By Athina Angliongto - 1:20:00 PM




This proverbial phrase has become my motto ever since the start of the community quarantine. Indeed, the presence of COVID 19 has not only shaken the world, but has turned a lot of lives and businesses upside down.

As a banker, it was still business as usual for us since we are part of the essential workforce. Money is obviously needed to run things so yes, that explains why we couldn’t just leave our posts just because a virus is spreading. During the Enhanced Community Quarantine, we were advised to do skeletal workforce - to work just every other day to lessen the chances of making contact with other people not only in the office, but also outside who might potentially carry the virus.

For somebody who is used to going to work on weekdays for the past nine years, this change (staying at home during weekdays) was definitely new for me – an unwelcomed adjustment but, well, I had to do it anyway because I had no other choice. The first few days of this arrangement was definitely HARD. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not exactly a so-called “workaholic” but it was already part of my body clock and system to work during weekdays. And staying at home during those days was a bit, errr, weird if you ask me.

There were days when I found it hard to get up. I would lie down for hours because fudge, I didn’t know what to do. I am blessed with a housekeeper and a nanny for my baby and they were both doing their jobs. So what was left for me to do in the house? Basically nothing. Those days were the days I waited for night time to come when the nanny would turn over my son to my care and that’s the only time I become busy. But other than that, I had nothing else to do at home.

But again as the saying goes – “WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS, MAKE LEMONADE”, I made myself productive during weekdays at home by doing all sorts of activities. And these activities made me learn so much and made me realize that I had potentials that I have never discovered before.


Ever since I gave birth, I have gained a whooping 40 lbs from eating all those chocolates, fast food, ice cream - making my unborn son as an excuse saying "Hey, it's the baby who wants it!". Some people didn’t notice it, saying that I only gained a little. But well, let's face it, the scales don’t lie. For so many months prior to the quarantine, I did lot of diets on top of my daily hula hoop exercise in my attempt to lose weight – no rice, keto (but that only lasted for 2 days, lol), no milktea (that obviously didn’t work out either) and a bunch more. Hula hooping was helping me lose weight, yes, but it wasn’t making me lose weight as fast as I wanted to.

So while lying down one morning, I discovered CHLOE TING on YOUTUBE. One of her videos claimed that one can lose weight in 2 weeks by simple doing those routines. So I gave it a shot. I had nothing to lose plus I did have the time to do it.

Here are two photos of me around April before I dedicated myself to doing CHLOE TING workouts

Day 1 was a mess! I gave up at 2 minutes during the first video and told myself I would never ever do it again. IT WAS THAT HARD! But for some strange reason, it was as if my brain and body were at sync, and I found myself doing the exercise again two days after and eventually finished the video. Every other day of this exercise turned into a daily thing and poof!... I finally went back to my pre-pregnancy weight at 115 lbs.

Me after a month of doing CHLOE TING exercises every other day to every single day. I noticed that my arms and tummy got smaller and was a bit toned.

And here's me when I tried out my office skirt after almost two months of doing CHLOE TING exercises. Take note: That skirt used to fit me like a glove. Just by dedicating a few minutes of my day to exercise, I finally lost weight and a lot of inches around my waist. Now that's success!


Growing up, I never really tried cooking since my mother was the type of woman who “owned” her kitchen and didn’t like others to “trespass”, for the lack of a better term. I admit, when I got married, I wasn’t exactly the so-called “wife material” because I lacked one important skill – COOKING. I’m just thankful that this wasn’t an issue for my husband and for my in laws.

Quarantine days at home became an opportunity for me to learn a thing or two in the kitchen. Thanks to “YOUTUBE UNIVERSITY”, I was able to learn and whip up my own versions of the following food:

Ice cream chillin'! I successfully made my own ice cream during quarantine. On the left: Double White Coffee Ice Cream; On the right: Cookies and Cream Ice Cream.

If you're a fan of Yellow Cab's Charlie Chan like me, then you could relate my sadness too when they temporarily closed during quarantine. Thanks to Youtube, I cooked my own version of Charlie Chan at home. Verdict: It was good but it was TOO SPICY! I think I put too much chili oil. Haha! But nevertheless, it was still good. Promise!

I was so unsuccessful in making the ever so popular DALGONA COFFEE during quarantine but I was successful in making DALGONA AFFOGATO (DALGONA mixture over Vanilla Ice Cream). Both me and Mr. A were so addicted to this. But I had to stop since I promised myself to lose more weight during this period. But will I do this again? Oh yes! Definitely!

I started to learn how to cook kimchi rice even before quarantine started. But I am happy to say that I have mastered it while making it almost every week during quarantine. That's why I included it in this post. Soon, I am going to experiment on how to make BAKED KIMCHI RICE. That's something to look forward to, right?

I would say out of all of these, learning how to make the COFFEE JELLY is what I am proud of. This has become a crowd favorite in the office. It really makes me happy when an officemate says “Tin, lami gud”, “Maam Athina, masarap gud coffee jelly mo”, “Ate tin, ka perfect ba sa coffee jelly.”, etc… I guess after so many attempts, is it safe to say that I have become a master of coffee jelly? Lol.



For my son’s first birthday, I have already planned a GRAND celebration for him. Well, even before he came out of my tummy, my mind was already full of activities, ideas on what to do during his upcoming FIRST BIRTHDAY. Just like any other mom, that was how important this particular occasion was for me. But sadly, pandemic happened and big events were discouraged. And even my son’s important guests – his Amah and Akoh (paternal grandmother and first aunt) couldn’t fly to Davao City. So we did a 180 degree change for this. We crossed out basically almost every single thing on our list – hotel venue, ice cream and snack carts, grazing table, magician, host, decorations and more. And instead, we ordered viands from a local caterer (who cooks great food, btw!), lechon from my son’s godfather, and cake from one of my friends who was a known baker in the city. As for the decorations, I skipped hiring a decorator and did everything myself which only cost around 500 pesos.

As for the guests - NONE. It was just me, my husband, the nanny, our housekeeper and her adopted son. Even my own mother and sister (who lives in Davao City) couldn’t go to the celebration because our area was considered HIGH RISK and I personally didn’t want to risk their lives.

But despite the simplicity (I wouldn’t say DOWNGRADE because it was definitely nowhere near that), we celebrated my son’s birthday with all smiles on our faces. Even if it was just us at home, we had fun talking, reminiscing my son’s early months and talked about all the big developments and changes he had gone through in a span of one year. I couldn’t stress it enough – IT WAS INDEED A HAPPY OCCASION.

Here are some photos of my son’s QUARANTINE BIRTHDAY:

 Simple celebration, yet full of love


If there’s one thing I learned the hard way, is that there are really people who are not happy for your success and make sarcasm at the time of your happiness during a particular milestone. And that happened to me during this quarantine.

Just a little back story: Our plans to take a vacation to the United States last August did not push through for obvious health and safety reasons. (No vacation meant more savings, right? lol!) And my husband decided to use the car for him to travel back and forth the family farm. Which left me no choice but to purchase my own car. This decision was for two important reasons: 1.) For me to use going from point A to point B (house to office, most of the time) and 2.) For us to use in case of emergencies (God forbid!). So I concluded from those two main reasons that buying my own car was not exactly a WANT… but falls more into the NEED section. And since I had the purchasing power to do so thanks to our cancelled vacation, why not?

So here I am, with my very own baby – A 2020 Fire Red Suzuki S Presso which I named, Fuego.

Fresh from Suzuki Kalookan. It took almost a week for Fuego to travel from Kalookan to Zamboanga to Davao City via Cargo. So glad this baby arrived safe and sound in Durian Land.

While others were celebrating with me in this new milestone of my life – “Maam Athina congratulations sa new car!”, “Ate Thin, nice kaayo imo car”, “Tin, good decision to have your own car also here in Davao. I heard this particular car is good. Can't wait for your review”, there were some who were not pleased and happy about this change, indirectly stating my insensitivity with the current health situation of the world.

“Ma’am thin, congrats sa new car. Murag walay pandemic ma’am, noh?”; "Lage na ma'am, daghan na lage ka ug kwarta".

Okay so those statements weren't exactly incriminating, but it doesn’t take a rocket science genius to figure out that those statements do have hints of sarcasm on them. I was a bit bothered at first but then again, if I could change the world and make it different as it is now, I’m sure I would do it. But I am only a tiny speck in this world who can only do little good deeds but cannot do the impossible to change the world. And that, my friends, is reality.

So for you, two sirs (yes, they are both males), I won’t be bothered by what you said before because this is my life, my money and I hope you could respect my decision since this is for my family’s need.

After 9 years of working in a bank, I am proud to say that this is THE MOST EXPENSIVE PURCHASE that I have ever made. My bank account is back to zero but guess what, MY HEART IS HAPPY. This car is just everything – fuel efficient, compact, smooth and easy to drive and more (let me tell you all about that in another post, a vlog, maybe?).

Let's not mind the haters, FUEGO.

These are just some of the things I learned during this quarantine. I continuously hope and pray that everything will be back to normal soon. If not the previous normal, hopefully a BETTER AND HEALTHIER NORMAL.

Keep safe, everyone!

** This is an official entry to the Davao Bloggers Blog Caravan for October 2020 with the theme "Quarantine Lessons." **

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  1. hahahaha que ver nalang sa mga haters boo, mag buot man sila! You worked hard for it, and having a car is practical these days, take that from someone who doesn't know or doesn't want the idea to drive a car HAHAHA. I've also learned a lot of stuff during quarantine. Makapagsulat nga rin ng blog post!

    1. Kavuang. Now lang naglabas comment mo. Hahahaha. Thank you boo! Lage, bahala sila uy. Palit pud diay sila lol. Kidding aside, thank you for supporting my decision too. I agree that it is indeed practical especially at this time.