Learning Tagalog on Memrise

Despite the fact that I’m Filipino-American, the only language I know fluently is English. Not knowing any Filipino dialect (and there are a lot) is one of my biggest regrets and I wish that when I was younger, I had pushed my parents harder to learn from them instead of accepting them only speaking English to me while I was growing up.

Now that I’m older, I’m trying to change that. I feel like it’s a great disservice to myself to be monolingual, but it’s hard to learn Tagalog on my own. I’ve tried over the years to learn from books to no avail.

One day, my friend was telling me how she was using Duolingo to learn German for free. She said how much the flashcards helped her and she was enjoying herself. That inspired me and I love free, so I looked on Duolingo for Tagalog, hoping it was there.


Sadly, it wasn’t. In fact, the only Asian language course listed on Duolingo was Vietnamese.

I wasn’t going to give up however so I looked for a similar site to Duolingo that had Tagalog on it. It didn’t take long for me to find Memrise.


Hurrah, Tagalog was on Memrise! It wasn’t as extensive as Spanish for its flashcard sets, but really, most languages aren’t. I was just thankful I had something I could work with.

I chose the Basic Tagalog flashcard set to start with. The description for the set was:

Basic nouns and adjectives. Adjectival sentences. Subject pronouns. Possessive adjectives. Demonstrative pronouns/adjectives. Colors. Negation. Plural marker ‘mga’. Absolutive case markers ‘ang’, ‘sin’ and ‘sina’.

The thing I like about Memrise is that it prompts me to review previous words/sentences that I’ve learned. There’s also a mix of multiple choice and fill in the blank when I’m being quizzed.

There is also a streak counter that counts how many days in a row I’ve been practicing. I am currently a at 14 day streak. To set my daily goal, I could choose between 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes. I chose 5 minutes even though I go back to review words frequently throughout the day.

We’ll see how well this helps me to become fluent in Tagalog and I am hoping that it works. The more words I know, the more I will be able to understand people talking to me or around me. My goal is to be able to hold a conversation with someone.

Are you trying to learn a language? How is it going?

Crocheting For Charity

I believe in giving back to the community. Maybe it’s because of my Filipino upbringing in general or how my mother raised my sisters and I, but I know that one of the items on my list for when I’m rich (or, at least, when I’m settled in my career after graduate school) is to donate to charities, both local and national. I’ve even taken tentative steps into looking how I can do some pro bono work after I get my doctorate.

But in the here and now, I’m a broke grad student. I try to donate here and there, but the best I can do is $5 at a time which is something, but it isn’t much.

The drive to help is still inside me though. One day, while I was cleaning out my closet, I saw a box of yarn and my crochet hooks, and an idea hit me. I could crochet! It’d been years sine I crocheted anything, but I could make hats and scarves. While it doesn’t snow where I live, I think it gets pretty cold in the winter time and I have a box full of yarn to use.

My goal is to crochet 25 hats for charity. I’ve never crocheted that many hats before, so 25 is a good number to strive for. There is a local women’s shelter that I’ve donated money to before and I’d like to donate my hats there.

Since it’s been awhile since I’ve crocheted, this hat came out a little wonky, but it covers my head and most of my ears. Hat 1 complete!

Second hat in the making. I don’t know why this hat is coming out differently than the first, but it is. Currently, it’s barely fitting my own head, so I’m adding extra stitches in each row to widen its circumference. I think it’s working.

Here are some links for charities that you can donate your crochet items to, both on the local and national level.

10 Charities that Accept Crochet Donations

Giving Back: 7 Ways to Knit and Crochet for Charity

You can even donate granny squares to help build quilts, so you don’t have to crochet the entire quilt on your own. I don’t know how to make a granny square, but I hope to learn someday.

Via Pinterest

I love that I can give back to my community in a simple but needed way, especially when I’m a broke grad student with a ton of yarn to use.

Do you crochet or knit for charity?

My cat’s separation anxiety

I’ve been going to graduate school for my health professional program for over three months, and it is kicking my behind like nothing I’ve ever done before. I am on campus for over 12 hours every weekday and sometimes just that long or for a couple of hours on the weekend. If I’m not on campus, then I’m at home studying there (or asleep). What this means for me is that I barely have much of a personal life because I’m either at home (basically only to sleep!) or on campus. Sometimes, I don’t even have time to do my errands like shopping for groceries. Good thing I have a deep pantry.

With that lack of time for myself, it means there’s even more lack of time for my cat, Agent Romanoff. She’s at home all day and I know she hates the separation. As soon as I open the door, she’s meowing loudly and running to the door to greet me. I pet her as I take off my shoes before entering the carpeted section of my apartment (Asian rule: take off shoes) and she follows me through the apartment as I put down my things and get dressed into comfortable clothes, continuing to meow.

She’s a young cat and she has a ton of energy. All she wants to do is play with me, but either I’m too busy to play with her or I don’t have the energy. A cat with too much energy, but no real way to expel that energy is bad news bears for her, me, and our apartment.

To help Agent Romanoff while I’m away, I have mice toys for her to play with on her own. I also have a toy that spins a butterfly around, which Agent Romanoff loves, but it runs off of batteries, so I don’t leave it on during the day while I’m gone. Sometimes, she still plays with the butterfly when it’s not moving.

I leave a nightlight on for her because by the time I come home, it’s dark, so she always has some light. I used to leave her a movie playing with the volume turned up on my computer so she had some sounds while I was gone, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference to her.


I can’t make my days on campus shorter, but whenever I am home, I give her as much attention as I can. I got a laser pointer so I could move it about while I read my textbook. I make sure her litter box is cleaned everyday and that her food and water bowels are fresh and full, so that isn’t an issue for her.

When I am home on the weekends, I spend a lot more time with my cat, trying to tire her out with play.


While Agent Romanoff would prefer I stay at home with her, that’s just not something I can do, so I’m continuously working to help my cat with her separation anxiety.

What do you do when you’re gone for hours away from your cat?

Ready to watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Hi, I’m Pants! This is my blog where I talk about things I enjoy, including things related to my pusa (cat), Agent Romanoff.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice came out on March 25, 2016 and while I’m still hesitant on Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, I’m ready to watch this movie. I’m staying away from spoilers and reviews because I want to experience it on my own, good or bad (though probably bad). My roommate just purchased a Wonder Woman muscle tank and she’s going to wear it when we watch the movie together. I don’t have any DC apparel in my closet, so I decided to go to the website Her Universe to find something I can wear.

Unfortunately, Her Universe doesn’t have anything DC-related, but it does have Marvel-related things. Sure, neither Batman or Superman are Marvel, but who cares? If they didn’t care when they hired Ben Affleck, I’m not going to care that I’m wearing Marvel to the movie.

I finally decided on this Women of Marvel Collage Tank that features Black Widow, Spider-Woman, She-Hulk and Medusa. I think it’s going to be hilarious when we go watch the movie and we’re in our shirts (her in her Wonder Woman shirt and me in my Women of Marvel shirt).


If only there were comic related items for cats so Agent Romanoff could wear something. Instead, here’s a picture of her giving some good advice:

Agent Romanoff's BvS opinion


Hello and welcome to my blog, Pusa and Pants!

I’m sure you’re wondering why it’s called Pusa and Pants because I admit, it’s an unusual name for a blog. Well, Pusa and Pants is a play on Puss in Boots and it refers to my cat (the Tagalog word for cat is pusa) and myself (my last name translated into English means pants and it’s one of my nicknames). Ta da! This blog is meant for cat things and me things. In case you couldn’t tell from the fact that I used a Filipino word in the name of my blog for my pun, I’m Filipino-American.

I recently adopted a Russian blue cat and promptly named her Agent Romanoff because I’m geeky like that. This particular Agent Romanoff may be a lot more talkative than her namesake, but she’s got the moves with her acrobatics, jumps, and her ability to hunt down her toys.

Agent Romanoff before I adopted her.
Agent Romanoff before I adopted her.

I’m currently in school to earn my doctorate for my health care profession. I love health science, but since I get plenty of that in school and in my textbooks, I love relaxing by watching movies, listening to music, and playing video games, which will be my side of the blog as I review the things I consume. Sometimes there will be Agent Romanoff’s reactions because I love taking pictures of her.

See you later!