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.

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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.

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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

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.