Moving Forward from 2021 to 2022

Happy New Year 2022

I was writing this during a lull after the festivities of Christmas Eve - the day of gift wrapping, preparing for the Noche Buena, and attending a jam-packed church for the evening Mass. The kids were asleep as well as My Beloved Wife, who is recuperating since she did all the cooking.

Looking at them sleeping peacefully tells me that all the hardships and difficulties that I went through this year is all worth it. They are the reason why I keep pushing forward.

So why the gloomy opening for this blog post? The answer is that we are now counting the hours to the end of 2021. Thus, it is the perfect time to be melancholic and reminisce about the year that was.

Treble Cubs = Treble Trouble

If 2020 is the year when we welcomed the third cub in the family, then 2021 is the year when the third cub joined the two older cubs in making the fun and messes in the house. Triple kids means tripled number of scattered toys on the floor, triple the laundry (good thing we got a new automatic washing machine), triple the kakulitan, and triple the scolding.

It was a difficult ordeal and there were times that I scolded and disciplined them to no avail. Sometimes I think that I am a failure as a father because I cannot go through with them. It seems like my words fall on deaf ears. I always scold them about the same things everyday, I remind them of the same things every single day.

Sounds horrible, right? Well no. Because triple the cubs also means triple the fun and the love.

It is fun to see the third cub learning new things - from learning how to stand on his own, to his first step without holding him, and now running and climbing on his own.

The second cub is the sweetest of all. Her hugs and even her requests to carry her like a baby (even though she's heavy now) melts my heart. How long will this last, I wonder. She grow up very fast.

The first cub is quite hardheaded and persistent in getting what he wants. He pesters me most of the time. This attitude of his is a pain but I know that such hardheadedness and persistence will be helpful to him in the future.

2021 is also the year when the two older cubs are enrolled in online class. I witnessed firsthand how difficult this mode of teaching for small kids. Focus is the problem for the kids. The only positive thing is that I can see the attitude and teaching style of their teachers, and I am not liking what I saw.

Well, these are my kids and I am very happy to have them - with all the mess and fun that they bring. I know deep in my heart that this phase will end and I will surely miss it.

Leading the Pack with more Experience

Year 2020 is the year when I was named as the supervisor of supervisors - in short, head over various units. It was not easy for me, who is an introvert and a pessimist.

I only supervised one unit in the past and now I have to deal with many people from different units. It is more challenging since I have to balance everything. I don't only deal with the producing outputs but also with people - their concerns, their relationships and conflicts, their reactions. On top of these, I have to deal with bosses, some of which have inflated egos.

My baby steps in 2020 became like a toddlers first walks in 2021. I learned a lot this year and the previous years.

Also, I am blessed to have a staff who are capable and professional. They make load much lighter.

Still, I have much to learn and the coming year will surely give plenty of opportunities to learn new things.

Family Trips, Finally

The pandemic situation in the Philippines somehow improved in 2021. The strict lockdowns were removed and people are allowed to travel, not only for work or business but also for leisure. The lockdown has negative effects to the mental health and emotional wellbeing to our children (and also us parents), so we decided to embark on a family trip by going to Woodside Farm & Water Park in Cabuyao, Laguna.

We also joined the neighbors outing somewhere in Nagcarlan, Laguna (I will blog about it later).

Our kids also managed to enter grocery stores, shopping malls, and restaurant this year. The best thing is that we can now attend Holy Mass regularly.

I do hope that the situation improve in 2022 despite the threat of Omicron and the incoming Wuhan Virus variants. 

Return to Anime and Manga

2021 is filled with stressful and exhausting situations. So, to ease the pressure a little bit, I returned to watching anime and reading manga.

My staple, of course, is One Piece that is already near the climax of the Wano Arc.

I also rewatched old anime like Hunter X Hunter (still on hiatus), Gundam Wing, Haruhi Suzumiya, and Code Geass (the ending of which always puts tears in my eyes). I also finished other anime ls that I watched last year like "Violet Evergarden", which ended with a great movie.

I also discovered good anime and manga like Higehiro, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Arte, Toradora.

The most disappointing anime that I watched this year is Quintessential Quintuplets.

The best find, I think, is Spy x Family (which is about a fake family formed by a spy, an assassin, and an esper).

I think I am back to anime and manga and I will continue to spend spare time with them this coming year.

Aside from anime and manga, I also enjoyed historical documentaries. The ones that I watched this year is about World War 2 and Netflix's documentary about the Age of Samurai. My staple of course are the docu from Epic History TV.

Contest Winner!

One of the highlights for this year is that I won a minor prize of 300 pesos Puregold e-cash from Palmolive. My win is insignificant but  I'm since it is my first time to win from such a contest. I guess I will try joining similar promo contest in the future.

Finally Done with an Long Overdue Project

Finally it is finished! My project in the office that I started more than a decade ago is now done. It is a book and it is now submitted to a printing press. I guess I can now resign and go to greener pastures?

Plans for the Far Future

Speaking of going to greener pastures, I made a plan of how I will accomplish that in the far future. I called it Operation Dunkirk and thought about it during days of despair. It is more an outline than an actual plan but  ido hope that I can accomplish this since I am already feeling the burn-out, boredom, agony, and despair of my current workplace. Or maybe this is just Quarter Life Crisis of some sort? I don't know.

Looking Forward to 2022

My pessimistic self tells me that the coming year is full of stress and despair. However, I do hope that the coming year is studded with happiness (especially from the family) and positivity.

Well, I guess I can just wait and see. I have no choice but to move forward and hope for the best.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone. I hope that your 2022 is brighter than the brightest fireworks that will light up the sky this evening.


Finally a Family Trip! Happy Moments at Woodside Water Park (Cabuyao, Laguna)

Woodside Farm & Waterpark

It is almost two years since the lockdown began. The strict government health protocols imprisoned our children within our subdivision and they were only able to go out when there's a visit to the pedia. They miss the beach, the church, and even the simple visit to the grocery.

I feel sad that this pandemic stole the simple joys of our kids. Our numerous visits to the beach and the flights to various places in the Philippines was never experienced by our bunso, who was born in the middle of the pandemic. So, on a Friday of the week-long school break, we decided to bring the little ones to have fun Woodside Farm & Waterpark somewhere in Cabuyao, Laguna.

Three Dolphins

I read the tip that kids are allowed from the FB group Kids are Allowed. A little online research and chat with Woodside Farm & Waterpark FB page confirmed that kids are indeed allowed in that water park and there is strict requirements (i.e. S-pass, vaccine, negative COVID test rsult). 

It was a spur of the moment decision. I discovered Woodside Farm & Waterpark when I checked FB in the morning and decided to go on that same day because we were sure that that waterpark will be crowded during the weekend. We want to be safe from the pandemic as much as possible so we wanted to avoid the crowd.

Heart Road

We prepared everything in a rush. We brought what's left of our breakfast as our baon (rice and a few hotdogs). We brought some chips. We only brought a little water. We don't have a car so we booked a Grab Car to get there.

We did not tell the kids where we were going so it was a big surprise for them when we finally reached Woodside Farm & Waterpark in the afternoon. Their shouts of joy were music to my ears.

Woodside Farm & Waterpark

The kids immediately rushed to the pool the moment that we settled in our cottage. They had fun going up and down the water slide.

Fun Kiddie Slides

Even my one-year old enjoyed playing in the water.

Water Fun in Woodside Farm & Waterpark

It was a good decision that we went to Woodside Farm & Waterpark on a Friday. The pool is not crowded. There were even times that we had the pool only for ourselves. 

Woodside Farm & Waterpark is like a mini version of Splash Island. They have pools for kids and adults. They even have high water slides for the thrill seekers.

Giant Slides
(Source: Woodside Farm & Waterpark FB page)

Our trip to Woodside Farm & Waterpark is, of course for the kids, so we just stayed at the safe kiddie pools.

Entrance and Cottage Fees

The entrance fee that we paid is 250 pesos for the kids and 300 pesos for adults. The fee is their weekday rate, which is cheaper by 50 pesos than the weekend rate.

We also rented a cottage, which costed 900 pesos. You can check out the latest rates in the waterpark's website.

Food and Drinks in Woodside Waterpark

Food and water are allowed to be brought in the water park. I saw other visitors bringing in cooked food and containers of drinking water. What's not allowed is bringing in soft drinks, which is subject to corkage fee.

However, the guards at the waterpark's entrance did not check if the food that we brought in. So I guess some guests can sneak some soft and hard drinks in.

The waterpark even have a place where guests can grill barbecue or fish.

Woodside Farm & Waterpark has a restaurant where food is available. The price of their soft drinks is expensive since its twice the original price.

Woodside Cafe

How to go to Woodside Water Park

Commuting to the water park is difficult. There is no jeepney going to that place and tricycles are rare.

In fact, I began worrying about going home while we are on the way to the waterpark. The place is in the middle of nowhere and I didn't see any jeepney or tricycle.

In fact, this waterpark is not even listed as a destination in the Grab app. The destination that I selected is the Marcos Mansion, which is about 200 meters away. I had to pay additional fare to the Grab driver for the additional 200 meters.

The Seemingly Haunted Marcos Mansion
The seemingly haunted Marcos Mansion.

Good thing that one of the water park's staff, who is the driver of the service cart, offered his private car to ferry us to Paseo de Santa Rosa. It was a big relief to us since we did not intend to stay overnight in this resort.

Woodside Farm & Waterpark is advisable for those who have their own vehicles. As for me, I will not go back to this water park until I have my own car.

My Final Words

All in all, I can say that the Ahab Family truly enjoyed our half-day stay in Woodside Water Park. I was very happy to see my little ones finally go out and enjoy the pool and the water slides. It was a precious family moment for us after the almost two years of the lockdown.

What I also liked about Woodside Water Park is that guests can bring their own cooked food. They accommodated the Filipino culture of bringing plenty of food during family outings.

So if you're looking for a place to bring your kiddos while you're enroute to Tagaytay, then Woodside Farm & Water Park might be a good option for you.


The Pain of the Pinkie is Felt by the Whole Body

Finger in Pain
(Source: Karolina Grabowska)

 "Ang sakit ng kalingkingan ay dama ng buong katawan" 

This is one of our "words of wisdom" in the Philippines, which can be translated to "the pain of the pinkie finger is felt by the whole body".

This is true, especially when applied to the family. The whole family feels the pain whenever bunso or any of the children is ill. Mommy and Daddy can't sleep taking care of the sick child. Mommy and Daddy are worried. The siblings are somewhat neglected because the attention of Mommy and Daddy goes to the child who is ill.

If the pain of the pinkie finger is felt by the whole body, how much more if half of the body is in pain. This is what we experienced at the beginning of October. Me and My Beloved Wife caught the flu. I managed to get better in less than a week. Unfortunately, My Beloved Wife was ill for two weeks!

I took on the role of My Beloved Wife for two weeks. I cooked and did the laundry. I went to the market. I assisted the kids in their online class while taking care of the baby. I did all these while juggling my office work!

It was tiring. There were times that I prayed hard to God and asked him to give my wife's illness para ako na lang ang nakaratay instead of me seeing her in great pain.

My ordeal is just two weeks. I couldn't imagine the experience of families that have a member who has a grave illness. I am sure that the cross is heavy.

My Beloved Wife is OK now. Although, she still needs rest. We are thankful that we only caught the common flu and not the Wuhan flu.

I don't want to experience the ordeal again but illness is a fact of life and I am sure that any one of us will catch flu or whatever in the future. I can only hope that I have strength to take care of the family when that ordeal comes.