28 December 2021

Mid-Christmas holiday musing

It's 12.01am, 28th December 2021. We're in lavish accommodations at Wanaka in the South Island, courtesy of friends who invited us over.

I'm just reminded tonight of how life twists and turns. It just sort of happens... or does it?

20 December 2021

A change of season

 And just like that, it's the 20th of December.

This time of the year is an emotional roller coaster for me. I have always loved this season back when I was in the Philippines. There's this feeling of anticipation... of home-cooked meals, of buying and wrapping presents... of decorating... of catching up... of downtime from work. 

But for a while now, it's bittersweet. I have lost the anticipation.

Still couldn't play the Gunther Kallman Christmas Choir, nor the Jackson 5 Christmas album. Perhaps next year...

16 December 2021

War of the new normal

The news everyone's been dreading has arrived. The COVID-19 Omicron variant is now on New Zealand shores. Sure, it's just one case... but it starts with just one, doesn't it?

The prospect of opening the borders by April next year, and shortened quarantine stay is now in jeopardy. Like everyone else, we have plans for the summer. That's over the next couple of months. It's proving difficult to plan over a longer period of time.

But we simply must have some semblance of normalcy somehow... though the 'new normal' is taking over. So the question is... what does 'normal' exactly look like?

I'm constantly reminded of the movie 'War of the Worlds' where - spoiler alert - all the alien devastation is halted by the common cold virus which the aliens have no protection from. This movie is so relevant on this age.

15 December 2021

Feels like home

I've had friends move to the South Island these past couple of years. Their main motivation was rising house prices here in Wellington; the South Island offers better opportunities. We were being enticed to move as well, but I don't feel like it. I didn't exactly know why, until I rode the bus to work last week. As i gazed out the winding road, I had a flashack of similar roads in my hometown of Baguio. Those uphill climbs, the twisted corners, roads straddled by houses on one side and trees on the other. I love the rambling terrain. The South Island capital and surrounds, in stark contrast, is mostly flat. I do like visiting the South Island, make no mistake, but not uproot the family and live there. It's good old Wellington for me.

01 August 2021

The first of August

Time certainly flies.

It's such a surreal time. The Delta variant of COVID-19 is unleashing havoc on a number of countries. New Zealand is relatively unscathed so far... no community transmission.

Today is the start of the last month of winter. We almost had snow early last month due to a polar blast. Hailstones disrupted everyone's sleep at 2AM, then we had a light flurry of snow (or snowflakes?) but was not substantial enough to last like 10 years before.

We had a major flood in the South Island, and there's flooding in Europe. There was an earthquake last month in the Philippines, If there are people still denying the existence of climate change then they must be living in a bunker somewhere.

With everything that's happening around the globe, you'd think that priorities would have been realigned at this stage.

On the upside, 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is ongoing, which gives people something to look forward to besides the pandemic and the natural (?) disasters.


On a personal note, what do I think of the past 7 months of 2021? With the borders of the country pretty much closed, we don't have overseas visitors so it would have been the perfect time to see more of the country. We did travel in the early part of the year, and a South Island trip last June, and those were awesome experiences, but I feel that I haven't been at home much to make any difference with renovations and such. The cold winter wasn't any help either with getting things done. I wanted to do a lot of things, and yet I find my weekends filled up and no time to do other stuff. *sigh*

This month I'd like to pick up the ukulele and start playing again. I aim to do so at least once a week. Overcommitting is not healthy so I'll set it to a low standard and see how I go from there.


Last weekend Christine and I went to the park for skateboarding. This is just my second time to skateboard and I enjoyed the last time so I decided to go for it again. Who knows, it can be a new hobby. I fell on my butt once but I was fine, and I almost stumbled a couple of times. But there was this instance when I sped up too fast and I had to slow down real quick. I slammed my right foot onto the pavement and wham! a sharp pain shot up from my foot up to my knee. I managed to slow down but the pain persisted and I had to go limping to the side. There's no swelling so I did not have it checked. I can still walk but the pain would surface when I twist my right leg a particular way, and when I also have to stretch out my right foot when I slip off my shoes. I'm not getting any younger I guess. I might have to settle for the ukulele or board games (I still find it expensive!) as my hobby.

07 January 2021

2021 - new year, new start

 A lot has happpened in 2020 - or not a lot actually, depending on how you look at it. The major thing that happened is COVID-19, and as we speak the UK is on a third national lockdown amidst surging cases of the new coronavirus strain. There's a new normal, that of people wearing masks and social distancing.

To some extent, people in New Zealand have been fortunate as the threat of COVID has been kept under control. We had 1 major lockdown early this year and we've been on Level 1 for the better part of the year. We are a country that relies heavily on tourism though, so the effect of having our borders closed for this extended time will surely be felt (if not being felt already!)

Yes... there are concerns of a national level. But this is a personal blog after all, so I'm now winding back to a more personal level...

I've had some difficulties coping with my parents' passing away (yes, that's still ongoing), but I'm reaching out and I think that's important. A priest I talked to said I might consider keeping a journal, and that's what I'm trying to do now, albeit an online version and pretty much anyone can read. I think it's liberating that way, being able to write my thoughts and knowing that some random stranger (or someone who might even know me!) will be able to read what I have written. I don't expect any comments or other form of interaction, just a sense that someone might be there reading this and having some sense of connection to whatever I'm sharing.

I've grown a lot more plants. Actually that's the trend not only here in New Zealand but in other parts of the world as well as people try to cope with lockdowns and extended periods of isolation. Truth be told, this is not my first time taking care of plants. I've been doing this since way back in high school! So having a green thumb is nothing new. Instagram is relatively new to me - that's where I post my plant journey (and then some), and have actually met some interesting people there.

We travelled to Taranaki for 3 days over the holidays. That was fun! I posted some photos on Instagram.

What else is there.... hmmm... not much else to talk about at this stage. I guess I'm just trying to get back into the groove of blogging again, which seems like a lifetime ago....

Frankly I dread the thought of grappling with my extra activities (those that I need to do besides work and family) for this year. I hope this feeling changes as the year goes on.

Anyway, since this is a new year post, I guess I need to write about things I'm looking forward to as well!

  • I'd like to win lotto
  • I would like to learn something new
  • I'd like to dedicate some time to volunteering
  • I'd like to go back to cooking
  • I look forward to spending more family time
  • I'd like to have more time playing the ukulele
  • Also play some chess
  • I'd like to have a Risk boardgame and play it with friends
  • Have more plants!
  • Have more time just sitting on the couch and watching TV / movies - though my list might prevent me from doing just that!
  • I wish for good health for me, my family, my friends.

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