Book Recommendations Part 1

Hello there, virtual family!

Happy 2021! I hope you all are having a better year than the past one. 🙂 

It’s the start of a new year. And what better time to start a new goal than this?

A lot of you are asking about a book recommendation. And I could not be happier about that. It always makes me ecstatic to know people who love reading too, just like me. 

So, as my new year’s present for all of you, book lovers out there, I put together some of my favorite books. Here are my highly commended and recommended books. 

No long description will be included as I don’t want to give a spoiler. 

In no particular order, here are my top 5 recos:

CTTPO, source: Google

The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

  • The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest 

I was so engrossed with these books that I wanted to name my future daughter Lisbeth. 

CTTPO, source: Google

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

  • This book gave me a different feel on human connection, relationships, friendships, and Afghan values. 
  • Disclaimer: This book touches on sexual abuse and Islamophobia, please be guided accordingly.
CTTPO, source: Google

Kafka on The Shore by Haruki Murakami 

  • Oh, I tell you, this book blew my mind! It tells about the parallel story of the conscious and unconscious mind. The “shore” is the border of these two worlds. 
  • Warning: You might find the first few chapters boring, but don’t stop reading. 
CTTPO, source: Google

For One More Day by Mitch Albom 

  • I balled my eyes out while reading this book. It’s a story about relationships and mortality. If you are familiar with Albom’s works, he basically writes about relationships and deaths. While I like his other famous books like The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Time Keeper, etc., I specifically like For One More day because of the relationship between a mother and a child. 
CTTPO, source: Google

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  • If you haven’t read The Little Prince yet, you are missing half of your life 🙂 
  • It teaches so many valuable lessons that adults and kids should learn. 

These are my top 5 for now. I felt like I’m betraying my other authors by not including them, but this will do for now.

Next time, I will give my top 5 favorites of Nicholas Sparks’, Paulo Coelho’s and other writers. 

Enjoy! Share your favorites too! I wanna get recommendations as well. 

Stay safe and enjoy reading! 

Love, Simplymesmc

Paradigm Shift

Almost eight months in a global pandemic. How are you coping?

As we could see everywhere, rules are a bit loose all over the world now compared to how we were six months ago. Surely, cases are still increasing but, people could not live in fear for such a long time. We all need to keep going, BUT, safety measures should need to be observed AT ALL TIMES!! Y’all already know that! 🙂 

When asked how was my 2020 so far, always my answer on the on- set was: “Nothing much happened because we can’t do anything this year due to Covid19 pandemic.”

But today, I took time and discern how is my 2020 going so far? Two months shy away from closing the year and I am already giving my early year-in-review: 

– I quit my corporate job in January of this year with a plan of resting for a couple of months, doing some traveling, and spending time with my loved ones.

– I turned down a job offer because the start date coincided with my travel dates, and they needed to fill the position soooo urgently that I could not negotiate the date. 

– My travel plan got canceled because Covid19 happened – which left me jobless and stuck at home.

– While unable to get back to the corporate job because of the economy’s downfall, I am lucky enough to turn my part-time job ( online teaching) into a full-time job. 

– My family got a massive covid19 threat that had shaken us to the core, but I am glad that it was all over now and that my dad who is a dialysis patient was spared from covid. It goes to show that my old man is one hell of an invincible man. (ok, I am exaggerating) 

– Celebrated my 35th bday at home without a party. Thinking about it seemed lonely but, it was fun. My friends, my boyfriend, and my siblings managed to set up a surprise without needing to physically interact with me. All thanks to delivery services now. 

– I have spoken to my friends via zoom more now than before the pandemic. Everybody is at home, and it was easier to connect with them all. 

– In August, I got a new corporate job! Yey! 

– I still work as an online teacher. I am glad I could do this despite the 9-hour-shift with the new job. All thanks to the WFH set-up, no travel time was wasted. I could joggle in between two jobs easily. 

– I get to see my dad and my family more often now because the rules are not as stringent as it was five months ago. 

– Our family group chat is busier now because we always do video calls. 

– etc.. etc..etc..

As I list down all these things, I castigate myself for saying: “ nothing much happened”.  

So much has happened, but we focus on who or what to blame.

Surely, my list was a rough rundown of something negative and positive all mixed up, and I failed to see the bigger picture at first. Yes, all these happened mainly because of the covid-19 pandemic, but I realized that instead of focusing on the issue that I could not resolve, might as well shift my attention to the things that I could control and try to find little good things from a tough situation. All we could do is change our perspective. Things did not work out how we planned it because there’s another good thing that’s coming our way, an even better thing.

Not here to preach, this is just my realization.

Here’s hoping you all have a safe remainder of the year! 

Dear Children of Marawi



(An Open Letter to Children of War)

I wish I could say I know how you feel but really, no one of us, outside the war zone could say that.

I understand you have been through a lot and I salute you for not giving up.

5 months of fear; 5 months of uncertainty, 5 months of being in evacuation area; 5 months under the mercy of people sending you your basic needs; 5 months out of school;  5 months of terror; 5 months of questioning what happened to your beloved place. Long months of asking: ‘Will we ever get out of here alive?’

I know that’s too much for kids like you to experience.  I know that’s the most unfair thing children like you would ever have to deal with. But please know that after the war, you are the strongest and bravest kids in our eyes.

It’s not easy to be children of war, I know for sure. I was born and raised in a place known for its Peace and Order problem and that was already too much, let alone war, terrorism, airstrikes and gun fires.  I am sorry you have to experience that. I am sorry your family had to go through that. I wish this would be the last not just in Marawi but for the country and for the world.

Being able to experience war all together, and being the ones to witness the damages that it left, please help each other the best way you can. Go back to school no matter how hard. Start reading the Bible or the Quran and understand the word of Allah. Try your hardest to read and write and seek for understanding and wisdom so people won’t take advantage of you, so people won’t abuse you. Do good things each day. Think positive all the time. Respect all Military Men who fought for your freedom. Love all men in uniform more. Love your country, love your town, love your neighbors, and love Marawi.

Always look after yours and your family’s well-being. Ask Allah for wisdom so you know what to believe in. And never lose your core. Always remember what damage this war has brought to you and your family, and use that as a weapon to stand your ground and never get persuaded by other people.

Though moving on is the way to go, but never forget the lesson this battle has instilled in you. Use these to be positive individuals. To be productive citizens and to be peace-loving children of Allah.

Big sisters and brothers, look after the kids, YOU are the future of Marawi. Together, your town will rise again and YOU will make it a better place to live at. Do all things with love.

Do it for your parents, for your neighbors and for everyone who has risked their lives to fight for freedom and peace.

I will keep praying for you.  I will keep helping in my own little ways. I know you can do it. I know you will rise above all these because you are at your strongest now.  The whole place maybe crushed, but that should not crash your dreams. It’s  not an easy way, but keep going, kid. We all pray for you.

Spreading Peace and Love and virtual hug to all of you.



Who am I Quarantining With? (Haruki Murakami, Mindy Kaling and friends..)

Today marks my 50th day of being in Home Quarantine. Yes, you read it right! 50 days of no-going-out. If you read the previous entry, you’d know that the best I could be at now is the rooftop.

Okay, why 50 days? You ask.  How are you doing it, you ask.

Here are a few reasons:

  • 2 days before the official lockdown started in my city, I was already at home, ref loaded at least for 1 weeks’ worth of supply.
  • Where I am at, there’s only one person allowed in every household to go out for essentials  – I live with my siblings, the man in the house is a designated “liaison”.
  • 1 quarantine pass is given every household. Every entry and exit point have military and police officers checking if you have quarantine pass. If you don’t have, sorry, you can’t pass through, go back home!
  • Ok, these are a few reasons… not to mention, I don’t want to stand at the Supermarket queue. for so loooooooongg!

A friend from the USA asked me how do I manage to stay at home.

Well, there isn’t any way but just to DO IT! I Know and I understand why we have to do it. We are forced to stay at home not because the government is taking away our freedom, we are on a lockdown for our safety and for the safety of others. I guess by now, everybody understands that, yes?

So, how am I persisting? Lemme introduce to you my not-so-secret quarantine cronies:

  • Haruki Murakami – I just got done reading my first ever Murakami and It blew my mind.
    • Kafka on the ShoreIn a parallel world of Kafka and Mr. Nakata where everything is a metaphor, I am Mister Hoshino. My curiosity, my youth and the memory of my late gramps brought me into this situation. Unknowingly, I had to take on one major task essential for the twist of this novel. I am the representation of all readers. I asked Mr. Nakata questions that all readers are dying to know.  
    • After Dark – I am still on it now, I will update once done. So far, story is building up. One thing I am sure of, Murakami is a darn good writer!
  • Mindy Kaling – When it’s hard to pick up the reading momentum, I go for audio book – I am now obsessed with “Why Not Me” by Mindy Kaling. Kaling’s humor and intelligence are what we need in this challenging world right about now.


Just when you thought I was always a book worm, you were wrong. Occasionally, I turn into a Netflix butterfly too.  I always find comedy shows comforting, fun and well-thought of. Humor is hard to learn – a great comedian must be born with it.   I re-watched some old-time favorites. So recently, I was with Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Ross and Joey.  I have lost count of times that I’ve re-watched FRIENDS, to be honest.   For Rom-Com Series, I hope you know Jane Gloriana Villanueva and Rafael Solano! Who’s with me for  Jane The Virgin?

To make me sound brainy (LOL), I also watch reality show like 100 Humans. This is interesting! Series of experiments are conducted to study human behavior. Questions such as: Who are always late, men or women? Who are funnier? Who feels the pain more? etc. are answered.

Oh, on the side, I ‘m enjoiying the company of Leslie Sansone too. She has amazing Walk at Home video exercises. You may follow her on YouTube here.


And lastly, I recently enrolled in Spanish Online Class – So yeah, add my virtual Spanish teachers on the list too.

That’s it for now, what or who are your quarantine buddies? Share please!


Be Safe, virtual fam!

Love, Simplymesmc




My Quarantine Story

Wake up at 11:30, start my online job at 12 noon, take 2-hour break in between. 2pm – this is when I start preparing for Brunch. I know right, brunch during snack time, does not make sense but, well! By 3pm, brunch is done. I have a few minutes to spare before I go back to my work desk. At 4 pm, I start working again for 2 hours.

At 6 pm, I make it a point to come as quickly as I could to my apartment’s rooftop to catch the sunset. I have never imagined I would look forward to catching sunset every day. There were occasions that I missed the sunset but hey, I saw a beautiful moon one time! And Yes, I also saw a super pink moon. What a Treat!

While enjoying the sunset, I do my stretching routine, a few leg exercises and I finish it off by going back and forth the stairs. I’m generally lazy but this quarantine is making me exercise because, what else would I do? And it feels great, actually! Well, it sored at first, okay?

By 6:30, I take a shower and get ready for my work again at 7pm. 2 hours of sitting is boring and killing me so I again take a break. 9pm – this is when I have coffee and I would rummage my fridge for anything that I could pair my coffee with.  My breaks are also used to talk to my boyfriend, my parents , my siblings , etc .( Thank you, messenger and zoom).

By 10 pm, I am ready to sit for another 2 hours again and work my way off until 12 midnight.

By putting long breaks in between, I would not even notice that I could complete 8 hours of work every day. (thanks to my online company for flexi time).  By 12 midnight, I would prepare late dinner. By 1 am, my sister would be done working too. (Yes, she is in the room working all along). So yes, we eat dinner at 1 am, by 2: 30, I would be on bed reading a book. (I make it a point to NOT USE MY PHONE for at least 1 hour. I read at this time). If I’m not reading, I’m binge-watching any Netflix shows or my favorite youtuber’s Vlog. I go to bed at 4 or 5 am and yeah, the saga continues. Another day, another stay-at-home routine. What’s important is we are Virus -free and we are helping in flattening the curve.



What about you? What is your quarantine story?

Share in the comment section please. Tell me your location and your routine.

Stay Safe Everyone!



Love from Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines,




Thank you , Covid-19 Frontliners!!

Amidst the Global Pandemic,  we want to express our gratitude to all the health workers, police and military officers,  doctors, nurses, food delivery services and everyone else who are at the frontline working for us while we are all in the confine of our own homes.

Also thank you to the airline representatives who remain calm despite the unending calls for refunds and rebook requests!!


Thank you for your services. We appreciate you.


P.S: Head to twitter and see what Filipinos did. follow the hashtag #fronlinersPH

Emergency: Please Help Taal Victims

Hi Virtual Family!

As you might have heard, the second most active volcano in the Philippines, Taal, located in Batangas and usually tourists view from Tagaytay city, has errupted on Sunday afternoon, 6PM Philippine Time.

Thousands of families are now in evacuation areas. It breaks my heart seeing babies, elderly and mommies sleeping uncomfortably in evacuation floor, not having enough food and full of uncertainty about the coming days. One thing is for sure. They will stay long in the evacuation areas bec their houses are covered with ashes. I live 50kms away from the area but we experienced terrible ash fall and sulfur smell, what more the people who are in Tagaytay and Batangas areas?

While the government is doing its best to give assistance, nothing is really enough for people in abject need.

They are in need of these basic things:

– Diapers

– formula milk

– Sanitary pads

– drinking water

-canned goods

-N95 and up face masks

– rice

People abroad could send money to Paypal account. Ill get details of trusted groups who are already doing the outreach program on the field now.

I know I have not asked or wish for anything in my page, all I wanted to do was write. But today is different, I want to use this avenue to knock at your generous hearts.


Please leave a comment below if you want to help for instructions. In kinds ot monetary will do. Big or small, they will go a long long way. Also, your biggest contribution will be prayers for safety of my countrymen, the animals and that this wrath of nature will end and communities will be able to settle in again soon.


Thank you in advance.

P.S :typing in mobile while  in a moving vehicle, excuse typos.


Edit: I finally got a hold of my laptop, so I am editing this post to show some links on how we can help:

These are the following people or groups that are on the field now helping out privately:

Instagram @hershey_official

Hershey is a business woman based in Batangas. She and her brother personally go places to gather funds, buy products and distribute. check her instagram posts for photos.


Acc #: 1093 5089 9990
Hershey Valerie Thompson


Here are other details, choose which is aconvenient for you:


From Mindanao Daily Mirror


from Brgy San Juan SAn Pablo City FB

From Brgy San Juan SAn Pablo Laguna FB post


Here are a few snaps that hopefully move your generous hearts.

A clip for kababayan abroad:

ABS-CBN Appeals To Overseas Filipinos, Global Communities For Help For Communities Affected By Taal Volcano Eruption


Video link From CNN:

taal coffee_dante

Photo by @Coffee_Dante



Actual photo from Miss Hershey Hilado Instagram – Thats her in the crowd of evacuees who would fight tooth and nail to get Milk formula for their babies.


jeff canoy

Photo from @Jeffcanoy ( an ABS SBN reporter)

Taal from CNN

Photo From CNN




This will forever haunt me, I’m crying inside for animals ( Photo from Abscbn new Instagram)


Please help in every little way you can.


Thank you.

What Actually Happened on New Year

Happy 2020 guys!!

So, following my New Year’s post, here’s what actually happened on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day!

You guys! It was full of fun, a little health scare and everything in between!


NY Eve – we all gathered as a family, my chef brother was home and did almost all the cooking, so THANK GOD! We ate, said our thanx for the year that passed, picture taking, watched fireworks and ate again! Hahahaa


NY Day – Dad had a dialysis session in the morning, we picked him up at the hospital after his session and all we went to my aunt’s house where we always have our New Year’s Day reunion. All our cousins from nearby places came over. Our “Cousins” Group chat has been active since Christmas of all the stuff that we planned to do on New Year’s gathering.

It is during New Year’s Day also when we have our annual gift – giving ( Yes, you would think it’s a little late, but this is when we are all gathered together, after all, Christmas is looooooong in the Philippines, right? )

We were happily updating each other while the oldies sat on their own chitchat corner while watching my brother and aunt prepare for yet another New Year’s Feast!  Cousins were taking selfies, kids running around, singles are updating about love lives, talking about silly things and stacking the gifts around the Christmas tree while waiting for other cousins to arrive, when I heard my aunt called my name – dad was not feeling okay. Luckily one of my cousins is a nurse, she attended to dad and checked on his BP, turned out, post dialysis, his BP spiked to 210/100.

I immediately called his doctor, but she was on a vacation. We called the dialysis center at the hospital and we were advised to give him Sublingual captopril. I did not understand a thing so I handed the phone over to the nurse in the family.

Another cousin who is a police officer was having a good meal but he unhesitatingly left his plates, hopped on to his bike and drove to the nearest drugstore. The meds did not do the job, so we had to rush dad to the ER.

Thankfully, he was released after 4 hours. Me and my sister had to spend the afternoon of the 1st day of the decade at the ER waiting for dad’s BP to normalize, but I am still thankful he is up and about now.

We may have missed the fun, we may have missed the other cousins who came late, we may have not witnessed a lot of things unfold  which we have been planning for a long time, but I am grateful that everything went back to normal.

That day was a reminder that I have the best family ever. How selfless my cousins were to put the needs of their uncle first before theirs.  How the rest of the family constantly checked on us while they were in the  middle of gift-giving, how my aunt sent us “take home” food because she knew we left without eating. How everybody gave time when a family member needed help. I am forever thankful. We may had a little health scare to start a year, but we have the next 364 days to make things better!

On a much lighter note, let me share with you our New Year’s eve feast prepared by the awesome brother:

Happy New Year, y’all!

Happy 2020

One day before a decade ends!!

What are you planning to do on the first day of the new year?

As for me, I will definitely sleep longer. I am very sure I would be staying up all night on New Year’s eve beause friends and family are coming together. Whatever you wanna do on Jan 1 onwards, I pray that that will make you happy.

At this very moment, I am in my room and  as I tap my keyboards, downstairs at the kitchen is a different chaos. Foods are getting prepared for the new year’s eve feast. I am glad my chef brother is home every new year. That spared me from Kitchen responsibilties. Lol!

On a more serious note, I wish each one of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I pray that 2020 will be our best year! I hope that  2020 will be even better for you and your family’s health, financial situation and you and your loved-ones’ happiness!

Love and Light to all of you, tight virtual hug!!





Happy Holidays!!

Hello Guys,

Happy Holidays! I hope you are all doing well.

As many of you may know, Christmas in the Philippines is celebrated longer than other countries.

As soon as September Kicked off, you could already hear Christmas songs everywhere ( insert Jose MariChan here).

Now, as Christmas is approaching, we are all busy attending parties, family reunions, kris kringle and other merriment.

I have done wrapping all my presents. For a couple of years, I recycled brown bags to make the gifts more sustainable. However, I recently moved to a new place and I was unable to keep all brown bags that I was supposed to be using for this season. So, I decided to still go simple by replacing brown bag with Manila paper and ofcourse, red ribbon. This is way cheaper than Christmas wrappers. Plus, I put effort decorating the gift to make it more personalized.








Next week, we will start planning for Christmas food.

Since I work at night, I am unable to attend “Simbang Gabi” or dawn mass.

What about you, what preparations are you doing? How will you spend your Holidays?


However you want to celebrate, may we all remember the REAL reason for this season!