Life Lately : Summer Story Vol. 4

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If I were to describe the past three months in three words it would be productive, silent, and calm. Being away from school is so helpful for my well-being, most specially my mental health. Ironic for a Psych major, I know. I finally had the peace of mind I lost for a year. Everything has taken a back seat when I was in school; I stopped blogging, my baking business went on a hiatus, my mental health was declining, and the exhaustion has taken its toll on my overall health. Summer has always been good to me and this year’s break was absolutely worthwhile. I’ve learned a lot of things and I’m slowly stepping into the “adulting phase” and I can feel how tiring it is. Regardless of that, it was fun while it lasted. Here’s what I’ve been to lately.


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Closing party with PSYCH 1A. 
  • Surviving my Freshman Year – Looking back at my past writings, I’ve seen how long I’ve agonized about the getting into college. Albeit the past two years were all about preparations, the moment it began, I knew I wasn’t fully ready for it yet. My first year was a tough ride, you were all aware of that. But I’m thankful that I made it and I’m looking forward to the next. By the grace of God, I’m still a College Scholar (AUF’s term for Dean’s Lister) last semester and I hope I can maintain this until I graduate. Konting push lang, University Scholar na! #lawofattraction. Three more years to go and off we go.
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My baking business has made a comeback! Aside from the usual brownies, I added these two cakes in my array of products. The Classic Devil’s food chocolate cake and my rendition of Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Birthday Cake. 
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This six layer (including the ganache layer) cake takes a whole day to finish because of the intricate piping. 
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My very first attempt in doing the Birthday Cake. It took me only 4 hours to bake everything on its five-page recipe. Partida brownout pa nung ginawa ko ‘yan! It was Taylor Swift’s favorite cake as she mentioned on Vogue 73 Questions. It’s a vanilla cake with hints of cream cheese and salt, the cake crumbs also add a different texture.
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They were in demand during Mothers’ Day to the point that I made all these in one day. Just imagine how exhausting that was. 
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Test kitchen: Blueberry Pound Cake. This was supposed to look like a naked cake but I messed up the proportions of the frosting that’s why it got covered on the sides. 
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Another batch of assorted flavored chocolate chip cookies. I accepted orders for these but never accepted again because one, they’re very difficult to handle. Two, I have no boxes that fit these perfectly. And three, they are very labor intensive. Kakainin ko na lang sila, bahala na kayong mag-crave. Haha! 
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With great piping comes great stiff neck, arm strain, and back pain. To tell you the truth, hanggang 9 ng gabi ako nagpa-pipe ng cake. Bale mula 7 am to 9 pm talaga shift ko nung mga araw na ‘yon, imagine-in niyo na lang gaano ako kapagod. Graveyard shift na po ang Old Town. Hahaha! 
  • Baking Business – It feels so good to be productive during this time of the year, as compared to how my past summers have been. At present, I am a full time baker and I make cakes and brownies for a living. I also try and test several recipes. Sa totoo lang, sawang-sawa na nga ako sa mga bine-bake ko eh. Mini-meryenda na lang ng mga kasama namin sa bahay yung mga baked goods ko at nagsawa na rin sila. Minsan nga pinamimigay na lang namin kasi nasa-stock na lang sa ref. I’m not even kidding! Ok friends, you know what to do. You’re all welcome to Old Town anytime. Haha! Aside from that, I’m also a part time assistant, courier, shopper, caregiver, lahat na. Haha! This is the reason why nakakulong lang ako sa bahay. Sad truth but at least I’m earning. Am I really getting paid? IDK. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . However, there’s also this guilt of privilege, knowing that I won’t be able to do this if it weren’t for our business, if it weren’t for our means, and if it weren’t for the experiences and knowledge I have. I can’t just tell someone else to “just work hard” or “do it now” or “just start a business now!” knowing that I have my parents as my backbone. I know the least thing I could do is to recognize it, and use it for the common good. (‘kala niyo ha!)

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Disclaimer: Hindi po ka-DDS ang kapatid ko, sadyang pinagti-tripan niya lang po yung fist bump ni Duterte at Bong Go. Hahaha!
  • Elections – The past senatorial and local elections in the country made me realize how fucked up the Philippines is and how change is already close to impossible. I’m disgusted by the results most especially with regards to the national scale. Why do the masses choose to vote murderers, thieves, plunderers and entertainers over the qualified, dedicated, and unsung ones? I know this may sound very elitist and classist but it would be better for the country if taxpayers are the only ones who are allowed to vote. But on the other hand, I can’t blame the poor for not knowing better because they are denied of access to proper education. It’s also our part to  educate the masses about their voting rights. Ugh, ang hirap. ‘Yung mga mahihirap kumakapit sa patalim (aka vote buying) dahil nangangailangan sila; at ‘yung mga trapo naman, they feed off of their indolence. Kasalanan ng sistemang ito kung bakit patuloy na humihirap ang mahihirap, at kung bakit lalong yumayaman ang mga mayayaman. The loss of integrity in the recent elections saddens and disappoints me. Harap harapang pandaraya at panloloko ang ating nasaksihan at tila wala man lang pakialam ang ating gobyerno. It will take a period of time for the Philippines to actually change. A change that is not brought by a  certain Duterte or Marcos.

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  • New Skin Care discoveries – I recently discovered that my skin loves it when I don’t use a facial cleanser in the morning. I simply splash water all over my face and that’s it, then I proceed with applying Pond’s White Beauty toner all over my face and a little bit of moisturizer later on. I also noticed that I stopped breaking out the moment I limited my use of Aztec Clay to just twice a month. It just feels so great that I don’t break out anymore! Good bye puberty na ba talaga? Haha! 
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Pre-hairdye days. 
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I initially got disappointed when the color turned out to be more caramel brown than ash brown. I wanted to dye it black immediately but I reminded myself that it will also fade in a few months, and it really did! I’m glad it looks natural on me!
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Kudos to the lighting, this is the shade I want, balayage – a mix of light grey and light brown, and not that very copper look.
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My hair color varies on the lighting and I’m glad it’s like that! Parang magic! Haha. 
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Looks like black.
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Last day of my long hair. It took me seven months to grow it out and I feel bad for the impulsive haircut. I’ll bring this back soon! 
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Very low maintenance and light. The old Andrei rose up from the dead. 
  • Metamorphosis – My summer was also a period of transformation and experimentation. I grew my hair out and dyed it; tried several long hair styles but mostly sticked to the old and classic ones; hoarded pairs of sunnies and accessories; gained weight because of food crawls but lost them after my extraction; I broke out a few times too but not as severe as before. All these changes in my body goes to show that I’m growing, I’m changing, and there’s only one thing I’ll say, I’m loving myself more than ever.
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My summer anthem. This song reinforced my BTS addiction. Oh my my my!
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Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah! Rum pa pam pa pam pa pam pa paaaam! Blackpink is the revolution.
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One of my favorite BTS songs alongside Euphoria. I just can’t get enough of these two songs. It makes me feel good about life. Basta, I can’t explain. Yun. Yun na yon. 
  • BTS and BLACKPINK Addiction – 2019 is a good year for music. And what makes it better is the fact that both of my favorite (and only favorite) KPOP groups BLACKPINK and BTS released new music last April! I’m currently obsessed with everything about BTS and their music. Their dance steps. Their hair. Their skin. Their fashion. EVERYTHING. I’d do anything just to look like Seokjin or  Taehyung or Jungkook. Ugh. With Blackpink on the other hand, I can’t get enough of Jennie! Let’s kill this love, shall we?

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  • Taylor Swift – I am a big Taylor Swift Lover and it’s just exciting to see that another era is yet to begin. I’m also loving the new theories and easter egg hunts! And Katy Perry’s cameo in YNTCD didn’t come as a surprise. I can smell a collab coming!  However, I feel bad for what just happened between her and Big Machine. Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta are trash. Taylor Swift didn’t spend half of her life translating her life experiences into pop sensations only for Scooter to own 30% of their sales. Taylor Swift is successful because of Taylor Swift. Not Scott Borchetta, not even Scooter Braun, nor Kanye West. Imagine Taylor asking for permission to Scooter to perform all her songs from her debut to reputation? Awful. I hope Taylor remasters all her previous albums, this one is a great opportunity for her to release a Greatest Hits album. I would love that! On a lighter note, the anticipation kills me and I can’t wait for August 23!
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Selfie muna bago mag-suffer. 

 

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I survived! I was awake during the procedure and I didn’t feel any pain, only the ngalay because of the position. Mas masakit pa yung pwersahan nilang binubuksan bibig mo kaysa dun sa mismong extraction. Haha! At this moment, feel ko kalabi ko si Kylie Jenner kasi ang manhid ng mukha ko. PS: If you’re about to get your wisdom tooth removed, do it in the morning. I couldn’t sleep properly when I had mine done and I was bleeding on and off ’til the wee hours of the night.
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Days 1-4 of my chipmunk days. I got my sutures out on the 4th day and went back to normal on the 5th.  The bruises went away after 10 days. My extraction site is slowly closing and I’m slowly using my extraction part when I eat. If you’re afraid, believe me when I say that the recovery time is more painful than the surgery. It’s not actually “painful”, it’s more of discomfort.
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10 days post surgery. I’m doing better and I’m back to normal.
  • Recovering from my wisdom tooth extraction and struggling with TMJ disorder. – I’ve been feeling this pain for over a year now. It all started during my senior’s ball day; I just woke up and couldn’t open my mouth properly, there was this pain on my left jaw. After constantly taking paracetamol, the pain went away after three days. It was all normal until it went back last December, last January, and it was on and off until it returned last May. My jaw pops every time I chew and it was PAINFUL. It lasted for almost a week so I immediately went to my doctor and had a dental x-ray done and voila, my wisdom teeth are both horizontally impacted. I felt relief the moment it was extracted, thinking it was just an erupting tooth. Little did I know that it was really TMJ. The jaw pain went back two weeks later and I am not sure if it was part of the healing process or it was really the TMJ disorder. I’m pretty sure it was the latter, the popping sensation was still present. This is giving me so much discomfort because I can’t eat properly, but I’m glad that I can manage it through exercises and maneuvers. Haaaay, dapat yung mga chismosa yung nagkaka-ganito eh!
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Went all the way to Bataan only to be disappointed by the food. Guess where we ate. 😛
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This was Popons’ first day wearing his glasses and he says, “HD na lahat ng nakikita ko.” 

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Popons is my everyday mood.
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Twice akong nag-buffet bago ako mabunutan ng wisdom tooth. Sinamantala ko na lahat kasi alam kong maku-crucify ako. Char. Lahat ng timbang na na-gain ko nawala rin after a few days. Turns out wisdom teeth extractions are the best weight loss solutions.

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Naka-ilang pictures ako bago makakuha ng maayos na angle. My parents are bad photographers. huhu
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“Ma pa-picture.”                      “uhhhh bat ganito…?”

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Aside from my usual shrimp scampi, pesto, carbonara, and red pasta dishes, I tried a new recipe. It’s a Pasta Fredda or a Pasta Salad. It’s just plain spaghetti (or you can use which ever pasta you like) and it’s mixed with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, parsley, shrimp, and parmesan cheese.
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52 Stone’s Daeji Galbi is a must try. Words aren’t enough to describe how good it is. 
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Fusilli cacio e pepe. This pasta recipe is made of garlic slivers, edam cheese, black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. 

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Caesar.
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Another complimentary – Blueberry Yogurt Salad.
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The only sisig with egg that was too good not to eat. Not actually an authentic sisig dish, it’s more of a chopped roast pork. But it’s really really good! Must try!

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  • Family time and food crawls – Summer gave me so much of what school has taken away from me, and that is time with my family, myself, and my kitchen. lol. This break made me learn how to cook so many dishes that I didn’t know how to cook before. After learning pasta, pizza, western dishes and desserts; I tried how to cook home-cooked meals. Syempre Kapampangan ku anya eku pabureng eku mabiyasa! Abalu ku nung makananu maglutung sigang babi, sigang kamatis, kilayin, batsui, labung, tinola, lengua, ampo liga. Aku na kekayu e, pwedi naku talagang maki-sawa! Hahaha! (Translation: Of course I’m a Kapampangan so I grabbed the opportunity to learn. I knew how to cook sinigang, sinigang sa kamatis, kinilaw, batchoy, labong, tinola, lengua, and nilaga. Sabi ko na sa inyo pwede na ‘kong mag-asawa e! Hahaha!) At dahil sawang sawa na ako sa mga pagkain sa bahay, syempre lumalabas kami every week. We tried several restaurants in the course of three months and it’s been a great time not just because of the new food but because it’s family time.

That’s basically how the past three months have been. Now off we go to start another chapter in my college life, and fortuitously, end another decade of my life. See you all tomorrow and may the odds be ever in our favor!

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