A Celebration of Life

We just had our first summer vacation for this year and where else but in the Philippines! The trip was planned early last year as the thought of celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday came to my mind. You know, reaching 70 in our country is already a milestone and considering my dad’s health condition, to celebrate his birthday is a way of thanksgiving. What else could be the perfect way to celebrate this special day? As usual, surprise dad like what we did two years ago. He had no idea that we’re coming home and he’ll get to celebrate his special day with his grandchildren.

We also took this opportunity to get my father-in-law to fly in from Indonesia. Although he just spent his Christmas holidays there, we requested for him to go back in time for our vacation. We rarely spend time with him since he’s been working abroad. The kids doesn’t even know him! So weeks before our departure, we decided to shoulder his tickets. However, problem came up while we were trying to book his flight. It seemed we were not allowed here to purchase a ticket for him using hubby’s credit card since the plane ticket holder will be different from the name of the ticket buyer. We’re glad brother-in-law came to the rescue. He’s a holder of one of the best credit cards in the Philippines. Buying the ticket online using his credit card was just easy peasy. Not that I haven’t realized yet how credit cards make things light to us consumers, but what happened made me reminisce my banker days. How agents call us, newly-hires and offer the best credit cards which perfectly match our profiles. In a few days, we were granted our first ever credit cards. What I liked in credit cards were the perks that come with it. Those points you’ll have to collect and eventually exchange for premium items. Or those miles which were converted to points if you are a frequent traveller. I would have used that credit card to buy our tickets to Manila. Sigh…

Anyway, back to reality… Although the celebration was just a simple lunch in Max’s, nothing can compare the joy I felt and saw in my dad as he was surprised by hugs of Zyc and Ryz.

credit cards, best credit card in the philippines, credit cards philippines

The tears that fell on Dad’s cheeks just melted my heart. By the way, the kids knew they’ll surprise their Lolo. I told them that our trip is a surprise for his birthday and that them being with him on his special day will be their gifts. I was glad the kids, too were happy doing this.

Together with my whole family, we filled a long table for 20 persons and feasted on the Filipino dishes I have missed tasting. I got to eat Kare-kare, Lumpiang Ubod and the famous Max’s fried chicken just to name a few.

credit cards, credit cards philippines, family gathering

Hours were spent telling stories; hubby answering questions about the trip, me spending time with my side of the family and catching up.

Hehe… come payment time… Since we haven’t exchanged enough Euro to Peso currency, it’s one of those times I’m thankful I’m with someone (well, not just one but 4 of them) who has credit cards. Big brother offered to pay the bill so of course, the points will be his. 😛 Hmm.. I wonder how it is done now… I mean, it seems like having a credit card in the Philippines is easier nowadays. How do people apply for one? How much is the interest nowadays? Well, I wouldn’t wonder if googling “credit card Philippines” would lead me to a site where I could see and compare the best credit cards in the country.

I was glad for this simple celebration. Yes I know it’s incomparable from those grand parties of parents who reach such milestones but I think the physical closeness of each one of us brought more meaning to the occasion.

One Fine Wednesday

It’s been three days since summer officially started yet it’s been a cool day today. Rain poured on us since that day, too! I notice that actually; raining during the longest day of the year. Luckily today, sun showed its happy face.

I’m sitting on one of the benches here in the “innenstadt” or city center buying time. I have been walking around for a good half hour going specifically nowhere. As I sat here I realized it’s a good time to write something on just about anything I see since I’ve been idle here staring at a blank space.

Today is just like any other spring day (yes, it’s still spring weather) when I wouldn’t want to stay under a tree or stand behind any structure that could cover the sun for me. The wind is really cold, it was 14deg before I left home by the way. Seriously though, this is one of those days again when  you really don’t know what to wear. Those times when you go outside you’ll ask yourself if you wore the right clothes after you see others wearing T-shirts while you’re wearing a leather jacket and boots. I really find it funny and sometimes you’ll just have to shake your head and ignore.

Today I see people and their clothing and it’s really confusing to look at. Anybody who would try to guess what’s our weather forecast for today wouldn’t make it right. Haha! Boots, sneakers, flats were present in the shoe parade. T-shirts, pullovers, jackets, sweaters; one could guess it’s a sunny but cool day today.

Wednesday is market day here in Aalen. As usual, fresh from the farm produce are sold. I was thinking of buying a bowl of fresh fruit salad but settled with bread and iced tea for lunch coz there’s no fork that comes with the salad. 😛

Just another day for farm owners

As I sat here I thought of my kids. I bet they’re now excited knowing they’ll shop on their own. Yesterday they ask me if they can be allowed to go to one of the stores here and buy stuff without me. So, to build their confidence I agreed. I was planning to meet them in the store but I couldn’t bear it and instead waited for them near where they’re supposed to cross the street. However, I was “driven away” by son! Hahaha! I wasn’t allowed to come with them to the store and was told to stay outside and wait. :o. I was like, whaaat??!! Well, ok fine so before leaving them alone, I just got few reminders for them; don’t spend all your  money and don’t buy too expensive stuff. :)

The shoppers

I decided to stay in one of the ice cream parlors and thought of treating them for ice cream after shopping. Honestly I was surprised as they appeared with the objects they bought in their hands. I know only Ryz has money and I thought she’s the only one who’ll buy something for herself since it was her birthday last 18th. It seemed she also bought something for her big brother. Yeah, that’s sweet Ryz just generous. I didn’t question them too much on the cost of their stuff and just enjoyed that day with our ice cream.

A quick “me time” and time for the kids, a one fine Wednesday indeed!

Capturing Spring


Aahh…. I just love the scent of freshly-mowed grass. It makes me see (err.. smell) more the beauty of the spring season. The flowers of different colors everywhere is always a lovely sight. Grandma upstairs maintains our garden and she plants mostly roses of different kinds. Inside our home, hubby takes care of a few orchids. I have always said that spring is my favorite among the four seasons except for the occasional rains. I just don’t like getting wet outside, hehe… Spring is always the perfect time to go out and have fun with the family. Sunny yet doesn’t burn your skin and that cool breeze blowing on your face, you’d hope it could also take all the worries in your mind.

One of my favorite spots here in our home is our balcony. I’ve taken many photos from here with our tree as my subject. We bought a coffee table set as it deemed perfect for the area. I’ve watched the kids play and do their stuff from here, sitting on one of the chairs.

kids playing, water guns, kids with water guns

Kids with water guns, enjoying the sun. :)

Hubby and I spend our quiet times here or just stay while watching the kids having fun. I’ve watched him also do some stuff with his car and yes, also mow the grass. I like seeing him mowing.

man mowing

I have dreamed of a house with a garden and my husband mowing the lawn but I realized having that kind of house can be a nightmare hahaha!! Just thinking of the work we have to do to maintain the garden; sweeping dried leaves in autumn, mowing grass in spring, watering in summer, I set that dream aside. Unless we’ll have that dream home in the Philippines where we could hire someone to maintain the garden, why not. 😛

We’re having warm weather the past few days, sign that summer’s taking a peek. Glad I got to write this post and capture a few of our spring days. I just have to be thankful we had enjoyed the start of this year’s spring and will make sure to have fun and savor it’s remaining days.

New Year in Vienna

We don’t normally spend new year’s eve in other places in the Philippines. Our elders used to say we’re supposed to be in our homes and should stay when the year changes. I actually don’t remember why hehe… But since we came here in Germany, out of the 5 yearends we had, we only stayed at home twice.  Seems it didn’t matter…

This holiday was planned since August. Hubby and I were thinking where to go during the holiday break just like what we had last year. So i decided to take this chance to visit a blogger-friend whom we were supposed to visit last summer. The original plan was to stay in Vienna for only four days so I got a hotel reservation. I mentioned this plan to Marie and she gladly suggested for us to stay with them for a night which became three. The original 4-day trip became one week!

It was a long drive for us since it’s been snowing in Germany and roads were a little slippery. The normal 6-hour travel time became an 8-hour drive (including breaks).  Anyways, a warm welcome greeted us as we found our home for the next 2 days. Marie, who I’ve met only for the second time but an online friend for 3 years, gave us the familiar Filipino hospitality which I am surely missing.

With blogger-friend, Marie, and what was left from the yummy dinner. :)

We arrived around 8pm of Dec 31 and was served with Filipino dishes plus spaghetti for the kids. Despite the long trip I was able to stay up late and we filled the hours with talks just like we normally do online while waiting for the clock to strike 12mn.

Marie suggested that if we want to watch the fireworks we can go to Schönbrunn Palace but we didn’t bother to go there anymore since we were already tired. We just settled watching them through their window (I can’t really miss fireworks especially on New Year’s Eve, I love fireworks!). After watching, we decided to hit the sack coz we knew we’ll be having a long day ahead of us.

Do You Watch KDramas?

Hachooo! Sorry about that… I’m dusting off this site and removing cobwebs all over. It’s been a while since I last posted here, hehe. I got kind of “busy” (read… lazy) so I didn’t get to write anything on what’s happening in my life here in cold Deutschland.

Well, what have I been up to…hmmm. I’m normally online, still watching Korean dramas and I don’t know when will I stop 😛 . There’s been so many new and exciting dramas currently airing and coming out soon. By the way, if you are a Kdrama fan you can check out tiveee.com. It is an awesome site for Kdrama addicts. Currently aired dramas are uploaded the following day (with English subs, of course) and you could also find your old favorites and watch them all over again. What I liked about the site? Its minimalist theme. No annoying ads, no parts and best of all it’s FREE unlike other sites hmp! Plus, you could meet friendly, helpful, awesome chatters (it’s global!) who can readily answer your queries about the dramas; from the actors, soundtrack (yes, they will look for the title of the song which you could also google or search in youtube. hahaha!), latest gossips, even some technical questions or chat just about anything. You could even learn some Korean phrases from other chatters who would gladly teach you for free! 😛

Kdrama, free Kdrama, korean drama, watch kdrama online, watch free Kdrama online, koreanHave you heard of sync watching? We do that, too! We watch the same drama simultaneously and rant about it. Drool over the hot actors or curse at the bad guys and cry over the scenes! Hahaha! It’s more fun actually watching a drama with someone.  It also has the friendliest admins who chat and joke around with the viewers! So where else can you get that?!

I don’t normally chat except in Facebook but I find the chatroom’s environment so friendly which made me decide to create an account and go online everyday even when I’m not watching. I’m amazed how we chat and joke around as if we’ve already met and been friends for a long time. No trolls are allowed there though. No foul words or your messages will be deleted and your IP be suspended or banned. 😛

So if you are a Kdrama addict or just starting to like Kdramas, head to tiveee.com and let’s rant together!

(Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I just love tiveee! 😉 )

The Game that Fits in well into my Busy Schedule

Games and me were not quite a good combination. In fact to speak the truth – I rarely get time for the same. In my 24/7 job that includes taking care of husband, kids and the household work, there is barely any space for me to even think of anything else. However, a little bit of indulgence in varied activities is important to keep your mind active. Watching Television and listening to music are the regular activities – at times you look out for something different!

bingo, online game

I was literally struggling in my thoughts as how do I break off from my busy schedule and indulge in something thrilling and worthwhile too. This tussle was on in my mind everyday! Until, I finally discovered something which actually fitted perfectly into my schedule. And, that was bingo. It happened so that once, just like any other day I was browsing through some fashion brands – checking out for the latest fashion apparels. All of us know that New Look is quite a prominent retail brand. So, that was in my list! And, whilst checking out for this I stopped by this site called New Look Bingo. The name of the brand automatically intrigued me as it was – New Look. A quick glance at the site increased my curiosity levels to a greater extent and I actually ended up registering at the site. To my surprise, I was opened up to a vast range of opportunities.

There is a myriad section of games to hang out with across various bingo rooms. There are bingo games like 75 ball, 80 ball, 90 ball, 30 ball and 50 ball bingo games to play. Topping this, there is an interesting section of mini games too. That includes slots, scratch cards, casino and free bets. With so many games to play, one will never be bored out. Moreover, all of these games are affixed to various promotional offers and lucrative prizes as well. An important important functionality of this site is the mobile bingo option. The site supports bingo gaming on various platforms (iOS, Android, Nokia and Blackberry). And, that is indeed an excellent option for every time I do not have to switch on my laptop to play the games. Any time I get some time to spare I can a few minutes for the fun of these games from my phone. It’s really fun! Why not find out more by checking out a few games at the bingo site – New Look Bingo. Assured fun and prizes to take away!

My Prize of Being a Mom

I know every mom has her own strategy on how to rear their child. I believe that we learn to become parents, of course from our parents themselves. We would remember our childhood days and how we were treated. When we became parents they would help us from the time our first-born comes out until the time they see that we could already do it on our own. They would guide us until they accept the fact that we can already stand on our own and should learn from our mistakes when we make them.

When I was younger I used to tell myself that when I become a mom I will not make the mistakes that my mom made on how she reared us and just emulate of course the good ones. Don’t get me wrong, my mom was a good mother. She cooked delicious food (which unluckily I never learned to do) and made sure we eat on time. She would meticulously wash our clothes so that we would look presentable. Being a teacher, she was more conscious on how we do at school and our grades. However, although these did something good on my character and how I am now I just know that we, as mother and daughter, lacked something. We didn’t have a “relationship”.  I could only count in one hand the times when we actually talked as “friends”.


They cling too much! :P

When I became a mom, I got a little conscious on how to act in front of my kids. I try very hard on being patient, hold back myself and try not to yell at them. I say every encouraging word I could think of to give them a push when there are times I see them losing confidence. I try to spend time with them; play with them, listen to their stories, make fun with them, make fun of them so they know how to laugh at themselves, and just simply touch and hug them. I believe these are some of the things I needed the most and what I am trying to give to my kids. I want to have a better relationship with them, one that my mom and I didn’t get to have.

With what I have done, here are just a few of my prizes:

Kids jockeying for position/racing to hug me :)

” Mommy, when I grow up and don’t have a house yet, I will stay with you so you don’t have to do everything on your own. I will help you. And you will teach me to cook.” – Ryz

“Mommy, my best buddy.” – Ryz

(while fixing their school things day before school opening)
Me: O, tomorrow your classmates might have new stuff for school. Is it okay with you that you didn’t buy new things?
Zyc: Of course! we don’t need to buy new ones.

Once I call out “huggy kuggy”, they will stop doing what they are doing and run to me and hug me.

I sometimes wonder am I really deserving of what I am having now? I thought, “I must be doing something really good to my kids!” or “I must be doing it right to deserve these!” I know I’m not perfect. I am faaaaar from perfect. No mom’s perfect and yet we can be perfect moms in our kids’ eyes.

How to Choose the Right Local Movers

movers, local movers

image credit: flicker.com/dolocalsearch

The lease is up, Moving Day is approaching and you’ve got a tonne of stuff that needs to be taken to the new house. There’s so many removalist companies to choose from online but it’s hard to know who offers better bang for buck. You need to be shrewd in your quest to find the service that’s right for you. Here’s a few tips on how to narrow the list of choices down.

Your Budget

You’re nowhere without a budget. What are you looking to spend on a move? Once you’ve got an idea of how high you’d like to go, start arranging quotes – many removalists like http://www.yourlocalmovers.com.au provide quotes online – and compare. The closer you can get to an amount that fits your budget, the better.

Their Reputation

One of the first things you should be checking up on when researching movers is if they have made a good name for themselves. That way, you can be sure the company in charge of getting your stuff into your new home safely can be trusted with the job. Finding this information out is far from difficult – ask your friends and family, get online and find customer testimonials. Don’t be afraid to ask the company directly for a referral.

Their Equipment

movers, moving house

What sort of gear are the movers using? What sort of vehicle are they bringing? Truck? Trailer? Ute? Make sure that the company has vehicles that are good condition before signing anything. Ask about what sort of equipment they’ll be bringing on the day and be upfront about any larger or heavier items like pool tables or pianos that need shifting.

The Legalities

Something you should be very aware of when selecting a moving company is their legal status. The last thing you want is to hire a fraud because if your stuff is damaged in any way, you’re going to be facing an uphill battle when having the deal with the company. Ensure that the company you are hiring is licensed. This will keep you from getting hit with any hidden costs and will guarantee quality service with security against any damages.

Their Locality

The most obvious advice for finding the right local mover is to select one within your area. They know their way around and will have no trouble being on time or getting to your new home quickly and safely. Many interstate removalists can run into issues of rest periods or traffic delays due to lack of familiarity with the region.

As you can see, there’s a bit of a process to making sure you’ve got the right guys for the job. But that’s good, you don’t want to put your belongings in the care of just anyone. Research and thorough planning are all that’s required to ensure you get the best service and safest transport on the day. What do you look for in a removalist? Do you have any success or horror stories from a move of your own? Leave them in the comments below.

Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net/StuartMiles

Our Summer Destinations

Now the school’s over for the kids we wanted their summer vacation to be kind of special. We regretted that we didn’t get to let them enjoy much last year’s summer so we thought of giving them a treat this year.

As early as March I secretly booked our trip to Europa Park. This spectacular amusement park is one of the most popular and visited theme parks here in Germany. It is located in Rust which is a two-hour drive from our home. Although it is just a short trip we thought of staying there for a few days. We are also planning to make a short trip to Freiburg where the German Clock Museum is located. We know one day is not enough to explore the theme park so bought a 2-day ticket. Two-day tickets cost 77 Eur (approximately 104$) for adults and 67.50 Eur (91$) for kids ages 4-11. Hopefully the kids will enjoy this trip despite them still having fears of park rides. Besides, I’m confident that this theme park  caters to kids of all ages and there’ll be no reason for them not to have fun.

europa park, summer destinations germany, germany

europa park,

image credit: de.wikipedia.org

Honestly I’m also excited for this trip. Seeing the photos of the attractions especially the roller coasters makes me cringe but at the same time feel the eagerness to try them. I hope when I get there I still have that will. 😀

Next destination is the Tropical Islands in Berlin. We’ll drive there 2 weeks after our Europa Park trip.  Dubbed as Europe’s largest tropical holiday world, this place will let every guest experience the life in the tropics with perfect weather, white sandy beaches and all you could imagine in a tropical island.

tropical islands, tropical islands berlin, berlin

image credit: cwcity.de

This time the kids got really excited upon seeing the photos especially the waters. We’ll be staying for long there, 3 nights to be exact. The resort offers different kinds of accommodations. You can stay either inside or what they call the Dome or outside the resort. There are rooms, tents and lodges inside, and campsites, mobile homes and apartments outside the Dome. I’m particularly excited for the Spa Complex. Finally I can have that spa/massage I’ve been longing for.

After spending 3 nights in Tropical Islands, we’ll stay for 3 more days in the city center in Berlin. We thought maybe we could stay there a bit longer since Berlin is a 6-hr drive and we have to make the trip worth it. It will be also a perfect time to visit my other Filipina friend.

I’m hoping to have hassle-free trips and stress-free vacations this summer so we could all enjoy our family bonding.

Which Tennis Player are You?

Hi tennis players and fans! Aren’t you just curious of which tennis player are you on the court? Well, quizzes are all over in Facebook nowadays; from personality tests to determine the color of your aura or even which character fits you in a TV series. Some may find them silly, and others just take it as truth to their characters. So for the sake of fun let me give you one of those quizzes. If you’re a tennis fan or a player, you can relate to this enjoyable quiz. If not you can still take this so you’ll know and if ever you don’t know much about the player, there’s always Google. :)

nadal, tennis, quiz

This quiz is simple. You may opt to answer it by creating an account or you can just proceed without it. There are only eight questions and this won’t take much of your time although I know if you’re a tennis fan you wouldn’t mind how long it takes. Just answer the questions honestly and you’ll know the result in no time.

Have fun!