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Monday, April 26, 2021

Coping with Stress during the Pandemic

How do you cope with stress in this time of the pandemic, as you keep your self safe by staying at home? Most people would do a lot of things like watch movies, eat, cook, bake, or do exercises. As for me, I alternately do cooking, baking and gaming or playing online games.

One of the games that I like to play is The TribeZ. It's actually a game for kids, but ever since its launching, I have downloaded and played it, expanded my tribe as I play and finish every task. But sometimes I get tired of it so I have other games to play like Clash of Clans and some games through the app, ClipClaps. Every time I feel bored, I find other games to play and I  continue to explore different apps, and download games, or visit different gaming sites to find new games or familiar games that may be new but are actually similar to most of the games I played in my childhood and growing up.

One time, I went to  a gaming site that has many different online games in one page, and I was really ecstatic to find my favourite games on Play.Org. I was very happy to have found my way there because whenever I get bored and visit the site, I can easily play the different online games, and I can choose many games that are quite easy to handle, using only the mouse or the arrows on the keyboard, and not necessarily use a joystick.

I like the Brick Out game because it is the similar to my favourite Online Game, Paddle Pop or the Arcade Game,  Atari Pong. 

Another game I like in this online games website is Pac Rat, which is a cousin of the Pac Man game that I grew up playing.

However, I find it very challenging to move the arrows on the keyboard, so I prefer the Brick Out more for it only uses the mouse to play. It works the same way with other games, but it is more convenient because you do not need to download it. You can immediately play whenever you are online. This is how I cope with stress during this pandemic, having stayed hoe for a very long time, since last year's outbreak. 

The most relaxing of all is the restaurant simulation game that is similar to Diner Dash.

My niece and daughter loved playing as soon as I shared the game with them. Sharing this wonderful game site with my family sure works wonders. Now everyone has something to keep them busy and not worry so much about COVID 19.

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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Our Dog Enjoys Baths These Days...

Hello everyone. How are things doing these days? I just finished quarantine officially, yesterday. i can already go places, with face mask and face shield, of course, but I don't feel like going anywhere because it's so hot. Summer is not as fun as it should be, for two years now. This pandemic has really changed a lot of things for everyone. Although, I can see that some people enjoy going out often, I don't really feel envy. I like to think that staying indoors makes me feel safe. It's better now that I am with my family.

Plus our dog... Here's Mishkah, as she enjoys a good bath in this hot weather.

I wish life is easy.. hehehe 

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Pandemic Made Me Think of Selling My Condo Unit

Two years ago, I bought a property in the middle of the city. It's a condo unit that, at that time wasn't finished yet. It was a good buy, really. It's cheaper, considering that the location is right at the heart of our city, and tourism was bustling at that time, pre-Covid. 

It was a corner unit, so it has a balcony. And in the building, all floors, units in that part of the floor, are the biggest in square area. Not that big, but big enough for me and my daughter. 

But then again, I had other plans for the said property since it is, after all, located in the heart of the city.

I planned to furnish it, and have it rented thru AirBnB. That should be a good plan, if it were so.

And because it is on a higher floor, and with all the amenities of the condo, like the swimming pool, the gym and parking, I was pretty sure it will be a good way to earn extra money.

I couldn't help but imagine how cozy I'd make it so guests will enjoy their stay.

I planned to put comfortable furniture, and up to date appliances. Not to forget, the soft bed, linens and sheets, and set the mood so their stay will be memorable.

And then COVID19 happened. All the world suffered. Tourism and of course, travel was put on a halt. It broke my heart, ended my dream and the opportunity to earn extra, gone. At first everything was fine. Our school in Myanmar, although it didn't have enough students, was still able to give us our salaries. Then in May of last year, we didn't get any salary at all. They apologized, but we decided to stay on because it was difficult to find another job in the middle of a global crisis. My condo unit was not fully paid yet at that time, so I had a difficulty getting funds to pay for the monthly fee, to complete full payment. I had so many things to think about.  I even thought of selling it, or have it mortgaged now, since I am repatriated. One year has already passed, and nothing has changed. In fact,  everything has gotten worse.

I looked into mortgage as a last resort, so I have been calculating the monthly fees so as not to lose the property, if unpaid. I chanced upon a mortgage calculator online that is quite unique because of the graphs of loan repayment that goes with monthly and yearly amortization tables. In that way, everything is clearer to the mortgagor. Another thing I looked into is the feature of the calculator that estimates mortgage affordability according to the homeowner's income

To give you an idea, it looks like this.

 Well, that is just a part of the page. Here's more.

If you scroll below that, you will find explanation about terminologies and other important things to know when mortgaging property. That is really beneficial before making a very serious decision about your house, or any property you wish to mortgage. But of course, you need to make sure you will be able to pay amortization when doin so, else lose everything if you are not able to pay. 

As I am now a repatriated overseas Filipino worker, I need to make sure that I have my means to pay amortization. I don't want to lose my condo unit or sell another property to save it. I need to find a job or something to earn my means.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reports that as of February 2021, there is 8.8% unemployment, unfortunately, I see that in the coming months, that rate will rise, due to the fact that there were so many Overseas Filipino Workers, like me, who have been repatriated, mostly for losing jobs in the middle of this pandemic, but for us from Myanmar, it's because of the coup that has really paralyzed the economy of Myanmar. With all remaining businesses closing, and the never-ending protests, I could only hope and pray my local friends can survive. As for myself, the need to find another means to stand through this storm is my main priority. So whether I sell my condo unit or mortgage it, my decisions need to be assessed many times over before finalizing anything, or I may regret later on. 

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The Agony of Waiting

Yesterday we had our swab test and today I got this result upon checking for my results. Well, it's not there yet so I need to patiently wait. Hehehe..

It's agonizing to wait, yes, but I am positive that the result is what I have prayed for -- NEGATIVE. Well, yeah, that's what everyone is praying for these days. Keeping my fingers crossed.

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Need to Combat Gaining Weight and COVID 19 Pandemic

I am finally back in the Philippines after almost 4 years stay in Myanmar. Would have been exactly 4 years come May 17, but sadly, I have to come home for reasons that you may already know.  Well, last year, during the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, I already wanted to come home, but, we were protected in a way that our mode of teaching changed, from face to face to online, so we can stay at home and be safe. I guess  lot of you can relate to that, because all over the world, we fought and still continue to fight the monstrosity of COVID 19.  But the very reason why I am home is not only of COVID 19, but because of what transpired last February 1, 2021. When a military junta took over  in ruling the country after arresting all the winners of the election held last year. And because it was a landslide win, the people who supported the winners of the election took to the streets and protested, which eventually lead to bloody dispersals and daily deaths of young and old. All people from all walks of life, professionals, workers, students and even children protested. No offices functioned because all employees joined the protests. Banks, hospitals, facilities, the only open ones during COVID related lockdowns have closed. Imagine, we didn't have electricity bill since February because no one is doing the job anymore. It was scary because no one is also monitoring COVID 19 anymore. You don't know who is affected, everyone you meet can now be considered a PUM. All the more my anxiety grew. 

Anyway, here is a video of our repatriation flight and our quarantine facility where we are now housed upon arrival. Our government is very strict when it comes to people getting into the country because right now, there is growth in numbers again. So we have to be quarantined for everyone's safety, then we'll only be released if our covid test result is negative.

Pardon my big face. Gosh, I am so fat, aren't I? I blame COVID 19 for this. How about you? Have you not gained weight during this terrible time? Did you or anyone you know also gained weight during the lockdowns? If not, how did you stay in shape?

As for me, it was quite a challenge. Before the pandemic I weighed 180 lbs. It was already a struggle. But at that time, I have managed to keep fit because face to face classes make me move a lot; going up and down the stairs to go from one classroom to another. So I was fine. Unfortunately, in March2020, just after my birthday, every plans of the school for trips and get togethers were called off, and summer classes were done online. Then there was the lockdowns. We were told to stock on food good for a month, and I bought 2 months worth of food because I didn't want to go out anymore.. After 3 weeks, I weighed myself and I found that I gained 10 lbs. Living alone during the pandemic does that to a stress eater that I was.  It went on for months. And every time I weigh there's added numbers. Then I was afraid to weigh myself. When I reached 226 lbs., I was more than alarmed so I tried using a weight loss calculator to help me. I lost some weight and was happy at 205 lbs. as of December 2020, before the Christmas break.  But during the Christmas week, another lockdown was declared. So how to cope on a holiday away from your family, with everything that went on in the country so far away from yours? Eat... I gained again. At 223.4 last January 11, a friend and I started using Fastic, an app we downloaded from playstore,  to hep us manage our weight. So we did fasting, keto diet and low carb diet altogether along with the Calories Burned Calculator which we found online. 

As of February 1, I found myself stress eating again. No one is monitoring the covid situation in Myanmar, plus the military could come up our building and shoot anyone they suspect to be a protester or if anyone is suspected to support or hide protesters. It's double the worry, and double the anxiety. My ideal weight is 110 lbs., and although I have set that as my ultimate goal, I was working it slowly, but I am now stuck at 215 lbs., for more than 2 months now. 

So I decided to come home. Here, I could be facing the covid problems of my community, as well as economic uncertainty, but I will be with my family. I have a support system here that I never had while in Myanmar. Plus, there is no military to worry about, and although I feel worried and scared for the lives of my friends in Myanmar, I still feel better knowing that I am home in my own country. I can help them better if I am alive and healthy.  And to start losing weight again, I have requested no rice in all my meals here in our quarantine facility, as I am now back to the work on my weight loss journey. I think this time I need to include the use of a calculator for counting macronutrients to help me estimate macronutrient consumption in all meals too. Now, since gym facilities are closed at this time, going through YouTube for work out videos is a must. It's not only diet that needs looking into, but the right exercises as well. Wish me luck!

Here is a workout video that I try to do while in quarantine.

This was me in 2014. I was 230.4 lbs. in September of 2013, when I got sick. But I managed to lose weight that by February 2014, I was at 176 lbs. and although I gained weight over the years, and became 180 lbs. thereafter, I was able to keep it from going up by following a strict diet and lots of movement activities that helps me sweat even when I don't intentionally exercise. 

It was only during the pandemic lockdowns that I kind of lost it again. So yeah, coming back home will be an advantage. Gaining weight and covid 19 are my problems now, but will be better faced when I will be with my family around me, than when I was far away. 

How about you? Do you have the same problem too? Do share. Please comment below.

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