281 – On A 2021 First Quarter Update (Part 1: The Blogger)

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!


37 thoughts on “281 – On A 2021 First Quarter Update (Part 1: The Blogger)

  1. That’s so nice of you to donate your old laptop! I am also looking into buying a new one.. please update us once you already bought a new laptop 😁

  2. That’s a lot of excitement despite the enforced staying home most of the time. Glad to hear no one got hurt from the shelf episode. Hope you’ve sorted out your computer hardware challenges and are ready to face the 2nd quarter of 2021!

    Stay safe and well.

    • Indeed; there was definitely a lot to be thankful for! Good thing my mom was not in the kitchen that time, lest she would have been injured! (Looking for a hospital would be even worse, given the Philippines’ medical system being stretched to its limit.)

      Thank you! I do hope restrictions loosen here – so I can have this one fixed. 🙂 Likewise, I hope you stay safe over there at the Lion City!

  3. I laughed a bit reading about your dad.
    That’s the exact same thing I’ve said about mine at the height of the pandemic…. 😀

    I am also glad no one got hurt during that kitchen incident…

    • I guess it’s because of the boredom of not having work. He’s based in Quezon City — ground zero of most COVID-19 cases — and he closed down his law office for now. The courts nowadays aren’t litigating that much, so he spends most of his time checking out social media and listening to news on the AM band.

      And yeah, thankfully walang nasaktan! Mahirap magpunta sa ospital right now at puro COVID-19 cases! 😦

      • Yun na nga yun, your dad is used to being active at work, medyo nabobore talaga malamang. Mine kept on asking me to move back home. Kakaloka, he totally forgot sya ang nagpaalis sakin sa bahay (in a loving way naman).

        Hope things will get better for all of us soon especially may vaccine na rin…

      • Thankfully, he’s trying to do some work nowadays — doing virtual consultations and client meetings via Zoom. That’s a start. 🙂

        Yes, same here. Dagdag-tulong na rin yung incoming doses from AstraZeneca, though I’m personally waiting for the J&J (Janssen) vaccine. One shot and you’re done!

      • My sister abroad had the J&J shot, she got exposed heavily to a Covid positive officemate but still tested negative. Thank God.

        I am glad your dad has gotten back to work. Iba ang mga lawyers, professors, they need to be thinking and formulating stuff all the time. It’s good for them kahit virtual talaga.

  4. I hope y’all revert back to GCQ there in NCR soon because being in ECQ is really tough. I hope the cases will soon drop as well.

    Anyway, it’s really great to read exciting stories from different people despite this trying times— whether it’s a positive or a negative one. But I just wanna say that I’m actually jelly of you for winning that cookware set lmao 😩 I’m almost in my 3rd year in my current employer and I only won an umbrella! HAHA! But on a serious note tho, I hope that you and your family’s doing well at sana wala ng mahuhulog na shelf next time. Stay safe always!

    • Sadly, mukhang hindi mangyayari. 😦 With case counts running from 6k-12k per day, it would take at least a month bago mag-GCQ ulit dito. And yeah, na-downgrade lang sa MECQ ang NCR+ bubble.

      Keri lang iyan, maybe you’ll get a major prize for Christmas 2021. 😀 Thank you, and wishing you and your family likewise!

    • Thank you! 🙂 I just hope the surge minimizes — it’s still dangerous to go to malls, even though the MECQ declaration is less stringent (and some establishments are open in limited capacity). 😦

  5. Sorry to hear about your challenges at home. I hope this thing is sorted out soon. Staying locked indoors is never good for anyone especially this long. But I am glad you were able to go to Tagytay and claim your prize. Lucky you!

    • Thank you for the concern! Good thing I managed to do those before the spike of cases! Nowadays, I do supply runs to the nearby grocery (with safety measures) just to keep sane.

      Stay safe, you two!

  6. I’m new to your blog Monch and that picture of Pancake house caught my attention. Favourite ko yan when I was still working in Makati. That’s a scary incident about your kitchen. Phew good to know no one’s hurt. We also had a terrible traffic jam experience in Tagaytay (Dec 2019) but our overall holiday there turned out lovely. We got to visit the volcano island before eruption. 🙂

    • Hehe, it still is good kahit saang branch ka magpunta! Good thing the Max’s Group brought it under its wing.

      God is definitely good, since no one gut hurt! It’s hard to find a hospital — especially now that it’s the COVID-19 pandemic! :O

      Interesting! Good to know you guys enjoyed Tagaytay despite the traffic jam. 😀 Incidentally, the last time we stayed there was also in 2019 – but back in January, when my mom celebrated her 60th birthday. (I wrote about that experience in the blog!)

  7. Ang happy ko nung nabasa ko yung update mo haha. Since late ako, kamusta na kaya yung laptop mo, nakabili ka na ba ng bago? Recently, yung battery ko ang nadamage and currently, wala pa rin akong battery ngayon. Hay nako.
    Congrats sa cookware set! Ang hinuhunting ko ngayon is yung kwadradong lutuan ng itlog hahah!

    • Hello! Well, as of now – hindi pa rin ako nakabili ng bago. 😦 Though I’m considering a good gaming + work laptop — mukhang maganda Resident Evil 8 hahaha!

      Thank you! 🙂 Actually, kadalasan akong nakakahanap ng square pan sa mga P88 stores (e.g. Japan Home, Daiso, etc.) – and hope you find that pan soon!

      • Sana ma-blog mo kapag nakabili ka na ng new laptop. Gusto ko malaman kasi baka bumili din ako ng bago. Kaso pinagiisipan ko pa kung mag-build ako ng PC haha.

        Ooh, salamat sa tip!! Kapag nakalabas ako check ko nga yun. 🙂

  8. I was suprised myself when I experienced heavy traffic again recently. Most of our transactions happen digitally na kasi, even groceries are delivered kaya surprising na mukhang back to normal na pala sa labas, except that there’s still that lingering coronavirus. 🥲 Congrats on winning that cookware, btw! And I hope your dad recovers well fast.

    • Thank you! 🙂 Yun nga lang, now that it’s GCQ season again (with “higher” restrictions daw), I hope people don’t lower their guards.

      Well, I’m still sticking with using physical banknotes as of late and buying actual items from brick-and-mortar shops kahit inconvenient. It may not be convenient now, but at least I save myself from the trouble of having to chase after scammers in online marketplaces!

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