The Countryside Life

48 days without blogging. 16 days without facebook and counting.

Today marks the day we finally get our own home internet connection. Yes, you read that correctly. Our home. After 2 years of nomadic life, I can finally fill up the blank address page in a raffle coupon without hesitation.

My absence online though was a result of a roller coaster of emotions. 

The Anxiety of House Hunting

It took us more than 2 months searching for the right apartment. Satisfying extremely high standards with a limited budget can be quite a challenge. The first three-bedroom house we saw felt like 'the one.' 

It was a dangled carrot that dimmed any possibility for other prospective apartments to compete with. However, the property owner took an extremely long time to sign the contract, despite giving us a verbal agreement that she accepts our contract draft. With lots of postponed meetings, delayed or unanswered texts and phone calls, the whole waiting game took a month. Only to be told later that 'the house' was sold. 

Anxiety, tears,  and depression took over. I had no idea searching for an apartment can be such a minefield. It was so far from my experiences looking for an apartment in Dubai even during the peak of its economic reign. In the Middle East, as long as I have my check book with me, I can sign the contract, close the deal that same day and move in whenever the apartment is ready for occupancy.  

Desperation opened our eyes to other possibilities. We visited more houses after that until we came across a two-bedroom single detached home that was under construction in the middle of a rice field.  All of us felt good when we checked the house and we knew that was it. 

We saw about 19 houses in total. 


The House and the Fiesta

We were invited by the house's lovely owner  and her beautiful family to celebrate Argao's fiesta with them. During this period, we got to know them a lot more. 

Since then our fate turned around. I suppose good things come to those who wait.  It is true that we can do anything, but we can't have everything.

House Blessing Preps

Health Challenges

In between while waiting for the house's interior to be completed, we had to go back briefly to Manila to take care of our furniture and personal effects to be shipped, while dealing with some health issues. 

I went to see a urologist and after undergoing an ultrasound, I was told that I have an 8mm kidney stone blocking my ureter.  Surprisingly, I wasn't in any major pain. According to my urologist normally in this scenario, he would admit me for a ureteroscopy already, but I begged him if we could go down the medication route and rule out non-invasive procedures that would land me in a hospital bed. 

I went through two weeks of drinking 2-3 liters of water per day, taking the prescribed meds, and downing pure lemon juice with olive oil.  By the time I got back to Cebu, I had my second ultrasound and my stone is gone. Thank God, you have no idea how relieved I was!  


We have consulted several moving companies for shipping items from Manila to Cebu but either we got a really high quotation or we never got any response. My old schoolmate, Madz Uy who works in the shipping industry recommended Big-ger Freight Solutions Inc.  

I remember my first phone call to schedule the ocular inspection with Ronald Arkoncel, Vice President for Sales & Marketing for the shipping company, already gave me a good feeling. Our succeeding correspondences were even more impressive. Ronald is such a gem! They were fast in responding and they were flexible in accommodating last minute requests. We were notified as soon as the 20 feet container reached the port of Cebu and we were constantly updated on the movement of the trucks on the date of delivery. All of our boxes arrived and not a single item was broken. 

Moving is usually stressful, but working with Big-ger Freight Solutions' professional and efficient team made our move easy, fun and definitely stress free. 

Contact:  Ronald Arkoncel
                Big-ger Freight Solutions
Address: Room 302 HHC Building, Victoria Street corner Basco Street, Intramuros, Manila
Telephone: +63 2 5468912 / +63 2 5277417


Opening each of our boxes felt like opening Christmas presents. I finally found my french coffee press and my favorite mug.  I was reunited with my old comfy bed and my piano.

108 boxes. Now we are down to 35 boxes that are looking for storage.

View beyond our backyard fence. Awesome farming job guys!

Insects Smorgasbord

Being in the middle of a rice field means more insects. We hired Mapecon's pest control services to exterminate all fliers and creepy crawlies including post construction termite control. The pest control is a yearly contract with services done every 3 months. It made a difference as we see dead insects sometimes even ants, around the house every day, but the centipedes and spiders seem much tougher. Armed with a can of insect killer, I deal with centipedes and spiders I can find on a daily basis. 

Our unexpected house guest who slept in our front yard all day. 

Unwanted Alarm Clock

We were also surprised to gain an unwanted alarm clock. A neighbor plays loud dance music through big speakers echoing across the field at 5 am everyday. It's so strong that our glass windows vibrate. 

One morning, we were woken up by blaring old 80s tunes. The lack of sleep sent us to a moment of assertiveness. My husband went several doors down to ask nicely if our neighbor could lower the sound down a bit. He was busy chopping wood with a machete, while listening to his Ipod plugged in gigantic speakers. He obliged, however. Since then, he played his music in reasonable decibels.

Guess what? It turned out 30 minutes later that there was another neighbor responsible for playing loud music at 5 am. We realized this later based on the different choice of music. The dance tunes continue to wake us up daily, perhaps until we assertively request for our neighbor to adjust the volume down.  For now we are grateful that evenings are peaceful and it seems everyone is in bed by 9pm.

Facebook Purge and Withdrawal

It has been 16 days since I abstained from checking facebook's news feed. The first few days were torture! Whenever I needed a social media fix, I turned to Instagram instead. Anyway, I'm still connected to friends and family on messenger since not everyone is on viber.  

I was inspired by a friend who completely disconnected from everything online except for her browser and viber.  I know, for a blogger, that's very close to social media suicide but I gave the FB abstinence at least a try. 

It was liberating. The growing political articles being shared are just too much for me and despite unfollowing friends who are too radical in advocating their political stance, my news feed was rapidly becoming too chaotic. It was overpowering the positive and entertaining posts that a couple of friends were sharing.  

The facebook silence is something I am enjoying right now. Away from the news that is beyond my control and away from opinions that I can never change. I am going to continue this FB fasting with a slight exception of sharing this blog post on the Travel Gourmande facebook page.

It's absolutely wonderful being able to write again. 
How have you been?
What's life like in your part of the world?

Love & light,

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  1. I remember that when we were selling our old house, it took us about a year to find a new one and my brother was working as a real estate agent which didn't help much :)

    Congrats on finding the house, can't wait to see the photos!

    Sorry to hear about the kidney stone! A friend of mine also has it and also drinks olive oil with lemon juice, but since he is a man the process of peepeeing the stone out was hellishly painful since it had to go out through the willy :( I know that pain is usually measured with a kick in the balls...

    1. Thanks Dezzy, decorating is happening slowly but surely. I promise I will post photos once the house is completed. Ooh the lemon and olive juice were really effective. I can't imagine how painful that must have been, though yes I had my fair share of waking up at 3am and in terrible discomfort and back pain.

  2. Congratulations on the new home FINALLY! Can't wait to see pictures and sometimes some unplugged time is much needed

    1. Thanks Rooth, haha yes finally! Lovin the unplugged life and having our own space with lots of room for creativity.

  3. Congratulations! So many things happened! I love your little guest you comes and sleeps during the day and I think the centipedes and spiders would definitely scare the wits out of me! :) Wishing you so many great days ahead to you and your family. <3

    1. Thank you so much Jane. The centipedes and spiders have disappeared lately but were replaced by a swarm of mosquitoes. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

  4. So this is why I hardly heard from you this month. You went on a social media diet. I did that before for 2 weeks I think, and it was liberating indeed. I've been wanting to do that now but I am now maintaining a blogger community on Facebook so it's kinda impossible to do that right now. Maybe when I find some people who can help me with the admin work, I can take some time off.

    I am also quite tired of all political posts that I've been seeing on Facebook. I counter act it by just watching videos, cute, inspirational, funny, and interesting videos and I make sure to share them on my feed, hoping that in some way I am spreading good vibes on the world wide net. I am also not afraid to unfollow people on Facebook. My peace of mind is more important than their opinion haha...

    I am happy for you. Looks like you found a beautiful home. Moving your things can be a real pain in the as*, but I'm glad that things went smoothly for you.