Why?

Why?
… am i sitting in front of my PC vegetating today? ON a WORK day?
—The doctor said i should relax. Not think of anything. Not do any heavy lifting. No stressing myself out. Just R E L A X!!!

Why am I at home?

… instead of working my ar*** out at the Airport?
— because I have been sick for a while. Okay, it started with a normal flu. The first two days, i thought, “hmmm, I’ve had this before. I just didn’t mind it and continued going to work. It went away after a while. So, this time, i thought okay, It’s just a Flu. I can still go to work. No worries.”
But then, I started making mistakes at work for lack of concentration. (Yeah, I know what your thinking: “blame it on the illness!!!”)When one works with documents involving money, one needs full concentration and focus. But when one is sick, full concentration and focus cannot be achieved, hence the risk of making mistakes ending in discrepancies, be it large or small amounts is very high!


Why only now?

… did I decide only now to update this blog?
— I called in sick since Friday, Feb 20, 2015. I was literally just lying in bed or on the sofa(depended on the time of day or night) the whole time. I got served hand and foot by hubby. I only got up to go to the loo. I had foot spa, hot bath and then was just lying back in bed right after this sessions.
10984996_10204494958708815_3796859085299608657_nI did steam with camomile and then the next day with eucalyptus…
In short I tried all sorts of home remedies to get better ASAP. The fever went, the coughing stopped, the clogged nose got better. Well, I could already breath again without difficulties.
What stayed was the headache. It was so strong that by Monday, even the slightest movement was already insufferable. Add to the pain, the feeling of going to vomit was there all the time. And the stomach pain was so bad, every time i ate something in order to be able to take medication, i also had to endure the stomach pains. I did not go anywhere Monday. I couldn’t! I didn’t even dare to go back to the doctor.

Why only Tuesday?
… I went back Tuesday to the doctor. I had to because the following day I am suppose to go to back to work already, but I was not fit yet.
— Good thing I did go back to my doctor. Yesterday, Tuesday, the 24th of February-I was out of the house before noontime and came back home only early evening.
I was at the doctor. I got checked for all possible sickness as to the cause of the headache and stomach pains and vomiting feeling. It was around 2pm I was diagnosed of having HBP. I had 180/110.  The doctor’s and my eyes were like literally bulging in surprise. About two or three hours later it went down to 160/99.  He finally decided I was definitely staying home for the next week at least. Gave me medicine and prescribed something that I should take twice a day: one in the morning and again in the evening. On top, I had to measure my BP also twice a day: Morning and at night.

Why this kind?
… My parents have been diagnosed of HBP. Both are taking medications to maintain BP levels to normal.
— I guess it goes without saying that I may have inherited the sickness as well.

Why I really should not take it for granted?
… Because of statistics.
— stats may just be numbers to some. But base on these numbers and figures, the risk is too high that a vein or blood vessel may just pop out of the blue. And then? NO. I don’t even want to go into that. I refuse to even think it could end up like that.

AND THAT IS WHY I SHOULD NEVER TAKE THIS FOR GRANTED.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not only because of the genes that’s why I have the sickness. Other factors like Stress, anxiety, personal problems/dilemma can be the causes of HBP. As well as smoking, alcohol intake, wrong diet.

I do have stress at work. But this is no reason for me to just call in sick.  I don’t’ want be unfair to my other colleagues. I do know for a fact that If don’t come to work, they would have to share the bulk of covering for my shifts. There is a way to still be happy with work even after all the office politics and stress.

I am sorry!

Sorry that I can’t come to work. Sorry that I have this sickness.

Taking into consideration that both parents have it, I knew that there is a big chance that I have it also.

I just didn’t expect for it to show up now. I still think I am too young to have this… hey, i’m just thirty-ish— for X’s sake!..(hahaha)

I guess i can only blame this at the moment on bad Genes— *wink*

Family

image954Our trip home 2 years ago was really awesome.Except for my sister Pongs’ family and my mom, the family was half complete. My mom went back home November 2012 in time for our Lola’s 90th birthday celebration. She used most of her vacation leave already and therefore couldn’t go back again some 7 months later. But still, it was a memorable and fun experience.

Meeting my nephew Marty, my brother’s youngest was a most valuable experience. He was barely two when they arrived in Manila. We celebrated his birthday at club Isabel in Batangas and had lunch on the way to Manila at the most visited Leslie’s restaurant in Tagaytay.

First time that my brother and his entire family came to visit with me, my sister and niece, Diday and Duday who are also first time Balikbayan-ers after 14 years. The house was busy and noisy-more lively actually. It seemed more like Christmas in the house. And that was in July. Well, that’s just the thing. In the Philippines, it always feels like everyday is Christmas just because the whole family is together. It is already worth celebrating, without waiting for the actual holiday season.

Come July, i’ll be visiting again. This time with my nephew Matt and nieces Duday & Lucibelle. It’s a shame that Trish and Marty won’t make it. But I’m sure it will be a most memorable experience as well.

Still, i’m hopeful. In God’s Grace. Everyday I pray!

A good start to 2015

I celebrated New Year’s Eve with hubby and another couple friend up in the mountains of the Northern part of Germany. We went to Brocken, around the area of the National Park Harz which is located Northeast of Germany.

SteamtrainGoing up to the mountain, we took a real steam-train that really made hoot-hoots and belched smoke all through out the trip.

At first I thought, well, yeah… I’m getting on an old train, which is most probably filled with old folks who have nothing better to do on New Year’s Eve than hop on a train and get drunk during the trip all the way up to the mountains. Well, there were some but there were also guests in their mid 20’s to early 30’s. Yep, admittedly, I find these age bracket nowadays to be “young” *wink*.

QuedlinburgThe train was scheduled to Depart from the Quedlinburg train station at 17:00. From our hotel to the train station, we were informed would take us by foot roundabout 5 minutes. So, we took our time and left the hotel 15 minutes before 17:00.

It was raining and cold and the weather was actually really gloomy. What we did not expect though, was that the way to the train station would take actually 15 minutes. And considering the reputation of the Trains here in Germany during the last few months or some couple of years actually, it has been quite unreliable, most of the time late and well, sometimes due to strikes-don’t even arrive or depart at all.

Just to our luck, the Steam train master was neither on strike nor too sick to go to work that day. We were half-running half walking towards the Platform when the train started to move. We were like shouting, running and huff-puffing all the way to the other end of the platform saying we wanted to get on the blasted train as well.

Some bystanders were saying, it was not a normal train that goes to the next town that and we should not worry. There was a homeless guy who was so nice and said, “it’s okay, the next train going to the next town will arrive shortly”. Trying to appease us.. so sweet of him.. but really.. we wanted to be on THAT train!

It was apparently not so obvious to them that we actually really wanted to get on that steam train and not on a normal train that goes to next town.

The Train conductor noticed us though and asked the train master therefore to slow done until we all four could get on.

We can look for our designated Wagon and seats later, no big deal. We just needed to get on the darn train!

New Year's Eve BuddiesTo make it short, we made it.. and of course, when we got on the train everybody was like clapping and shouting “congratulations” and we were like puffing, and huffing and trying to get out of our jackets because, yeah, despite the cold weather, we were sweating!!! Try running like 250 meters plus going down and up a tunnel to cross to the other side of the platform — in heavy winter Pulls and jackets– duh!!!!

Fast forward, guest estimate was at about a hundred in all. The train had 4 wagons which are all full except for two tables which normally occupies four persons, was empty. The whole trip to the top of the mountains took almost 7 hours. Including all the stops for the fireworks, then to get more coal and finally the Dinner in the tower of the Castle of Falkenstein. The food which was all inclusive with the ticket was more than enough and surprisingly was really good. Just the drinks we had to pay for, but the price for each bottle was also not so bad.
IMG_6308We reached the peak just close to midnight. The wind was biting and everything was frozen.  Before getting off the train, I took a peak of the outside world whilst hearing the  icy cry of the wind blowing. We got off the train, champagne bottles, glasses and camera at hand and walked around the area together with the rest of the troop. We walked around singing “Auld Lang Syne” with the other guests. After a few minutes we gathered back inside the train and had more drinks. Some went on to take pictures. Others decided to walk back down the slopes towards the city and some also stayed in the hotel at the peak.

Unfortunately, when we made the booking, hotel accommodations at the peak of the mountain was not an open option anymore. It was already fully booked since the January 2014. Apparently, our reservation which was finalized around March of 2014, was way too late. The hotel was already fully booked.  

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TRIVIA:
Is the building on the right picture really leaning like the tower of PISA??

Birthday blues…

Age is just digits!

Yeah, probably, but I slowly feel the weight of it too.

There used to be the time when, I could do almost every errands, projects without heaving a puff… no sweat at all!

But lately, I noticed that if I want to do something, a long drive, a short visit or just any project – that it is necessary for me to set time as well for breaks in between plans.

Getting ripe in experience!

On a lighter shade, please have a look at this avatar.

ADMin compaq4Somebody said this avatar looks like me…

I know I am not getting any younger.. but it’s quiet clear the nose was not given justice.

Nothing personal-I’m just not allowed to step on US grounds!

For months, I was looking forward to my U.S. trip. This is not my first time to travel to the US. I had a multiple entry Visa  in my then Philippine passport, which I used to travel to the US before.

After I changed my Nationality to German, I traveled to the US again in 2010 without any problems.

This time, the US government revoked my ESTA-without giving any reasons.

I only wanted to visit friends and relatives in the US. I never planned to overstay. I have no plans to look for a job in the US nor breach my allowed number of days of stay in the US.

You see, I have a life here in Europe. I have no reason to transfer to the US. Not even because a part of my family lives there. I just wanted to go visit my mom and some friends.

I only wanted to see the ever popular New Orleans-French quarter. I only wanted to see the NASA in Orlando, Florida.

The preparations I made to be able to meet my friends whom I have not seen for more than a decade. The trouble that my friends also had to go through just so they could also get a vacation from work just to see me and another friend flying in from Australia around the same time. All that changed one day before my departure.

My inland flight bookings are non-reimbursable. A policy of a US carrier- not even because of VISA reasons. Nope – – –  NO pardon!

The shock I got from the surprise is still eating me until now.

To recall:

I went to check in my bags the night before departure. My boarding pass was not printed by the machine.

So I went to the counter help desk to ask for my BP to be reprinted, only to find out – to my utter shock that my ESTA status has changed from “Authorization to travel APPROVED” to “NOT AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL”.

I have all the hotel and car rentals bookings made. Flight from New Orleans to Orlando was all confirmed weeks in advance. I went in panic mode.

The Lufthansa check in agent was very helpful and checked everything for me. All was in order, she said. No error was made in the application. No discrepancies were found between the application form and my passport. In short, every detail was correctly entered. So, what went wrong?

The LH check-in agent, made a phone queries to the proper representatives who might be able to help us get some answers – but all to nothing it went..

They also verified that the status of my ESTA has changed. But did not give out the reason why? They then advised that either I apply again another ESTA  or get a VISA from the embassy. The ESTA would be quicker—but I had several questions that unfortunately no one could give me an answer to.

ON top of my list is:

1.) What was the reason why my ESTA was revoked??

2.) If and when I do submit again online another ESTA application, what are the chances that I would get an Authorization  to travel?

3.) Then of course, the risk that I am taking if I fly and overnight during the flight they would tell me again that the ESTA status changed and I that I am not allowed to step on American grounds? Logically thinking,  I believe I would I be deported and sent on the next flight back to FRA.

4.) If I do apply for a VISA which would probably not take more than a week, what are the chances that it be would approved to let me travel to US territory? I mean, it doesn’t make sense that they don’t let me step on US grounds under the Visa waiver program but would allow me to enter the US with a VISA. WHY??? It is practically the same. The Visa waiver just saves me the time and effort to go the the US embassy and obtain a VISA since I can get the ESTA comfortably from anywhere else with an internet connection. In both cases, I can then  travel to the US with either an approved ESTA or a VISUM.

It’s now been two days. Two days of my much awaited vacation in the US gone to the stress of trying to fix the problem. A problem that I couldn’t actually ever begin to resolve since I don’t know what the reason was why my ESTA status was changed.

NOPE, I did not bother to write a complaint—since if they revoked an ESTA without giving any reasons, it just proves that they don’t actually care.

Nobody would give a minute of their time to give me answers – because they don’t feel obliged to give me a reason.

Not even like: Och! it’s nothing personal, we just don’t want you here in America! Nope NOT here in the LAND of The FREE…

 

 

 

Gina’s Thanksgiving fest

Life is good! And GOD is awesome!

Yesterday, we went to celebrate with a dear friend, a thanksgiving get together. We joined her in the celebration of Life.

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Life is good and life may also be too short for some.

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But for our friend Gina, God fearing, compassionate, an awesome friend, a dear wife, a wonderful daughter, the best aunt to her nieces and nephews… a very hard working, and strong woman – LIFE has really been a blessing.

IMG_0733 For months she has been in and out of the hospital. Fighting illness, one after the next. The most severe one was Cancer.

Except for the eyes that still has to be operated?, our friend Gina is back on track… dancing and laughing like her very old self.

IMG_0751 So, yesterday, approximately 10 months later, we joined her in her thanksgiving celebration for another chance in life…

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The old Gina that we know, who loves to dance, entertain and laugh… we had that wonderful lady to thank for a wonderful Saturday afternoon with great food, good company and lots of laughter.

I salute you Gina, dear… for all that you have been through and still pass it will flying colors.

Amazing that for the last ten months, you never whined and not a word of complaint came out from you about the hardships you went through. God Bless you always, and I wish you have a successful OP with the eyesight problem.

Most of all, let’s continue to enjoy life to the fullest!

A toast to your recovery!

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Philippines as featured in BBC and the Dancing Traffic enforcer

The Philippines is a beautiful country…with its own natural bounty to boast – white sand beaches, green lushful mountains to trek and wonder, heavily mixed culture we gathered from being colonized by several other cultures.

In a nutshell, the Filipinos are smart, diligent and hardworking people with a big heart. The Filipinos are always ready to help, to entertain and in times of calamities and deep tragedy – the Filipinos don’t wallow in self pity… we strive to move on!

The Dancing Traffic Enforcer – is a legend. The very first time i saw one of them was either in LAWTON area or somewhere along ESPAÑA, some 20 years back or more…(shows i’m almost geriatric already… hahaha). Back then they used to wear brown uniforms, hence they were actually called “Dancing Chocolate Policeman” or “Dancing Brown Boys”.

Some also say that the very first time they came out was right at the intersection of Roxas Boulevard going to Manila where the known MANILA HOTEL is situated.

In any case, to dance for hours under the blazing heat of the sun, inhale the pollution from the exhaust of the vehicles everyday and face the danger of being in the midst of the very infamous manila traffic with a smile to top… that’s sooo twee thumbs up!

So next time you see one of them show your respect and appreciation to their work.

SALUTE to you Sirs!

Many thanks BBC for sharing this to the whole world!!!

First quarter of 2014

Well, this is a nice surprise. I have like 30 minutes to blog. Then I have to prepare for work.
Springtime came early this year. Actually, winter just came to take peek-a-boo and then left immediately.
Wonder what is going on in the world. In mine, well I was in some kind of roller-coaster since the last quarter of 2013. I have experienced the highs, lows, steep drop, slow ride going up, not to mention then the side turns–yeah, all of them in like in one parcel. It all came during the last quarter.

My 2014 started on average or so to say just fine. Had my share already of the usual burden, all nothing to worry about though. Just normal things that has to be done.

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First half of January I spent with my sibs in Brussels. Since I didn’t get to celebrate Christmas with them, I traded new year and two weeks more instead. I had fun. I gained weight and my pitaka on the other hand, pumayat…hehehe. But I could spend quality time with my sisters and the kids.

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Last month, something came up at work, so my plan to go back to the Philippines this month had to be moved at a later date. Hopefully, after roll out of the new S-Y-S, then I can have a full picture of how the next six months would be like. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed and hope that all will work out well. Because of this, I have a lot of things to do, manual to prepare and of course new S-Y-S to learn. I am excited… sure! But at the same time, also a bit anxious about the new venture. Overall, — UPLIFTED! Thumbs-Up for 2014!!!

Back in the saddle again

Well, I decided to take time off from social networking for some months, weeks, days, ehem– hours :mrgreen: .

I found out that my blog has been hibernating for several months now and yet my friendly service provider has been busy! 😉

So, what’s up?

Fast approaching is the Holiday Season again– Christmas, New Year… Same Routine. Different Figures!

I’ll be working through the Christmas Holidays but I’ll be Off from the 30th of December till the 2nd of January. I did request for a couple of days vacation. From the 3rd of January till the 12th. If it can be arranged, I’ll be welcoming the 2014 with my family in Brussels, Belgium. Hopefully all will go as planned!

So, I was absent from blogging for a while… reasons?

Well, first I was busy at work. I started on something that went quiet well in the beginning but…but now I am not that sure anymore. It looks like I would have to find something better to do than just do what I have been doing for the last 8 months or so. I still don’t know what though—hehehe!

Okay… maybe I just need a much deserved break?!

I was also busy trying to maintain my optimal weight…. ahemmm… yes, I am vain – sometimes? Okay-okay! I admit.. I am really always Vain!!! So???

P1050375Before I started Fasting on a regular basis, my weight was playing around 68-70. It depends how many times I had rice in a week! Imagine a petite Filipina, 1,53 cm height and weighing 70-yish!?!

Well, suffice it to say, I had to do a complete turn around regarding my eating habit. Low carb, no sweets, more fruits and black coffee! It worked of course. I now weigh 12 kilos less than I weighed several years back. Now the next difficult part is to maintain this desired weight. Yes, it is difficult! harharhar!!! Mas mabuti pang mag review for an exam or do an essay on the complete LotR Trilogy kaysa mag maintain ng timbang… heeeeelp me!!!

IMG_0121bNow, this is what I eat:

Breakfast:   2-3 pcs. of toast or 2-3 slices of cake with a cup of black coffee or tea

Lunch:         I’m actually allowed to eat everything:  from rice, pasta, pizza

Dinner:        Vegetables with less carb of course- no potato, no rice no pasta, less leafy salad

But still, there are some days when I really can’t stop myself from eating carb at night as well. On times when I get invited for dinner or when I’m about to have my monthly thingy!… Then I splurge – and that’s when it get’s critical.

Luckily, after 5 years – I still manage to maintain my weight at around 50-yish or so. My dream weight is actually 54 KG. I reached it after I did my very fist “fasting regime”. Now I’m 2kg more sometimes 3kg. But who knows how I will look and weigh again after the Holidays…or when I come back from Brussels. I sure hope I won’t gain the 12 kgs back!

I’m Learning and letting go…

Some days are just as good as any other.

My day yesterday definitely does not belong to “my best days list”. It’s a dog eat dog world out there…I am still salving my wounds till now. I do know one thing. I refuse to be used and abused!!! – **bleeding**hurting**surviving**

IMG_8737On a lighter shade of gray: Last night, I attended a prayer meeting for a very good friend who passed away a couple of days ago. We were saddened that our very old friend died.  But we are also really impressed that till the end, to her last breath, “Swithart” still didn’t want to burden anybody else…neither her kids nor her relatives and friends. Everything was set and prepared for already. Her family just needed to contact the funeral parlor and that was it. No more hustle and discussions. Typical of her. Swithart left behind 11 kids, perhaps a couple of dozens of grandchildren. Now she is at rest at the age of 78. I think I wrote something about her here in my blog some years ago. I salute her. Everything she went through for her to be able to raise 11 children on her own. She never stopped loving, dancing, eating, laughing and simply enjoying her life. No worries, no dull moments. And that is from a person who could hardly read nor write. I sooo miss you “Swithart”. Wherever your soul maybe, I know that your are happy.

You embraced your life in our world…now Go and Cherish YOUR Peace with our Lord!

We had a good time reminiscing about “Swithart”…our time with her together going to places, eating at home, giving each other advices, support and massages! 🙂 It was a time of grieving but also a time of Thanksgiving. Among the group present for the Prayer meeting, only the three of us who came, knew and lived with “Swithart” before. The others were mostly friends of the daughter of “Swithart”.

On the way home with two other friends, we walked pass the Famous Frankfurter “Alte Oper”. Not one of us had a camera so we had to make do with our phone cams…the photo result is not so good, but the memory will stay with us… hehehe.

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We are there somewhere in the picture… we just can’t see ourselves—hahaha!!!

 

 

Ang danyos ng Bagyo…

Sa relasyon, palaging may dalawang daan. Dalawang kalye, dalawang opinion. Dalawang idea na pwedeng mag tugma o di naman kaya ay palaging salungat sa isa’t-isa. Dalawang tao na may sariling pag iisip at may kanya-kanyang opinyon at panata.

Hanggang ngayon bumabagabag sa isip ko ang katanungang ito: “Isa nga bang malaking misteryo kung paano nagtatagal magsama ang dalawang tao?”

Kasi kung ako ang tatanungin niyo, sa totoo lang ay hindi ko din alam. Wala akong ginamit na formula, wala akong sinunod na batas o patakaran. Basta ang sinunod ko lang ang aking isip at damdamin. Kung ano ang pakiramdam ko at sa pag iisip ko ay tama, okay na yun. Go and fight na ako sa ano-mang dumating sa buhay naming mag-asawa. Ang pag uunawa at pag tanggap sa kasama mo sa buhay ay buong puso na ginagawa. Dapat tanggap mo siya at ang buong pagka-tao niya. Kasama na sa kabaitan at mapag-mahal na katangian, ang kalokohan at talangka niya sa utak.

Madami ako niyan… kalokohan at talangka sa utak. At mukhang tanggap din naman ito ng asawa ko. Pinag aawayan namin pero sa bandang huli nag kaka-ayos din kami. Huwag niyo nalang maitanong kung ano ang nangyari sa talangko ko sa utak, hahaha.

Basta ang alam ko, sa pag katapos ng dagsa ng salita at mala bagyong buhos ng emosyon, okay na ulit. Tahimik na ulit ang paligid at buhay. Importante, mapag usapan at mailabas ang masamang hangin na nag lalaro sa isip nilang mag-asawa.

Ang mahirap lang nga, hindi lahat ng mag asawa naka-kayanang lagpasan ang isang “Bagyong Andoy” sa buhay nila. Madalas, hindi na naibabalik ang kanilang respeto at pagmamahal sa isa’t-isa sa pag tila ng ulan at pag-tigil ng buga ng malakas na hangin sa buhay nila bilang mag asawa. Nakaka lungkot na nauuwi sa hiwalayan ang isang simpleng di pagkaka-unawaan nila.

Ngunit sabi nga din na Tita ko, siguro masyado akong ideyalista. Hindi ko naiisip na baka naman ang dahilan ng pag hihiwalay ng isang mag asawa ay mas malalim pa sa isang balon na pinagha-hangoan ng tubig. Sa pagkakataong ito, silang dalawa lang ang nakaka alam kung bakit nila kailangang iwan ang isa’t-isa.

Sa huli, sabi nga ng mga nakakatanda:

“Minsan kailangan natin gawin ang mga bagay-bagay na ayaw nating gawin. Dapat harapin ang problema upang mahanapan ito ng tamang lunas sa halip na isang-tabi lamang ito o ipagpa bukas.” —