November 29, 2004

Intermission to my travelogues.

Somehow, the days went by like a speed of lightening. Just a few months back I was still rambling about missing the Philippines, longing to go back home, what I would do there, yearning for the things and the food and the places. And then, I went. I flew in and was back in a jiffy. Of course, it was not enough, but it had to do for now. It helped me in quite a lot of ways even if it was just for a very short time. I felt relieved. Being at home gave me a sense of being reborn, being with people whom i knew and love, with old familiar faces and comforting places. It felt like Christmas. Best of all, it gave me new courage to face trials, obstacles and challenges in this foreign place that I live in now. I don't know what it is, nor can I explain what made me feel like this. I just know for sure that IT IS SO. Perhaps it is because one's real and true home is where one's family, relatives and friends are.

I remember when I was still learning the German language, we were asked to define HOME. I thought, okay this was quite easy, not thinking clearly that I have now two homes. I say this so, because my definition of home is, the place where my family and loved ones are. It is not just a flat, a building or a house where we live. To me, it is the place where I feel most comfortable and loved. A place where I feel I belong. Where I can relate and interact with the people whom I trust and vice versa. So, when I got home and started to think about what to say, I got stuck. I couldn't find anything to say simply because I am torn. My family and relatives and friends are all in the Philippines, but I didn't think about having a much more important person in my life now here with me in Germany. Having said this, it would also mean that my home is actually here in Germany, right? So, I ended up not preparing for the assignment at all. Why not? Because, although the most important person in my life right now lives here with me, I still do not feel that I belong to this place. Of course, my hubby's family is now also my family. But although they told me all the time that I belong to their family now, and even give me the reassurance every chance they get, I still feel lost and unaccepted. Not by them but by the other people that I meet and got to know here. I still feel in every place that I go to here in Germany that I am just an Auslšnder, a foreigner. Especially because they make you feel this. In shops, in recreation areas, at the post office, at the bank, everywhere! They don't let you forget it for one single minute. Obtaining the nationality of the host country doesn't make one like the locals of that country as well. One becomes a "second class" citizen then, which is for me, sounding even more inferior. I can't blame them for it.

Nevertheless, I still face the challenges that I encounter everyday, may it be at work or outside. I live each day as it comes. I try to integrate myself and even show my own capabilities as an individual foreigner to show a good example to this host country so that in some ways, they may not stereotype every "Auslšnder" as a parasite and a menace to the society.

My point to this is: This is now my second home. A place where my hubby and I decided to stay for the time being as a means to be able to fulfill our dreams for our future. I am thankful for the chance that I could go back to my own place that I call home where I could relax and recover from the stress and pressure that I encounter here in my second home. For some, they have to wait for ten to eleven years because they do not have the luxury of being able to go back to their loved ones anytime they want. Thus, I envy those people who can be with their family, relatives and real friends and remains to be first class citizens where they live because they can afford to live in their own country of origin, their home, their Nation, the place where their heart is!


November 26, 2004

blah, blahs

Got up quite early this morning, although i don't have to go to work. After preparing coffee, was lost walking around the house trying to figure out the householdchores that I have neglected for the last week. Realizing that I only have one or two that has to be done today, I decided to sit in front of the PC to do e-mails, bloghop and chat with my sisters. Yep, in short, I plan to vegetate in front of the PC today, the whole day actually, unless hubby drags me, caveman style, away from it...hehehhee!

Okay, will bloghop for now... be back later. Have a great weekend everyone!!!

November 20, 2004

Invitation to Party

The International showband, "Speed Limit" will once again grace the night at the Tennis Bar in Bad Homburg, Germany during the Benefits Gala Night of the Philippine Mission Charity Foundation. The PMCF program will include, cultural dance show, fashion show, with some surprise special guests and afterwards dancing. There will also be a Tombola raffle draw. The proceeds of the party and tombola will be used to help the streetchildren in Roxas City, Philippines.


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Entrance fees are as follows:
Vorverkauf: 15,00 Euro
Abendkasse: 20,00 Euro

Inclusive in the entrance fee is an evening Buffet. The Buffet table will open at exactly 8:00 P.M.

Anybody in the area interested to hear and watch these 3 talented, sexy and beautiful Cebuanas perform on Friday, 26th of November, or to those who are interested in getting to know the Philippine Cultural Dances, please feel free to contact handy number 01633298403 look for Merry.

*****

November 15, 2004

Photo snaps from our trip to the north

Coming back from our trip to the South, we just had some three hours rest before we started our drive up to the north. The plan was to go first to Abra, the hometown of my sister-in-law. From there on, we would then visit Vigan, Laoag, visit the Ilocos region and then the Bontocs region, and move further down to Baguio and La Union. This is the first part of the "Trip to the North" series.


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This breathtaking view of the mountains from this bridge upon entering vigan always impressed me. From here on, i feel the different aura of the place...it seems to me like crossing into time.

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Vigan, along the Heriatge street, where one can get plenty of souvenir stuff as well as very good wood carved furnitures.

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Vigan, almost all of the shops we visited had this spanish style bench outside where one can sit and have a rest.



My only regret during this tour: I was not wearing my spanish ensemble, at naupo sa isa sa mga bangkong ito. Together with pamypay-tsenes, at sweet, ice cold kalamansi juice, etc... instead, nagpaka sunog akong naglalakad sa kalsadang ito, with my maps at nahilo lang ako sa kaka yuko at tingala (madalas, head movements ng taong naliligaw....hehehehe!)

Around the town center of Vigan, there is a Tourist information office where one can get the maps and brochures of which places to visit. They generally recommend that one should take a calesa ride to be able to see all theses places. If one prefers it, one can request for a tour guide from the tourist info office, without fee, but as a way of saying thank you, a tip is much preferred.

A tip to the ones who would go to the place: take the kalesa ride. That way, you'll get to see everything and then still have time to go shopping for souvenirs.

November 09, 2004

Bagong Bapor at "Threading"

Nalala ko lang, on the way na pabalik to Manila, hindi na kami nag landtrip all the way. We drove up to Ozamis from Dipolog City and from there on, we took the Superferry to Manila. Inabot din ng dalawang gabi isang araw ang biyahe. Pwede na considering before we had to travel three nights and two days by boat to get to Manila.

There has been so much improvements on the water transportation of the Philippines, I noticed. The conditions of the boats/ferries are much better now. New boats, well maintained, cabins are much bigger with enough head room for 4,6,8 passengers. The economy area is so much changed.

Before they only provided in the economy deck cots/bunks. Naalala ko dati, if the pax came late on board, wala na siyang makukuhang cot. I don't know how they managed it, pero, bigla na lang somebody would bring cots andplace them sa gilid ng railings. Pag umuulan, siyempre basa sila. Hindi rin sila nakakaligtas pag malalakas ang alon. Sa tatlong araw at dalawang gabing biyahe, tamang-tama pag dating ng pasahero sa Maynila o pabalik man sa probinsiya, nagka-kasakit na sila. Dagdag mo pa ang seasickness. At ang pagkain na sine-serve nila, matindi pa sa ration ng sundalo. Tulad ng pag embark sa barko, kailangan maaga din sa mess hall otherwise, tutong na lang ang makukuha mo. And they don't even say sorry as pa-consuelo de bobo to you man lang. Pero ngayon, hindi na ganito ang systema. Maayos na ang mga double deck beds sa economy area. Malinis ang common toilet at wala nang beds sa railings. The food court provided for the economy passengers has a wide variety of choices at very affordable prices. For example, for 40Php, meron ka nang bottomless rice with vianed, like sinigang, adobo or pinakbet. To pay for this, the pax just need to present their meal card. This meal card comes with the purchased ticket. It has a load of 300 Php. Pag naubos na ang load nito before the end of the journey, (dahil for example, kulang talaga ang bottomless rice at one ulam sa inyo), huwag kayong mag alala. Pwede niyo itong pa load-an ulit. The only hassle is, if nag pa load kayo at hindi niyo ito naubos at the end of the journey, kasi palaging super haba ng pila ng nagpa pa refund. Being a Pinoy, I would probably just bring cooked rice and adobo, pansit and some pandesal with me para hindi na ako kakain sa barko. Tapos I can just get the meal card allowance refunded. O divah, parang naka mura na ako ng 300Php sa pamasahe ko?!

Sa Tourist class naman, they have airconditioning in the rooms which is parang isang hallway filled from each side with double deck beds. They have a common toilet& shower just like the ones provided in the economy class. The tourist class pax also goes to the food court for their meal. Wala talagang big difference, except for the airconditioned rooms.

For the Cabin, Business & first class pax, they have their own toilet & shower, their rooms are mostly located at the front end of the ship and are much closer to the reception area...im sure nakita niyo na ang part na ito, kasi dito palagi sinu-shoot ang commercials ni Shawie. They also have their own cable and pay TV. Their meals are served ala carte at the restaurant one level below the foodcourt. Each meal cost 100Php, so ang 300Php card provided is only good for three meals. Of course, this again, can be reloaded. It is also in this restaurant where one can enjoy karaoke the whole night. Kailangan lang um-order. Pero, kahit isang tasang kape lang ang order, pwede na...passport na yun to do your own mini-concert, provided huwag ka lang sipain ng ibang pax palabas, hehehehe.

While on the ferry, we didn't do much. Although the crew did prepare a program for the passengers. They had "The Singing crew" contest, some crews showed their talent in dancing and even the Doctor on Board played the guitar and serenaded the Pax. After the program, we, (my mom, my aunt &I) went down to the David's Salon on board. Paano, ang Tita, dahil on the road all the time, nag mukha ng bruha ang kilay...at ang feet-tsenes, nag ye-yellow na. I needed a foot spa very badly. Alam ko, when I get to manila, I will not have enough time na to go to the parlor dahil we will immediately drive up North naman. So I went inside, asked for their footspa service.

MP: miss palinas din ako ng eyebrows ha, I said while browsing through their magazine. Silently reminding myself that I would need to buy magazines for the trip back to Germany.
D: maam, sige threading, ho?
MP: hindi miss, hindi ako marunong lumangoy...papalinis lang ako ng kilay.
D: smiling tactfully, threading nga po ang gagawin natin.

Little did I know that my aunt was already laughing at me, kasi, nagbobo-bobohan nanaman daw ako. How would I know na meron na palang threading< /a> as a way to clean the excess hairs sa eyebrows. It turns out to be an Arabic way of cleaning the brows. Hehe, sorry ha, boba ako at hindi naman ako arabo...Arabo-hok sa ibang parte ng katawan yes!

Anyway, the three of us ended with a complete overhaul which lasted almost four hours. We came out of the salon feeling relaxed at maganda na ulit! Of course, hindi pa rin ako natutong lumangoy! ;)

November 08, 2004

Huli na ang lahat...

1. Noong isang araw, nag post lang ako tungkol sa kanya. Ni wala akong kamalay-malay na nasa ospital napala siya. Nag ka Urinary tract infection ang aking guwapang pag umangkon! Kaninang umaga naka usap ko ang bradir ko sa phone at okay na naman daw ulit si Trisha...in fact naka usap ko pa siya mismo. Maya't-maya lang naririnig ko nang nag tatatakbo ang Trish habang kumakanta. Rinig ko kasi ang lagakpak ng kanyang sapatos kaya alam ko na tumatakbo na siya. Siguro para hahabulin na naman yung mga aso ng kapit bahay. OPO, hindi po aso ang humahabol sa kanya, SIYA po ang humahabol sa mga aso ng mga kapitbahay namin!

2. Dahil sa trabaho, medyo matagal-tagal din akong hindi naka upo sa harap ng computer. Anim na araw din akong hindi naka pag post at naka reply man lamang sa comments ng aking mga kapwa blogistas...pag pa sensiyahan nyo na kung hindi din ako naka dalaw nitong huli sa inyo hah...iba kasi ang trabaho ni MissPanget (jan nagsimula ang aking alyas d2 sa bloggingworld)...hindi naka upo sa harap ng computer. Akshuli no access to the www whatsoever talaga ang beauty ko pag nasa trabaho...kaya eto, huli palagi sa balita.

3. Pati itong plume cake na ibi-nake ko before we left for the Philippines, na supposedly ipo-post ko, super late na rin. Well, nakain naman ang cake but the draft that i wanted to publish, ay natabunan na ng ibang for posting...ngek!!!


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4. Pati layout ko na dapat Fall motiff, wa effect na rin... bakit?! Kasi, sabi ng radio announcer habang nagda-drive ako kagabi pauwi ng bahay, mag i-snow na daw next week!!! "Ano? eh, kaka simula lang naman ng autumn ah",sabi ko sa aking sarili. Dios nating lahat, ilang linggo na lang pala, autum is officially over at winter na nga pala.

5. Ibig sabihin din nito, magpa-pasko na....ni wala pa akong mga gift-chenes na napamili! ano ba yan! Kaya pala, yung mga pinoy na nagsisi uwi-an, as usual, ang dami na namang bitbit na ke bibigat ng mga trolleys...pamasko na pala nila....tsk! tsk!tsk! Pero di pa ako huli sa pamimili ng mga pamasko. O mag tago na lang kaya ako, buwahahahaha!!!

November 02, 2004

The Maria Cristina Falls

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From Leyte, we drove down to Butuan City. We were expected at my Uncle's place there, the brother of my dad since the day before. We got to his place only around lunch time. The first thing I noticed was the "balingbing" tree in the yard. Boy, was I having fun trying to pick the fruits. The last time I ate this fruit was way back in 2002. I know, we can also buy them here in Europe in some places, and I did, but somehow it didn't taste like the ones we grow back home. Another fruit we feasted upon,.... DURIAN! This fruit is quite popular if only for the very bad stinking smell. Despite the smell though, surprisingly, a lot of tourists (local & foreign) really like it. They grow it now in two varieties according to my Uncle. The white one is the original one. It has a very strong smell before and after it has been peeled open. The yellow one is the developed variety. Taste still the same as the white one but the smell is not as bad as the original one.

I never tried the yellow one before and quite frankly, I couldn't bear the smell of the original one. So, I only sated myself with durian candies. But this time, when I tried it, I was so amazed. I never even imagined that when eaten, because of its softness, it just feels like it melts in the mouth. It is definitely creamy specially when cold, almost like ice cream.

We spent a night with my uncle, and head quite early the following morning to Cagayan de Oro where we had breakfast. We didn't stay around longer though cause we wanted to see some Falls in Iligan City. There we saw the Maria Cristina Falls & Tinago Falls. The first one, we saw it in its splendour! Sabi kasi nila baka wala daw kami makita doon kasi nga "now you it, now you don't" ang water sa falls na iyon. We went and tried anyway.

How Maria Cristina Got Its Name
by: Victoria J. Adeva


Once upon a time, Lake Lanao was in the hands of Omaca-an, a giant monster, eating human beings and animals and even fishes in the water.
There were thus very few people around the lake because of the monster that ate everything he saw. many years passed when Rajah Indarapatra came with his beloved brother Rajah Solaiman. Rajah Solaiman was the first
to come and he fought the giant and was killed. Rajah Indarapatra followed, looking for his brother Solaiman. Indarapatra encountered the giant Omaca-an and killed the giant man eater. On land, he looked
for the ring of his brother by asking the small and big animals he met. On water, however, he went swimming everyday and gathere both big and small stones beneath the water.
He stayed for several years along the shores of the lake, but still did not find the ring. He constructed an irrigation system that went very far
and covered a big distance which later beca,e a river (now the Agus River). The river had a portion which dropped down a deep ravine, now the Maria Cristina Falls.

Many years passed, and there lived in Maria the younger and Cristina the elder. These two beautiful ladies loved each other very much. Maria gave everything she had to Cristina, her beloved sister.
Many people knew they were the ones living near the falls. They also loved their neighbor as they loved themselves. Datus and Sultans came to ask for their hands in marriage but the sisters refused.
There was a man, however, son of a prominent Sultan living somewhere beside the Lake Lanao. For many years he was unhappy because he could not find a suitable partner.
He roamed around the lake until he saw the two maidens of the falls. He fell in love with the two sisters but the two sisters did not know whom he really loved.
Many days passed and Maria discovered that she loved him very much, which made her very sad and she went to the top of the falls and jumped.
When Cristina found out that Maria was dead, she likewise went to the top of the falls and threw herself down the deep ravine. When the handsome young man discovered the situation and
found the dead bodies, he buried them carefully under the falls. After the death of the two sisters, he never married until he also died. He also named the falls, Maria Cristina, after the two sisters he loved.

A supplement of: Iligan City Tourism Office, c/o Iligan City Museum, City Engineer's Office, Iligan City

****
Tinago falls is a much smaller and reserve place. They made a resort of the area, but according to the locals there, because of the boundary dispute going on, the area had to be closed down. Not a lot of locals go there anymmore, so the resort was getting bankcrupt and worst, neither of the two local governments want to restore it until the court ruling has come out. The resort then is totally wasted. This didn't stop us from going for s dip though.