<h1>Archives</h1>
    Inspirational

    The Valentine of my Life

    February 15, 2019

    “Valentine” is the term we use to refer to that special someone every February 14. Mostly, our Valentine is our partner, if we have one. But we have live in this world long enough and probably your Valentine today is not the same person 10 years ago. This time, I will tell you about the persons who become my Valentine within the more than 3 decades of my life.

    My parents, aunties and grandmother. Even if I don’t have any memory of Feb 14 when I was a baby and kid, they raised me so all my love that time must be in one of them if not all.

    Mama and Papa. I remember when I was a kid, my mom was our(my sisters) Valentine. But we are not good in expressing our love personally. We made the valentine card and hid them on her closet. My father on the other hand was living in the city so we sent him snail mail on every occasion. They will always be my Valentine for life.

    My sisters. We are not getting along well when we were young. You know that sibling fights were always there. Don’t get me wrong, we were above average in terms of the phrase,”good kids”. We were the kids you wish to have. Hahaha! The saying, “Side by side or miles apart, sisters are always connected by heart.”, is very true to us. Now all of us are living in different countries, but we know we always have each others’ back.

    Friends. They do come and go. But there are friends who are buried deep in my heart that even if we were thousand miles apart, friendship is still alive. At some point in time, I used to buy flowers for my friends or dine with them on V-day even if I have a boyfriend. Living in Singapore for years gave me friends for keeps in spite of our culture differences.

    Crush and puppy loves. Nope. They never become my Valentine. They gave me roller coaster emotions but all of them were unrequited. On every V-day, I expected but those expectations went to the trash bin. Feb 14 was the day where I wrote and tore love letters as soon as I finished writing them.

    My only boyfriend, my only ex, my husband. Having him makes me think about what to do on Valentine’s day. But guess what, we rarely celebrate. Both of us are shy to carry flowers while walking on the streets. On our first valentine, he gave me flowers which were in his backpack and I didn’t dare to get it until we reached my home. I am not a fan of chocolates so no, thank you. He is not the typical guy who gives flowers so when he does, it’s one for the books. But one thing I appreciate the most is he knows how much I value my friends that he is willing to give flowers to a friend who spends V-day with me. Now, that’s rare. The only romantic valentine’s date we had was when his boss gave us a surprise intimate romantic dinner in Little Bali, Singapore. He is certainly the right and my forever Valentine.

    My daughter. She is my chocolate on V-day since she was born. The kind of chocolate which is sweet, salty and bitter in one. Hahaha!

    Myself. Yes. You read it right. This year, my Valentine is myself. I was harsh to myself last year when things were not going according to my expectations. Self-love was something I lost last year and get them back before 2018 ended. I know many friends can relate to me. Let’s work hard on loving ourselves more. Only then we can radiate love to others. Today, a new friend in her 50s hug me with messages that almost made me cry. I barely know her and vice versa but today she asked a lot of questions about me and I answered honestly. Some days are cold, but season changes. Someday when it gets warmer, we’ll realize that cold days are meant to make us appreciate the warmer days.

    In more than 3 decades in this world, I have so many Valentines and I thank God for giving them to me. I may be lacking with so many things based on society’s standards but I have so much love around me and I hope to radiate it to the people who walk into my life. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Inspirational, Tips

    What is that word?

    January 29, 2019

    Do you also find yourself googling that word you didn’t understand after seeing a facebook post, tweet, instagram caption, from a chat group or even from someone who just talked to you? Yes? Give me a high five!

    Are you the one who’s confused between using your/you’re or hills/heels? Or the one who’s uncomfortable when you see these words which are incorrectly used in a post? I am the latter.

    Did you read a nicely written article or blog by an author who has extensive vocabulary but almost never understand what it’s all about? Did you read it twice or thrice but still didn’t get it? Hahaha! Fist bump!

    I call myself a blogger because I have a blog. But sometimes, I’m ashamed to be one because I am not a highly articulate person. Can you relate? Hugsss!

    One word: VOCABULARY. The struggle is real when you’re trying to write or understand what you’re reading but don’t know the words.

    I’ve tried many times to improve my vocabulary. I bought a pocket dictionary so that it will come in handy when I need to search a word. Those were the times when smartphones were not in yet. When I started working, internet is my dictionary. When I finally owned a smartphone, there is one app called “Word of the Day”. I also installed some word games and trivia. The result, in my opinion, I still need to improve my vocabulary.

    Although I am still a work in progress when it comes to this aspect, there are actually 3 easy ways that work effectively.

    1. Read. Keep reading books, articles, tweets, posts and news. Chances are you will encounter new words and google them to understand.
    2. Write. Writing makes you think of the right words and other options to use to construct your sentences for your tweets, caption, facebook and blog posts. BUT, before you hit that post, share or publish button, check your grammars and your chosen words. Are they correct? If in doubt, ask google or a friend.
    3. Talk to others. The most effective of them all is constantly conversing with different kind of people. Why different? Every person has different level of vocabulary. You will meet a person whose using words with depth, metaphorically, jargon, slang…etc. They will teach you almost everyday. For someone who forgets words easily, like me, this is the best method to increase vocabulary skills.

    I write this blog because we need to admit that social media exposes our lack of vocabulary and English skills. At the same time, chat applications allow us to use shortcut words. There are many factors that degrade our skills and they might continuously affect us. But we should never stop trying to improve our vocabulary and communication skills. If we can’t express our thoughts correctly, people will misunderstand. I know it very well. Feel free to proofread my blog. I am open to hear your comments.

    Inspirational

    A Day Before 2019

    December 31, 2018

    A day before 2019 is the New Year’s Eve. Many people are busy doing their year-end routines. I used to have one and that is pampering myself by going to salon for a new hair style and nail polish. I couldn’t remember when I stop doing them. Most families, especially Filipinos across the world, are busy preparing for their media noche(new year’s eve midnight dinner). Some people are already lighting up the firecrackers as early as 6am. Some are looking for something to wear to match the color of the year. For 2019, according to Pantone, it is a living coral. Too bad we don’t have this color in our closet. Almost everyone is excited to see the fireworks displays outside or even at home through live streaming. A lot of people are thinking about what had happened in 2018 and their new year’s resolutions.

    As for me, after my red cross volunteer work and food delivery, I am in the balcony writing this blog. I have so many things to say I mean write. This year, my life specifically my emotions are in roller-coaster. I cannot count how many times I cried. I grieved when I lost my grandmother, I shed many tears from the unexpected situations that occurred when we migrated here in Australia. I was teary-eyed when a news came that my aunt has breast cancer. And if that’s not enough, a series of unexpected decline in health turned leukemia of my 21-year-old cousin shook my already shaken world. A day before 2019, Rica Mae is doing her part 2 of 3 of her first chemotherapy.

    In short, 2018 is one of my emotional years. Many of you can relate, I guess. But here we are, tomorrow is already 2019. It means we did it! We survived. We are blessed and thankful. And it will not be possible if God did not send those superheroes who are not wearing capes.

    The forever superheroes of our lives who are always there to support, listen, understand and love us unconditionally.

    The superheroes whom we didn’t expect to be one.

    And recently, the strangers turned superheroes whom we do not know personally but came to our rescue.

    Your support for my budding food business, freelance work, your time, your prayer, your monetary donations, your effort, your blood and even your reassuring smile, they all save the challenges of 2018. Because of you, we are facing the new year with positive energy and full of hopes. We will do our best to make 2019 an awesome and great year.

    In behalf of my family and relatives, we are all wishing you a happy and safe new year’s celebration, a healthy life, more strength, and blessed 365 awesome days of 2019.

    Inspirational

    Who is Rica Mae and why I started a fundraising campaign?

    December 15, 2018

    Rica Mae is my cousin, my mother’s sister’s daughter. She was a full scholar of Polytechnic University of the Philippines and an Accountancy graduate this year. Her father died some years ago and since then she has become the strength of her family. She studied very hard to maintain the scholarship because that is the only way for her to finish her studies. Although a scholar, her allowance is not enough to support her other expenses and projects. She may ask for help but  she pays it back a little by doing some errands and household chores.

    Fast forward to last month, she receives job offers from two companies and finally got them earlier this month. She may not talk to me about relationships but when it comes to her studies, goals and the struggles in between, I am one of the persons she will look for. Two weeks ago, I saw her face beaming with joy as she told me about her supposedly first job. She has lots of plans once she gets her first salary. But we didn’t know that she can’t even make it on her first day at work. She has dreams but staying in hospital is not one of them.

    Dec 7, 2018. I received a text message from my mother saying Rica is admitted to SDS Medical Center due to stomach pain and vomiting. Initial diagnosis is dengue. I did not worry at all because I was hospitalized 17 years ago because of that reason too. I thought she will be discharged in 5 days. 

    Dec 10, 2018. I was shocked when her mom told me that Rica’s condition worsens. I called to talk to her. To my surprise, she looks so miserable and lose lots of weight. The happy and energetic Maemae can’t even say “Hello Ate” and suddenly screams in pain and told me that she’s already tired and can’t hold on anymore. My aunt told me that prior to her admission, they visited a clinic and said that there was a possibility that it is appendicitis. Ultrasound didn’t give much info on what is the cause of her stomach swelling.

    Dec 13, 2018. My sister sent the result of her blood test. My fear intensifies ‘coz almost all results are abnormal. I erased the idea that it might be a leukemia. But hours later, her mom told me that the doctor said that she has leukemia. Nooooooo! It isn’t true! Why her? She works hard to achieve her goals. She is a good person. She has lots of dreams. Nooo! We need a second opinion or maybe third and nth opinions.

    Dec 14, 2018. She was transferred to Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center because SDS has no ICU. With the joint efforts of our cousins and relatives, the process speeds up and we update each other. All agreed to have a second opinion and asking friends who are doctors for their opinions too by showing Rica’s latest blood test results. Everyone is helping and in difficult times, this is one reason to smile. So Maemae, I hope you are smiling too. Everyone is doing their best to get you out of there.

    Dec 15, 2018. One of our cousins is summoned by the hospital. After 8 days, we receive a bit of good news. It might not be a leukemia but maybe Thrombocytopenia. Again, everything is not confirmed. To finalize the diagnosis, Rica Mae needs to undergo bone marrow aspiration and bone biopsy

    With all the tests performed to know her exact illness and being in the SDS for 8days, we were not able to pay the remaining 40 thousand pesos and sign a promissory note. Rica needs daily blood transfusion and the hospital costs are skyrocketing not to mention the treatment after the final diagnosis. 

    We want Rica Mae to live a normal life, work and achieve her goals. Her family needs her. She told me many times that she wants to achieve whatever I achieved and even surpass my achievements. She has ticked many items on her list and I want to see her tick the rest of them.

    We are knocking in your heart. Any donation, however small, is highly appreciated. We also need blood donors of any blood type. We ask to include her in your prayers and hopefully bring her home in time for Christmas.

    Here is the link for the fundraising campaign: https://gogetfunding.com/help-rica-mae-spend-her-christmas-at-home-not-in-icu/                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

    For blood donors, please see the images on the link for blood donation guidelines. Head on to Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center  and donate to Rica Mae Moraleda who is currently in ICU Charity.

    Thank you everyone. God bless you all.

    Update (Dec 21, 2018)

    The result of the BMA and BMP is out and unfortunately, it is confirmed that Rica Mae is in the early stage of Acute Myeloid Leukemia and needs to undergo chemotherapy for 4 months and constant O+ platelet transfusion as soon as possible. The estimated cost for chemotherapy alone is 500,000 piso. 

    Bake, Foods, RecipeForKids

    Recipe For Kids: Chocolate Banana Muffins

    November 30, 2018

    This is the first recipe I am sharing. Simply because I will not sell them, anyone (with oven) can make chocolate banana muffins and the taste is not the usual sweet muffins you can buy outside. I love desserts but I don’t like very sweet ones that’s why I try to make them at home.

    I’ve been baking banana breads for the past months but this is the first time I added chocolates in it. Simply because as much as possible I don’t give them or chocolate flavored foods to my daughter. So this recipe has mild chocolate flavor.

    I use coconut oil for additional flavor and because I have lots of them from cooking “latik” for maja blanca. Almond meal is for more protein. When baking, I use the ingredients which are already available in the kitchen. Sometimes I use my daughter’s soy milk or cow’s milk light or full cream. You have already read or heard it somewhere but I’m gonna say it again. Overripe yellow bananas, those with dark spots, have richer flavor so you know it’s best for baking.

    Try this recipe at home and I would love to hear comments from you. Enjoy!

     

    Ingredients:

    • 2-3 large extra ripe bananas 
    • ⅓ Cadbury Baking 70% cocoa dark chocolate block
    • 2  cups self-raising flour 
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ⅔ cup raw sugar 
    • 4  tbsp coconut oil 
    • 2 extra large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 150 ml milk 
    • 3 tbsp almond meal
    • Dark chocolate chips for toppings

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
    2. Put liners or grease a 12-hole or 2 x 6-hole muffin pans.
    3. Put chocolates in a bowl.
    4. Boil water in a small saucepan.
    5. Put the bowl of chocolate in the saucepan. Ensure water will not go into the bowl.
    6. Reduce the heat. Turn off when the chocolate is melted.
    7. Mash bananas using fork.
    8. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
    9. In a bigger bowl, cream together the coconut oil and sugars.
    10. Beat in the eggs until combined.
    11. Fold in the mashed bananas.
    12. Add in the vanilla extract and milk.
    13. Pour the melted chocolate.
    14. Add the almond meal.
    15. Add the dry/flour mixture in the bigger bowl.
    16. Stir gently and just until the flour is incorporated. DO NOT over stir.
    17. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
    18. Sprinkle some chocolate chips(5-8 pcs) on top.
    19. Bake on center rack for 25 minutes. Cooking time may vary. Toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
    20. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove the bread from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
    Inspirational, Migration

    Red Cross SHOP…what is it?

    November 19, 2018

    Have you heard about Red Cross Shops? No? That’s okay. I was in your position until we moved in Australia. Red Cross is not all about blood donation, first-aid, help during and after disasters which we normally see on television. Australian Red Cross has shops: boutique and pop-up shops. Their facebook page says, “We sell fab recycled and new goods to raise funds for the everyday work of Australian Red Cross.”

    South Melbourne Red Cross Shop is one of the A grade red cross shops in Victoria. It means the shop sells new and pre-loved fashion with quality. Yes. You heard it right. They also purchase and sell brand new items. Some of their new products are:

    • Jewelries
    • Socks
    • Underwear or padded undergarments
    • Lingerie
    • Beauty products such as soap, lotion or bath sets
    • Stationery such as greeting cards, gift cards and gift wrappers.
    • Pillows
    • Tableware such as dining sets and cups
    • Scented candles and aroma reeds
    • Scarves

    Outside the shop is a bin where people drop their donations. They can also go inside the shop to personally give them to the staffs. So how do an A grade shop sort your donations? Well, there are guidelines to follow.

    1. Definitely, clothes with stain, even how small it is, will not go to the display.
    2. A missing button is a big no.
    3. Zipper must be smoothly functioning.
    4. Worn out clothes are not tagged.
    5. Shoes, bags, homewares, toys, books must still be in good condition.
    6. Pre-loved underwear, bra or padded undergarments go to trash bin. DO NOT donate these items.

    Today is my second day as a retail volunteer. It requires minimum of 4 hours per week with 2 shifts to choose from: 10am – 2pm and 2pm – 6pm . What do we do? On a daily basis, we clean the shop, sort your donations, clean and tag the items that will go to the display, steam the clothes, dress the mannequin(if necessary), sort the displays to make them look more appealing, assist the customers or those who need help in the fitting rooms, take charge of the cash registry, chat and make friends with other staffs.  It’s a fulfilling job and an opportunity to learn new things.

    So if you are in Melbourne, thinking of buying some Christmas presents and like pre-loved things, head on to the nearest red cross shops. You get what you want, you shop with a cause. And if it is not enough and you want to do more, support the community by applying as a volunteer.

     

     

    Inspirational

    13 Reasons Why I Blog

    November 8, 2018

    I am an old-school person who still writes on notebooks, sticky notes and planner(at least while I was working full time). Getting paper and pen is easier for me than mobile phone/laptop. But an old-school person should adapt to latest technology and so I started blogging. This is not my first blog website. I started in Friendster and blogspot. Friendster is gone and I haven’t publish in blogspot for many years until recently when I was able to retrieve my account.

    As I mentioned in one of my posts in June, I will write about the reasons why I blog. Friends who know me well don’t need to read this post to know the reasons. But, I assume (yes, hopefully), there are people who are still interested and so please continue reading.

    1. I like writing. This is in #1 because it is the main reason. I like writing. When I start writing or typing, it seems like my hands have their own minds. But it doesn’t mean I’ll be satisfied with the output. Most of the time, it ended up in the trash bin or forever in my drafts and never get published or eventually deleted. Sometimes, I will erase all and start over again. I think most bloggers can relate to me.
    2. I can express my thoughts. There are times and things that we cannot express well verbally. For me, it’s when my emotion is more intense than my speech or sometimes I want to be heard first before the other parties react. I used to write love letters but never reach the recipients. It’s my way of releasing that strong attraction secretly. Hahaha! I used to write letters and emails to my friends and families too. I remember writing a letter to my mom on her birthday but instead of giving it to her personally, I put it on her clothes storage.
    3. I want to share my experience/knowledge. Where do I get my content? It’s from my experiences and knowledge. Although, they are common for others but for me, most of the things I shared are my firsts or many friends can relate to the topic.
    4. I keep in touch with my friends. It is not everyday that we reach out to our friends to catch up. Blogging is one way to keep in touch with them. Sharing what is happening to me is also a way of telling them “hey, this is what is going on in my life right now.” If they react, you connect to them. If they comment, you start the conversation.
    5. I want to improve my writing. And the easiest way to learn is to keep writing. Comment on my blog is not simply for reacting on the topic. I also accepts criticisms. I would appreciate if you can point my mistakes and proofread my posts. But I do try to write as grammatically correct as possible.
    6. It’s therapeutic.  Writing is one of my so-called therapeutic things. I feel the happiness and calmness whenever I publish a post or I completed the topic.
    7. It’s something to look forward to. I try to publish post once a week and that is one of the things I look forward to. It’s 1-2 hours me-time in front of the computer with coffee/tea and bread/cake on the right side. It’s quite a relaxing moment for me.
    8. Increase my awareness with my surroundings. I like observing my surroundings. I like sitting on a bench and watch the vehicles and people pass by. I believe in everything and everyone has story. With my up and running blog, if I have the topic in mind, I observed more. But I don’t dare touch some sensitive topics like religion and politics. My opinion for these matters are not meant to be shared on the internet. I don’t want to debate with others whom I don’t see.
    9. It’s a productive habit. Oh yes! I like watching asian series. One drama consumes 16-30 hours. That’s a lot of unproductive and unhealthy hours. But I still watch sometimes. Hahaha! Blogging will stop me from looking for another drama to watch.
    10. It’s like a filtered diary. I am sharing my stories, my thoughts, my life which makes my blog a filtered diary. Filtered because not all details are being shared, not all happenings can be a post. I still value a bit of privacy.
    11. Inspire others. Well this is my wish. I wish that somehow I am inspiring others. I wish that my readers will learn something good from my blog. I wish to give them hope. If I share my problems and how I overcome them, I want them to know that they are not alone and whatever hardships they have, they too shall pass.
    12. Write unspoken words of other people. Sometimes I write based on my friends’ stories and thoughts. If you have more information on my topics and you wish to include them, feel free to contact me.
    13. I can monetize my blog. I am a  newbie to this thing. There are so many ways to monetize a blog but I still don’t find the right thing to do. As of now, I only rely on ads. It will not make me rich but a cent is still a money.

    With all these reasons, do you understand now why I am blogging. Do you want to do the same? If you want to know how to setup your blog or want to have an eCommerce website, contact me. Next time, I will write about my first ever client on eCommerce website.

    Parenting & Kids

    What could possibly happen when you got stuck in a traffic jam with almost 20 kids in the bus?

    November 2, 2018

    It wasn’t boring at all.

    Last October 28, 2018, we boarded bus 439 in Werribee Park and Mansion bus stop which is actually inside the park at 3:05pm. We expected to reach Werribee station at 3:20pm. Little did we(4 adults, 2 kids) know that there was a traffic jam ahead that’s why the bus was late for 15min. We’re just so happy coz we thought we missed the bus. Going to the next bus stop(Werrribee Zoo) took almost 1 hour. The passengers were mostly families with small kids. We got stuck in a heavy traffic jam, that’s the last bus,  the bus driver took his mandatory break for 15min and reached the Werribee train station at 6:43pm. Finally. But that was almost 4hrs inside the bus. Oh my butt and legs!

    So what happened in those 4hrs? It’s all about kids and parents. We are aware that each kid is unique and parents’ response mostly depends on how they behave.

    1. Almost half of the kids left. One mother has 4 daughters and she’s still breastfeeding the youngest. Salute! Two of the kids cried and so they left. Those who left were the kids who cried inside the bus or the parents decided to alight. We didn’t know what they do next to get out of the place.
    2. Play drum and piano toys. Two kids have their piano and drum toys. You know what happened next. Of course, it was noisy but what can you do if that’s their way of killing the time.
    3. Bubbles inside the bus? Why not?! Even I poked the bubbles and enjoyed it.
    4. Change seat, walk on the aisle and play with other kids. Will your kids stay still in their seat for almost 4hrs? I guess not and this was expected to happen.
    5. Going up and down of their seat. Some kids were obedient and won’t leave their parents. But it doesn’t mean they will stay still. It’s the least they can do. The two kids with us, are among them.
    6. Watch a movie. If you want to make them sit all through out the journey, take the tablet out and let them watch the Minion movies.
    7. Sing like The Wiggles and that’s what the boy did. “Everybody clap, everybody sing, la, la, la, la, la
      Bow to your partner, then you turn around, wohoo!
      Hands in the air, rock-a-bye your bear
      Bear’s now asleep, sh, sh, sh
      Bear’s now asleep, sh, sh, sh”
    8. Sleep, eat and watch the other kids. These were our daughter and my friend’s daughter. They were tired and it was their nap time so they slept for more than 1 hour. Afterwards, they ate biscuits, watched the other kids, talked and laughed.
    9. Pee on the tree. Hahaha! That’s one of the advantage of being a boy. He can just asked the driver to open the door, pull down his shorts and release. Being a kid, he didn’t care if he peed right in front of our eyes and many can see his precious little thing.
    10. Clap their hands when we reached the main road. Finally we were out and noticed the empty lawn which was full of cars in the morning.

    Most parents keep their cool including us, unexpectedly. Maybe that’s because we were with another family but most of all the kids had so much fun that there was no room for tantrums. We even queued for the famous ramen in the CBD since it was already late to prepare dinner at home.

    Are you curious why and how we got into that situation? Ok read more.

    We attended the Children’s Week Picnic in Werribee Park and Mansion which is located on the west side of Melbourne. It was the first ever event we attended in Melbourne. It was my daughter and my husband’s first train ride outside Melbourne CBD. It was our first journey to the west. It was our first time in Werribee. It was our friend’s birthday and they also went with us. Sounds super fun and exciting, right? It was.

    The event was held in front of the Werribee Mansion. It took us almost 2hrs to reach the place, 30min waiting time for the train. From the Werribee station, we took bus 439 which took us directly inside the park vicinity. Kids must wear a wristband with contact number just in case they get lost. The event has many activity booths and people can setup their picnic mats on the middle. So many things to do but our kids didn’t like the face painting and no patience for queuing, so as the parents. We settled outside of the event’s place where kids were free to run around. Eating our packed lunch and nibbles under the sun in a cool breeze surrounded by the beautiful view of the mansion and spring flowers, was so much fun.

    At the end of the day, if your kid said she was happy, whatever mishaps we encountered didn’t matter anymore.

    Migration

    Do you need to migrate?

    October 26, 2018

    Two years ago, someone asked me, “Do you need to migrate? What is the reason for moving out of Singapore?” That time, I was a bit caught off guard not because I have no reasons but because I am not sure whether my reasons were valid. Primarily, it’s because we didn’t want to be evicted from the country we lived in just because we lose our job.

    Are you thinking of migrating to other country but don’t know whether you really need to? Yes? Let me ask you some questions.
    1. What are your reasons for migrating? You need to have reasons for thinking about it. It should not be because some of your friends are migrating. In my opinion, that is a weak reason to move out because we are talking about your future here, a new life. Think about it.

    2. Do you want to be a citizen of other country? This is something you need to consider for choosing which country you want to go. Some countries offer dual citizenship but others don’t. Although it will not happen anytime soon but it is something you have to think about as well.

    3. Do you have enough money to start in a new country? This is important. Migrating to other country will cost you a lot from processing the visa until you settle down in your chosen country. You cannot foresee everything that will happen once you move. Even how prepared you are, it is possible that you will still face unexpected situation. Migrating is a bit stressful, at least in my experience. Stress is reduced if you are financially prepared especially if you don’t have a job prior to your big move.

    4. If you are moving with your family or partner, have you discussed and agreed on your planned setup? If you have a partner, definitely your friends should not be a big factor on your decision. Making plan A, C or until Z (just kidding!) should be done together with your partner and ensure that you both agreed to the plans. After all, both of you will execute the plan in order to achieve your goals. Again, this is to lessen your stress. Discuss the possible scenarios that will happen and how are you going to deal with them. Sit down. Discuss. Take some notes if necessary. I prefer to do it over a cup of coffee, definitely not over a glass of alcoholic drinks.

    5. Are you ready to leave everything and everyone you have now? This is the most difficult question. This is something you cannot answer with 100% yes. Sometimes, you will say no but the answers in question #1 are taking more weight than what you have right now. However, I still ask this for you to be prepared emotionally and mentally.

    Research about the countries on your option list. Ask your friends about them. Gather more information. If your decision, will affect your family, talk to them. It is always worthy to have as much support as possible and to know what you can expect.

    You see, I cannot answer it directly whether you need to migrate or not. It is not an easy question, it is a life-changing question. I know you are aware of that. I write it hoping to help you in your decision-making. Once you have your decision, stick with it and do your best to make it happen.

    Migration

    Melbourne in My Eyes

    October 17, 2018

    In my previous post, I promised to write about Melbourne. It’s been 8 months since we started living in this city. When I say Melbourne, I meant Melbourne(with 3000 zip code) and Inner Suburbs. It is the second most populous city in Australia and we choose to live here in spite of the fact that we do not have any friends nor relatives here. Why? You know the this-is-it feeling when you see something, that was what I exactly felt the first time we visited last year around this time. The cheaper rent(compare to Sydney) and the tram, to be honest, attracted me too.

    The Place. There are very few malls or maybe none if I take Manila and Singapore malls as the definition of mall. It has a Munich, Germany feel: old buildings and structures, the smell of coffee and breads in the morning, the smell of beer in the beer garden at night especially on Fridays. Shops mostly close at 5pm. Melbourne is known for their arts that’s why most of the places have graffiti. Playgrounds have wood chips not rubberized. There are many beautiful parks which are perfect location for friends and family bonding. Our favorite is Albert Park and Lake being the one nearest from our apartment, just 20min walk. Libraries have many activities for the community from babies to oldies and most of them are free. Membership signup and borrowing books are free. They provide eBooks and renewal of borrowed items online. Melbourne is not as clean as Singapore. You can see trash everywhere, broken bottles, human’s spits, dog/birds’ poop and even leftover foods. But they are serious when it comes to segregating recyclables from general waste.

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    The Food. Australia’s common foods are fresh salads, avocados, cheese, hummus, crackers, steaks, BBQ and sausages. I think every local household has cheese board. Woolworths, Coles and Aldi are the three major supermarkets and they already stop giving single-use plastic bags. People don’t care anyway if they bring the goods without any bag. They all have a wide-range of ready meals or ready-to-cook(with seasonings) foods which make working people’s lives easier. Perfect for mom who’s already juggling between work and home. Their favorite drinks are coffee and beers. Melbourne has a Colonial Tramcar Restaurant that goes around the city while diners are enjoying their meal.

    The People. Ohhh they are so warm. Smiling and greeting a stranger is a common thing. They love dogs. Some shops have water bowls for dogs outside and drinking fountains in the parks and beaches. Black is their fashion color and fashion style is like European’s. And the look, I find them gorgeous but they are not brand conscious. They are friendly people and they greet people by saying, “Hi! How are you?”. I admit I found it awkward and unable to respond on the first few months. Should I answer? Then I only ended up smiling. But now, I am already used to it and adapting the same whenever I meet someone(except Filipinos). It’s is normal to see police officers in the city with their horses. With all the good things I said, you’ll see the opposite as well. There are homeless people who live in the street or in their car or yacht. There are also people who lose their minds and you’ll see them shouting or talking to nobody or simply talk to you without any sense. Some people are also asking for money from young to old. I got scared many times already but one person who saw me said, “Although Melbourne has people with special characters, they are harmless in general.” Depression seems like a normal topic. I already heard from few mothers I met that they experienced it and the community offers lots of support.

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    #melbournepolice 🇦🇺

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    The Transportation. Melbourne is known for its tram network. There are also trains and buses but car is a necessity especially if you are living in the suburb or travels most of the time. One good thing is that you only need to use 1 card called Myki to pay for the public transports. However, I find their fare system a bit complicated. There are free tram zone. It means you don’t need to touch on or touch off. In tram, you only touch on on Zone 1. Touch off is not required unless you’re travelling to Zone 2.  But for buses and trains, touch on and off are required. Daily fare is AUD8.60. Some may find the trains and tram’s seats dirty. But I think it is expected when the seat is padded and not easy to clean. There are many taxi companies too but you cannot hail them anywhere you want but the taxi stand. A 20-minute walk is near. Train and tram doors are not automatic. You have to press for the door to open or manually slide them sideways. Tram stops can have a proper station but sometimes they are in the middle of the road which are on the same lane as the cars. I’ve been to many suburbs, got lost a few times already when finding the stops but I still like taking the public transports. I like the view of trees, graffiti, houses and building structures.

    The Weather: One word, as many people say, CRAZY. Now is sunny, later cloudy, then cold, then rain, then sunny. What do they say about it? Ah, four seasons in a day. Today’s weather prediction, may not be the same tomorrow. It is always advisable to carry a pocketable jacket and a sunscreen if you will be out for the entire day. But hey, don’t be discouraged to visit Melbourne. Although, the weather is crazy, it makes the place unique and it is not happening everyday anyways. In my 8 months here, I only experienced this kind of craziness twice. Also, it feels nice to be a bit colder early in the morning before it gets hot mid-day and then a bit cold again at night.

    credits to fragrantica.com

    Our life is far from perfect but I can still say that we have a better quality of life here in Melbourne.

    Disclaimer: All the information I mentioned are based on my observation only. Should there be any incorrect details, feel free to tell me.

    Thank you for reading my blog.