Everyone’s Favorite Topic: Politics

My husband (born, raised and living in Germany) and I (born and raised in the Philippines, now living in Germany) have had variants of the same heated discussion several times: it would typically start with a short news piece on the radio, and then he’ll go and complain about what nincompoops they have in their government. An outraged me will then reply that if he … Continue reading Everyone’s Favorite Topic: Politics

All The Difference

When I first became a mom, I found myself often mourning the loss of my old self, of my old freedoms. I guess it’s quite common — unless you have an extra pair of hands to watch over your kid, you’ll find yourself saying goodbye to impromptu trips to the mall, sports events, the gym, anywhere where it may be overwhelming to try to do your own thing but at the same time, give your full attention to a small child.

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A Random Post About Roaches

In a few years, I would have been living abroad longer than I have lived in my childhood home. Whenever I return to the Philippines, there is that tiny, nudging feeling that agitates me whenever I think of spending the night sleeping in my childhood bedroom, and I think I’ve FINALLY pinpointed one big factor why: COCKROACHES. I don’t remember being particularly morbidly afraid of … Continue reading A Random Post About Roaches

It’s in the Bag

Back in my previous life as an oft-solo backpacker, I almost had packing down to a precise ritual. A typical packing list for a weekend getaway would look like this:

  • At least 1 pair of denim shorts
  • 2 tank tops
  • A dress, if space permits
  • Small notebook and pen
  • Kindle (or a compact book)
  • My handy-dandy wrist wallet
  • Passport
  • A shoelace (just in case I need to tie anything)
  • A pair of flip-flops
  • Plastic bag for dirty clothes
  • Underwear
  • 2 pairs of swimsuits (the bikini tops are to be used as bras)
  • Deodorant and travel-size bottle of shampoo (to be also used as body wash)
  • Very light shawl (to double up as the flight blanket)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Phone and phone charger
  • Small accessories (earrings, necklaces, or bracelets)

And that was it. Everything would fit in my impossibly narrow but somehow spacious carry-on backpack. My mantra was to pack as little as possible, and improvise for whatever I left behind.

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Digital Detox for the Girl Who Can’t Step Away From Her Phone

Drug Dealers and IT are the only people who call their customers “users”. – Daniel O’Leary

It is quite impossible to dodge all the foreboding articles lamenting that people nowadays spend too much time on their phones. All this time online is supposedly going to bring our society to ruin, melt our brains, turn us into slaves of evil robots — pick your Armageddon ending. While I do concede that having too much of anything can turn out badly, is all screen time bad though?

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Lessons Learned From Our Baby’s First Long-Haul Flight

It’s every flyer’s dreaded sight: that parade of babies through the priority boarding queue, threatening to crush any dream of peaceful sleep during the flight. I confess, I used to cringe whenever I would see a family with a baby settling within a 10-row radius from my seat.

Now, I find myself on the other side, the bringer of the ominous boarding infant. I braced myself long and hard, and obsessed with every detail to prepare ourselves for Tobias’ first long-haul flight. I even dressed him up in an adorable tiger onesie, to make it at least a bit impossible to stay angry even if he makes a scene. Continue reading “Lessons Learned From Our Baby’s First Long-Haul Flight”

Creative Ways to Learn a New Language

Have you tried every app, book, site or workshop out there, and still feel like you’re butchering your target language whenever you speak? I’ve been there, feeling like I should apologize to every native speaker for forcing them to listen to my atrocious interpretation of their own tongue, even after months of taking classes.

So you’ve hit a plateau. This might actually be where things get interesting. If the old formulas no longer work, then it may be time to set your sights on the unconventional, to take approaches you’ve never tried before. Reframing your mindset might just be what you need to send the gears whirring again, to rewire your brain to finally make that new language stick. I’ve got a few ideas — shall we start rewiring?  Continue reading “Creative Ways to Learn a New Language”