How has it been with y'all?! Char. How was the Valentine's Week for y'all?! As for me, I have been cash strapped for some days now and God knows how have I been surviving! 

So for days, I have been depending on my ever reliable God's gift HSBC credit card for my everyday needs! Yes, in this cashless society, you can be cashless and still survive and go on living (provided you pay your credit afterwards). I have been feeling annoyed and somehow I cannot function well because of this annoyance.

What happened! What did you do with all the money? Did you spend it on someone?, says Bing. How I wish with someone! But the truth of the matter is I over remitted to my local bank back home and despite the fact that I maintain a list of bill payments, I forgot that I needed to pay my insurance payment which would be automatically debited to my Korean card. So I ended up with few cash to barely survive for a week!

Of course I can only blame myself. I promise not to overly save. Napapamura pa din ako sa sarili ko. Nasobrahan naman yata. To the point that I will not save for now! 

'Tiis ganda ka na lang muna diyan, mars' said Aries, who was kind enough to volunteer to send me money at the height of my emotional breakdown hanash.

On a personal note, this should not have happened. Because I should be already a responsible adult. Of course, this is normal and mistakes do happen. But I believe it is different when you are in another country, you should be somewhat more aware. For one, I barely have friends here. And I cannot depend on them at the onset because we have not been close. Lesson learned, I should have a contingency. Thanks again to my credit card. Yes, you can use it even in a convenience store.

It makes me reflect. Back then in Manila, when I was still younger, I barely survived with few cash and I ALWAYS could survive! I remember when I was still a young professional and funny, how I could make ends meet yet still making the most out of it. Looking back, I felt proud of myself.

And this moment, parang I cannot help but to look back at those days. I drew strength from those memories. I may not have the details but the impression made me smile and somehow in awe. I am glad that I look back with gratitude and joy on my 'days of struggle'. Noong walang wala pa ako [by this, I mean walang steady source of income]. I have been in this situation before eh. And I survived! So this time, I am surviving and I can get through this for sure [In other words, how I wish pay date na!].

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.