Category Archives: Travels

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!

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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.

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I am Seven…

I have to go to work early today. And since midnight I have been in front of my PC just vegetating.

I couldn’t sleep last night. After watching 2 episodes of my current KD favorite, I laid in bed tossing and turning. Sleep was eluding me. Hence, I got up instead and decided to update my blog. Topic??? Hmmm… it seems to be a hard task for me to express my thoughts and feelings through my blog nowadays. That’s why, my little space in the web has just been gathering dust and spider’s webs for a long time now. No excuses… my muse just abandoned me!

Anyways, as I sat like a “blue straw hat” on my head… the thought came to me. I wondered what time of day I was born or perhaps what time in the night?

Looking it up through some documents that I meticulously kept with me since I migrated to Europe, I found out that I was born on a Monday and it was the 297th day of that year at 09:30 hour in the morning. That is a little over 4 decades in counting. If I were born at night, I would have been born under the “Waning Gibbous Moon” – which is the first phase after the full moon. Interestingly, “an individual born under the Waning Gibbous Moon often seems wise beyond their years, with an enhanced ability to parse their experiences and learn from them. This tendency also makes them particularly good teachers and communicators”.

“Born under the Waning Gibbous Moon, you may be driven by the desire to understand and explain – but also need to learn to be more accepting of the fact that not all people have the desire to listen, and that doesn’t necessarily make them inferior to you – it could be that they already have a deeper or different understanding of the topic. Or perhaps it’s simply not the right time. Other people may find you frustrating if you lecture them and talk down to them in a patronizing way. No matter how good your intentions are, you can come off as arrogant and condescending, like you’re always placing yourself in a position of superiority. Learning when to talk, and when to let others talk, is the core challenge that you have to overcome on the path to self-actualization.”

Luckily, I was born on a morning. The qualities of someone born under a waning Gibbous moon is somewhat not my to my liking… 

Browsing further, I read that qualities and criterion follows a Life path number Principle.

Following my birthday numbers, I found out that my Life Path number is 7 whereas per Chinese numerology I belong to Group 5. This life path number is supposedly representing analysis, awareness and understanding. I am, according to this direction a searcher and the seeker of the truth. 

To quote:  “Sevens have an air of mystery and do not want you to know who they are. Intellectual, analytical, intuitive, reserved, natural inclination towards spiritual subjects, aloof, loner, pessimistic, secretive, and insecure; are some of the qualities of those born into the Seventh Life path. A person who has a Life Path 7 is a thinker. If your Life Path is a 7 you are wise and studious. You seek truth and wisdom in all that you do, and search for the underlying answers in everything. Your tendency is to be a perfectionist, and you expect the same from those around you. But Sevens can be a loner too. They need to learn to have faith, otherwise they tend to become very cynical and their means of escape would be though drugs, alcohol, work and geography- to escape as far away as possible physically. Their love for natural beauty: ocean, green grass, plants, flowers etc., help them to escape unpleasantness that they cannot handle.” (

Read more here.

According to some website that I visited, I have an affectionate and very spiritual personality. I am a romantic at heart and somehow, also tend to be mysterious. In relationships, I am very demanding and I prefer to keep it private. I love my siblings, my family. Furthermore, I tend to expect a certain high level of loyalty from friends.

Following the life path number analysis and those that are mentioned on other sources, the description of my personality is very somehow (except for the intellectual and analytical part),  right on target!

Opal is named to be my modern birthstone while Jasper is my mystical birth stone according to the Tibetan origin of ideas. In this line, my zodiac gemstone is known to be Chrysolite. And the birthday stone for the day, a Monday, is Pearl.

What I really do find amazing is the fact that these mentioned stones composes my very own collection of personal ornaments. Bracelets, earrings and necklaces… including stone collections from places that I have visited in the past. I have been doing this long before I found out that these precious stones are connected to my personal preferences based on my birth date.

So, there you go. That’s me.

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Martial Law in Mindanao

History is indeed repeating itself!

Way back in 1971, Marcos put the Philippines under the Military regime-governed by of course The Marcos’s and their cronies.

Way back then and for some years it was a grueling fight for democracy and human rights of the people against the people who were in power.

Way back then I can only recall the salvages, the deaths and disappearances of public workers and journalists and anybody who declared that they were against  the family leading the country.

It was a dark and scary world then. Until the time that the Philippines was freed from the grasps of those ogres in Power.. and started living a democracy led Government for the people and by the people.

But, like all other good things in life, it never lasts for very long.

Last May 23, 2017 Martial was declared in Mindanao. A few days after that, the current president was already saying over media that the situation might not be isolated in Mindanao and that it may be that not long after, he will have to declare the whole Nation under the military governance.

Yesterday a reported bombing incident in Manila was then declared as another terrorist attack. Luckily, it was not bought by the media and the people. It was, in the end declared as “a private individual’s resort to personal problems”. Not like as claimed earlier that it was a terrorist attack by ISIS.

It’s been quiet for some time now. Martial Law in Mindanao is planned to last last 60 days. Hopefully!

Every one, let’s be vigilant. Let’s pray that the situation in Mindanao will not worsen. Let’s hope and hang on to democracy for our beloved country, the Philippines.

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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!


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Hulyo-Pitongpo na po!

Sa bandang katapusan ng Hunyo ay napa lipad naman ako pauwi ng Pilipinas…

Sinamahan ko ang aking tatay na umuwi ng Probinsiya at doon mag diwang sa kanyang ika pitongpong kaarawan.


Maiksi, pero masaya. Medyo maka bagbag damdamin din ang muling pagkikita ng buong familya. Ang highlight, bukod pa sa handaan ng kaarawang ng aking ama ay nag paka-sawa ako sa isda, tuyo at mangga…damay na din ang marang, langka, durian at sandiya.

At naturalmente ang pag inom ng sikwate at koter… kilala niyo po ba sila? Ang ending, katam-is nga pagka hilo sa kahubog og kalipay! Ali, balik na sad ta 😉


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When in Rome…

….do as the Romans do!

This post has nothing to do with the motto.

This is just a reminder for me when and where I’ve been to this month.. no correction – last month!

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Freshly brewed

Clearly, it has been a while since I was here.

I guess i can say it does feel weird, but i miss this place.

Yes, I miss posting a photo, short epistles— and write about anything useless to the worldwideweb.

But then again, this is my little space. Paid and not maintained (hahahaha)!

First, I don’t know what has been going on in the blogszene.

What with FB, LINKED and so on, I don’t think  people are still into blogs.

So what should be done to this site?

Honestly??? NO IDEA at the moment.

I still need a place for my photo gallery, but even that has the status: seldom to not being updated in months.

I do hope this lack of inactivity status on this “kubo” will change.

So, as the old year 2015 left us and 2016 is here, i hereby declare my late resolution for 2016 with regards to this “kubo”–

**more pictures. more posting. more blogging.



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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!

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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.  

first day 2015IMG_6331

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

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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…




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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!!!

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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.


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.



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!!!

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