Succulent Appreciation Life

I’ve never really made a master post about all my succulents and cacti before. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile but I guess I’m just very lazy.

It all began in April 2015 when I purchased my first plant baby at the annual Aklan Day Community Fair. After that faithful day, I have become a full-pledged plant mom and dedicated a bit of my leisure time with re-plotting and propagating.

Much like the Pokemon games, these were my starting three plants:

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A lot of the tiny babies you see (above) have grown their own roots over the succeeding months and have since been re-plotted in their independent pots.

Every few months or so I would find a place to buy some plants. In 2015, you could barely find any places to buy these in Kalibo or in Aklan in general. Many people think they’re not great or believe they’re unlucky or aesthetically unpleasing. When I traveled to Iloilo City for work, I would make sure to stop by vendors to buy a plant or two even though they could be a bit pricey at the time.

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I would also occasionally find a house with a garden and shamelessly ask the owners if I could have some of there plants. Great thing about succulents and cacti is that they are extremely resilient and you can cultivate them pretty easily. Just cut-off a stump or branch or leaf et viola! So when I do purchase or get a new plant, I’d choose the ones I could propagate the most.

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As the popularity of succulents grew, at the next Aklan Day Fair in 2016, there were more vendors that sold succulents. More shops have popped up afterwards and sold them at an annoyingly very steep rate. They arrange the plants with expensive porcelain bowls with marble/rock chips and that extra presentation amped up the prices. I honestly prefer potting them on my own.

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These two (below) were actually hand-me-downs from my paternal grandma and maternal aunt, respectively. And I’m using hand-me-down very loosely here. Me saying having been given these is more of me walking out of their gardens with the plants with a quick thanks and a smile… or a high five.

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Here are some of my propagation efforts which my mom helped me a lot with. I lived in the province, in a very rural area, I would usually scout the neighbouring rice patties for some rice stalk hay or dayami in Filipino. Farmers traditionally burnt them and the ashes make great fertilizer.  We would mix up all these soil types we had with compost and the occasional coffee grounds (which you can get at Starbucks for free!) for potting.

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I buy most of the plants in those black disposable plastic thingies before eventually moving them to a more permanent home. And since pots and planters are so expensive I would end up bargain hunting at the local Korean/Chinese stores or get creative.  I used to eat a ton shit of Nissin Yakisoba at work so I ended up collecting, spray painting and using them as pots. My dad also drank a lot of vending machine coffee so I ended up recycling a ton shit of the paper cups too.

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Since I’ve been in Manila for months now, I never got the chance to see my propagated echeverias sprout. My whole 2017 so far has been plantless, only living vicariously through Instagram photos. A few weeks ago, I asked my cousin and mom to send me some snaps. So these are updated photos of my beautiful babies.

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My mom actually ended up commissioning a plant stand to be made to support all them. Who would’ve thought that a whimsy purchase a measly three cacti would become this monstrosity. Mom used to joke that I would end up being a vendor at future fairs but we’re not there yet. Maybe in a year or two.

I really miss the feeling of actually nurturing these bad boys though. I miss taking care and exerting effort to help them grow (and to not get pricked). It’s relaxing, rewarding and a pretty great stress reliever. I was never much of a green thumb but my succulents have been one of the best hobbies I’ve endeavored.

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This last month or so, I’ve been also doubling my efforts in trying to start a new succulent garden here at my place in Manila. You can see photos of the plants I already have in the previous posts!

Well, that’s pretty much it you guys. Please excuse my shoddy editing skills but I hope you enjoyed my plant babies!

It’s the Weakend

This has been my payday theme song for the last couple of  years now, ever since I started working:

Hells to the yes to getting paid!

My work friend, Claudine, and I went to Binondo to splurge a bit. She wanted me to try out some local favs at Wai Ying. This is my first visit to this particular Chinese restaurant. Claude says they have the best dimsum and house tea.

Claudine got chicken asado while I ordered roast duck asado because nothing compares to duck, tbh. We also got some radish cakes (which were bomb) and century egg dimsum (also bomb).

Besides the house tea, which was really nice, I got some of the iced milk tea. It was honestly, one of the best non-franchise milk teas I’ve had. Y’all should definitely try if you haven’t.

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Also, we visited Lucky China Town Mall, so Claude can go through Daiso, Miniso and Mumuso. Wonder why they all have similar name. Maybe it’s like a branding thing? End your semi-affordable Chinese/Japanese/Korean-made store with the prefix -so to make it appealing? IDK, guys. Help me here…

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Would love to get my hands on these adorable animal porcelain bowls and these cacti candles (which are by far way cute than the ones sold at SM Department Store).

Overall, I pretty much enjoyed spending my fleeting moments of freedom doing something fun. I actually also purchased 2 more cacti from my suki in Divisoria and a pretty nifty box of candy in Binondo. Maybe I’ll post what I do with it next week. In the mean time, kindly refer to this Youtube video from NigaHiga!

February 2017 Round-Up

It’s time for another monthly round-up!

God, I think the last time I did a post like this was when I was still an intern in college. And those posts were so unbearably terrible. Knowing that I’d be either too tired or lazy or just crazy busy to post anything that isn’t complete nonsense, I’ll just sum up the month in one post to make things easier. My February has been somewhat uneventful. I met up with some friends, which I talked about on my last post, and that’s pretty much it for me.

Hands up if you missed Art Fair PH 2017 and will (probably) miss Wanderland music fest this coming weekend. Well guess what, folks!

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These are hard times for my soul. It is being sucked away by work. The call center life is harsh, y’all.

The pros about my current work is that (1) it’s pretty close to where I live and (2) I can wear really casual clothes i.e. sneakers, an old t-shirt and a hoodie. One time I wore the same jeans 3 days in a row and no one even blinked an eye about it. (3) I’ve also made some new friends and I can safely say that I’m getting along with my teammates. I get to experience something that’s not government service.

The cons, however, outweigh the pros. (1) I barely get enough sleep on the weekdays; (2) I never get enough sleep most of the time but that was choice. (3) I’m always tired, I wanna do fun or interesting things after work but I can never get to it. I immediately go home and I don’t have the energy to step back out anymore. I can’t even do my chores. I’ve missed so many great and fun events the last few years. Either I was working or was in the province. I’m not the only person who feels this way for sure.

I did manage to go to Divisoria at some point. My brother’s birthday was coming up so I had to buy him a bunch of art supplies. He picked up ~calligraphy~ as my mom has informed me and he personally requested some brush pens and disposable fountain pens as his gift. I’m so happy that he got into something artsy as a hobby. I’ve always loved calligraphy myself but never found the time to take it up.

Here’s a photo of the rest of my DV haul:

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I finally bought a planner! It was the only green-colored item they had left so waiting until the end of February was not the greatest of decisions. All the good planners were long gone. I also found myself regretting not buying the cactus girl notebooks I found last year because they are nowhere to be seen these days. I found another cacti-themed notebook, however, and it’s totes cute if not for the badly written quote on the cover. I also got some embroidery supplies: new hoops, some patches and thread. I was planning on doing my own version of cacti-themed thread art I’ve seen online and all I really need now is just some good fabric. Other purchases included a multi-functional spork, a credit card pocket knife, an echeverria, and a set of old musty Marvel and DC comics from the 1990s for Php10 a pop. What a bargain!

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My cousin also got some succulents which I have been dying to get my hands on here in Manila. I’m so happy with them! They’re so pretty and vibrant and so fun to take care of.

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I’ve been missing the cacti garden I started back home so now I’m trying my best to propagate these bad boys. So far, I haven’t found success but hopefully, the new batch I started would sprout in a few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

So there you go, guys! That’s been my month. Lots of overtime at work (mostly mandatory) which is unfair to and extremely sucky for me since I have a perfect attendance score all February. Anyway, I’m hoping for the best on my next salary. Sending good vibes to wherever you are and here’s to a productive March 2017!