• , ,

    Things I’d like to have in my retirement home

    As early as now, I’m already thinking about my retirement. I want to live somewhere laidback and quiet in the future—in my own farmhouse. So that’s definitely not in the city. The city is too busy for me; the city’s energy drains me. I don’t think I would enjoy the place when I get older as I’m enjoying it now.

    In the Philippines, when we say ‘retirement home,’ we refer to our own house where we would want to spend the rest of our lives. Perhaps with our apos, sons, daughters, other family members, and relatives. Yes, it’s pretty different from the perceptions of non-Filipinos.

    apo /n/

    a grandchild (plural grandchildren)

    So let’s get started with the things I want for my retirement home.

    My retirement home checklist

    1) Up to three rooms

    In context, when their family members leave, old couples are the only ones left at home. Many couples prefer to downsize once their children have their own families.

    Likewise, I want my retirement home to have three rooms: one for hubby and me, one for Sasha and Adele, and a guest room. If they don’t want to share the room, one should settle in the guest room. Also, the should be enough for occasional visitors.

    2) Fewer steps to no stairs

    Stairs aren’t friendly to wheelchairs and canes. They are also a pain for those with weak knees. And I assume that this will be a problem down the road.

    My first choice is a home with a single-level living. Moving around the house becomes easy for me when I don’t have to climb many steps.

    3) More low-level storage

    Old age catches up. Before you know it, you find bending and picking up something from the floor difficult. I’m also aware of this, including the possibility of mindlessly stashing things under the bed because you have nowhere else to put them.

    That’s why the height of the counters and shelves is crucial for me. It’s already an issue today because of my heigh—I’m only 5’4′. What more in the future, when I can no longer extend my arms fully when reaching mounted shelves?

    4) Wide spaces

    Doorways and hallways must be spacious enough to accommodate guided walking. That’s especially true if you are already using a walker or wheelchair.

    While there’s an accurate depiction of what wide space means, it should be accessible to make passing easier.

    5) Indoor plant area

    Some would want a pet or two when they grow older to keep them company. I’d say houseplants for me.

    A corner will do. Or, it could be a backless bookcase, wall-mounted shelves, old wooden staircases, or a window ledge. But if I get to choose, I guess there’s nothing with a small nursery or greenhouse.

    I want to live in a close-knit community.

    As much as possible, my retirement home must be in an area near the people dear to me. I enjoy Sunday lunch and movie nights with family, so I want to live near them. I also want to bask in the friendliness of my neighbors (without invading each other’s space and privacy, of course).

    I don’t want to live in a house that is big on maintenance.

    I really don’t mind doing weeding here and there. But I would mind repairs. I’m not cut out for handyman jobs. As I age, hubby and I—mostly hubby—no longer have the energy to get those things done. So I’m shooting for a low-maintenance lifestyle when I’m older.

    While writing this post, I realized how hopeful I am for the future. Sadly, not all people are lucky enough to spend more years here—what more with their loved ones.

    I’m a bit emotional lately because I just learned that one of my friends had died of COVID-19. She died last October 2021, and it’s already April 2022. 😢😢😢

    Blessed are those who reached their golden years. (And blessed are those who left us and joined our Creator sooner than we wanted or expected).

    Did you know that the term ‘golden years’ was first used in 1959 as part of an advertising pitch for Sun City? Sun City is a retirement community. Thus, the term actually refers to retirement, which is a time for relaxation and leisure.

    And some are unfortunate, robbed of what could have been a more meaningful, more blissful life. It could have been is such a lonely phrase too.

    So, I am praying—much harder this time—that I live a long life and live somewhere or anywhere so long as I get to be where my loved ones are.

  • ,

    3 Big questions to ask yourself before moving

    Moving is not a “wing it” situation. Usually, it takes plenty of preparing, saving, and pondering about what you will need for this big event. Below we’ll look at three goals to conquer before your move.

    Question #1 – Do I need more room?

    There are plenty of reasons to move and needing more space is one of the best reasons. Perhaps your family is growing, and you have realized that having one to two bedrooms just isn’t enough space. Or perhaps you’re just looking for more space because you can!

    After you have established if you should rent or buy a house, knowing how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need to properly function in your space is a plus. Bedroom and bathroom count are the number one amenity that purchasers look for in a new space.

    Keep in mind, that you may just want an extra bit of room so that you or others in your household can have alone time or space. This is an underrated but highly valued luxury that some of us don’t think enough about. 

    Do you want a space where you can work on a passion project? Or perhaps you would like an extra room to store your tools or supplies for whatever you may enjoy doing. Maybe you’re looking to give your pet their own space as well. These are all great examples of needing more room.

    If you can find something within your price range that offers you a bit more square footage even as opposed to an additional room, it can be well worth it. Determine your spatial needs before you jump right into the next steps.

    Question #2 – Do I know anyone in my new location?

    You may only be traveling to another part of your town or city, but maybe you are making a bit of a bigger jump. So many things are running through our minds when we are preparing to move, but do we ever stop to think about actually living there?

    How close is the grocery store, a gas station, or the nearest hospital? This is vital information that really should be considered before your official move. Hopefully, you have some acquaintances in the area that you can turn to in need. It can be scary moving far away from those you love and those that support you.

    Even if you don’t know anyone there, it might be a good idea to look into ways you can meet new locals. Research online about some of the events in your new town, where people spend time, and maybe if there are any groups you are interested in joining. This is going to make your transition to your new place a bit more comfortable. It’s always beneficial to have someone to talk to, even if it’s getting to know each other at first.

    Question #3 – What will my commute look like?

    Many folks move to a new area either due to their current job or they are looking for a new job. You’ll need income established before you move; that’s self-explanatory. And with prices of all goods on the rise, you’re driving to work should be considered.

    If you’re moving to a pretty populated area, finding public transit is going to be your best bet for a commute. Another great way to get to and from work is by carpooling. Although, at first, you may not know many people to grab rides with. 

    It’s really important to take into account how long it will take you to get to and from work and from your new place. It’s advisable to make a trip to your new town at least once before moving there. You can test the public transit or your commute so you can establish properly how to get to and from your workplace.

    This can be a common oversight when you move, but it should be considered. You’re not going to be doing yourself any favors if you live on one side of the city but work on the other side. All of these questions can be answered by a short visit to your new town. 

  • , ,

    7 Ways to boost your immune system naturally

    In this time and age, more and more new diseases are discovered, and the global medical community has yet to find a cure for each. Our best protection is to protect ourselves against germs, bacteria, and viruses. Therefore, we have to safeguard our immunity or the ability of our body to fight various infections. One of the best ways to do this is to boost our immune system, mainly by correcting our diet and lifestyle.

    How to boost your immune system naturally

    1) Eat healthily

    Eat a balanced diet to ensure that your body is getting enough nutrients. When you eat healthy fats such as omega-3 and omega-6, the body produces more prostaglandin, a compound that kills germs. Thus,

    • Avoid consuming saturated fats.
    • Eat protein-rich foods such as eggs, vegetables, and dairy since the body needs them to produce white blood cells.
    • Consume appropriate amounts of carbohydrates obtained from rice, corn, and wheat. Excessive carbohydrates in the body lower immune responses due to the reduced quantity of T-lymphocytes.
    • Eat immunity-boosting foods such as almond, kale, yogurt, berries, and mushrooms.
    • Eat antioxidants like zinc, copper, vitamins C and E, selenium, and beta carotene. Beans, nuts, seafood, and red meats contain high zinc levels, while brightly colored fruits and vegetables contain the other vitamins and minerals that our body needs.
    • Citrus fruits, more specifically, help in protecting your immune system.

    2) Avoid sugar

    Notice that when you indulge in a glass of soda, you feel weak in the following hours, for at least five hours. So, limit your sugar intake. Use natural sweeteners as much as possible, especially those with a low glycemic index. Avoid the artificial ones since they are highly acidic. High levels of blood sugar reduce the ability of the cells to inundate bacteria. This suppresses the immune system in fighting infections. Recently, the consumption of too many sweets has been linked to several ailments such as obesity and diabetes.

    3) Limit caffeine

    Drinking coffee has its own benefits, mainly because it contains antioxidants. However, too much intake of coffee can lead to higher acid levels in the body, which may weaken the immune system. Acid negatively affects our natural ability to absorb nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Acid dehydrates the body. Likewise, for every cup of coffee you consume, make sure that you drink two glasses of water. An equally compelling yet more beneficial alternative is drinking green tea.

    4) Reduce alcohol

    Alcohol abuse is associated with various immune system deficiencies. The alcoholic beverage you just guzzled down is metabolized within your body, producing harmful chemicals that destroy the white blood cells within 20 minutes of ingesting it. Additionally, drinking alcohol makes it difficult for the body to absorb vitamins and minerals, a process that lowers white blood cells. This means that the harmful effects of alcohol on the body will still be evident even when the alcohol itself is no longer detectable.

    5) Eliminate toxin

    Eating healthy means getting rid of unnatural substances in our diet. These are primarily found in processed foods that contain all the additives and preservatives that you won’t eat as is. Did you know that more than 3,000 chemicals enter the body, primarily found in packaged foods? In fact, the medical practitioners themselves consider these heavily processed foods as foods that destroy our immune system. Over time and without proper elimination of toxins from our body, it can lead to different illnesses. Substitute processed foods with fermented foods instead because the latter is much healthier.

    6) Raise pH

    Our body’s pH should stay between 7.35 and 7.45, and anything below or above such range could mean symptoms and diseases. In fact, chronic acidity can lead to osteoporosis, diabetes, cancers, and heart diseases. To neutralize our body’s pH, drink plenty of water. There’s a reason doctors encourage us to drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Stop drinking soda because it contains high sugar levels and is highly acidic; its pH level is 3.

    7) Stop smoking

    Smoking kills. I can’t emphasize this enough. Are you aware that a stick of cigarette contains more than 4,000 chemicals, forty-three of which are cancer-causing? Additionally, the smoke harms nearly all organs in our body, increasing the likelihood of lung, kidney, and heart diseases. Nicotine, the addictive substance in cigarettes, reaches the brain in about 6 seconds. It binds with hemoglobin instead of oxygen, thus, reducing the blood’s capacity to deliver oxygen to the cells in the body.

    Germs, bacteria, and viruses – or the invaders – overwhelm our body’s natural defenses. So even if your health is fine, you cannot deliberately ignore the importance of strengthening your immune system. The goal is to adopt healthier living strategies from your diet to your lifestyle. Thus, stop right now if you are currently smoking; consuming excessive amounts of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and unnatural substances, and not drinking lots of water. These aren’t doing your immune system any good.

  • Exotic Filipino foods that I let my kids eat

    The Filipino cuisine is so diverse. We are proud of our classics and street foods. However, we also have an exhaustive list of exotic Filipino foods.

    There are certain exotic foods that I don’t eat but would offer my kids to sample their taste. I don’t expect my daughters to like them. I just want them to appreciate all things Filipino. After all, these food items are a part of our being Filipino.

    I don’t want them to grow up afraid to try new things as well. I hope that I’m nurturing the adventurous spirit just right.

    Exotic Filipino foods my husband and I let our children eat

    Balut (Boiled duck embryo)

    Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Balut is a protein-rich delicacy sold in the neighborhoods at night, shouting ‘Balut! Balut!’ Some people would buy them as midnight snacks or pulutan. I think balut is the OG Pinoy pulutan, or food that is typically served with an ice-cold beer or other alcoholic drinks.

    Balut is by far the most exotic food Filipinos eat. Well, at least for me. I would not say no to eating balut anytime. Papa Jun and I enjoyed eating it together, especially with salt and spicy vinegar. It was also his idea to let Sasha and Adele eat balut. He bought, prepared everything, and provided an impromptu discussion of what balut is. 🤣

    To my surprise, Sasha loved the duckling. I don’t—I only eat the yolk part of balut. Adele is so-so; she’s okay with everything. Or must I be shocked—they are both adventurous eaters. That, or we’re raising monsters. 🤣🤣

    Helmet (chicken head)

    We Filipinos eat pretty every consumable part of the chicken. I believe that helmet or the chicken head is a testament to our ingenuity.

    Not to mention how we hate wasting food. So instead of throwing this part away, we skewer, grill, and eat them despite not having much to eat from them.

    Adidas (chicken feet)

    Image credit: Adobe Stock

    I have no idea who first called chicken feet adidas. Yup, after the well-known shoe brand. Clever huh?

    I know some people who don’t like the texture of chicken feet—kind of gelatinous. But I love how this lends uniqueness to adidas. Others don’t like how it is a ‘struggle’ to eat them, with all the small bones to get rid of while eating.

    Regardless of how it is cooked, chicken feet can be very tasty. Adele loves chicken feet. Two days ago, she requested her lolo to buy chicken feet.

    lolo /n/
    Grandfater; a polite title or form of address for an elderly man

    Adidas is also a popular dish in China and other Asian countries.

    Isaw (chicken intestine)

    Isaw is a classic. And I think isaw is every Filipino child’s first foray into exotic food because it has a subtle taste, especially when dipped in thick sweet sauce.

    Barbecue stands in the Philippines usually have two dips: spiced vinegar and sweet sauce. The latter is for kids and adults who don’t like spicy dips.

    Betamax (blood cubes)

    I have no idea why this is called betamax. Perhaps because of how it looks. It’s solidified chicken blood, resembling the look of the videotape.

    Betamax is so tasty regardless of your preferred sauce. I like vinegar for my betamax. 🤘🤘🤘

    Dinuguan (blood stew)

    Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

    I’m not aware that dinuguan is actually an exotic food. Our family eats them on a regular, though we rarely cook them. How? When the day gets too busy to cook anything for lunch or dinner or when we don’t have anything to cook, we would just buy our ulam (viand) from the nearby carinderia.

    And dinuguan is a carinderia staple.

    Other exotic Filipino dishes that I want them to try

    Chicharon bulaklak (Deep-fried pig intestine chitterling)

    Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

    I love chicharon (pork crackling)! I rarely eat chicharon bulaklak, and I don’t crave it as well. But if served, I will definitely have it.

    Chicharon bulaklak is best eaten with spicy vinegar.

    It is served as an appetizer in some areas. However, it is more known as pulutan.

    Camaro (Field or mole cricket)

    Camaro or kamaru is popular in Pampanga. Common recipes are adobong camaro, which is cooked in salt, soy sauce, and vinegar, and fried camaro. I’ve tasted it at Everybody’s Café during one of our brand exposures. It has a unique meat-like taste with hints of herb-y and nutty flavors.

    Betute tugak (Deep-fried stuffed frog)

    Also from Pampanga, betute tugak is a crowd favorite. Indeed, frog tastes like chicken. You can’t tell the difference between the two. However, this one has sauteed ground pork stuffing.

    My tatang would take home palakang bukid (rice field frogs) from Obando, Bulacan when I was so young. We would often cook it as tinolang palaka, a Filipino stew with green papaya, dahon ng sili (chili leaves), and fish sauce.

    tatang /n/
    Father or a father figure

    In case you’re wondering, it’s the less popular variation of chicken tinola.

    Papaitan (Bitter stew)

    Papaitan is made from beef or goat innards. Its bitter taste comes from bile that is carefully extracted from its sac. Papaitan is our Papa Jun’s favorite. I wonder how Sasha and Adele would react once they tasted papaitan.

    I guess this shows our family’s adventurous side. It’s not for a culinary thrill, though, but loving your own.

  • [EXTRA INCOME]: Earn real money by becoming a paid Intellifluence blogger

    Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll earn a small amount for conversions made through such links.

    When I started this blog, I intended to make it a money-making machine. 😁 That’s an exaggeration, of course! But I would not say no to a paid blogging opportunity, especially if it aligns with what I want to write as a mummy blogger.

    And speaking of an opportunity, I discovered Intellifluence through a Facebook page. Another Filipina mummy blogger shared it. I tried it out. In the three months of working on the platform, I already earned $285! For a struggling blogger like me, that’s a lot!

    When there’s an opportunity that you know would benefit other bloggers, you share it with them. So, that’s what I’m doing now. This paid blogging opportunity is worth sharing. So please read on.

    How to join Intellifluence

    Here’s a brief rundown of what you need to do.

    1) Create an account using my Intellifluence affiliate link ➤➤➤ https://bit.ly/3BZlFOM. Here’s how the registration page looks.

    2) Click the Register As An Influencer button.

    3) Fill in your first name, last name, email, password, and confirm the password. Then, tick the box to accept the terms of service and privacy policy. Click Next.

    4) Add a profile picture. Upload, adjust, crop, and click Save Crop. Click Next.

    5) Answer the question What are you interested in? Place the cursor on the field to trigger the drop-down menu. You can select up to 10 categories. Click Next.

    6) Add a public bio. Click Next.

    7) Upload up to five additional photos. This is an optional step, and you may go back to this step through the dashboard.

    8) Fill in your address and other contact details. Click Next.

    9) Connect your social media accounts and blogs. You may connect your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and even Reddit. Basically, everything where your ‘influence’ can be measured and monitored.

    Social media influencer marketing is alive and well. So requiring to connect social profiles is not surprising at all.

    You will be asked to log in to your account when connecting it with your Intellifluence profile.

    For the blog part, you need to put the self-hosted blog URL on the +Blog, while the free hosted blogs must be placed on +Other.

    You may complete the social profiles at this step or do it later through your dashboard. However, you need to add at least one account to proceed.

    Next, you will be directed to your dashboard, though I’m not really sure. Hehe. Apologies. I was using a dummy account that had no social profile whatsoever. So I had to stop there, in Step 7.

    Nonetheless, I suggest you complete your profile first. A profile strength indicator outlines a checklist of what you need to do to achieve a 100% profile strength. Just follow it, and you are good to go.

    My Intellifluence profile

    Here’s a glimpse of my profile. As you can see, I am currently a High Closer influencer with a Medium Audience. (I don’t call myself an influencer—I cringe at the thought. I am more comfortable with blogger).

    Of course, the profile page basically contains your personal and payment info.

    There’s the Badges section where the badges you’ve earned are displayed. You’ll get each badge as you interact with the platform and complete transactions, for instance.

    I already earned seven badges. 👏👏👏

    My earnings summary

    Now, let’s proceed to my earnings. Below is the screenshot of the Earnings Summary.

    I’ve already completed five transactions, the payment of four of which are already processed, and one is upcoming. It will be processed on December 1, if I’m not mistaken.

    Once you complete a transaction, it will appear on your Upcoming payment after 15 days. I already mentioned above that I already earned $285 from August 6 to this writing. Come December 1, and my total earning would be $485.

    Also, you have to be eligible for payout, which means you should have $25 on your Payout Balance. Payouts are sent to your PayPal account every Friday, again, provided that you met the threshold.

    Expect to earn more if you have a broader reach, especially on Instagram and YouTube, since you will have more opportunities to work with brands.

    FAQs about Intellifluence

    I know you want to know more about Intellifluence. So here goes.

    What is Intellifluence for influencers?

    Co-founded by Joe Sinkwitz and Terry Godier, Intellifluence is an influencer marketing platform. It connects brands with influencers so they may collaborate on projects and campaigns with ease.

    Intellifluence claims to be the “home of the largest warm influencer network in the world.” To date, it has more than 171,000 registered influencers who partner with over 20,000 brands.

    Is Intellifluence.com legit?

    Yes, Intellifluence is legit. It pays influencers from $1 to $1,000 for each campaign. Also, the platform features Intellifluence Promise, a guarantee that you’ll be paid once you satisfactorily complete the given task, transaction, or offer.

    Here’s my proof of payment.

    How to earn from Intellifluence?

    To earn from Intellifluence, go to Marketplace. This section displays the opportunities that you qualified for. You may apply for the campaign by sending a proposal or declining the offer.

    Recently, Intellifluence introduced My Offers. This is where you create services. The categories are Social Share, Social Engagement, Social Review, Blog Review, and Video Review.

    To create an offer, you need to choose from the service type options. Then, fill out the offer details.

    Is Intellifluence free?

    Yes, it is. Registration is free.

    You may create your profile through its website or the Intellifluence app. Download it from the app store.

    Other things to know about Intellifluence

    You need to explore the platform. When do you so, you’ll encounter these things.


    Sallybot is Intelifluence’s support bot. She helps you navigate the platform while also sending timely advice and reminders on deadlines and completion requirements for the most part.


    The availability of opportunities depends on your platforms’ reach. Some offers require 100 to 1,000 reach; others, 10,000 to 100,000.

    For bloggers like me, the higher the blog metrics like DA, trust flow, citation flow, etc., the better. Although, my social reach compensates for my lack of reach. You’d want to connect social pages with the highest reach.

    It pays to grow your reach to be eligible for more opportunities in the future.


    I cannot emphasize this enough.

    With my three months collaborating with brands and digital marketing agencies, I observed that the top three most profitable categories are Marketing, Advertising, and Business.

    Unqualified Offers

    You may check the unqualified offers section to get a feel of what brands are looking for and what you need to work on to qualify for more offers.

    Click the Advanced Filters to check the list of offers.

    Don’t forget to create your Intellifluence profile using my link  ➤➤➤ https://bit.ly/3BZlFOM. 👍👍👍

    And, if you want to know more about Intellifluence, the comment section is open. Ask away!

Subscribe To My Newsletter

Subscribe for new travel stories and exclusive content.