Thursday, March 28, 2024

Holy Week 2024

Sibling bonding time

Happy to have my siblings and their spouses as guests at the beach house last Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday. I happen to be on a week-long break, mandatory. I drove to Zambales on Palm Sunday afternoon. It was an easy, pleasant drive on the Mini, with a stop for lunch and coffee.

My two Manila-based sisters and their husbands arrived the following day. This is their third time vacationing here. Too bad, c3 couldn’t join this time. It is always such a pleasure hanging out with them, reminiscing our childhood, Marites updates on everybody else. Highlights were the sunsets and full moon watching, the 80s jazz nostalgia and the karaoke, of course. 

We all went back to Manila yesterday. But I had to be driven by James, as I lost my contact lenses. Meanwhile, James actually resigned as my driver a day before. But since he had to get his stuff from the house, he agreed to drive for me. Poor guy’s pregnant wife is at risk of a difficult birth, with the baby already showing some congenital abnormality. 

So it’s back to being driverless, and staying at the Pasig condo for most of the workweek. I’ll try to make use of those nights to minimize dinner meals (and lose weight). Today, March 28, 2024 is Day One, Holy Thursday.

I need to lose weight and fat before my Executive Check-up. I’m not gunning for my previous weight. Just some few pounds and inches off till May. So help me God.

Libido’s been in check lately. Though I’d still want to hook up should an opportunity come. No opportunities coming my way lately. I don’t want to go back to Grindring. That app is a rabbit-hole that’s full of rejection and bruised (bashed) egos. Been 469 days since I deleted the app (been counting up haha).

I’ve also started the countdown to retirement: 732 days. So looking forward to that. But until that time, I remain cc - corporate captive (couldn’t use ‘slave’ LOL). And I will just have to savor these breaks in between the salt mines. 

Monday, January 22, 2024


We turned 11 today.  Not exactly a milestone year, right? But last year’s celebration was not exactly as we wanted it. We still spent it here in Boracay. But we both fell ill during the trip! First it was me and a very upset stomach. Then it was him feeling weak and feverish. 

I blame it on the first-day indulgence of what we miss in Boracay: Bar Lo’s 4-cheese pizza, oyster sisig, then coffee and dessert at Sunny Side. That wreaked havoc on my already-weak digestive tract! I was just in bed for 2 days. Then as I was recovering, c3 started feeling bad. And we weren’t happy with the amenities and the service of the hotel we stayed at. 

But this stay is shorter but sweeter. It was cut short since he had to fly back for work. Yet we maximized the time and had our great sunsets. We got to eat good food (Dos Mestizos, Hain at The Henry, Sunny Side, of course). And we sampled the night life of Om Bar and Rewind Bar (even if I don’t drink alcohol anymore).

11 years. Quite a feat. The relationship has evolved much, adjusting to our own life (and body) changes. I’m a lot older, nearing retirement, and now feeling so many aches and pains associated with aging. He has undergone (and continues to undergo) vision challenges. And I am happy to be here for him. 

We need to surpass 11 years, just to break the KathNiel record. LOL

Here’s to the next 11. 

Sunday, January 21, 2024

A Holiday Season like no other. Iba ka talaga 2023.

Salamat at natapos rin ang 2023. And what a way to go.

Christmas Day, I woke up with stomach pain. I was feeling weak and feverish. I self-medicated. I prayed that I would get through the 8am service. And I did, thankfully. But the pain would come and go. I was just in bed practically the whole day. I ended up bringing myself to the hospital Emergency Room, my first time to do it alone, on Christmas Day. 

Thankfully the nice people at the ER were able to administer needed meds including that painful enema, to relieve of the stomach discomfort. I was able to go home by 930pm, still feeling weak. 

I regained my strength quickly after. I proceeded to take care of the furniture transfers to the new condo. 

Dec. 30 afternoon, my driver mentioned that it was his last day. He was resigning to "help his brother with his new business venture." No 30-day notice. I was too stunned to argue. And he left. 

I was hurt, felt betrayed. He was my driver for 12 years. And I had extended myself so many times to help him and his family. I treated him like family. But according to his wife, it boiled down to compensation (which he never complained about). He still owed me money. But I don't see how he would ever pay, or if he has even the intention. 

So there. I start 2024 back to where I was, 20 years ago, driving myself to work everyday. I am still on the lookout for a driver. But I know that the chances of finding one to my specifications are slim. And this will be on top of a very busy year at work. Good luck to me.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Sunset Found! In His Time

I gave up on finding it. But it found me. Naks. LOL

It’s finally mine, the condo unit I had wanted. And it checked all the boxes (well, almost all). It’s 850m away from the office, an easy 15min walk. It is tiny at 29sqm but it does have a balcony. And as it faces southwest, it still has a stunning view of the sunset. It faces BGC directly, and at its right, the signature lighted buildings of Rockwell. Best of all, it is beside a body of water, the picturesque (?!?) Pasig River. 

The condo building was not in my consideration set. I actually forgot about it. But one December afternoon, I was coming from BGC and passing the new Kalayaan bridge. I looked at the buildings ahead bathed in the afternoon sun. Some of the buildings, particular Brixton, I was already familiar with. But I found this beyond my price range. Then I saw another building to the left of it, also majestically facing the afternoon sun. I took pictures and googled the building and found it. 

I quickly looked at FB Marketplace to check for units available. And there were! And the prices quoted were within budget.  I sent DMs to the ads. Two responded quickly. I set up an ocular for the following day.  I liked what I saw and made an offer.

We closed the deal in 10 days! 

The owners were very generous and easy to deal with. And they made sure that the unit could be used on Day 1 (really clean bathroom! And appliances!). But the interiors are not to my taste so I’ll have to spend for a unit makeover. I’ll do that mid next year. 

For now, I plan to put some basic stuff that will allow me to use the unit as my sunset halfway house, for those times I need to de-stress from the office. 

I had given up on looking for this unit (as I posted earlier). But I feel that it had to be in His time, not mine. As Mary put it “the Almighty has done great things for me.” Truly His gift for Christmas. 

Had the worker strip the unit bare.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Still Chasing Sunsets

This obsession with sunsets! Not enough that I have Fierro sunset in Zambales. Lately, I have been looking for an affordable condo with a sunset view near the office. 

It started a few months ago. I’ve been spending more time after work at the office. And I wondered how great it would be if I could crash in studio unit during those late work nights. But it would need to have a sunset view, for those times I could leave early and watch the sun set.

I started looking at some units and that got me really excited. I started a Pinterest board as my peg is hotel, industrial, open-shelving style. Of course, the furniture would revolve around that view, making sure I would have a perfect spot to gawk at the sunset.

I found the unit with the perfect view but it had its downsides: quite far from the office, not the best-looking building, ceiling not too high. But look at that sunset!

Unfortunately, it is ultimately beyond my budget. As much as I tried to pencil-push, I was going to be pushed into borrowing. And that is something I do not want in my last two years of being regularly employed.

Why am I so obsessed with this lately? It really is a response to the kind of stress I have been at work. And I need a project to distract and de-stress.  My last project was the condo in Manila. That had a seasonal sunset at the bay view. It’s currently being rented so I can’t use the place for sunset chilling. 

But beyond the sunset chasing, I like working on interiors actually. From designing, to fit-out, to shopping for fixtures and furniture, I enjoy the whole range of activities involved. And finally seeing that image in your head come to life feels so amazing. 

So there. No condo unit that fits the bill AND the budget but I remain hopeful. 

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Hawaii this time around

Late post. Post-visit to Honolulu. My 2nd time, a duty trip this time.

Back in 2009, the visit was purely personal. I stayed at Bill and Gordon’s place. That was my first vacation after breaking up with ex. And I was deep into the single life. At that time, I was flirting heavily with this guy online - Marlon. But that turned out to be a dud. LOL. This visit, Bill reminded me of Blaine, a local I met in my last visit. I remember we went as far as making out. But that was it.

This time, as part of work, I went through some touristy stuff, mainly arranged for the clients. Duke’s for lunch. Lobster and Steak Dinner on a sunset cruise. Macadamia Farm. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. Polynesian Cultural Center’s Theme Park, Buffet dinner and theater. Waikele Premium Outlet shopping. Hys Steak House. I extended a few days to hang out with Bill and Gordon. And just my luck that Gordon was celebrating his birthday during that time. I was glad to have joined him for that.

Aside from the shopping lOL, the best part was hanging out at Waikeke Beach waiting for the sunset. And I had the best sunset view on my last day. Aside from hot, hot guys everywhere. What a treat. 

I wonder if I’ll get to come back for a 3rd time.