We’re well into the first quarter of 2021, and Manila is currently under a more stringent enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) – despite ongoing vaccinations. The Philippines is using Sinovac Biotech and AstraZeneca jabs on health workers and other high-risk sectors in the populace. But at this moment, I am now three-fourths convinced that this is not just a plain pandemic. Rather, this has become a “plan-demic” for something bigger.
But let’s put that aside before I go deep into the rabbit hole and become a full-on Alex Jones. I’m mainly here to talk about the recent goings-on in my life outside the blog. Here’s what I have been up to for the past three months.
I’m still on a work-from-home setup as of this time, which is rather fortunate for me. The only drawback is that I am constantly cooped up at home and unable to leave the house for most of the time. Making matters worse is my dad becoming worse as the pandemic rolls on. He was already unpredictable prior to the outbreak, and I believe being stuck at home with nothing to do is exacerbating the problem.
Fortunately in a rare moment, my dad asked me and my younger brother if we would want to accompany him to Tagaytay. The city located south of Manila is a popular weekend destination because of the cold weather and scenic mountainside views.
This trip was also a chance to test out the AutoSweep RFID system we purchased, and what better way to see if it works than by taking the newly-built Skyway Stage 3. This new toll road connects the North Luzon and South Luzon expressways, two major pay roads serving as the main land arteries of Manila to the northern and southern provinces. It was January 31, incidentally the last day when motorists will not be charged when using the toll road.
The Skyway Stage 3 did shorten the Tagaytay trip, but a lot of other families wanted to visit – causing a traffic jam to occur. Vehicles weren’t moving by the time we reached the Adventist University of the Philippines in nearby Silang, Cavite. We instead took a U-turn and headed towards Paseo Outlets at Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Designed like an American mini-mall, this shopping center is filled with numerous outlet stores selling branded items on a discount!
Two weeks after that road trip, I paid my actual office in Eastwood City a visit in February to claim a prize I won during a company event. This is the second time I won something during company events in the job I’m at right now – and I’m not even a year in it!
I won a 5-piece cookware set from Masflex worth P3,500 ($70), which was reportedly a minor prize during the company’s New Year event. The aluminum material made it lighter than conventional cookware, but the non-stick coating made it ideal for frequent healthy cooking. This would be ideal for use on induction cookers – although the label says it works on gas burners too. I haven’t used the set as of now since we still have a lot of working pots and pans at home.
More than a month after, an unfortunate incident happened at home. In late March, the wooden shelf in our kitchen containing a lot of items fell off the wall. Good thing no one was in the kitchen; if the shelf fell on anyone, they would have been unconscious right then and there! We managed to clean up the kitchen and repaint the old spot, even fixing a main light fixture in the kitchen which had been out of service for some time now.
The accident destroyed a ceramic crock pot used for a slow cooker, a number of spice glass jars and an electric stove. Looking at the silver lining, the kitchen now looks brighter with a fresh coat of white paint and a working light!
Lastly, the old laptop I sent for repairs last year is now starting to show signs of damage. This black spot on the right side of my screen first appeared in late January. It has now subsequently grown to the size of a coin. This appears to be an LCD problem as it is absent from screenshots I capture. Good thing it did not appear in the center – as it would definitely hinder my work! I’ve even joked that this black spot is similar to the hole in the right hand of the monk Miroku from InuYasha!
Given this issue, I am now canvassing a new laptop. I am targeting one capable of running a PlayStation 1 emulator, as I plan on replaying Monster Rancher 2 which I featured in an earlier post. This old laptop won’t be discarded, however. I still plan on having it fixed – with a screen replacement and a new battery – before I donate it to programs that provide online learning laptops for less fortunate students.
That’s it for the recent goings-on from my end, and this concludes the first part of this first quarter update. Stay tuned for the next post as it features changes related to the blog itself.
Until the next entry, stay safe!