Sunday, March 20, 2022

We tried the Sunnies Studios Home Optical

Pandemic-caused services review time! Today, I'll share with you our experience with Sunnies Studios Home Optical. It's the home service that Sunnies Studios created during quarantine. And I am SO GLAD for this service!

Kwento muna. I was a sickly child so I stayed indoors most of my childhood. When I was around 10, my grades started dipping. Pinagalitan ako ng parents ko, then they eventually decided mahina lang siguro utak ko. But when I was 12, I had a classmate who said, "You know, you're a really smart person even if your grades aren't that high. I think you can't see the blackboard because you always squint and you take down what the teacher says but you don't copy what's on the board." Then she told me to borrow her glasses and I was amazed because I could see every leaf on the trees! 

I told my parents what happened, we went to an optical shop in Cubao, and the optometrist checked my eyes and said I was really near-sighted. He also said being indoors a lot possibly made me myopic. As Optimax explains, "Studies have found that children who spend more time indoors are more likely to be short-sighted than those who played outside regularly... [Research suggests] that 'exposure to bright light helps the eyeball stay round,' preventing it from elongating in a manner which brings on myopia. Other scientists think it might be because when you’re outside, you’re typically focusing on objects in the distance, encouraging your eyes to rely on distance vision. When we’re inside, we don’t often look at objects further than a few feet away."

So when quarantine was imposed in 2020, I worried about my kids' eyesight. I would tell them to look outside our condo every day, focus on buildings, on cars, on anything far away. But last year, I could tell my eldest boy couldn't see well anymore. But there was no way we could go to the mall for a checkup. So when I heard from our neighbors that Sunnies had a home service, book ako agad!

Here's my review:

The home service is a van fitted out like a small optical clinic. It's very comfortable and efficient. They can accept 3 patients per appointment pero syempre one patient in the van at a time. 

Yung photo medyo mukhang mausok sa loob, diba? That's because they disinfect the whole thing after every patient. Actually, that's what makes the appointment matagal kasi kada consultation, pauusukan nila yung van and maghihintay ka sa labas.  

Ayan, daming alcohol at disinfecting spray. Pati foot mat, disinfecting din!

Okay, so super safe na! That's when the patients finally go in to get their eyes checked. 

Kumpleto ang gamit. Mabait ang optometrist. Okay siya mag-explain ng steps, what your eye condition is, and what your treatment options are. 

So now na alam mo na grado ng mata mo, pili ka na ng frames. There are about a hundred frames you can choose from (disinfected after each appointment!). Maraming styles but syempre hindi kasing daming options kung sa store ka pupunta.

Also, if you have frames na, like gusto mo lang palitan yung lente, hindi sila papayag. The reason is if they accidentally break your frames, ang maipapalit lang nila is a Sunnies frame. Yun ang balak ko sana for me. I have frames na kasi. I just wanted new lenses but my frames are expensive and Sunnies frames aren't.

I'm not being mayabang, ha. I really invest in my glasses because:

1. I'm legally blind so I rely heavily on my glasses to see a foot from my face. So I need glasses that are strong. So I bought titanium frames a few years ago. Titanium is the 4th strongest metal. And my frames literally have been sat on, stepped on, fallen from a height, etc and they don't break! 

2. My glasses are part of my face. My face looks incomplete without them! So syempre kailangan maganda glasses ko.

The great thing about Sunnies frames is they come in many styles and colors and are inexpensive. Very budget-friendly talaga. Basta may required P4,000 purchase. 

So was our bill cheap? No hehe. Diba I said the optometrist will tell you your treatment options? Kasama dun yung lens options mo. The more features you want, the pricier it gets. For example yung mga lente ko, I always choose ultra-thin, scratch-proof, impact-resistant, UV coated, and anti-reflective. Dami, diba??? I used to have photochromic lenses, too, but di ko na afford! 

So after you choose your frame, Sunnies will ask what kind of lenses you want. Vince and Vito wanted the cheapest ones but, like I said, eyeglasses are an essential device. Impaired eyesight is a disability! You can't do much if you can't see! So investment talaga siya.

Umabot ako ng halos 20K for their glasses *faint*! I asked for the same features and chose progressive also for Vince. Hindi na ako kumuha for me kasi sumobra na sa budget hehehehe 

Pero hindi naman mahal lahat! And again I reiterate - since Sunnies frames are affordable, mura actually na ang glasses nila. I was expecting to pay almost 30K for their glasses but nakatipid ako sa lagay. The frames are inexpensive (mga P795 to P1000 lang) and you can choose simple lenses naman. Just tell them what your budget is and they will work with it. Sobrang bait nila! No judgment! Very helpful. 

In fact, ngayong nakaipon na ako ulit, I will book Sunnies Home Optical again for me and the two little boys naman. Pa-check up ko na rin mata nila. After all, dapat annual ang eye checkup, especially now that quarantine is affecting our eyesight.

When you book online, you need to pay a P500 reservation fee that's deductible when you pay. Don't forget to remind them to deduct it!!! You can find more in the FAQs of their site. 

So that's my review! Highly recommended! They accept cash, Gcash, credit card and debit card. I paid via Gcash. So convenient! 

Book Sunnies Studios Home Optical now.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Frances Finds: Concrete modern house in Antipolo

Okay, back to virtual house viewing! May reader kasi na nagsabi sa akin na gusto niya yung mga houses na nahahanap ko sa YouTube so game, share ako again. Anyway, to the new ones on the blog, I used to share house viewings because of quarantine since March 2020, diba, and hindi lang pala ako ang nahilig sa mga home tours. I've been watching house videos a lot because I imagine what life is with a garden or I'm researching for renovation ideas, ganyan. I'm subscribed to Bryce Langston's Living Big in a Tiny House, Jenna's Tiny House, Giant JourneyLevi Kelly's Airbnb weekly tours, and Never Too Small. I watch their videos when I wash the dishes!

But last year, I discovered local real estate videos. I like the Jas & Mr. Hi Guys! husband-and-wife team kahit na hingal na hingal lagi si misis. I watch practically all their videos. And if naghahanap kayo ng bahay sa east (Antipolo, Cainta, Taytay), check niyo videos nila.

Okay, so this is my favorite house so far. 

You might be surprised na gusto ko siya kasi Loyal Readers know I love midcentury-modern styles. Yung huge walls of windows, wood floors, space, space, space! And yes I love that but I also love concrete. Yes, concrete! Lately lang, mga a few years ago when my husband and I watched "The World's Most Extraordinary Homes" on Netflix (and I blogged about how you know your life is complete) and saw some really nice houses that were made of simple gray concrete.

And this is one concrete house I found locally that I really like!

Watch, watch:

Love the big windows! Love the little room sa ground floor which will be my husband's office. I like the small but efficient kitchen. I like the big rooms. I have 3 kids but they like sleeping in one room so I think the big room in front will be their bedroom and the smaller room at the back will be their study room. And I love the master bedroom, too! The only thing I don't like is the fact that the bathrooms don't have windows. So if I buy this (I won't hehe), bubutasin ko yung bathroom walls para may sunlight and ventilation.

Anyway, this house is in Mission Hills, Antipolo. Malayo ba yun sa NCR? I heard maganda raw dun, like super. So now I'm interested to go visit that area!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Why do people hate her?

At lunch yesterday, Liz Lanuzo of Project Vanity said she can't understand why people are so angry at the woman in the photo below.

(I edited this blog post to remove her name and will replace it with MM because anyone defending this woman gets so much hate! And I don't want that shit on my blog or in my headspace. So if you know who she is, you know her name. If you don't know her, that's okay!) 

Here is my explanation, which I wrote on Facebook but decided to put here instead because Facebook instantly flags as racist and hate speech many of the words in my explanation below (and that tells you all you need to know about the people who hate MM!):

Reasons why people hate MM

1. She and Prince H are in an equal and loving marriage and people don't like that. A woman who is respected by her husband, who doesn't know her place, a woman who has her own voice (vs the husband speaking for her), and her own money "diminishes" the man.

They also can't believe H would choose his wife over his original family. 🙄🙄🙄 So they think MM is making H her puppet simply because he loves her. 

2. People think that MM is not worthy to belong to the upper crust of society. She's a foreigner, not an aristocrat, a woman who works, a divorcee, and - shocker! - a Black woman. In imperial UK, they see MM as a descendant of slaves. They think she pollutes the blue blood of the royal family. 

3. Despite being "unqualified" to marry a prince, MM did marry into that family and, unlike her middle-class sister-in-law Kate who kept her head down in acknowledgement of her unworthiness, MM spoke out, fought back, and left. To their eyes, she was ungrateful.

4. And last and worst of all, you never go against the family. You never reveal the secrets. You never cut off the relationship. You always respect and obey your parents, even when you're already married. No matter how much they abuse you, you're supposed to take it (as a sign of loyalty) and be quiet (as a sign of gratitude). Any protest, every negative story is automatically labeled as a lie. H and MM did the unforgivable by setting boundaries and when those were crossed, they left. 

And that's why people hate MM. She is a powerful, intelligent, rich woman who will not tolerate bullshit, who will not be silent when abused, who will fight back, who is happy, and - worst of all - she has a husband who loves her. The love and loyalty of a man (and a beloved prince, too!) validate and legitimize her existence and her decisions. To society, women like MM are a threat to old traditional values. And that's why they hate her.

Aaaaand that's how I know hindi pa tapos ang laban para sa mga babae! Silence always helps the abuser (families are the worst abusers of all). Discrimination and biases are still working against women, even if those women are our very own mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters. Sarili kong magulang kept putting me down kasi "babae ka lang, wag kang mayabang, wag kang ambisyosa."

Stop this! Women are people, too. We deserve love and respect, too. I have it now from my husband and sons, all of them feminists I am so proud to say. They are so secure and confident in their masculinity that a strong woman in their midst is not a threat at all. 

We need to change the world, people. A world that values women will be a better world not just for women, but for all of us - yes, even men and families everywhere, too ❤️❤️❤️

One day, I truly hope we no longer need an International Women's Day because honoring, respecting, and appreciating women will be so commonplace that we do it every day. Till then, HAPPY WOMEN'S MONTH! 

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

I learned to love the dreams God dreamed for me

I can't say much yet but all I can share today is that TODAY IS A REALLY GOOD DAY! And I need to blog about it so that I have a record of this AMAZING day! The morning started with good news for me, a great update about our boys in the afternoon, and then by evening, my husband got fantastic news, too. It comes in threes! I bless this day!

And I bless my God who finally opened the floodgates of His blessings! Not that He was being madamot. He was just preparing me and Vince for this day, waiting for us to be ready, to appreciate this instead of feeling entitled to it.

I know I'm not making any sense. So I'll just tell another story of another dream.

Once upon a time, all I ever wanted to be was a writer and then a magazine editor because writers aren't glamorous but a magazine job was. I didn't want to be married. I didn't want to have kids. A husband and children will just prevent me from fulfilling my dreams. So I went ahead and made my dreams come true, and when they did, I said, "But of course! I worked hard! I deserve this!"

And then one day the dream ended. And I didn't know what to do. I did get married and have babies, though. And to my endless gratitude and relief, they are a joy!

But after a few years of drifting here and there, I prayed to God, "I have no more dreams, Lord. I had dreams before and they came true and then they were gone. But I'm not sad anymore. I'm grateful. I see now that even having a dream come true for a short while is a blessing. Thank You for letting me go off on my own the way you let Jonah run away from You. But now I ask: What do You want me to do?"

And for a while, all I heard was, "Take care of your husband and your kids."

And I really struggled with that! I felt, "That's it? That's all I'm meant to do with the rest of my life??"

But I also couldn't shake off this feeling that God was waiting for me. Waiting for me to do what??? And so with not much to do except to be a wife and mommy, I carried out the drudgery of cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, etc etc ad infinitum. "This is it. This is my life. Forever."

I wasn't unhappy and I didn't hate my life, but I was also looking outwards, looking at the greener grass of other women's gardens and wondering why mine was so dull. I didn't envy them. It was more like, "I know I can be more than this." It was very unhealthy.

Finally, I just unfollowed all the moms and glam women and decided, "If God wants me to be a wife and mommy, then I'll be a wife and mommy!" And I just enjoyed everything! I enjoyed being in dasters all day with my graying hair in a messy bun, washing dishes and shopping for toys on Shopee. I enjoyed chatting about Minecraft and Godzilla. I learned how to play chess, cut boys' hair, and find out how to be a YouTuber. I loved binge-watching TV shows with my husband. I fell in love with playing with hamsters. And my huge struggle was being my kids' teacher but I slowly learned to love that, too. My life was great before but now that I viewed caring for my family as my one and only purpose, it became so much better and more meaningful!

Also, I just need to say this: Shunning #mompegs on social media was a relief, like unbuttoning your jeans when you're full. Yes, my life was full but all that social media watching made me feel ill. But with no looking at others, I appreciated what I had because I couldn't compare myself to anyone else. For the first time in a long while, I didn't think I was left behind. I didn't think, "I'm not good enough. I'm not doing enough!" I was just me and I appreciated me! And I finally accepted that being "just" a wife and mommy was my biggest and most important job and role. If I can't appreciate that, why would God give me any more jobs and roles???

And right after that, after finally humbling myself and accepting His will, God said, "She's ready!!!"

My Not Invisible book practically landed on my lap! I became co-founder of Lean In Manila and became friends with great women! I got a fun and glamorous job that still allowed me to be a mommy! And so many more blessings that I will tell you about soon! 

All I had to do was to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness then all these things were added to me (Matthew 6:33). Added. I was already complete. God just waited for me to see that my cup was full and when I finally did, He added more!

Being a stay-at-home mom with gray in my hair, barefoot and in shapeless clothes is far far away from my vision of myself in sleek clothes, fiery hair, high heels, and doing a job that was important. This life I now have was never in my big dreams. So I didn't understand why God would want me to be small. Turns out His dreams for me may look different, but they were nowhere near small. They just came in three small packages — three little boys. But as Luke 10:14 said, "Whoever can be trusted with small things can also be trusted with big things." 

God waited till He could trust me. And that involved lots of renewing of attitudes, shifting views, humbling of myself (my great sin is pride), and acceptance and appreciation for God's will for my life. And I'm still not "important." I'm still not in high heels. And I'm still not earning millions. But I am fulfilled and happy and content, resting in the promise that God has more dreams to unfold for me. 

And so we go back to this day! It is a GREAT day! The most amazing day! The best news - one for me and one for my husband! And good news also for our boys! Three big blessings in one day! 

I'll tell you all about today one day. But for now let me just say that if you're waiting for God to open the gates of heaven, search your heart and your life because maybe He's just waiting for you to be ready, or maybe He wants you to open your eyes to His dreams for you and accept them. Because His plans may look different from ours but they are much better. Believe it!

My goodness! I am so excited to see what else He has in store for me! Wouldn't you want to see what God wants for you, too? So exciting!

* * * * * * * 

How great is Your goodness
stored up for those who fear You
No end to the kindness
that comes from You each day

We count on compassion
in the shelter of Your presence
Hidden away, hidden from harm -
How great Your love!

A refuge so near us
You're faithful each day
We cry out - You hear us
Safe in Your arms
Sheltered from harm

"How Great is Your Goodness" by Randy Rothwell

This post was inspired by this song and this Proverbs 31 devotion, "When You Feel Behind" (please read it!), and of course today's amazing news.