I was never into scented candles in my previous life.  I'm referring to pre-COVID 19 life, which feels like a previous lifetime. :D I have scented candles at home, but most remain untouched and used for those rare photography work. My social media accounts introduced me to another source of unnecessary expense. I discovered Bath and Body Works candles. I'm afraid this post will turn into a review. I'll reserve my experiences on BBW candles in another post. What I know for sure, I'm developing to become an authentic Tita of Manila each day. Hahaha My lifestyle and preferences are way different than my 21-year-old self. 

I started onsite work again. The MECQ today was way different than last year. Public transportation is already allowed, much to every working class's relief. Shopping malls are back in operations. Though admittedly, its current state is clear proof of the country's economic struggle. Shops are either converted to online selling, decreased their branches and worst,  permanently shut down operations. In my case, my trusted hair salon already ceased operations. My hairdresser retired and moved to the province. In my hometown, the usual casualties are decades old and independent business owners. Retail giants are likewise struggling but, fortunately still surviving. 

A few weeks ago, I had an online meeting with senior colleagues. They are educators above 60 years old. The experience surprised me because everyone can independently navigate varied google platforms. I also admired how everyone turned on their camera and started catching up with each other. Everyone was so talkative and participative. The environment was different among colleagues of my age, where most participants refuse to show their faces. The meeting lasted for hours because of the conversations. I didn't mind staying for hours because everyone was so engaging. Before we parted ways, everyone promised a meet up after this pandemic. It felt heartwarming to some extent. I'll never forget my first meeting with them and sure enough, this will be on my list of the rare happy stories during the pandemic. 

In the middle of the busy week, I sensed something with my friend's state. She uploaded a photo of groceries given by her high school friends. I felt something off, so I decided to check on her.  It turns out, the entire family was infected by the virus. A few days after, her dad passed away. I also learned a former colleague passed away. Lately, another workplace friend was infected. The virus is becoming closer to home. Before, the COVID19 cases were alarming numbers. These days, the cases are no longer anonymous statistics. They are my friends and people close to my heart. 

On to other news, I started adding more vitamins to my daily intake. Vitamin C, Multivitamins and lately, the unrelated collagen capsules. I started taking collagen supplements last December. Hoping that this would in the long run, make me look younger. :p But TBH, the effects on me are limited on stronger nails, accelerated hair growth (which I don't like) and those unexpected pain on my knees are gone. I'm not just sure if it's because I stopped exercising. hahaha

Aside from collagen supplements, I ventured to other beauty products and anti-aging cream. Hopefully, everything would work. As mentioned in my previous posts, I want to have my own "glow up" story before this pandemic ends. I want  a better version of myself, when this crisis is all over. More than skin improvement I'm also praying for an achievement before the year ends. 

Current guilty pleasure :  DIY Laksa - I miss going to a Bugis Singapore Street Food or Eat Fresh. In general, I miss those times when meeting my friends over a great meal is still possible. 

A few more weeks, another school year is about to end. We have completed one full cycle of online classes. We were hoping that once the vaccines arrive, we can immediately revert to face to face classes. With the way things are going, I think we are far from over. It would take around 2 to 3 years to physically see kids in school again. Everything will happen in a gradual phase and sure enough, the face of schooling will be entirely different.