But most of all, this statement is now in the past tense. The madness has ended. I have been set free. Good riddance.

Perhaps it’s a certain weakness of mine. Sometimes I waste my precious time not seeing the futility of certain things. I have awaken from this stupidity by some profound revelation – a truth that I spite from the deepest of my soul.

I know what I want. At the same time, I know what I don’t want – my non-negotiables. I have decided to tolerate most things that I can for the sake of someone I desire or love, unless non-negotiables present.

If there is something that makes your gut twist with disgust, something that makes you fear for your safety or for your life, or something that you know will bring out the worst in you, then you know those things are non-negotiable. No amount of love or care or desire can compensate for any of that.

Aside from the fact that I now know that he does not like me in a way that I wish he did, I have realised how immature he views love and relationships. Though not really a non-negotiable, that in itself ended it. Add to that a non-negotiable that goes against my sense of morality.

The best thing about all of this is I have been set free, and my attention shall no longer be captivated by an undeserving boy. I have regained my entire energy to spend on someone who so deserves it.

My personal data has been compromised – now what?

The Philippines’ Commission on Election (Comelec) hacking has created one massive data leak that affected almost, or perhaps all of the registered Filipino voters. A few days ago, there was a website that provided access to the available information by using one’s name as search term, and it shows all available information under that name. I just had to check which part of my personal information have been leaked, so that I know my personal risk factors connected to the leak. Indeed, my name was there, including some Personally identifiable information (PII).

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any data that could potentially identify a specific individual. Any information that can be used to distinguish one person from another and can be used for de-anonymizing anonymous data can be considered PII.(

I won’t enumerate what my leaked data contained to retain a sense of security. But let’s just say if someone was determined to do something about it, there may be bits of information that can be useful to them, if I am not careful of my transactions both online and offline. And my information is already out there somewhere in the internet and most probably in the dark web, it will probably be there forever.

Blame it on the government’s incompetence in digital security. However, no amount of blaming can reverse what has already been released to the world. Somehow I’m also a bit thankful of the government’s general incompetence in data management because there were some typos in my data that might make a difference. And I’m thankful that there is essentially no data consolidation across the different government agencies, so the leak in PII from one government entity did not connect to all other available personal information in other government agencies.

So now that my (any everyone else’s) personal data has been compromised, what can we do to protect ourselves from any harm that it can cause?

  1. Secure all your accounts. This is very important for all financial accounts, digital and online accounts, as well as any other accounts that may be accessed using your PII.
    • A lot financial institutions verify transactions using PIIs (e.g. mother’s maiden name, home address, etc.), but there are additional security features which may be available from some institutions such as mobile notifications or email notifications. This will alert your if there are any dubious transactions under your accounts.
    • Ensure that your passwords online are very secure, including your password recover options. Change all your passwords if you think your password may also have been compromised. For password recovery options, avoid using PII. Use strong passwords as much as possible. See tips here: If possible, also utilise extra layers of security available such as the 2-step verification.
  2. Monitor your transactions. Online banking is a pretty good way to monitor all activities in your account to ensure that nothing goes wrong, or if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to do something about it immediately. This also goes for your other accounts.
  3. Avoid phishing attempts.
    • Phone call phishing. In the past, I’ve already experienced receiving a call from someone who was posing to be from my bank and attempting to “verify” my personal information. I’m quite wary about those since I was not expecting that call, and there were other means to verify and update my information, so I did not give any information. I can imagine that possibly happening with the available information, with phishing attempts to get more information that may be used in identity theft.
    • Email phishing. Be careful when you open emails, especially those that you are not expecting, or those from senders that you are not familiar with. Make sure you don’t click on unnecessary links that may send your computer viruses, or hack your accounts, or steal your information.
  4. Keep a low profile. Remember that there the leaked information is comprised of millions of individuals, and you are only one of them. Since the information is mostly searchable by name, it may be the more popular and known one’s to be first targeted by criminals or what-nots. Remember BIR? It was the people who show up on the news (no matter how un-connected to taxes) who get their income tax closely reviewed and scrutinized. I would think it may be the same for this massive data leak. If you’re relatively unknown and do not seem to have a lot to offer, hopefully you’ll just go unnoticed.
  5. Use an alias online. Or at the very least, do not display your full legal name (with your middle and last names) on your social media and other online accounts. It may give you one thin layer of protection since the leaked information has your full name.

What else? I really don’t know, I’m not a data security expert. These are just some ways I can think about on how to protect myself, and how you can protect yourself in the midst of this massive mess that is the Comelec data breach.