Dreb Bits

Category: Life

The Year 2020 We Remember

I know 2020 was a very tough year for everybody, and others might even fought more battles (not just the pandemic). Despite all these, I wanted to believe there are silver linings on situation like this and let’s try our best to continue with our life bringing any lessons and experience.

As a way to personally look back last year, I put together this year-end recap with me going over some of the highlights of my 2020.

  • WordCamp Asia 2020 – even though the event got cancelled, there were still a couple of attendees that pushed through flying to Bangkok including fellow organizers. It was fun and memorable meeting them.
  • Pandemic hits, town in lockdown – this is between March to may where our town had to impose an enhanced community quarantine or strict lockdown. This is the beginning of businesses dying particularly in our city and particularly in tourism and entertainment industry. People staying at home including us.
  • I quit at my 5yrs full time job – this was a decision that I didn’t take lightly as I absolutely enjoyed the time in this company, and I believe I’ve grown so much since I joined there. The reasons mainly were — taking a few months break / sabbatical after 5years of work, and pursuing a business that I could run myself which is something that I have been planning to do.
  • Getting Bits Circle up and running – at first I initially wanted to focus to be an agency specializing in WordPress based in the South East Asia (SEA) region, but I am starting to move something into offering products such as SAAS instead, while still helping businesses/individuals build a strong online platform with WordPress.
  • Getting better at cooking – staying at home allowed me to have more time (hence practice) at cooking. However, my partner’s cooking is way better.
  • Papa’s Chronic Kidney Disease – we thought being in a time with pandemic was the worst in 2020 but just when we enter the “-ber” months, my father got ill and diagnosed with CKD stage 5. It was exhausting (in many ways) for my family particularly going in and out of the hospital, and not to mention being admitted/transferred to more than one hospital. But thankfully we made it through, and my father is doing hemodialysis now.
Turning 29

Unboxed in 2020

While we’re at the topic of 2020, I wanted to also remember what I “unboxed” or acquired last year that are meaningful to me or in my work.

Work

  • iPad Air 4th generation – this is totally worth buying especially after I learned how to use iPad as an extended display connecting to my Macbook, a feature Apple calls Sidecar. This is now my 3rd display alongside a Dell monitor.
  • Logitech HD Pro webcam C920
  • Magic Mouse
  • Leather desk mat – I have a small desk right now and I love it that they have a perfect size.
  • WD 1TB NVMe Internal SSD – this is extremely useful as I moved all my development sites here to save space in my Macbook Pro. I use this case.

Home

  • 4-speed Tower fan with remote – I don’t know but it feels like a new world to use a remote for a electric fan despite its electric nature.
  • Aukey car phone holder – I like this!
  • Samsung Series 8 Crystal UHD 55inch Android TV – bought this for my parents for the holiday, and the cost is just a little over my 49inch 4K Sony Smart TV in my apartment. This is hot as there were a couple of people took home this TV before we did. I would say this is an all-around android TV including being used for events as it has great photo + background music feature. We used this TV to flash my niece’s birthday banner while playing kid’s birthday song on loop! If I have a dedicated living room, I would definitely consider buying this, too.

I think that’s it. Onwards and upwards to better things in 2021.

Twenty Six

I just turned 26 last June 5. As far as I can remember, it’s my first time celebrating with two cakes. I’ve always been thankful of my family and to a couple of friends that celebrated with me. I reflected about my life thus far and—although I still feel, always will be, there’s a long and winding road ahead of me—I’m positive it’s going to be exciting, worth the pain, time and effort. But there are already so much to be thankful for especially how my career at 10up allows me to explore and accomplish things that I haven’t imagined before.

First Day of Training

My first day of 🏸 (Badminton)  training, and boy, i feel like i have a body of 50year old me without so much physical activities. I’m a bit frustrated as my body couldn’t catch up with my mind.

I thought I knew the basics of the footworks but it’s way more strenous than I imagined, or maybe because of the lack of adrenaline-induced activities for years. This is the real deal and isn’t just a simple Google search.

At the end of the practice, I’ve observed some say ‘sorry’ excessively (I do sometimes) where in fact we are in practice and failures are expected. I guess it is because we thought we’re expected to perfect everything. This unconsious idea of being perfect. Otherwise someone will be disappointed, but it’s just all in our head. We’re so good at overthinking. I for one.

But How?

It’s amazing how things seem to work even if I don’t fully understand the whole process yet. Bottomline: it’s okay if you’re confused right now. In time, you’ll learn why things happened and how it happened.

Fishy Christmas Day

I started this just last year wherein I decided to cook something new during the holiday season. Last year, I tried Escabeche (Ez-ka-be-che a.k.a sweet & sour) with fried Tilapia for Christmas & grilled beef steak on New Year. I thought I did great with Escabeche with no previous experience. But I grilled the steak terribly. In retrospect, I should’ve blog about it when the frustration was still fresh; jot down which contributed to my failure and how to improve next time.

Sweet & Sour Fish Fillet

This Christmas I tried, well, sweet & sour 🐟 (fish) fillet. One trivia about me is I like fish dishes. How did that end? My parents, which are our judges, approved of my dish. Actually, I forced them to speak the truth but they insisted it was good!  I disclosed the lack of salt in the sauce but it was supplemented by the salty crispy mix wrapped around the fish.

🐟

Yet Another Co-working Space?

Since last year, I’ve been itching to fly out somewhere. This time, it’s not about finding my self or escaping from a mistake (yeah, just like the rest of the human race, I ran off before from some very bad decision). But I’ve been looking for a workplace where it could offer me the convenient space to work with an affordable rates for freelancers. I wasn’t able to find one so I started doing a bit of traveling.

Fast-forward and a couple of times I’ve been in and out of the city, I couldn’t still find a space I want to spend my day in and out.  There are a couple of co-working spaces here in Davao and most of them just sprouted recently. But I see a couple of issues from yet another co-worker‘s point of view.

  • Spaces setup aren’t spacious. If it is, it’ll cost you much-much more.
  • Most co-working prices are for SME (small-medium enterprise) folks.
  • Fully-booked spaces.
  • If some exist that I’m not aware of, they don’t market enough. If they don’t market enough, they simply don’t need me/no room for me.
  • Missing a bit of interior flavor and mixed work-and-play.
  • Missing some digital nomad needs.

CYY_6614
A co-working space in Manila. Spacious isn’t it?
Photo from Warehouse Eight

You might ask why not work from home. I got 3 answers for now:

  1. I was working from a studio apartment where I sleep, work, eat (and …sleep again?) all in the same very room. And our house (which where I’m currently staying) isn’t conducive for daily-brain-squeezing-yet-fun-tasks I deal in work.
  2. I always like working with people around—it inspires me when I see them working hard esp. when at one point I see myself slacking/procrastinating, and there’s more to it.
  3. High speed and reliable internet is pretty expensive here. Can be justified when shared with same paid individuals.

I’m here in my room at my parent’s house and it’s been months since I’m back and it’s been months since I’ve been checking out (cheap) flight bookings because of the same drive.

But..

There’s no escaping this time. I’m gonna let myself face it with whatever I have. I don’t want to go home again thinking I’ve got nowhere else to go to work conveniently.

University of Self Education

..went on to study film, photography, and creative writing at the University of Self Education at Barnes and Noble, while attending evening classes Half Price Books and Amazon.com.

Seems legit? Very legit!

Wrong Turn

I am feeling quite frustrated and tired right now. I have experienced one of the most poorly strategized events in my life.

After recieving the notification of flight cancellation, I could’ve either (a) proceed with rescheduling to 10am (the earliest flight available from the airline) and find a cheap hotel near the airport to get sleep; or (b) request a refund and book another flight with the earliest and cost effective departure date, which I tried looking and there’s one. When i realized these options, I was too late. This is what I get for settling with what’s being given and coward enough to try unexplored options.

On top of that, I over value money and overlooked my well being. I thought I have saved by not going anywhere no matter what the circumstances. Because exiting the airport means taxi rides and expenses. I thought I have saved by sticking to what I have paid for the airfare and thought that should be the only cost and no more. But I don’t think I saved at all. In fact I’ve wasted so much energy and prevented my already tired body to catch up. And it’s going to take its toll tomorrow. I get the picture!

And these donuts that I have for home, I hope they’re hanging in there as much as I am. 

I failed to balance cost and comfort. I truly admit that. I’d be damn if there’s a part 2 of this exact event in the future. Plus the coffee is kicking in in this wee hours–begetting this post.

Happy Holidays!

Just want to take a moment to be and to feel grateful in where I am at this point of life. Since I joined 10up, days are always challenging and I even get to contribute to WordPress core. Nailing a milestone! I’ve been introduced to a bunch of tools and worked with talented folks that inspire me to thrive.

Looking ahead, I’d still seeking that environment where I can work and grow physically. Next year should be a level harder than this one.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Been bonding with family and extended families lately. Happy times indeed. Hope you’re celebrating it with someone.

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White Christmas

Always the Way to Blog

I could remember I started blogging way back in 2008 when I got no other things to do aside from taking classes in college and playing online games (RAN is on top of my head). My aunt was and is always going to be my inspiration of why I got my self into this kind of stuff.

I started using blogspot. Then moved to self hosted WordPress with the help of such wonderful aunt, who used to be a web designer and developer that time! I remember it was around version 2.x (somewhere 2.6 or 2.8) of WordPress that time. The admin/dashboard and post editor were the best thing I’ve ever seen! And that feeling you had when you’re so excited about learning how these things work. But then, I’ve had this bipolarity when it comes to where I truly want to blog. Back to blogspot, moved to tumblr, then moved to WordPress.com after deducing that WordPress is the genuine way to blog. I’ve tried so different names/blog URL and tried blogging for different niches—hoping I could get advertisement earnings or sponsorship out of it. The online is a wild jungle where you can try to be anything it influences you to be. Me moving with different platforms and under different names suggested I underwent personal issue that time—I’ve been trying to find who I really was.

Until finally I bought my own domain and dropped the idea to blog for glamour and profit. But I didn’t settle with it as my domain for blogging yet. It was initially there to help me established my portfolio as a web developer. I’ve got so many things to say that I don’t want to limit it with just anything about my career, so I created a dedicated blog for anything under the sun on WordPress.com. That didn’t last for long though.

I don’t actually want to maintain more than one blog and I realized all I want to share pertaining to my self is always going to be who I am—as a whole—and this domain is going to be my persona in the online arena. So I’m back at blogging full time in this very place.

I secretly envy blogs that have archives way back from 2004 or older. Reading from those treasures make you to time travel (compressed in small bytes) and reminisce the moment. Ultimately, you see how you’ve grown since then.

It’s amazing how the platform you’ve been using grows with you, too. Now I can blog directly on my desktop just because WordPress.com released an app (which now an open source project!) that changed the direction of blogging. I know there are other innovative and modern tools to blog but when you stick with yours, and not leave it hanging when there’s new and hot out there, but instead help it grow with you—It’s a different feeling you get. It’s like family, no matter how you think you’re so fed up seeing their faces, there’s an intimate connection that makes you want to see them again and again. And like family, you don’t turn your back when time gets so difficult.

Blogging is always going to be different with WordPress—it’s about openness and community. I settled on this. I should’ve sticked with it.

As someone who helps make things (read: websites) on the web, the project they brought into this world spurs me to keep creating and venture to innovate with openness in mind.

If you haven’t started blogging yet, only God knows the reason why is that, but hopefully tools like this makes you to re-think about kickstarting a blogging journey. You don’t want to miss the chance to grin when you read your posts published from 5 or 10yrs ago.