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!!!)

A lame excuse for shopping

A guest came up to the counter one day with a very upset face.

I could tell, by his reply to my greetings that; from the queuing up at check in, to slugging his luggage to the customs counter and then finally ending up at my counter to claim his VAT back, he was already thinking he won’t do it again next time.Not to mention – getting embarrassed because at the customs counter, he had to open his luggage where the purchased items where mixed with his worn clothing and other private stuff.

To my greeting, he replied with:

“Hmmmp! Why do women love to shop? Why do they shop too much?”

My immediate reply caught his attention:

“Speaking for myself, I believe that shopping is some kind of “Therapy”. “Retail theraphy” makes women happy, their loved ones, in this case, you the husband, even happier—with a *wink*!  And the good news is: You get to claim the VAT back.”

Sir, do you know what HHWW means?

He replied: “No. What’s that?”

It means: Holding Hands while Walking. So if someone says to you, i saw them at the park or at the mall doing HHWW… *wink* that’s what it means. Nothing bad, just sweetness!

Now, how about SSHW?

“Ahmm.. I guess i have no clue”, was his reply.

Shopping, makes us Super Happy makes us Work again eagerly.

The wife goes Shopping…(S)

After shopping, she is happy… consecutively you are also happy.

So now the both of you are “Super Happy”…. (SH)

YOU are a businessman? You came here for business and pleasure combined?

He relied again: “Yes, yes, that’s correct”

OK. So, to complete the anagram and the cycle, you as businessman must make this experience again to your advantage… The only Work (W) left to be done is to get back some money from the shopping done by the wifey! – hehehe.”

To make a long story short, my guest who was on the verge of exploding, left the counter with a jolly goodbye and a smile on his face.

I am positive, the next time he would visit another country, he would inquire again on how to go about claiming the VAT back on his expenditures. With or without the a female companion tagging along.

Reflecting on his statement: “Why women love to shop” – for me it really is some sort of therapy. It doesn’t necessarily have top be shopping per se. It could also be, just window shopping. Kind of a “go-see” what’s new, what’s in, what is trending and how much it may cost. Of course, to be able to try them on and see if what looks good on others, would also look good on me, is a bonus.

People can also browse and shop online, I know… but to try it on immediately and not having to wait  several days later… that is something one can only do by going to the shop/malls personally.

I mean -Shopping a my therapy. If I am feeling down today, I want to cure myself today.. not halfway today and again a few days later. I would rather prefer to do lift my spirits up today! You get me?! *wink*

Shopping gives me motivation and courage.

When I shop, it gives me a push in the positive direction. It gives me the energy to face struggles when I am at a crossroad. It even helps me come up with new ideas.

Shopping makes me happy

It reminds me of the people I love, my family, my friends because when I shop, I don’t only think of buying for myself, but also for my love ones.

Shopping makes me feel sexy.

Hormones go wild when I enter my favorite store and finding new articles that are IN at the moment. Shopping for me is also some kind stimulant. A drug or some kind of foreplay-if you may want to call it at that.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not addicted to shopping. I DO shop till I drop sometimes – or till my CC can’t handle it anymore… whichever comes first! But I don’t splurge… NOT ALWAYS!

How about you? What’s your excuse for shopping?

Bitter-sweet life

Life is sweet… but life’s experiences are also sometimes hard, sad and bitter.

But in all those times that we go through these, it is also when we learn the most!!!

It’s the sweet returns that we should enjoy…with time!

Umaga na naman…

Umaga na.

Lumipas ang buong mag damag.

Ang mundong madilim, sa kadiliman nito  may iba’t-ibang bagay na nangyayari sa buhay ng tao.

May nagjng masaya, nag ingay, nag trabaho at mayroon din naman na tulog lamang.

Ipinikit ang kanilang mga mata sa dilim, sinabayan ang pagta takip silim – ang mahiwagang kadiliman.

Kadiliman na hindi na pipigilan… kusa at pilit itong nag babalik sa bawat araw na duma daan.

Hanggang sa pag babalik muli ng kaliwanagan – sa pag taas muli ng araw sa Silangan.

Umaga na naman.

Tadhana…

“Ang hindi lumingon sa pinang galingan ay hindi maka-rarating sa paro-roonan…”(Dr. Jose Rizal)

Bakit kailangan lumingon pa? Hindi kaya ito pa ang makaka hadlang sa pag sulong ng kabuhayan?

Hindi ba pwedeng mag sumikap na lang para makarating sa pupuntahan?

Hindi ba pwedeng ang disiplina nalang ang dahilan para makarating sa patutungohan?

Umiikot ang buhay ng tao na parang gulong.

Ang pinagda daanan na tahak ay iba-iba.

Minsan, malubak, minsan mabato, minsan naman lubog sa tubig o kaya naman ay ma putik. Ngunit, dahil hindi ito huminto sa pag gulong, sa katagalan ay nakakarating din naman sa maganda at sementadong daan. Pero tulad ng bilog na mundo at bilog na gulong, pwede din namang sa hindi katagalan ay dumaan na naman ang gulong sa mabato, maputik at malubak na daanan.

Importante, ang mag sumikap na makabalik ulit sa sementado at tuwid na daan.

Sa istorya ng buhay ko, dinala ako ng ihip ng hangin dito sa kina lalagayan ko ngayon. Lumipad sa himpa-pawid ang eroplanong sakay ako mula sa Pilipinas papuntang Europa. Nakarating ako dito na ang baon lamang ay pangarap at tatag ng kalooban.

Pangarap na ta-tanggapin ako ng maayos ng banyagang mundong aking pupuntahan. Pangarap na maka kuha o makahanap ng marangal na trabaho. Pangarap na maka tulong sa pamilya ko na magkaroon ng maayos na buhay. Pangarap na mapaayos ko din ang aking sariling buhay. Isang ma habang biyahe na karga ang napaka raming pangarap at ang tanging sandata ay ang katatagan ng aking kalooban. Buo ang paniniwalang makakamit ko din ang aking mga inaasam.

Subalit, kaagapay ko din sa biyahe kong ito ang aking nakaraan.

Na karaan na pilit kong iwanan. Balak kong kalimutan, talikuran at hinding-hindi na muling ba-balikan.

Ngunit ang tadhana na mismo ang nag takda.

Ang nakaraan ko ay katanungan ng nasa itaas. Ang aking kasagutan magsi silbing pisi ng tadhana ng buhay ko. 

Ang mga susunod na udyok ng damdamin at hakbang ng aking mga paa ang magi-ging takbo ng gulong ng aking Kinabukasan.

My first snowfall… this year!

Remembering life in the Philippines: Sentiments triggered by the fresh snow powder that I woke up to this morning.

Mahirap na talaga baguhin ang mga bagay bagay na kina lakihan ng isang tao. Ika nga – “old habits die hard!”

Noong nasa Pilipinas pa ako, sa probinsiya at pati na rin sa Maynila, natu-tulog akong bukas ang bintana. Masarap kasing matulog na may preskong hangin na dumadaloy sa loob ng kuwarto. *Echos*…, wala lang kaming aircon noon at dahil mainit ang klima sa Pilipinas, isa sa mga magagandang alaala ko noong akoy bata pa, ang bentilador or electric fan! Sa sala, sa kuwarto pati na din sa hapag kainan dapat merong bentilador. Sa kuwarto, nakasanayan naming matulog na bukas/umaandar sa buong mag damaga ang bentilador.

Lumaki ako sa isang extended family environment. Ibig sabihin, bukod sa magka-kapatid, kasama din namin sa bahay ang mga pinsan, mga tito at mga tita. Madalas, kung  nagpapang abot ang buong pamilya, ay siksikan kaming mga magpi-pinsan at magka- kapatid ko sa isang kuwarto. Parang kaming mga isdang kinilaw – na babad sa pawis dahil dikit dikit kami sa higaan. (Kinilaw -Filipino fish receipe wherein fish is washed several times with vinegar and prepared as salad with plenty of red onion, spring onion, calamansi, chili and tomato.) – I digress!

Going back to the bentilador (electric fan) story: Madalas, ang ikot ng bentilador ay hindi na umaabot sa pwesto ko. Kaya, ini-iwan naming bukas ang bintana sa gabi pag natutulog para kahit pa paano ay may hangin na dumaloy sa loob ng kwarto.

Here in Europe, I sleep with my windows kipped. I don’t even turn on the heating in my bedroom. I used to before, but then I noticed that I would wake up with a headache whenever the heating is left on all night. I tried sleeping with windows wide open one Summer night (since i also don’t have a cooling system, just like when I was in the Philippines.. old habits die hard!! *wink* ). I did it again in Autumn, just to be sure … finally, when Winter came, I did the same. Voilà… ever since, I always wake up refreshed and headache free. Salamat sa karanasan, natutunan kong iakma ang aking sarili sa maraming bagay-pati na rin sa buhay at klima dito sa Alemanya.

Today, I woke up to a powder white covered window edges.*yeheyyy— snow is back!”

It is my first snow fall this year… quickly, I searched for my Goblin and grab his sword!!! (oh, I just realized that bit sounded kinky, *wink*)…

I meant, I quickly went to the next room, to get my camera to take a picture of … the neighbor’s backyard… hahaha! I live on the second floor, hence the backyard does not belong to my rented area. But It’s a  free country, so I can take pictures without having to pay for the piece of land, mow the lawn and plant flowers to maintain it. “lol”.

The grand part of it is, looking forward to spring and summer, I can also use the lawn on a hot day, if I need to.. just to relax  or grill some good meat at dusk. Otherwise, I just use my terrace, which is also not bad.

Today, on a cold snnowy wintzer 🙂 day, I just enjoy the view from my second floor window… with freshly brewed coffee and some pleasant thoughts in my mind… I am happy!

Bagong Taon.. bagong Bukas

**Pana-panahon ang pagkakataon
Maibabalik ba ang kahapon?**

Paulit-ulit sa isip ko ang kanta na ito…

Tugma naman, sa pagpa- palit ng taon.

Ang mga taon na lumilipas,

Ang mga kahapon na biglang naging bukas…

Ito ay parang mga alon sa dagat,

Duma dayo sa dalamapsigan at bumabalik din sa kalawakan!

Ang Bukas naman ay darating at hindi natin ito mapi-pigilan!

 

 

Sa trabaho ko…

Sa trabaho ko, usapan  between me and my Filipino Guest (“guest”– not passenger and not customer.) 

Standard na sa akin na  sa bawat tanong meron na akong parang naka handang kasagutan. Yung sinasabi ko at yung sagot ko sa utak ko. Yes… minsan may pagka obnoxious ako… pasensiya po! Sa isip ko lang, either talagang interested ang tao o gusto lang maging polite para hindi ko isispin na “snobs” sila…I don’t really care! Actually trabaho lang po ito. Either i am really happy at magaan ang loob ko sa Pinoy guest ko or I don’t really mind and just do my usual routine.

Ang problema, para sa akin kasi, pagsasayang ng oras ang small talk na ganito ang takbo…. hehehe.

Pinoy guest:  san ka dito nakatira?

Me:  malapit po sa Frankfurt  (answer in mind: ahhmm, sa China? hello nasa Frankfurt tayo!)

Pinoy guest:  matagal ka na dito sa Europa?

Me:  hindi naman po masyado… (mga 2 dekada… interesado ka nga ba talaga?)

Pinoy guest:  san ka nagta trabaho?

Me:  ahhhmmm… (guest kaya kita sa trabaho ko? tanungin pa ba??)

Pinoy guest:  may asawa ka? Ilan ang mga anak mo? 

Me:   opo… wala po.

tapos…  

Pinoy guest:  ahhh… so matagal ka na pala dito???

Me:  taas kilay , nanlaki mata at napa nga-nga– …like… huh?? anyare?

Ok, inaamin ko passive naman kasi ang mga sagot ko sa mga tanong niya, kasi medyo obvious naman talaga.

Kala ko nga medyo stating facts nalang siya at hindi na asking question, hahaha!

 

 

 

Enero 2017

Punong-puno ng bagong pag asa at bagong mga pangarap. Kasama ang buong pamilya na nandito sa Europa sa isang salo-salo na puno ng saya.

Ang bagong simula – para itong isang puting papel na wala ni isang guhit na naka sulat o isa mang tuldok na nag lalagay ng dungis sa malinis na simula.

Madami akong naiisip na gusto kong isulat sa papel na ito, pero hindi ko alam kung saan ako mag si simula. Tulad ng pag-asa na dumating kasama ang bagong taon, may dala din itong mga pag aalin langan at kaba kung ano man ang naka tadahanang mangyari sa buhay ko nitong taon 2017.

Mahinahon ko pong tinahak ang pag lapat ng aking mga paa sa mga unang sandali ng 2017… magka halong galak, pangamba at buong pusong umaasa na magiging mas maka buluhan ang buong 2017.

 

 

Dalawang dekada

img_8988Halos  dalawang dekada na akong nakatira dito sa Europa. Marami na akong nakilala, natutunan, pina-halagahan at kinalimutan.

Pagdating ng panahaon, isang bagay nalang ang kailangang pagdesisyunan:

… may handaan? o may handaan? 😀  😆  😛  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book romance

IMG_3903

Whushh… the English and the Frenchies—bachelor, hunks, brilliant and rich.

Played by fools of the women around them.

Like a casanova celebrating, helping, spreading love.

Suffered with love; at war with themselves and against each other.

In fairness, ever loyal to their roots and master.

In the end, they surrender and promise to be faithful and true to only ONE woman.

To love and cherish and respect the same… forever in the eternity of pages.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to – WOMEN rules!

Go Laaadies!!!!