2 years since we’re back. An ex-OFW update

Today is our 2nd year anniversary in the Philippines. Our plane landed on June 1st and it was the beginning of our family’s new life in the country. How are we doing? What changed? Anything we miss? Anything I regret?

I gave an update a few weeks after we landed (Read Here), but as you can imagine, sobrang sariwa pa namin dyan. You can read it first before continuing para hindi ka ma-confused. Go on! I’ll wait….


Commercial muna.. Ganda ko diba?

Done? Ok, let’s continue.

You can imagine that a lot of things happened in that 2 years so let me try to categorized things so you won’t be confused (and me, too!)


I enrolled my kids in a traditional school during our first year. They had a lot of adjustment with Filipino and AP subjects. I honestly didn’t have any idea kung paano nakapasa si Cole sa Filipino. I read his lessons and there was no way he can understand them on his own. Knowing him though, he won’t say anything.

Aside from the fact that he came from a British curriculum and it’s a totally different style here. Masyadong focus ang mga bata dito to memorize things, and madaming quizzes and homework (actually, konti pa nga daw yung homeworks and projects sa school ng mga anak ko compared sa other schools). I never expected high grades from him and he didn’t get high grades which was fine by me at least he passed.

It was the same thing for my daughter who doesn’t speak Tagalog until now. Well, she can understand conversational Tagalog but won’t speak the language except the expression ‘eh‘ (I don’t want eh!) and kanina which she uses even though she meant something that happened last year. I needed to tell her that kanina means earlier. If it was last week or last year then just say it in English because all of us get confused.

Although, both of them said that they prefer studying here. They miss everything in Dubai except school. They really didn’t enjoy the Arabic lessons.

They also made a list of things to eat and do once we go back to Dubai for holidays. I promise them that we will visit once we’re able. Obviously, kelangan pag-ipunan din.

As you know, Covid-19 started last year so Gibson and I decided na i-homeschool sila for SY 2020-2021. It was something I really wanted to do for so long but I was scared na hindi ko kaya. As it turned out, hindi ko pala talaga kaya! HAHAHA.

Masaya naman talaga mag-aral sa bahay…

Seriously though, I LOVE the freedom it gives us. We can go anywhere and adjust the school timing depende kung may lakad kami or wala. But I can’t homeschool both my kids while doing so many things as well. I feel guilty.

So next school year, Biel will return to her traditional school albeit online but Cole will stay homeschooled. He is an incoming Grade 10 and I don’t want to move him anywhere considering that by Grade 11, inshallah, he can be accepted sa school na gusto nya for college.

We also had dogs as pets and they are one of the reasons kaya love nila staying in Pinas. We never had dogs when we were in Dubai because we live in an apartment with other extended family members. Masyadong complicated. But now we have 2 (we had 3 pero na-dead nga lang si Oreo) and we’re adopting another puppy in a few weeks. Excited na naman mga kiddos.


Since Covid started, we asked Ate A to stopped coming to clean our house. Mataas kasi cases sa area kung saan sya nakatira and we don’t want to risk it. Since then, I became 100% in-charge of the household. I’m now the appointed House CEO. Amazing, right? LOL

I can’t believe I can do it considering na hindi nga ako marunong mag operate ng automatic washing machine when I was in Dubai. We always had help when we were in UAE. Honestly, kaya ko naman pala. And you know what, if there’s one thing na lalo ako nacha-challenge is when somebody say na hindi ko kaya.

Many of my family members thought na hindi ko kaya mag-manage ng household but well, nasa kin ang huling halakhak. haha Admittedly though, I would only rate myself 85 – 90 siguro. I enjoy cooking and laundry, but I never do sweeping, mopping, or dusting. I let other members of our household (aka Gibson and the kids) to do them. Well, galaw-galaw din sila noh.

Do you know that I discovered and learned so many tricks and tips to make my life easier?

  • Mr. Muscle Mold and Mildew can really remove yung mga anik anik sa toilet without scrubbing. Amazing!
  • Pare-pareho lang ang dishwashing liquid. Wag na maarte sa brand.
  • Irish Spring soap bar can make the toilet/room smells good. Ang tanong lang is saan mo itatago na hindi magagamit.
  • A microwavable food cover can save you time of cleaning the microwave. Kesa tumatalsik talsik ang food habang iniinit, cover it na lang and voila!

I’ll add it here kung meron pa ko maalala..


2 freaking years! Ang daming pwedeng mangyari in two years diba? And yes, madami talagang nangyari… We welcomed new babies in the family. I have 3 new nieces and nephew all born during the pandemic. Thanks God hindi sila pinangalanan na Covid Rose or Michael Corona.

My mom celebrated her 68th birthday and first time nya naka-receive ng money cake and money bouquet. Napa sana-all ang madami.


Thank God for my mother at lagi nya ko pinapadalan ng ayuda. Love you mom!

Ahh!! I love my mom talaga!

Speaking of mothers, last September, my MIL passed away. It was so sudden and unexpected. It was heartbreaking to say the least. And you know what, that cemented my belief that our return to the Philippines is never a mistake. The fact that we were able to spend a year with her and the kids enjoying their grandma more are something that we will cherish forever. Everything happens for a reason. You’re always where you’re supposed to be. I truly believe that.

We miss you Mama ❤️


Ok, let’s talk about money. Do you know that we spent 3 million pesosesoses in our first year in PH? Yup! Some of it was used as downpayment sa car, others pambili ng gamit, yung iba sa negosyo, the rest was for everyday living.

How much is our monthly expenses? 90k more or less.

20k for groceries
8-11k sa utilities
32k sa car loan
2k sa petrol
10-20k ayuda sa parents
plus school fees, life insurance, at kung anik-anik

A few days ago, we closed our nail salon permanently. It became a liability already and it doesn’t make sense to keep it open. Sa negosyo, hindi ka dapat attached. If it’s not making money, let go. Same way sa staff – hire slowly, fire fast.

My husband also closed the food cart he opened prior to pandemic. This Covid really was a challenge for many small businesses and ours were not spared.

Fortunately, the milktea distribution company is doing well. Since food category sya, never sya nag closed at mas lalo pang lumakas because many looked for extra source of income. My husband also started selling milktea in the village (chill-chill lang) and the profit can easily cover our groceries. Malaki talaga kita sa milktea business.

Ako naman, I started working virtually this year and I get paid around 60-80k monthly. I also have TWP and Allyson Cole Jewel as extra source of income and at the same time where I can be creative, too.

I’m sharing these numbers with you because you know me, I never shy away discussing about these things since hindi naman sya masama. I was looking for these kind of info when I was researching about going back home at wala ako makita. It’s taboo to discuss money and I don’t understand why. People don’t mind discussing kung ano kinakain nila para pumayat (proud pa!) yet pag usapang pera, ayaw nila i-discuss. WHY? Well, kung walang magku-kwento ng money success and failures nila then magiging forever ideas and concept lang ang mga bagay. Rant over.

The first few weeks since we arrived were funny because I keep on converting prices from AED to PHP and obviously I find everything cheap. I needed to remind myself that I wasn’t earning in dirhams anymore so I should stop converting. In a month or so, I adjusted.

The only thing I don’t understand and still upsets me is when stores here put up a sale item. 50 cents ang discount!!! What the fuck! Bwisit talaga ko. I came from a city na may 90% off kaya hindi ko matanggap yung 50 cents or 2% off. Nakakaloka!

BWISIT! Proud ka pa nyan SM??! Actually, mali pa sila ng numbers dyan. Mas nagmahal pa ng 50 cents kesa original price. Pansin mo?


Mainit sa Pilipinas. Sure, mas mainit sa UAE pero lagi kami nasa aircon. Never nga ako pinagpapawisan sa Dubai eh. House-car-office-car-house lang ang routine ko. Walang chance na mainitan. That’s why I don’t shampoo my hair everyday when I was in Dubai. Pero dito sa Pilipinas, nakakaloka! At since mahal ang kuryente, you can’t afford na bukas ang aircon 24/7.

Pero nowadays, we risk high Meralco bills. Sabi nga ng mom ko, mahina ang 5k sa hospital. So hindi bale ng mataas ang electricity bill because nag aircon kesa sa hospital bill mapunta ang pera dahil na heat stroke. May point si mother…

Ang dami naming jacket na hindi nagagamit. Sayang ang mga damit ng mga bata kasi una, hindi naman sila makalabas dahil Covid nga. And then, bawal gumala outside NCR bubble ekek, and third, except Baguio, wala naman talaga masyadong jacket weather sa Pinas. And knowing my kids, unless below 10 degrees ang weather, hindi sila mag-jacket. So san kami pupunta?

Kapag nagbukas ang Baguio, we will definitely visit again. Yan lang yung malayu-layo na napuntahan namin before lockdown. The kids enjoyed it.


Settling back in the Philippines is truly a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. Madami akong kakilala na bumalik na or gusto ng bumalik sa ibang bansa para magtrabaho ulit. And I don’t blame them.

Unless retiree age ka na talaga at enjoying life na lang ang goal mo sa life, returning back home will push you to step out of your comfort zone in many ways you can’t imagine. It will truly test your determination and grit.

Kakayanin mo ba?
Gugustuhin mo ba?

At the end of the day, it will be a choice. Ano ba mas importante sayo?
Personally, I value freedom. Freedom to do things that I truly want that I’m willing to step out of my comfort zone many times over to achieve it. I know for a fact that I’m not driven by money kasi kung pera lang, I was offered half a million pesos just to stay in my former job but I declined.

But we have different seasons in our life and some are in a season na kailangan nila i-prioritize ang financial stability nila. I understand that. For me, I would rather focus on what I want and figure out the financial aspect as I go along. Besides, I believe that money is everywhere kaya siguro madali lang sakin kumita ng pera. If you want na dumami din ang pera mo, you need to improve your abundance mindset. I seriously suggest you book me as your mentor. No kidding, it’s now time. CHECK IT OUT HERE.


That’s it pansit. I’m glad I got the time and sipag to write this post. I was planning to do this on our first year anniversary pero obviously tinamad na. If you have any questions, just comment down below or PM me. Hanapin mo lang ako, nakakalat lang naman ako sa tabi-tabi.

Take care my friends. Love you all!


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One comment

  1. Cha Mayuga says:

    Hi po. I love reading your blogs. By the way, baka naman po matulungan nyo po ako Ma’am to enlighten me on my decision kasi po I’m so confused na talaga. Actually, I’m a former expat din po sa Dubai 2 years ago. Bumalik ako sa pinas just to gave birth to my 1st child. Balik sana ako kaagad sa DXB kaso timing ngka pandemic. So andito pa ako since 2019 po.

    Ayoko kasi LDR kamk sa husband ko. Nasa DXB din po sya ngttrabaho. Nasa government na din po ako ngttrabho ngayon dito sa pinas mg 1yr na po kaso hindi pa regular. So kung tutuusin mas stable sya samin.

    Now, im torn between going back to dxb po para mgsama kami ng husband ko kaso nga back to zero na naman kasi mghahanap pa po ako work ulit dun tsaka maiiwan muna si baby dito sa pinas OR ipagpatuloy ko nlng po work ko dito sa gov’t at sya nalang uuwi for good. huhuhuhu

    Sana po mkapag advise kayo Ma’am. Thanks po Ma’am Lyn. More power!

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