Tag Archive: my dear hubby ryan

How am I?

I am often asked this question now because of the recent big leap that I and my family took. I usually answer with a simple “we’re okay” template because that’s how we really are now. Okay.

Not doing extravagantly good yet. But not also dying with famish or almost crawling on the ground. We are simply okay, I shall say.

So, how am I really? Personally, that is.

I can say that everything is considerably fine in my new life. You see, I recently found a new work in an economically successful country and I was able to bring my family along. For that alone, I have been immensely thankful. That single fact makes me feel good and blessed and I could not further complain when I see moms here who work with their children left in the Philippines and they can only Skype or YM during weekends or so.

Even if I am having personal crisis with the thoughts of working far from home and leaving my entire support system all of a sudden, I could not complain. I am incredibly blessed.

I die everyday with the thought of leaving Ira at home just to work. I pity my hubby everyday because he has to attend to the needs of Ira everyday for more than 9 hours when Ira is at the age of being difficult and unreasonable at times. My hands are all toiled with grease for cooking every night after going home from work, cleaning up the kitchen and whatever else my hands could reach.

I have lived with a helper for as long as I cannot remember. As soon as I moved out from my parents, I have lived independently but have always had a helper along. It was a luxury I chose to live with, albeit the fact that I have no problems doing chores at home. I always felt that for working everyday, I deserved the luxury of laying around whenever I chose to and go to places during weekends, instead of doing laundry and cleaning up the house.

So right now, the biggest part of the equation that makes it difficult for me now is I live everyday without a helper at home. It is not unusual here to have a helper at home but since we just moved here, we are still taking time processing things, papers and all that.

I cannot now simply dismiss Ira to her Ate whenever I am tired. I have to wash our clothes regularly and cannot simply choose to wear a shirt for two hours and then change again after I feel sweaty. I no longer can SMS the instructions on what to prepare for dinner just so I can directly cook upon going home. I now have to take the pains of slicing every bit of ingredient I need, except when dear hubby can do so without Ira whining around.

We have to buy everything we need because we have no helper to do the buying for us whenever we forgot something from the market.

It is just the three of us now.

For the first time in almost two years, it is just us. It absolutely thrills me…but at the same time it scares the hell out of me.

Even as I try to think that we have gone this far, that we have made it here, there are times that I get scared that we are thousands of miles away from home. Although Ira has been doing great with her medications, there are fears in me that only moms can understand. Seeing my daughter have seizures twice in a day left in me a big hole filled with fear. And I do not wish for anything to happen to her in this new place when we have not even warmed up yet.

So far, my work has proven to be fine. I have not been stressed for the last two weeks (just yet) and people have been nice to me. They may not be as warm as my previous co-workers, but they are nice to me. That is enough, for now. After all, I am a newbie with a different language and nationality. The company is good to its employees and to me, that is important. They were generous enough to sponsor the visa processing of hubby and Ira, so I think I can love them forever. 🙂

So…how am I?

Frantic, I guess. Of the things that are yet to happen and the things we are yet to see.

But absolutely happy and grateful, for the enormous blessings from God and for His trust that we can handle this new life. 🙂

Massage at Home

I first tried body massage some six years ago and after the first try, I instantly fell in love with it.

I used to have home service by Jojo. He’s gay and he does all things for us. My mom used to pay for it so I would text Jojo weekly for our beauty regimens. Jojo would give us foot spa, nail treatments, hair treatments and a massage. But after moving from one house to another, we lost touch of him.

I loved his services because they were given to me right at the comfort of my own home and I can have them anytime I want to. No lining up, no need to dress up, no need for travelling to and from.

Then I discovered a Spa in Banawe, Quezon City. I forgot the name of the Spa but it was very affordable. My dear friend Chubby and I would go there almost every week, if budget allowed us to. Evlyn Spa, as Chubby reminded me the name, is right in front of Bench Fix Salon so our Banawe trip would usually be for hair and body treats. I even had the chance to let my hubby try it and he loved it as well.

But when I became pregnant, I had to take a rest from my weekly massage. I promised the therapists that I will be back as soon as the OB says that I’m okay to go.

But since we now live in Mandaluyong, a Banawe trip has become tiring for me and hubby. We have tried nearby spas but we didn’t get to like them as much as we loved the Banawe Spa.

Months after giving birth, on our way home, I saw a sign in Makati that says “Massage at Home“. I got the number and told hubby about it. Hubby, as always, was ecstatic about it and asked me to try calling the number. At first I was hesitant because it might be a phony massage service or it might be run by a syndicate of thefts. We tried it nonetheless and it turned out none of our fears were true.

In fact, it was the other way around! We had a great time such that we would have it as often as we could (weekly, if possible). We have tried different therapists and recently got hooked on Ella. She has been with Massage at Home for many years now and I can personally vouch for her. Not only is she good at massaging our stress away, she is trustworthy and you can sleep all throughout and not worry about your any of your things getting lost. I especially like her Foot Reflex and Full Body Massage. All my body pains and stress are relieved when I get my massage from Ella.

She is the very first person Ira said “Hi” to. On that night alone, Ira said “Hi” to her approximately ten times. Up until now, Ira likes waving at her and now that she can walk around the house, she imitates what Ella does to us by joining in the massage. At the end of the session, Ira would end up with oil in her tiny hands!

I personally recommend Massage at Home. Therapists are always on time and they have many therapists who are of service anytime you want. The only time that their therapist failed to show up was a day after Ondoy (which was understandable). I prefer getting it at home because I save a lot of time and money. Hubby and I need not dress up just to get oiled after. Right after having a massage, hubby and I snooze off to la-la land because we don’t have to travel home anymore.

Massage at Home is located in Makati and they specifically cater to home service. They offer Full Body Massage, Foot Reflex and all other types of massage, and even Facial, as Ella said. They are open daily, from 1PM onwards, and you can call them at 742-1829.


*This is not a paid advertisement but rather a personal recommendation from a satisfied customer. 🙂

A3 Scanner

I photocopy and scan a lot of documents. It comes with the job.

But since I am hardly adept with gadgets and other computer accessories, I usually ask my hubby to do it for me. He has scanned copies of all our identification cards, even our passports.

I first asked him to do it when I needed to authenticate the documents of my SIL Ate Debbie when she was processing her papers for her work in Australia. I was on maternity leave then.

Hubby didn’t know that the sizing of the documents mattered a lot. He scanned all documents using the regular scanner and resized the documents. When my SIL submitted them to the agency via email, she was asked to rescan her scholastic transcript of records to their regular A3 size. Hubby had to look around the office for a scanner that has a scanning solution for the exact size of the documents. Luckily, he found one and was informed that in the whole office, it was the only A3 scanner that we have available.

When he told me about his dilemma (which took days, by the way!), I quizzically asked, shouldn’t each department have its own  a3 scanner? It would be more convenient for everyone because then we can easily scan all types and sizes of different documents. Our office secretary shared the same sentiments, saying that our scanners are quite outdated already.

And since I work and notarize documents at home, I think I also have to get my own scanner. Maybe its good to start looking for one that can accommodate all my scanning needs. 🙂

The Thursday a week before last, a good friend asked me if I still wanted a reservation at Fontana Leisure Park. I said yes, but due to budget constraints, we plan to go there August or September. She surprisingly said the Villa is free and that I would only have to pay for a meager sum as maintenance fee. So with just short notice, the whole family except for my eldest brother stayed at Fontana last weekend. Even if hubby and Ira just had fever that week, we simply could not resist the offer. But that’s not what my entry is all about. So fast forward to my real topic.

After a fun weekend, we arrived home Monday afternoon, just a little past 5PM. Before we left, we had to close the water meter because hubby involuntarily messed with the shower handle, thus the leak. Our doggie Buster was reeking with his pee and poo combined (ulk!) so we had to wash him instantly. I asked (our newest) Ate to open the water meter. She came back and simply said “nakapadlock po”. I thought she was referring to the railings around the water meter, so hubby said he will be the one to do the honors.

So there came hubby to open, and voila! The water meter was indeed padlocked! By whom? Our good ole’ service provider, Manila Water. I have always taken pride with the fact that our area has good water service.  Even in the latest issue of water shortage in the metropolis, we were not a bit affected. But on that particular afternoon, I wanted to strangle to death whoever caused the padlocking of our water meter.

I immediately went to check our bill and we all realized that we missed the due date of our bill. This month’s water bill was a disaster because we had a flush leak, so there was somewhat a thousand percent increase in our regular bill. Yes, almost a thousand percent! But that’s another story, of course.

I called up 1627, the customer service of Manila Water. A friendly Abigail answered the line. After some verification questions, I went ahead with my complaint. I lamented that they (whoever did it!) shouldn’t have padlocked our meter considering there was no one to give consent because not a single soul was home. Much to my dismay, she retorted that it was SOP that when there is a disconnection notice for a certain customer and their people go to check if it has been paid, and there was no one at home, they will disconnect it. That answer fueled my fire inasmuch as I said they are public utility service, with full emphasis on the last word. So I said, where is the service? For all you know, the customer died. Or someone from his family died. Or he had an accident. Or whatever. It would have been more prudent for them to come back the next day to check if that customer still hasn’t paid.

I told her I have a one-year-old baby and a sick father who cannot stand, even just for a night, without water. I told her further that we have work the next day, and how do they suppose we go to work? Without a bath?

She kindly suggested that I can pay through any 7-11 branch and call them again to request for the reconnection of our service. Dear Abigail assured that it can be reconnected even at night. Okay, I thought.

I asked hubby and my brother to rush to the nearest 7-11 and pay our bill plus the reconnection fee. I told Abigail that I am paying that stupid reconnection fee under protest, just so I can have my service back.

After 10 minutes or so, our bill was settled. So there I was dialing the same number with a different agent answering my call, this time it was Catherine. When I gave her the details of my receipt, she went on to say that it is “possible” that our service can be reconnected that day, with a maximum of five days. Its like the devil got into me after hearing the words “possible” and “five days” that I shouted, “Five days! Do you know what you are talking about!” She went on to show empathy on the line by apologizing for the inconvenience. I said no. Do not give me the empathy spiel coz you do not have an idea as to how I feel. I said I used to work in a call center, I don’t need the damn spiel.

I asked Catherine if she has a baby. She said no. So I said, then you don’t know how I feel. We do not have a single drop of water. I need my service back. I told her that Abigail assured me that it can be done so I wouldn’t have it any other way. I further told her that if they do not remove the padlock in an hour, I will have to remove it myself. She said I shouldn’t do that lest I pay a penalty for doing such. I laughed at the idea of the penalty and told her that when they disconnected my service, it was because I reneged on my obligation to pay on time. But now that my obligation has been fulfilled, I have every right to access to my water service, so in an hour, whether they are there or not, I will have my service back, and I then I hang up.

After about thirty minutes, we heard the faucet in the bathroom running. They didn’t bother to buzz and tell us that they are reconnecting the service. Anyways, I didn’t care anymore just as long as my service is back.

I have usual bouts with these customer service people. This usually happens with my phone service, especially when DSL connection is a problem.

I commiserate with them because I, too, have been a call center agent once. I know how it feels to deal with an irate caller. And yes, I try to talk to the agents as pacified as possible. I just hate it when they tend to give me BS and spiels, which I know they have memorized over time. I especially hate it when one agent promises you one thing and another agent says its not possible. I have had these a hundred of times already and I am sick of it.

Nevertheless, we had a happy ending. We got our service back and we were all happy. I plan to write our provider about this nonchalant treatment of their customers.  My neighbor told me that they saw these people who padlocked the meter and she informed them to come back the next day as no one was home. I understand these people are merely sub-contractors, being measly paid for every water meter disconnected. I perfectly understand too that as customers, it is our own lookout to pay on time. But when no one is home, shouldn’t you think again and come back the next day? Who knows what happened to these people. Even MERALCO doesn’t cut services that way.

I don’t know. Sometimes the word “service” has no meaning anymore. Sometimes business is more important than true service and these utility service providers tend to forget why they exist in the first place.

Beware: This is a long post. It was such an experience that I could not leave out details.

I am not kidding when I say that the other day I asked loudly how it feels to be towed by a truck, and that today that question was answered.

In a previous post, I have mentioned that our dear Zsa-Zsa, our Hyundai Grace had a bout of breakdown in NLEX. Since then, we never really got to use her regularly because problems in her never seem to end. But lately, we found a good mechanic who helped Zsa-Zsa get back on her feet. The aircon of the van seemed to lose freon, enough to leave us sweating like pigs in a hot day like this. But fair enough, we get to use her everyday to and fro work since its repair last week.

My Kuya Mike (eldest bro) will be moving to BF Paranaque from his current Mandaluyong apartment. He has been wanting to use Zsa-Zsa to move his things little by little but I have been very reluctant because I am unsure if Zsa-Zsa is already in good running condition. But he’s very insistent so much so that I gave in the other night.

He called me yesterday to tell stories about what happened to them en route to Paranaque, that they had a hard time driving the van and the engine stopped more than ten times. I was like, ten times? Barrage of questions came out but he said, oh the van is okay. In fact, it ran very well save for the engine stops we had, the driver wasn’t just used to driving vans kasi daw.

So this morning, hubby and I left early for work because the company has a General Assembly at 7:30A.M. Imagine our dismay when five minutes into driving, well dressed and very fresh, Zsa-Zsa suddenly stops just as we are about to go up the Makati-Mandaluyong Bridge. Hubby and I looked at each other, our minds asking each other, did Zsa-Zsa just die on us for no reason at all? I thought, WTF! This is not happening. Hubby pressed on the hazard button, but no, its not working. He tried to start the engine, no nothing, not even a spurting sound. We were on the verge of climbing the bridge such that we were hanging there, like in the movies, when the cars are about to go down the cliff. That feeling too, exactly.

I went down and looked for big stones to prevent the van from going downhill and hitting other cars (at this instance, hubby’s foot is aching for pressing hard on the brakes, because the darn handbrake just wouldn’t work!). I asked myself why aren’t there stones anymore on the streets? Only garbages. Blah! I didn’t give up and saw a big one after I went down the bridge (thankful for the staircase for commuters) and placed it under the tires of Zsa-Zsa. Hubby then happily removed his foot from the brakes.

Some few minutes before I went down to look for stones, a car behind us and an Isuzu Crosswind bumped each other. I imagine the frustrations and dismay of both  drivers. I can see in their faces that they want to blame us but we were in the right most portion of the bridge, and we were not really obstructing their way, if they would be vigilant enough to avoid us.

Then came the endless phone calls to everyone we know about what we can do. Hubby called his brother Patrick and asked for the number of the towing service near our place, Viray Towing Service. BIL then called up the towing service, and voila! About 10 minutes after, the towing service is there.

The MAPSA officer with the name of Navotas on his shirt was very helpful. He even checked the van and told us it was the battery connection which encountered problem. He tried fixing it but we left all our tools at home. Another MAPSA officer then arrived and bullied his way around us, saying that we should be towed by a Makati  accredited towing service. I told him its up to us to choose any towing service we like, after all, this is not illegal parking or anything of that sort. He retorted:

“Ma’am, paliwanag ko po sa inyo ha, meron pong towing ang Makati, kaya dapat yun ang magtow sa inyo. San ba kayo?”

I told him we live in Mandaluyong and that we opted for the Mandaluyong towing service. He insisted that we should take the Makati towing service, even instructing Officer Navotas to call them. He turned to me and asked again, “San ba kayo, ma’am?

At that instance, I realized he was referring to my work, or something like that. So with much bravado, I introduced myself, saying the magic word “A-T-T-Y” and mentioned the company I am connected with. Hubby and I were both wearing the official shirt of the company so I guess he should have known that. After that, he hurriedly left the place, hoping he would go unnoticed. I thought like, what an a-hole. Really, what’s with Filipinos and titles anyways? Maybe if I was just an ordinary employee, he would have bullied us until we are forced to take their towing service.

I then questioned their authority to be there because we were still within Mandaluyong area, thus outside their jurisdiction already. The friendly Officer Navotas then humbly said that they were just assisting us. I almost said, yeah, maybe you, but not that a-hole there. Ugh!

To cut the long story short, we were towed all right. It felt funny, different and embarrassing. Well, not to others, but to ourselves. I felt embarrassed that I have always looked at those people inside towed vehicles in a funny sort of way, now it happened to me. It was tiring and difficult to manage all the stress that comes with it. So from now on, I will not teasingly look at those people anymore, but will empathize with them. We came late for work and missed the General Assembly but we came in with a new experience and new stories to tell.

Lessons I learned today (and tips on what to do if it happens to you):

1. Save the contact numbers of a reliable towing service in your cellphone or planner. Thats the first thing we worried the most. Good thing we have families around who can look for numbers we need on days like this. But to save from hassle, its better to have those numbers handy.

2. You always need cash in case of emergency. If you don’t, you will not be able to remedy the situation. Hubby and I are always used to bringing  just 100 bucks or so in our wallets whenever we drive to work, thinking we would not need money along the way. Today is one of the few days we carried extra cash. Call it tough luck.

3. Negotiate the price of the towing service. I called the number given by my BIL even if he already called it to know how much the fee is. As we all know, towing fees are quite pricey. So when the person I talked to told me that the fee is P1,700.00, I said whhhaaat? For few kilometers? They said they have a fixed price. I haggled with them, and asked for the person who is authorized to give discounts. After much haggling, mentioning that the distance where we will be towed from up to our house is not even 4 kilometers, even saying we are just “kapitbahay”, he agreed to give it to us for P1,200.00. I felt I could have negotiated for a lower price, but I was too stressed to do that so I agreed na rin.

All in all, it was an enlightening experience. But once is enough to last a lifetime. Although hubby and I were laughing about the experience, I wouldn’t want the same experience anymore. At least my question has been answered, and I will stop wondering from now on. 🙂