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Typing or working on your bed is undeniably comfy--for short periods. But if you've been suffering from back pains, take it as a sign that you need a proper work station. If you don't have room for a full-sized desk, getting a ...
Hershey Mae Vallo May 30, 2020

Old is New

The issue of the pandemic, COVID-19, have resulted to quarantine. Stuck in the house and only going out when needed. This may be a boring routine but to me, this is an opportunity to get to take care of myself and pay attention to myself.

Since I started college in 2019, I rarely get to do any of my hobbies and sleep has become a diamond in the rough. This is because I was focused on my classes and getting my school requirements done but now that face-to-face classes have been suspended and the school has decided to resume it through the use of the internet, this gave me time check on myself even if it's only for a short while before I get back on finishing the tasks given.

For the passed months I have been spending time with my family, eating, and sleeping more along with doing my school requirements. We got to get to tell stories about what has happened before the quarantine. I have also gotten back to recording songs in Smule, an app I use a lot before, learned a few recipes and I have even started learning songs to play on my piano keyboard.

Since we're in quarantine, I recommend everyone to try and get back to what they like doing and/or even learn new things. My sister heard me trying to learn a song and asked me to teach her, so I did just that. I taught her a song she wanted to learn which is "Love Is All That Matters" by Eric Carmen. But I am not a professional, I mostly search for sheet music and tutorials on YouTube.

When it comes to learning a song, I usually only learn the chords and sing along to the melody, but my sister wanted to learn the whole song so I did my best to learn not just the chords but also the melody on the piano. My sister has only learned to play the melody but is having a hard time playing it together with the chords. I can see her determination in learning the piano because whenever she comes home from work, I hear her practice the song on the piano and every time she practices, she improves.

Me, on the other hand, have been and singing with my friends on Smule. Despite the pandemic going on right now, I have managed to go back to my old hobbies, pay attention to myself and even spend time with my family. I hope everyone is also for happiness during this dreadful times.

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Kim Angela Santos May 25, 2020

The Art of Doing Nothing

We have been confined with the worldview about the idea of success; thus, the word “productivity” has been diverted into a different meaning. We labeled the level of our success by identifying the weight of the works we’ve done – believing that the busier you are, the more productive you’ll be. But little did we know that this kind of mindset is a pitfall, ending up in a trap and restricting us to do more of what we can.

Every person has their own way of planning on how to get productive. One of the tips mentioned by Prosalendis was the “2 Hour Hermit Mode” where you just need to stay quiet for two hours to learn and reflect. Within the 2-Hour Hermit Mode, you need to completely shut down outside distractions and try to do nothing, this will help you to have a peace of mind and a quiet time. Focus. This word may be cliché, having a shallow meaning, but the reality is, focusing on one thing is one of the hardest things to do. Some people may have mistakenly understood “doing nothing” as unproductive, but this is actually a form of taking a break. I usually do this 2-Hour Hermit every time I am loaded with tons of deadlines. Just try to sit in the corner of a coffee shop and try to discover new things or just go to a place where you find yourself comfort and peace.

The art of doing nothing makes you appreciate the beauty of the mundane things - you get to witness how the leaves sway on their own branches, you get to see the unappreciated smiles of the people, you get to hear the sound of the birds giving you lullabies. You will never have the time to focus if you are too disturbed with a lot of things. Give yourself a rest from thinking about all the work you need to do. Don’t get distracted and give yourself the freedom of unfolding new things. The power of focusing and art of doing nothing will help you to do things you don’t normally do, and maybe start to love the things you once hated. Trace your progress. We don’t know how productive we are unless we trace our activities. I have a journal where I can write the things I have done, and the things I wasn’t able to accomplish. This helps me to track and jot down the things I failed to do within the day.

You are able to take a break and have a rest by doing outside the boundary of the tons of work you have. You will also be surprised that you have done so many things when you’re listing the things you’ve accomplished. This will not just give you the satisfaction but you will also be grateful for what you have done for the past twenty-four hours. You just need a minute to reminisce what you have done while enjoying the silence in the process. Small daily acts can be a solution to achieve our long-term goals. We’re always bombarded with distractions and piled up work, but nothing can beat the idea of staying on track and not feeling lost. By doing this, we will always be reminded why we started to commit on the things that we want to do. After all, what makes us love what we do is knowing why we started it in the first place. The problem with us is that we are too busy achieving, losing the time to see the colors of the ordinary. We are blinded with the idea that success comes with great productivity. We always think that we are defined by how much work we exerted, and not appreciating the effort we’ve given. The fact is you are already successful in acknowledging that you have done something, and nothing.

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Karen Mei Caro May 20, 2020

This COVID-19 pandemic came and we are not ready. Suddenly, everything has changed and it was never the same again. There's chaos almost everywhere. Hospitals are crowded and people die. Some lost their family and friends without saying goodbye. It's truly a lonely sight. But behind this terrifying situation are lessons learned.

FAMILY TIME IS EVERYTHING.

I am a working mom with two small kids. I have always wanted to be with them and just be a stay-at-home mom but we have lots of bills to pay so it was next to impossible. Though this crisis upsets me, I am thankful that I have more time with my children these days. We may not be able to go out like we used to do but we can still have fun together. They enjoy riding their bicycles while enjoying the morning sun, building blocks and many other things.

YOU CAN GIVE UP SOMETHING IF YOU WANT - LIKE SHOPPING.

I'm not proud to admit it but I was a certified shopaholic. Almost everyday, I had deliveries from different shopping apps. I had also frequented malls and felt the urge to buy things immediately. I knew it was an addiction that was difficult to resist. So, even if these were not included in our budget, I would buy them. Then, later on, I would just regret the things that I bought because I didn't really like them. Just a waste of time and money. And now, since the lockdown happened more than a month ago, I was able to overcome the feeling to buy something I don't really need. The excitement is no longer there. I realized that I can still survive even without those new clothes, bags and shoes. And those material things are momentary and meaningless. Of course, these can make you happy but family and health are more important because not everyone has them.

WE ARE BLESSED IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

I have learned to be thankful for what I have, to stop complaining and to be patient to wait for my own breakthrough to come. This crisis opened my eyes to the harsh realities of life. It is heartbreaking to see other people looking helpless and struggling to find food for their families. I may not have lots of money but I have learned to give and help others in my little ways. It made me understand that even if I am not rich, I have a job, a home and food on our table. And these are priceless.

HONOR AND APPRECIATE THE SACRIFICES OF OUR BRAVE AND SELFLESS FRONTLINERS - OUR EVERYDAY HEROES.

I know that their situation is not easy at all but they willingly endure the challenges and difficulties just to save and protect us from this deadly virus. Their families are also waiting for them to come home but they would still have to delay it until the pandemic ends. Yes, they are strong but exhausted - because even heroes also get tired. I know how it feels because my husband is a hero, too.

IF WE WANT TO STOP THE VIRUS, STAY AT HOME.

We are safe there and we cannot catch the virus if we practice good hygiene and social distancing, wear masks and not go outside. It is not boring to stay at home; it is a luxury that many people cannot have that's why I am grateful. So, let us do our part in our fight against this COVID-19. It is time to show our solidarity to end this pandemic because this is everyone’s battle.

WE HAVE A BIGGER AND MORE POWERFUL GOD.

There seems to be a lot of fear right now but I believe that Jesus is greater than this virus. And time will come when He will take it away. We do not know when it happens but God has a purpose - that is to love Him first and not anything else, to be humble, to repent and to turn back to Him and be saved. I also learned to be brave because God is my strength. And that Jesus, my Lord and Savior, can heal everything including corona virus. This morning, the sun was radiant and beautiful. It's like a symbol of hope. Of a new beginning. Of healing. And I believe that after this pandemic, we will rise again and heal as one.

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Aloysius Solis May 17, 2020

5 WAYS TO IMPROVE SELF-CARE AND SELF-LOVE DURING QUARANTINE

Since we are still under community quarantine, some of us are starting to develop anxieties from uncertainties and limitations. Due to change and fear, we begin to think about the worst that might happen to us. Still, instead of fueling the distress in our minds, we can use this opportunity to focus on ourselves and divert our attention to making ourselves better. Before this quarantine, we were all busy living our lives as we tend to push ourselves to our limits. We work hard but forget to take care of ourselves. Now that we have time, we can use it to improve our whole beings.

Here are the five steps you must try:

1. Avoid Excessive Information

Through the use of social media, we can quickly dive into the latest news and updates on matters that happen around us. It is right to be informed and be socially aware but exposing yourself to immoderate lousy news can affect your mental health. Fear fuels fear. If you feel like scrolling through various unnecessary dramas online makes you anxious, you need to limit yourself and divert your attention elsewhere. Don’t let negativity overpower your mind, instead look for the brighter side of life.

2. Get To Know Yourself More

The person that you should know best is yourself. There’s still a lot of things you can discover about yourself that might end up surprising you. Have a sincere heart on heart conversation with yourself. It might be funny to imagine but believe me, there are a lot of questions in our minds that we don't get the chance to ask ourselves. How were the past days, months and years doing? How are you? Have I been treating myself well? Am I receiving the right amount of love? In this way, we can be transparent to ourselves and seek resolutions. Sometimes, we give so much love to the world that we end up losing ourselves. Take this time to build yourself stronger and mould a firm foundation called self-love. Before anybody else, you should learn how to love yourself.

3. Be Physically And Mentally Fit

Start your day with a meditation. It might be hard at first, but it'll be worth it. For beginners, it doesn't need to be long. You can try focusing on your breathing first. Inhale positivity and exhale all of the unnecessary energy in your life. This activity can bring peacefulness and detoxify your mind. Writing journal entries every day can also help you track your progress in life. You can list down everything that you are grateful for as well as the trials you’ve overcome. In this activity, you will see the good things rather than the things that you don’t have. After exercising your mind, you can start to do your physical exercises. This quarantine period makes us all lazy, but instead of lying in bed all day, we can use this time to improve our physical and mental health. Try to do some yogas to enhance the circulation of blood in your body. This period is the perfect time to start sculpting the body figure and mind that you dream of!

4. Get enough sleep

In this time, most of us stay up all night and sometimes until dawn due to constant binge-watching on Netflix or just merely scrolling through different social media apps. We used to take advantage of our sleep, but this quarantine proves that we’re more sleep-deprived in free times more than we are in work or school. We should maximize this time to get plenty amount of sleep because it will benefit our body, lower the risk of getting sick, and make our minds peaceful and stress-free.

5. Learn new things

Instead of procrastinating and lying in bed all day, the internet offers a lot of courses that you can enrol in during this quarantine period. You can learn how to dance, new languages or bake cute cupcakes. You can also read a book or create video content and upload it on YouTube. You have all the time for yourself so do it. In this way, you can enhance your skills and develop more knowledge of everything that you want.

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Dayana Balce May 14, 2020

A Day in a Quarantine Life

Can you still imagine yourself behind the wheel of your car as it glides down an empty stretch of highway past wildlife, pristine rice plains and enchanting mountains while listening to your favorite cruising tunes? You see, that’s not the case anymore, for the past few months, we have seen the sun as it slowly rises in the morning. How it greets us with another day, new hope and as the brilliant hues of yellow, blue, red and rich orange that never fail to draw gasp of wonder from us.

Even if we are not allowed to go outside, there are still ways on making this quite vacation memorable. We have our goals, task and ambitions that can make our day much more productive. Instead of mopping, sitting around and worrying about the corona virus, we can make our own version of this lockdown. We can be a queen and king of bakers, a fit inspirational, and even a goddess of household chores.

What about by starting it of by having a journal? This could help us start the day with full of positivity and can process our skills on creativity. Inside you can put your morning thoughts and emotions as well as your daily devotional insights. What about health? Fortify your immune system by making a well balance diet plan and doing exercises during your free time. When the time comes and its okay to go out, chin up walk with confidence because you will be slaying it because of the health care, skin care and the hard work that you have done during this quarantine.

In this time where we stay at home why not try and experiment on the culinary world? Explore the kitchen either it be cooking or baking. Try some recipe and innovate stuffs and maybe you can create a dish that others would be drooling over the other side of the screen. If you have some pare time left why not try doing arts? May it be painting, dancing, singing or even playing the instrument or through digital is a good way to express yourself, learn new skills, and help you see ordinary things you never imagined to be beautiful on a normal basis. Having a proper hygiene, caring for the body and the use of alcohol should still be maintained and also learn to take care of yourself.

After this quarantine it is you who would be benefiting from all the things you have done. Sometimes because of the boredom we don’t look at the brighter side of the things that is happening around us. There are plenty of ways to brighten up your day and make your quarantine life as productive as possible those mentioned are just some of it. You just have to be responsible and committed on what you are doing. Be unique in your own way. Do it for yourself and not for the others. At the end of this, you will be proud, because you conquered a lot of things without realizing the big changes that you have made for yourself to become a much better person.

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Athena Avelino May 5, 2020

How I keep sane while the world is in chaos

We are all currently stuck in the same predicament, at home, isolated, and hoping for this pandemic to be over soon. Coming from a semi pessimist who cannot take feeling isolated and a master at over thinking, you wouldn’t think I would be sharing tips on how to survive this quarantine with the healthiest way that I know. We are approaching two months into this enhanced community quarantine and this health crisis is taking a toll on everyone both physically and mentally. It is important that we stay healthy, that includes our mental health.

I did fall in a dark hole during the first weeks of quarantine but then I realized that I should help myself and try to climb out of that ditch. I am no expert in this field but I would like to share with you the things that I do that bring comfort to my anxieties.

How i keep sane while the world is in chaos:

1. Finally finished the book that I haven’t touched in months. I find that reading books gives me comfort, lifts my mood, and also serves as an escape from confinement

2. I listen to music, updated my playlist, and even made a quarantine playlist. I think we can all agree that music works the same as a hug.

3. I tried cooking, though that didn’t go well for me. But that’s okay I got a lot of time to work on it. I just got to make sure I don’t burn anything

4. You can never go wrong with watching your favorite shows or movies. I finally have time to finish the comedic masterpiece which is the television sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Also watched Money heist, the Spanish Netflix series that my friends were bugging me to watch.

5. Speaking of friends, check up on them from time to time. Something that is also helping with my anxiety is talking to my friends; it feels nice having someone to talk to about anything, the people that are with you through ups and downs.

6. I started working out. It is definitely a challenge but small progress is still progress.

7. Putting down my phone and not being in front of a screen all day is also nice. Instead of spending all my free time alone, I am also choosing to spend it with my family. I took being with them every day before for granted cause when my father got sick while I was away for college (this was during the beginnings of the COVID-19 spread in Luzon) I realized how fast time is and how something can be easily taken away from you.

Being quarantined made me realize how much I took things for granted. I regret not coming to my last class that day; I would have probably had a good laugh with my block mates. I wish I went and hung out with my dorm mates that night when they prepared a movie and pizza but instead, I wasted my time wrapped up in bed worrying and overthinking about things that doesn’t seem that important anymore. I hope we use all this given time wisely, spend it with people you love, eat with your family, talk to your parents share with them your stories and experiences, watch a movie together and most of all I hope after this pandemic is that we live our lives to the fullest, don’t let being sad ruin opportunities and don’t waste the second chance that is given to us. Stay safe everyone, let’s try our best to stay positive and be grateful with what we have. Help as much as we can by doing our part in staying home because staying home means saving lives.

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Althea Lallana May 2, 2020

Simple Ways On How Students Can Cope With Stress

Students nowadays experience sleepless nights due to various external factors – playing mobile/video games, doing online activities, discovering new hobbies, etc. But if doing school stuff stresses you out and makes you on the verge of giving up already, please DON’T.

The following are ways on how my fellow students can deal with stress that we encounter each and every day. So the first step is to have our “me-time” since we all deserve to have such. Examples of it are having enough rest or sleep, engaging in recreational and worthwhile activities, having regular exercises, and maintaining a balanced diet.

If you have social media accounts, you’ve probably seen a couple of things to do that are trending during this quarantine. If you tend to do one of those, chances are, your productivity will be enhanced. There were many activities I’ve done like reading a book, baking churros, playing the ukulele, dancing zumba, and making dalgona coffee.

Learn to face your problems in a positive way rather than taking these as something that pressures you. Why not consider problems as a challenge? These are challenges that will make you stronger and more determined in life since this will test how much perseverance you’ve got. If you don’t want to be challenged, then you’re not living life because life itself is full of ups and downs. Next, take one step at a time. There are those who are good at multitasking however, it will tire you sometimes. Thus, it is advisable for you to list down all the things that you’re going to do with a schedule or time limit in order for you to meet the deadline. Time-management is a must. You have to do tasks slowly but surely. Chunking things down will help you look at the tasks more manageable and doable within a particular period of time.

Lastly, set achievable objectives and alter your goals into a more feasible one. Do not push yourself too hard because it’s already enough if you feel happy at the end of achieving something. What matters most is that you will feel satisfied and contented after everything you have done. Success comes only to those who have worked hard. At the end of the day, coping with stress is somehow challenging but rewarding at the same time. Keep in mind the phrases “a little sacrifice will lead you to paradise” or, look at all your tasks and say “try me” so that it will motivate you to finish it as soon as possible. Just imagine yourself that eventually, you’ll be successful amidst all challenges you have faced in life.

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Bulletin
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I was, but I am not. Desperately, I am trying to reach you – my hope. I am in this particular space in my own constructed world where doubts and frustrations recur. Emphasizing how scared I am being here, I never explored this area before. I was always in those places filled with benevolence, hope shining like the light the sun and the moon possess. And I didn’t have any plans to visit a ‘dark’ place, as how I described it then. But, as funny as how my world suddenly flipped, I am now here, completely lost with monsters persuading me to go insane.

How did I end up here? I can’t logically tell you the answer for that, but I guess, I know when. It started when I had to consider what college course do I want to pursue. Well, if you want to ask what ambition had occurred in my mind when I was young – which is usually the case in terms of life when you were like 7-year-old young - it was definitely being a doctor. I’d thought about wearing a medical coat with a stethoscope around my neck, ready to cure people from their illnesses. It was actually stuck in my mind for so long I almost thought that I was sure of it, yet, as a particular song yields, almost was never really enough and still, it is and will never be.

When I realized that such a perspective was slowly draining me, I tried my best to stand tough. I convinced myself that this was just temporary, that I could think of a way out of this. “There’s still plenty of time,” I once convinced myself. However, my environment demonstrated the contrary: I felt like I was completely out of time.

I was there when my classmates were happily talking about that ‘dream course’ they wish to take in their ‘dream university.’ I was there when my family was suggesting the thought of using my ‘suitable’ speaking voice for broadcasting and voice acting purposes. I was there when my teacher was convincing me that Education suited me the best. That ‘Stand tough!’ aura I used to own back then, suddenly transformed into ‘I give up!’ state, slowly destroying my being. And now, I am here in this space where doubts and frustrations are filling my former enthusiastic self. I need help.

I know, at this point, some of you may never consider me ‘fatal’ because, as you’re reading this, you may judge that I still have the ability to transform my thoughts into words that can be read, so that ‘automatically’ falls into the aspect of complete sanity. No, because I will never tell everything to you in the first place if I still have the urge to stand like I used to, relative to my belief that speaking up through writing is the best way to attract help.

When you look at the photo of mine above, you may say that I was okay. That I was successful. That I was never losing myself. Yes, I was. But, think about what happened days after that was taken and the message of this passage you started reading minutes before, do you think I am still the same girl smiling in the photo? I hope I will be or better yet, improve if the world will permit me. But, now I’m sure – I’m not the same.

LIFE ADVICE YOU NEED TO HEAR WHILE YOURE STILL YOUNG

This blog is dedicated to all teens out there struggling in determining what they really want in their life or if you simply want a glow up. And since were still facing a pandemic, I think this is also a season where everyone is re-thinking about their lives. So, I hope these advices might help you.

Tip #1. TAKE RISK - since most of you are still young, I advice you to take your biggest risk. Whether it may be taking the course you want, a skill you want to acquire or just simply taking the risk to throw away your emotional baggage from your childhood. While you're still young, you have very little to lose. You dont have that much commitments and responsibilities. Because the older you get, the more responsibilities and obligations came. So when they are still not piling up, take the risk! As for me, the biggest risk I took when I was still a teenager is to CUT OFF TOXIC FAMILY TIES.

I may sound rude here but, yeah. I decided to throw away my emotional baggage from my traumatic childhood and cut off some of my family ties and it is completely okay! You dont have to be bothered by whatever they will say. Because at your age, you are already investing on your growth as a person. If you really want to grow, THERE IS NO PERFECT TIME FOR YOU TO TAKE RISK BUT NOW. Because in taking risk you are actually giving yourself a reward of getting something amazing or beyond what you expect you can have. As they say, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Keep in mind that the bigger the risk, the bigger possibility of FAILURE. But that is completely OKAY. Because just like what I said earlier, you are still young. You dont have so much to lose so, dont be afraid to take the risk and then fail. But after failing, learn from it and the more courage you have to take risk the greater the learning, reward or happiness. Ito na nga, how to take risk nga ba? And what are the risk that would actually help me to grow? #

2: VOICE LESSON - dont get me wrong, hindi ito vocalization para sa pagkanta. What I mean is, learn to listen to that VOICE INSIDE YOU. Listen to your heart, to your intuition and to your visions because it will be your GUIDE. Because I realize that as you go along your journey of your life and if you really want to be YOURSELF and be successful in achieving your goals, the only GUIDE that you should follow is your OWN VOICE.

It is okay to take and consider other people's advices but at the end of the day,you should never forget to listen to your own voice. Because that voice is what tells you what you truly want. How would you know that if it is your 'own' voice? Your own voice always comes from your HEART. The voice where YOU and GOD'S voice are one. Because I firmly believe that God knows your heart and that is where he reside. I like journaling because whenever I journal my thought every night and every morning, I feel a dual voice inside my head. Like, it contradicts what the other voice is telling. For example: If we have dreams or goals that puts us so much weight and pressure to the point that it makes you exhausted, STOP. Because it might be a dream or goal of someone else. I believe that your own dreams and goals may be frustrating most of the time, but that frustration has fueling feeling that will always tell you that 'This is the hard way to better so keep going'. Frustration in your own dreams will not make you feel exhausted because achieving a dream itself is a fulfilling feeling.

#3. TAKE ACTION - if you really want something to happen, take action. Dont just sit there and wait things to come your way. Make action or decisions that will take you to where you want to go in your life. Just like what I said in one of my novels that I am writing in wattpad, "There is no such thing as destiny or fate. Because YOU make your OWN life choices." For example, I cannot expect to be a published author if I dont write any novels right? The bottomline here is, if you are not moving forward you are actually moving backward. And it is a sad thing. Life is full of situations where you will be put in the line whether you take courage or just stay where you are. Because GROWING needs consistency in moving forward. So if you dont have to enough courage to take action, your life will always stay the same or worse you will continuously shrink down.

#4. EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS - this means stretching your comfort zone. I watched an anime entitled "Black Clover" there is a captain there where he always tell his subordinates to surpass their limits right, here right now. Going out of our comfort zones are surely scary and uncomfortable. But you have to accept the fact that you cannot stay on the coast forever. You have to change, because the only thing that is constant in this world is change right? Go out of your comfort zones because LIMITS are just in the MIND. There are disabled people who are successful in their own careers. Because the lesson here is, if you hold back there will be no growth. Because GROWTH blooms in DISCOMFORT.

Last, #5. INVEST IN YOURSELF - especially now that you are still young, you should focus on investing on yourself more. Time is your bestfriend at this point of your life. You have so much time to discover things about yourself. I never regret buying and reading books that I never knew will help me later on in dealing life's challenges. You can use that time to read books, gain wisdom, or pick a new skill, improve your talent and learn from your experiences. Keep learning outside your home or your school. Because the real battlefield is OUTSIDE. What you learn in school will only help you in your career but your wisdom and experiences will help you in life or as a person. People who doesnt embrace growth will never succeed in their life. (This is a reflection blog from my 21st birthday last week. I hope you can feature this on your page and I hope it can help others as well. )

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