December 31, 2004

Success and Good Health to all of US!!!

Okay, I guess this is my last blog for this year. Actually, more like my last ranting, whinning & moaning. However one calls it, it is still negative! Nyahahahaha!

I got back from celebrating Christmas with my sisters and aunt's family, somewhat rested. Don't get me wrong, I was sick as hell during Christmas, but I definitley got better afterwards. Whether it is from the medicine, the love and care of my family or the fact that I passed on to my relatives the virus that I had, truth of the matter is, I am feeling much better! I just feel sorry for those who caught my virus as well.

My doctor declared I have a virus. The question remains: where or which organ in my body got it. As of making this entry, we still don't know. Sad part is, that because of the holiday season, the labs are also closed, hence my doctor couldn't give me the answer immediately. We have to wait until next year to finish all the vital tests/exams that he wants me to undergo to be able to pinpoint exactly which organ is infected. So far, I have now a schedule for Radiology and more blood tests on the 3rd & 4th of January respectively. The result of the ultrasound was negative. Or at least, my doctor told me everything is normal. Apparently, not everything though, cause I still feel weak. With regards to appendix, liver and the rest of the organs located in the same section of my body are okay. I really pray that this is nothing well, I don't even want to mention it or let alone think that I have it! One thing is for sure though, I can only lift this problem to the Lord, like I always do, whenever I get into some serious trouble, hehehehe! Seriously though, I do wish and hope that my health will soon get better.


December 23, 2004

Doctor's call.

Today, like yesterday, I was not able to go to work again. I have not been feeling well these last few days. Truthfully, I am confused if the sickness is caused by: the holiday bug, winter-depression fever or if this is another viral infection somewhere inside my body. I went to the doctor the other day, but apparently, my doctor thinks it is not really serious and therefore did not give me a sick slip or "stay at home" slip. He took blood samples though, all five vials and then told me that I should have an x-ray for the back pains that I have been suffering from for ages. The appointment for the x-ray was for yesterday, but I was feeling so weak that I just called the clinic and had it re-scheduled. I got one, after the holidays, which is on the third of January. Fine!

I stayed all day at home, vegetated a little in front of the computer, but most of the time, I was just in bed, resting. Still, I didn't feel better. When I woke up this morning, I still felt very weak that I decided to stay at home again. At around noontime, the assistant of my doctor called me and asked me to come to the clinic to discuss the result of my blood tests. She also said that I have to undergo ultrasound. For what, I don't know. I didn't bother to ask. Actually, I am more afraid of the result of the blood test. If my memory serves me right, after I had Bel Palsy which was caused by a virus that I got in Malaysia, my previous Doctor in Belgium told me that there is a possibility that it may re-occur again.

Ngekkk! OMG! I think now, I am slowly panicking....okay, deep breath, and another, and again another!

Well, I hope this is nothing like it. I will not think about it anymore. I refuse to think about it! Nyaaaaa! Nakakabaliw!

December 20, 2004

Alaala ng Pasko

It is Christmas once again. The time of the year when most are the
merriest and lighthearted and generous. Hubby and I will be spending
Christmas with my sisters and relatives currently residing in Belgium.

Before I came to Europe, my holidays were always spent with family and
relatives. We usually meet in the house of the relatives or in ours,
depends on who the assigned host for the yearend celebration is. Year-end would be from December 24th up to New Years eve. Yes, it is one whole week of being together. During this time, relatives, cousins living in the provinces would come
to Manila as well to celebrate with us. My cousins and I, are almost of
the same age with an average of 1 year gap, so we were all very close to
each other. Not to mention that we have always lived so near to each
other that the closeness became more like a brother and sister thing.
From elementary to high school or at least until my family left for
Manila for good, we were always together. We went to different schools
but were always together weekends, spent either at the beach or biking
or just going roller skating at the town plaza. Those days were fun.
Christmas time was the best though. We get to stay up so late, and play
outside. Do whatever we want to do like sitting under the big mango tree
in the front yard of my Lola's house and just sing songs. My brother and
cousin were both good with the guitar, so we had instrumental
accompaniment as well. The younger ones would play with the candles or
flashlights, depends on which was available.


Gifts we got were not as grand, but hey, we were just kids. Ibig
sabihin, mababaw lang ang kaligayahan
. Actually, they were not the most
important thing, but we did compete with each other as to who got the
most cash gifts. Some of my cousins, tried to cheat by saving up from their
allowance before the christmas holidays and then just add them up with
what they got later. For me, i had to join the regular christmas
carolers in the school to save up more. Kasi, sa school, malakas akong
kumain. In short, I didn't save anything from my baon for
Christmas...kaya, kayod pa ako. The fun thing is, after the holidays,
when everything else is back to normal, we then use what we saved up
during the holidays for stuff where we didn't have a budget, like going
to see a movie, buying scented stationaries and hanging out at the
halo-halo kiosk downtown together.

The last time I spent Christmas holidays with the whole family and
relatives was way back in 1996. Since we all went to different schools
in college, this was the only time we were all together again. I
remember, after the celebrations at home, we all got into three cars and
drove to Padis Point in Antipolo. We talked, teased and drank. It was
the first time after several years of not being together. We shared
escapades that the parents are not supposed to know about. Found out who
smoked, who have had "boyfriends" or "girlfriends", talked about the problems
with the parents, etc. We just talked about everything. After Padis
closed for the night, we drove all the way to Tagaytay, up to the Palace
in the Sky. We parked the cars and took out the drinks and snacks that
we bought along the way and drank under the stars that night. Talking,
laughing and listening to the music from the car stereo. It was a cold and foggy night yet we didn't seem to notice the cool wind. WE sat there, and continued
talking about our plans, dreams and ambitions. WE all boasted to each
other how we would be able to help the others the most.

On the way home the following morning, we were all so scared. Normally,
we have a silent rule: we are allowed to go out but we are expected to
be home long before the sun shines the following morning. Just two
blocks before our house, we stopped the cars and planned what to tell
the elders when we got home. WE had to have a valid explanation,
otherwise...well, we didn't find out anyway, what would have happened.
My brother drove ahead, followed by my cousin and me at the tail of the
convoy. When we got home, we were very surprised at the reception.
Instead of getting scolded, we arrived with the breakfast table ready
and food was served immediately. My dear Lola told us firmly to have
breakfast, and then ordered us to rest for we would then have our family
pictures taken that same day. No parent came to us to scold us or
reprimand us for not coming home that night. I guess, it was some sort
of declaration from them that we were already accepted as adults.
Imagine, the eldest among us cousins then was Czar1, she was then 26,
and still didn't have the freedom to go out the whole night and come
home only the following morning. The only exception to this rule is the
author/owner of this blogsite, hahaha. Why? WEll that's another story.

December 13, 2004

chika lang

Since December 10 or 11, I am not really sure, my webhost had to do some maintenance ek-ek I guess, since I couldn't do anything to my site. Couldn't post, delete spammers and even upload anything. In short, I couldn't do a single thing with it. That's why, my wedding anniversary entry dedicated to you ML was not posted on time! That's also the reason why I am babbling here, not making any sense at all! nyahahaahah!

Sunday, we went actually to the Weichnachtmarkt at the Römer in Frankfurt am Main. The first time again after two years. This year, there are not as much stalls compared to the previous year. I remember, when we went there the first time, stalls were lined up starting already from the bus/S-Bahn haltestelle in Konstablerwache towards Hauptwache and would continue on to the left side alley of Saturn down to Römerplatz.

This time, the stalls are much less. But that doesn't mean less people though. I could hardly walk properly, in fact, I was only moving being carried away by the flow of the people. I managed to look at the stuff that were on sale at the stalls but only thanks to the regular traffic jam caused by the kids or by the other people who tried from one stall to the next, probably trying to compare prices...hehehehehe!

I was urging hubby to stop by at a stall and just let the people through first, but no, he wanted to go to this place where they say the best "Glühwein" is served....okay, how much farther still? I ask, not too far anymore. Great, since, inspite of the people and the horrific crowd we had there, the December cool wind was still blowing stronger. My ass was slowly freezing next to my toes and hands which are already frozen. I can just imagine if I showed them out inthe open, they would look like home-made popsicles. It's as if, the wind is competing with the people. Or perhaps, just making asar to the people.... para lalong lamigin! Brrrrr!!! I told hubby this, and he obliged getting a "glühwein" from another stall. I opted for Apfelwein. Glühwein by the way is just actually wine warmed, not boiled. It#s definitely good to drink during winter time. It keeps the body warm. Okay, it helped a little. I though it would keep me warm until we get to the next stall. Next one came, I asked for gluhwein naman. As usual, medyo mapakla, di ko pa rin nagustuhan, tulad last year, nyahahaha.

At last, we got to the place, called GlühWein am Laternchen. They do have the best glühwein not to mention a different variety of other warm drinks like: Bromberwein, Himberwein, Apfelwein, Amaretto with cream, hot chocolate drinks for the kids and sodas... to name some. The huge Carousel, is of course ever present. It is exactly at the same place and location where it was two years ago, and perhaps where it is every year.


This is a typical stall found at the markt, filled with goodies, cotton candy, popcorn, nuts, almonds and candy coated fruits in different flavors. The heartshaped gingerbread can be found everywhere, including giant bretzels. This year, I tried the KartoffelPuffer with garlic sauce. I thought, it is probably tolerable with garlic sauce rather than with apple sauce...(I am not much of a compote fan anyway, hehehehe). I was surprised that I actually liked it.


At the place where hubby and I finally decided to stay put for awhile while finishing my kartoffelpuffer, we could see the giant Christmas Tree this year which looked to me like it is sad...Maybe because the branches are all slugging downwards instead of lifting up to the sky. Hubby's comment: " the TRee lost it's Spitze".


December 11, 2004

Happy Anniversary, ML!

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It seems like only yesterday when we first met. When we first said hello, ^when you sang to me "sweet caroline" to woo me, (hahahaha!), when we had the first discussion about European taxation, when we had our disagreement on something (can't even remember anymore about what!), when we where busy with the preparations for our wedding. Then we said our vows. Our promises to each other are sealed. WE will love, and understand and help each other... In sickness and in health.... and yes, Till death do us part!

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Although we've had our share of ups and downs, our share of the problems when it comes to matters of cultural differences, I'd still say it has been five wonderful years of marriage. A lot of things about you or that you do still amazes me. You continue to show me nothing but kindness, shower me daily with your love and affection. I guess I would live to be a 100 and would still wonder in the end if you are the same person that I married in December, 1999, because I see more & more of the beauty inside you...even more than I could imagine and fathom.


December 09, 2004

Are you a slave for money?

It's another gloomy day in Frankfurt. NO sunshine, cold and dreary ang panahon. Depression mode is now up to 70 percent and winter has just started. WEll, I just happened to check out the weather for tomorrow.

For someone who goes to work and comes home to sleep in order to prepare again for work the following day, life can get really depressing. But just imagine, that is the normal life routine here in Europe. For some it is even worst because they have two or three jobs each day. They definitely have no other time to spare for extra curicular activities. They just continue to live like zombies working three jobs because they want to earn money. Life is hard, but then it's probably better. They would not have time left to think about getting depressed or feeling sad. They'd be so busy and get too tired at the end of the day for them to start thinking about getting sick. Because getting sick is also expensive.

So, at the end of the day, it is still about money. Tragic but true.

Actually, I was looking for a book that I read once, and wanted to check it out again as referrence. It's really a good read, interesting and at some point gives one goose gumps while reading it...*sigh...:D Wish I can still find it.


I guess somebody borrowed it and forgot to return it to me again... HAaaayyy...Ito ang napapala nang masyadong mapagbigay na tao. Nagpapahiram ka dahil alam ikaliligaya nung isa, o kaya naman ay makakatulong sa kanila kaya lang hindi naman binabalik ang mga hinihiram nila. I do have an idea who borrowed it together with some other things like cd's and stuff and completely forgot to return them.

December 07, 2004

Malacañang Palace of the North


Also in our list of "to visit" in the Ilocos region was the Palace Ti Amianan, where the Marcos' had a man-made lake built at the back of the house in order to attain grand scenery from looking out of the balcony and the garden. I can just imagine from the balcony, one could catch a magnificent view of the sunset reflecting on the lake.

The first level of the house on the right wing is where the dining room is located. I can't remember clearly now if it was a twenty sitter table or perhaps even more. The table was so long that I doubt if the two persons sitting at both ends could still communicate properly at mealtimes. When we went there, we couldn't get inside though since they were putting wax on the floor of the dining room. The area had to be sealed off. Actually, I can recall now that the whole place was quite recently waxed at the time of our visit since one could still smell the very strong toxic smell of it. On the left wing of the house are still more bedrooms. I assume they served as guest rooms and a couple more toilets. In between these wings is the lanai or foyer that would go directly to the garden. With long sliding doors, I can imagine that the whole receiving area would embrace the sunrays the whole day. The view of the man-made lake just made the picture perfect for a lovely setting.

A view of the Malacañang Palace of the North from the garden.

The second level of the house looked liked a hotel lobby. This is where most of the rooms are located. The master bedroom connected to the study/library is also located here. This room is the biggest among the rooms found in the palace of course. Unfortunately, the whole place is somehow empty. Cheap paintings hung on the walls except for that Malakas & Maganda mural on the wall to the stairs. There are several sets of old tables and chairs which are placed there just for the sake that there is furniture in the place. Mind you not old as in antique ones, but old common ones which where probably used in some government offices before. D.O.T. who is now managing the maintenance of the area must have placed the selected cheap furniture so the house would still look nice if not impressive. But the cupboards and the beds according to the guards are still the original ones.

A view from the long balcony of the palace.

Upon entering into a bedroom, (which seemed to be made for girls) on the right corner of the room is filled with cupboards made of Nara wood and fitted with several body sized mirrors. Facing the mirrors, one could see how one looks like in the dress that they're wearing from all angles. Again, this is how it is set now. Before, it may have been arranged in a different way. Meaning, they may have just put all those cupboards together to make space for the other old stuff in the room. Each bedroom had a four poster bed with drapes of matching floral designs as the comforters and sheets. This is set to show how the beds looked like before. But, hello? COMFORTER? in the Philippines?! One can just imagine the air conditioning being ON all the time then, if they have those in their rooms which is actually common only in countries with cool climate. Well, that explains the size of the air conditioning units that they have there as well....I should have taken photos of those as well! The luxury that they enjoyed in exchange for the hardships of the commoners!

The whole property is now government owned. To keep it maintained, people can come & visit for a meager price which is used for any minor reparations and cleaning. Too bad though, that the Palace is not properly maintained as can be seen in the photos.

The neighboring property is a Golf Club which is owned and frequented by the Japanese and Korean neighbors who fly in for the day to play golf. Most of the time, they come to the palace looking for the corpse body of the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos, as what the guard there informed us. It was indeed true, because there were a couple of them who came to ask us where the body of the late president was located in that house. I wanted to tell them, if you come with us, we can show you around, but you'll have to pay for the tour, hehehe!

December 01, 2004

Birthday & Bonding Blues...

My weekend was spent in Thüringen with my in-laws. It was the 70th birthday of my Mom-in-Law, so almost every member of the family, from the sister, to the cousins, nephews & nieces and their husbands and wives were there as well.

If this get-together with the whole clan happened four years ago, I would have probably, politely excused myself from going there. I didn't want to just smile and sit or stand like a statue just because I couldn't communicate with the rest of the members of the family. But I am so glad it didn't happen then...Besides, my mom-in-law could not have celebrated her 70th birthday four years earlier, right? (hehehe, trying my luck at jokes, which I am quite aware didn't work anyway!)

So off we went to this stadt called Gräfenthal, in Thüringen.


Okay, I know this is supposed to be the birthday celebration entry for my Mom-in-Law, but since I would probably just say, we celebrated it with lots of food, dancing, program, etc., i would rather write more about the bonding which had definitely much impact during the weekend. It's not that I don't like my mom-in-law as much, or that we don't have this bonding time as well. It's just that, I have had much more time talking to her alone than I had with my dad-in-law in the past. Even before I could speak German language, because she can speak English. So here it goes:

When I came to Germany, the first time I met ML's family, it seemed to me that I was ok, not knowing their language, not only because they all tried to speak English to me but also because I didn't consider that we would be living in the same country where his family is. (Tagalog translation: "Hindi naman kami dito sa Alemanlandiya nakatira, so para ano pa na matutnan ko ang salita nila?") My only worry was that my father-in-law can't speak English. So, he would try to say something, and then everybody else who are in the vicinity would try to translate it to me....seeing that I am not amused at his comment which is supposed to be amusing, he then would suddenly just fall back in silence. I remember it happened quite so often that it became embarrassing for me. Silently, I made a vow to myself that I would learn the language...if not for myself, nor for my future kids but for my father-in-law who has a great sense of humor. Weakness ko kasi sa lalaki ito, dahil wala kao nito... hehehehe. Kidding aside though, my father-in-law has been sickly since many, many years back. Thirty something years ago, he was already declared by his physicians that "he would last only less than a year". Now he is seventy years old, still lives, still manages to drop jokes, still looks at life with humorous angle and still goes fishing with his fishing buddies who are still alive and still manages to go with long walks with me and hubby everytime we visit them. He is such strong and lovable person. Actually, quite a wierd choice for adjectives, but that is the only way I can describe him.

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When he found out that I enrolled myself to German language lessons, he tried to tell me that it will be difficult, there would be a lot of stress because not everything has an explaination and most of all, that the German language is very, very complicated. (Of course, hubby translated everything to me). That I should just concentrate on learning it and that if I have questions, that I should not hesitate to ask or give them a call anytime for me to be able to practice my very little knowledge of the German language. Before we letf their house during that visit, he made me promise him that I should be able to speak the language after ten years. Not more, coz he was not going to wait longer.

I said to him, I would learn it in five. In ten, I should be able to share jokes and anecdotes with him in his dialect, i said. I learned it in less than five years, I can understand his jokes, his stories and his advices now. Grabe! This weekend, parang nag karoon kami ng special connection, bonding, as if! Kaya for me, blessing that I now speak & know the language, that I could go with hubby to celebrate mom-in-law's birthday, because the weekend didn't turn out to be just a boring birthday celebration where most of the guests are grumpy old grannies, but a celebration of bonding for me and my father-in-law.