Behind Her Eyes Netflix: You'll Never Guess The Ending

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Me: after watching the ending of Behind Her Eyes while my brain playing the whole series over again

A double twist at the ending, you'd scram to watch the series from the beginning just to see the clues you missed. 

Behind Her Eyes had me gobsmacked at the end. I watched it with my hubby one lazy Sunday afternoon. While I was putting my toddler to sleep, I picked up the TV remote and clicked whatever Netflix was recommending.

The show was number 1 on Netflix and I'd say, it is still there for a reason. I have never been as hooked into a story before, the plot, the twists and turns, the characters, every element has been amazingly interwoven, it makes you think even several days after.

By the end of episode 3, Darla had fallen asleep so I had to pause watching to carry her upstairs. While I was going up, I specifically instructed Nilo not to watch without me. 

He did. With the excuse that there was only 5 minutes left anyway and that he can replay it for me tonight. The complete and utter betrayal. But perhaps, that's how difficult it was to be left on cliffhanger, you'd betray even your dearest ones hahaha. I told him to zip it. No spoilers allowed please.

If you haven't watched it, you should probably stop reading here because... SPOILERS alert! You can come back after and let's swap notes.

So what's the hype about Behind Her Eyes?

Curiosity

Louise, a single mom with a 7-year-old boy was supposed to be enjoying a girls' night out but was ditched by her friend at the last minute. She was about to leave the bar but she accidentally bumped into a guy and spilled his drink on his shirt.

She didn't even know his name but he salvaged the night for her and they ended up liking each other. 

The next day at work, Louise was horrified to find out that the same guy was her new boss. Also, David (his name as plastered on his office door) was married. His beautiful wife was next to him the whole time they were being toured inside the office.

Twists and turns

Brace yourself, because that was just the first and mildest turn of events. Louise tried to cut off the ties as soon as she found out. However, she still got caught in the middle and even became friends with David's wife, Adele. 

It happened on one of her days off. After dropping Adam off to school, Louise accidentally bumped into a woman whom she recognised as her boss's wife. Adele invited her for coffee, shared a few life stories and made sure she got her number before they parted. The seemingly chance meeting ended up as a secret friendship between the two women.

Then Adam had gone to France with his dad for a month leaving Louise with plenty of alone time. Her well-meaning best friend, Sophie, advised she should use this time for herself.

She did. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out for her best in the end.

Mystery

Despite initially rejecting David's advances, Louise ended up continuing an affair with him while her friendship with Adele also deepened in time.

David and Adele looked perfect for each other on the outside. But Louise was privy to the real deal: that their marriage was actually on the rocks. But why was David so angry and distant to Adele? And why did she still seem obsessed despite her husband's sickening treatment?

Why can't Adele walk away despite all her money? Was David controlling her? Was he using his profession as psychiatrist to play mind games with his wife? What about the meds he's forcing her to take?

The more she got to know the two, Louise felt more inclined to take Adele's side. While Adele was helping her with her nightmares, she wanted to free Adele in return.

But when David discovered their friendship and her plans to free Adele, he fired her from the job and threatened that she will get hurt if she did not stay away from them.

What was he hiding?

History

Flashbacks of Adele's earlier life showed that she spent her younger years inside a mental health facility. There, she made friends with a guy named Rob, a drug addict who also suffers from sleepwalking and nightmares. 

Despite their differences, Rob and Adele had an evident bond. She helped him got rid of his night terrors and also taught him about "astral projections," how to travel outside your body so you can go anywhere (as long as you have been to the place before) without anyone seeing you. While Rob helped make things better for Adele.

When they both got discharged from the rehab, Adele married David and signed all her riches under his care. Rob was worried that he was just after the money.

At this point I was thinking, "Aha! So Rob was the reason why David and Adele became estranged." (Turned out to be true, but not for the reasons I was thinking hehehe.)

But Rob was gay, he couldn't have gotten in between the two. Besides, when he visited his friend's mansion, he also met David and all his previous doubts disappeared.

David was madly in love with Adele. 

While it was a refreshing sight, still, no answers to the question. What happened?

Death

During his visit at the mansion, Rob mysteriously ended up dead in the well with David's watch.

Panic-stricken, Adele dumped her friend's body when she found him dead from overdose. David wanted to tell the police but Adele begged him not to for fear of being locked away again. She was ready to go anywhere and leave everything behind as long as they could stay together.

But it was never the same for David. His confessions to Louise revealed that he never recovered over Rob's death and he was baffled that Adele quickly moved on as if the boy's death was nothing!

Slowly, it's dawning on me that the villain here was not David after all, but Adele.

Supernatural

As soon as Louise learned how to "astral project," she also realised that Adele had been spying on her and David all along. David and Louise finally united to work against Adele.

Unfortunately, Louise had already sent a letter to the police pointing David as possible suspect for Rob's death. Instead of getting angry though, David thought her actions had set him free and right there and then, decided that he'd go to the police himself to tell the story. 

These last scenes have become a bit laughable actually but the next ones were hilarious. David made Louise promise to stay away from Adele while he sort things out - yet she did just the opposite. 

She dropped Adam off to his dad, told Adele about David's plan to confess and... what did she expect? That Adele would meekly surrender? "F- OFF!" (Adele's words, not mine hehehe).

So Adele decided to end everything by burning their house down. But before she did, she sent messages to Louise that she's taking suicide: it's all a lure and it worked.

Louise rushed and found the house already burning. Instead of calling the fire department, she stationed herself by the front door to astral project inside.

Whatever her purposes were, I'm not sure. That's what actually keeps me thinking up to now. What could she possibly do while roaming around as a spirit? Wasn't she concerned that her own body could burn? 

Based on her next actions, I believe she planned to possess Adele's body, take it out of the burning house and maybe even walk it down the police station and behind the bars. 

Then she'd astral project to come back to her body - if she's lucky, it hasn't burn down.

Really, Louise? Photo source here

The End

Unfortunately, Louise's plans failed. First off, Adele realised she'd do just as she did, so she injected just enough heroin to immobilise her body. While Louise was inside, Adele's spirit took over Louise's body. Using Louise's body, she went in and injected more heroin in Adele's body, killing it with Louise's spirit inside.

In short, Louise died. Her last words were Adam... sad I know. She stuck her nose into some other's business and now it costed her life... scary too.

But wait, that's not the end.

Flashbacks of Adele and Rob reveals what happened on the night Rob died. 

Rob convinced Adele to swap bodies, just for "fun." But once Adele was inside Rob's body, she couldn't move - Rob's had previously loaded his body with heroine. She begged for him to switch back but realised that Rob had no plans of giving her body back anymore. 

Rob, in Adele's body, injected more heroin in his own body, killing it with Adele inside.

So all along, it was Rob living inside Adele's body.

No wonder, David said she no longer shines and that he doesn't know her anymore.

Rob, now in Louise's body, greeted David as soon as he got back from the police. They hugged and kissed, while saying, "It's over."

Poor Adam, feeling something was off with his mother, no longer felt loved and cared for.

David and Louise (now possessed by Rob) got married. On their way to their honeymoon, Louise wouldn't even pay attention to Adam. When David asked his step-son where he wanted to go for the family honeymoon, Louise interjects, "the Caribbean cruise."

Adam pointed out, "But you hate boats! You always said you hate boats."

David looked puzzled while Louise gave the boy a death-stare, "Maybe, I've changed," with the creepiest smile plastered on her face.

Who's gonna tell David?

Behind Her Eyes is deserving of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for its incredible double twist. However, I'm inclined to deduct a star because:

Louise's character also took a double turn from being smart and lovable at the beginning to a silly, stubborn girl at the end but, I'm letting go of that because the whole story still keeps me hungry after days.

In fact, look! The book version! I canI't wait to read it, might push this on top of my reading list while it's fresh hehehe.

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What Does Coffee Have To Do With Personality?

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Photo source here

Is it true that how you like your coffee says a lot about your personality?

According to the internet (a very reliable source which I often times consult when I'm desperate) it does.

Here's what I found out:

Black coffee - It means you're an introvert, or you are pretending to be one but deep inside you're actually a psychopath. You identify to your coffee because it's as dark as your soul. You're a bit poetic too.

Cappuccino - You're elegant and you do things including drinking coffee with the finesse of a royalty. That or it's the only coffee you're familiar with on the menu.

Mocha - You're the darling of the crowd, charming and charismatic. Actually, you want hot choco but everyone else ordered coffee and because you don't like being left behind, you get something in between. 

Latte - You're a natural born leader. Just like latte, you like to soften the bitterness of life. But really, you're just confused which is which and you can't even tell the difference anyway so latte it is. And make that very extra hot. Like your temper.

Iced Coffee - You're simultaneous, reckless. You don't make sound choices. So when everyone else drinks hot coffee on a scorching burning sunny day, you decided to take iced coffee. Not sound at all.

Frappuccino - You're a trendsetter! So when you saw your newsfeed flooding with photos of your friends' frappuccino from Starbucks, you had to go and get one yourself, so you can also post it online.

Sometimes I like my coffee black without sugar, like today. Because I was pairing it with a choco muffin, so I wanted something bitter to offset the sugar.

Sometimes, I like a lot of milk too, when I'm on a rush and I don't want to wait until the coffee cools down a bit. So I put cold milk in my coffee.

Most times though, I don't even go for coffee. I go for black tea with milk and chia seeds (a downplayed version of bubble milk tea).

And I'm not one who'd say no to a frappuccino either, with cream on top please. I would drink it even in winter hahaha.

So what's my personality now? I'm an introvert, a royalty, a leader and a trendsetter but mostly just a blank slate, a walking zombie without personality (on days I prefer tea?).

I'm so fickle with my coffee I don't know myself anymore... 😓
Image source here

Kidding aside, it's just for fun and I don't really base my personality on what kind of coffee I like. Sure, some people have a go-to coffee (or drink) but if you're anything like me, who's not very fussy with my food choices, you'll probably agree that you just go with whatever you feel like for the day.

While it's true that some have a "sweet tooth," some prefer savoury food and others like bitter taste too, at varying degrees, does it really speak a lot about our personalities? 

According to a professor of psychology who reviewed a study about taste preferences and personality, there's a very small association between the two. Interested? You can read the article here.

So relax... if you're drinking black coffee right now, rest assured, we're normal people hehehe.

It's just that today is gloomy and cold, perfect for hot coffee. Whatever your preferences are, make sure it's the one that makes you happy.

As for me, large coffee, no sugar and black please... like my soul. 😎😈
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Practical Money Management for Everyone

Monday, February 22, 2021

First of all, if you are the finance savvy one in the family, then brace yourself. I'm sure you've had your share of being labelled as "kuripot," "stingy," or in some extreme cases, "mukhang pera." 😂 

Don't be disheartened.Trying to be wise about money, you're actually doing your family a service, whether you're doing this as a partner, as a daughter or whatever your role is.

Second, I'm not a finance management expert. I am just sharing what I learned from Scott Pape's "The Barefoot Investor," and the actual worksheets and bank accounts I use in order to manage our family's finances. 

This book has practical and specific tips that are helpful in managing your personal finances

So far, it's working but there are still struggles along the way. It will be particularly challenging if you have outstanding credit card balances as this will eat up a portion of your budgeting (plus the interests) but it will be worth getting rid of them.

Without further ado, let's start.

How much income can you allocate?

List down your periodic income and expenses. It might be a good idea to breakdown your budgeting to weekly because it's easier to estimate your spendings over a shorter period of time. If you're income is monthly, then you just need to break this down into 4 weeks. But if you're more comfortable with monthly or quarterly, then you can do so whatever floats your boat.

Just write down the amounts first to get a clear cut view of how much there is to allocate. It's ideal to combine the family income so you will need the details for your partner too. If you have a business and your income is not fixed, just write down the minimum income your business produces periodically, or your minimum target income that you think will allow you to live comfortably.

    This is an example of how you can list down your income - list down ALL your sources of income

List down your necessary expenses

Start with the expenses that are fixed and recurring in nature, like rent, car loan, personal loan etc. Then estimate the ones that vary in amounts but are necessary expenses you can't do without such as electricity, internet, water and phone bills. Once you have the total amount of your necessary expenses, calculate the rate against the income you receive. 

If you end up with expenses greater than your income, that's serious trouble! You have to adjust either your expenses or look for additional means to earn money. Otherwise, you will end up in financial quicksand.

This exercise will give you an idea if your income is more than enough to satisfy all your necessary expenses. It will let you know if you are living within your means or not.

Allocate the rest of your income

Depending on how much is taken up by the inevitable expenses, you will divide the rest of your money for other variable expenses. The reason I didn't include groceries above (even though food, toiletries and other household items are also inevitable) is because this is where we can be more flexible in our spendings.

In the book that Scott Pape wrote, he discussed about marketing as manipulation. One of the reasons why we sometimes find ourselves out of budget is because we buy things we "think" are necessary. 

A concrete example is a conversation from a couple below, regarding a set of pyrex containers that were on sale in Woolies (note the use of spouse 1 & 2 because it's not always the wife that's got the impulsive buyer behaviour hehehe):

  • Spouse 1: Oh look, these pyrex set is now just $9! It's better than 50% off.
  • Spouse 2: But what are you gonna use those for?
  • S1: We can use them to heat up food in the microwave.
  • S2: We don't have a microwave and we never use one. We hardly have any leftover food to begin with.
  • S1: Oh come on, it's a huge savings! What if we need them next week and they're no longer on sale!? You'd pay extra $11 then. 
  • S2: But...
  • S1: Trust me... I'm the one cooking most of the time so... (puts the dish set in the trolley).
Guess what? The dish set gets stored on the top shelf because as the other spouse pointed out, they don't use them. They eventually end up in the bin when the clutter builds up in the house. 

Imagine how often this happens in your house. If you look at your closet now, how many pieces of clothing are in there that's not been worn for ages vs the ones you regularly wear? Or shoes that get dusty in the storage? What about bags? In short, a lot of our spendings end up in the garbage because we bought them for the wrong reasons.

One of the lessons I have learned and am teaching to my husband and kids now is that we only buy something when we need it or really really want it and will use on a regular basis. If you pick something up and think, "I might need this someday," chances are, you're not going to need it. The best way to avoid buying on impulse is to plan ahead the things that you need and want to buy.

Anyway, going back, now we are going to allocate the rest of our income. This is the part where you should also allocate for things like splurge (we need to spend on some small things that make us happy every once in a while, such as bubble milk tea or books hehehe), savings (for short-term plans like celebrations, holidays), emergency, etc. 

I will show you an example of how the rest of the 45.40% of income was allocated but of course, feel free to play around the rates. In this example, I just used a fixed rate of 5% for each item and then the rest was allocated to groceries. But it's really up to your circumstances.

How you can allocate your income down to the last zero - without being too stingy to yourself and others

When allocating your income down to the last zero, make sure that you're giving an allowance for things like splurge, which is your budget for things like eating out with the family or for buying petite things that bring joy to you. 

You should also allocate some money for bigger wants that take longer to save up, like a nice watch, branded shoes, family holidays, celebrations... you know the deal. 

Savings and investments are important too because it provides you with passive income in the long run. I'm not knowledgeable yet in this area but I try to learn from reading and experiences of my more finance-savvy friends. As soon as I have seen some developments in my own journey, I will share some helpful information too.

Long term would be for your bigger plans like purchasing a home if you haven't yet (so you may also set a higher rate for this), while emergency, as the name suggests, for unexpected expenses such as your car breakdown. It's ideal to keep at least $2000 in emergency fund.

In the book, Scott Pape calls this emergency fund as MOJO. With a maintained balance of $2000, that means you can pay for smaller insurance premiums because you have spare for excess payments in case something happens. 

I didn't include insurance expense in my example but this expense is actually a necessity. Again feel free to add it to your worksheet once you start filling it out. 

Finally, try to allocate some for "giving" too. This will give you a feeling of contentment and gratitude that you have enough means to share to others who are in need. 

Now that you have every cent of your money laid out for its purpose, the next step is: How do you manage the budgeting to make sure that what you have planned would actually be implemented? 😉 

On my next post, I will share how I set up our bank accounts to automate my deposits and payments. It only takes a few minutes each week to check whether the money is on track - no missed payments, no amounts improperly allocated and learning what your limits are in terms of splurging.

For now, you can download the template spreadsheet here to help you start your money management now. 💗

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Happy Mail for February 2021 💗

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Ready to send out these hugs in a card! For the month of February, the 3 lucky winners we have randomly picked were:

  • Ms. Teresita
  • Ms. Milaluna and
  • Ms. LJ
Happy mail recipients randomly picked 💗

Congratulations and I hope you will find joy upon receiving these small gifts as much as I had fun making them. As you can see, I'm also learning calligraphy using brush pens so I don't have to print out my mailing addresses. It needs a lot of improvement but I'm loving it! 😁

February recipients will get coffee themed cards and matching shaker bookmarks 

An additional 3 recipients were also selected for special reasons: the first was a survivor of a recent brain surgery, the second was suffering from postpartum depression and the third one was for her friendliness and humility. I hope that this small gesture will at least lessen their pain.

I have also made these 2 cards (one was requested by a friend) to be sent out for a friend who is currently battling Hodgkin's lymphoma hoping that in a small way, we could show our concern and care.

Now I need to think about my next month's card design. I really like how the flower card on the left turned out and I find it therapeutic to watercolour so I might use this design. Let's hope and see as there's still a few days left before February ends.

Until my next update lovely readers! Thank you so much for the inspiration. 💜

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19 Years

Monday, February 15, 2021


On the morning of 15 Feb 2002, I, together with my parents and eldest brother, prepared to go to Apalit, Pampanga for our baptism. It was a very cold day, the kind that makes you shiver. 
I can't remember if I were excited but I was definitely calm. I have made up my mind and I am surrendering everything to God today. That was my thought.

A few nights ago, I had second-thoughts about proceeding with the baptism. Sure, I coaxed my parents to attend the indoctrination but something scared me. It had to something with dress codes.

I won't delve into the details but I was a very insecure girl at 18. I didn't like to keep up with the latest fashion trends but I didn't like to stand out like a weirdo as well. But one thing was not negotiable: I didn't want to wear knee length skirts that would show my legs. Never.

So I thought hard about what my life would be like after: I'd strut around the school grounds like "Maria Clara" amongst all these modern people. I'd be a laughing stock!

Still, I decided it was such a little sacrifice to prove my faith. People in the olden times had their heads cut, what's a little insecurity compared to that?

So I stated my vows, got submerged in water and walked away feeling happy and victorious even while I was soaked and shivering from cold.

I never regretted my decision. At first, I felt very self-conscious with the evident change in my attire and people didn't hide their confusion either.

When people asked, however, instead of giving alibis, I told them straightforward that it was because of my faith.

By and by, my uneasiness went away and it's not like my life became difficult. If some people saw me as weird, I was oblivious to that. In fact, I even received compliment from some well-meaning friends that they like how modest my clothes were.

I tell this story to make people realise that just like all our goals in life, faith requires some sacrifices too. When I made up my mind to graduate with honours in college, that meant I must give up distractions (including boyfriends and/or barkadas).

In the same manner, when I graduate this life, although I am quite content to just pass it, I must also give up some things to reach my goal.


Over the years, I had given up a lot to stay in my faith for 19 years. As I have said I never regretted it. I had been through a lot of trials, their difficulties ranging from "surprise quizzes," to "periodical tests" and even multiple "board exams." And I continue to face trials every day.

But I did receive a lot of rewards too, and the trials are nothing in comparison to the blessings.

The trials pass, but the blessings stay.

And so, as I celebrate my 19th year in church, I would like to recall my vow. That I will surrender everything to God until my dying day. May God help me, just like He always had, every step of the way. 

My baptism card, weathered by time ❤
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How Did You Meet Your Partner?

Sunday, February 14, 2021

The story of how I met my husband is akin to how I named my blog after Sassy Girl. We didn't start romantically, at least not from my end. 

But, in saying that, I have always felt an inexplicable closeness to him even though we were miles apart and haven't met each other in person. Our personalities were complete opposites and even our preferences very rarely match yet we never ran out of things to discuss (and argue about 😉). 

We were best friends. I guess that's what "soul mates" probably mean.

It all started back in 2005, May 5, 2005 to be exact (05/05/05 😀) when I received a random message in Friendster*. The message read:

"Hi sis, kumusta po and NYC?"

*Friendster, for the enlightenment of my dear readers who are too young to have known it, was the predecessor of Facebook. Before Facebook, Friendster was the king of social media.

NYC means National Youth Convention. In church, we held this event every year which was like a sports fest. My husband (bro. Nilo) was working overseas from October 2004 so he wasn't able to join the NYC for the first time.

What started out as an innocent query turned into interests for each other as I bombarded him with a lengthy prose telling him how I and my friends had a blast. He was probably astonished at my response. But that's how an introvert is, "talkative" in writing especially because I was also still fantasizing those 3-days-of-awesomeness hehehe.

Excerpt of my response:

> Hello po brod! ang saya saya po nung NYC.
Pero
> teka lang po. Bakit po kayo sa akin
nagtatanong?
> Halata po bang kapatid ako dahil sa picture ko?
> Kasama ko po Organizer nung NYC. Mas
marami
> po yata ang nakaattend this year. I can't
> personally compare kasi absent naman ako last
> year... ang ganda ganda po kapag pinagwe
wave
> nila kame. naiiintindihan ko si ingkong kung
bakit
> gustong gusto niya un... Iba po ang theme
ngaun
> kaysa last year. Kasi last year po bansa bansa
> ang pagkaaalam ko kung saan magkakasama
mga
> kabataan na hindi magkakakilala sa pangalan.
> Ngayon naman po, group group din, by 20s kaya
> lang pwede kang magrecruit or makipag alliance
sa
> iba pang grupo. Nanalo nga po kami eh!!!
> MULAWIN po kami, 45 groups kasi kame
> pinakamalaki, sumunod po RIZALIAN KNIGHTS
34
> groups naman. Ok lng din sa ken ksi taga Rizal
> po ko eh, hehehe... Ang pagkapanalo ay
> madedesisyunan sa kung sinong grupo ang may
> pinakamaraming naipanalo sa mga palaro.
> Actually, may kasalanan nga po ako this NYC.
> Nagkaroon po kasi kame ng sariling mundo nung
> second day, sports activity. Nag shagedy po
kami
> ng mga kalokal ko saka 7up. hehehe... alam nyo
> po ba ung larong un??? nakakahiya nga eh 
wa-
> poise. hahaha... Masaya po ako kahit dalawang
> araw po akong absent sa office. Kung di nga

My response was like an offer of friendship and the moment he replied back, our friendship was sealed. I have to admit, I stalked his Friendster profile too but it was quite disappointing to see how fairly minimalist it was. There wasn't much of an info to delve into.

  • Describe yourself: simple
  • Relationship status: single (lucky it didn't say "It's complicated" hahaha)
  • Who I want to meet: My Sassy Girl

The last one was what piqued my interest. Most profiles stated they would like to meet childhood friends, classmates, families etc. But his answer was very specific.

I fancy Sassy Girl too. Her story was my guide book when I was dealing with bro. Nilo during our early stages of friendship. It was a necessary reference too for I found out within 10 days that I was dealing with a rather pompous young man.

This wasn't my prejudice but his own manifestation for within only 10 days of merely writing to each other, my dear already had the guts to confess, "I love you, sis Jenny." This he couldn't deny for it's still documented in my emails hahaha. And even worse was he expected me to return the feelings.

That caused a rift between our communication. He used to message me to stop pestering him with my emails and then we both stop communicating for weeks and months. But one of us would always reach out and then we'll continue writing as if nothing has happened.

Eventually, I softened too hehehe. He started sending me more toned-down messages, still confessing his love but no longer arrogant and self-conceited hahaha. And I stopped sending him sarcastic replies. I think we both just became mature.

Only then did we organise to meet. He was still in Saudi Arabia and although there were times he'd visit Philippines for a work break, he never had the plans to see me. But when we both felt that we were ready to level up from best friends to lovers, my dear bro. Nilo flew back home and the rest was history.

Photo of our first meeting 

So yeah, I met my husband online on Friendster. That is why Friendster will always be number 1 for me, even if Facebook killed it a long time ago. 

As for our accounts? We have long abandoned them even before friendster changed to a gaming website. My dear no longer meed to meet his Sassy Girl. He already got her, hook, line and sinker.

Missing Friendster :)


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Tribute to Brother Eli Soriano

Friday, February 12, 2021

If I consider my life an open book, moreso of bro. Eli. His was a life that touched many souls and his dedication to the propagation of the truth about God was incomparable.

He was the instrument to my own discovery of the truth...

💗 And I will never get tired of reminiscing this story

More than 19 years ago, in 2001, I can still remember how one person was made an instrument to an important turn in my life. On numerous occasions I would walk past the living room, I’d hear this person's voice blasting from the TV while my Dad was in front, fixated, captivated. Sometimes, Mom was there too and my eldest brother, kuya Niño.

I never really paid attention. First, I was a very busy student in college back then. Second, I was never a fan of TV, much less of a TV program whose main host was too loud and boisterous for my liking.

I did catch a few glimpses to broadly know that this guy was a preacher. He’d get heated up calling out fake pastors as wolves in sheep’s clothing.

My indifference only grew. 

How could someone upholding a religious belief be so rude and callous? 

Of course, those were just my prejudice. I never knew that my life would take a massive turn soon, from that point.

One day, kuya Niño burst into the bedroom babbling excitedly about this preacher. Apparently, he’s exposed several preachers again who prey on their members’ vulnerability and sucked them of their money.

“Why can’t he just stick his nose to his own business?” (“Bakit ba hindi na lang nya pakialaman ang sarili nya?”) my other brother said something of this sort.

And I chimed in, “Yeah, no one’s bothering him.” (‘Oo nga, wala naman nakikialam sa kanya.”)

But my eldest brother is naturally insistent especially since he’s authority over us 2 so he defended him to the end. That was the start of my curiosity. I decided to join my family the next time they’d watch to see what’s getting my brother all fired up.

His name was Eliseo Soriano, brother Eli as I endearingly address him ever since. Some members address him as Ingkong (Grandpa) but I like to reserve this title to the ones who are in his inner circle. And the TV program was "Itanong Mo Kay Soriano (Biblia Ang Sasagot)".

It didn’t take a lot of watching before my preconceptions changed and I swallowed everything I said before as bad judgement. 

💗 First of all, he appeased long outstanding questions I have which started during Elementary Days in school

I studied at an all-girls-catholic school and although we were never devout catholics (my parents had me baptised at 5 years old only because it was required for enrolment at St. Scho.), I always had a strong belief in God and Jesus Christ. I didn’t require icons or statues because we didn’t have them at home. As a child, I access God in my mind and would speak to Him by thinking whenever I felt the need to.

One day, we were reading about the Ten Commandments in CLE (Christian Living Education) from our textbooks. It was not the first time I noticed the verse references to the actual Bible but there was a nagging voice inside me to check that particular verse. When school was over, I perused the Bible right away for Exodus 20:2-17.

There was a series of verses omitted and a verse that’s split into 2 (to still complete all 10 commandments). I was puzzled of course but I shoved it at the back of my mind. It was never my character to be outspoken since childhood so I keep my discovery a secret in my heart. After that incident, I encountered more questions banked in my subconscious because there were no answers to be had.

But that moment I was watching, the long outstanding questions flashed before me, and I felt an inexplicable joy inside while watching him. I no longer see impudence or callousness before me. Only pure passion... passion for telling the truth. This man is of the purest of heart!

From then on, I had the yearning to watch and hang on to his every words. It was a perplexing but splendid kind of feeling. I knew I found something precious, something worth keeping. 

True to the title of his TV program, every question, every issue that was settled, the knowledge, everything were deeply based from the Bible. I was in awe!

And I thought that was all there is to it. Just listening to him every night was enough. Then I overheard my parents talking about getting indoctrinated and participating in their church activities. They have an actual church! 

💗 This could be the answer to another longing I had in my heart

Studying in a catholic school, when your family were not earnest believers of catholicism, was challenging to say the least. Every week, the school checked whether we attended the Sunday mass. But we never did. Maybe once in a semester we’d go when I asked but we’re not regular church-goers.

At first, I would report in honesty that the family didn’t go. But I hate confrontations and interrogations, so I later just said yes, even though we didn’t. I used to hold this against my conscience.

When I was older and more independent, I tried going to mass on my own, but I discovered that I didn’t have the heart either. I longed to be part of a congregation, but I felt closeness to God better when I speak to Him in my mind than when I attended mass.

So I spoke up to my parents if we could all go to this indoctrination. I remember even using bro. Eli's famous words in the intro of Itanong Mo Kay Soriano, Biblia Ang Sasagot, "Di ba nga sabi nya, huwag kang magpadelay-delay?"

Ngayong nakasumpong ka ng Mabuti, huwag kang magpatumpik-tumpik, huwag kang magpadelay-delay, huwag kang magpabukas-bukas. Pagkakasumpong mo ng mabuti, gawin mo agad!

Photo original source here

These were the words that made me haste to look for the place where I could safely make myself "belong." I entrusted my faith because I had no fault found. Everything was soundly based from the Bible and I can sense in my heart that this man's spirit is pure. There was not a hint of evil intentions in his actions.

We got indoctrinated early in 2002 and was baptised on 15th February 2002, Dad, Mom, kuya Niño and I. It was a most peaceful day in my life when the longings of my heart were finally answered.

All this because bro. Eli was used as an instrument. He was the instrument that led me to find the truths I have unconsciously craved for since childhood. He was the instrument in fixing the spiritual aspect of my life, such that when I encountered great tribulations, God's words became my anchor. He has become my role model in kindness and selfless love.

Now the book has finished and here is a simple tribute to our beloved bro. Eli as a declaration of a selfless man who gladly spent and was spent for the sake of propagating the truth of God. All thanks and glory be to God for sending him as instrument for people of all places and ages.

Original photo source here

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Weekend Crafting Projects

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Just a quick share of my crafting project this weekend: DIY home posters and other prints.

These are reminders and house-rules I established for the children.

The stairs poster was a necessary reminder because last Wednesday, Daisy slipped on the steps.

The stairs were made of timber but we normally don't wear shoes or slippers when going upstairs. Barefoot is fine. 

But that day, she was wearing her socks on from last night. She was almost downstairs when she slipped. Lucky she was holding onto the railings so the fall wasn't that bad. Still, she hit her bottom and back.

I told her to never wear socks again when climbing up or down and this poster will remind her and everyone else.

Made out of recycled cardboards and wooden-look vinyl

Screen time rules is for the children's use of gadgets although the adults in the house sometimes need a friendly reminder too. 😊 I established a program where the girls are also reminded to be helpful around the house at the same time give them the opportunity to earn money for things they want.


The girls each have a screen-time-rules-poster, a weekly screen time counter. How it works is that they earn 1 minute extra screen time when they do tasks at home. They can use these accumulated points from Friday nights and weekends or give them up in exchange for money. 

That is how they earn for things they want and they can keep the money in this cute wooden coin counter from Kmart. Instead of the coin denomination labels at the top, we covered them with their goals instead. They have up to 5 goals plus 1 slot for giving.

And that's it! Hope everyone is having a nice weekend.


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My Rekindled Love for Max Webber

Friday, February 5, 2021

Photo credits

Have you ever felt an urge so strong that you have to appease it right there and then? That was the kind of urge I felt on the morning of Thursday, 4th of February. A love was rekindled that day and I felt so relieved, like a homecoming.

It started last week, when my friend shared a project she made with her little boys about mindfulness. On one of her Facebook posts was Susan Verde's book by the title, "I Am Peace, A Book of Mindfulness." It caught my eye. 

My friend said the book makes the idea of mindfulness tangible and understandable so I was all for it. For days, I was browsing online shops looking for the book. It wasn't a difficult find. Target has it for $10 but lately, I had been splurging too much on books. I was guilty of eating up the family splurge budget. 

That's when it hit me, in the past, when I was hungry for reading, I would go for a quick trip at the library. If I were lucky, there would be withdrawn books by the entrance, $1 for non-fiction and $0.20 for fiction books. I never left empty-handed when that's the case. The walk home was always light, despite the heavy stack of books I was carrying, my face beaming with joy.

It's been a while since I last went to the library. They have closed all branches since COVID hit in March last year so I kind of forgot about them.

A quick search online revealed they were back in operations - I was elated! However, when I checked my local branch, they didn't have a copy of "I Am Peace."

Max Webber library has it, so I begged my husband to take me there after work. I didn't really need to beg hehehe. He supports all of my reasonable whims. But if I haven't been to my local library for almost a year, I haven't been to Max Webber branch for ages.

I was worried that if we go in the afternoon, they won't let me borrow anyway. I used to own a library card with them when we first came in Australia back in 2012. They issued me one because I lived within the Blacktown council area. However, we have been living in Penrith council since then.

Hubby dismissed my worries and took me and Darla in the afternoon anyway. As soon as I got inside, my anxious feelings disappeared. It was haven! If the library could fit inside my arms, I would have hugged it close to my heart hehehe.

I approached the librarian and explained that there's a book I wanted to borrow however, I didn't have a library card. She was a very lovely lady who helped me get one quickly and without hassles. 

But I have to admit that while she was processing on the computer, my heart was racing fast and my brain was playing out all sorts of issues that could stop me from obtaining that library card. That would be so much heartache!

Fortunately, it only took a few minutes and a couple of questions before she handed me my card. It felt wonderful to see it in my hands, so shiny and new! I thanked her and rushed off to get the book, "I Am Peace." I realised that even after years, I still know my way around as if it was the home I grew up in.

The card was a symbol of my love for the library rekindled

Max Webber Library Non-Fiction Section

I found the book right away for I had the reference number in my head hehehe. That's how obsessed I was. To make the most of the trip, I searched for more books to borrow while Darla explored the children's area with her Dad. It was a wonderful afternoon and her delighted face as she browsed the children's book was cherry on top.

Darla beaming with joy at the library

We left the place with a silent promise in my heart that I will visit more frequently again. Libraries often hold a playgroup for children under school-age although I am not sure if they started doing this again after COVID. Still, short visits to return and choose new books are more than enough to excite me. Until our next return God willing.

Though I haven't opened the book that started all this adventure, I sure already have found peace... hehehe.

PS: Special thanks to my friend, Michelle, for being an instrument in the occurrence of this story.

PPS: The books I chose: 

I Am Peace is a short read with practical guide to mindfulness at the back. I am only a few pages into The Self-Esteem Trap and I can tell I will love this non-fiction book already.

A graphic novel for my young ladies. I'm not familiar with the popular titles anymore so the girls can choose next time we take them with us.

I didn't want to go overboard so I only chose 3. After all, I still need to re-read the book I have bought for myself last December. But I'm really very excited, I can't help sneaking into the other book. I'm so glad I have come back to Max Webber Library. Although I love St Marys Public Library too, Max Webber was a "first-love" kind of love. 😍😆 In my future posts, I will explain why hehehe.

Until then! Thank you for reading. 💗

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Hello February 2021!

Monday, February 1, 2021

1 Feb 2021, Monday. A new week, a new month. Well, wasn't that quick! January has come and gone and we're onto the 2nd month of 2021. I hope January had been a good month for you. It sure was for me, thanks be to God, and the last day was exceptionally memorable as I get to see friends coincidentally. 

January Had Been A Rewarding Month

Unplanned meeting with friends made this month extra special

The new school year has just started here so we had a quick trip to the shops yesterday to buy school supplies. Surprise surprise, we saw sis Cookie and her 2 darling daughters at the mall. We haven't talked for almost a year and it was nice to hear good news about her and her family. All these while our kids were running around the play area hehehe.

Darla with her friends 🥰

After we said goodbyes, I bumped into Arah next. I have known her and been taking to her online for about a year now but yesterday was the first time I saw her in person. She was with her husband and cute little girl. It was nice to finally meet this lovely family and hear that they are doing great!

In terms of accomplishments, January had been above average if I would rate it. I often complained about not having "me" time in the past because of my very clingy baby but lately, I find myself being able to watch a movie, reading a book, crafting, cooking... all those things that were set aside because of work and mommy duties.

List of movies I was able to watch

Some of the movies and series (yes, series haha) I was able to watch the past month - including December I guess - were:

  1. The Queen's Gambit (Netflix mini-series)
  2. Bridgerton (Netflix series)
  3. Mulan 2020 
  4. Over The Moon (Netflix)
  5. The King (Netflix)
  6. Pieces of a Woman (Netflix)

Netflix is my only source of movies so all of them, except for Mulan were from the same platform. Maybe one of these days, I will write an article reflection for each movie because they all turned out enjoyable in their own way. 

I don't have much of free time still but one thing I learned was that when opportunity presents itself, stop flicking through the endless titles (which could easily eat up half an hour seriously) and just click the one that's in front of me.

My Reading List

As for books, I have only ever finished Scott Pape's "The Barefoot Investor." I chose this as a gift for myself for surviving the year (hehehe just an excuse to splurge every now and then) and it was a very lucky pick. The book was a very easy read with lots (LOTS!) of valuable nuggets. I plan to read its sequel, "The Barefoot Investor for Families," but only after I read the original a second time.

Reading the book was what lead me to our weekly date nights. At first, I just wanted to discuss about the family's finance management (which I will share in a latter post). The book tells about what you discuss each date night but the first one was critical and because my dear husband received it quite well, the other date nights were more about spending quality time.

My mission: sending hugs in a card

Finally, I was able to finish just in time the cards that I plan to send out for the month of February.

Coffee themed card with matching bookmarks 💖


Coffee and books - a perfect pair to remind friends to take some break from the busy world.

I started my card-making hobby last year but didn't start sending until early in 2020. I was scared in the beginning that people might regard my action as intrusive. I started with a few online acquaintances and when they received my card, they came back to me with sweet messages of thanks and how the card made their day, or made them feel special. 

Most times, the cards came when they were tired or sad. And I felt an absolute joy upon reading their messages, on days when I was down too.

We do not know what someone is dealing with in their life right now and sometimes, just a simple caring message can make a lot of difference. That is the mission I would like to carry on with my card-making hobby.

And that concludes my first month in 2021. What about you? How did January go for you? 😀

Sending Hugs In A Card

PS: Would you like to receive a card?

Please fill out this form to express your interest to be included in my blog subscribers list as card recipients. I want to extend the joy of sending hugs in a card beyond friends and family. 💗

Despite being busy, I always squeeze in making cards to send out. However, I can only cope with around 5 people each month so please bear with me. If you get picked randomly, I will contact you by email to arrange sending details. 😊 Thank you!

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