Our Family’s COVID-19 Experience + Helpful COVID-19 Information

The thing we feared the most to happen to any member of the family this year materialized. Despite all the necessary precautions taken by everyone, two of our family members, my Nanay and my sister, still caught the much dreaded COVID-19 virus.

Photo taken by the City of Imus Doctors Hospital COVID Ward Head Nurse

The fact that my sister lives with our parents who are both senior citizens and both high-risk individuals, and with Nanay having comorbidities — a diabetic and a dialysis patient at that — the probability of all three of them in the household (Tatay, Nanay, sister) catching the virus was really high.

It was Nanay who first showed symptoms of the virus on August 18. She first had chills, then diarrhea and fever. When her symptoms subsided, my father and sister started getting febrile, too. Tatay also experienced diarrhea; fortunately, his swab test came out negative.

After Nanay’s swab test turned out positive, she couldn’t go to her dialysis center anymore. Her case was reported to the LGU (local government unit) and was waiting for the go-signal for admission at a government COVID hospital in Caloocan.

Before August ended, Nanay already missed four dialysis sessions which could prove fatal and which prompted us not to wait for a slot at the Caloocan hospital anymore. Her nephrologist who was also a consultant at the City of Imus Doctors Hospital (CIDH) managed to get her a slot there, and she was admitted last August 30 and was discharged on September 12.

A few days after Nanay’s confinement, my sister, whose remaining symptom at the time was body weakness – she stopped having fever on August 27 — went to a quarantine facility in Dasmarinas, Cavite with the help of a barangay health worker. She stayed there to complete her quarantine period of 14 days without symptoms. This we believed was the best course of action to take so that Tatay would be spared from this deadly virus. My sister finally went home last Thursday, September 17.

What to Do When You Suspect You Have COVID

First, you need to get in touch with your barangay health center. Report the name of the patient with COVID-like symptoms. The patient will be monitored daily by the barangay health nurse/barangay health worker. They will even take you to a diagnostic clinic or hospital for swab testing which is shouldered by the LGU. If you’re a COVID suspect or COVID positive and don’t have place in your house to isolate, they can also escort you to a quarantine facility near your area and take you home once your quarantine period is over.

Now if you’re a dialysis patient like our Nanay, the barangay health center will also work hand-in-hand with your dialysis center to get all the documents/information needed for your transfer to a government COVID hospital if you need to be confined. You can also request for ambulance assistance from them to transport the patient from his/her home to the hospital. They also give food/vitamin assistance to the infected patients staying in their homes.

Why You Should Not Be Ashamed That You Have COVID

Because of the social stigma associated with COVID-19, most patients who opted to isolate themselves at home are ashamed of having their neighbors know about their condition. They fear getting ridiculed, ostracized, and worst, getting hurt by the people around them.

First of all, it is not your fault that you have acquired the virus. Who wants to contract the virus, anyway? None of us do. Since majority of those infected by COVID-19 are asymptomatic, it’s possible to catch the virus from just about anyone you meet or anywhere you go. People should be sympathetic towards those infected with the virus because yes, it could also happen to them.

Why You Should Not Conceal Your COVID-19 Information

In times like this, you need to be honest about your condition. Do not lie about your symptoms or your travel history to your doctor, nurse or any healthcare worker. Doing so would harm others. You can infect people and put their lives at risk.

Patients not providing accurate information about their condition are actually in violation of Republic Act No. 11332 (Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act) and will be penalized.

Thank You, Salitran 3 Barangay Health Workers! We Appreciate You!

To end this blog post, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Salitran 3 Barangay Health Center staff Ms. Norie Moral Estabillo (barangay health worker) and Ms. Donna Rycah Dones (barangay health nurse) who patiently helped my parents and sister in Cavite during their COVID-19 days and accommodated our request for ambulance for Nanay’s hospital confinement and barangay tanod assistance for Nanay’s dialysis after discharge.

Posted in Barangay Health Workers, City of Imus Doctors Hospital, COVID-19, COVID-19 Case, COVID-19 Experience, COVID-19 Pandemic, COVID-19 Positive, COVID-19 Virus | Leave a comment

Moving Your Motorcycle Cross Country

Planning to move house soon and if you own a motorcycle, you can ride your bike to the new home if you are only moving a short distance away. This option may not be a good one for some people especially if you have your household items to take with you. If you are moving cross country, you would definitely need the help of a professional motorcycle transport service.

Choosing a motorcycle shipping company

When you are moving long-distance, you should probably ship it to your destination instead. The only way to guarantee that the moving of your motorcycle is a success is to choose a motorcycle shipping company that specializes in the transportation of motorcycles. Such companies will have the required experience, insurance and reputation to help you complete the job quickly and safely.

Just how to find one of the best motorcycle shipping companies in the country? Don’t worry because you can now request for personalized quotes from online marketplace platforms such as Shiply. It allows you a one-stop place to check out rates to move your motorcycle and compare quotes. Just fill in a simple form and you will receive shipping quotes sent directly into your inbox.

The motorcycle shipping company which you have selected will offer you a few options on how to transport your motorcycle and they are:-
Enclosed Shipping – This method of transport is the most secure way to ship a motorbike. Your bike will be completely protected from the elements and transport hazards. Enclosed transport is also the most expensive way to ship a bike.
Crated Shipping – The bike is kept safe and tightly secured inside of a crate. This shipping service may require a bit more preparation and it is the absolute safest way to ship a bike.
Door to Door – This option is the most convenient for shippers. The truck will arrive at your home on the day of the move and do a brief inspection of the motorcycle. After the inspection, it will be loaded onto the truck and delivered directly to its destination.
• Terminal to Terminal – This delivery option may not as convenient as others, but it will save you some money. You will need to arrange for a ride home for yourself from the terminal where you will drop off the bike. You will also need to pick the bike up from the terminal once it has been delivered.

Shipping Cost

The motorcycle shipping cost is based on several factors such as follows:-
Size and weight – The size and weight of your motorbike will definitely affect the shipping cost. Lightweight models weigh somewhere between 200 and 300 pounds, while larger and heavier ones weigh approximately 500 pounds. Shipping companies charge more for transporting larger and heavier bikes.
Distance – The greater the transport distance is, the higher the price will be because greater distances require more fuel.
Pick up and drop off locations – If the bike is picked up and dropped off in an urban area, the cost will be cheaper. Remote locations that are harder to access are usually more expensive to service.

Posted in Motorbike, Motorcycle, Motorcycle Shipping, Motorcycle Shipping Quotes, Shiply | Leave a comment

Why You Should Watch The Moon Embracing the Sun

I have no idea who Kim Soo-hyun is prior to watching It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. Curiosity got the better of me, so I searched for his name online and learned that he is Korea’s highest paid actor for 2020. I also watched his earlier K-dramas on Netflix to see more and know more about this very promising actor. I absolutely enjoyed watching The Moon Embracing the Sun so much so that I pulled an all-nighter to finish all of its 20 episodes pronto.

The Moon Embracing the Sun centers on the love story between a king and a shaman that’s poignant and heart-rending for the most part but with a redeeming ending. Here you’ll see play politics, sorcery, betrayal, undying love, friendship and loyalty, and the triumph of good versus evil. Writing about this K-drama makes me really want to watch it again. The Moon Embracing the Sun won the Best Drama and Best Actor awards in the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards in 2012.

Crown Prince Lee Won (Yeo Jin-goo) is set to marry noble lady Yeon Woo (Kim Yoo-jung), but the soon-to-be-appointed Crown Princess is afflicted with a mysterious illness and dies before the wedding happens. Everyone assumes Yeon Woo is dead, but she comes back to the palace eight years later as a trained shaman named Wol (Han Ga-in) with no memories of her past. By this time, King Lee Won is already married to a woman he does not love, Queen Bo-Kyung (Kim Min-seo).  After countless mishaps and tragedies, the true identity of Shaman Wol is revealed, and she claims her place as the rightful queen.

My Two Cents
I think the plot is well thought out. It’s an interesting, well-written story with interesting twists and turns. Kim Soo-hyun was at his best portraying a very complex and demanding character of a heartbroken and bitter yet charismatic and brilliant young king. Donning his kingly robes, he looks dashing, regal, manly, and oh so sexy!  You’ll be completely taken by his acting, too, especially in the heart-wrenching scenes. However, what happened to Prince Yang Myung’s character (Jung Il-woo) in the end, albeit dramatic, was unbelievable and quite preventable. I also think that Hang Ga-In’s portrayal of Queen Yeon Woo was overshadowed by the brilliant performance of the young Seon Woo (Kim Yoo-jung).

To be honest, historical K-dramas are really not my thing, but I enjoyed watchingThe Moon Embracing the Sun for its engaging storyline and brilliant performance of its actors, with Kim Soo-hyun leading the pack. It’s available on Netflix if you still haven’t watched it yet.

Posted in 48th Baeksang Arts Awards, Han Ga-in, Historical Drama, K-drama, Kim Soo-Hyun, Kim Yoo-jung, Korean Drama, Netflix, The Moon Embracing the Sun, Yeo Jin-goo | Leave a comment

The Manila Hotel Reopens on July 3 with a Special Anniversary Promo!

Great news! The historic Manila Hotel partially opens its doors to its valued guests just a day before its founding anniversary. The famed Café Ilang-Ilang, the Lobby Lounge, and the Delicatessen resume operations on July 3, 2020, strictly adhering to government quarantine protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of its guests.

As it commemorates its 108th founding anniversary on July 4, The Manila Hotel welcomes its guests with an enduring brand of service that now puts emphasis on enhanced health, hygiene and sanitation procedures in accordance with DOH guidelines.

As the hotel prepares for the reopening, Atty. Joey Lina, the president of The Manila Hotel, assures the public, “You are safe here. We have taken every precaution to heart so you and your loved ones can have peace of mind when you visit or stay with us.”

For its 108th anniversary promo, The Manila Hotel gives the first 108 customers for the first 108 days of Café Ilang-Ilang’s reopening, including Saturdays and Sundays, a special dining rate of Php1,250 for lunch and Php1,550 for dinner. A new system for dining is also in place where guests can order as much food as they want from the selection of dishes at a fixed price.

Both Café Ilang Ilang and the Lobby Lounge will be open with limited seating capacity. Thorough sanitation procedures will be implemented, and guests can order using disposable menu, eat using cutlery in sealed containers, and use tables with acrylic dividers. Guest Services Officers and waiters will don masks, gloves and face shields. To limit contact with guests, Café Ilang-Ilang is also fine-tuning its ordering and payment systems.

Adopting best practices, the hotel launches a comprehensive initiative to assure its patrons they are safe at The Manila Hotel. High-traffic public areas will have hygiene reminder signages and distance indicators, and guests will be asked to undergo mandatory temperature checks and health declaration procedure. Limited capacity will also be implemented in elevators, while several hotel facilities (the spa, swimming pool, gym, etc.) will remain closed.

High-touch points like door handles, elevator buttons, public area furniture and others will be regularly sanitized using UV technology. Tests reveal that UV sanitation greatly reduces the bacteria count on surfaces, as demonstrated by lower RLU readings (a measure of surface cleanliness) after the procedure.

The hotel also plans to start accepting room bookings by August 2020. All rooms will be thoroughly cleaned with UV-C light technology to eliminate germs, bacteria and viruses, followed by medical-grade sterilizing and disinfecting solution. A change of fresh and sanitized linens; sanitation of touch points in the room including remote controls, lamps, etc.; and thorough bathroom disinfection are also part of the procedure. Guests will also receive personal wellness kits and a UV-sanitized keycard and will arrive at their sanitized rooms with a seal of assurance that they are the first ones to enter them.

And because taking care of its own people means they can take better care of their guests, The Manila Hotel has likewise invested on testing its staff upon return to work to ensure they are healthy. The culinary team strictly adheres to stringent protocols on proper hygiene, hand washing and food handling. Staff will be required to wear PPEs as needed, and a strict implementation of distancing measures will be done in the offices, front desk and other areas frequented by guests.

The Manila Hotel looks forward to welcoming both its loyal and new guests with the kind of service it is known for and with the assurance that “YOU ARE SAFE HERE” is not just a tagline but a commitment it truly means to uphold.

Posted in 108th Founding Anniversary, Cafe Ilang-Ilang, Delicatessen, Hotel Reopening, Lobby Lounge, Press Release, Special Anniversary Promo, The Manila Hotel | Leave a comment

K-drama Feature: When the Camellia Blooms

When the Camellia Blooms primarily revolves around the life of Dongbaek (Gong Hyo-Jin), a single mom and an orphan, who opens up a bar in the fictional town of Ongsan to raise her son Pil-gu (Kim Kang-Hoon). Dongbaek bears the brunt of her mean neighbors who deem her life as lowly, shameful and unlucky. Dongbaek later falls in love with a do-gooder policeman Yong-sik (Kang Ha-Neul). Meanwhile, Ongsan’s serial killer Joker resurfaces, putting Dongbaek’s life in danger.

What I Like about This K-Drama

The Themes – For the most part, this K-drama talks about what a mother can and will do for her child. Dongbaek draws her strength from her son Pil-gu, the only family she has, having been abandoned by her own mom when she was little. Breaking stereotypes is another theme covered in this K-drama. While it’s unthinkable for her Ongsan neighbors to see a woman and a single mom at that open up her own bar, it did not stop Dongbaek to pursue what she sees is the only way she can support the needs of her son Pil-gu. When the Camellia Blooms also touches on love of family, kindness and resilience, as well as women empowerment.

The Actors – Gong Hyo-Jin shines in this K-drama, portraying the timid, kind and pushover (well, initially, she was) female lead Dongbaek. She finds a perfect partner in Kang Ha-Neul as the headstrong, chatty and romantic police officer Yong-sik who showers Dongbaek with compliments, pure love and genuine concern. Kang Ha-Neul’s brilliant performance in this K-drama earned him the Best Actor award in the recently concluded 56th Baeksang Arts Awards, beating the likes of Hyun Bin (Crash Landing on You) and Park Seo-joon (Itaewon Class). Not to be outdone in When the Camellia Blooms is Kim Kang-hoon who plays Dong-baek’s son Pil-gu, a quick-witted grade-schooler, quite mature for his age, who goes out of his way to protect his mom from people who degrade her.

The Life Lessons – Being a single mom (or a single dad for that matter) is not something that society should look down upon. If anything, society should be kinder to them and more accepting. Being a mom and a dad to your child at the same time is no mean feat. It requires twice the love, strength and sacrifice to raise a child on one’s own. I cannot imagine myself doing that, which is why I have so much respect for single parents. Another take-away I got from this K-drama is this: We should not let other people’s opinions define us. For as long as we are living a decent life and not harming others, we can be what we want to be and do as we please.

The Pick-up Lines – Romance is alive and well in this K-drama. I was particularly taken by the romantic lines of Yong-sik to Dongbaek, clearly conveying his sincere and honest intentions. He is also always complimenting Dongbaek and making her realize her self-worth. These pick-up lines from Episode 4 alone will surely make your heart flutter.

“You may be an orphan and a single mother, but you managed to raise Pil-gu so well, and you even run your own business. You don’t blame others or live a cheap life. On top of that, you still manage to stay so kind and diligent. That’s how you live. People should respect you and compliment you for that.”

“If anyone else were in your shoes, they would’ve lost it already. No one has the right to badmouth you. Dongbaek, in this entire neighborhood, you’re the strongest, the most strong-willed, the most magnificent, and the most admirable person I know.”

“I’m not like Kang Jong-ryeol. I don’t care who Pil-gu’s dad is. I promise that I will never make you or Pil-gu cry. I’ll remind you every day what a great person you are so that you’ll never forget.”

When the Camellia Blooms is one of my most favorite K-dramas because of the themes it conveys, the superb acting skills of the lead characters, the lessons it imparts and the wonderful pick-up lines. Go watch it if you haven’t already. I’m sure you’ll love it, too!

Posted in 56th Baeksang Arts Awards, Best Actor, Gong Hyo-Jin, K-drama, Kang Ha-Neul, Kim Kang-hoon, Korean Drama, Netflix, When the Camellia Blooms | Leave a comment