12 years


Exactly 12 years ago today I left the Philippines to be with my true love in Australia.

Corny, yes. But it’s the truth. There was no other reason for me to come here. I had made other plans before I met him. But all the plans went flying out the window when I realised I wanted to be with him.

So I left my family, my friends, the place I am so familiar with. I entered a new life and a new country, excited and unafraid.

When I first heard the news that I got the visa, I was ecstatic. I was riding the jeep with mama, on our way to the mall. I loved shopping with mama. We went out together as often as we could. While I enjoyed the success of the application, I also saw the sadness in mama’s eyes when she realised I was definitely going.

She wanted me to go, of course. But she’s my mother. A big part of her also didn’t want me to go.

She helped me prepare what to bring. She was there the whole way through. My parents were very supportive. They’ve always been supportive. Today, they cherish the time they get with us when we see them back in the Philippines.

I never regretted leaving the Philippines. Even during my darkest days here, when I felt so very alone, I never thought about going back.

But what I want, what my heart really wants is to have my family close by. It’s close to impossible, I know. Aside from the changes in the migration laws, my parents are also old and sick. Maybe one day we can have longer visitors’ visa when my parents’ health is better. But for now, the visits back will have to do.

It is said that home is where the heart is. Well, my heart has two homes. Australia and the Philippines. Every migrant understands that.

Although my roots will always come from the Philippines, my life and my new roots are here.

Why we keep our health insurance

Woman with stethoscope

These are tough times and we need to rethink our budget to see what we can drop from the list.

I have thought about dropping our health insurance during the toughest of times, but I always hesitated. I’m glad I didn’t because it has helped us over the years.

Regular needs

I love that Australia has Medicare but there are moments when we need to do more than what it covers. For instance, we all have dental needs, especially with the little one growing up. There’s the twice-a-year cleaning, the filling, the whitening and so on. Those are regular needs and without our health insurance we would’ve paid through the roof.

There will always be extras

Unexpected medical needs are always there, dropping when you least expect it – like when your car battery stops working and you’re all alone. Like that time when my feet, legs and knees started hurting and I couldn’t figure out why. It turned out I was in desperate need of some orthothics. Then there was that time when I was told I needed glasses and my health insurance paid all of it so I didn’t have to pay a gap. Now I’m a four eyed orthotics-wearing mum.

The muscle issues

Muscles need more help as we get older, just a joyous fact of life. Hubby is a regular at the chiropractor’s. With his desk job and bass playing life, his lower back needs constant attention. Then there are those visits with the osteopath to align everything. She helped figure out what was wrong with my knees and align my legs. I could go around with one leg shorter than the other but it helps to straighten it out.

Specialised needs

I was ‘blessed’ with various allergies and issues when I was born. I inherited my parents’ genetic not-nices. When I need to go to a specialist to check certain things like a new allergy, an irritating new skin condition and a possible thyroid issue, it makes me feel better than I have health insurance to cover some or all of the fees.

Finally, it is good to have it handy just in case shit happens. You know?

Although they are quite useful, it does help to recheck your health insurance every now and then. Compare your current ones with others to see what benefits you’re missing out on or if there is a better deal out there.

Health Insurance Comparison gives you the low down on all things relevant to Australian Health Insurance. They provide the tools to thoroughly compare health insurance policies. It’s always worth checking if you can get a better deal.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

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Soup season with Tefal Cuisine Companion

Winter is coming.

It kinda came earlier than expected in New South Wales with all the rain and hail, and rain again.

Soups are definitely in season, especially the healthy ones. I like doing my own soups because I know what goes into it and I can be sure it’s all good and natural ingredients. Sometimes the problem with making soup, for me that is, is I forget to check it.

Soup turns black. Not a good thing.

Cooking with the Tefal Cuisine Companion means I can leave it in there to cook and forget about it and it doesn’t burn.

This time I made Chicken and Sweet Corn soup. You cook the chicken breasts in the steamer first before shredding it and cooking it using the soup function. A healthy warm cup during the cold season is like a warm blanket.

chicken soup

Next is the Cream of Capsicum with Chorizo, which immediately became my new favourite soup after the first time I made it (I’ve made it a couple of times since then).

capsicum soup

I love a bit of spice in my soup. I sometimes put Tabasco in my food. The chorizo adds a very nice zing to it. I also chop up some chorizo and grill it a bit before adding it to the soup for some chewy bits. Definitely very yummy.

Add more paprika if you want more spice. Or salt, depending on your preference.

The soups can be made in big batches. I freeze half to save for another day. This also means I don’t have to cook some days, which is always a bonus.

What about you? What’s your favourite winter soup?


Disclosure: I received a complimentary Cuisine Companion from Tefal for this partnership.