Seoul and Water: Flood Memories

Just type ‘Seoul’ on Google, and this is the search results page.

In the last 2 days, I’ve felt so invested reading on the record-breaking rain and subsequent flooding in Seoul. It felt very jarring to see all the videos coming in not only from news outlets, but also social media users regarding the flood. We even watched during breakfast one of the regular walking tour vloggers from Seoul, who veered away from his usual promenades and daringly walked around the city while it was flooded.

We were lost for words. We were heartbroken.

At the same time, it felt really visceral having to read and watch all these information from all directions. That was the last thing I’ve immersed myself with (no pun intended) before sleeping last night, and I felt a familiar bodily reaction.

PTSD.

I’ve spoken publicly and also written here several times over the years how I’ve developed trauma from the strong rain and rushing flood waters. Every start of pitter patter of raindrops on the roof for a potentially heavy rain, or even on vehicles was enough to make my head spin.

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Rainy Sunday

Rainy afternoon by the veranda, with some Ikea Ashkolmenchairs, Tärnö table and a synhetic woven egg swing copy

Veranda at home, with some Ikea Ashkolmen chairs, a Tärnö table and a synthetic woven egg swing. I think we’ve watched too much KDrama since the start of the pandemic, thus this aesthetic 😬

It was Sunday the 31st of July, and we are a hop and skip away from August 1. We normally visit on Sundays to have lunch with my family in our house in the uplands, as it was unthinkable to even travel on a Saturday.

We did it once 2 weeks ago and the travel time was horrendous. It took 2 hours coming from Makati  and at least 3 hours on the way back. To think that we spent only around 4 hours home, it was, for the lack of better word, traumatic. Thus, I made an arrangement with Mon if we could always just visit on a Sunday unless we can’t help it.

It was a very cloudy day and it was obvious that it would rain hard. It may be because of the continuously rising oil prices that there were not too many vehicles on the road, but it only took us a bit more than an hour to reach home.

Despite being the actual homeowner (as I am still in the process of transferring the title under my name), the guards at the gate of the subdivision still usually ask where I am headed to. They don’t recognize me at all. That was not the case whenever my father would fetch us nearby as they obviously knew him/them, as they are the ones living there.

Watching my 9-year old cat

Watching my 9-year old cat

One of the first things we usually do as soon as we arrive is check on the 2 dogs and the cat. While we were smothered by the dogs, our cat, Miso is the eternal ambivalent lady of the house.

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Craving for Chinese Food

One great thing about Mon and I’s work set-up is that we are sometimes able to go anywhere on a whim. We had been chatting lately in passing that perhaps, we could drop by Ongpin and just have lunch. And today, we did.

With the rising oil prices, we had been trying to cut back on taking Grab. I think it is one of those conscious choice we had to make that even if we can afford it, it does not mean we had to do it.

We took a jeepney and then the LRT going to Manila.

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Singapore Trip 2022 Mega Post

Prelude

(I think it is much better to do a one-time post, instead of the usual multiple posts in our previous trips. This way, I have everything in one go.)

Months before the pandemic began, we had travel plans that did not push through. We already booked tickets to Beijing and Phuket, but had to cancel these trips as I had to transition to a new role towards the end of 2019. We thought it would not be wise to go on leave when I barely started. So, au revoir tickets.

Then COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill.

A lot of travel plans were put on hold as we were all not sure what we were dealing with. Traveling surely was the last on everyone’s list. The young and old, healthcare workers and the common people were falling left and right like flies. It was a grim time.

First international travel in the (hopefully post) pandemic era.

First travel in the (hopefully post) pandemic era.

Even as the world began to open up last year after the vaccines started rolling out, we were still apprehensive to travel again. Earlier this year, however, we already began having more confidence. More people were doing it. The tourism sector, which took a big blow in the past 2 years, was also going to great lengths to gain the people’s confidence.

So, ready to fly? Yes? Yes!

Even back in 2021, we already knew that our first trip would have been to South Korea this July (i.e. inclusive dates from July 4 to July 11). We had to eventually reconsider this.

We have been to South Korea in September 2011, December 2012 and December 2016. Granted September was supposedly early autumn, it did not feel like it as it still felt like summer that time. The last two December stays were obviously winter. We thought that perhaps spring or autumn would have been better. Spring has already passed, but autumn this year sounded perfect to us.

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Double anniversary celebration

Happy Anniversary to Mon's parents and mine!

Happy Anniversary to Mon’s parents and mine! Yes, both of our parents’ celebrate on the same day!

It was a special day. Who know that Mon’s parents and my parents have the same anniversary?!?

For weeks, Mon and I had been planning how we’ll spend that day as, it may be good to celebrate it the exact day. At one point, we decided that we’ll celebrate with my parents and my family on a Saturday, and then his parents and his family on a Sunday.

We got too daring though and decided to, well, just do everything (i.e. two separate celebrations) the same day!

That’s crazy.

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Adulting 101: Taxes

It was Mon's turn with the registration officer

Mon’s turn with the registration officer

Back in March, I had a long soliloquy of the year that has passed: both wins and challenges. When I decided to leave being employed full-time, I knew that we’d have to also change our status from employed to self-employed in BIR, and file our taxes accordingly based from this.

We gave ourselves a deadline that by June, we had to finish this. And finished, we did.

I personally spent weeks researching about this. We knew that we’d rather do the registration ourselves because, well, DIY-ing is life. It is also always better to know the process so we are not caught off guard and we minimize surprises. We originally intended to hire someone to do it in our behalf, but we eventually opted otherwise as that’d still a couple of thousand of pesos. Yikes.

We had been longtime employees and these matters had been usually taken care for us by our respective HRs.

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DIY Project: Restoring a Vintage Dior

It has been a while since I last made a DIY project. It was six years ago to be exact when I had recolored a bag strap. I was just browsing when I suddenly thought of taking another stab restoring a vintage Lady Dior Shoulder Bag from 1997 stored inside the closet.

Before and after restoration - Vintage Christian Dior Patent Cannage Lady Dior Shoulder Bag

Before and after restoration of this vintage patent Dior

I first wrote about this back in 2012, when I had looked back at things that were destroyed by Typhoon Ondoy from 2009. All that was usable from this was the zipper pull. It was, I believed at the time, a lost cause.

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And just like that… Bryologue turns 10 today!

Yes, this page is now 10 years old. I can’t believe it is a decade already. It seems only yesterday I was figuring out how to set-up WordPress.org and posted my first ever post here on June 1, 2012. Surprisingly, my Tumblr is still alive and turned 12 last April.

I can’t stress enough that, in the midst of the ever shortening lifespan of people, I still manage to maintain these pages. And to commemorate this day, I decided to recreate the first ever photo posted:

An homage to the first ever post, still with the Mulberry Wexford messenger bag

Yes, an homage. And the contents reflect the years that has passed.

An interesting thing about the first photo:

  • the Marc Jacobs coin purse was, of course, already lost August of 2012;
  • the LV wallet already gave up on me (stashed somewhere);
  • the iPod Classic’s battery gave up on me (stashed somewhere);
  • the Blackberry’s battery gave up on me (stashed somewhere);
  • the camera is no longer working (that photo was taken with that same camera);
  • the Kindle got smashed on our last day on the field in Mindanao last 2013; and
  • the Dior pouch, Mulberry agenda, and, surprisingly, that small atomizer bottle are still alive.

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