February 1, 2023

Dear Manang,
I was once a smoker and I stopped almost 10 years ago. Although I didn’t mind cigarette smoke before, I have become sensitive to it now. I live on the second floor and the smoke drifts up to my window. I can’t keep my window closed because it is the only source of air. It seems like we both work from home because he hardly leaves his room like me. Should I change boarding house or do I need to confront him? I think he is the son of the owner. I like the place because it is so near town and I walk and don’t need to ride to do the things I need to do. What do you think?
Arabel of Yandoc Street, Baguio City

Dear Arabel,
It looks like you have analyzed your own situation and have the answer to your questions. You don’t want to talk to him is the only thing you don’t want to do, but must, if you want to keep the room. Although you know it is an inevitable transfer that you have to face, it might not harm you to attempt to ask. What are you going to ask him to do? Move out? Stop smoking? Swap rooms? What if he quits smoking just because you asked? Farfetched? I would just because we are never sure about anything unless we ask. If you fail, you will just need to pack.
You must try,
Manang

Dear Manang,
Children have a way of attaching themselves to things or pets. Recently, our dog had three puppies. Because of the quarantine, we couldn’t give them up right away and my daughter grew too fond of one of them. My friend asked for one and chose hers. It broke my heart to see her tears and I quickly assured her that the family would love the dog as much. What do I do to reduce the separation anxiety?
Gay of Outlook Drive, Baguio City

Dear Gay,
Separation anxiety is a normal thing. Just like a person who will miss another when they leave, it is more about finding a diversion to distract the person from the dog. What about some planting or artwork? There is a new hobby I learned recently, it’s called painting by number. Get your daughter one kit. I am sure that by the time she completes it, the pet memories would be gone. It needs a change in the routine with the dog.
Have fun,
Manang