2016 Week 52 Recap: Merry Christmas!

December 19-25, 2016

Week 52…because next week is already 2017…say that again?! It really is already 2017 next Sunday. Ok.



I only had to report for work on Tuesday and Friday, and was allowed to work from home. Thanks, boss. The rest of the days, I was on offset.

Monday, December 19

Last Monday, I went to Baclaran to buy some stuff. I went there straight, after attending the dawn mass. There were already a lot of people but some shops are still closed while most open shops were still unloading their items for sale. I went to Jollibee then for breakfast first. But when I was there, I saw many people already with big plastic bags filled with goods. How did they do that? Maybe, they already know where to get their stuff. As for me, I still need to canvas.

There was one new mall that sells everything wholesale. Good for reselling. It’s mostly infants’ and children’s clothes. There were also some stalls in the other malls selling factory overruns.

I was able to buy some of the items I was looking for. Not much but a good start.

From Baclaran, I went to Landmark Makati to buy some small containers as I don’t want to bring all the big bottles of my kikay kit all the way to Baguio but I don’t want to leave them either hehehe.

Thursday, December 22

On Thursday AM, I am already on my way to Baguio. I went straight to my brother’s place to drop off the stuff I bought in Baclaran.

I went to SM Baguio after for a much needed pedicure (was not able to do this in Manila anymore hehehe). I went to Baguio Cathedral after for the evening mass.

I went to Tea House in Session for dinner. No, not Vizco’s this time. It was because my friend recommended their ube delight. And true enough, it was yummy and ok for repeat orders.

Friday, December 23

Started work in the morning and went out in the afternoon. My niece joined me this time. First stop was the bank. Good thing they still have regular office hours last Friday. From the bank, we went straight to Baguio Cathedral for the evening mass, and also the last mass for the simbang gabi.

We first went to Victory to reserve our tickets. There was a line. And my niece was hungry hehehehe. She had to wait for a while, and then walk back to SM for dinner. When asked what she liked, she said burger and fries and drinks and chicken.

We were supposed to go home after dinner but the taxi line was long so we roamed around for a while. After an hour, when we checked the line again, it was still long. This time, she asked me that we go back to the department store. Something fishy. She wants something hahaha! I asked her straight what she needed. Her straight answer? Shoes. Lagot. Hahaha! I brought her to the less expensive ones. She wants some doll shoes but we can’t find one in her size and with a good design. But then I saw a pair of rubber shoes and when I showed it to her, she liked it. Very good.

Cabs were already scarce by the time we went in line so we had to wait a long time. At one point, my niece even suggested that we walk home. Ay. We are 9 KMs away from the city. Cannot be, and it was already close to midnight. We were able to get a ride and reached home around 12:30 AM already. My niece can’t still believe that it will be morning soon when she asked the time hehehe. I think it was her first time to stay out that late hehehehehe. BI tita here  😛  😛  😛 .

Saturday, December 24

I stayed home this day. I wanted to attend the evening mass but transportation is a challenge in our place.

I taught my nieces about online banking.

I also bought a selfie stick which I practiced using for a while and then it went to my niece’s possession for the rest of the day.

At 5 PM, I suddenly decided to host dinner for us siblings. Nothing fancy. Just chicken adobo and salad. And it’s because on the 25th, we all have different plans hehehe.

Sunday, December 25

I was able to attend the last mass in the morning in our parish. The BF was invited to a Christmas lunch by one of the parishioners, and he tagged me along. This parishioner happens to be my uncle’s former colleague. They are now both retired. Small world.

It’s a regular working day for the BF (which I don’t get really since it’s Christmas…) so we stayed in his office and I waited for him until he was done, only to part ways again hehehehe.

Change in plans

We are supposed to be on our way to Manila now. However, our mother’s uncle passed away last December 23 and us kids need to take over our mother’s clan responsibilities so we cancelled our Manila trip we are going to Bugias, Benguet instead tomorrow. I’m excited for this detour but I’m dreading the very cold weather. It’s even colder there than here in Baguio.

We will resume our Manila trip on the 27th. We’ll play it by ear as to what time will that be. It depends on what time we’ll be arriving in Baguio from Buguias. If it’s too late, my cousin will just bring the kids to the terminal and we’ll go straight to Manila. Wala nang uwi-uwi  for the adults who are coming with us hehe.

Thank you, dear Lord for your unending blessings even if I am undeserving. I am forever grateful.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Divine Mercy Church Belen 2016

Christmas 2016. Pardon the other hand. Nasa harap namin ang pulutan hehehe.

Christmas 2016. Pardon the other hand. Nasa harap namin ang pulutan hehehe.

2016 Week 49 Recap: Hello December!

November 28-December 4, 2016

December na talaga! Talagang-talaga! Sobrang bilis naman ng panahon.

I was on offset on November 28-29 so I was still in Baguio those days.

On Monday, after my nieces’ classes, they came to my home so I took that opportunity for us to discuss the 3 basic laws of money from the book The Retelling of the Richest Man in Babylon by Rose Fres-Fausto (1. Pay yourself first.; 2. Get only into business you understand. Seek advice only from competent people.; 3. Make your gold work for you. Make an army of golden slaves before you buy luxury.). I tried to explain it to them in the simplest way I can. I’m not sure if they were able to grasp it all but hopefully, even just a few things. We’ll have another session maybe during December break to review.

My niece also showed me her certificates. Kaya pala nya ako pinapatawag ng Friday evening last week. Gusto raw nyang ibalita about this. Aba, bibo! Hehehe. Proud tita here but di ko masyadong pinapakita sa kanya kasi baka maging feeling entitled hahaha.


1st Quarter


2nd Quarter

I traveled back to Manila on Tuesday night, after spending a few hours with the BF.

Wednesday was a holiday so still no work, yey! I needed to buy some stuff so I forced myself to go to the mall early evening. The things I needed were not in Megamall though so I went to Trinoma to complete my errand hehe. Yehey to extended mall hours! Hehehe.


Saturday was for domestic chores.

My friend and I met on Sunday to have lunch at Kettle! Finally, we were able to have seats this time! E kasi naman 11AM pa lang nandon na kami hehehe. The food was great. We loved the chicken and the potato strips and especially the dip. However, it would have been best if we ordered some soup to to balance out all the fried food we had hehe.

Sarap! Di kami gutom

Sarap! Di kami gutom :p

We went to Greenhills after because according to my friend, she saw a dupe of the Missha hand cream. Years ago, she gifted me with a Missha hand cream and I loved it that I have been looking for it all over the place to no avail. Then she said she saw a Korean shop in Greenhills that sells hand creams with almost similar formulation of the Missha hand cream. Well, it is, but the Missha is still better hehe.

Heard mass in Greenhills too, then headed home after to rest some more.

Have a great week ahead. Or a great weekend bilang Friday na uli bukas! Hahaha!

2016 Week 48 Recap: Baguio Errands and a Celebration

November 21 – 27, 2016


I went home to Baguio for some errands and a family affair. I arrived Saturday noon and diretso na sa errands. Ang ginaw-ginaw na dito! Nanunuot sa buto. Tapos maulan pa nung Saturday!

Remember my niece who likes SM? We made the first step last Saturday. I opened a regular savings account for her and for her sister. While I have the option to open a Junior saver’s account for the kid, I opted for a regular savings account kasi pag narealize nyang mas maliit yung amount sa kanya, maraming tanong uli yun hahaha. So pareho na lang agad-agad. I diverted some of my investment funds just so we could open their accounts. I told them that I just lent them what they used so that they could start saving in the bank directly.

Di na pala nagbibigay ng ID picture. Sila na kukuha ng picture via their web cam.

They will claim their ATMs next Saturday. Sana matandaan nila lahat ng binilin ko sa kanila about PIN and keeping their ATMs in a safe place.

I also told them that I will give 50% of whatever they save out of their allowance from today until December 31. They must have deposit slips as proof. I’ll add more savings opportunities for them next year. Let’s see how this deal will work first.


I told her to write her complete name in cursive. Kaso nawalan ng space ang family name. So yan na ang first official signature nya hahaha! I told her we’ll just update when she’s older.

After the bank, we went to UNeed Lumber’s showroom to look for what else? Toilet bowls and seats hahaha! Na-excite ako nung may nakita akong Toto na brand. Bet na bet ko kasi yung mga CR fixtures sa Japan. So syempre nagtanong ako if meron sila nung parang ganon, or kung wala man, pwede bang isabay nila sa ibang orders nila kahit maghihintay ako. Naloka ako sa quote na binigay nila. 200K-300K daw yung ganong model! Susko. Parang di ako makapaniwala hahaha. Makapaghanap nga ng iba pa.


Sabog ako dahil walang pahinga pero bakit parang mas sabog yung bata?! Dahil ata sa bagong bangs na parang ayaw pa rin nya until now hahaha!

On Sunday, we attended mass and after that, went to my brother’s family’s place to celebrate my nephew’s 3rd birthday. His actual birthday is November 28. He was the first in the family to arrive after we lost our mother in 2013. Di na nya naabutan ang lola nya, pero ang lola nya dati, excited na excited ibalita sa akin na buntis noon yung hipag ko kahit sinabihan syang secret muna daw. Di nya nakayang isikreto sa tuwa hahaha! Medyo more than a year din kasi silang nagtry eh bago mabuntis hipag ko.

It’s a simple salo-salo but still a blast spending even just a few hours with family and friends.

Happy birthday, Gysher!

Happy birthday, Gysher!

I also advised my eldest sister to become an SSS member. Oo naman daw. Hopefully she gets approved kahit sa minimum amount lang. Para naman may pension sya pag 60 na sya.

Credit Card

I am back to 2 credit cards (from 3). Standard Chartered bank transferred some of its services (or maybe all PH services) to East West bank starting November 26, 2016. Since I recently got approved with a Citi Rewards card, I did not renew with East West bank anymore. No more confusing decisions as to which card to use. More peace of mind.

Have a great week ahead.

P.S. Dear sahod, wer na u? Hahaha!

P.P.S. I need a car in Baguio. Ang tagal ng mga biyahe sa amin susko! At ang dami mo pang kasiksikan sa jeep.

Mang Inasal at Diet

October 31, 2016

Magkikita kami ng tita ko dahil bibisitahin namin yung kamag-anak naming maysakit. Sinama ko mga pamangkin ko at isang anak ng pinsan ko. Sya ang representative ng pinsan ko since hindi sya makakasama.

Sabi ko, paradahan na lang magkikita para diretso na sa bahay ng kamag-anak namin. Aba naglambing. Hindi daw. Magpakain daw muna ako. Sa Mang Inasal daw para may unli-rice. E di syempre dahil feeling generous ako that day, sige na nga  😛 . Pero sa loob-loob ko, compute compute sabay, naku Mylene, isang ulam per meal na lang pwede mong bilhin in the next 4 weeks! Hahaha!

Meet up sa Mang Inasal sa isang mall. Puno. Daming tao.

Me: Tita, puno. Ayaw tayong pakainin dito. Diretso na lang tayo since for sure magkakape naman tayo kina tita J. Pwede na yun!

Tita: Grabe ka! Gutom na gutom na ako. At bumiyahe pa ako.

Taga-Atok sya, mga ilang bundok din yun away from Baguio.

Me: Puno eh. Ni-check na nila kanina, walang bakanteng upuan kahit sa taas.

Tita: Punta tayo sa isang Mang Inasal. Mas maluwag don. Sigurado may mauupuan tayo.

Me: Ay wow! Kabisado lahat ng branches! Ikaw na! Hahaha!

So, lipat sa isang branch. Nag-order. Unli-rice for everyone except for the kid.

After a few minutes, everyone starts ordering for second serving of rice. Ay, gutom nga sila hehehe.

Tita: Rice, please.

Lumapit si server sa table namin, binigyan lahat ng nanghingi.

Server: Kayo po, ma’am?

Pinag-iisipan ko pa kasi if oorder pa ako, kasi di ba sayang naman yung binayaran kong unli-rice…so…

Me: Yes, please.

Niece: Tita, DIET! (medyo pabulong naman pero rinig ng lahat!)

Lahat sila: Tawanan!

Mga walanghiya, pagkatapos kong bayaran ang kinakain nila pati na ang unli-rice nila!?!!! Hmp! Che! Hahaha!

Me (dami agad naglaro sa isip ko hahaha!):

Lingon sa kanan – uy, fire exit, labas na kaya ako dito?!

Lingon sa kaliwa – ay don nga pala yung entrance. walk out na kaya ako?!

Tingin kay pamangkin na tatawa-tawa – pipingutin ko na ba ito? Isasakay ko na ba ‘to sa taxi pauwi?

Tingin kay server na naghihntay kung gusto ko pa – miss, rice please. di pa ako nagbe-breakfast eh.

Tapos tingin kay pamangkin sabay ngisi  :mrgreen: .

Ayos, may palusot ako!  😀  😀  😆  😆  😆

Pero totoo, di pa ako nag-aagahan non eh around 2 PM na rin nung kumakain kami.

Kalokang bata!!!

Ang ending? Medyo nadamihan ni server yung nilagay sa plate ko so sabi ko sa pamangkin ko na kumuha sya ng konti para naman mabawasan pa rin yung kakainin ko. Sige daw. Eh di binigay ko sa kanya kalahati! Aba, naubos. Ayun, asar talo rin sa akin! Hahaha!  😛  😆  😆  😆

Pero seriously, lagi ko silang nireremind to watch out din. Huwag gayahin si tita na nagpabaya. So ayun, binabalik lang sa akin actually ang mga bilin ko sa kanila hehehe.

At sya nga pala, sya rin pala yung same pamangkin na napagdiskitahan ang bilbil ko dati.  😳

Personal Finance: Encouraging Kids To Save and Invest

Note: broken lines indicate that conversations happened at different times but still on the same topic. I can’t just remember the exact dates as it has been a recurring topic several times a day for the days I was in Baguio.

I got my 7 year old niece (turned 7 last Nov. 4) interested in investing. This was unexpected but it got me excited!

It all started with this conversation last October 31:

Me: I’ll treat you somewhere as a belated (for the young ladies who turned 13 last September) and advance (for the kid) birthday gift. Where would you like to go?

Niece: SM!

Me: Oh, so you like SM?

Niece: Yes!

Me: Did you know that you can become a part owner of SM if you lend them some money? (I was thinking along the lines of buying a stock of SM).

Niece: Really, tita?

Me: Yes. If you have at least Php 8,000.00, we can buy SM shares. Would you like that?

Niece: Yes!

Me: So, start saving now and let me know when you already have it.

Niece: Ok.


Niece: So, tita if I have Php 8k, I can become SM’s part owner?

Me: Yes.

Niece: Can I use play money?

Me: Hahaha! But no, you can’t. It has to be real money. So, save save save!

Niece: Ok.

Me: If you want, you can invest in its condominiums. That will just be around Php 4,000.00 (I was thinking of SMPH). It’s cheaper than SM.

Niece. Ahhh, ok. So if condominiums, that’s Php 4K? And if malls, that’s Php 8K?

Me: Yes.


I saw an article that Henry Sy has joined the team that will be building the airport at Sangley Point.

Me: Look! SM will be part of the group that will build an airport. So if you buy some SM shares, maybe your money will also be used for that airport.

Niece: Wow, airport! So if I have Php 8K, it will be an airport, and if I have Php 4K, it will be on condominiums?

Me: Yes. (I just used airports, malls and condominiums to make it simpler for the child) So, which one do you like?

Niece: Airport!

Me: Ok, then start saving for Php 8K.


My niece brought out her piggy bank, a recycled J&J lotion container that was one-third full, and showed it to me.

Niece: Tita, here’s my savings.

Me: It’s not yet enough but it’s a start. Make sure you try to save more so that you can become an owner faster.

Niece: Ok, tita. What happens to my money when I give it to SM? (smart question!)

Me: Your money will also grow when SM gains more profit. But there will be days when your money will also lose its value. But as long as you keep it with them until you grow up and become an adult, your money should have grown by then. So, once you lend it to them, it is best that it stays with them for the longest period possible. Do not withdraw right away.

Niece: Ah, ok.

Me: So, you want an airport?

Niece: Yes! Php 8K.


Niece: Tita, if Php 8K, airport and if Php 4K, condominiums?

Me: Yes. You like airport, right?

Niece: Yes, so Php 8K.


Before I left for Manila, I gave my nieces Php 10.00 (kuripot tita here 😛 ) each for their school allowance.

Me: O, don’t forget to save some for your airport ha.

Niece: Yes, tita. Php 8K.

End of conversation. But I’m sure this will resurface when I go home because….

Ha! I’ll include you in my project, kiddo! Let’s work on that investment of yours.

I already asked my sister (their mother) to check out BDO’s requirements in opening an account for my nieces and prepare these so that we’ll open their accounts on November 27. This way, all investments will be under my nieces’ names! I don’t want to mix it with mine. And I think they would be more inspired if they see their own names in their investments. And I’m thinking of UITFs now instead of direct stock investing since I’m not well-versed on stocks myself. Yun lang, di ko pa nasabi sa niece ko na Php10K na pala ang kailangan nya hehehehe. I’ll let her know and for sure she’ll still be excited if I show her the other companies where her money can be potentially invested in if she gets UITFs. Jollibee is one as of BDO’s September 2016 report but I am not really sure if maka-Jollibee yung bata hahaha!

I checked BDO’s savings options and there’s one for Junior savers (7-12 years old) where initial deposit is just Php 100.00. Sakto, she just turned 7 last November 4 hehehe.

It’s more expensive for the teenager niece because she has to now own a regular savings account and an ATM account requires Php 2K. Pero, sige na, pauutangin kita  😛  😀 . Sana may 13th month na kami by then.

I am also planning to require them to do little chores or reward them for maybe perfect scores in school? I don’t know anything about rewards system for kids but it will be an interesting research. I also plan to give the same amount every time they make a deposit. For example if they are depositing Php 20, I’ll give them Php 20 to add to their savings. With online banking, this can easily be done! Di naman siguro ako mamumulubi nito since maliit lang naman baon nila! Hahaha. But I also don’t want to underestimate them. Or I’ll just declare na I’ll give them half of what they save para safer for my wallet 😛 . If they are in school for 22 days and their daily allowance is Php 5, then that is Php 110/month IF they decide to save everything.

Lastly, I need to teach them that life isn’t just about having money. It’s more than that. Baka naman kasi maging obsessed sila at sa pera lang lagi naka-focus.

On another note, it was their mother that I wanted to teach about money management years ago. I even asked her to start listing down their expenses as a start. But that did not work out and she seemed not interested. So, kung ayaw ng magulang at mukhang interested ang anak, I’ll just focus on her kid! Hehehe. Tapos maiinggit na lang syang may investment ang mga anak nya, tapos sya wala hahaha.


Hi! I’m Joyce. Bungi man ako ngayon at mukhang loka-loka dito, magiging investor din ako! Hehehe! I’ll tell ate (who is at my back in this picture) to do the same – I mean, to invest too, not to be bungi and loka-loka hahaha!

Bullying in School

I am sad for my niece. She is being bullied. When I first learned about it last week, I wanted to teleport to Baguio immediately and spank those kids and their parents. Yes, both kids and parents…because I believe that most of what your child becomes is a product of your parenting. How was she bullied? Her classmates would ask things and money from her, and worst, they let her carry their things! Anak ng teteng talaga! Ni hindi ko nga pinagbubuhat yang batang yan ng mabigat kung kami ang magkasama eh. Ka-highblood. I also don’t know what to advise since I am not a parent.

But these were what I told my sister (sya yung kausap ko nung una) then my niece. Translated na kasi Ilocano yung iba.

Sis: Bullying kaya yung hingi ng gamit at pera nya at pinapabuhat ang mga gamit nila sa kanya?
Me (to sis): OO! And tell her to tell them na hindi nya responsibility na bigyan sila ng pera at buhatin ang gamit nila. Matuto sya to asy no kahit pa mawalan sya ng friends. Tell her na hindi worth it makipagkaibigan sa mga ganong tao. Whoever does that to her, wag na nya pansinin unless school work ang usapan.

Me (to sis): At kausapin mo teacher nila.

Me (to sis): The point is wag syang pumayag at wag iiyak sa harap nila. Otherwise, mas lalo syang ibubully. Kung i-threaten sya, sumbong sa teacher agad. Basta say no and don’t talk to them unless about school work.

Me (to sis): Kung ipilit nilang magpabuhat ng gamit, e di iwan nya mga gamit nila duh

Niece (binigay ata ng nanay nya sa kanya ang cellphone at biglang sya ang nagreply): Pero tita magagalit naman sila sa akin.

Me (to niece): Hayaan mo kahit magalit sila. Sabihin mo di mo responsibility lahat ng pinapagawa nila. Kung sasaktan ka nila, sumbong mo sa teacher. Taga saaan ba mga yan at pinapabuhat mga gamit nila sa ‘yo?

Me (to niece): Bast don’t ever ever touch their things and be responsible with your own things. Siguraduhin mong kumpleto ka lagi sa gamit at just bring enough (things) for the day at konting extra para pag may humingi, tell them na sakto lang dala mo

Me (to niece): Velmarie, those are not the type of people na you should consider as friends. Kung magagalit sila sa yo, so what. Hindi ganyan ang true friends. True friends respect each other and don’t hurt you. Kung wala kang magiging friends dyan sa school, ok lang. You will meet other people pa who will treat you better than them.

Me: Pero hindi sila titigil sa pagbully sa yo if pumapayag ka sa gusto nila. If you say no, look at them straight in the eye, with a serious face and firm tone. Yung hindi nanginginig na boses.

Niece: Tita, nanghihiram sila ng kahit anong gamit.

Me: Wag mong pahiramin. Responsibilidad nilang magdala ng things nila. Tell them hindi ka magpapahiram dahil gagamitin mo.

Me: Just stop lending your things anak. Again hindi mo obligasyon or responsibility na magdala ng extra for them. Magulang nila ang may responsibilidad to provide for them. Tandaan mo yan lagi.

Niece: Tita pero nagagalit ako pag minsan. Pero nagagalit sila.

Me: Pag nagagalit din sila, titigan mo lang sila until sila ang unang mag-iwas ng tingin. Wag yung masamang titig. Basta titig lang tapos blank face lang, yung tipong di ka affected sa galit nila at may konting taas ng kilay.

Me: Matagal ka na bang binubully?

Niece: Nung elementary pa kami. Thank you tita. Matutulog na ako.

Me: O pray na sana itigil na nila yun and pray for strength para kayanin mong wag silang pagbigyan. Bakit ngayon mo lang sinabi? Big girl ka na. As you grow older, mas marami pa yan. Kailangan matuto kang lumaban para di ka aapihin. Lumaban in a way na being firm to say no at wag matakot if magalit sila sa yo. Dapat palaban ka sa mga taong nang-aapi sa yo. Not through suntukan but with (the right) words, your facial expression and the way you look at them.

At nanay na uli nya nagreply. Nakatulog na ata ang bata.

Syempre ibang usapan na ang sermon ko sa nanay nya.

But seriously, I fear for her and the kids who bully her. She’s turning 13 in September. And maybe those classmates too. What will become of them if they continue to behave badly? And of course, it’s a big deal for my niece to have friends. Syempre as an adult, it’s easy for me to say that it’s ok if you don’t have a lot of friends. But at that stage, friends are important to my niece too.

At hindi ko alam kung tama ang mga pinagsasabi ko sa kanya. All I know is that we should know how to stand up for ourselves and fight our own battles, even as kids. Hindi ko alam if nagegets ba nya yun. She seems meek kasi. But she really has to learn how to be tough. Mahirap yung ganyan. Madadala nya kasi yung pain hanggang pagtanda if hindi naagapan. I should know, based from personal experience.

I’ll have a very long talk with her (and her sister) when I go home.

Hay kairita pa rin those bully kids.

Anything else that kids and/or parents can do so that they won’t be bullied?

Dear Mama and Daddy #2

Dear Mama and Daddy,

Bonfire2016I miss you both more these days. I don’t know why. Maybe because I have a lot of questions about some major decisions that I’ve been contemplating on lately. Maybe, I need your guidance about life. You always did that when you were still here. If I remember correctly, I consulted you with all the major decisions I made before. Yeah, maybe that’s why I miss you more lately as compared to other days. It’s tough being an adult. I don’t know how you managed it during your time, with all the challenges in raising 6 kids. But don’t worry. This is just me rambling incoherently amidst all the uncertainties and “noise” going through in my thought bubble right now. I know that eventually, I’ll get to clearly see God’s plans that will unfold before me in, His perfect time. I’ve proven this so many times in the past.

Be Careful What You Joke With Kids

joycekulitIn December 2014 during a phone conversation, I kidded my then 5 year old niece to come with me to Tagaytay and we’ll spend Christmas at my brother’s place. Few hours after that call, my sister informed me that my niece was crying and she was waiting for me to fetch her so that we could go to Tagaytay. Patay! To appease her, I promised her that I’ll just bring her to Tagaytay in December 2015 so that at least she’ll be a year older by then. At hindi na sya ganon kahirap bantayan hehehe. Also, I need to save up first and she also needs to do the same. She agreed and she never forgot.

Funny story related to that. After our father’s burial in January 2015, we opened the donation box to account all gifts. The money was spread on the floor. Suddenly, my niece said, “Mommy, adu nga kwarta. Mangala ka pang-Tagaytay tayo.” (Mommy, there’s a lot of money. Get some for our Tagaytay trip). Hehehe. Matandain ang bata. Kahit sumisenti kami sa pagkawala ng tatay namin, napatawa kaming lahat sa hirit nya.

And all throughout 2015, she would often ask me once in a while about our Tagaytay trip. I always assured her that yes, it was still a plan but she should do well in school before I make it final.

Hence, it was keeping up with a promise for this little girl in 2015. While I learned my lesson the expensive way, I’m glad I was able to keep up with that promise. At least, now I know. I’ll be careful with my jokes especially with that niece next time. And no regrets as I had a blast. We all had a blast!

Family Saga: Decision Concerning my Niece

At the time I shared this, I really didn’t know what to do next. The next day, I went ahead and paid for her balance even though I wasn’t sure yet whether I would like to continue to support her or not anymore. But I told her that she will need to pay me back because it was not part of what we agreed upon prior her school. And I did not talk to her after. And I was still disappointed with her behavior after I have paid for her tuition.

When I went home for All Saints Day, we did not talk. I deliberately avoided talking to her because I still don’t know what to do with her.

After much thinking though, I decided to give her one more chance, her last chance that is, if her grades were ok. I texted her to ask what her plans are. She said she would still like to continue her studies if there’s a chance. I told her to email me her grades and the total amount for her second semester then I’ll decide. She did, and fortunately for her (and a little relief for me), she had good grades. Her lowest was 87. And so I told her to go ahead and enroll. This time, I’ll just be the one to deposit her tuition and maybe I’d have to do that every month. But I’d rather go that route than be stressed again later on should she decide to spend it elsewhere. Also, lesser temptation for her. And while I’m still mad at what she did, I will again take this risk with the hope that she has learned her lesson and all I’m asking from her is to take this chance while I still can help her so that she’ll be able to stand on her own soon and provide for her and her daughter.

As for her parents, I’m not sure if they knew about it. Haven’t asked them because I knew I would still be emotional and I don’t want to do that with the whole family present. Plus, I don’t want to confront them, especially my sister because I know I can be harsh to her and for sure, what I’ll get will just be silence. Dagdag frustration.

Family Saga: I Don’t Know What To Do With My Niece

I am very disappointed with my niece. I am still in fact fuming mad until now, 6 hours after her very disappointing text. She became a single mom at a very young age. After giving birth last year, I asked her what her plans were. She said she wanted to continue her studies. Suffice to say, her parents cannot support her, especially now that there’s an additional member of their family. I decided to support her so that she can still have the chance to have a better life despite what happened to her. Also, in my mind, she will be going back to the same school, where tuition is cheaper. However, she chose a different school, which is more expensive. How expensive? My anticipated tuition per semester in the state university was what I needed to set aside per MONTH for her new school. But thinking that maybe it was the best option for her, and since I already gave my word and commitment to support her, I gave her the go signal to transfer school. I crunched my numbers, cut down on my expenses, and sacrificed some luxuries and target savings, just so I can accommodate her school expenses. I was even hesitant to jump into a relationship, something that I have prayed for fervently in recent months, just because heck, I don’t have any extra for dates! (While it is nice to have someone to spend for you, I have been independent for the longest time that it makes me uncomfortable when someone spends for me.)

Sometime last week or the other week, her sister, who is now an OFW, told me that this niece sent her a private message in FB asking for financial support. I was surprised but did not give much thought. I just thought maybe she was shy to continue asking for support from me. To intervene, I texted her to ask when her payment is due. I’ve been paying monthly since she started school in June. She said she was not sure. Just to test that we are aligned with what she paid so far, I asked her to confirm if her payment for October is the last for this sem. She did not reply.

She dropped the bomb last night. She texted, asking me to deposit a certain amount in a certain bank and email her the scanned copy of the deposit slip so that she can take her exams later today. And she said she spent the money I sent her from July to September. And that she was sorry. WTF. My blood boiled that instant. I wanted to cry just to let it all out, but I was still in the office, in another site, away from the comfort of my own workstation. I had to struggle to think objectively. I asked her calmly what happened. She said she spent it for projects and food, and the rest she did not know where it went. WTF. I lost my cool and texted my disappointment with her, and more strong words that I know would hurt her. And I don’t care. I don’t deserve this. I am not asking anything from her in return. Our deal was that, I pay for her tuition, her parents should pay for the rest of her expenses. Should she complete her course, all that I paid for her will be her graduation gift. Otherwise, she has to pay whatever amount I shelled out up to the time she quit school.

I still don’t know what to do now. I want to go home so that I can slap her and confront her and her parents. I cannot sleep because I am really hurt. I don’t know whether I’ll still take the risk to help her or not. And I can’t believe she even gave me a tight deadline in paying for her tuition. WTF again. Unfortunately, our province has been hit by Typhoon Lando and I cannot contact my aunt or my brother. Electricity is still not restored in many areas, moreso, in the far flung place where my aunt is. Arrrgggg!

Note: I did not oblige my other niece, who is now an OFW, to help me support her sister because I want her to start early with her savings. Besides, she already has her own family, and I helped her put together her budget before leaving, and encouraged her to focus on her own family and set expectations with her parents that she won’t be giving them monthly support. However, part of her budget is a monthly savings for her parents for major events where she will be forced to shell out money for them.

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