E-diary: It’s my birthday month!

Two months to the new year but it feels like so much has happened already. And suddenly, it’s March — my birthday month! TMI but yeah, I have always been excited for my birthday, not necessarily about receiving gifts but the simple thought of feeling special on a particular day makes me look forward to it.

Going back to “so much has happened already,” don’t you feel like it too? I know I’m not alone with this. Especially now that our world is so fast-phased, with the current technology and the hustle culture, even the pandemic seem to have just decided to take a step back and let us go on our way. Hopefully, the pandemic actually finally ends.

Enchanted Kingdom Ferris wheel photographed by Abegail Layosa

Sharing this photo that I took days before March, hehe~ Went to Enchanted Kingdom when they reopened last February 25th. Will post more about it soon!

That’s it. I really just wanted to post something here to welcome this month. Will share some travel adventures and new ventures. Hoping to be able to write more frequently on the coming days!

Oh, before you go, would you like to leave a birthday greeting for me? (。◕‿◕。) Thanks!

E-Diary: Things I learned from trying to lose weight and failing it

It’s the first of the month! Only that it’s also the 11th month of the year. What felt like centuries when we were at the beginning of this pandemic, with all the lockdown and restrictions, indeed has transformed into our new normal. As if we’ve been doing this ever since and time flew just like that.

Nevertheless, every day is still a new day. And I today want to share something that I didn’t expect I would actually do at this time of the year, not on a November at the very least.

I am going to start working out and this time, more seriously. One reason is that I aim to lose weight before we go back to office since I worry if my work uniform would still fit. Another thing is that recently, Kenneth gifted me a fitness watch for our anniversary. He just started cycling as a workout too so maybe that’s where he got the inspiration to give me one. Should I expect a bike this Chritsmas? Lol

I have always been a beginner when it comes to working out. I took boxing sessions years back but had to stop after a few months because the person I was going with stopped too. When I was working in Japan, I did dance exercises every night and even joined volleyball players during practice but I didn’t get to continue when I came back to the Philippines. I loved the process, I loved sweating out, I enjoyed exercising overall but there came a point when it became more of a task than something that I really wanted to do for myself.

Out of all the attempts that I did in the past, I realized these ten common points that are important to keep in mind.

  1. Have a goal. Make it simple, doable and always keep it in mind.
  2. Find inspiration through people around you. Be better for yourself to be better to others too.
  3. Equip if you can. Not necessarily required but can be of help.
  4. Start from within. Set your heart to what you want.
  5. Do not deprive yourself. Your goal must be an inspiration, not an order to be followed.
  6. Plan your steps.
  7. Start with what you can then learn along the way.
  8. Be consistent.
  9. Take rests.
  10. Reward yourself.

As I write this, I realized having a goal is one but the willingness to reach it is another story. Now that I have a fitness watch by me, I am more determined to see the results of doing things the proper way. Also the thought that the person who gave it to me being concerned about my health is another driving force that I can work with. I might also check out Bombshell Sportswear for a few bombshell workout tops for women for an added inspiration. And believe it or not, my old boxing gloves resurfaced from storage since my dad is doing some repairing here at home.

I will try to keep a journal of my workout progress and share it here. Not sure if it’s too late or quite early for a new year’s resolution but here’s another attempt to make things fall to the right places.

If you happen to have any workout tips, just comment here I’d be happy to check them out! Help me fit to my uniform again!! 😊

WFH thoughts

Two years since I started working from home as per compliance with quarantine guidelines in the Philippines and I must say, I have developed some habits far from what I have been doing pre-pandemic.

Comparing WFH and on-site work can be difficult for one has what the other lacks but if I were to choose, as of now, I’d rather continue working from home where I am closer to my family.

Aside from that, I also like the idea of not having to wear office uniform everyday. I don’t hate our company uniform but compared to now when I can wear house clothes when not attending meetings, I’d gladly keep tis setup until the end of the year at least. One more thing is the commute. I can wake up 30mins before log in time and still have time to make coffee, change to my favorite collegiate shorts and still do a little stretching.

Office-based work is indeed convenient. Considering not all houses in the Philippines has airconditioning services and the internet connection varies per location as well. Lucky are those who can continue working despite the pandemic and my heart goes to those who are suffering because of this. If only I could extend help to each an every family affected.

If there’s anything, let us REGISTER TO VOTE this coming elections and unite to give our nation a clearer horizon. It will not be an easy road but as long as we got each other, we’ll carry on.

Diary entry: Influence

I was on my third year in highschool when I joined the campus’ Journalism Club. Being a bookworm with no money to buy the books, my membership introduced me to a lot of people who had.

Writing for the school paper did not only allow me to borrow the books that I wanted to read, it also brought me to places where my school will compete for school press conferences.

Together with our Journalism Club mentor, we would join competitions in different schools and win sometimes.

My area was Feature writing.

During the competitions, there were topics that I loved that I already know I’d get the prize and topics that I had no connection at all giving my braincells a hard time delivering the right words. Both were challenging and nonetheless, worthwhile.

There’s a certain topic that I will never forget in my entire life because it was both, and not. I loved it because I had a wide range of answers for it but I knew I won’t win with any of those because of the lack of connection. Something I had to write for the sake of having an entry. It’s quite frustrating thinking about it now, but I was a young teen back then. And maybe being a first-timer at the Nationals clouded my thoughts. Or maybe these are just excuses and that I actually simply write poorly.

I said I wouldn’t forget it. But verbatim, I already did.
It went somehow like:
“The most influential person for you, not including your relatives.”

I was really challenged by this topic as I never encountered anything similar during training. I won’t tell my answer anymore though as it sounded more a diary entry than a feature on a paper.

Abe what is this all about if you won’t share the answer, then? Because I may have found a new one now. And this time, no prize is included but I want to write about it. Somehow giving closure to my teenage self too who let her emotions reach the National Press Conference judges. Lol

Today is May 1st. On normal days, I should be excited because, “Yay! Holiday!” but the past few days aren’t too normal at all for most of us have been on forced holiday for two almost two months now. An unseen predator is currently devastating the country as well making things far from coming back to normal. But while I am here, in the comforts of our own home, there they are, the so-called frontliners of this pandemic. It is May 1st and also happens to be a celebration of Labor Day in thr Philippines. But a holiday is non-existent to a virus that only knows to spread and kill. Hence, our frontliners also have to battle it at this time. Holiday, normal day, their own birthday, whenever that is. They are selflessly working; fighting for us.

A view from some laundry room in Tokyo. Shot by Abegail Layosa
A view from some laundry room in Tokyo.
Shot by Abegail Layosa

I may be at home now, doing nothing heroic. But I can say that these people highly influenced me to be productive in ways I can. To be a spring of positivity. To have their discipline. To be more appreciative of my job. I am inspired by how they stand firm to do theirs. In this post, I honor every working Filipino all over the world.

Thank you for doing your best.
For our health. Thank you, medical workers.
For our food supply. Thank you, delivery service providers and essential supplies companies.
For our economy. Thank you, OFWs, BPO and everyone working at home.
For our beloved near or far from us. Thank you, LGUs.
For the cleanliness. Thank you, maintenance workers, street sweepers, garbage collectors.
For safety. Thank you, military officers, security guards and peace and order volunteers.
For our awareness on the situation. Thank you broadcast reporters.

On a special note, I would like to give appreciation to my colleagues in Japan who continue the workforce and serve as our company’s frontliners while we can’t work here yet. Please know that all of your efforts are greatly appreciated.
As well as the leaders for all the hardwork in assuring every members on updates and for keeping us free from worry. To our ever understanding bosses, only the sincerest gratitude and a promise to perform even better whenever we can go back to work again. 🍀

And that is it. My new answer. Happy Labor Day!

Sunrise and the hope it brings

Yesterday was Kathryn Bernardo’s birthday. Today is mine.

11am. I am lying on my bed (still) , wide awake but with no intent to get up anytime soon. This community lockdown indeed is taking its toll on me. It’s my birthday and I can’t go out to celebrate. Nor people can come and be with me today. HAPPY? BIRTHDAY, HUH, CORONA.

My mom is cooking downstairs. I assume its for me. I smell onions being sautéed and I heard there’s ice cream on the fridge. My sister is in the supermarket now, too. I knew since she just sent a message telling that the line to the store is already long. Hmm.. I wonder what she’ll get.

My niece and nephew are watching the Tagalized SpongeBob SquarePants in the living room. And now, I wanted to go down and play with them.

I can’t seem to find the words to connect these thoughts that I have but sincerely, I was just sad last night and this morning, I realized it is not that bad.

And thinking about it, it is not so 28 year oldish to be upset with having to celebrate your birthday at home.

Home. The only place which toilet seat I trust. The place where my most beloved reside. And this time, we are together the whole day. I wish there’d be cake but I’m 28 now so I’ll try my best to go along without it.

Besides, most families in our country now struggle to have anything on their plates. Who am I to ask for more? How selfish of me to question what I have while most people can only wish for a shelter in these trying times.

If there is anything I can wish now, it’s for the fast recovery of COVID-19 patients and COVID-19’s cure to be discovered as well.

For the frontliners to have more strength in battling this invicible enemy. For the elderly to feel secure and cared for. For the families in the streets to meet their comfort. I wish for the whole world to live a normal life again.

Every new day is a new beginning for everyone. Just as the sun rises after every night, hope soars with its every ray.

Yesterday I was sad. Today, I am hopeful.

The unseen heroes: Garbage collectors

As of this writing, the Philippines is under state of calamity due to the ongoing outbreak of corona virus.

Metro Manila is under community quarantine while other neighboring cities also take precautions in minimizing the spread of the disease.

Classes are suspended for a month and some business establishments declare temporary closure. Private workers are encouraged to stay at home as well. Some are granted work from home, while others are on forced leave.

But there are workers who just can not take a leave because their job directly involves treating the infected. They are the frontline health workers to whom we are very grateful.

During the beginning of the quarantine, many problems arised such as shortage in surgical masks, disinfectant hoarding etc. Making it hard for the frontliners to fulfill their job properly as well. But thanks to the Filipinos bayanihan, support for our hardworking healthworkers are pouring.

Now that our hardworking frontline health workers are receiving the support that they deserve, can we also turn our attention to another group of heroes who brave the very thing that we all fear most in this pandemic.
The unseen heroes not just during this time but actually every single day of our lives.

Garbage collectors risk their lives being exposed to can be free of it.
They work under the heat of the sun traveling with the trash that we discarded useless, even dangerous. Without PPE. 😢

Also under the possibilty of acquiring COVID-19 due to improperly disposed used surgical masks and many more other diseases.
All this for a below minimum salary.

I hope we can spare whatever we can to help those who might be needing it more.

They need hygiene kits too.
They need food too.
In this trying times, they need our support too.

In our current state however, where actions are limited during this community quarantine, let us help them by simply disposing our masks properly.

Designate a paper bag in your household to which you will dispose all your used face masks.
Put labels on it so our garbage collectors would know and could take more precaution in disposing it.
Cut the strings to make sure it can’t be used anymore.

I hope this post reaches those who can extend help to our ever hardworking garbage collectors, street sweeper, garbage truck mechanics and everyone who works for the maintaining of cleanliness in our country.

Kudos to everyone!

Mabuhay ang bayanihan.

2020, I’m ready… I guess.

Casually hoping I am not too late but hey, Happy New Year!!

2020 came rushing like a meteorite shocking everyone with its head on impact. As if a year was compressed to a month and it literally was just the first of the new year. I guess I need not to enumerate as a list of the events have been circulating on social media lately but I sincerely hope everyone is doing well now.

Pictionary is such a fun game!

These happenings actually influenced my coming back to blogging, somehow. Even though I have planned on having my domain hosted since December last year, I had errands that needed more attention so it had to wait. But now, the blog is back. And I am very grateful.

I have this favorite quote that I read somewhere, maybe on social media which says “Look for the dream that keeps coming back; it is your destiny.” I liked the thought that in this world, especially in this time when opportunity has become rare because everyone seems to be so great at things that it is even harder to keep up, still there is this one thing that is destined for you and you just have to see it for yourself.

I am going 28 and honestly, there were so many things that I wanted to achieve by this age when I was a younger teen or even during my daydreams. To not be so hard on myself, I actually achieved some and this blog is one of them. And it feels refreshing coming back. Is writing my destiny? I hope so. Writing a book is one of my dreams, too. Thinking about it now makes my heart happy and inspired.

Thinking about dreams and inspirations, I become interested in knowing other people’s inspiration too. To anyone reading this, are you into writing also? Or maybe owning a coffee shop? Probably designing clothes? I’d love to know them. Please share on the comments if you have spare time.

By the way, I would like to thank my friend, Nadine, who has always been my go-to sensei for blogging since day 1, for helping me bring this blog up yet again this time.

Check out her site for affordable web hosting plans: http://www.oh-rainbow.net

Again, happy new year everyone!

I live in a country where everybody wants respect so much to give it

Today is May 14, 2019. Weeks prior, I so wanted to have a manicure but since I had to make way for a more important color to touch my fingernail, it might have to take another week or so. Until it disappears naturally, I can only wait. Because not a nail polish, but a sign to avoid electoral fraud, a mark which shows that a citizen already cast a vote at an election, an indelible ink is what’s visible on my index finger as of now.
Figuratively, it is a symbol of one’s right being exercised. And yesterday, the Philippines held its mid-term elections for 2019.

Naturally, one would always wish for a clean and peaceful election especially here in the Philippines. Had it ever happened? Let us just wish again.

And it’s saddening that the stronger our desire for a positive and healthy election, the more it brings out the toxicity we so openly toss at each other. A never ending purge of emotions.

Even long before the campaign period starts, difference in opinion creates an invisible line between the pro’s and the con’s —no matter the point, no matter the idea, there will always be a “You’re right.” and “CAN YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SAYING?” side.
As the election period progress, the lines start to have colors encompassing its own corresponding sides.

Having an opinion is inevitable, standing your ground for it is just what’s right. But sometimes, we value our own opinion so much that we overlook others’. The sad truth is we listen to respond not to understand.

We value our own opinion so much, we forget we are Filipinos under the same fight.

Along with the election results are friends degrading a friend because his political views are different, hurting a co-worker’s feelings because she decided to follow their religion’s practice. While we should be supporting one another in this journey, we call each other “Bobo,” “Tanga.” Filipino after Filipino hating each other. Truth is, nobody won, with this mindset, with the nation being this divided, we all lost.

Until we can overcome this kind of mentality, we can only hope.

Far but not alone

Five months back, I was this plain Manila girl struggling with everyday Ortigas Extension traffic congestion —yes, apparently, traffic was the biggest problem for me back then. So along with a handful of worries from personal life to work, I prepared myself to step on a huge adventure, to bid goodbye to my comfort zone and to explore a totally different world. Going to Japan has been a constant dream of mine and I do not know what good deed my past self did before but it truly was a blessing to be granted a training course in the country I can only reach in my dreams back then.

People might think that I am having the time of my life in this country, they aren’t wrong but it is also true that there is no place like home. I am thankful for technology because I am able to easily keep in touch with my family.

Even if I am miles away from everyone, I believe family will always be by your side.

Excuse me while I fight the urge to sing Titanic’s OST—but actually no, let’s not fight it because indeed—near, far, wherever you are~ no matter how happy your day has been, it will always feel even better if you can share it to your loved ones. Regardless of the distance, they are the ones who are always willing to listen and be actually happy for your happiness. Same goes with the lonely days, they are the very special ones who can easily take the pain away because you know that the love that they are showing you is true. At home in the Philippines, I was not that open with my family as I am now and I am thankful that Tokyo happened that it lead me to being more open to them which is nice. ^u^

Thank you Internet! lol

Off to quarter life I go

I was about to change this blog’s About page when upon scanning through the contents that is to be altered, something striked me that made me write this post instead. I am turning 25 this month.

Few years back, my birthday posts would always be in exciting, hopeful and dreamy tone. During those times of being a teenager, I had always been excited about my birthday. Not expecting gifts or any material thing, but simply being able to feel somehow special. Being greeted by people made me look forward to my birthday the most.

I lost track to when the giddy girl in me turned into this indifferent person now when it comes to anticipating my birthday. But I guess, still writing about it here now means there’s still a part of that teenage girl in this striving-into-adulthood young woman.

Suddenly, I became bothered by the thought that being 25 is different from the careless days of my past years. Did the past 24 years teach me enough for me to survive the years to come? Have I learned enough? Was I equipped enough?

These thoughts made me want to stop time from running. Until I realized that only if we were gone that time will stop for us. And of course, I wouldn’t want that anytime soon.

Now that’s so much realizations in just one sitting. From being afraid of the future to being more afraid of not having one, I turned my sight to the greener side of the pasture.

I guess I will just have to embrace that thought that I am past the “Live while we’re young era” and is now entering the “Age is just a number” phase.

I took a deep breath, looked back and finally realized that turning 25 is not at all so different from learning how to crawl, walk or eat when I was a baby not had it been when I started having friends at school when I was a teen, nor was falling in love during my pre-adulthood stage. In every stage and every step, is something that I do not know but I have to do anyway. In every part of growing up, are the new challeneges that are instore for us to be the person that we a designed to be. Decisions, wrong or right, will bring us to our destiny, the path may differ but we’ll get there anyhow.

In this stage of life, we might feel insecure of how carefree the younger ones are. I am. But we just have to remember that we’ve experienced the joy of it already and this time, life has something for a more aware 25 year old. The excitement does not have to go away, we just have to be more mature in dealing with whatever comes our way.

Quarter life, I am ready! But please be gentle. 😉

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