Cebu City

IT'S OFFICIALLY CHRISTMAS DAY. We're in Storm Signal Number 2 and it's been raining non-stop the entire day. Despite that, I still hear loud disco music outside and a number of fireworks. We spent our Christmas Eve cooking spaghetti (husband cooked; not me of course). I was supposed to whip a mango float but I ended up not doing so because the rain just made me too lazy. I know, blame it to the rain, yeah?

It's a holiday but I sneaked in some content work for my YouTube channel and social media accounts because I don't always get this "free time." Then in the evening, Reiko and I watched two Christmas movies together while the husband slept on the couch. We ate cakes, lumpia, ham, and spaghetti then called it a night. Wine bottle remains to be opened. 

Yup, it's a Netflix and chill kind of Christmas. And I love it. When I was a kid, Christmas was so different. My siblings and I would always receive gifts from our mother. Mine would always be t-shirts. Then we would hear the mass, spend some time at my grandmother's house where all my aunts, uncles, and cousins would convene for fun parlor games, raffles, and exchanging of gifts. 

Before midnight, I already knew we had to go home because my mother would always say that we needed to be home by the struck of midnight to celebrate with our family. Our house was just a block away from grandmother's house though. Then if we're not sleepy yet, we would go back to my grandmother's house to continue the celebration until the sun was up. The rest of the 25th would be spent either sleeping or watching TV at home. 

Since I moved to Cebu 10 years ago, I spent I think 3-4 Christmases back in my hometown. This year, we decided not to fly out. Airplane fares to GenSan can get pretty expensive, you know that. I hope to spend Christmas 2020 back in my hometown though. 

So many things happened this year that I'm so grateful for. As I've mentioned in my previous update post, YouTube NextUp Manila is the highlight of my content creator life. Building my online community from scratch, knowing that it is ever-growing, and being able to help many people bring me so much joy. 

YouTube NextUp Manila 2019

With my unexpected NextUp win, I had to cancel my trip to Japan with my friends even though I already booked the tickets. Somehow I felt bad for the last-minute cancellation but I figured Japan will always be there, NextUp is once in a lifetime. I'm just very thankful for supportive and understanding friends.

There were also several opportunities that came my way because people found me through my YouTube channel. I attempted to accept them all but in the long run, I felt like I was biting off more than I could chew. Eventually, I had to decline some offers that I thought would not make me happy and fulfilled. 

I have also done so much to repair and renovate our home up to where my money and sanity could take me. I painted the entire house by myself, set up and created my home office a.k.a. ninja cave, and breathed paint for about 2 months and more. Thankfully, the house looked like home after all the painting I did although there are so many things that still need to be fixed and done. I have all the time if I want to I guess. But money? No more. Haha. 

I turned 31 last December 7 - and this is what Christmas has been like for the past few years. Last year was worse - we really just slept super early because my husband was sick. I cooked buttered chicken that ultimately became "battered" chicken after. Right, I remember I cannot cook to save my life (and my son's).

I guess when you're getting older, Christmas becomes a little bit (or really) different. Somehow, it loses its magic which is why I spent the last few days watching all the cheesy and magical Christmas movies on Netflix with all the snowy and cozy setting. I just want to have all the Christmas feels while at home battling between finishing my long to-do list or doing nothing. Well, at least Reiko enjoyed our movie marathons and the trip to Anjo World Theme Park. I got him a Super Mario stuffed toy which he requested. Haha!

Don't even get me started with how I spent my birthday week. I mean I don't normally celebrate my birthday anymore but I do want to go somewhere nice on the actual day. That somewhere nice turned into something sour and bitter because we had to spend 6 days in the hospital. Reiko got sick with dengue fever so that week was super stressful and exhausting physically, mentally, and financially. I had to shell out more money than we expected because hmmm, hospital bills skyrocket rather quickly. 

Believe me, I don't really grasp the huge expense that comes with hospitalization because thankfully, none from the 3 of us ever got super sick. That was also the first time that Reiko had to be admitted and I was so worried but I had to put my game face on and show everyone that everything's gonna be okay. But one night, I just cried. 

Also, I had to run to Creator Camp Cebu in IT Park on my actual birthday because I already committed to be part of the Q&A panel. Good thing Reiko was already on his way to recovery that time. It was a breath of fresh air figuratively and literally since I would almost never go out of the hospital room and we would always close the windows. I had not seen the sun for a long time, safe to say. 

Creator Camp Cebu

Reiko's only request was Peppero so I bought 2 packs at Coffee Bay, went home to get some clothes, then to the hospital, saw Reiko's face light up when he saw the Peppero, then ended the night with two boxes of Alberto's pizza. 

Anyway, we're back to "our normal" and thankfully, the only things that bring me so much anxiety now are the dingy living room and kitchen floors which don't ever get clean even when we sweep and mop everyday. To be fair, the floors were already so dingy even before which was why I already set aside a budget for our tiles that we decided to get on sale. It would have been huge savings! BUTTTT tiles no more because... hospital bills, remember? And the 70% OFF discount was only until December 15.

I figured I can still earn more money for the rest of the house renovations. The most important thing is we've survived the ordeal and Reiko is okay now. I was just so happy we were able to pay the hospital bills with the help of our generous family members too. Remind me to update my insurance benefits, ok? I mean seriously. 

It's currently 12:50 am and I swear this loud disco music won't stop until early morning. Ugh guys, please stoppp now. I guess I'll just go back to watching Netflix to muffle the noise barrage going on. 

Merry Christmas. Cheers.

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