The photo below is my Chest X-ray. And yes it does not look good. As of this writing I am already on medication for Pneumonia for 3 days. Although I am considering this as Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis due to allergies.

I just want to share my experience about taking both herbal medicine and conventional medicine and why they should go together and how they contributed to my healing.

My illness started on June 10, it started with a sore throat. As a nurse, I am educated more regarding conventional medicine but I also do not discount the facts that herbal medicines have cured a lot of people too. I also know that conventional medicine, if not taken properly can do more harm than good, but so does herbal medicine.

During the course of my illness, I never took any conventional medicine instead I resorted to drinking lemon with honey and a teaspoon of turmeric every morning. It made me feel better. And I think it really did well on making me feel better that I cough less often and never had the sore throat again for the following weeks thereafter.

After two weeks, about the first week of July, my children acquired flu although having been immunized for flu. But due to their immunization, they did not have fever but only presented symptoms such as cough and runny nose. A few days after my husband also had the flu, apart from the cough and runny nose, he also complained of muscle weakness and fatigue.

My whole family now had the flu except me, I thought I was feeling fine, I never had muscle weakness nor fatigue except for occasional coughing and sneezing, which I thought was due to my allergic rhinitis.

Until last July 15, when I felt like I have sore throat again. And so I thought the magic remedy of lemon and honey with turmeric will be there to rescue. But the coughing won't go away, and whenever I cough I feel like it wants to suck all my lungs out. i really felt terrible.

I tried to observe my self for a few more days, I was considering it as an allergy, because where I work, in the print shop, there were lots of allergens. And I also have the same case of inflamed lungs due to allergies way back in 2008.

In the afternoon, my coughing got worse but in the morning I felt better. I usually drink my herbal tea in the morning, so I thought maybe I have to drink it in the evening too. But it really did me no good. On July 18 I finally decided to have a checkup, I was already feeling so weak that morning. Like I don't have energy to do any household chores, and lying down made me feel better.

My internist told me it was really allergies that was causing my cough, but gave me medications and and antibiotics for prophylaxis. On my way to the X-ray, I can hardly talk to the technician due to my persistent cough. And the results was set to be released the following day.

So I bought my medicines, immediately took Klaricort for my allergies and so the coughing subsided temporarily. I then went home and nebulized with Salbutamol. I guess rest was all I needed that time.

As a nurse, I was exposed to different kinds of physicians, some who were there to really help, some who were they only for the money. Due to my previous experiences, I find it hard to trust a doctor, unless they have really gained my trust, just like my children's pediatrician. and my OB. And this was the reason why I resorted to using herbal remedies instead, because I haven't found an internist that I can really trust.

Lesson of the story, it is acceptable to use herbal remedies to cure one's illness but we should also use conventional medicine to help us diagnose the sickness and provide the correct medication for our illness. I was feeling so healthy because of the herbal remedies I was taking but inside of me my lungs was slowly getting sicker and sicker as time goes by.

And of course, prevention is always better than cure. ;-)

My follow up check up is due tomorrow so I will be updating this page after my internist reviewed my X-ray results.

For the meantime, you can share you experiences on taking herbal remedies and conventional medicine on the comments section below. :-)


This was the exact honey I used:


This was still straight from my mom's balikbayan box.

I purchased lemon from Robinsons or KCC. It costs 30 pesos each in Robinsons and 22 pesos each at KCC.


My dad is not famous, not rich, not extraordinary, but one thing sets him apart from everyone else: He is my first Hero.

No he is not a Super dad, like what others think of their dads. In fact, he is unique, he is not normal, he is supra normal as what he used to say.

He is schizophrenic as his doctors diagnose him. But I know he is fighting, everyday he is fighting a sickness only a few can overcome, fighting something we all have little control over: neurotransmitters. Who cares about those damned neurotransmitters anyway? Most of us don't, but these trivial things changed his life forever.

I have few fond memories of my father. Most of the hurtful ones, I simply want to forget, while the happy moments, I want to cherish forever. Among my siblings, since I was the eldest, I was the one who have more memories of my father before he got sick.

So who's my dad? He is John Rosales Balili. To his workmates, he was John, his relatives called him Tito Jean, his students called him Sir John and to me and my siblings he is Papa.

He was a good man. As a son, he was never the type to help work in the fields but he likes to stay at home and only knows how to cook rice. He tries to please his parents by excelling at school. As a brother, he was thoughtful and generous. As a teacher, he was very dedicated and passionate, he was not only known for being a walking computer but he was also remembered for his kindness and for their friendship.

I know not much about how he truly was to other people. But to me and my siblings, he is a good father.

As a father, he was a good provider. Before he got sick, he was the one providing for all our needs, working from dusk until dawn, even taking tutorial jobs at night so he can have more money to spend for our growing family.

He was our play mate as well. Even in his busy schedule he makes way to spend time with us, even just by strolling in our village and taking unlimited photos of us, or by going to the nearby river and take a bath at the stream together with the carabaos or a bunch on tadpoles. I also remember playing games with him such as scrabble, chess, snakes and ladders, word cube, monopoly and even playing cards. I feel so happy when I beat him, making feel like a genius too. He makes sure that we have a balance of work and play.

Despite his scholarly achievements, he never pressured us to become academic achievers. Instead, he emphasized the value of play in learning. He said if only he could turn back time he would play more and not focus on getting good grades, because you only get to be a child once.

He also taught us the value of reading. Every time he drops by the book sale shop, he will buy me a Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew book. He even encouraged me to read classic books such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Gulliver travels, and the like. The Little Prince was my favorite. He wanted us to develop a habit of reading. Maybe I just did not develop his great memorizing skills, but yes I learned to love reading.

He taught me to love music as well. He taught me how to sing and even had our own recording sessions. I remember hearing our recorded voices (my voice was still that of a toddler) singing nursery rhymes. He also taught me how to play the guitar, actually he just taught me how to read the chords because he trusts that I can learn on my own. He even bought me my first guitar on my twelfth birthday when he saw how eager I was to make my own music.

He also taught us how to swim. During weekends, we have our swimming sessions at the river near our house, together with some of our friends. When we were a little older, he would bring us to a nearby club house or Grotto Vista during summer to swim. But swimming in the river together with the carabaos were the best swimming lessons we had.

He influenced me to love crafting. Apart from his love for computers and photography, he also likes DIY Carpentry. He was the one to craft the bookshelves at home as well as some cabinets. He also makes invitation cards from scratch and creates his own rubber stamps to design then when a desk top printer was not yet invented. In fact, my mom still keeps all of the cards and love letters he gave her. He was also very good in calligraphy.

He also loved poetry. When I was young he would read to us a book full of poems that he created. He also keeps a little book full of love poems for Mama. He influenced me not only to make poems but to make songs out of it as well.

He was a big influence in my life and played a big role on what I have become today.

The time when Papa got sick, I was still eight then, was like experiencing a lost battle for the first time. It was devastating. Life changed 360 degrees. At our age that time, we do not really understand. All I wanted at that time was for my Papa to come back. I missed his happy face and I missed his joyful spirit. Years passed and his sickness got worse. If I base it on research, I can blame it on his electric shock therapy, but maybe it was also God's plan.

My Papa is now 65 years old, for more than 20 years he was suffering from mental illness. He is old now and even if in my heart I wish we can bring back the young and vibrant father I used to know, it may never happen now. For now, I don't pray to bring back the past, yet I pray that he will have more years to enjoy life. Yes, all I want for him now is to enjoy life, explore the world while he still can if God permits.



Yes Papa is not ordinary. Indeed he is supranatural as he claims to be. His love is genuine and he keeps on fighting his battle each day. Despite his weaknesses and his lapses he will forever be a great father to me. I admire him for his love for my mother and for us, I think that is what keeps him fighting his illness. He may not be a super dad but to me my father is my first hero, my Super hero.


For several months I have been wanting to buy a running or training shoes that I can use when I exercise at home. I have been so lax with exercise for about three months now and I am gaining weight again.

I don't want to go back to weighing more than 60 kilos. It does not feel healthy, and as I grow older (I'm at my early thirties now), taking care of my health by having enough exercise and a good diet is a must.

So after a few months of thinking it through, I finally decided to buy the shoe I was eyeing at Zalora.com.ph.

This was the shoes that I wanted.

I ordered it on May 28 and received the parcel on June 2. But the parcel arrived in General Santos on May 31 and they were contacting me for three days. Unfortunately, my cellphone is not working for almost three days as well. Luckily they were still able to locate our house. So the parcel was actually available within 3 days, not bad eh?

So here is how my parcel looked like when it arrived.


The parcel includes the order form/receipt and an order return slip, in case there are defects or the size does not fit and your want to return the item.

And here is what I got inside the parcel.



And it is just pure love.

Overall, I give Zalora 5 stars for the fast delivery, their packaging and the quality of the item delivered. I am now looking forward to more future purchases with them.

How about you? Have you purchased any item from Zalora? Share with us your experience at the comments section below.




GET 15% OFF your first purchase from Zalora.com.ph with this voucher code: ZBAPZDYO

The past few weeks has been a roller coaster ride for me. I used to be a work at home mom of my two daughters but now things has changed. I have to help my husband with our family business. We recently purchased a large format printer and I was the only one who knows how to layout designs in Photoshop. So technically, I was the temporary layout designer for the business.

To make the long story short, officially I now have a job. I have to report at our shop at 7AM the earliest, then go home by 6PM, the earliest too, depending in the amount of job to be done.

Being a Work at Home Mom for three years, I was still adapting to this kind if schedule. And the hardest part was not having a household help. I wake up as early as 4AM just to update my blogs, then clean the house so that by the time they wake up,  food is served and then make sure that the kids have already taken a bath before I leave. Then from work I still have to make dinner then wash dishes and make the kids wash before going to bed, read them bedtime stories, to make up for the time I was not home.

For two weeks or more, I was physically drained. But somehow I feel accomplished. Because for a long time, I finally get to do what I love. And I get to help with our family business. I really love working on the computer, designing stuffs so that makes me feel accomplished.

As compared to my previous job where I was just compelled to do things according to my job description because that is what I was trained in college to do. A degree where I was just forced to take but does not really inspire me.

I am just so blessed to have a husband who is also so supportive of my dreams and aspirations. He knows that I am artistically inclined and that I breathe art. And he just supports me in finding my passion.


Maybe i just have to get used to this kind of thing. Or maybe I have to get a household help soon.The only thing that I find hard is budgeting my time work and for the kids. Maybe I'll find a way to make it work soon. But for now, it is still adjustment phase.

I'm writing this because I might not be able to update this blog often because I will be updating blogs which are more related to my work. I will post links to those blogs below, when they are ready for launching. :-)






Amidst all the hype in Social Media thanking mothers during Mother's Day, I would like to say that I am more grateful that God gave me the opportunity to become a mom. Motherhood is a gift from God, one of the greatest a woman could ever have.

I am grateful that my kids thank me for the things I do for them. That is only one of the perks of being a mother. But they don't actually need to thank me, that is my job, like I signed a contract when I decided to carry them in my womb for nine months (Genesis 3:16) and rear them to become a good person until they are able to live a life of their own. 

I am still a newbie mom, despite being a mother of two, my eldest being only 5 years old. Yet those five years have been the most fruitful years of my life.

Motherhood taught me a lot of things I have never learned when I still did not have children of my own. Motherhood opened the doors to a lot of emotions I never thought I would feel. Motherhood changed my perspective in life. Motherhood brought out the best in me.


Patience
Guiding my child as she learns how to walk, she faltered several times but I was patient enough to guide her.

Or when she(my youngest) was playing with her poop and spreading it all over the floor, I gathered all the patience I had to clean her and the house and not to get mad.

Or when during our bonding time, she(my eldest) asks about the same thing over and over again, wanting me to give her the answers she wants to hear. Answering the who, when, what, where and whys, takes a lot of patience.

They also taught me to learn to wait for my turn. Since I have two children, they have to take turns when playing with their toys or when using the bathroom. But for me, these instances made me learn how to wait for God's time. I have lots of aspirations in life I can give all my best to achieve it, but I have to wait until God says it's my time.

Courage
When you have children, you can conquer your deepest fears. 

I have to display courage so they can have courage. 

Like being courageous when surrounded with things or people I am afraid of. Or simply by speaking out my mind without being shy or hesitant. These teach my children to have courage.
 

Humility
Saying sorry depicts humility. There are times when I say something wrong or commit a mistake, but admitting my fault to them shows humility that they can emulate. And saying sorry even when I was not at fault shows great humility.

Following the rules even when I don't agree to it. Or by respecting other people's opinion without being rude when contradicting them.

Sharing what I have even when I only have few of my stuff is being humble.

I also learned to give credit to others especially to God for my accomplishments or for whatever possession I have because He gave me everything I have.
 
Gratefulness
Teaching them how to say thank you even for trivial things. I also learned how to be grateful with the little things I have.  

I learned to be grateful for each moment I spend with my family. Thankful for all the blessings I received be it big or small.

Before I thought that there are things that i am entitled to because I earned it. But it's simply not that way, everything comes from the Lord, and because of my sins I am only entitled to death, but with God's grace I am able to cherish the life that I have now. So whatever I have, be it big or small, anything that is bestowed to me by the Lord, I am grateful.

Forgiveness
I learned to forgive big and small faults. Many times my children hurt me, physically, but unintentionally. And those trite moments they hurt me, I learned to forgive.

Many times they also hurt each other, but it is just amazing how children can easily forgive each other. This taught me how to forgive others who also hurt me big time.

Persistence
Have you watched a kid doing the same task over and over again, trying so many times, just so he or she can achieve what they want? Like a child trying to climb over their crib, so they can finally escape their mini cage.

Children are persistent. This taught me how to try and try even if I fail many times.

At first try, we may not get what we want, just like in business or in our work. But we have to be persistent, because great things take time.

Creativeness
Many times people buy my children toys but then they only play with it for a short a while because all they really want to play with are my pots and pans and the sand and plain paper where they draw and paint. They make their own toys too, with recycled boxes and old clothes and socks.

This sparkled the creativity in me too. I was able to make use of the things around the house and made them purposeful, thus saving me money and providing lots of creative 'me' time.

It also allowed me to make ideas into creations.

Thoughtfulness
I used to be selfish and thought only about myself. But having children made me think of them most of the time. I learned to think of their need first instead of mine. I learned to think a step ahead when it comes to what they need.

I learned to be thoughtful not only for my children, but to people who matter the most to me.
Trust
I used to have an issue with trust. Many times people have hurt me and broken my trust. But one incident of my child being bullied by her best friend reminded me again about trusting other people.
I used to mistrust other people because I wanted to protect myself from being hurt again. From trusting again and being betrayed afterwards.

But dealing with people requires trust, whether they fail us or not is part of it. But not all people are the same, there are people who are good and genuine. Not trusting people hurt my relationship with others. Trusting them will create a bridge towards the gap I created between them and me. And hopefully will enable me to relate to them better.

Selflessness
As I said earlier, I used to be selfish. I used to be success driven, materialistic and full of myself. But having children, taught me to become selfless.

My children taught me that life is not all about me, about what I can get, but what I can give.
They taught me to live for others. Because that is what makes life meaningful.

Love
Storge, the kind of love of a parent to a child. It may not be "Agape" or Godly love, because I am only human and I am naturally sinful. But I learned to love my children as a parent loves their child.

I don't believe that loving your children is an instinct, because if it is, then there wouldn't be mothers choosing abortion. But it is a choice, and one of the greatest choices in life that I have made. 

I learned how it is to truly love when I married my husband, but I learned that I can have more love to give when I had my own children.



Yes, mothers are truly a blessing to the world but being a mother is a greater blessing. Only few are chosen to become mothers. And only a few are really able to live up to the Godly role of being a mother.


To all the mothers, mother-to-be, foster mothers, once a mother, whoever you are, let's thank God for the blessing of motherhood. Cheers!



I believe Summer is the second most expensive season apart from the Christmas Season, especially for families. 

Why? 

Because it is the time when a lot of people tend to travel to various travel destinations for leisure, because the children have no school and it is a great opportunity for family bonding. Second, because of the burning heat, people would just like to be submerged in cold water or turn on the air conditioner for the whole day if it permits, thus the whopping electric charges. Third, Summer is also the time where you spend for graduations in the month of April and for tuition fees come the month of June.

This should also be time where we find ways to save money and be financially efficient. We should not allow seasons nor anything to control us financially, especially if we are still not financially free.

So how can we save money, eh? Here are some ways you can employ right at you own home.

1. Make your own iced treats.

Of course, everyone would love to have and ice cold treat during summer. But you do not have to buy them every time. I remember making iced candies and lollies or halo halo at home when I was still a kid.

A glass of halo halo costs at least 65PHP when bought in malls. But if you have lots of folks at home, you can just make this treat at home and your 65PHP will go a long way. Or you can make mais con yelo or saba con yelo instead, so it would be much cheaper. 

It would be much cheaper if you would just make iced candies and lollies. But I would advise you to make them from natural sources, such as fruits like mango, melon or watermelon which will also provide good nutrition, thus hitting two birds with one stone, right?

2. Share a room with others.

If their are a lot of people in your household, sharing a room with others especially when you are using air conditioner would help you save electricity charges. 

One thing we do in our home is also opening all the windows before 10AM, because at 10AM that is the time when heat is starting to catapult. But before 10AM the heat is still tolerable and the cold temperature that is from night time will be preserved.


3. Turn off appliances that are not in use.

This is a general advice actually, but when you have children at home sometime you tend to forget turning off the appliances when you are already chasing after your kids.

Make this a routine and it will help you save money.

4. Make or buy your own swimming pool.

If you can not afford to go to the resort everyday and your children would really love take a water plunge, then make your own pool.

For children below two, you can make use of a large basin. For larger kids you can purchase a larger inflatable pool. But always make sure that your children are supervised.

5. Play outdoors.

You can play outdoors especially before 8AM and after 4 PM. This way your children can have lots of fun in the sun. 

You can also play under trees if you live in a place with lots of trees around you. Trees provides a cool breeze which can also help provide coolness to beat the summer heat.


Note: This advice goes out to those who wants to save money and be financially free. If you already are, then maybe you've come to the wrong place.

Photo Credit: Morguefile.com


Girls love to shop, that is a fact. However, shopping can be addicting and can cause damage to finances if not done properly. If you are left with stress after shopping because of high credit card interests, or because you have to borrow money from others to be able to buy your wants, then shopping is not really giving you a positive effect. But if you know how to shop wisely, then shopping will be enjoyable and fun.

But not many of us really know how to shop wisely. It was never taught in school. Most people only learn how to manage their finances when they are already confronted with financial problems.

And since shopping is something that most people do, it is important to learn how to shop wisely. Buying clothes is a necessity, because clothing is something we use everyday. However we should all learn how to buy clothes the frugal and smart way so that it won't hurt our finances.

I have curated simple tips to help you and me to shop for fashion items in a financially intelligent manner. I have made these as part of my personal finance values to help guide whenever I am about to shop for our clothing needs.

1. Make a list.

Make it a habit to scan your wardrobe and list items that you need. Listing what you need will help you allocate a budget for that specific item and will give you enough time to save for it.

Make sure are only listing what you need and not what you want. Because when you actually consider what you want, for sure the list will be endless.

2. Plan your shopping.

When you have already made a list of what you need, then it is now time to plan how to buy those items on your list. Provide a budget for a specific item. For example, I need to buy a pair of running shoes, I will allocate 3000PHP for that running shoes. So the shoes I will be looking for should fit on my budget which is only 3000PHP. When I have already saved up 3000PHP in cash, then that is the time that I am allowed to buy the item.

Also plan your shopping according to scheduled mall or store sales. I like to check sales on malls Facebook page. This way, you can schedule your shopping on the day where there is a mall-wide sale.

3. Shop alone.

If you can shop alone, do it. As much as possible avoid shopping with shopping crazy friends because there is a tendency that they will convince you to buy something that is not your list or something that you do not really need.

Shopping alone will also give you focus. Bringing children especially toddlers along when shopping will divert your attention to their needs and will sometimes cause you to make impulsive shopping decisions.

4. Compare prices between shops.

Before buying an item make sure that you have already checked all the shops offering the same product and be sure to only buy the best deal. Also consider online shops when scouring for best deals.

5. Only buy discounted items.

Why buy clothes at full price when you can actually buy it half the price? Most shopping malls and stores always have their mall sales where items are sold at half the price or even up to 70% off, take advantage of those sales.


6. Shop for items that are classic.

It is very tempting to shop for clothes that are in the fad. Ask yourself if you can still wear that style even when it is no longer in the fad. If not, you should just stick to the basics and shop for classic items which you can wear whatever the fad is.

Do not be a fashion victim. Instead create your own style and stick to that style of your when buying for fashion items.

7. Buy quality items.

Shop for items that can survive the wear and tear longer. It is sometimes enticing to buy the cheapest piece only to find out that it can be worn out with just one use. Always check the quality of the products that you are buying.

Look for quality products especially when buying shoes, because you wear shoes more often and carry the weight of your body so they are much easily worn out. As much as possible go for brands that are known for their quality. Comfort and quality are your first priority when looking for shoes.



8. Pay in cash.

You read it right. Pay in cash. Don't use credit cards if you can not pay it in full because it will only incur interests and will lure you into the debt trap.

Save money for the things you like to buy instead of using your credit cards. If you think you do not have enough knowledge about credit cards, do not use them. But if you can pay your credit cards in full, all the time, then maybe you can use it. Or better yet, use a debit card instead.