January 12, 2021

Highlights of 2020

It’s been almost two weeks since the year 2021 started and here I am still writing my Highlights of 2020. Honestly, I’ve been delaying writing this post because I don’t want to cry again and I don’t want to remember the pain of losing my father and my sister. I did not imagine that year 2020 would be even worst. May isasakit pa pala sa year 2019 ko. 

Today, was my father’s death anniversary too so naalala ko na rin naman ang past, itodo ko na so I’m pushing myself to finish this post while my husband is not working from home. If my husband sees me crying “He won’t stop asking me, Anong problem, bakit ka umiiyak?”. Maiistorbo pa pagrereminisce ko. Hehehe! 

Before 2019 ends, I can clearly remember that I was looking forward to the year 2020 because we have so many exciting plans. I was excited because I will have my first “Mommy Trip” with my friend and sister. We have family trips both domestic and international but everything was canceled because of COVID19. 


I know that some years are filled with moments to remember, others with moments we would rather forget. 2020 is a year when your plans have come to nothing, when you realized that life is short, and your greatest wealth is your health. 2020 is a test of faith; when you feel out of control and you don’t understand why it is happening. 

Indeed, it is a tough year that will either break or make us. It broke my fragile heart into pieces, and each day I feel different emotions. There are sad days, tears days, fright days, shatter days, and hopeful days. So I was thinking if there is something worth writing for the year 2020? But the truth is, even year 2020 hurts, there are still blessings. Sharing this quote and favorite lines from Blessings song. 

“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow” 


Blessings by Laura Story 

“Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops 
What if Your healing comes through tears 
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near 
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise” 

January 

 As I’ve said before, I started my year feeling excited, first week pa lang busy na kami. As early as January 2, we went to Indang, Cavite and we had lunch at Cafe Voi La. We had our first and last staycation for the year 2020 at Sheraton Manila Bay Hotel. I haven’t blogged about this trip because it will only remind me that this is the last time that we are complete. During our weekend staycation, my siblings and I visited my father’s house. Since parking is hard, we all met at Pedro Gil Station and sabay-sabay na kami nagcommute and we separated our ways in LRT station too. 

Read: Cafe Voi La 


First Monday of the year, my husband and I went to H.I.S Travel Agency to submit our Japan Visa Requirements, we were happy that our Japan visas were approved and this time 5 Years Multiple Entry Visa


But my happiness turned into sadness because a few days after my sister messaged me that my father passed away. It happened so fast, I did not imagine that a week after our last visit was also the last time that we are complete. We don’t even have a picture of that moment. My brother was already in Japan so he was not there during my father’s wake. 

Read: Goodbye Papa 

While I was in my father’s wake, my two boys can’t be with me because they need to go back to our home. On the same day kasi nakisabay si Taal Volcano. Last week of January, when my husband went back to the Philippines from Singapore, the COVID19 news broke. Grabe, umpisa pa lang ito ng 2020 pero grabe na ang pasabog. 


February 

This month we turned our storage room into an office room, it was supposed to be our project in 2019 kaso nagkaproblem kami sa contractor so ending, we just bought ready-made furniture for our office room. We we happy that we’ve made the right decision kasi kung naghintay lang kami sa contractor namin, wala kami office room na nagagamit ngayon. Who would ever think na magiging online distance learning ang class ng anak ko and work from home si hubby. 



February is our anniversary month and since it fell on weekday, we had an advance celebration at Cafe Ilang Ilang at The Manila Hotel. This time we celebrated our anniversary with my parents-in-law. 


March 

My husband was supposed to be back in Singapore last February but they canceled it because of COVID19 health scare but since there is no news about COVID19 in Indonesia, he has no choice but to fly. By the time he arrived back in the Philippines, nagkaroon na rin sa Indonesia. 

Ever since the COVID19 news broke we’ve been contemplating if we will pursue our Taiwan Trip, our flight was canceled last February but it was confirmed again after few days so we thought that we can still push on this trip. 

But things changed so last Mach 12, 2020, my friend called Philippine Airlines to refund our ticket and as of this writing, Philippine Airlines is still not refunding our plane ticket. Last May, sabi nila we will received the refund after 3 billing cycles, then last September after 100 business days tapos pagdating ng November, after 150 business days daw. Today, January 2021 na, wala pa rin ang refund namin from PAL, grrr. 

March 15, 2020 is the start of the Community Quarantine in the Philippines so the majority of the people are in a panic. A few days before the CQ was implemented, we just did our usual grocery and palengke errands. Hindi namin naisip na maghoard because we did not imagine na maglalast itong quarantine. We are thankful na hindi naman tayo nagkakaubusan ng foods and drinks supply. 

My son’s school year was almost finished, last day of final exam na nga lang nabitin pa. No classes na agad sa lahat ng school sa Philippines. First time na hindi natapos ang school year. 

April

I’m an introvert + a full-time mom so staying at home is not really a problem. I am happy being at home because I have so many things that I can do. When Community Quarantine started, I subscribed to Netflix, I took a lot of free classes at Brit + Co site (1 month) and I started my freelance journey. When time permits, I design social media graphics for clients.

I felt that my life seems okay even there is community quarantine then four days after I posted my Day 32 of Community Quarantine, life hits me so hard. I lost my sister and friend, it was so sudden and we’re all shocked. We were supposed to go to Taiwan last March, nacancel lang. How I wish natuloy man lang yun bago pa siya kinuha ni Lord. We’re supposed to go to Norway this year sana, it was her dream to go back there after 2 decades pero hindi na rin mangyayari. I know that God has reasons but I miss my sister. I did not know na yung wake and internment ng father ko yun na rin yung last moment namin together. Wala man lang siya decent funeral because of Community Quarantine. Truly, life is short and we don’t know when it is our time. 


May 

My world suddenly stopped when my sister died, I felt that there is a part of me that was lost when she was gone. No matter what I do to move on from this heartache, deep down inside I know that pain never leaves. I just have to accept the fact that I have to continue living without her. So I’m literally living one day at a time, with no plan at all. I was also focused on helping my sister’s family in getting my sister’s death benefits. It is so hard to get all the documents needed since most of the private and government offices were closed. 


After one year of planning and preparing our mini vegetable garden, nakapagharvest na rin kami ng vegetables. I have no contribution since si hubby lang naman nag-aalaga ng halaman. Hehehe! But I am happy that we saved money because may vegetables na kami for Sinigang and Nilaga na dish. 


June

My husband planned to visit Siargao for his birthday celebration, minsan lang siya magplan hind pa natuloy but of course, we still celebrate his birthday at home. We had pizzas and cake, happy na kami dun kasi ang tagal din namin hindi nakakabili ng cake and pizza. Hehehe! 

After so many months of waiting, my son’s school card was released and he is a Gold Eagle Awardee again. Yey! So sad that there is no Recognition Day for them so I am praying that COVID19 will end soon para naman may graduation picture at makaakyat ng stage. 

Community Quarantine is slowly relaxing so I am thankful that after 109 days of being stuck at home, nakalabas na rin ako. May Quarantine Pass na rin ako so I was able to visit my dentist for my monthly brace adjustment. 

My husband gifted me a Cricut Maker, this was a delayed wedding anniversary gift. Naabutan ng lockdown kasi. 


July 

I was about to explore my Cricut Maker but ended up opening my shop at ETSY. I love creating social media graphics and printables so I decided to list some of the designs on my online store. I only have few sales but I am still not losing hope, someday tataas na rin ang SEO ko and marami na rin makakavisit sa store ko. If you need some social media graphics and printable greeting cards, gift tags and stickers then visit my store. 


Wala talaga interest anak ko sa mga summer classes gusto niya talaga kapag bakasyon, vacation lang. Hehehe! Pero since March pa siya wala ginagawa, puro Netflix and TV lang so my husband decided to enroll him in different online classes. Actually, he doesn’t like the idea but ended up liking the classes that he took. 

Young Engineers 
Explore Scratch 1 and 2 
Explore HTML & CSS 

August 

My husband has been helping his parents in processing my sister-in-law’s death benefits. She passed away last August 2019 pero until now hindi pa rin tapos, naabutan din ng lockdown so when my husband went to visit her mom para kunin yung documents na ipapasa niya, he mentioned to me na masama daw pakiramdam ni mother-in-law. After few days, we were surprised na naconfined na sa hospital. Just like that, my husband and in-laws are in a cancer battle again. I am praying hard na sana wala na susunod pa na magkasakit. Praying for good health for everyone. 

Both my mom and my mother-in-law are battling their own sickness and this song “I Pray” by Marlo Mortel is so touching 

"Night after night, I sit and pray 
That the day I fear would never come our way 
I pray that you will never have to go away 
One day the pain you're feeling it'll go away 

Ma, I know that time goes by so fast 
I wanna make our every moment last 
Whatever it'll take, I'll take the chance 
I'd give up everything to see you dance 

Oh Lord I pray, give her all the strength she needs 
Oh Lord I pray, that she won't lose her faith, no, not a minute 
Lord I pray, that you will never ever take her from me 
Not tomorrow, not today, forever she will stay"


We missed eating out especially the buffet and samgyeopsal so one of our good buys last year is Imarflex Health Grill. So whenever we crave a Korean BBQ, we can eat it at the comfort of our home. For my quarantined birthday, we had steak and seafood grill at home. 

 
September

Last March, we donated our Globe Reward Points but this month we used our points and claimed free meals at Mcdonalds and Jollibee. Namiss ko ang fastfoods. 


June is the usual start of the school year in the Philippines but because of the crazy year 2020, hindi malaman kung kelan ba talaga start. My son’s school started classes a little bit late compared to other private schools, akala nga namin susundin pa nila yung sa DepEd. At last they decided to start na rin so my son was back in school after 5 months of vacation at home. It was our first experience of online class and so far mas prefer ko ito, mas at peace ako nasa bahay lang anak ko. 


Since ECQ, it was my first time to go to Landers and Mall, for the longest time si hubby ang nagrogrocery sa amin, and for a change sumama ako. It was funny because Valentine’s month yung last na punta ko and pagbalik ko puro Christmas Decorations na. 

The first time also that I was able to travel to Valenzuela and visited my sister’s home. For the past few months I’ve been contemplating whether to visit or not. Part of me wants to go but another part of me doesn’t want to go because I know that reality will hit me more. It was my first time seeing her urn sa personal and I was happy na okay ang nagawa kong name and date vinyl stickers for her urn. It was my second project using my Cricut Maker. 

October 

My son celebrated his 12th birthday at home. Last year, I was thinking to celebrate his birthday in advance para kung magtravel or staycation kami, may kid’s discount pa. Hehehe Pero stuck at home naman pala kami. 


We finally decided to invest in our second house. We have no problems with our present home but we need a bigger space so we bit the bullet. Hopefully, we can move after two years, for now, tipid-tipid na kami ulit. 

November 

11.11 is the start of my Lazada and Shopee experience, I know I am so late but I was trying to avoid this site so I can save money. Hehehe! But I finally gave in and started my online shopping. This helped me big time because I was able to buy holiday gifts without going to the mall. 

Yung pasabog ni year 2020 hindi pa tapos, so we experienced Typhoon Ulysses. We had no electricity and water for 16 hours. 


December 

December is always a busy month. I was preoccupied finishing my gift list, creating my own gift tags and stickers, wrapping our holiday gifts, and doing some Christmas Ornaments. 


Despite the community quarantine, I am glad that we were able to do our Christmas traditions like spend the holidays with families, meet-up with my mommy friends, and visited my siblings. Hindi man naging maganda ang pasok ng taon but I am still thankful that we end the year on a good note. I am thankful for the strength, for the hope, and for all the blessings that we received. 


I’m pretty sure that I am not alone when I say that 2020 was not a great year. There were a lot of changes that were made around the world. In spite of the storms of life, we can proudly look back knowing that we survived the hardest days and nights, pains, struggles, and challenges. What’s done is done and what’s gone is gone. We need to let go and move on. I hope that year 2021 will unfold good and happy times. Happy New Year! 



“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34

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