Quench the thirst

Some days I wake up with the mindset that I just need to go through the normal daily routines.

Other days I get out of bed feeling energized. Like waking up with an extra dose of Adrenalin for moving on to new ventures, whatever is visible in the near horizon. Whatever is in concoction. The plans and hope of doing something worthy and something economical enough to keep me busy. Something that will also prepare me for the future.

And then there are days like today. I woke up and got out of bed somehow feeling lost and tired. The night did not give me enough rest. The yesterday did not give me enough reason to do something more today. And the present, just wants me to wallow again in the past.

What to do?

Someone once said:

“The hardest thing about life so that it is so daily…. Life has a way of shooting up holes in our cup, leaving us empty.”

Perhaps, this is exactly what I am feeling…EMPTY!

Though, I would also strongly disagree. Because I do not see any reason to feel this way. I cannot fathom why I would go through this feeling of emptiness.
I am not some lovesick teenager missing her crush.
I am not some young girl involved in an unrequited love.
And I think I am not yet going through midlife crisis. (???)
Nope.. I am none of these, and yet… I feel something missing.

Fact check:
I have a very understanding and loving husband who takes care of me.
I have a wonderful family who supports me.
I am Healthy.
I have a job that I can go back to once this pandemic is over.
I have a roof above my head.
I can afford to eat three complete meals in a day.

It’s not that I am not contented in life, because I am.
Perhaps, I can say, I am just thirsty.
Perhaps, I should just go follow the path that people go, when they are in search of the Fountain.

Yes, THE Fountain of Life!

It might just be necessary for me to get a refill of it, enough to last me for the next 50 years or so…

A concave is not a convex

It seems like people are still stuck in a misconception,
I do still feel that at times.
Sometimes, I somehow get lost in translation…
… when reading between the lines.

Or maybe, I am just the type of person who sees black as black; red as red and yellow as yellow. I do believe that a concave is not a convex… nope, no at all!

A few months back, I got into a conversation with a very closely related person. We were discussing about what to do with a certain project that was initiated some years back, but was left hanging for more pushing matters.

So, we finally set the time to talk about it. It was actually a very relaxed conversation. We settled some points right there and then. And decided that some other not so very crucial matters can be done later on.

All is well… or at least I thought.

I was relieved.

Or I was deceived.

After that meeting, I lost contact with the person. Or the person refused to talk to me since then.

This is what I meant when I mentioned that I get lost in translation or I don’t know how to read between the lines.

What went wrong? Have no clue at all.

Oh well, I can’t seem to please everybody.

I have to appease myself in thinking that I know I have done nothing wrong. Or maybe…

That thin thread between love and hatred

“If you miss something, you should go find it,
Fight for it! Grab it! Keep it!…
…that’s how we should live our lives!”

“What am I to you?
In a place far away from everything and everyone,
You are…. the one I always want to be with for a long, long time!”

When my concerns melt away,
Blowing softly with the breeze of wind…
I feel there’s nothing much to life
I just have to enjoy each moment, it makes me feel energized!
Like a drug, that’s what you are to me!

Sparks of lightning and stars falling can be caused by true love, that leads to heaven and eternity; or by deep hatred,
that causes separation, loneliness and frustrations.

You can chose which direction we should go.
Either one or the other– just not in limbo!

Happy Easter everyone

The Easter bunny came,
Looking so sad and drained
When asked why he looked so Grimm,
He replied: because of covid-19

Not only that…
people don’t seem to understand,
instead of staying at home…
they go out to party and have fun.

Not taking into consideration the sickness,
The gravity of the virus that is causing discomfort,
trouble and pain to everyone.

Still, I hope the occasion will bring us Blessings
Not loosing Hope and Faith to our Almighty,
The son who died and was risen again…
to save all mankind util the end!

Three decades of friendship and counting…

Three decades of friendship and counting…

Gaining double digits in weight … scared of even mentioning “that we are getting wrinkly and aging!”

Still, I am really happy for the chance to see you all again…(except Fatima, whom I met again a few years past.)
Promise to keep in touch and till we meet again!

Great speech of Chancellor Merkel regarding Covid-19

Clip from Daniel Hausmann

Just have to share this really impressive speech of Frau Merkel and the aerial photos of Frankfurt am Main taken by Daniel Haussmann during the Covid-19 times! I have never seen Frankfurt area this quiet. The hub of the industrial part of Germany… seems like a ghost town.

Infections has risen to 99,225 cases.. and death count is already at 1,607… Isn’t thus

Let us each contribute in any way we can to help stop the death toll from rising. Help keep our loved ones, friends and colleagues healthy.

Stay at home everyone!

Confessions against strong winds by the river

Looking at you with all the strange emotions i’m feeling. Listening to a very impossible explanation or excuse.

“Loving all out- no holding back. Just looking, wanting and waiting…are these even possible?
All because, I said I want to fly with you…”

Then you say:

“The emotions that you say are too much for you”…
The feelings that you have not felt a long time, suddenly rising again inside.
“I’m sorry… I need them desperately. I can’t do without them. I will greedily grab and hold on them for they are gifts from an unknown power.”

That strong and mysterious power of someone experiencing near death. That very same deep and true emotions emanated by the dying. It brings two completely different souls together. Like a gift to the loved ones who will be left behind.
I don’t know how to go against it. I don’t even want to let go of it.

Can there be such a relationship? Can it really still exist?

But you know, not saying it, not talking about it and just simply letting it be— makes it more lasting and memorable.
More sacred and pure!

It’s the year of the Metal Rat

Typical of a Rat attitude, sneaking in into the new year, bringing with it the all the good and the not so good things it has gathered from the previous years.

According to the Chinese Lunar calendar, 2020 is the year of the metal Rat.

While the rat has a diligent and hard working attribute, it should be considered that the year 2020 will also bring in good fortunes as it known to be the year of the rat. Alas, it will also bring in what the rat has gathered in the previous year, which may also have some negative aspects.

Let’s wait and see.
For in the end, the signs are there, are everywhere… but opening up one’s very own eyes and mind to see is one’s own responsibility.

In bloom again

My orchids are in full bloom again.
The poor batch has been struggling for months. Yes, they were sick for awhile.
After months of TLC, they are finally showing happiness!

They are happy… and I am too!

This reminds me two things:
**My grandma loved Orchids. (That’s why I do too!) 🙂

**She always said: “Everything has it’s TIME”

Time…was here, now, later…
…you don’t have it,
…or it goes so fast..
for all you know, it’s only in the mind —
It does take you… to tomorrow and beyond past!

Take time everyone!
Time is precious,
Time is worth more than gold
Time used unwisely,
Can never be returned…
Time heals,
Time reveals.

Everything and nothing takes time…
So, spend it wisely,
Spend it for good memories…
Time spent on bad ones, let it go!
For we already know, what was spent, we won’t be able to retrieve.
Instead learn from it, and in time we’ll get better
And far more worthy will be achieved!

Planet Tax Free

The very much overrated Valentine’s day came and went; and as always, the prices of flowers and chocolates and other gift essentials skyrocketed! Thanks to Tax-Free shopping, for tourists, it is still worth the travel and gift buying.

PLANET, among others, also provides tax free services to European tourist shoppers. Planet is the second largest tax-free service provider in Europe. I am proud to be a part of the Planet family since May 2013 and happy to say that we are continuously working to better improve our services.

Recently, we launched “Instant Alipay” –Yes!!! We jumped into the bandwagon of the Digital wallet era!

February 14 is a special day – because it is St. Valentine’s day or Heart’s day as celebrated globally.

At the Planet Tax refund Desk in Frankfurt Airport, we also had a very meaningful Feb. 14, 2019. We reached another milestone, as we launched in our options of refund payment method … the innovation that most – if not all Chinese consumers prefer – the Instant Alipay.

I have been eagerly waiting for this… looking forward to the time when I could finally offer to the guest the real-time tax back method. Using the very popular (at most to the Chinese) a non-cash/digital Tax refund payment method: INSTANT ALIPAY.

How it works:

After the guest has done Customs declaration and getting the Customs Seal on their Tax-free forms, they can then proceed to the tax refund Operators’ counters.

To process or complete a refund, an ocular inspection of the tax refund voucher must be implemented. The Physical voucher is checked from top to bottom, purchase details are compared with the invoice presented and customer details written on the voucher are compared to the passport presented. If all requirements are met, then we proceed with the processing of the refund transaction. For the payment method, our guests have several options. Depending on their preference, they can choose if they want to have the refund in cash, per credit card money transfer or for the Chinese customers more especially, we have the Alipay refund method.

  1. Scan the Alipay Barcode

The first customer was hesitant saying I was not doing it right. I do not use a QR code scanner at the counter. I use instead of, the Barcode reader.

For the Chinese guests, they think if we use the Barcode, it would mean we are getting money from their account and not paying into their account. I explained, with my very few Chinese vocabularies and with “hand gestures” that it was correct to use the barcode for them to get their money.

  1. Get Notification from the Alipay App

Finally, just after a few seconds, the very much awaited “bling” from the customers’ ALIPAY phone App was heard. To this, the reward came… I got a very bright and happy smile from the customer. The best part was that, after he got his money thru Instant Alipay, he turned to the next customers in the queue, a young couple and proudly suggested to them to do the same. Right at that very moment—Instant Alipay payment method started rolling. Best marketing strategy: Positive words of mouth passed on from customer to fellow customers.

  1. Hand out the token/gift from Alipay and the printed customer receipt

Of course, the small gift that was distributed after a successful Instant Alipay transaction went through, also made it exciting for the customers. This filled my heart with more joy, as one can truly see the appreciation of the customers.

We at the Planet Refund Desk Frankfurt Airport always go the extra mile to help the customers. So, we are very happy and proud to see our customers leaving the counter with a satisfied look. They leave our counter with a very good impression of doing a Tax refund business with us. I am quite positive that each and every person leaving us with a smile will definitely pass on their positive experience doing tax refunding to their family members, relatives, friends and colleagues who will eventually be our future Tax refund customers as well.

It seems that we will have a promising turnover of IA payment.

Thanks to our IT experts and the people who worked hard to make this successful change happen.

I am proud and happy to be a part of the Planet Family!!!


Kitchen hunt

I guess it is already that time.

After almost twenty years, it’s finally at its end…well, actually barely!

It sounds like an old person who’s bone and knuckles are making strange noises all the time. At a step, when bending, when standing up…upon sitting down. Its pain can be heard by the creaking noises it makes.

I guess it is really just normal. I feel the same about my body sometimes… yikes!

But, I, with my practicality and stingy-sense, still want to try and salvage it. I told hubby to just oil and repair the hinges that have been complaining all the time. In the end, I have to admit… and accept the fact: It’s time to find the replacement.

So, for several weeks now, hubby and have been planning and hunting for a new kitchen.

We have been to several companies getting expert advises and checking out their exhibits, but.. so far, with no luck.

They were all either too expensive… or much too expensive, hahaha!!!

Didn’t I mention already that I am ahemmm.. practical???

I need help… I am torn!

Should we? shouldn’t we?

If so, how much must it be?

I didn’t realize that to buy a whole kitchen the price range that I would need to consider should be somewhere from 5K upwards. And see how simple it is.

That’s like buying a new car in the Philippines. Consequently, that’s also the same price that a house renovation in the Philippines would cost. A whole life’s worth for some…. and here in Europe, it’s apparently a normal kitchen price to consider. Dühhh!!!

New Year (times) Two

Nag daan na ang dalawang bagong taon: Ang bagong taon ayon sa Gregorian calendar at ang bagong taon ayon sa Lunar calendar.

Ako, naka ugalian ko na ang mag handa para sa pag sapit sa dalawang araw na ito. Hindi man ma garbo ang handa ko, pero kahit sa maliit na paraan ay idina raus ko ito ng may saya sa puso. Siyempre, hindi ko din kina liligtaan ang mga bagay at pagkain na dapat ihanda bago sumapit ang dalawang okasyon na ito.

Dahil para sa akin ang bagong taon ay nagdadala ng bagong pag asa at bagong oportunidad kaya dapat itong tina-tanggap at sina-salubong ng may galak sa puso. Dala nito ang Pagkakataong baguhin ang mga hindi ka anib anib na mga kaugalian o mga hindi ka nais nais na mga asal. Dala nito ang mga bagong pangarap na pwede nating ma rating.

Maligayang pag dating 2019! Salamat sa bagong pag-asa na iyong dala para sa buong sanlibutan!


Remembering …

…my birthplace, my childhood and my Mamang…

My parents were always out of town or out of the country – busy making a living. Hence, we – my siblings and I were left behind with our grandmother in the old house in Dipolog; the city where I was born.

The house was made out of wood and was elevated enough to avoid it being flooded. The front door entrance stairs and landing were made of cement though. Connected to the landing a small cemented room where we did the laundry and took our baths. No, it was not the toilet, because our toilet was located at the back of the house on a separate lean-to-cube.

Yes, I guess, that was how it used to be in the Philippines. Most houses didn’t have the toilet inside the house. One needs to take a candle or some kind of torchlight to go to the toilet at night. That was why the kids grew up with the routine. On a school week, some days after school, we were allowed to play around with the neighbors’ kids along the streets, until before nightfall.

In the Philippines, it gets dark quite early. So, we were always told to clean up: wash the hands and feet or take a bath and do toilets rituals before dinnertime. Sometimes, we wanted to play a bit longer out on the streets, this was okay as long as we were all clean and smelling fresh before our grandma would come home from work. Yes, she went to work – how else could she have raised all 10 children on her own without her husband? Our grandfather left her early. He succumbed to Tuberculosis-but that’s for another story.

If one was caught smelling like dried sweat and sunburnt, then our grandma would know that that person missed the ritual because he/she must have come home really late. He or she would definitely get punished.

The punishment was never violent though. The punishment was either to recite the multiplication table or recite some kind of terribly long poem. Or perhaps sing a song in front of everybody. The singing was fun.

The poem was one written by the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal’s, i.e. “Mi Ultimo Adios” in Spanish or “My Last Farewell” in English. Yes, at that age, we were already taught to speak English and Spanish. I never had problems with the first one. Just Spanish … and the multiplication (Math) were both my Waterloo. Both were really, really hard for me. I do regret it now though. I could have made good use of the Spanish language at work. Unfortunately, the few words that got stuck with me are not enough to make a proper conversation with a local Spanish speaker. Oh, I digress!

So, I was always careful not to get caught smelling like I’ve been out in the sun the whole day. Or getting caught coming home late. I made sure instead, to be able to go out on weekends. The excuse I most of the time used was to sell any excess harvested fruits from my grandma’s farm. I loved that chore because of several reasons.

First, I could walk around the whole neighborhood, seeing my classmates and friends along the way. Second, the earnings I got from selling the fruit was my own weekly pocket money. Although I still had to give it to my grandma, I always felt like it was mine, since I worked hard selling it. Third and probably the most precious to me, was the freedom to be alone for those few hours. Growing up in an extended family household, one would have no peace and quiet. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. I grew up with my brother and two sisters and several cousins. We were always together, after school, during weekends, either just studying, watching movies, playing at the city plaza or spending time at the beach. We were allowed to do all these as long as we have all done our assigned household chores. That’s our childhood generation.

OH, by the way, at that time, worries and fears about children being abducted, kidnapped, to be sold somewhere for slavery or worst to be robbed of their organs to sell or scattered pedophile snatching/molesting kids— was nonexisting! If I am not mistaken, that only came up later in the 80’s era and only in big cities.

Anyway, today, I woke up to a dream.

I dreamt about being in the big wood house in the Province. I dreamt about the song my brother used to practice at home for a school musical. I dreamt about being with my grandma again. In my dream, I was sitting close to her…smelling her beautiful fragrant, soft skin. I was rubbing my face to her arm while–thumb sucking! Yes, I also had that very nasty habit until I was 7 years old. It was a sign of my insecurity, I think.

In my dream, the next scene: I was watching my brother practicing his own version of Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song”. I could hear myself humming along to his song. I saw myself looking up to my grandma. I felt the longing… then I woke up.

My grandma passed away two years ago. Since then, my sister Diday and some relatives have often been vocal that they got a “visit” from our grandma. Whether they were lucid dreaming or they just felt something of her. Smelled her fragrance. Or felt her presence.

I never experienced this before, so whenever they mentioned or talked about the experience, I was always curious and envious. Now, not anymore. I just miss her more.


Getting hooked into kd’s and Korean

To help me at work and of course, for self-developmental reasons, I started learning the Korean language.

Ahemm,… okay, admittedly it is actually just an excuse… I am also hooked on KD’s. I believe I already mentioned this in a previous blog. I just don’t know right now, when it was exactly… hehehe. So typically ME!!

Since I like the sound of introducing myself in Korean, I Have just got to end this with: 

안녕하세요. 한나에요. 반가워요!!! (Annyeonghaseyo. Hanna-eyo. Bangawoyo!!!)