Hello. Kamusta naman ang self. 

Heto, I believed I had acquired winter bug virus again. Last night, my stomach was aching. I was vomiting water and I felt my esophagus was so overused. I think I slept around 4 am. I do not know pero parang may ibang confidence ako kagabi sa kasagsagan ng sakit ng tiyan. Lol. Hindi naman ako nagpanic. Nainip lang ako dahil ang tagal dumating ng antok. I could not concentrate doing worhwhile activities like reading because of the pain. 

When I woke up earlier today, thank goodness wala ng stomach cramps. I felt fine but I also felt tired. Ang dami kong energy na ginamit the night before. I still tried to go to the office and planned to have it checked by the doctor later the day. All of a sudden, halfway in my 10-station ride, bumaba na ako at bumalik. I would rather rest. Ayoko naman manghawa ng virus, at the very least. the virus is more infectious when its symptoms have ended na. So, I am taking my bed rest and just about everything in between sleeping like updating this blog. But still thinking whether I will go to my yoga sessions later since I still need Zen points. Lol.

So ano ang hanash sa 2017? Generally, not that much. Low expectations ako this year. Just the basics siguro, like I need to accelerate my debt payments. I need to save some. I need to travel with friends and family. And of course I need to be healthy. I need to support the family. All these require preparation and eventual budget. 

Siguro it is what you do everything in between these things that can make the year more enjoyable. And I feel I need to do it. Like I need to finish a lot of books to read, movies to watch, music to listen to. I also need to write more. I need to continue my yoga. I need to beautify myself. Need to organize my stuff. Need to explore this country more on weekends and holidays. Need to learn more skills. Gusto kong matutong magluto and please frying is not cooking. I guess one year is not even enough.

Well I look forward to it, to be fair. Nakalista naman na. But maybe when you become mature, I feel you can afford to become divorced even with your own plans. Excitement blurs. It is like you're seeing these plans under microscope. Or is it the confidence that either you finish it or not, you can still try doing it anyway. Or am I just running out of really exciting things to do? Resolutions can become so overrated. 

Since it is the Rooster year, and my year. Can I ask for a bit of luck, aside from my efforts, to make all these things happen?

With a hot choco and a candle and a dim light and a jazz music  - plus that annoying sound of washing machine spinning - it still is a good time to write.

Kamusta naman ako. Magpapasko na. Sabi nila malungkot daw ang Pasko dito. I feel it sometimes. Pero ganoon talaga. I can get by naman. Marami namang hanash at mga gatecrashing moments sa mga get together ng Filipino community groups dito. Well, I can't believe 2016 is nearing to an end. This year has been memorable to me in so many levels! At please lang po Universe, kung may mga maghahabol pang hanash, puwede po ba yung positive hanash na lang muna! Yung mga save the best for last ang peg. At medyo po lampas na ako sa quota ng mga di ko bet for this year.

Well, first time ko maging overseas Filipinos. Yan definitely ang highlight ko. Almost perfect na sana pero mukhang yung mismong ipinunta ko dito - trabaho - ay ang aking naging source of frustration. Hindi naman yung trabaho talaga pero yung boss ko. Uninspiring talaga. 'Inaano ka ba ng boss mo!' sabi ni bff Madz. Natawa na lang ako. Kase to be fair, Wala naman siyang ginagawa sa akin. Hindi ko lang talaga siya matake na. Minsan napa isip na lang ako. Ang malas ko talaga sa boss. Pati ba naman dito?! Ano ba ginawa ko noong past life ko? Dinala ko yang sentimiento de patatas ng most time this year. Ang bigat minsan sa loob pag pumapasok ka. Wala ka ding mapagkuwentuhan. Promise. Hayan nag give up na lang. Tiyagaan na lang. Ayoko ng magexpect. Nawala na ang mga expectations ko dito. Heto, nag yo Yoga na lang. At medyo maganda pala ang effect niya to be fair.

Noong mga unang buwan, sabi ko kailangan ko ng maraming frienships dito, promise. Or mamamatay ako sa boredom. For one thing. I got frustrated again kase yung iniexpect nating mga first friendships - mga officemates - nakalimutan ko sa ibang bansa pala ako. Kase tayo naman, unang bungad mo pa lang, niyayaya ka na maglunch, di ba? Dito, kanya kanya. Pati yung isang Filipino na kafloor ko pa man din, medyo snub lang. Okay. Huwag na po nating ipilit. Ayoko naman magmukhang needy di ba! Again, hindi ko maalis sa isipan ko na mafrustrate.

Over time, hindi naman pala. May mga lakad din to be fair. Yung mga hindi ko tuloy iniexpect, yun ang mga dumadating. Tulad na lamang ng mga naging ate ate han ko dito na parang walang konsepto ng pahinga at ngumanga over the weekend. Hindi pa ba nila nalibot ang buong Korea mga anteh. Kung may mga Angels man, sila yun. Pag may gas pains, pag may headache, gustong magpasama sa facial, puntahan ko pag gusto kong magloiter (haha). I could not ask for more. And it just makes me proud to be a Filipino, char.

So what do I do now. I cannot help but look at the post-its I had pasted on my wall two weeks ago. Each post-it represents a week. And I have 50 post-its and that means I have 50 weeks before to officially decide to go home. Sa totoo lang, I am a feeling a bit sad because I never thought I could be this so forward looking. Hindi ako sanay magbilang. But the only good reason for me why I do this is I need to find where can I be with the best people, however and wherever it takes. For once in my life, sana naman maranasan ko yun. Kahit alam kong masyadong ideal lang yun. Somehow, I feel the excitement this brings because I have to prepare for just about everything. When each week passes, I replace a post-it with a round post-it, and I am seeing two round post-its. Only 48 to go! I keep the post-its by the way and write random thoughts on it.























1. Patapos na ang taon. Heto na naman ako sa pagbabalik tanaw sa mga nakaraang buwan. 2016. What a year this has been?! Meron pang remaining days at medyo Save The Best For Last ang peg ngayon lalo na sa aspetong politikal! 

Well, patapos na rin ang unang taon ko dito sa Seoul. Grabe, ang bilis talaga ng oras. Spend the time well with family and friends! That is the only way. And by my contract, I have only remaining one year and two months. That is if I decide to go. So I need to spend my time well here. Make the most out of my stay. I have not really been around here as much as I like! 

2.  The struggle with homesickness, with uncertainty, with failed expectations with people, with lots of things, with the thought of what could have been if I have a new fulfilling work there. Sabi nga nila, 'the struggle is real!' I had to bear all of these. 'Natural lang yan, first year mo pa lang naman', said my Filipino friend. How I wish it was that easy.

But it was not easy, believe me. 'You have not embraced your new situation pa kase', said bff Bing. I said I am non-committal. That may explain why, she added. Minsan, sa totoo lang, sawa na ako sa paliwanagan. Nasabi ko na yata ang lahat ng issues ko bilang expat sa mga friends ko, sa sarili ko (di ba, talking to myself). Paulit ulit na lang. Nakakapagod na. Paulit paulit dahil yun lang talaga ang issues ko. Hashtag blessed ako sa mga ibang bagay. Ang ganda ng bansang ito. Hindi po ako natratraffic. Hindi Mainit! Pero hindi perpekto ang mga bagay bagay. Yung purpose ko dito - which is trabaho- ay siyang unang nagbigay sa akin ng frustration! Ang saya di ba! Para tuloy feeling ko Nalugi Ako! Naillegal recruiter ako! (exag naman to be fair) 

Tapos na ako sa stage na kailangan kong magtiis kasama ng mga taong hindi naman ako natututo! Siguro puwede na ang dalawang taon at makapaghanap na ulit. Na miss ko yung feels na 'fulfilled' ka sa job. Hindi naman ako naghahanap ng perfect na opisina, Lord. Konsepto lang yun. Pero alam kong hindi ko pa nagagalugad ang mundo ng propesyon ko. So Guide me, Oh Divine. 

3. So for now. The best is yet to come. Sabi sa Horoscope. Successful daw ako sa lahat ng relationships in 2017. Lahat daw magiimprove. 'Don't be afraid to take risky yet objectively realistic projects!' O di ba. Parang wala namang bago. haha. Parang reassurance lang pero sabi nga gabay lang naman ang horoscope. So, I will keep believing and keep writing for now. 

Hello, Kamusta ka na? Ano na ang mga hanash bukod sa trabaho?

Heto, galing ako kasal ni Yuna, friend of a friend. I thought traditional Korean wedding siya so I was looking forward to it but then it turned out to be a Korean Christian wedding. It turned out to be a simple ceremony. Well, there was the buffet and the food was good. So, nakailang balik din ako sa spaghetti alio e oilo and persimmon juice. Anyhow, siyempre medyo busy si Yuna. For sure, there will be a chance to catch up when everything settles. During the reception, I could not help but think about our own Filipino-style wedding ceremony. I have the impression that we can be more elaborate, if not, more fun even if we say it can be just a simple wedding.

Umuwi ng Ever Loyal City of Affection Manila for an official business at nagextend na din for vacay. Thankful naman ako kase narecharge naman. Umuwi ng bahay sa Bicol, binisita ang bago kong pamangkin. Chumika sa mga kapatid at kay mudra. Made several catch up with 'super' friends. Well, it was refreshing. I felt a bit gloom paguwi ko dito sa Seoul, as usual, but I noticed it was less gloomy than I had my first. And then back to normal. Maybe for a fact na uuwi na naman ako this November since we will be having the conference there. I plan to extend for few days ulit since I won't be there during the holidays. Anyhows, medyo magastos nga lang since I do not have a house to stay in Manila where all of my friends live. Needed to check-in the hotel. Next time, I will try to spend wisely. But it was all worth it.

Well, back to the drawing board naman ako. I mean, nagplaplano kung ano ang mga short to medium term goals. Ilagay sa organizer ang mga Must Do's. Kahit minsan hindi natutupad. Ganern. Bumabalik sa isipan at puso ko yung feels na heto na naman, ang dami na namang gustong gawin! Ayoko na sana magexpect pero fired up na naman ako. Fired up to just do the things that make me feel happy! Can I still do it, once more with feelings? Can I Begin Again? Enter Keira Knightley. Naisip ko lang din same time next year, I maybe packing up my stuff na. Malay mo. But my point is ang bilis ng oras. Why waste it?

In one of our latest sesh, my daughter Irene told me she was a bit concern as to how have I been spending my social life in this city. Knowing when I was still in Manila, I used to have lots of hanash with friends. And I got plucked out and planted somewhere where everything was new.

To be fair, it was a bit difficult. But I guess I am a natural loner so it was manageable. I still had many things done in Manila all by myself. Here in Seoul, during my low moments, when all my friends seem distant, that's where I tend to just try to go to nice touristy places. That was at least during the first few months. But it won't take long since I met Filipino friends along the way and my weekends seem to be busy and my colleages in the office also make sure we get to catch up at least a month.

But somehow, there is still that moment- forgive me - when I feel I need 'realness'. Perhaps that's the problem. I still consider this all transience. Minsan naguguilty ako sa thought na aalis lang naman ako dito. Minsan, iniisip ko, So what? Just enjoy the company while it lasts. Minsan, hindi rin, matanda na ako for that. I'd only go for keeps. However, I just feel good that there's a company waiting back home.