Saturday, March 30, 2013

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

I know people who are very apprehensive to see a doctor because they are afraid to find out that they might have an illness that is difficult and expensive to cure. As for me, it is always good to have a regular medical checkup, even if you don't feel anything just so you can monitor if your organs are functioning well and if you are in the pink of health. And if not, at least you know what your options are and can decide to change your lifestyle to keep your condition from worsening.

In other countries, there are standard medical tests that women need to undergo at varying age brackets. There are breast cancer screenings or mammography for women who are aged 40 years old and above, smear tests or cervial screening test for those aged 25 and above, and a further colposcopy for those who have abnormal results in their smear tests. 

Colposcopy is a new term for me and thankfully, have not yet been subjected to it. It is a procedure during which the surface of the cervix is closely examined using colposcopes. A colposcope has a lighting mechanism and magnifying lens so that the colposcopist is able to see abnormalities. Sometimes, a small sample of tissue is removed for further screeening or biopsy, to find out whether the tissue is cancerous or not.

I don't know about you but for me, knowing what to do is better than not knowing. It is one way of taking care of yourself and loving your body. Cheers to good health!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Holy Week Activities: Visita Iglesia

It's the last week of the Lenten season and it has been a while since I participated in the many Catholic traditions related to Lent. In the Filipino community in Stuttgart, Germany we usually have the Pabasa which takes place every afternoon of Maundy Thursday and ends at around 3PM on Good Friday.

I haven't gone on a Visita Iglesia yet and from what I know, it is usually done on a Maundy Thursday but one can do it at any day of the Holy Week. My mother-in-law prefers to do the Visita Iglesia in the evening of Good Friday, just after the death of Jesus.

According to Wikipedia, ´"The general practise is to visit seven churches either on Holy Thursday or Good Friday and recite the Stations of the Cross in them. The pious would double the number of churches to fourteen, while the infirm and elderly usually visit only one or a handful. Until the 1970s, people recited all fourteen stations in one church."

If you are in Davao City, there are a number of churches that you can visit. 

Included in our itinerary are the following:
  1. Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, JP Laurel Ave., Bajada, Davao City
  2. Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, F Torres St., Davao City
  3. St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, Malvar St., Davao City
  4. St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Maa, Davao City
  5. San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish, Talomo, Davao City
  6. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Phase 2 Central Park Subdivision, Bangkal, Davao City
  7. St. Paul Church, Juna Subdivision, Matina, Davao City
  8. San Pedro Cathedral, San Pedro St., Davao City
  9. Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Fatima St., Davao City
  10. San Antonio de Padua Parish, Agdao, Davao City
  11. Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, N Torres St., Obrero, Davao City
  12. Sta. Ana Church, Sta. Ana Avenue, Davao City
  13. St. Mary's Parish, Cabantian, Davao City
  14. St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Sasa, Davao City
Hopefully, we will be able to visit these churches tomorrow. God-willing, it will be a memorable and enlightening Holy Week for us and will hopefully be something to look forward to in the succeeding Lenten seasons. It is also one good family activity that can be transformed into a family tradition. I have always believed that the family that prays together, stays together and what better way to bring the family together than visiting these places of worship.

Will post about my post Visita Iglesia experience over the weekend so that you will also be guided on what to do and what to expect should you also decide to do one in the coming Lenten seasons. God bless everyone!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Home Sweet Home

I really love scouting for home furnishings, putting up ideas together for our future home sweet home. I look at different styles and try to keep myself updated with the trends in home styling so that I can do the decorating myself. 

I want an airy and spacious home especially if we are planning to build our home in my tropical home country, with high ceilings, large windows and with decorations kept to the minimum. I have always been drawn to the contemporary minimalist style but more on the warm and comfy side for the living room because I believe it is a place for receiving family and friends.

For the bedroom, I dream of white interiors and furnitures that is French Renaissance inspired. Finding the Annabel range of the Frank Hudson furniture is really a heaven-sent. I so love the soft curves and the soft ivory paint finish... it's very romantic! :) Now I have something to look forward to in our future bedroom.

I also dream of having a large terrace furnished with garden furniture made of rattan. There is a garden adjacent to it where I grow my favorite greens and flowering plants.

Ah.... it will be a home sweet home indeed!

Kublai's Mighty Sculptures

We've been here in Davao for a while and my little girl, who loves going on walks at the park every now and then, one day insisted that we go out and visit a park. There is only one park that I have been so curious to visit because of its mighty sculptures and the local artist behind it: Kublai Millan. And so we went... People's Park, which is located at the Palaruang Panlungsod or more popularly known as the old PTA Grounds. It was a cloudy afternoon on a weekday so it wasn't so scorchingly hot. There was also a cool breeze, a sign that it will be rain soon. I think the best time to come visit is during the weekday since it is not so crowded. But we didn't mind for the little girl enjoyed her photo sessions with the mighty sculptures and playing in the children's playground, where she befriended a little girl.

And here are some of the photos that we took:

Entrance to the park is FREE but you have to go through the baggage check to make sure you are safe while inside the park. When you visit the city of Davao, this is one of the places to go to to enjoy the art. But I think the sculptures could do a little restoration since the paint is already beginning to fade.

For those who don't know Kublai Millan, he is a local artist who thought of creating huge sculptures so that the local community will be able to appreciate art. His art, which depicts the life and culture of Mindanao, are a silent testimony to his dedication to Mindanao.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Place To Call Your Own in Calgary

I have a number of friends who are now based in Canada. Some for work, some to study, some to build a family of their own, some left everything behind to start anew, some to follow and fulfill their dreams. But no matter what their reasons, I know that they are happy with their choice and their life today, slowly fulfilling their dreams of a good life and a happy home.

I wonder if it is difficult to start a new life in Canada. Being an expat myself, I know what the challenges are if you uproot yourself to start all over again in a foreign land. With a different culture and environment, I know it can be very tasking to find a place to settle in. But all of these are made a little bit easier by cyberspace, with different services making themselves known on the internet, like this site where one can search houses for sale in Calgary.  

I find the website easy to navigate, with everything in one page - you just need to scroll up and down. Or if you are not a fan of the scroll button, there's also an option to just click on the menu links to get to the desired page. They also have a mobile app available on iOS and Android so you can also search for houses even when on the go, right at the palm of your hand. It also serves as a navigation app so it points you to the right direction when you want to have a look at the property and the neighborhood. There is also a page where they provide tips and advice on house buying and selling, among others. I am no stranger to real estate search sites and I find this one unique in its own way. If you are looking for a house for sale in Calgary or are even thinking of selling your property, this site could be the right place for you.

Samantha's Big Birthday Adventure

It has been almost 3 weeks since my little girl's 5th birthday celebration. I know it is a bit too late for a birthday post but I am writing this post anyway. I guess the lack of things to do has made me too lazy to blog lately... And I was complaining a few weeks ago that I had so many things to do! Perhaps it is because that they got completed at the same time and now I am left a bit restless it's making me confused and well, lazy. Oh darn! 

But anyway, my little girl had a Dora-themed birthday party. I was expecting that my little girl would want a princess-themed party but because she chose a dora-themed cake, we had to plan around this theme. I searched through the net for some Dora-inspired invites and chose a design I found on tinyprints, edited it on Photoshop and voila! A nice birthday invite for the little girl.

The birthday invite and the birthday tarp...

I decided to hold the party at my sister's place and my brother's friend transformed the terrace into a wonderful party area. We rented some tables and chairs and decided to have the food catered so we would not to labor over the cooking . I added some DIY projects to add a little personality to the setup, with some ideas I got on the Internet like the banner at the cake table and the flowers in a bowl. I also had two tarpaulins printed, one a Dora-themed tarp and the other of my daughter's most recent photos. We also hired a party host for the games and balloon twisting for a more enjoyable evening for the kids. My hubby's cousin also volunteered to do face-painting for the children but not everyone got their face painted because they got so engrossed in the games.

Some birthday preparations...

The birthday girl with her cake... all ready for her party!

(R) Getting her face painted with a butterfly design. (L) Enjoying the food with her cousins.

It was overall a simple but fun party and my little girl enjoyed it a lot, celebrating her fifth birthday with her cousins and relatives from both sides of the family. The one person we missed on her big day was her daddy, who had to go back to Germany for work. But they talked on Skype and wished his little a very happy and enjoyable birthday.

Three generations... Mama, Nichole, Samantha, Me

We love you Samantha! May you have always be blessed with good health and surrounded with love and laughter. Mommy and Daddy are always here for you. We love you so much!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Do You Smoke Cigars or Cigarettes?

I am not much of a cigar fan and all the bad health effects that it brings to the body, but it does intrigue me sometimes why people choose to smoke cigars rather than cigarettes. When you try to look at it, there are really people who prefer cigars to cigarettes. I wonder why this is so.... There are people who smoke cigars as a hobby because cigars also make really good collections, especially the premium ones. There are also people who just chew the cigars because health conditions do not allow them to smoke.

Cigars and cigarettes are two different things. Although the main component is tabacco, the physical similarities stop there. Comparing the size, cigars are bigger than cigarettes, which means that they last longer. Cigars are wrapped in tabacco while cigarettes are wrapped in paper. They are also more expensive than the normal cigarettes so that getting hold of a cigars sampler would be a good idea (if you are a cigar smoker, that is!). 

But whichever you smoke, always do it in moderation. Remember that too much of something is not always good. That has always been so....  Remember to also smoke in well ventilated areas so that you do not inhale the toxins that come with the tabacco smoke.

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