30 January 2008

I'm back!

I didn't think I'd be back in Manila so soon. Ed and I were here in Oct 2006 for a backpacking adventure. But this past Christmas, it was decided that my dad needed a travel companion since he is not able to travel on his own any longer. Hence, my hastily arranged trip to Manila.

My goal here is to sort out my dad's affairs. My dad had a stroke last year and now needs us to help him with these things. So since my arrival last Sunday, my sister and I have been sorting out things with banks and city hall. Land titles, tax bills, bank accounts, power of attorney, etc, etc. It's weird going through someone else's stuff. One thing is for sure - my dad is a pack rat!

Manila is a funny place. On one hand, it is close to North America - music, tv shows, movies, shopping. On the other hand, it is a third world nation. Banking is a perfect example. Each branch operates separately, mainly because they are not tied together by one computer system. So, if I opened a chequing account in branch A and later on go to branch B to withdraw money, branch B has to fax my signature over to branch A which then has to fax back some authorization of some sort so that I can withdraw my money from branch B. For a savings account, I am allowed to withdraw my money only from branch A. And since in this city, it takes about 2 hours to travel 40 kms, being required to do transactions with only one branch is very inconvenient. And yet, people put up with it! Unbelievable.

My dad is now living in a care facility here. Filipinos don't use nursing homes. The elderly usually live with families so we get blank stares when we say that our dad is in a home. Home? What's that? My dad has a caregiver 24/7 and doctors to monitor his health. The home is owned by my sister's classmate from medical school and we're lucky to have found it.

More stories next time.

15 January 2008


I got braces today. Oh, excuse me. They are called aligners. Invisalign aligners.

First, my dentist made some of my teeth thinner by fraction of millimetres to make space for the planned movements. Using a saw of some sort, he thinned out my teeth. Now I have a gap between my two front teeth.

You can’t really see the Invisalign on my teeth. I am talking funny now, though, so people notice that. But if I were just to smile and not say anything, the Invisalign is certainly invisible.

The aligners feel tight now. It hurts when I first put them on or remove them. But apparently, this will subside after a couple of days. I am excited about finally getting them. I first talked to my dentist about getting them about six years ago. It took me a while. The downside is that I can’t just munch on snacks. It is a bit of a production to take them off and put them back on. So I can’t just take a cookie and chow it down, for example. I guess I can but I now ponder whether eating that cookie is worth the trouble. I’m going to miss grazing on snacks whenever I feel like it.

13 January 2008


Well, not too much of a match. We had more of a curling lesson. Ed and I went with a group of friends to try our hand at curling. We had a blast! Patrick was the most hard-working - he'd throw the rock and then chase it so he can sweep in front of it. I was more concerned with how I was going to get up from the ice after throwing the rock. All I aimed for was for my rock to make it past the line! It sure was fun!

This is me in my not so fine form..

Thanks for organizing, Yvette! Here she is in fine form...

11 January 2008

Jan 11 2008

CrossFit workout was “strength day”. Clean squat = 65 lbs. Dead lift = 115 lbs. Bench press = 50 lbs.

It’s pretty cool to be able to do heavier and heavier weights. I’m really enjoying it. I can’t believe I dead lifted my body weight! And my trainer said I have to eat 1 gram of protein for every pound I weigh.

Picture of the day

Recording my days

I find myself wishing sometimes that I’d taken the time to jot down a couple of thoughts about my day. Time just goes by and I end up forgetting what I did or thought. There was one year, I think it was 2004, when I kept a journal and wrote down something everyday that I did or thought of that day before I went to sleep. Now that I keep a journal electronically, I don’t tend to do it because I’d have to go get the laptop, turn it on, etc. But I’d like to try anyway...

And this time, I will share them on this blog. And to make it more interesting, I will try and include a photo of the day.

Let’s get started!

Modest changes, little tweaks

That is my goal for 2008, to make modest changes and little tweaks in order to improve my well-being. A main goal is to reduce the stress in my life and a major cause of stress for me is taking on too much. So, instead of making lofty resolutions, I will pick three modest changes I can start with.

These are:
- be in bed by 11:30 so I can get enough sleep and start my day earlier
- allot sufficient preparation and travel time so I am not always rushing to make appointments
- make time for meditation and quiet time so I can relax my mind and body

Wish me luck...