Monday, January 6, 2014


On one of our out of the country trips, I discovered Smiggle, which my family and I found in Singapore.

Let the pictures speak for itself...

A compartment for my pencils...

A compartment for my pens...


Hi.  I am back.

Didn't push through with big move.  Stayed here in the tropics but husband is left in that place to fulfil his contract.  Many lessons learned but I am hoping for better things to come out of this situation.  This year is going to be great!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I am in the last two days of my weeklong visit to The Destination in Shenzhen, China. I haven't warmed up to it yet like my husband has. But I would like to reserve my opinion until I get to know the place for a longer period of time.

It doesn't help also that I came here during the cold season. Yeah, everyone wearing boots and all that. I am a warm weather person who doesn't mind the cold season and dressing up for it for a maximum of two weeks. But generally, gray skies bring my mood down.

Language has also been an obstacle. The people do try to communicate with you but since they don't know a word of English except for the obligatory "hello" and "thank you", the exercise has left me feeling lonely. In fact, my expectation level has further dipped as I imagine myself having to hold the fort for a family of five in a strange place with stranger people.

The little Mandarin language that I have in memory is slowly peeking out-- but I am afraid that the cache isn't even enough for it to peek out past an inch. I havent really been very good in languages and found my 13 years of Chinese language lessons useless... until now. Now I wish I had paid more attention and wish that my school had taught conversational and practical applications more than the literature. Who cares about the lady in the moon when I want to get directions to where the subway is so that I don't have to spend for a taxi? And did I mention that five taxis rejected taking us to Nanshan from Futian? The sadder part of that experience was that we don't even have an idea why they refused to take us back to our hotel. All we heard were a bunch of words and shaking of heads. If my aunts would see me know, they'd probably be saying "I told you so." all at the same time and each with their own reprimand.

I keep looking for anything familiar to latch on to but sadly I can't. Even my beloved "luxury" brands can't be found.

Oh dear Shenzhen, I know you do not mean to be cold to me but why do I feel so cold? Please be warm soon.

Monday, January 30, 2012

How Are You?

Once in a while I get random dreams about my friends.  I will dream about one of them in a random situation.  More like the main actor in my dream movie.  The dream is most of the time very detailed and sometimes weird or even symbolic.  I have forgotten the details of those dreams by now of course but what I do the moment I wake up is get in touch with them and ask how they are without revealing that I have dreamt about them.  Now this may be a coincidence but they always have something significant happening in their lives at the time I have dreamt of them.  My friends know this about me and oftentimes, when they get a random "how are you" message from me, they know that I had dreamt of them

Just last Sunday morning, I woke up crying from a dream about myself.   But I will layout the situation first before I embark on the tale of that dream.  Our family has scheduled a renewal - for the older members of the family; and application - for the younger members of the family, of our Visas with the US embassy.  This was scheduled yesterday, Monday, at 9 am in the morning.  Preparation for this was pressure filled on my part due to the many documents that had to be prepared.  I was completing five sets of application.  Aside from that, I had to make sure that the timing would not conflict with the travel schedule of dear hubby cause he needed his passport.  In short, I had no Plan B in terms of schedule.  It was a gamble because we had spent for the application fees and they weren't cheap because we are now a family of five.  Everything we do now is multiplied by five.

Now my momentum was building up for the big day by way of coordinating the schedule of everyone and some assistance from my mother in law to be on standby to watch over the younger kids in case we won't be allowed to go inside the Embassy as one family.  Three of us are applying for renewal while the younger ones are new applicants so we weren't sure if they would allow us to have one time slot.

After a long and tiring Friday (a dinner party at home) and Saturday (an early morning activity of my son in school), I told myself that I would sleep in on Sunday to recover a bit from the last two days.

I woke up Sunday morning at 6am in tears because I had been dreaming that I woke up late (7am) on THE DAY and had to print five pictures of each family member in casual setting.  I was frantically looking for good pictures of everyone and was going crazy over the printer and hoping it would print nice pictures.  I took a bath after and when I came out of the shower it was already 10:30 am - an hour and half late already for our appointment, and we were still at home!  At that point, I started bawling - as if someone died.  I remember my exact words in the dream "What a waste of money, waaaahhhh!"

Then I woke up.  I realized that I had really been crying cause the tears were fresh in my eyes and my heart was pounding so much.  It took quite a while for me to realize that it was only Sunday and that it was all a dream and that I didn't have to print those casual pictures!  But that realization didn't stop me from getting up from bed, make a beeline for the home office and check out the instructions if I really didn't need those casual pictures.  That's how powerful the dream was... correction nightmare.

Fortunately, in real life, the appointment went well and very swiftly.  And the clairvoyant thing there is that it ended at exactly 10:30 a.m.  

I have been a subject of my clairvoyant dreams.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Don't Go Changin'

In about six months, I will be leaving my home here in the Philippines to set up house and home in China.  As I ease into my new responsibilities and the big adjustment as an ex-pat citizen, I am allowing myself to say goodbye in my usual dramatic way to my new baby.  Please remain this way till I get back okay?

I have yet to set a date to visit THE destination but I am hoping that I get a different feel after my look-see.   Maybe after that, I will be able to visualize and have a clearer picture of what I should do.  That trip has to happen soon though cause I have a few months left to prepare.  But for now, forgive my future posts on the obvious separation anxiety I am experiencing.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

If You Can't Stand The Heat...

... get out of the kitchen.  For this matter, if one finds nothing great about their country, why don't they leave?

Don't you get tired of people who constantly complain about "home" but are still here?  I have been reading a certain blog for many years due to the unique features but lately, it has ceased to be interesting because of the rants about my country.  

Despite my beloved Philippines' faults, it's still home to me and I get annoyed at Filipinos who constantly find fault with the country that gave them a home.  I will excuse the non-Filipinos okay since the Philippines is not their home.  I just feel bad and think these fellow countrymen of mine are being disloyal to their native land with their need to "express" their freedom of speech in a destructive way.  I am not saying that we should turn a blind eye to the negative things about our country.  By all means expose the truth but provide suggestions as well.   Act on the complaints instead of spreading negativity by constantly whining.

Or just move to another country.  They can afford it anyway...

I may have to stop reading that blog from now on.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Favorite Purchases in 2011...

... would have to be my Speed Queen washer and dryer...
...which I use regularly as doing the laundry has become some kind of meditation and favorite thing to do.  I can't imagine how I have managed to maintain my home for 13 years without these two.  Now everything is like clockwork.  The clothes, towels, beddings, curtains, etcetera are always clean.  A big and one time but very wise investment.

Now the next item has yet to be used but it was borne out of a need to know what is going on during a natural calamity, particularly a super typhoon which visited our country this year (Pedring).  We have experienced power interruption for more than 24 hours and the only way to get some news update was via the AM radio. But I had a really annoying experience with our boombox.  I used around 8 pieces of size D batteries which lasted barely 6 hours and all you could heae was exploding static when the batteries went low.  Add to that, I couldn't charge my cellfone because the power was down.  It was freaking scary as trees on our neighbor's property were falling one by one and the wind was threatening to smash through our windows.  Add to that, hubby was out of the country so the in laws had to sleepover to make sure we were okay.  

Never again will I be unprepared for a super typhoon.  That's mother's instinct kicking in. So I ordered this gadget at Amazon, had it shipped to my brother's address and he then sent it to me along with other items in a balikbayan box.

It's a Eton crank radio. It came in this packaging.
Product description at the back of the box which takes care of some my emergency concerns.  Read description to know what the product does.

 The crank at the back that can be tucked neatly when not in use.
 A view of the flashlight, antenna and solar panel.
 The USB Cell phone charger slot.
 These are the favorite items I ever bought this year but I hope I will never have to use the latter.