Scientific name of vegetables in sinigang(sour/tamarind soup)

Sinigang is my comfort food especially during the rainy/colder season. It is a sour soup made of vegetables and meat of your choice (you can use shrimp, pork, beef, fish, chicken). Unripe tamarind is the commonly used ingredient to make the sinigang sour. Other people use calamansi instead of tamarind. Nowadays, people usually use the instant tamarind soup mix because it’s cheaper and easy to use.

I won’t be detailing how to make one because you can find several youtube videos and/or blogs to learn how to make one. My goal here to look at the sinigang and the commonly used vegetables from different versions of it.

Below are the commonly used vegetables in sinigang. They are in Tagalog-English-Scientific name order.

kangkong – water Spinach – Ipomoea aquatica

sitaw – string beans – Vigna unguiculata ssp. sesquipedalis

kamatis – tomato – Solanum lycopersicum

siling haba – long chili – Capsicum annuum

sibuyas – onion – Allium cepa

gabi – taro – Colocasia esculenta

labanos – radish – Raphanus sativus

miso – soybean – Glycine max

talong – eggplant – Solanum melongena

sampaloc – tamarind – Tamarindus indica

calamansi – Philippine lime – Citrofortunella microcarpa

The photo above was my take on my own sinigang (because in the country I am right now, the veggies mentioned are rare to find). I used asparagus and mustard instead of string beans and kangkong. Enjoy your hot sinigang in this bed weather situation. I would love to hear how they are called in your place and other vegetables you add in your sinigang in the comment section.

Advertisement

2023 scuba diving for beginners like me(and hobbyists) in Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera is situated in the island of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. It is one of the closest and easiest to access beach/dive resort from Manila. I honestly didn’t travel from Manila to Puerto Galera as we are from Laguna. If you’re coming from Manila, you only have to find a way to go to Batangas Pier. They say that there are bus routes in Cubao that will take you to Puerto Galera.

How to go to Puerto Galera from Laguna?

Our point of origin was in Bay, Laguna. Here are the step-by-step guide on how we were able to go to Puerto Galera (it was a last minute so some random tips and tricks so you won’t do the same mistakes that we did. LOL):

STEP 1: Ride e a jeepney going to Crossing, Calamba terminal. Hop off at the terminal and find a jeepney going to Turbina (one is a jeepney route going to Tanauan, Batangas) or ride a tricycle for P100 as special ride to Turbina (if you’re on a budget and a backpacker, I suggest you to ride the jeepney which will only cost P15).

STEP 2: When you reached Turbina, ride a bus going to Batangas Pier – this will cost you P145. The bus will stop close to the terminal where you will get your ferry ticket. TiP no.1: don’t give in to people harassing you to buy stuff or book you at a higher cost. Planning is the key.

STEP 3: Get your ferry ticket (~P600/pax) going to Puerto Galera and pay P30 terminal fee – prepare your ID when getting the ticket. REMEMBER: Last trip would be at 2pm so be sure to be there before that time. Since we were not able to catch the last trip, we took a trip to Calapan (make sure to be there before the last trip of public jeepneys and vans) because we were not able to catch this trip as well (don’t follow this so you won’t spend more), we rode the tricycle going to Galera for P2000.

From the terminal, you go to the resort that offers scuba diving (most of the resort offers one). In our case, we booked days before online El Galleon resort (I highly recommend this – for me it has a relaxing ambience, although food is a bit pricey, but you can opt to go to town to look for cheaper alternatives).

It was my first scuba diving experience. I’d been wanting to do this for the longest time but find it expensive especially when you have a base salary. After saving for this activity, I took the chance. It cost me around P7500 all-in, the initial training, gears, oxygen tank and boat ride to the dive site.

You will have to practice basics in the pool like what are the common sign language, how to equalize properly, what to do when you accidentally removed the regulator or when water filled your goggles under the water.

After that, you can go directly to the ocean. If you’re a beginner like me, an instructor will make your life easier and he will just carry you throughout the dive. But, if you are a certified diver, you just have to be close to your pact under the water.

I didn’t have a camera fit for diving so you have to see for yourself the wonders that living organisms deep down the sea offer you. Different fish colors, starfish, sea snake, and corals in different shades, hues and colors. Words and pictures won’t be enough to describe it. Experience it yourself. It was worth a try.

Remember that you have to allocate at least 24 hrs before flying again after the dive. You can also enjoy a white beach close by the dive resorts after your dive.

21-day advent calendar (for the habit you always wanted to build)

Time flies so fast. In 26 days, we will welcome 2023. How many years have you been writing your New Year’s Resolutions but ends up failing? Mine? It’s countless. I don’t know about you, bu t I’m guessing that I’ve been doing it wrong.

It takes 21 days to build a habit they say. So, what if we start our new year’s resolutions at least 21 days before 2023? Here’s mine:

Day 1 (Dec. 5): Since I started this today in the middle day, I was not able to wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 2 (Dec. 6):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 3 (Dec. 7):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 4 (Dec. 8):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 5 (Dec. 9):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 6 (Dec. 10):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 7 (Dec. 11):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 8 (Dec. 12):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 9 (Dec. 13):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 10 (Dec. 14):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 11 (Dec. 15):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 12 (Dec. 16):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 13 (Dec. 17): This will test the discipline I have as I go home and have a jetlag and different time-zone excuse.

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 14 (Dec. 18):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 15 (Dec. 19):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 16 (Dec. 20):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 17 (Dec. 21):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 18 (Dec. 22):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 19 (Dec. 23):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 20 (Dec. 24): This will be tough because it’s almost Christmas

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Day 21 (Dec. 25):

__ Wake up at 6:30am

__ MAKE MY BED

__ Meditate

__ EXERCISE for 10mins

__ Read a page in the Daily Stoic

__ TAKE A COLD SHOWER

__ Drink a glass of warm water

__ REVIEW TIME BLOCKING

__ Follow at least 70% of the schedule

__ SCHEDULE/TIME BLOCK FOR TOMORROW

__ Journal

__ Read a book chapter

__ Sleep at 11pm

Feel free to copy this template and let’s do this together. Here’s a Google sheet you can download, edit and print. Let me know your success rate! 😀

The worst heartbreak

That lump in the throat

The crushing feeling inside your heart

Sleepless nights

Swollen eyes

It feels like a never-ending cycle

You’re hoping that it’s just a nightmare

That you’ll open your eyes and nothing happened

‘Cause it was just a bad dream

But it’s not

You know it’s not

You can feel the tears rolling on your face

Day and night you’ve been waking up

He’s gone

Forever in your life

A fact

The reality

But this one’s different

Not the usual heartbreak

The worst

A stab in the heart is an understatement

You don’t even know when or how to move on

You couldn’t even delete his pictures

Nor date a rebound guy

He was the kindest and most humble man

The first person that showed me unconditional love

He was not rich

But, he had so much to offer that money couldn’t buy

He’d spoil me up to the last cent in his pocket

He won’t let me walk alone in the middle of the night

He’d cook for me almost everyday

Perfect steamed rice

Variety of sunny side-ups that I could choose from

And a lot more that only him could make

He’d buy me my favorite food every single market day he’d been

I was his favorite

He liked bragging me to his friends

His love for me was top tier

I was willing to give everything I have so he’ll stay

But I know he had to go

He was tired

He tried his best

He fought a good fight

Wherever you are

Know that I will be forever grateful for all the times we’d shared

I hope you are in a happier place now

No more pain

I miss you

I love you, tatay.

Top 4 Tourist Destinations in the Philippines that you will NEVER Forget

I used to travel a lot in different islands of the Philippines until the pandemic hit. It’s difficult to travel plus the risk of acquiring the disease stopped me for traveling for almost 3 years now. But, now that traveling has becoming easier and vaccines/boosters are available, we can now book our flights. Out of all the places I went to, the following 4 places are the top ones that will come into my mind without looking at any previous photos or browsing the names of the places, and will highly recommend to people who are planning their vacation.

  1. Enchanted River

It will be like your first love that will never die. Once you visited it at the right calm state and weather you can stay the whole day enjoying the place.

2. Puerto Galera

If you live in Manila and looking for a close place to have a beach night life, then this one is for you.

3. Gigantes Island

The best thing about this one that makes it a top destination to go is the P2 per piece scallops and cheap seafood! Another thing that makes it memorable for me is its unique shape you’ll see from the top – the combination of sand area and small hill.

4. Samal Island

The thing I like the most in this island is that during low tide, you can walk on it!

Wherever you plan to go, plan very well. Here are some points to remember when planning. Do not choose places that are too far if you’ll just have 2 days or less. Look ahead of time if the place is open on the specific date that you wanted to visit. Check the most favorable weather to get most of it from the destination. Since covid is still around, travel with caution, wear mask if it’s too crowded or in an enclosed space. Happy travel!

New York: A Day in the City of Dreams

Nakaluwagluwag this girl and went to New York. But wait! I did not pay the full price of going to New York! HOW? PM is the key. LOLjk. I was doing an internship in another state and had some days off that I used to go here. I was able to visit several places in New York City in just a day with less than $200 budget!

I am a frugal traveler not by choice but by means. LOL. In short, walang pera pero gusto magtravel. So, to make this work, first, you have to plan a day or week ahead your travel and prioritize the places you wanted to allocate your time the most. Second, wake up early (so sleep early the day before your trip). Lastly, try to make the most of your time and try to stick to your planned schedule and budget.

HERE YOU GO! I hope it will help your day tour planning in the city of dreams.

MORNING: Statue of Liberty

6am – Wake up time

6:00-6:30am – Travel time to the port going the statue of Liberty (they have ports at New Jersey or New York, so depending on where you are staying is where your starting port). I was staying in my friend’s place at New Jersey so it took us around 30 minutes to travel to the port going to Liberty Island. BOOK YOUR TICKET ONLINE (Ticket price: $32 for a round trip ticket). You can stop by Ellis Island before heading to Liberty Island.

Liberty Island

An hour or two would be enough to roam around the islands. If you decide to stop at Ellis Island, you have to allocate an hour more since you will have to wait for the next boat ride that will take you to Liberty island. Seeing the statue was surreal. ❤

10:00-10:30am – cruise time from the island to Cape Liberty Cruise Port (MAKE SURE TO CHECK THE SCHEDULE OF THE BOAT so you don’t have to wait for the next one)

10:30-11:00am – travel time to Brooklyn Bridge (by car)

AFTERNOON: Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, The National September 11 Memorial Museum

11:00-12:30pm – LUNCH TIME (you may want to look for a good restaurant and get some real food before the adventure commence again because there will be a lot of walking)

1:00pm-3:00pm – walk and take pictures at Brooklyn Bridge then get more walking and go to Manhattan Bridge and feel the cinematic view in both bridges

Brooklyn Bridge
Manhattan Bridge

3:00-5:00pm – MET museum (for big art fans 2 hrs won’t be enough), but for me, seeing the building is enough (ticket is $30 that you can book online). Check the museum operation hours a day before.

The MET

5:00-6:00pm – Central Park (roam around and feel the nature before getting drowned by city lights).

Central Park

6:30-7:30pm – Dinner time! Get some food because night time tour around the city will require a lot of your energy!

8:00pm-11:30pm – This will vary depending on your priority. But basically, there are must-see places that are close to each other that you can just take the train or walk. These is the order of places I went to at night: The Edge, Vessel, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Times Square, Empire State Building.

The Edge (Ticket price ranges from $33-73). This is the top of a building where you can go to the edge and see the panoramic view of the city with all the city lights that look like stars from below. The day we went there, the line was so long that it took us 1 hr to get to the deck and an hour spent looking around.

The Edge

Vessel. This is a pretty structure that won’t take much of your time. I think you can climb this (which we didn’t do). It’s pretty enough from below for me at least.

Vessel

St. Patrick’s Cathedral. For those who like neo-gothic style, you will enjoy this place. We have this thing in my home town that whenever you visit a church for the first time, you can have 1 wish. I don’t know if it will work for you but it’s free and you won’t get harmed so why not, right?

Inside the St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Times Square. Be careful by people who will sell you random stuff (even a picture with a cosplayer may cost you some money). But this is one of the popular places in New York that you may want to stop by. It won’t take much of your time. It is a place where you can walk around and admire the big screens with all the lights, flashy billboard advertisements, performance arts and more!

Times Square

Empire State Building. Lastly, sing or play the Empire State of Mind song going back home!

Growth is painful but beautiful

Have you ever thought how that soft young tissue of the plant gets out of the seed and moves out of the soil? Technically, it’s germination or the start of plant growth. We don’t hear the plants cry but the process looks painful (at least in my perspective).

Which one will you choose?

I guess growth is when you keep learning and trying new things out of your comfort zone because your gut tells you to do it but your brain is too afraid to fail. It will require you to do things you’ve never done before and it will gonna be scary at first, painful on the way and beautiful by the end.

It is scary because of all the unknowns and uncertainties.

It is painful because you have to do things that you are not used of doing, it’s like learning how to read for the first time. Be patient. Good things take time. Practice. Practice. Practice. You’ll see, with time it will get better and easier. Commitment, consistency and perseverance are the key – these keys are not easily gained especially when you stayed stagnant and idle for so long. Even all the quotable quotes by known writers won’t work especially if you keep making excuses to start the change you’ve been wanting. I know it’s difficult but try small steps each day. I, myself is still struggling on this. There are days that I cry myself to bed because it’s too painful but I know this is the right thing to do. In my last post, I am trying to break my bad habits by documenting it virtually. And, I am back to day 1 again. It’s so tough to get out of this cycle but I still believe that I can, you can, we can. It’s really painful but you have to go through it so that you can get out of your shell and be the person the universe designed you to be.

Again, I am starting my day 1. I have a lot of excuses at my mind right now why I am going back to day 1 but it’s better not to make excuses but to start again and try until you get to where you are supposed to be at. It’s a matter of training your brain, body and soul.

In the end, I hope you and me will go back to see how much progress we had done and tell ourselves that we are not the same person from yesterday – that we are way better than our past self. And, I think that’s beautiful.

#breakingbadhabits DAY1: Begin NOW

How many times have you put that you’ll wake up early to workout before heading to the office in your new year’s resolution? I bet not just once. Well I am guilty beyond reasonable doubts. LOL. So many things that I told myself that I will start and stop doing and yet so many times I failed myself. I started Duolingo because I wanted to learn a new language but I ruined my 90-day streak in just a week! I told myself that I won’t eat chocolates when I feel so stressed and yet I ended eating chocolate every single day when I started getting overwhelmed.

A lot of times I am very impatient and get frustrated that I keep going back to my bad habits especially when things become sooo difficult (that’s because your brain will seek comfort. Yes. I always look for an excuse. LOL). But then I had to remind myself to be kind to myself and give it time. One step at a time they say and that saying is absolutely true! I have to persevere and say no to things that keep me coming back to my old nasty bad habits. It’s really really tough. It is a healing process. Years of having those habits won’t change overnight and you should understand that. They say to build a habit you should do it for 21 consecutive days and never miss it twice in a row. To some people it works and to others it doesn’t. Find your own way to do it. At the end of the day, maintaining that good habit that you established is tougher than establishing it. The important thing is to start now. And if you fail yourself, start again and again and again until you get that habit that you wanted to build. Your habits will save you on the days you feel so low and unmotivated. And slowly you’ll understand why they say your habits will create who you will be in the future.

The things you used to do for years are not easy to change forever. We need consistency and perseverance. Each day you have to choose the habits that will create a positive mind, soul and body. It is easier said than done but the important thing is to begin NOW.

A lot of self help books will inspire you and make you start creating those habits. It’s good if it works for you but understand that it is not for everyone. Let’s put myself as an example. I have read tons of top whatever self help books and seen reels on social media that inspired me to grow for the better but most of the times the inspiration only lasts for a day. But I am thinking that maybe if one or two people will start this journey with me I will be more successful in establishing these habits that I’ve been wanting to create. I am putting this up hoping that there are other people that might see this and will go with me on this journey of breaking bad habits and creating good ones. Day 1 is about beginning. You can comment here or send me a message on my IG if you wanted to start yours and together we can be buddies on this.

Today, I wanted to list here the habits that I wanted to create:

  1. Wake up early to journal and meditate before starting working
  2. Read 1 journal article a day
  3. Learn a new code in R a day
  4. Write a few lines for a paper each day
  5. I won’t take a nap unless I finish my to-do list of the day
  6. Plan the next day before going to bed

I will be posting my progress everyday for 30 days here or in my IG account to see if I am having any progress. I would be happy to find someone to go on this journey virtually!

An open letter to those who recently got their hearts broken

I miss you

I should not

But I do

And it’s ok

One day I’ll wake up

Feeling so okay

Thankful to be exact

That I met that person

And got my heart broken

A life lesson I will never learn from a classroom

Soon I will tell myself that things really happen for a reason

I have to savor the pain

Acknowledge that I am hurting

Cry if I feel like crying

Trust the process

I will make it

I know it’s tough

But I’ll get there

One step at a time

Be patient with yourself

Allow time to heal you

On your own pace

And one morning everything will gonna make sense

I will fill in that void you once occupied

And smile again

I promise

What to do if you tested positive a day before your flight? (Philippines to United States)

Do you have an incoming flight going outside the Philippines? Are you anxious about your COVID test result? Worry not. Here’s my personal experience.

I tested positive to COVID a day before my flight to the United States – something beyond anyone’s control.

I had 2 questions running in my mind:

When will be the date that I have to rebook my next flight?

What if I get tested positive again the day before my rescheduled flight?

The new travel health protocol when traveling to the United States is to get tested for COVID no more than 1 day before your flight regardless of vaccination status. There are exemptions though which you can refer to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) website. ALWAYS CHECK THE TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS IN THE COUNTRY YOU ARE GOING TO BECAUSE THEY UPDATE THE PROTOCOLS FROM TIME TO TIME.

They accept either RT-PCR or antigen test. RT-PCR is the golden standard for testing. However, it is more expensive and aside from that it usually takes more than 24hours before the results will come out, some offer a faster result but will incur additional cost. An alternative test they accept is the antigen test which is relatively faster (15mins to 2 hrs release of results) and cheaper. MAKE SURE IT IS A VIRAL ANTIGEN TEST AND YOU’VE DONE IT WITH AN ACCREDITED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. There are booths that do this in NAIA terminal 3.

A day before my flight, I did an antigen test. Results came out and it was POSITIVE. It is definitely stressful but try to calm down and go straight to your house. Isolate yourself from others. The first thing you have to do is report your positive result to your local health unit (can be you barangay health center). It’s much better if you report any symptoms of COVID before your test and start your isolation the soonest possible time. You do not just prevent the disease from spreading, you are also giving yourself a head start in terms of isolation requirements which we will learn later the advantage.

For the first question, when will be the date that I have to rebook my next flight? CDC requires at least 10 days (for asymptomatic to mild cases, refer to CDC website for a more detailed isolation protocols) of isolation from the date you tested positive or the day after you had no fever without using any medication or the start of the first symptoms. If within those 10 days you had fever again, you have to start from day 0 again. Here’s an example: if you tested positive on January 1, that day will be day 0. The start of day 1 will be January 2. Therefore, the end of your 10-day isolation is January 11. You can rebook your next flight on January 12. The reason behind reporting to your local health unit as early as possible is that they start the counting of your isolation days on the day you reported your result or symptoms. They have to monitor you for 10 days before giving you a documentation of recovery. But what is documentation of recovery?

That question is the answer to our next question: what if I get tested positive again the day before my rescheduled flight? Do I have to isolate again? In my personal experience, the answer is NO (this only applies to those who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms). According to the CDC website, it is not recommended to get tested again 90 days after you tested positive or recovered from COVID since there is a high possibility that you will still have the virus but you are not contagious anymore. This is where the documentation of recovery will come in. A documentation of recovery is a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official (e.g. licensed doctor) that says that you completed your 10-day isolation and you are being cleared to travel or go back to work/school. It is important that the letter either states that you can travel or go back to work/school. The letter needs to have the information that identifies you personally that matches the details on your passport or other travel documents (e.g. name, date of birth). It has to be signed on official letterhead with the name, address, and contact number of the licensed public health official who signed the letter. This document will be given to you by the local health unit upon completion of your 10-day isolation. You also need to attach the viral positive result you had before your 10-day isolation. If you don’t get any proof/documentation of recovery, you have to have a negative result the day before your rescheduled flight.

On the day of your rescheduled flight make sure to bring all the documents you need. A COVID-negative result no more than 1 day before your flight or proof of recovery, vaccination card, passport, visa and other requirements the country you are going to requires you. Make sure to always wear a mask. Wear it properly (covering the nose and mouth), and at all times especially when you are in an enclosed space and/or with other people.

Let’s be responsible for each other in times of a pandemic like this and follow the health protocols anywhere we go.

Disclaimer: I am not a COVID expert or professional healthcare provider. All the information written here are based on my personal experience and the way I understood the contents in the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) website. For more information you can check their website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/noncitizens-US-air-travel.html.