Right at the Top

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On the second to the last day of 2013, the family has suddenly decided to welcome the new year somewhere outside the home. A first for us! And why not? It would be REALLY something to remember in the years to come!

So, we have decided to spend the last day of 2013, and greet 2014 at the top of the world (not really, but it is high enough).

Cebu City, abuzz with the preparations of the New Year, is blessed with the laid-back beaches and mountains nearby. And as we already had spent a day at the beach, we chose to go to a mountain resort this time. It’s a place located at latitude (10.370354) and longitude (123.876221) in Philippines.  :) (thanks to Google!)

That’s the Mountain View Nature’s Park in Busay, Cebu City.

Here’s what greeted us, while we set up camp (yes, we lived on a tent on our first day)

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Breathtaking, is it not?

We explored, and planned for the next days’ activities … Our first time on a mountain resort, and with all the walking/climbing, I think I know what my new year’s resolution will be… to get fit! :D

It’s more of a great playground for Kids and Kids-at-heart, and we loved the place, even as we first glanced at it.

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We all discovered an old jukebox…

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The hundred-worth of 5-peso coins (that we drop into the jukebox’s coin slot) was nothing compared to the sing-along, fun dance we shared in the cool, crisp dusk air amidst the stillness of nature. We had to cut our revelry short though, as we headed back to our tent, to rest awhile and then, prepare for New Year’s eve dinner.

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We didn’t dress fancy. We were, after all, high up on the mountain and doing things differently this time! We’re sure it’s not the first thing that people would notice as they enter the restaurant. Definitely, it is the beautifully gleaming city lights!

And here’s our view from the top, a little before and during midnight…

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We saw hundreds, no … millions of fireworks lit up one after the other, and simultaneously, as we greeted family and strangers alike, a happy new year. There was no more race, nor religion (some ladies donned the burka), but we were one people, happy and full of hope for 2014.

And on the 1st of January, we spent the whole day by the pool…

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and start the year, fresh! :)

We ditched the tent on our second day at the resort, and claimed some much higher spot on the mountain. And this is what greeted me the next day (our 3rd day there)!

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a city slowly waking up…

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and a lovely sunrise! (a sight to behold for aspiring vampires!)

And so, off we go to our next adventure…

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the Rope Course! yay!

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It was a 5-meter high, 16-obstacle rope adventure (made by Speedrunner) that blew us away and literally, made us breathless!

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 When we finished, we raced to the nearby kiosk for an ice-cold soda, but on our way there, we couldn’t resist the Indian clock vines calling us to stop for a while. :)

 and now, with recharged vigor, we decided to go by the hanging bridge on our way back to our room.

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It was an experience we’ll never forget, one of the first treasures of 2014!

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It’s now part of us,

and as we left the place, we vowed to come back into this hidden paradise.

:)

Welcome, 2014!

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Twenty thirteen had been a hard and trying year, not only for the Philippines, but also for our family. We have had our share of trials and sorrows, but they will, as always, be a part of life. A way to become a stronger person (and hopefully, a better nation). That no matter how difficult it gets, we always strive to rise up, stronger than ever.

So, SMILE! :)

Here is what I visualize for twenty fourteen

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Peace, fun, laughter

and most especially, LOVE

shared with FAMILY and Friends!

Happy New Year, to One and All!

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12 Games for Christmas

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12 Games for Christmas

To all worldwide, and intergalactic GAMERS out there, I bring good tidings

and good cheer,

here, there and everywhere!

So listen, one and all (read silently, if you must

share it to others, in you I trust).

:)

Allkeyshop is giving away 12 games of your choice.

That’s a year’s supply of your favorite PC games!

So, join now (by clicking on the photo).

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Good luck!

Life, Death … Love!

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My thoughts about Death, and Life (the two are inseparable, it seems).

Not everyone would understand, death is a gift.

It should be as joyous as giving birth to a newborn babe, as it is our birth to the Spirit World, our true world.  It is shedding our earthly garments, taking in our true form – one which is the likeness of our Creator. The Light.

We live on Earth, the great vale of tears. We have entered into this world of suffering, of torment and tears, thinking that we are separate from one another. But no, we are not. Under the deceitful camouflage of flesh, is the light, The Soul – the Self, the Child of the Father.   We therefore carry within us The Light. And so whoever you may be, father, mother, sibling, child, family, neighbor, friend, enemy … you are not separate from me. We are one with the Father, with a definite and unique purpose in this Life.  And as we complete our Life’s journey, and come to its close, we never have the right to hold each other back.  We must freely let go and at the same time, reach out with great love to our departing loved one, to take on his journey back to our Home.

We are Souls, with bodies, and are only here to help each other complete our Life’s purpose.  As each mission gets completed, we go back to the Source.

Since childhood, that is how I look at Death (here on earth).

No, that’s how I look at our Birth into the Spirit World.  And that for me, is a happy moment.

It’s been 3 weeks since my father left us.  Yet, I have not shed a single tear. I do not know why, but perhaps it’s all the above mentioned things. It must be. And when I try to get into an “emo” moment, I still cannot cry. All I can do is think back of the happy times, the happy memories we had together, and most of all, ~ THE LOVE  ~ , which is the essential part of it all. And then, I smile, my heart smiles and I am filled with warmth.

He’ll be okay there (Heaven, as we call it). I am sure of it. And he’s watching over us, too, like an angel.

I still send my light and love to him, like I did when he was still with us. That’s what I do when I miss him. And I whisper a word of thanks, for the things he has taught me, for taking care of me in my youth, and for being a good father.

He must know by now, how much I love him!

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To my Papang, I am forever grateful for the experience, knowledge and LOVE you showed me. Know that I love you, always and forever!

 

 

Love amidst Quake, Typhoons and Suffering

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I know it’s ancient news by now, and though I wanted to write about the big quake that hit us last October 15, I couldn’t do it immediately. Power was cut off for a while, and even when it came back, internet connection went from bad to worse.

I live in Central Visayas region, in Cebu City, where I have never known too many typhoons, nor earthquakes pass this paradise island. It has all changed now, and is far from my island many years back. On October 15, 2013, Bohol and Cebu were hit by a 7.2 quake. Bohol was hardest hit, with centuries-old churches toppling and flattened to the ground. A lot have been misplaced, with houses destroyed or that people got afraid to go back to their houses as they’ve been deemed unsafe. Cebu also has suffered, though not as much as in Bohol, but we also have lost precious lives. It was not easy, but we strove to be strong for one another.

And who would ever know, that in less than a month after the quake a very powerful typhoon would pass through the Visayas region? The good thing about typhoons is that, it can be detected before it makes a landfall, and therefore, we can prepare for its coming — unlike the quake. I know people have made all sorts of preparations, while Yolanda/Haiyan was still at the Pacific. But no matter how prepared we were, Haiyan was just too strong. People have focused coverage, relief operations in Leyte, but due to friends living in the North of Cebu and in Iloilo, we also learned that they are suffering just as much. And while most have given donations to Leyte, we are doing what we can to the people of the North.

Photo-2205Local and foreign people have been so gracious, sharing what they have – money and time, in order to help out. Kids have been helping out, too! And despite the tragedy, the immense outpouring of LOVE has greatly touched everyone’s hearts. We are all moving, the whole wide world is moving in whatever way we can.

We are thankful we have survived the disaster, thankful for the small communities, private sectors and everyone who helped and shared, thankful for the whole world who stopped and not just look our way.

THANK YOU ALL, FOR YOUR LOVE!

My heart cries out daily to my brothers and sisters, who have been badly devastated by the calamities that hit our Land, hoping that one day, the suffering will end…

I love you, All!

There’s a Kind of Rush

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Months ago, when I started posting about gaming stuff, I noticed this great site liking my posts and following my crazy, erratic blog. And I had very much wanted to ask them to partner with  AllKeyShop’s CheapDigitalDownload.com, the company that I work for. But I was so much in awe and wonder, I lost the courage to tell them, “hey, it’s me … Joy to the World!”

But that was a few months back. It’s different now, and I finally told them.

:)

Bliss. JOY. Happiness.

The feeling’s absolutely indescribable. But to put it plainly, I am more than happy to have known Beer and Joysticks, and that now they are hosting our Giveaway.

So, at this point, it is perfectly alright to just skip my ending… go to their site, join in the giveaway, and stay there for a little bit longer. They’ve got great stuff about Beer (surprise!) and Games (what else?)

ImageOh, and how to get there? Just click on the above image.

Cheers!

Bjorn’s Playhouse

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For a day and a half, we’ve been working on my son’s school project, a house model. We used the styropor that he’s already cut up as the base, and I bought some cardboard, which we formed as the house itself.

But before that, we searched through the all-knowing Google and YouTube, for tutorials on making model houses, still, they all looked a bit complicated to me. Fortunately, I found one from Pinterest, which I think, came originally from this website: design-conscious.co.uk. Here’s the design…

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I fell in love with the simplicity of the design, with its non-triangular roof (which is for me, very complicated), I immediately thought of a modified shoebox. So, we chose this design and got on to it.

I have also contacted my brother, who’s an Architect living in Singapore, and asked him if we can use his old materials, to add to this house. He said yes, and even gave us a lot of tips for its construction. He even sent us this simple floor plan, should we decide to design the interior part.

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We got so excited making this project, and so happy when we finally finished the house. You want to see it? Here goes …

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We can now all relax, knowing that we do not anymore have any pending projects. And I, I can take it easy with work today … coz I think, I want to make a king-size bed for the playhouse. :)

Tschau! Till next time …

See yah!

Musings on All Saints’ Day

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Today’s a Holiday, in the Philippines (All Saints’ Day) and in Germany (Allerheiligen). I’m not sure though if it is in other parts of the world, especially that most have already celebrated Halloween yesterday.

Ah, but it must also be in France, too! I haven’t asked my boss (and I know, I should have asked him!), but he made today a free-to-ourselves day. And the best thing is, it’s a paid day off! Hey, really, who am I kidding? I never have a day off! So when I am not working on my PC, I am working fulltime as a homemaker and a mother.

Let me just tell you that today’s a happy day for me, because first, I finally found time to help my son with this school project. Nah, he does his projects most of the time, but this time, they were asked to make a model house – you know, like the ones architecture students make? But my son’s only 9, he doesn’t attend architecture class and already made cuts on his fingers twice! Bah! I just got to help him… and try not to make it too perfect. :)

Then, I found a really nice crochet tunic pattern, which I am going to try to make when I find the time. When I find the time, hah! But for now, I am just glad I found it (the pattern) and it’s mine to keep. And speaking of crochet, two days ago I finished a pumpkin hat for a customer, which I want to share with you all.

Photo-2193Well, what do you think?

A friend from high school sent me a message after she saw the hat, and asked me if I can teach her how to crochet. I gladly said yes, and we’ve agreed to meet this Sunday, the only day I get a few hours to myself. Yeah, I’m pretty excited to see her after twenty years or so…

So, it’s been a very nice Friday for me. I have planned to go out with the Kids, to that Rainforest park, but my son is pretty bent on working with his house project. We’re almost done now, we’ve painted it and just letting it dry so we can work on it more tomorrow. And while taking a break, playing catch up with blogging, we’re eating our Chocolate ice cream.

Ahhh, but when we thought we’re having a grand time together, the earth shook again. :( And here goes my Sophia, clinging and reading what I am typing at the same time. I guess, it’s time to stop here. I’ll tell you all about the big earthquake that hit Central Visayas last October 15, next time.

Thanks for stopping by…

See yah!

 

United Nations Month

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October is United Nations Month, and last week was the highlight of the event at my Kids’s school. I consider myself a very lucky mom, because I only had to look for whatever scrap materials I have and did not spend thousands of pesos to buy or rent a costume. We recently joined in our local Oktoberfest, here in Cebu City, where the kids sang a German song, wearing the traditional Dirndl and Lederhöse. And I have such wonderful kids, they did not ask for a new set of costumes for the Parade of Nations!

So naturally, my son and daughter came as Mr. and Ms. Germany!

Here they are, once again …

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Bjorn, in his Lederhöse and Tirolerhut

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Sophia, in her Dirndl and wig

Sophia got to the Top 5 and had to join the other contestants from all grade levels.

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Here, with Ms. South Africa, from the Grade 3

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with Ms. Panama, from Grade 4

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Ms. Egypt, from Grade 5

There were 35 contestants from the girls of all grade levels, and another 35 from the boys, all vying for the title of Mr. and Ms. United Nations 2013. Eventually, Ms. Egypt got the title of Ms. UN, and Mr. Philippines of the Grade 6 (no pic, but he was wearing a very colorful Igorot costume) was Mr. UN.

It was a fun and wonderful experience for the Kids, and I think, Sophia (upon seeing the trophies being given to the winners) wants to do this again! She told me, she’s going to practice her walk and act immediately when we got home. Oh my … :) I have to think of a more flashy costume then.

Well, I hope she makes it next year!

Have a happy Sunday everyone, and thanks for stopping by…

See yah!

Aside

OANS ZWOA DREI! G’SUFFA!

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It all started in October of 1810, with a royal wedding. Thereafter, people celebrate it annually, with the celebration lasting for 16 days. They call it Wies’n. It’s better known as … Oktoberfest!

Sprach Institut – Cebu has organized a local Oktoberfest, and with my friend/former teacher, L. Wolff planning the event, I ended up buying tickets for the said event. Oh, not just one ticket for me, but for my two Kids as well. It did cost me quite a fortune, but the Kids promised to pay me with a song and dance number, and so I obliged. It’s wonderful to hear them volunteer themselves, and I couldn’t say no. Besides, it was to be their first Oktoberfest celebration ever. And now, we’re looking forward to the next one!

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Here, eating ice cream and waffle, Sophia und Bjorn

I quickly made Bavarian costumes for the Kids, because I thought it would only be right and fitting to have them wear a Dirndl (for my daughter) and a Lederhöse (for my son).

Photo-2112To complete the look, I also had to crochet my son’s fedora, or a Tirolerhut, as they call it, and used some feathers and cut a few pieces from a green broom, to replace the goat hair that they traditionally put on the hat.

singingSo there they are, singing “Grün, grün, grün sind alle meine Kleider…” It’s an old Kids’ song about clothes in different colors: grün=green, blau=blue, weiss=white, schwarz=black, gelb=yellow and bunt=colorful.

Grün, grün, grün sind alle meine Kleider… Grün, grün, grün is alles was ich hab. Darum lieb ich, alles was so grün ist, weil mein Schatz ein Jäger ist.

They were supposed to dance a bit of polka, too, but seeing the wires on their microphones, they decided between themselves not to. People were impressed to see them on a Dirndl and a Lederhöse, and to hear them sing a german song. Oh, how happy and proud I am! It was the Kids’ first Oktoberfest, to sing in front of a crowd full of strangers, and yet, they showed up on stage, smiling as they sang their hearts out!

Yes, I do have a video of them singing, so their dad can watch them. It’s not of good quality though (and a bit shaky, as I was also trying to orchestrate their singing). I think, one of them messed up the vid settings and I do not even know how to fix it. If you’d like to just hear them sing, then the vid would serve this purpose. :)

So, while the Kids could not have Beer yet, they had loads of waffle and ice cream ~ all that they can eat! And for us, we made a toast…

OANS ZWOA DREI! G’SUFFA!

One, Two, Three! Drink Up!

Cheers and thanks for stopping by…

See yah!

 

 

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