Now here’s what most of you are waiting for: My quarterly update for the first three months of 2022. It seems that the Philippines is heading out of lockdown season, with authorities relaxing measures to the least stringent Alert Level 1. Many companies have started planning for the resumption of onsite work, but luckily our US-based bosses agreed to continue the remote working setup under certain conditions.
But looking at it deeper, it appears that the world came straight from the frying pan into the fire. Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine through the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, and the Ukrainians’ defense of their homeland, has progressed to a full-blown war with a possible escalation to World War III.
The war’s repercussion isn’t only limited to the region. Here in Manila, fuel prices are steadily rising. Diesel reached a point of hitting P75 ($1.50) per liter and petrol reached the P80 ($1.60) per liter threshold. Prices of flour – and subsequently extending to bread – are also spiking due to Ukraine’s export embargo on wheat.
I will leave the political commentary to the pundits, but I pray that cooler heads will prevail. But enough of that for now; here’s what’s been happening on my side of the fence.
We visited my mom for her supposed 63rd birthday in January. Since it was a rather cold morning, I wore the Uniqlo mountain parka in mustard I mentioned in last year’s Q4 update. It definitely served its purpose protecting us from the cold. The Philippines usually experiences colder weather from around September to February.
In February, I got my COVID-19 vaccine booster dose – thanks to my current workplace. I got Moderna‘s mRNA-1273 vaccine as my booster, same as my younger brother. Meanwhile, Dad got Pfizer‘s BNT162b2 as his booster in January. Thankfully, none of us have reported serious adverse effects following the booster jab.
My younger brother experienced a high fever and some pain in the arm after his Moderna boost, while I only experienced tiredness alongside a mild fever and a sore arm. Dad had the mildest reaction after his booster, only experiencing a sore arm that lasted for a few days.
In March, my younger brother and I headed to the Ortigas central business district (CBD) for a much-needed trip outside our home. He met with his friend from college, while I bought several things for my home and visited some restaurants for “research.” I’ll be writing about those soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
The Ortigas CBD is very much walkable, even more so on a Sunday when no one is around. I took several snapshots of the area during the course of my walk, which I’m sharing here. Incidentally, one of the streets I passed by served as a venue for a gathering in support of a presidential candidate for the Philippine elections this May.
I also got several holiday hauls that, despite the late arrival, are still very much appreciated.
I won this 25-kilo sack of rice during my workplace’s Christmas raffle in December. It was subsequently delivered to my house in early January. Aside from this, I also received a calendar and a new pair of wireless earbuds from a long-time friend. I sent him several gifts in return.
The earphones I bought from Miniso back in mid-2021 fell apart after seven months, so I purchased a new set. I decided to go old-school and buy the entry-level earphones from Philips. Back when I was in high school, I would usually save up for an earphone like this – but now, I can purchase it right off the bat.
I also purchased a new pair of earphones from Miniso for use as backup. Incidentally, several Android charging cables I had broke down so I purchased a new set. This new one worked wonders as it charged my phone faster than the charging cable that came with my phone.
A trip to True Value yielded me this set of Bed Bands, which attach to the corners of a fitted bedsheet. Having these bands on prevent the bedsheet from coming off the bed. Aside from this, I also purchased two new curtains for my room. While they don’t block light from a LED bulb entirely, they do a good job in blocking out daylight from the sun.
Lastly, I also restocked on key toiletries. These include foot spray and tea tree oil soap from home-grown company Human Heart Nature. I also restocked on the Redwin Coal Tar Fragrance Shampoo I featured in an earlier entry as the initial two bottles I ordered already ran out. While the Human Heart Nature products are readily available where I am, the Redwin shampoo isn’t – leading me to rely on online shopping.
I’ll end this post here for the meantime. But before I leave, here’s one from the late Al Jarreau. Albeit rather timely, this hits rather hard – with news of Bruce Willis hanging up his acting boots for good.
Keep it here on The Monching’s Guide, as this quarterly update has a part two with what most of you are waiting for. 😉
Until the next post!