Short trip to the Alpenland

Together with some friends, hubby and I had a short vacation in Austria last week. We initially planned to visit my family in Belgium, but my sisters advised us otherwise, since my aunt caught the Flu and my sisters were not quite sure if it was safe for us to visit. So, the change of plans was all finalized at the last minute. 

It was not the first time for hubby and myself. Since Austria is accessible by car, train or plane, we have visited the country often. We used to visit the place two times a year, during each time for a week or so depending on the activities planned either trekking or for my husband, cycling. It’s like the third option for us if we had enough time to spare from work and everyday conundrums without travelling on a long haul.

Anyways, like usual, we drove from Germany to Austria. Normally the trip takes six and a half hours. It took us 2 hours longer though, because we went through several traffic jams due to road constructions. 

On the side note, we left Germany with a box of surgical masks and hand gloves thinking we would be needing them as we explore the neighboring country right after lock down has been lifted. It was, to our surprise, not necessary. In Austria, everything was back to normal. One could go anywhere shopping or gallivanting without wearing the masks. Although social distancing is still advised.

Suffice it to say, we reached Austria later than planned.  We checked in at the hotel and then decided to take a rest instead of start roaming through the small town on our first day as we have planned prior to the trip. It was also raining anyway, so it didn’t make it anymore enjoyable. 

On the second day, we went to Zell am See and ended the day with a tour of the small town. At the back of the hotel was a small mountain that one could climb either by walking or with the lift. The hotel where we stayed at is located at the valley. So, it was very convenient for us to a do a short walk up in the mornings and in the early evenings after dinner. We had planned to revisit Salzburg and the Großglockner . Unfortunately, on the day when we planned to go up the Grossglockner, it was raining hard and very foggy, that we decided to cancel trekking up to the high mountain. We did visit Salzburg as planned.  

It was not a very good trip for me personally though. On our first night, I had stomach ache and diarrhea. The following day, my stomach calmed down a little. I could still go out for half the day, but then, the diarrhea came back and stayed for the next three days. 

Suffice it to say, our friends did manage to enjoy the trip although with some concerns about my condition. But not after several assurances from me that I was ok aside from the loose bowel movement and stomach problems.

Stay healthy y’all!

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!

A-Rosa a lá Vienna

Hindi po sausage, ka loka!

Nang maiba naman, sinubukan na din namin ang river cruise. Disyembre, kalamigan na… pero hindi kami nagpa pigil at sumakay pa din sa A-Rosa Mia. Destinasyon ay ang Christmas market at Prater Park sa  Vienna, Austria.

Isang napa ka lalim na buntong hininga– sa sobrang ganda!

 

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.

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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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!!!

 

 

Ahhhh, November!

It’s almost over: the month, the year. The beginning of the end, so to say. The beginning of the “ber” months. “Ber” as in, “September, October, November and of course December”.

With it comes the promise of the beginning of the new season, “autumn”, the start of the holiday seasons – that ends with Christmas holidays.

But it’s not only that, November is also for me, memorable since I know not just one, but several people close to me who are celebrating their birthday on this month… the loving ones, the cuddly, the sensitive and creative. They are artistic and very much successful in whatever they aspire to do.

Pero ang laki na ng pinagbago sa mga panahon ngayon. Dati-rati, kung may birthday, handaan lang. Kumbidado lahat sa isang malaking pagsasalu-salo. May mga batang kakanta at sasayaw. Tapos okay na ang program. Kainan at inuman na agad magdamag.

Tapos na uso ang sing-along, Sa bawat handaan, hindi pwedeng walang kantahan. Minus one man o laser disc basta may micropono at speakers, okay na. Ngawa-an, inuman at kainan na– pamorningan pa. Ang nakaka aliw nowadays, kung may birthday-han, hindi na pwedeng mawalan ng Cotillon. Ang sa pagkaka alam ko kasi, ang sayaw na Cotillon ay para sa debutante lang. Lam mo na, 18 years old birthday. Introducing a young lady  into the society.  Siyempre, kumpleto lahat, aside from the 3 or 4 layered cake, the first dance with the father of the celebrant, the cotillon dance, 18 candles and 18 roses.

Pero hanep na ngayon… it doesn’t matter anymore what age they are celebrating, sa bata, 7, 8 or 10 years old… sa matatanda, din ganun din. Kadalasan naman round birthdays, 30, 40 or 50 years old. Importante, ang celebration, ang program ay parang ganun din sa debutant. Hindi na importante ang edad basta may pera, may venue at gustong mag pa bongga—go na. Nakaka aliw, kasi hindi na mga bata ang nag sasayaw sa program. Matatanda na din. Iba-ibang lahi at edad, basta sayawan… bira na agad. May modern, may hawaian at siyempre walang kamatayang cultural dance. Tinikling, pandanggo sa ilaw, at iba pa. Hindi rin nawawala ang oldies but goodies na ballroom dances: Cha-cha, Salsa, Bacchiata, Foxtrott, Rumba. Dahil dito, kasama ang lola niyong naiimbitahan sa mga handaan. Isang grupo ng  mga young at heart na ladies na may komun na kagustohan. Ang mag sayaw. Pwedeng cultural/folk dance, pwede din modern at kung gusto niyo ay sasabak din sa Boogie, Salsa, Samba at Cha-cha na naka stilletto pa. Hayaan niyo na ang wanka-ta ng mga Loley– medyo papasa pa naman diba? 🙂

 

 

 

The Holy Tunic

Mixing Tagalog and English (TagLish) in one sentence is quiet common for us Filipinos. We are familiar with the words and actually can understand each other still. But mixing Tagalog and German in a conversation, well, could actually cause confusion. At least for me.

My friends called me to ask if I wanted to join them on a road trip – to see “The Heiliger Rock”. I thought, well, why not? I mean, I am a Christian, I believe in God. I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was just 14 years old. I celebrate Easter and I believe in Jesus’ resurection. I do have my own personal relationship with the Lord. Period!

But to see a holy stone? Why not? The holy stone turned out to be a Tunic. I, silly me, literally translated “Rock” for “stone”. But “Rock” in Germanic language is actually “skirt” or “tunic”. It is believed to be the “Seamless Tunic” that Jesus’ wore before He was crucified. According to tradition, St. Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, brought the Holy Tunic to Trier when it was the capital of ancient Gaul.

Read more here.

The “Holy Robe” pilgrimage began in 1512. It is again available for viewing from April 13 till May 13 this year. The “Holy Robe” Pilrimage tradition is now 500 years old. I lined up with my firends inside the Cathedral in Trier for almost 20 minutes. The line was already long at 10:30 a.m. My friend, thinking ahead, knew that if we arrived later, it would probably have taken double the time just to see the Tunic inside the Cathedral.

Afterwards, we just walked around Trier which is Germany’s oldest city.

Berlin again… this time with Bong

I visited Berlin again this time with my classmate way back during my I.S. days in MCFI and her family and some friends. Last time I was in Berlin, was with my niece Duday. It was a first for both of us. For her, the first time she travelled from Brussels alone via the ICE going to Frankfurt am Main then further on to Berlin with me. For me, the first time to visit Berlin, the capital city. We stayed two nights at one of the Hotels in Potsdamerplatz. We had a really nice time. For her, perhaps tiring, but anyway educational. That was in August last year.

Two weeks ago, I went back there with some friends.

It was also tiring since we tried to squeezed as much place as we could visit in one day. Anyway, I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. I got to spend sometime with Bong. Got to know her a bit more. Caught up with her life’s ventures… as wife, mother and a career woman all rolled into one. The Bong that I used to know is totally different now. I can’t imagine her being the successful Realty Broker and over protective mom of Sophie. You see, before, I thought Bong was a softie. Although a really beautiful personality inside, I thought that she was the type who would need someone to protect her. Someone to provide everything for her. I never thought that she would turn out to be a very independent, very reliable sophisticated woman like she is now… to top it all… successful in her chosen field of career.

My hats off to you Bong and it was really nice to see you again. Last time we were together in Zürich was 6 years ago. I hope it will not take that long till we see each other again. Hopefully, Mike and I can visit you and Leonick in your Villa in Antipolo next time we come home to visit.

Friendship uncertainties

“I resign! I resign from being your friend”!
“I wish it were that easy? Perhaps it is. I just don’t know the trick yet how to just NOT care anymore…” my ex colleague told me just the other day.

Friendship is not just something one can buy. It does not happen overnight. Nor does it happen in just some days or several hours. It cannot be attained just by shaking the hands of another person. Nor can it be gained just by being introduced or by meeting someone along the street or from the other side of the road.

It has to be worked on. It takes years to earn a friend. When it is stablished, it could get painful to just ruin the friendship that was build on trust, honesty and loyalty through the years.

My question is: Are the factors TRUST, LOYALTY, HONESTY and LONGEVITY enough to consider to count someone as a REAL friend?

An acquaintance talked to me about these things. Unfortunately, I couldn’t give her the right answer, that’s of course considering that there really is a RIGHT answer.

Scenic Sunday

Yesterday was “Verkaufsoffener Sonntag” (Sunday shopping) in Frankfurt am Main. The shops were open from 13:00 on until 19:00. Hubby and I had a Sunday buffet lunch in the city with some friends and then went shoe shopping afterwards – an exception, definitely! (hehehe).

Okay, I know that in other parts of the world, shops are open on Sundays. In the Philippines or US of A for example. Germany, Sunday shopping is quiet a rarity. Some places they even close on Saturday midday. From then on no more shopping. Instead, people rather go to the forests for long walks or go for bike tours or visit Castle ruins. At night people can opt to eat out, since restaurants are open or go to Opera’s or concerts. For me, if I’m not at work, I’ll be at home with hubby cozily watching some old films or downloaded TV sci-fi series… yap, that’s my life, peaceful. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t have friends. Neither is my life boring?? NO! Definitely not. I just prefer my life as it is.

Disneyland Paris

With a sizzling 30 degrees temperature, we had a wonderful day at Disneyland Paris last week. Our entourage left in two cars at 06:30 and arrive Paris at around 10:00 after two stopovers. We were lucky there was no traffic jams along the way. We had a smooth drive from Brussels all the way to France.

Tickets were booked in advance so, we could just go through the entrance without staying in the very long cue for tickets. Once inside, we all scattered like a herd sheep running for the greener part of the meadow. Not before we arranged a time and place to meet later. First stop Fantasy Island, where Trish got freaked out by the dolls in the “Small World” ride. I loved it though! Later during the afternoon, Trish started feeling unwell. Had to rest for a while to give her medicine. Later though, the patient claimed she got sick for like six minutes only, hehehe. Once she started sweating, we just continued where we stopped to rest. We roamed around the area until almost midnight. Then we drove to the hotel where we would be spending the night. All in all, it was a really fun sunny day in Disneyland.

Another Pinoy to be proud of

Since I arrived here in Frankfurt, Germany I only went to two hairstylists. The first one was in Eschborn were I had a normal wash, haircut, blow dry and styling that cost me 89€+ tip. Okay, in fairness, I liked the cut. It was very much 60’s just as I wanted it to be. But it was way too expensive for me. I admit I am a sucker for discounts and whenever I cannot get a good bargain, I try not to go back to the same place anymore–if I can avoid it.

So, the next haircut I had, I went to a Pinoy who was then learning to become a registered hairstylist here in Germany. I liked his style, probably because he knows the Filipino way of pampering the hair and the client. Since then I was hooked. I always asked him to take care of my hair… my shining glory, so to say. I noticed that my hair felt good in this Pinoy hairstylist’s careful, good hands. Back then it was not very difficult to make an appointment with Jezz. One call, as long as it is outside his school hours and practicum time, I managed to get my hair pampering done. And since Jezz is really good at his profession, I started to recommend him to other Filipina colleagues at work, too.

By the way, those who live outside the Philippines, you do know the drill right? The arrangement is that 3 or more ladies would come for the hair treatment. Haircutting schedule is always arranged at somebody’s place where bonding, eating and storytelling (chismiss) are already included.

As the years passed and Jezz finally finished his degree, it slowly became difficult to get appointments from him. He was always on the go, to a wedding, a birthday party or a gala event where he is booked. And of course, he also was employed at a hair salon here in Frankfurt am Main, where some of his customers include TV moderators and models. On top of that, he was also doing his Masteral studies, hence, his schedule was really tight. So, what we did, after every session with him, we would already book the next appointment in six weeks time. Yes, that’s how long we would have to wait. For some, who can’t make it to the said appointment will have to wait for the next one after that. I for one, always had to wait longer because I would always miss the appointments for some spur of the moment reason. Lame, I know..but it always happened.


Anyway, after Jezz finished his Masteral studies, he planned to open his own salon here in Frankfurt am Main. When he was asked when this would happen, he always humbly replied that it would still take some years for his dream to come true. He needed to save up first in order to start on his own. But as luck would have it, the salon where he was working had to close down. So, he took the chance to finally start anew, this time as his own boss.

Right in the heart of Frankfurt am Main, Jezz found a place where he could open his own salon. His clients from his previous work still comes to him. Of course, his Filipino “suki” are more than happy since now, it is definitely easier to make an appointment with him.

Last night, Jezz officially openned his salon. The guest was a mixture of German and Filipino beauties. Jezz hairstyling is finally open for business. The Philippine Consul General, Her Excellency Maria Cleofe Natividad graced us wih her presence. Among others were Jezz’ close friends, ex-colleagues and those valuable long-time clients. So, to Jezz, I salute you. I wish you much success in this new venture of yours. I’m so proud of you sister!!!

Jezz has a cosy two seater salon located at Eschersheimer Landstrasse, 25 in Frankfurt am Main. For appointments, he can be reached at 01741843863. Or visit him at Facebook: Jezz Hairstyling.

Help

A friend will be celebrating her round double digit birthday! We are planning on giving her a party. A really big one. Unfortunately, we cannot start on the preparations yet, since the most important detail has not been settled yet.

The VENUE! We need a hall with a stage and a kitchen. It should be able to accommodate 250-300 guests, must be situated 10 km around the vicinity of Offenbach am Main and more preferrably will not cost more than 600€.

Do you guys hapen to know of such a place? Please let me know.

Parties and events in Frankfurt am Main

Hubby and I got invited to a friend’s birthday party. It was a blast. We got home after midnight and I fell flat on my bed even before I could get out of my clothes. Well, it’s not uncommon knowledge that I just fall on my bed without changing into my pyjamas ;). I tell you it has happened several times before. Especially when we have an event coming. But it was the first time I got home drunk and fell on my bed immediately. I found out the following morning that I walked up to the flat barefoot after our neighbor brought my step-ins over to our front step, buwahahahaha!

The following day, Sunday came and went without me noticing anything at all. I stayed in bed the whole morning. I only got up to prepare some lunch for hubby and myself. Even then, I felt like a walking Zombie from the bedroom to the kitchen. Hovering around there preparing for something to eat. After having lunch, I immediately went to our sofa in the living room, covered myself with my fleece blanket and fell asleep like a baby. I woke up around 7 pm feeling hungry, thirsty and disoriented. Oh my! The effect of drinking Tequila sporadically is terrible. This means I should really rather do it more often, lol!

If my memory serves me right, back in the old days when I used to go out each night after work, I never had any hangover after. No vomiting, no dizziness, nothing. Nil! Zit! Nada! Which is actually the main reason why I like Tequila much better than any other drink. But, I used to drink it almost every night then. Furthermore, I haven’t had a shot of Tequila for more than a year. Last time I had more than 1 shot of tequila was in August last year. I guess, that’s the reason why the alcohol went up to my head faster the drink going down, hahaha!

Anyway, at the party, everybody had fun. The kids, the young ones and the young at heart, too. One could see it in their faces and party behavior. Food was plenty and the drinks was just pouring. For a while there, it felt like there was an alcohol spring somewhere near the area.

It was actually a surprise party for Mr. Ballmaier. A party planned by his wife Marie who is a very good friend of mine. Of course there were several of us who were busy before the event. Decorating the hall, cooking and transporting the drinks. There you go, I must admit that the drinks did not actually come from a spring, hehehe.

At the end of the day, it was all worth it. The facial expression of the birthday celebrant as he came into the hall was that of real surprise and he was really touched by the gesture. All in all, the event was a success.

Next one to be ready for is the “Philippines Got Talent” in Frankfurt, Saalbau Volkshaus Enkheim on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at 5:00 PM. This is not a private party but another event of the Philippine Mission Charity Foundation, e.V. (PMCF) in Frankfurt. It’s time to show off your hidden talents guys! Come and share it with us and in doing so, win some interesting prizes. Willing applicants can already register through any PMCF officer.

Well, that’s it for now. I will be busy with helping in the preparations for the said event. So, forgive me if this blog will be sleeping again for some. 🙂