22 Life Lessons at 22

personal
  1. Don’t take life too seriously, unless you want to go crazy.
  2. Be your own hero.
  3. Age doesn’t measure maturity.
  4. Don’t wait until you’re ready cause life is happening now.
  5. ‘No’ means no. You don’t owe them explanation.
  6. Quality over quantity in all aspects of life.
  7. Guard your heart above anything else.
  8. No matter how busy you are, don’t forget to take care of yourself.
  9. Good food, music, bath and sleep solves anything.
  10. Never stop learning.
  11. Trust your instincts.
  12. Dreams do come true if you work hard on it.
  13. Stop overthinking everything.
  14. Your faith will take you to places.
  15. There’s more to life than love.
  16. Do more, complain less.
  17. You are the master of your life, rule it.
  18. Accept the fact that people come and go.
  19. Appreciate the little things.
  20. Faking bravery and confidence can go a long way.
  21. Take every opportunity to do something you never done before.
  22. At the end of the day, a bottle of beer won’t hurt.

Navigating life has no instructions and manuals. We were given the freewill to decide for ourselves. Life is tough but the beauty of it is undeniable. Every experiences whether it be good or bad is teaching us something important and that’s what makes us who we are. Enjoy everything while it lasts, none of us coming out of this world alive. Dance like no one’s watching, do whatever makes you feel alive even if it’s just singing at the top of your lungs with your favorite jam.

I’m at the point of my life where I don’t give a shit of what others think of me, I do whatever makes me feel great and happy. When you already reached this certain point, you feel so free. It feels like I’m at the top of the world screaming to life ‘I don’t give a fuck, you can’t bring me down this time.’ Life doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger. Day by day it seems like nothing’s changing but looking back, everything is different. I’m growing into something I never thought I can be.

‘Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live’ -Me Before You 

Advertisements

5 things I always miss about Philippines

personal

It’s been so long, Dear Philippines. How are you? I might not be there anymore but I always wish all the best for my beloved home. I remember my first year in Japan, I don’t want to accept the new culture and norm I’m surrounded with cause my system can’t take the reality I’m not in the Philippines anymore.

I guess no matter how long I stay here, truly there’s no place like home. Yes, I’m surviving but there are days homesickness will hit you hard and you can’t do anything about it but cry and remind yourself to be strong. I believe this is a common struggle for all expats. They are not kidding when they told me living abroad are only for those people who has strong heart and mind, cause you will make a lot of sacrifices. Sometimes, I wish my reality now is just a dream. But no regrets, I’m just homesick so bare with my drama tonight and I really miss home right now. So here it is:

5. Weather

I miss the days where I woke up with sun beaming into my face and the sound of rooster saying it’s already morning. It’s still bright even if it’s already 7pm, the beautiful sunset with shades of pink, sky blue, purple and orange.

Philippines has only two seasons: wet and dry. As you all know, we are tropical country. All year round, you can hit the beach cause there’s no winter but beware of typhoons. I remember during my college days, even if it’s December we hit the beach at night, drink cheap spirits and BBQ. The good old days of my life! (okay. I want to cry T.T)

4. Street Foods

Filipinos loves to eat. I swear, we eat five times a day: breakfast, snack before lunch, lunch, ‘merienda’ and dinner. All of our festivities and parties equals to food. When you go to Philippines, you will notice a lot of food stands that sells street foods. If Japan has lots of convenience store at every corner, we have food stands.

Street foods are really cheap perfect for students budget. It has been part of my highschool life, after school we buy siomai, kwek-kwek, buko shake forever, ihaw-ihaw and stories we shared over it. I miss how life was so simple back then.

3. The Filipino Spirit

Filipinos are jolly people. We love to smile, throw punchlines and laugh. It’s part of our culture. No matter how big the problem is we still manage to laugh and shrug it off. This is the one thing I’m really proud of about us. I was surprised when I came in Japan, where the news is all about suicides. I wonder why? I want to tell them how lucky they are to be Japanese, their government gave them everything they need. Unemployed? Single parent? You can receive money from the government. Senior citizen? free of charge from the hospitals and medicines. Do you have kids who are minors? They can receive allowance from government quarterly. Public transportation? very fast and efficient, no traffic jams. Unlike in our country, everything is the opposite of it.

If they only knew how lucky and comfortable their life is. In the Philippines, a lot people has no work and living in the poverty lane. But it’s so rare for us to give up on life. I know I’m in no position to judge. I just don’t really understand why? I’m saying all of these cause I already saw two perspectives of it.

 2. Simplicity of life

Sure, life in the Philippines is not extravagant. It is actually the opposite of it, you can see the face of poverty at every corner but even though it’s like that, you can feel the warm, harmony and happiness. I miss the days where neighbors will hand you a plate of dish she cooks for you to taste. It’s always been like that and common for Filipino neighborhood. ‘Sharing is caring.’

Most of the time, I miss the simple life. You don’t need to spend much just to be happy and have fun. Street corners, good friends, good music,’bangketa’, anti-repellent for mosquitoes, cheap spirits and chips will do the magic.

Filipino kids don’t own expensive gadgets. Streets and rice fields were our playground. We climbed trees to get fresh fruits, climbed the roof to watch stars, and played in the rain even though we’re afraid of thunders. I miss playing in the rain, I swear. And of course childhood would not be fun if you didn’t experienced to chase by a dog.

1.People I love

Of course, this is already given. The people I left behind to pursue greater ambition in a strange land. My friends, cousins and grandparents they are my reminder that I can always come back home and they will welcome me with open arms. It feels like no matter how far I roam around or how my life has been changed for them I’m still the same ‘Hana’ and why it’s important not to forget it. It’s nice to know you have people in your life, you can always count on when life seems so restless.

See you soon, my beloved. Philippines has a lot of flaws but there’s more love in here that’s why I will always come back to you. If I had the chance to choose what nationality I want, I will always choose to be a Filipino cause I can’t have it the other way around. Exactly one month to go! yatta!

Proud to be kayumanggi. xoxo

 

 

Budgeting 101

personal

I don’t know if I’m in the position to talk something about budgeting cause like every other millennials, I’m struggling when it comes to it. I don’t have a huge amount of savings in my bank, but I can safely say I’m financially independent cause I pay my own bills all alone and I can still help my parents considering I’m not earning that much, I can travel and buy the things I want without depending on anyone else. Personally, I think saving up money is all about discipline and lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if you’re earning a lot or not, it’s all about how well you handle your finances. So, I want to share to everyone how I budget my money.

1.Wants VS Needs

I’m a woman but I’m not fan of shopping. I can go on months without going to mall, I rather stay in my bed read books and watch my favorite shows than waste my time on it. So when I go shopping, I only buy the things I really need. You will see how much money you can save by only buying the things you need.

‘I like that mini dress! It’s really cute’ but it’s winter girl, can you wear it?

‘Oh! that crop top is really pretty.’ But do I have the guts to wear that? No, that’s too sexy for me. I can’t.

‘That heels is the bomb!’ But wait, where am I going to wear that? I’m not having dinner with Obama.

So those are the things going on with my mind every time I go shopping. You can live your life without those fancy things. It’s not as if you’re going to die if you don’t buy that dress you want. (Keyword: discipline or you can also say I’m just frugal and practical. Maybe lol.) 

2. Have separate bank accounts

I have two bank accounts, one is connected with all my expenses. That is where every month I left enough amount of money for all my bills cause automatically, it will be deducted. The other one is for my savings, obviously this account is not connected to my bills. This method is effective if you really want to see how much you save each month.

3. No Luxury Items

I’m ‘allergic’ to everything high-end whether it be a place or things. I rather have 2oo,oooyen cash than 200,000yen worth of a wallet with only 1,000yen on it. I can’t understand the logic why people are so crazy with branded stuff. A 200,000yen of bag is already worth of plane tickets to somewhere.

17373333_1678639208818887_35397528_o

This is the only branded thing I own. I bought this as a remembrance from my first-ever salary. It’s kate spade small coin purse. It’s not that expensive compared to LV.

4. Coin Banks

I’m that old-school that up to until now, I still have my coin bank. It’s all because of my upbringing, I grew up with my grandparents. Since I was in Elementary,  if I wanted to buy something for myself I have to save up for it. My grandma is so frugal, we’re not spoiled. They will provide the basic needs but not the ‘luho’ she simply won’t hand things to you especially if it’s just new toys or dolls. (I remember my coin bank back on elementary was the bamboo trunk you can bought at Public Market. My grandpa bought it for me. Every week, the money I save was only 20Php LOL)

So until college, the rule is the same. ‘If you want something, save it up for yourself.’ Well actually it helps cause I learned not to be depended on anyone and I learned the value of money at early age. So that’s the story why until now, I have my piggy bank.

Yes, it’s just coins but as time passes by you will be surprised by how much you can save on it. It can be a really huge amount of money. But sad to say, my coin bank is nearly two years now and it’s still not full. But at least it’s in half by now. LOL

17357338_1678599785489496_1569660062_o

I’m using this coin bank you can bought it at 100 yen shop. There are lots of coin banks you can choose from.

So there you have it. I hope my blog post for today somehow helps and inspires you to save up. I know it’s not easy especially if food is life but nothing is impossible if you’re determined. You can still save money while having fun and enjoying the fruit of your labor like what I do.

How to deal with homesickness?

personal

Time check: almost 11PM and I can’t sleep due to homesickness.

Living abroad sounds fun and exciting until you have to deal with homesickness. I believe all immigrants can relate. This is the toughest battle we have to face.

When you scroll down on your facebook timeline and see your friends hanging out without you or receiving video calls when they go out, for a while you can forget the thousand miles distance from them at the same time you want to cry cause you miss them. It makes you realized how your life has been changed since then.

When you crave your local food or homemade meals and you can’t do anything about it. There will be no grill joint at the street corner, no more midnight snack lugawan, 24/7 Panaderia that serves hot pandesals, fresh coconut juice and taho early in the morning.

Even the hot weather cause I’m really getting tired of snow and winter. Missing my tropical home. I know you can feel me, right?

Most of the people who know me are amazed how fast I adjusted my life here, but they have no idea what’s really going on inside my head. So, how I deal with days like these?

1.Reminiscing the good old days

You can say I’m masochist but yeah, when I’m feeling down and missing home I always browse old photos. Those photos means a lot. Old but golden, the good times and happiness where we’re just having the best time of our lives and we don’t care about tomorrow. Photos that will make you smile no matter what’s going on with your life.

2. Calling my grandparents or love ones

Talking to my grandparents always makes me happy. They raised me, so when I’m feeling sad I always talk to them they are the only one who can give me warm and fill my heart too cheesy but true.

3. Watching favorite shows, anime or kdrama

I consider myself as an ambivert. I like going out with people but I need alone time cause it exhausts me, most of the time I watch my favorite shows to uplift myself. Sometimes, reading my favorite book also do the magic. Just do whatever makes you feel great and happy.

4. Good food, Good bath, Good sleep

The three combos that can solve anything. I know you get me.

So there you have it. The best advice I could give is only you, yourself can make you feel good. Always remember why are doing these? Who are your inspirations? Never lose of that sight. Life is tough and much tougher away from home but always remember why you started.

You are entitled for all of those emotions. It’s healthy to release it once in a while, but don’t be stuck there. You have to keep going and don’t let life defeat you. After all, living in a strange land is not that bad. Have a mindset of this is actually an adventure, a roller coaster ride so might as well, enjoy it while it lasts!

P.S. For all immigrants, I’m so proud of you.