Sunday, July 29, 2012

Filipino Summer Party in Stuttgart 2012

The Filipino community of Stuttgart had the annual summer party yesterday, in what seemed like the hottest day of the summer at 34°C. It started at 3:00PM with the Friday Novena in honor of Sto. Nino de Cebu and followed by a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. 

Photo by © Heinz Matzelt via Facebook
Then dinner was served for everyone, thanks to the catering services and all those who brought and shared food. We didn't have any problems with catering supplies at all since we decided to use disposable plates, plastic cutlery and paper cups. Food was superb and there was more than enough for everyone.

Photo by © Fryne Noel via Facebook
Then it was time to burn out the calories and heat up the dance floor. Even though it was very hot inside the venue, the heat wasn't able to stop us from partying all night long, thanks to the cool and upbeat music provided by our fellow Filipinos. There was even a special performance of Filipino folk dances.

It was a nice evening spent with fellow Filipinos. Until next summer everyone!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Missing Miggy

He's all grown up now and I miss him. The little boy in the photo is my nephew Miggy. When I left home some five years ago, he was still a baby... only five months old. And look at him now! He is smart, funny, and full of energy. He's a big Transformers fan. I wonder if he still refers to himself as Optimus Prime. On those rare occasions when we get to chat, he would fondly call me "Mommy Wanwan" and my little girl he would call "Baby Tatam". It melts my heart to hear him speak in mixed Tagalog-Cebuano.

I hope that time will allow for him to visit us here. I know that he enjoys travelling with the family. His most recent trip: Palawan. He surely would enjoy the many amusement parks here like Legoland, Europa Park, and Sea Life to name a few. I am sure he will enjoy the company of his cousin. My little girl surely needs a friend and playmate in the house. And even if it is just for a few months, I know that there will be tons of precious memories to be made and shared.

I miss you Miggy... but I will see you soon! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hello Summer $1000 Paypal
Cash Giveaway

The biggest summer giveaway is EXTENDED until tomorrow, the 25th of July 2012. If you want to get a chance to win $1000 in cold PayPal CASH, then rush on over to Happy Home and Family and join the giveaway!

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  • Giveaway will run June 20 at 12:01 am EST – July 20 at 12:01 AM EST
     Due to some technical issues, we will be extending the deadline for this to July 25.
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    Good luck to all the participants (that includes me!)

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Investing In Life Insurance

    Death is a part of the cycle of life, just like birth. I am not getting any younger and time will come when I too, will  perish and leave this world. When it comes, only God knows. That is why, although I try to live the most out of the present, I also try to prepare for the future. My husband and I have been talking about investing in something worth while. Although it is still some 35 years away, the time will inevitably come and he will have to retire. Where would we get the finances to support ourselves then?

    I guess it would be a good idea to invest in life insurance. We could always ask some consultants like the ones I found online at for some more information and guidance. If you are looking to invest your money, why not invest it on life insurance? You never can tell the times and the circumstances. It would be a good way of passing on financial security to your loved ones.

    La mort est une partie du cycle de vie, tout comme la naissance. Je ne suis pas plus tout jeune et il viendra un temps où moi aussi, périront, et quitter ce monde. Quand il s'agit, Dieu seul sait. C'est pourquoi, bien que j'essaie de vivre le meilleur parti de la présente, j'ai aussi essayer de préparer pour l'avenir. Mon mari et moi avons parlé d'investir dans quelque chose vaut la peine. Bien qu'il soit encore quelque 35 ans d'absence, le temps viendra inévitablement et il faudra prendre sa retraite. Où serions-nous obtenir les moyens financiers pour nous soutenir alors?

    Je suppose que ce serait une bonne idée d'investir dans l'assurance vie. On peut toujours demander à des consultants comme ceux que j'ai trouvés en ligne à pour obtenir des informations un peu plus et d'orientation. Si vous cherchez à investir votre argent, pourquoi ne pas investir sur l'assurance-vie? On ne sait jamais le temps et les circonstances. Ce serait une bonne façon de passer sur la sécurité financière à vos proches.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    To Be With Child Again...

    My first-born is now four years old. Many of our friends say it is about time that we have another child again. Even my little girl thinks it. She would ask me if there is already a baby in my tummy, which does look like I am pregnant. ;) And she doesn't want just one, she wants two! A baby brother and a baby sister all at once... Her reason: so she will two to play with. She even volunteered that she will help me take care of them.

    I would just laugh at the thought. TWINS! Could you imagine that? I cannot imagine myself having baby twins... At my size now, I would need new maternity clothes since I am sure I wouldn't fit in my old ones! And it doesn't run in the family so it would be next to impossible. But yes, it would be nice to be with child again. I grew up with three siblings so I know how exciting it can be to have sisters and brothers to play with and how lonely it can be to be growing up alone.

    I am looking forward to next year, when I am done with all my schooling and I have more time in my hands. I am keeping my fingers crossed. It doesn't matter whether it's a boy or a girl as long as he/she is healthy. Having another child is not a bad idea at all.

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

    George R.R. Martin's
    "A Song of Ice and Fire"

    I know many of you are familiar with the TV series from HBO entitled "Game of Thrones". It was shown here last year via TNT Serie and well, me and my husband just got hooked. I didn't get the chance to watch the 2nd season yet since it wasn't aired here yet. My husband managed to watch it on streaming sites online. Then I learned that it was based on a series of books written by George R.R. Martin called "A Song of Ice and Fire".

    A friend told me to read the books first before watching the TV series so before I start watching Season 2, I might as well follow his advice. It was also high time that I get us something to read for those SLOW, LAZY DAYS, which by the way come very rarely of late. So I got my husband a late birthday gift: a box set of the series. It came quite late... about one and a half month since I ordered it online but I guess it was worth the wait.

    The box set consists of 7 books and a map of Westeros. I know that the series "A Song of Ice and Fire" consists of seven books, with five books published so far. "How come I have seven?" you might ask. This is because I got the UK edition.. In the UK edition, the parts 1 and 2 of books three and five were separated in different books. I think the US edition did not separate these parts.

    Here are the titles in the five books published so far:

    Book 1: A Game of Thrones
    Book 2: A Clash of Kings
    Book 3: A Storm of Swords, Part 1: Steel and Snow
    Book 3: A Storm of Swords, Part 2: Blood and Gold
    Book 4: A Feast for Crows
    Book 5: A Dance with Dragons, Part 1: Dreams and Dust
    Book 5: A Dance with Dragons, Part 2: Afther the Feast

    I have yet to make a review of these books if time permits... but I am not sure if I can do a good book review. I am after all, just good at reading books. :-)

    The Hunt Continues...

    I am no fanatic but I do like to watch Nicolas Cage films... I especially like the action-adventure mystery series: National Treasure, which is about uncovering hidden troves and secrets from America's past. In the movie, I remember masonry appearing very prominently, with one of the Masons wearing a ring, to prove he is one. I wonder if it was one of those tungsten masonic rings he was wearing...

    I like the film for its mystery and like most mystery movies, the National Treasure is more of a fantasy movie than something based on facts. The direction by Jerry Bruckheimer was superd and I enjoyed the acting of Nicolas Cage as he played the role of Benjamin Franklin Gates. It was a success because it is one of those family adventure films that the entire family can appreciate although there are still some PG scenes.

    Watch out for the National Treasure 3, which is reported by IMdB to be released in 2013. Hmmm... another movie to watch coming our way soon.....

    Back It Up!

    I love to take photos every now and then, my daughter being my most favorite subject. You can just imgaine how much disk space my high-resolution photos alone have taken up in our hard drive. Being in an electronic medium, there is always the risk that it will be deleted or worse wiped out when it is necessary to format hard drive. Since our desktop acts up once in a while, my husband always tells me to save these priceless photos in our trusty external hard drive or to make back up copies in CDs.  Because really, you never can turn back time and you never can recreate exactly the same memories. 

    I think I better take some time to select some of these priceless photos and have them printed. These priceless photos will remain unknown unless I print them, and place them in photo albums to share with family and friends. I also need to work on my photobook projects one day soon. I wish I have some more time in my hands...

    The New Bibliothek in Stuttgart

    We paid a visit to the city library yesterday afternoon, after I finished working at the laboratory for some much needed gas sampling analysis. I always pass by the Türlenstrasse station, where one gets off to get to the library and Bürgerhospital among other places, everyday since it is the route that my train takes. I unfortunately didn't have the luxury of time to get off and pay it a visit until yesterday...

    The new Bibliothek in Stuttgart on Mailänder Platz 1 is one-of-a-kind. It opened its doors in late 2011. It is very easy to tell the library apart from other modern buidlings surrounding it because of its unique and imposing yet simple structure and its impressive blue lights during the night. It was designed by South Korean architect Eun Young Yi. The basic form is a square at the base with an side length of 44 meters and a height of 40 meters. The exterior cover of the double facade is characterized by glass bricks, while the interior consists of a glass facade. 

    And the interior looks something like in the photo above. These endless staircases start on the 4th floor of the building and on the sides are all books of different authors and genres and subjects. It was really very impressive, breath-taking even. Everything is awash with white and glass.

    It is very modern too. The library is equipped with state-of-the-art and modern facilities. One just needs to registed to get a library card that is electronically read to borrow a maximum of 15 books or other media. There are lending terminals on every floor of the building. Each floor caters to a specific audience or subject: 1st Floor - Music, 2nd Floor - Children, 3rd  Floor - Life, 4th Floor - Knowledge, 5th Floor - World, 6th Floor - Literature, 7th Floor - Management offices and in the arcade hall one finds novels, 8th Floor - Arts.

    We registered my daughter on that day and immediately went to the children's section to read some books. We also brought home some books and software media that she personally picked. Looks like another bookworm is born!

    It is also good to know that children until 18 years old can borrow books from the library at no cost. For people aged 19 years old and above, a fee of €4 per month or €15 per year applies.   

    Always In A Rush

    It is already the middle of the year. I know I still have a ton of things to do before I finish my master thesis. There is a ton of data waiting to be analyzed and many chapters to write for my report. I still need to submit my master thesis registration to the Waste Program office. I hope I don't forget to turn it in on Monday. 

    Because most of the time, I am busy time seems to fly until it is time to pick my daughter up from the Kindergarten. Weeks pass me by like a breeze and before I know it, it will soon be Christmas day. I do hope I manage to finish it on time so that I will have time to relax and to do other creative stuff like making some christmas cards photos to be sent out to family and friends before the Christmas rush gets the better of me. I also need to pack up for a much deserved vacation. That is something I really look forward to since it has been years since I came home to my home country. 

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    The Mercedes Cup 2012

    It's tennis season once again.

    Image Source: © Getty Images
    To all tennis enthusiasts and fans here in Stuttgart, there is the Mercedes Cup, an ATP World Tour 250 series tennis tournament. It is held since 1916 in Stuttgart Germany and played on clay courts. The games are played at the Tennis Club Weissenhof, which is located near Killesberg.

    Image © MercedesCup/Paul Zimmer
    What is great about the Mercedes Cup is that the champion drives away with a new Mercedes Benz on top of the prize money. Last year's champion, Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero, drove away in a brand new Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY Roadster. Who will be the champion this year? Watch the games to find out.

    The games opened last Saturday, July 7 and will end on Juli 15 2012. Tickets are still available online at or at Easyticket Service.

    A House By The Beach

    I have always wanted to own a beachfront property so that I can enjoy either the sunrise or the sunset or both. Growing up in a tropical country, going to the beach for swimming or to just enjoy the scenery is a common past time. But now that I am living in central Europe where the beach is hundreds of kilometers away and the water is very cold for bathing, going to the beach is a luxury... like a grand vacation. And I find myself dreaming of tropical beaches especially on cold, winter days.

    The absence of beaches has made owning a beachfront property all the more attractive and exciting for me. I always find myself browsing for sunset beach real estate at Maybe I can find a nice property at an affordable price. It would definitely be great to come home to our very own beach property when we have our vacation. I can bask in the sun for hours on end. I can already imagine myself lying on a sunlounger, absorbed in my favorite book, with a tall tumbler of cold buko juice at my disposal. Now that's what I call GRAND!

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    I Need A Breath of Fresh Air

    This week has been kind of toxic.... I am always in a hurry and in a rush to get from one place to another. I have appointments to go to, deadlines to meet, and emails to answer! I don't even have time to really clean the house. I know I need some kind of a break... Even my body is complaining and showing signs of stress - an aching back, a limping stride, and inability to sleep. I do have a good idea for a break, one that is still relaxing... at least for me: CLEANING.

    You'd think I am crazy. I could be. But for someone like me who wants to unwind, I need first a place that is uncluttered and relaxing. And what better place that is than HOME? But the current state of our home: MESSY. So first things first - clean up and then relax and chill later on.

    And I am not the only occupant in the house. My husband and my little girl need a clean home more than I do. With my husband allergic to dusts, he needs a dust-free house as much as possible. But he is not complaining and I thank him for that. And my little girl also needs a place where she can play. With her toys scattered all over the house, there just isn't enough space for her to play anymore. So I will have to engage her tomorrow for some cleaning too. She needs to also learn how to clean up after her own mess.

    Good luck to me then! And oh! Have a great weekend everyone!

    Music Appreciation

    It is always a good idea to expose your children to different kinds of musical instruments while they are still young so that they would be able to appreciate good music. A good instrument to introduce your children to is the piano. Why the piano? Because it is a very interesting instrument and can create an endless possibility of sound and rhythm.

    Getting your child to appreciate the piano would of course entail that you have a piano handy. This could be a problem some twenty or so years ago because owning a piano of fine quality was usually for the privileged few. But reputable and trustworthy dealers who sell quality and fine Used Steinway Pianos like Sherman Clay make it possible for those who really have a passion for piano music. One need not even buy a piano these days because there is also now an option to rent the instrument for a time being. 

    I remember a high school friend who went to a music school on weekends to learn playing the piano. I wonder if she is still playing until now. I also wonder if she would also want her children to learn how to play this much loved instrument. I bet she would be delighted if I tell her about Sherman Clay and the possibility of renting a piano or even owning her very own one.

    Little Girl Talk

    My little girl loves to talk... And she also loves to ask a ton of questions. I guess that is how it is with children her age. They are always so curious and would ask, "how does it work?", "what is that?", "why is it called like that"... and the more I answer, the more she asks. Like this afternoon, she asked about something that she saw at a construction  site. She was pointing out at something very huge and reached high up and I told her that it was a crane. And then she asked "what is that for?" in German. With my limited German, I was at a loss for words. And I just gave her a silly grin.. Hehe! Sometimes, I would just run out of words. I am literally left speechless with her endless questions.

    This is her... Ain't she big already?

    My little girl also has a very good imagination. Because she loves to watch arts and craft shows for children, she kind of adapted the "instructor" way of talking... telling how things should be done in a procedural way. It is kind of cute really. There was even this one time when she showed me how to make a paper bird. Unfortunately, when I tried to make a video of her, she stopped talking. I must remember to blog about it in my future posts.

    Most of the time, she would role play by herself and play out the roles of different characters and the scene is usually from the kindergarten. I would listen and it really amazes me at how much she has progressed in terms of expressing herself.

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