Monday, March 31, 2008

The Drama Inside Hiltonia Beach

Matyu was really looking forward to that day when he will be able to swim and take a water slide inside Hiltonia.The last time we were there last year,we only took pictures and looked around since it was too hot to stay under the sun(43 C). And so we took the advantage to make him try all the 4 swimming pools. And of course he didn't waste his time looking around on where to go...he knew exactly where he would be heading first! And he did run very fast like he is going on a race....well,kids do that when they are too more time to look behind if his parents are still there.

We thought that his floats were already inside the bag since the day before we also went for a swim but surprised!... they were not there anymore and nobody did check if they were still inside before we left the hotel...well, mostly that's the problem in a couple when both of you think that your partner will do the rest of the preparation and mostly it's me who double checked before leaving...what happened was,he was too busy on his laptop and I was too busy " beautifying myself" in the bathroom and I was just putting inside the bag our swimwares and the extra clothes we might need to change in case we get wet...and both of us did assume that one of us saw it inside the bag....and noone did.I even asked him before I opened the door if we did not forget anything like sunblock,etc" but he made that "annoyed-yes response" that sounds like he's telling me"Stop asking me like I'm an old man with an Alzhiemer".

And so,I did not insist.I don't wanna be mad at him for somethign that can be prevented if I just double checked in the first the time we went to Plantation Bay in Cebu and I found his watch still inside the drawer when i double checked the room. And 6 years after I still do it but it usually gives him that impression that I don't trust him on keeping stuffs especially if I asked if he already checked on his usually annoys him.And seeing Matyu with a pink Barbie float,I can't help but remember the last time I got mad at him because of the 2 kilos of Easter egg chocolates he left at home that we are supposed to give to my sister.I was planning to put the bag of chocolates in my suitcase since it's bigger...
but he told me he already put "all" inside his suitcase.And I was assuming he already put all since he was the one who kept the other packs he first bought...But he was assuming as well that I put all the chocolates inside that same bag that he puts in his suitcase...I told him I did not even know where he puts the first bag!I couldn't check since he already closed his suitcase and he hates it when I do the checking on his side.And the crazy thing is...he is assuming without even any basis and he did not even look at what's inside the bag before he dump it inside his stupid suitcase!Yeah right,I'm still mad about that!Blame my hormones!lol.Luckily,not all the chocolates were left at home. Anyway,I don't want to ruin that day for them. They enjoyed a lot!

Inside the Emirates Palace Hotel

Emirates Palace Hotel is considered to be the most expensive hotel so far.It was amazing to see the rest of the place where only a few people can take a tour around.Most of the time many parts of it are exclusive for guests and V.I.P's. Luckily,my cousin who is currently working there got a chance to show us around with another guide...of course she had to ask permission first to one of the managers since the security there is very strict that nobody is allowed to take a tour on some of its restricted areas of the palace.

Well,I couldn't believe at first when our guide,Didier, told us that what we are going to see that are gold and silver are real gold and silver and every material used are of the best the floor with colored marbles from Italy with the white ones from India...all the heavy chandeliers hanged are filled with Swarovski crystals and the soft carpets are mostly handwoven from Iran....I don't remember anymore what else are there that the guide mentioned...oh yeah,the cogniac thing and the caviar, etc...many stories that could make any non-VIP like me to make that "amazed and shocked expression" with my eyes marvelled by all the material things that can spoil their guests.

As we take a look at one of their suites,I keep on thinking, I couldn't afford to spoil myself with an expensive accomodation like this for just one or few nights of splendor.It's a lot of fortune to spend (for someone like me).And anyway,I am already contented to have that chance to see all these luxuries they can offer...and that contentment is already enough to fill my simple pleasure of appreciating beautiful and fancy things like these...a priceless experience that taught me a lesson about life...that happiness and contentment in a person is not about how much he has and how many things he posseses....
Happiness is about finding the things that really matter most in life and no matter how poor you are,just knowing how you can be happy even in the simplest of things,you'll see that it's the greatest possession in the universe...because the more you have,the more you worry about losing them and the more greedy you can become...and that surely will not make you find satisfaction and contentment and you will never know how to be REALLY happy...So,what's the worth of these material things if it's always accompanied by worries,greed and unsatisfaction?And so,my amazement was replaced by the view of my son who was enjoying playing on the that's the happiness I'm talking about!

Al Jazira Club Hotel: Inside a Stadium

Yes,their hotel is located inside this building(Stadium).When we arrived at the place,we saw 2 buildings and seeing the one on the right that looks similar to the one posted on the internet we entered only to be surprised it's the wrong building!Then someone (a kababayan)approached us asking if we are looking for the hotel.Well, that's one surprising thing we laughed about.
Marc has to get back the car (Toyota Yaris)which was parked near the other building.Luckily he never had any problem to find a place to park since it is indeed a very spacious parking.And Marc's GPS keep on telling the destination has a restricted access.
Nobody has really gone to the place to check the room since it is nowhere to be found on the internet.The room looks very nice and newly renovated with modern style.We got a complimentary tea and cofee maker and the next day we were surprised to see another complimentary...a basketful of fruits! We also got breakfast incuded in the price we paid.The food was ok and there are lots of other pinoys working there.
Now the father and son are competing which one gets to install their devices first. I went to check the bathroom and surprise!There's no bathtub for Matyu...but anyway we learned after a few days of stay that they got a huge swimming pool at the other building...really spacious!It's made for swimming competitions.Since we are guests from the hotel we have free access to these facilities.
It's a good thing they give us 2 beds so in case I cant sleep when my husband snores or move too much,I can get to sleep on the other bed with Matyu.Well, we got this place for 1 week and my husband is happy to have a free internet access in the room.All in all,we love our stay here!

Staying at Hilton Baynunah

We arrived around 10 pm at Hilton Baynunah.Though the 3 of us were tired we were still able to get out and go to Golden Fork to eat our late dinner....not really late for our stomach to complain since it's only 7 pm on Belgian time.At last we're back to the same Golden Fork we've been last year in Khalidiya near the Sheraton.The next morning Matyu was already too excited to go back to the swimming pool located at the 29th floor.He still remembers we've been there already.
From the 29th floor I got a glimpse of the surrounding views once again.It was pretty nice to see the progress they have made after almost one year.We were here May of last year and the temperature was hotter that month(36-43 C).In the afternoon we waited for our rented car to be delivered to the hotel at no additional charge rather than picking it up ourself.We didn't know it was possible until Pradeep told us.

This photo with Matyu taken inside the bathroom was during our last 2 days of stay in Abu Dhabi.We stayed again in Baynunah since it's the hotel nearest to my sister's accomodation.Our room in 9th floor is a little bit modern than the one we got at the 10th floor during our first chek-in....just newly renovated.

And again,Matyu did not forget to ask to go to the swimming pool.After all the trips we had he stil does not get bored of swimming.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Holiday Destination: U.A.E.

Everybody waited with excitement at the airport's waiting area.We're glad to escape for a while from the
cold weather of Belgium.Because we were seated near the vending machines(one behind him with the mannekin pis), Matyu was tempted to keep on pushing the buttons and demanding us for coins.

At last the Etihad airplane arrived.Matyu was too happy to see it from the glass window.It took us few more minutes to be able to embark...good thing they give priorities to passengers with kids so we were able to pass ahead of the rest of the 100+ other passengers.

After 6 hours direct flight we arrived at the Abu Dhabi airport. I took a photo of Matyu at the exit of the gate that leads to this very magnificent work of mosaic art from the floor to the ceiling located at the main waiting area for all outbound passengers....truly amazing for those who love artworks.

And so after a few photos,we went to the immigration passport control and again we were happy to be given a priority pass through the lane for nationals (foreigners with kids are given this advantage).

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dealing With The Past

Thinking back to my "single years",my self reflection helps me a lot in the process of understanding my every reaction to every situation.The way I handle things right now are mostly influenced by the effects of past experiences that brought strong emotional impact on me.Dealing with my present life has something to do with my past life because the way I handle my self at this moment is still influenced by some things that happened in the past.

Here are some influencial things that possibly build up my present character:
1.past hopes and dreams(personal outlook) ability to cope on every situation and control over life sense of trust and security towards others
4.the way I handle myself on a relationship emotional responses/handling my feelings

Being single and still naive,my hopes and dreams changed as I mature from a teenage girl into a woman.At first my hopes were to finish college,and find a nice job to help my family from poverty(yes I grew up in a poor family of 9 children).My parensts didn't want me to pursue college because they had enough with the eldest daughter who finished her studies but after,she got other plans on her own instead of helping back our parents.Yes,they expected her to pay back all the sacrifices they have made.And now that they got disappointed,the rest of us had to suffer the consequence.

My parents had no interest of supporting my studies.They just told me it was useless for a girl to be financed to finish college and then end up married and the husband will have to harvest what they have sown.It was a very striking phrase that really hurt me bad.And so,I rebelled and enrolled myself in college with the help of my sister,(she pursued her studies as a government scholar and worked part-time to support her food and other expenses) I also tried to stand on my own...Luckily my sister's employer also allowed me to work part-time.I also auditioned at the university chorale and passed as a I got a discount on my tuition fee.I had to budget my salary for the weekly allowance+tuition+house rental since my parents are not really there to support me.

It was really a miracle how I managed to overcome all those challenges...behind my story I encountered kind and generous people(like my sister and mo co-workers) who helped me and supported me one way or another when I'm short with food budget(my mother sometimes asked my boss for a cash advance to pay for her photo expenses or bus fare(she's a photographer and has to go to the city to have her films developed).So,instead of her giving me something to help me survive in the city,it's me obliged to give her whatever I can give her.And so, to cut this painful story short,I still survived those 4 years of traumatic and painful situations.

Before,my dream was to find my ideal man who is tall,handsome,and rich,loving,understanding,thoughtful,faithful etc.But all of my boyrfiends were too far from being that man.Then I realized a man like that does not exist.And so, I had to deal with what package they had to offer...first bf(he was too good for me) only lasts for a day or 2 coz I just suddenly changed my mind.I got scared that I panic the next day to learn that I have a boyfriend.I think he got the qualities that qualify for that man I'd be willing to marry(he's not rich but it's not the reason I backed out)I was thinking I was still too young(18yrs old) to get a very serious boyfriend like him and so I decided not to talk to him anymore...just like formal break-up(I know I was crazy and cruel...sorry M....)I got scared I'd follow the same path like my sisters and be cursed again by my parents...(the scholar got pregnant and had to get married to her boyfriend to give her child a legitimate father...the strict Catholic mentality that women are obliged to do to be formally accepted in the society)She lost her scholarship but still she was able to finish her course.The eldest sister who finished college and got a job got pregnant as well and again had to marry the father of her baby.

Second boyfriend,I got cheated(he shagged another girl and the girl got pregnant not knowing who's the real father).Yeah...bad karma.He tried to get back with me by threatening to kidnap me or messing up the other girl's life(the girl he shagged was a friend and she got a boyfriend but told me before that she's got a crush on my boyfriend) cut this really crazy story,I got back with him for a few days and then managed to ask him to let me go...

Third boyfriend,only lasts for a month.I don't know how to explain our relationship.It was like he treated me like a goddess and him my slave.hahaha!I found him sooo nice and sooo shy and sooo obedient and sooo quiet.It's too much outbalanced that I could spoil myself and make him suffer.Having me in his life kind of made him feel inferior.I don't want to keep him just because of that.It made me feel guilty that he lost his self worth and self respect for the sake of me.And so I tried to let him understand the reasons why our relationship will not work for long...he cried...but I guess he understood.

Then,Fourth boyfriend,another cheater(as I was told he got 1 or 2 more gf).I wanted to hear it directly from him but this time it was me who got no explanation.Weeks passed still no call,no visit,no news from him and so I just formally ended it up by email(the only way I can reach him successfully).Well,they all made me feel special...and although each found its own end,I had no regrets...there were no "below the belts" involved so the V-flag is still up...(Uh that why they cheated?)

Before I finished college,my father suffered for months with cancer and then later on died and our family had to grief for the loss.I had to expect the unexpected and hope to be able to cope up with the loss.But anyway,it's not like I rely on him financially.I suffered a loss of a father and realized I can't control over some things like death.Instead,I have to accept the fate as another challenge.It made me change my perspective.My sense of trust and security on him has long been lost and so it was not so difficult for me to move on.What concerned me was how my other younger brothers and sisters would handle the loss.

My past life was very chaotic than my life right last,tranquility!.Indeed life sometimes takes you up and then takes you down.There was a friend from my part-time work,Gina, who once saw me crying out my problems.She told me,"Dont worry too much,time will come,all those tears that drop from your eyes and all the pain you're feeling right now will be rewarded with tears of joy and happiness."And indeed, with patience and perseverance,I had overcome those trials in my life.Thanks to the curse of my parents that turned out to be a blessing.

By writing this story about my past life,it serves to me as a therapy to help me see where I came from and what I have done to reach where I am right now.Looking back how I got tossed and torn by fate and still manage to survive until now,it gives me more courage and inspiration to go on and live my this life I chose to follow...hoping and still dreaming of another bright future ahead.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Five Reasons Why We Should Not Watch TV Too Much

Television viewing has already become a part of most people's daily habits.Some can't even sleep if they can't watch their favorite TV shows before going to bed.

While TV shows are informative and interesting,some of its programs are also destructive not only to the young viewers but also to the adults.Here's why:

1.Commercials: Though these just take few seconds of viewing,they usually create a great impact on the way you see things.These short programs are designed to sell you stuffs by touching your guilt point if not your curiosity..a psychological way that works effectively by bombarding your brain with these repetitive information until its coded into your subconscious mind.The reason why so many attractive people still find themselves unhappy and not contented with their looks and some girls buy stuffs to make them look better and feel better if not starving themselves just to look skinny.They usually put the viewers into a mindset of guilt with poor sense of self-worth.

2.It creates bad habits : Having too much attachment to your favorite programs can lead you to poor eating habits.Instead of spending some time preparing and cooking healthy dishes in the kitchen,we would tend to be always in a hurry in order to catch certain TV we prefer to buy more expensive prepared meal ready to be reheated(or takeout meals like pizza or burgers).Poor eating habits lead to poor health because it limits your time to eat healthy and do exercise.Some people even eat in front of their TV.Watching late night shows can also lead to sleep disorder and insomnia.

3.Less communication in the family: Because each viewer's attention is focused on the TV shows,it's more likely difficult to have real conversations with the people in the house.Less communication between couple and their kids mean weaker establishment of their relationship...which could eventually lead to stress.A TV in the bedroom is a big blockage for a couple's romance and sex.Couples tend to fall asleep waiting for their partner to finish watching TV.Divided attention between TV and spouse could create stress that would turn into disputes and unsolved issues.

4.Missed time for other opportunities: Spending too much time a day watching TV is a hindrance for a person to do more quality time for a productive life.Instead of wathing TV for hours we could have done other things like playing with the kids,doing chores like cleaning the house,calling some friends,gardening,or learning a new skill or simply doing your hobby of painting or cooking new dishes.

5.It adds up to your bills: Having 1 or more TV in the house consumes electricity and if you get a connection from a company then it means you also have to pay another monthly bills for the cable/satellite services.These expenses if put into a savings account could make you spend a nice vacation after a few years.

Minding what you can get out of watching TV can make you realize how much wasted time you have spent and how many opportunities you have missed.By cutting your TV hours spent,you can not only build stronger family ties but also save some money and learn new skills as well as explore your other interests for a richer and happier life.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Funny Videos Ever!

1.The Youngest Beatle

2.Thriller in Cebu Prison

3.The Crash Compilation

4.Kung-Fu New Actors Try-out

5.FifaStreet Boys

6.Dancing Viking

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Costume of School Carnival

My son was very excited to show me his costume of the school carnival. He was dressed as a drum.His grandma (who picked him up)told me he didn't want to take it off because he wanted to show it to me once at home.So even if it's a little bit uncomfortable on his head he didn't mind at all.

It was fun coz as he was telling me what they did in school he was also trying to reinact what he did with the other kids and while trying to remember the other details he was doing this funny pose while thinking and saying hmmm...ahhmm...(thinking) Then as he saw I took some photos,he asked me to give him my phone and show him the photos I've taken....funny!

To Speak or Not to Speak

It took me a few minutes to think what title fits right to this entry.But anyway,it's about the language difference here in Belgium.You see,some Flemish regions are really extremist to the point that no other language is allowed to be used except their very own language.

If you're selling your house or distributing paper ads to mailboxes you will be obliged to use only Flemish(Netherlands/Dutch) which means you can only put "Te Koop" and no other language translations added like normally in Bruxelles you can put any other translations on your ads by writing both french and flemish as well as english.So you are allowed to put "A Vendre/Te Koop/For Sale".

It's hilarious for a small country like this to have regions that want isolation from the rest of the people.As you can see,Belgium is a part of the European Union. But in Belgium, the Belgians are still divided.Most Flemish Belgians consider themselves as Flemish,right before being Belgian,then European.In Wallonie,it's the opposite.They consider themselves European,then Belgian,then Wallon(Francophone).

Compared to the Philippines, we have more regions than Belgium and a lot of different language exist but we give more importance to the understanding and adaptation to these differences.When you arrive in the Philippines we don't obliged you to speak our local language nor our national language. We study and speak the language of the majority...that is English.So any Flemish can easily live and work in the need to study our Filipino language.

A lot of Flemish people understand and speak English and/or French but they'd prefer not to speak but their own language. They know how to adapt but they don't practice it with foreigners in their homeland.And any foreigner in Belgium is not welcome unless they learn the local language.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hamburg:A Lufthansa Plane Nearly Crashed during Landing

The storm "Emma" that nearly damaged my plants in the garden early that Saturday almost made a Lufthansa airplane crash during landing.Fortunately, the pilot had a very good reflex and got the plane back again for take off.The airplane is an Airbus-A320 (LH-044)and was carrying 131 passengers and 6 members of the crew...en route from Munich to Hamburg in Germany.

It really scared me to see the plane going from side to side of the runway .It's amazing how the pilot managed to take back control of the plane during its first attempt for landing with crosswinds of 90 km/hr or more.Eventually nobody got injured and the plane landed safely on its second approach.Thanks to the courageous pilot,"Mr. Oliver A." This video footage just came out yesterday from also,thanks to my dearest hubby who showed me this video in youtube.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The "Gilles" at the Carnival of Nivelles,Belgium

This festival celebrates the arrival of spring.These "Gilles" are famous for their hats(made from ostrich feathers) and for throwing oranges.This carnival only happens once every year. The Gilles' costume includes the hat(weighing about 3 kilos),the belt attached with 6 to 9 little bells and a chest bell worn on the breast plate.

The bells are of different weights and the sound depends on the size of the bell.The shirt and the trousers are made of burlap and stuffed inside... sown are motifs of lions and stripes of red,yellow and black(belgian flag colors).Added are the clogs and the basket with oranges.It's said that they tap the ground with their clogs as they dance to drive away the spirit of winter and welcome in the spring.

The streets are filled with confettis and kids are given candies or oranges. In this carnival of Nivelles, you can also see other groups wearing different costumes.Different bands play different music.As the parade of the different groups pass by,you hear the different beats of their drums. Spectators also get a chance to wear their favorite costumes(maybe from the last halloween).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

After the Rain,Here Comes the Sun

Last night I've seen the weather forecast reporting about a strong wind 60-70km/hr and heavy rainfall for the night.Indeed the wind was strong and with the rain it created a very scary noise outside.Normally when it rains, it makes me sleepy during the day and even makes me sleep better when it pours at if its sound is like a melody to my ear and the cooling effect of the earth creates a soothing ambiance that serves like a nature's lullaby.

But last night,with the combination of the strong wind and really a very heavy rain,it made me wake up and even my husband got up to check what's happening outside...he too got disturbed by the noise as the wind blows and raindrops were patting on the windows.Again,it took me like half an hour to go back to sleep.

When we woke up this morning,we were very surprised to see the sunshine outside.Although the daffodils I have posted on my previous post were now bowing down to the ground because of the wind and the water that got trapped inside the flowers,they still survive and their petals are still intact.I have not seen fallen branches maybe because they are still leafless and the wind just easily passed through them.

It's already early afternoon and the sun is still showing off its bright light as if it recomforts me from my last night's worries.It kind of like reminding me that after the storm the sun will always find its time and chance to shine again.We just have to be patient...because no matter how thick the clouds that bring rains and storms,and even how many times the earth turns from days into nights,the sun is always there ...never ceasing to shine and keeping its light to give us hope for a new and brighter day...