Wednesday, July 01, 2009

1 + 1 = more than 2

Hello everyone!

First and foremost, I would like to thank my family and friends for their love, kindness and prayers. To my hubby who's always at my side. Thank you to all of you.

It's been a while that I've never post and now is just a perfect time to open again and share our joy. For almost three years of our marriage, and living just the two of us, now is completely different. One is added. We received our little angel last february 15, 2009. I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Time just flies and she's now 19 weeks old. Her name is Gabriëlle Ariane.

Our baby announcement card. First photo: Front and back page of the card;
Second photo: Inside page (ordered from Poobies).








Here are my two sweeties :-): Gabriëlle on papa's lap, was just 4 days old with her beautiful, and wide opened eyes.

We've been blessed and we enjoyed our time very much with our little girl that I could not spend time in blogging. Anyways, I would still like to jot down my experiences on this page once in a while. I'm just so overwhelmed with all the changes now. It's overwhelming it is because, there are changes of more joys and more colors. It's inderdaad overflowing!

Our treat...Bischuit met muisjes (Biscuit with mice). This is a traditional food served to celebrate the birth of a baby in the Netherlands. The biscuits are round crisp bakes. They are spread with butter (or margarine) and the muisjes (little mice) are sprinkled on top. These muisjes are sugared anise seed balls. Pink mice for a baby girl and blue for a boy.

I'm trying to make up and for all my friends and to those who happened to drop by here...thank you for reading my page. See you here later...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Welcome 2009

Hello friends... I would like to start my blog with my warmest greetings to everyone. All the best for this new year 2009.

When we look back to what we did in the past few years...sometimes we're not satisfied and thought that we've done not enough. But realistically, we did it guys. Though we did'nt surpass all the challenges but then we did our best and we're now to start a brand new year.

It means that we had built a memory about things in the past, things that we once spent our time, effort, attention and even love. We deserved for a another year and even have the chance to make things right and make it beter on what we've done wrong thinking backwards.

For me, I would say that I did a lot despite of my weaknesses. Not to mention my not-easy times here in Netherlands but then, for every new year, we make things even better. For the record, I've good three years living here and am still counting.
With God's graces and his ever supply of love...I'm filled. I'm blessed with my hubby, with his family, with our friends here as well as in my native home.

With this new year, we are welcoming it with joy and more challenge to come. I'm now on my 37th weeks of pregnancy, and we're now excited to have a new family member. Basically, we're growing in number this year :-) A good sign of blessing. This is really a challenge coupled with responsibility. Sometimes is scary but then, I would think that I just have so much to share that God gives us more people to love and to care nonetheless of the difficulty that may come. For sure He will provide.

Right image is the traditional oliebollen being served during new year's eve. So we did with champagne is best lekker (taste good)!


For all the happiness and dissapointments in the past...let them be our shield to face 2009.
Cheers!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A day in Granada, Spain

(This is long overdue...but it's beter to be late than never).

We just about to enter the Province of Granada.

Granada was first settled by native tribes in the prehistoric period, and was known as Ilbyr. When the Romans colonised southern Spain, they built their own city here and called it Illibris.

The Arabs, invading the peninsula in the 8th century, gave it its current name of Granada. It was the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492, at the hands of Queen Isabel of Castile and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon.



Inside garden of the Generalife.


One of the most brilliant jewels of universal architecture is the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th C.

This is part of the ruined palace. You can see how they built it, composed of compartments. The blue horizon is just the range os Nevada.

This mighty compound of buildings – including the summer palace called Generalife, with its fountains and gardens - stands at the foot of Spain's highest mountain range, the Sierra Nevada, and overlooks the city below and the fertile plain of Granada.


This is the plain of Granada. We took the view from the top of the ruined palace.

Because it was the last city reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492, Granada has an unmistakable Arab flavour. Its cuisine, crafts and urban layout are a consequence of the city's glorious history. Fountains, viewpoints, and the villas surrounded by gardens typical of the city, add to Granada's unforgettable charm. Not in vain was one of its oldest districts, the Albaicín, declared a World Heritage Site, together with the Alhambra and the Generalife.

We were sitting in the plane and alas! Got the top view where we stand. It was really a tough day when we climbed the top...not to mentioned my 5 month old tummy :-)

Walk through beautiful gardens, charming narrow streets filled with flowers, sit down in one of those typical taverns to have some of that famous ham and local wine, and breath the centuries of history around us...

Here, we deserved a share of Spanish cuisine...Gracias!


A week of sunshine in Spain

Hello friends. Sorry, it's been long time since my last post. I would still like to publish this post during our late summer vacation for my archive.

When the tree leaves are falling in Holland (just beginning of autumn), in Spain just turned to yellow due to the heat of the sun (end of summer). We've been in Costa del Sol, the southern region of the Spaniards.

It was a relaxing time in a small town of Nerja. Nerja is the most easterly resort on Spain's Costa del Sol before this Mediterranean coastline becomes known as the Costa Tropical. We took a 50 minute drive from Malaga airport to the town. We just rented a car for easy mobility and since we're looking forward to travel going to Granada, about a one and a half hour's drive inland from Nerja.

Many foreigners have bought holiday or permanent homes here and visitors flock here in the summer months giving the resort a distinctly international feel. Yet the town centre retains much of its old world charm with narrow, winding streets, whitewashed houses and balconies overflowing with brightly coloured bougainvillea and geraniums.Wandering through some of its charming streets and looking out to sea beyond its the local fishing boats is a far cry from some of the better known resorts to the west of Malaga.


View at the Balcon de Europa.

The focal point of Nerja is the Balcon de Europa which is a man-made promontory stretching from the centre of town out into sea.It also provides a stunning viewing point from where you can see along the coast in both directions and high into the Sierra de Almijara mountains inlandA major part of Nerja's appeal to tourists is that it has maintained its white village charms.


The mini-train
...
we took a ride but we're not well satisfied...(was a short-ride of 30 min).

At Plaza Cavana, just behind the church, there's a mini-train (or "wally trolley" according to the locals) that takes a regular tour around Nerja.

A street just down of our apartment.

Heading further east you'll find an area of winding streets with a fine selection of Nerja restaurants and tapas bars as well as some interesting shops.


A narrow street in Frigiliana.

Just seven kilometers north of Nerja is the typical pueblo blanco of Frigiliana which sits high on a mountain ridge overlooking the sea with spectacular panoramic views. The village is a tangle of narrow cobbled streets lined by whitewashed houses, their wrought-iron balconies filled with planters of brilliant red geraniums.

We also visited the fascinating city of Granada with its awe-inspiring Alhambra Palace. From this historical city is drive on for another hour and you'll be in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, one of the famous ranges in Europe. Later I'll post about this city.

Though this entry is really overdue but then somewhat relevant to me not to forget...

By the way, happy new year to all !

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Maria's tummy

Hi everyone! For the record, my tummy is now 5 months old. I'm about to end my 2nd trimester of pregnancy. My dailies is even more exciting. Soft movements inside of my tummy is now remarkable. It's really special...believe me :-)

As usual, Im tight up with my schedule. My parttime work...my driving lesson and running our errands. Hmmmnn...Even baby sked is now up to my agenda. It's quite busy nowadays. I decided now not to go to school for further professional study. I just coudn't do it along with other things. I'm already in and out of my swimming lesson but I would really try to do it deligently when I'm back after vacation. It's not because I'm busy but the reason that I just don't like to wear my two piece swimsuit with my bulging stomach :-) Luckily, I just bought a pregnancy tankini. Just on time for a beach treat this late summer.

By mid-December I'll start a pregnancy gymnastic course. It could be more fascinating I think :-)
Most of my colleagues now know that I'm preggy. Some just did'nt noticed it until I told them. One said that she's ashamed of her tummy which is bigger than mine...hehehheh!

So far so good. I tried to enjoy this special time. Anyone surrounds me is very supportive. Many of them already gave baby stuff. Many are handed-downs which are just good as new. As of press time, our baby room is almost ready :-) Are we not obvious? We already know our baby's gender...but then we will just keep it with close friends and family. Hopefully I will download our filmed 19th week ultrasound sometime. Just keep on track at my pregnancy journal.

Next time I'll try to share my driving escapade. It's something to jot down how's being an automobolist here in the Netherlands. I'll try when I have sometime after our vacation. Where we going? We will fly to the land of Flamengo, tapas and bull fighting :-) in Spain. There I would like to check out the roots of our former conquerors. Well, not to mention the Spanish occupation to the Philippines, where my forefathers had their 'buenas gracias, noches' great influence. It's something, right? Anyway, it's our plan to rest there and do something else that we can't here in the flatland.

I'll post pictures later. uhmmm...I think I've promised many things here. We will just see :-)

Bye for now.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Maria's back

Hi everyone. I felt sorry that I'm not writing for a quite time. I miss my journal and I think I have so much to tell and to wrap up before I would totally forget to bind it in my online memory.

So what's up?

First, I would like to say that I have already recieved my diploma of my 9 month course of Administratief Medewerkster (in Dutch instruction). I'm still considering to pursue a 4-month Secretarial course by September depending on the following consequences that I will mention later :-)

Second, I'm still busy with my parttime work in Delft Blauw Museum and the coming days I have an extra work that will occupy my saturdays.

Third, I just turned 30. Hoera! We had a nice tour in a 500 year old castle. Not so much changes but I feel so right at my ageline.

Next
, we were busy re-aligning and re-arranging our home fixtures. I was busy googling and internet shopping. I was hooking for a reasonable price at my own product/good preferences. It was not an easy job...when Mr. Google gives you thousands of preferences. I'm not yet even finished...till now I'm busy searching for best buys.

Next, I just started my driving lesson. On wednesday, I'll be driving again. So far, I had a good start at HappyDrive Drivingschool. Wish me luck!

Then, finally I've submitted my articles for the Access autumn issue. My materials are ready and just beat the deadline. I'll give the link when it's publish online.

Then, we were also busy doing some committed appointments for family, friends and even for ourselves. It's always romantic to spend good time with each other. Going to movies is one of our hangouts followed with a candle light, hearty dinner. We enjoyed biking together and do picnics in the park. We just discovered a nice park. A scenic hideaway.


At the Schouwen coast, province of Zeeland.


Now
, I'm still busy googling for our next vacation. We always have a problem, to agree about our destination. Planning a trip is just even hard for me. Our last planned trip was cancelled coz I was just tired to make our itinerary. We are eyeing for a trip in Southern Europe, just to catch Mr. Sunshine by September. I have a lot in my list. Somewhere in South part of Spain and Italy, Turkey, Malta or Cyprus. Anyone can suggest where we can have a dip in the sea, lying along the beach , a walk in a greenery and a little of city lights.

Finally, the last but not the least, by February 2009, with God's grace, we are expecting our first baby :-) I'm now on my 14th week of pregnancy. Check out my new Pregnancy Journal . This is the first reason that made me busy throughout my days. Just visit the link for my pregnancy updates. Help us pray for a healthy baby :-) So, my further schooling will depend how my schedule and my pregnancy allow.

So much for this entry, I would post later as much as I could.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Access Spring Magazine is online

The Spring Issue of the ACCESS Magazine is now available.
Read it online.

For the past 3 issues of this mag, I was helping with the layouting. Due to variation of schedule, I was shifting to writing where I can do it at home. In this issue, I contibuted a feature page about the wedding article on page 5-6. Check this out.

I have an article which is about to be published on the autumn. This was initially plan last summer but then I did'nt have enough photo material. I was not able to beat the deadline. I hope this time will be its final round.

Note: This quarterly magazine is an output of volunteerism. The mag is published by ACCESS, a not-for-profit organization supporting the Expat Community in The Netherlands. "Whether you are working here on an expatriate assignment, have recently relocated, studying or have made Holland your home, then our free information and range of services, including publications, courses, counselling referrals and community events are here to help support you."
Offices located in Amsterdam, The Hague and hopefully soon te be open in Rotterdam.

Just read-through and this might be a help for you. Good day!

Monday, June 16, 2008

What bugs me!

I was not feeling well for the past few weeks. Till now I am coughing and got a flu. I'm still observing if my doctor's prescription will help me better. Well, I just opened up my page, I'm quite sad not to update it every now and then. Sorry folks...but thanks for all your visits here viewing how this page build about my walks ins and outs.

There are many subjects I used to post here but now, I forgot what are those. Anyways, I'll just like to note that I'm fine :-) I'm still busy with my parttime work and now preparing for my exam next week. After my exam, summer vacation will start and that also means that I would be busy seeking activities to fill up my spare time. It can be anything. Hobby, work, maybe travelling, but certainly no dating :-), only exclusive for family, friends and my man.

.....ummmh, I'm trying to think what I did last time. OK. Just also note that about my last entry tag: Cinema trip . Just check it. I topped all the movies that I mentioned. I watched them out but not the film Away from Her. I was already late to catch it in the cinema.

Giving recommendations again...watch these movies I will mention that I watched recently:

We watched this last night. I'm not really a fan of SJP but I'm much an admirer of her own signature scent Lovely, very feminine, chic and timeless fragrance that I'm patronizing for two years now.

1. Sex and the City Movie - Based on the famous tv series. Funny, sexy and glamourous.
2. The Kite Runner - Based on the novel of an Afghan author. Heart-breaking movie brought by war and violence.
3. The Bucket List - Very warm and real people in the movie about two aged man facing a real life challenge.

The following are animated entertaining and funny movies except Persepolis.

1. Horton Hears a Who!
2. Bee movie
3. Persepolis -this movie is banned in lebanon, curious to watch why?
4.The Simpsons Movie

We watched more movies, but then I forgot now. Well, I'm still hitting the billboard what to watch next time.

P.S. I'm also a great expectator of the European World Football Championship. I'm cheering for the Netherlands. Check out this link for the world cup news.

Till then...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What's in my mail?

As long as I don't need to hurry in the morning, I try to check up my emails. I have two regular email account. One is a primary account for vip matters and one for just anything under the web which is also my backup for the former account.

What's inside of my mailbox? Anything and everything. :-) From spams to serious mails. Various email marketing, newsletters, online surveys, autoresponses, etc. What caught of my attention is the online surveys. I have bulk emails containing online surveys. Many companies now are bringing questions online instead of the conventional telephonic and paper surveys. They are even attracting people to respond by giving prizes or earning points which will be redeemed later. Not only as simple prizes but a fabulous instant big cash, vacation for two in big cities, special spa/hotel arrangements, pc's, iphones, whatsoever that can surely move your finger tips to join the bandwagon of web surveys.

But what makes it easy to circulate all these marketing fabs ? There are a lot of web agencies like iContact providing such email marketing services, autoresponder, blogging tools, online survey tool and more application softwares. With this breakthrough, especially for businesses, non-profits, and associations to easily communicate online and tracking with their customers, prospects, and members. In this way, they can even save time and money. Easy huh! No wonder my mailbox is full of sollicited and unsollicited emails.
This makes web communication go round :-) and... simplify.

Anyway, I've got to go. I'll check out my newsletters from my various product/sevice subscriptions.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Got my sunblock on...

Not surprise at all !
The temperature now rises...summer is in the air. Too quicky for the spring and felt sad for the spring blossoms so soon to disappear. It's a week of high sun now. Last saturday we had a boat cruise along the canals of Den Haag (the city of the parliament seat).

Picture was taken during the boat tour. A hat may also help plus SPF.

We were under the sun for a one and half hour. Before that day, I had already cycle until I got flat wheels. Then yesterday, was another biking day. So what had happened? I'm running out now of sunblock. It's just so beautiful to go out from the house but enough to be geared against the sunrays.

I'm dependent with natural skin care products. When I was in the Philippines for vacation, I went back here in Holland with spots of sunburn. It was'nt because I've run out of protection but I was lazy to put sunblock on. Now, I have to learn my lesson. I think anyone will agree. Any will do but especially organic cosmetics will help. I'm trying to buy new. I hope tomorrow after my class. Lip balms and sunblock cream are my essentials with SPF 20 or higher.

For many of us, even boys are not exempted to this. My hubby has sensitive skin and can not withstand the sun without any sunshield. We are helping each other...sharing each others shadow. Hehehe!

A shadow under the tree also helped :-) when we were in 't Woudt.

Today, I just got home from work. I even noticed my feet. It's like reddish brown :-) Hehehe. I wore a strappy flat sandal...so I had it exposed. Hmmmm. I'm sad to my skin. It's looks like aging. But I can't help it not to enjoy the warm day. Well, just a dose of sunny tip, not to forget skin cream in your get-up . Some products have components of anti-aging . Well, for me it doesn't matter as long as I will not look like a roasted peanut at the end of the day.

Enjoy the end spring and your early summer!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Look of the Year

This entry is a tip for all the model wishers. I just got this link from my inbox, surprised myself but I'm not a dreamer and never once wish to become a model though I watched America's and Holland's next top Model. Hehehe! Anyway, I would just pass this info to those wannabees.



Here's Look of the Year , the latest way to get recognized, winning a 10,000 USD price or get spotted by an agency for model career. Look of the Year is looking for people from around the world to send in their best pictures and have the chance to be the next model working in Paris, New York or Milan.
An online beauty contest for the young and beautiful. The surfers of the site will vote. Wanna join Look of the Year? Try your best shot :-)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Why travel Europe?

The enlargement of the EU, the greater mobility of its population and new trade ties have led to more contact between cultures, religions and ethnic and language groups. The location and easy interconnection of transport where you can just fast and land to any destination you like. Europe is certainly a continent which must be also considered carefully when you are thinking of internationalising your education and studying abroad in many fields of interest like Science, Engineering, Language and Literature Courses, and Art.

Well, obviously I won't cover every country in Europe and what they have to offer in depth, but just to name a few why Europe is such as exciting, colourful and diverse place: I already know what made tourists attracted to Holland (by it's tulips and landscapes, arts of Van Gogh, Velmeer and Rembrandt etc.). So, I checked out what Italy and Spain offer.

Sagrada Familia (Holy Family), Spain.

Spain is the second largest country in Europe and has the second largest amount of mountains. Spanish culture includes the Gaudi architecture, traditional bull fights, Tapas bars serving Sangria and Rioja to drink are world famous, and Paella to eat, though I can experiment in my kitchen, still Iwould like to give them a shot. A full calendar of fiestas around the country, both religious and historical, and to top it all off, the traditional Flamenco dancing. The season of festivals and fiestas is revving up to full throttle, from the running of the bulls to concerts and ballet in the gardens of the caliphs. I’ve read about the eyepopping Guggenheim Museum that has transformed Bilbao, and other modernista architects who made Barcelona as visually arresting a city as any in Europe and so as in the capital Madrid.

The awe-inspiring view of Grand Canal, across the early Venetian Renaissance church of S. Maria dei Miracoli, decorated with coloured marble, and then the miracle of Venetian Gothic, Ca' d'Oro.

Italy is a cultural collage of things to see, eat, drink and do including: Italian Vogue, the Milan fashion show, leather shoes and Moschino; pasta, pizza and a variety of fine wines; football is huge and the skiing is good; places of interest include the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Vatican the Sistine Chapel. In Venice, home of the most fairy-tale like public residence of all times — a shrine of Venetian painting, with works by Carpaccio, Bellini, Tiepolo, Veronese, Bassano and Titian and the masterpieces of the Renaissance of Filippo Lippi. In the centre of the square is the majestic equestrian statue of Colleoni, by Verrocchio.

Above all these must-see places, there are a lot of things to discover that makes travel more interesting. Though travelling is not cheap but there are many ways to stretch your euro. If you have the money, then you have options to stay in hotels at reasonable price. Just like accomodations in Milan hotels, Hotels in Venice, Barcelona hotels and Madrid hotels may vary. Big cities are normally touristic just anywhere in the world. But if you have friends and relatives, then why not informing them of your coming:-) Backpacking is also a tip and try to hit around for bargains.

Travelling is riching your thoughts by the rich cultural heritage and the country's most breathtaking scenery. So much for the traveller to discover and explore and traveling in Europe becomes more convenient by the day. I will try to grab this opportunity and include this travel list to mine :-)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Sunburned in Asia...chilled in Schipol...

Fotos were in Singapore. Still warm and winding...

When I arrived back in Holland, it was cold and a freezing week. Can you imagine how it feels, when you just came from a sunny 30D island?

We flew via Singapore. We still had about 4 hours transit time, so utilized it going around the Merlion city. Singapore is overwhelming in terms of shopping. Malls are skycrapers and shoppers are just crossing and buying mad anywhere. No wonder it's now become the shopping hub of Asia.

My tropical smile ended up when I landed in Schipol. Even a frowning face drawn in my face when some in my bagage was confiscated. Well, just take it off from the record, I brought something that is out of Dutch taste. Ummmm...some of them was already screened out at Changi airport in Singapore. Anyways, I walked out and had chilled ankles. I was just wearing a summer jacket :-( to think that it was still winter in the flatland. I thought that I had much heat absorbed from the solar. Hahaha! It didn't help but we arrived home sound and safe.

It was friday morning. I had jetlag. I wasn't able to sleep in the plane. We even ended up drinking cocktails while on board but sleep was too far away to reach. The next day was a party of a friend. We still managed to show up. Then it was sunday, for church. I was there to ask prayer for my exam on tuesday. God helped me out. I passed my exam as what I've said last time...

When we were away, the weather in the Netherlands was also very bad. It was stormy, wet, windy and very very cold. Even when we got back, we still had our share.

Then, I was just lucky. It did'nt snow but then just when I got back, it snowed. I got chance to enjoy it again.

These pictures were took just at the nearer park of our neighborhood. See? How pret I was? Snow bum :-) Well, at this time, my sunburn was just healing.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Retro: Fly to the Philippines part 3

What I did more and where I was during my visit? As what I remembered until now, I was always in the swimming pool with my husband most of our mornings. During my first weeks, I stayed with my parents and eventually moved to a hotel when my hubby arrived.

We went to the beach in Davao City with my family.
We played bowling with friends and we even had the chance to visit my college campus. It was great seeing it again.

I went out from this College year 1999.

We ate in different places, some are new to me and others are familiar. We managed to arrange our schedules and even have sometime to spend time in our own.

Once I took a jeepney just to go around the city while hubby was enjoying his own time alone. I was really reminiscing but then in some point I became poignant when I was caught in between of 15-20 minutes traffic jam. I just walked out and mumbling how terrible it was. I walked along the avenue and felt my watery-skin. Omg! I sweated. I was consistently looking where to get airconditioning...there I saw a shopping mall at the end junction. I rushed to get in to cool down. Though I was reluctant to stay there longer. I missed malls but I had a weird feeling of discomfort. I couldn't walked fast inside of the mall. I did but then I realized that I looked odd. I looked like being chased in the midst of peoples' staring eyes. People walk so slowly and flauntly. Blamed it to the cold season of the West. I ended up going back to the hotel and waited hubby for our dinner date.

We visited few restaurants that are owned by Dutch. One was the De Boerderij (The Farm). It's a country-style resto-bar. They have a lot of burgers to choose from. We had a great time there and had a chance to talk the owners (by a filipina-dutch couple). It's located along McArthur Hi-way, Matina, Davao City.

Another restaurant owned by a Dutch entrepreneur is De Bonte Koe (The colorful cow) at Rizal Street. They have interesting menu but I preferred to eat something that I can't eat in Holland. So we did'nt eat a complete meal there. We just liked to check out those places and we're curious how it looks...if it's just gezellig (cosy) as in Holland :-) Indeed it was.

It was our great surprised to know these places. There are only few foreigners in Davao and surprising to learn that there are two Dutch-inspired ones. The mentioned restaurants are good and they are great to spend time and money for.

We went to movies. We watched My Big love and I ended up a translator to hubby. 27 Dresses was also a catched. We visited a Children's Home Foundation that provides care and shelter to children.

It's funded by a Dutch organization here in Holland.

Everytime we went back to our hotel, we're tired...then tried to plan the next day...(Dutch way :-) Thanks that we had an accomodating hotel for our 12 night-stay in The Apoview .

We had a good but tiring time during our visit in the Philippines. All at once, we tried to spend time with families and friends. The next visit might be more of vacation but for now, we're thinking for a real vacation. I'm still planning where but I feel that I have to. After my visit in the Philippines, I think I need to unstress...:-)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Retro: Fly to the Philippines part 2

It took me a while to post this entry. This might be long overdue but I would still like to recap my visit in the Philippines as part of my journal here. When I arrived back in Holland, I was so busy with my exam. Believe it or not, I did it again. I passed and now I'm ongoing to the next module, and hopefully I will be finished in the late summer.

To add from that, just after my exam I jumped to a new parttime job to add to my exploration here while digging up the labor market. I'm working now in a museum of Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles , worldwide famous of producing handmade earthenware (named after the city of Delft where I live) like the Delftblue porceleineware. I work in the brassierie...maybe anyone of you will bump into a cup of coffee with a Dutch apple taart, then just say hi to me :-), when you pay your bills later.

We're approaching the city of Mati. We drove a long-way round to hit that island in my back.

Where we are? Ok, let's go to my pinoy getaway. Since, I was busy with family and friends visit, I even tried to explore a bit of my childhood province, Davao Oriental. There, I plunged to the crystal-blue water. We crossed the island of Waniban by boat. A small island fronting Masao beach, in the far-east end in the city of Mati.

We're in the island of Waniban. Fronting is the Masao beach where we departed.

My family. It's not obvious that they were excited :-)This island is not yet well-explored by the locals and tourist alike, since of it's high end location. It's nice to spend a whole day here. The boat is chartered at a reasonable price.

When I was like 6 years old, we used to come here. This once a port, where ships docked for loading of timber. We used to buy chocolates and ice creams in the ship. But now, the port is empty since the logging industry was closed. Nowadays, local fishermen sell their catch here. This bay is sometimes used as a shelter port for fishingboats whenever there's typhoon.

Before I left for the Netherlands, I used to work in this province. Somehow, this place is closed to me. I grew up here since my tender years until we moved when I was 10 yrs old. In my mid twenties, I went back to this province to work. I have families here though some are quite distant relatives but I used to see them and introduced myself as daughter of Maria or granddaughter of the late Tibo. Everytime we saw each other, they said I looked different, that made self introduction never ends.

Nevertheless, I did not ever forget to mark this place as one of my destination whenever I get back home. My hubby came here for the third time. He liked this place. Davao Oriental is just quite with a natural beauty of tranquility. Beaches, forest, and the natural curves of the mountains are what we like and I surely miss. Whenever, we decided to build our nest in the Philippines, this province is gonna be a top choice for our future paradise.
After a short weekend there, we drove back to Davao City and eventually, had a short stop in Panabo City where my parents live.

Next post is anything about of my trip. See yuh!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Retro: Fly to the Philippines part 1

This is a flashback of my trip to the Philippines dated feb 14-march 13. As what I've said in my last post, I was busy packing of gifts...for who was a surprise. I flew right on valentine's day. Husband and I made up before that day :-) That made sense when I wrote that it was nontypical. Nevertheless, I went back to my native land 12 days ahead than hubby. Hoped to spend great time.

On the day of my flight, I had already trouble at Schipol airport in Amsterdam. I knew I was stupid but just like a bull, I was quite hard headed. I brought a luggage about 60kgs, three times from the allowed checked-in luggage. I knew, but I took risk to grab a chance to bring it for free. I was allowed to bring a free excess checked luggage of 10 kgs. Not bad with a carry on luggage of 15 kgs. Hubby was dissappointed to me how pushy I was. He told me already to send my baggage via parcel..and he ended up bringing my excess baggage back home. It was not nice for him. Sorry dear. I begged him to bring it with him when he fly later. But he did'nt promised...(he doesn't like to pack his suitcase full of soaps and chocos heh).

These are miniature gifts (as our wedding giveaways) inside of my luggage.










A group picture with my college friends.

My visit was supposed to be a surprise but not anymore to my family but still to my friends. All my friends were surprise, that I love the idea. Imagine, a friend of mine just arrived from work, complaining about her day and just a minute I bumped into her to say Hi. I could not picture their faces when they saw me. They screamed as if I was a ghost and shook me to death with big loud smiles and unbreathable hugs.

So what made my days busy in there? It was full of family and friendly visits. For about two years that I did'nt returned since I got married. I decided to make my visit a feast, just to share and celebrate the happy moments I have in Holland (and even bad times). I liked to spend time with my parents of course, and have apart time with friends mentioning hi-school and college buddies. Just a typical pinoy feasts we had. I was also a typical balik-bayan. I had a lot of mesmerizing moments. Adding to what I miss is our food like sweet mangoes, native chicken bbq and my mother's special pancit. Hahaha! I gained 3 kgs. Not bad at all. Actually, those are yummies for me that delight my gastronomy. Other foods were just a plus. A piece of crisp lechon skin was also satisfying but then I could'nt just sacked them in my average stomach. I'm a food person at the same time I would like to enjoy my food by savoring the taste up to my last bite. Aside from food, our famous videoke (video singing which is popular among Asean countries) did'nt escape from my agenda. Well, to think that I can't do it here in Holland or else our neighboor will send a police to reprimand me, so better do it in the Philippines, whether you shout out loud till your tongue drops, nobody will stop you but only your conscience.

So far, I maximized my first 12 days before hubby will arrive. I tried to do things according to my plan and I was also being spontaneous though.

Another thing, I was not just enjoying but also complaining (hmmmm, am I now Dutchified?). Definitely, I complained about the weather. Soooo hot. No way but to rush going in to shopping malls for free airconditioning. I was then had a thought about of our thinning ozone layer. Anyways, no time to act on it, ( I'm on state visit este family visit :-) but desperately sighed. The busy streets and loud horns were annoying. Sometimes, its threatening to me that I would like to stay home aside from the tremendous increase of prices...:-) Oh my...not to mention how expensive goods are...I refrained to shop...hoped I won't give up.

My trip was not a vacation at all. I was not relaxed but I was happy to see again the place where I spent my grown-up years. Nice to see familiar faces and places. It was also comforting to do things where I was being used of doing at. Riding jeepneys, tricycles ( a motorcycle with a cab), buses and taxis. I did'nt bike for a month. No wonder that I weigh more than I expected.

I did more things but I won't enumerate all of them :-) Summing up, I had a good time. Next post, is my time when hubby joined with me. Actually, its our first time to be away of each other. Now, we could'nt wait to be backed with each other's arm after 12 days...

Keep on track. Hehehe.(I'll post more pictures later. I'll just need to rest and study for my exam tomorrow).