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Why I Love Staycations


The Philippines observes Holy Week for 3 days in April. This is the time when Filipinos flock to summer destinations outside the Metro for some r&r. Some 3 years ago I realized that going on holiday during this time is s-t-r-e-s-s-f-u-l.  Airports are packed, the roads are jammed, there are people everywhere.

This is when I discovered that Metro Manila is the perfect place to stay during Holy Week because it’s practically a ghost town. There are some establishments that remain open during these days, those catering to expats, usually bars and restaurants. The roads in the metro are empty, the sort which you only day-dream about when you are stuck in a 8am traffic on a Monday morning.

So when Holy Week comes I go on a staycation. I turn my stay at home into a vacation. How?

I make sure I have the kitchen stocked with food I’d like to eat, take time to prepare it like how a fancy hotel or resort would, have a good book, my stash of magazines, and Oprah in its final season.

I woke up the first day of my staycation to a nice, warm, wholewheat pancake topped with large fresh strawberries, more fresh fruits, yogurt, and the perfect cup of strong black coffee.

I had a plate of 4 varieties of cheese with wheat crackers as mid-morning snack. Then I baked salmon for lunch with grilled asparagus, zucchini and capsicum.

I finished my weeks-old store-bought baked nachos with salsa I made from scratch in the mid-afternoon.

Went to the gym around 5 for my kick-boxing class, followed by a 30-min run around Bonifacio Global City.

I’d say I’ve never been more relaxed. I’m thankful that I have a peaceful home to re-charge in.

I’m going to end this now here, I still have a bottle of champagne to enjoy!


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Living On My Own

I have been living alone now for a week, only with a dog and 4 fishes. The pets are my Dad’s but as the lone caretaker of the house, they come as my responsibility.

It’s a lot of work specially with a dog – cleaning up and feeding him.  But I can’t put him up for adoption, no matter how much extra chore it gives me.  He’s been with us for 7-8 years I think. So he’s old and he’s my buddy now at home.

As for the fish… they’re easy, although I’m not a fish person, I just can’t have a huge empty aquarium in the house!

Cooking is such a delight.  I steam fillets of fish and some veggies, and I’m all set for my meal.  I have a big bowl of salad in the fridge that’s good for 3-4 days and I just get from the lot every meal time.

I like that I’m up on my feet doing chores instead of being a couch potato, which I was when I had household help.  I feel much productive and healthier, knowing that I am more active.

Surprisingly, I don’t feel any stress when I’m home even with the thought of cleaning up or preparing my meal or having to clean up after the dog.  I’ve literally gone out of my comfort zone.

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My Life’s Simple Pleasures

Its the simplest things that bring me joy:

1.  Having a late night conversation while standing up by the kitchen counter, with a tub of ice cream.  Beautiful moment.

2. Giving someone a back rub.

3. A heartyy breakfast.

4. Mornings.

5. Freshly brewed coffee from the pot.

6. Reading the Sunday paper from cover to cover.

7. Sleeping in till 9 AM on Sundays.

8. Late afternoon walks.

9. Non-fat Yogurt

10. Mushrooms & Garlic.

11.  Watching movies.

12. Holding hands while sleeping.

13.  That corner on our big, comfy couch which holds my back perfectly. 

14. Quiet days in the house.

15. The art of doing nothing.

16. The smell of newly washed clothes that were dried under the sun.

17. Going to my kick-boxing class.

18. Laughing out loud.  I never let a day pass without laughing. I feel I’ve wasted the day if I didn’t laugh.

19.  Going for a 2-3 day leave from work.  I love what I do, but I also love the feeling of going shopping, watching movies and dining out when everybody is at work. It feels great to have the mall and restaurants all to myself.

20.  Reading a magazine or Reader’s Digest before I go to sleep.

21. A warm bath before going to bed.

22. A glass of red wine after a day’s work.

23. Champagne for no reason at all.  There shouldn’t be a need for an ocassion to have Champagne.

24. My very cold room and a thick blanket.

25. 8 hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep.

26. Singing while driving.

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