Sunday, February 26, 2012

Triple Fret

Let me introduce to you a friend and classmate of mine in high school. Her name is Jenny de Vera. She is cool, she is talented, she is very gifted when it comes to music. Back in our high school days, she can already play the guitar very well, playing popular songs even without a guide. I guess the term to use is "kapa", which means the ability to play the same tune just by listening to it. I was more impressed with her ability with the guitar now that she has become a professional classical guitarist. I haven't seen her perform live yet but from her videos on the internet, I can say that she has really matured and perfected the art of classical guitar.

Jenny and her guitar. From Jenny's Facebook Timeline cover page. 
She recently performed at the Pasinaya 2012 at the  CCP Little Theater with her group, Triple Fret, a trio guitar ensemble. I am happy to learn that their performance was a success.

Triple Fret. I love the name... It has a certain ring to it. What is it? From their Facebook About Page: "Triple Fret is an all girl classical guitar trio composed of Catherine Belle, Marga Abejo and Jenny de Vera. The group was formed in October 2011. They play classical guitar trio pieces as well as solo classical guitar pieces that are dynamic in genre and time period."

I would love to come to one of her solo or band performances if the opportunity comes. My husband, who is also a classical guitar enthusiast, would surely enjoy their performance too. Maybe she can give him lessons too... Pde bang at reduced fees ang lessons Jen?

For those who love and appreciate classical guitar, you might want to watch Triple Fret or Jenny perform live. Watch out for their future performances via their Facebook Page at or send them an email at for bookings and more info.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Almost Four!

In three days, my little girl will officially turn four! I can't believe she will be four in a few days! Time indeed flies so fast... I can still remember when we arrived here in Germany. She was just a year old then and she still cannot walk. I have witnessed her first tiny, wobbly steps and how proud I was to see her walk, I almost cried. It was really a joy being able to see her grow, to witness the small transformations. These, I will always treasure in my heart.

So what are our plans? She will have a birthday celebration at the Kindergarten, with her friends at the Kindergarten of course. I think I will just linger for a bit to take some photos of the big day. Since the next day will be my final exam (which is really very BAD timing!!!), we will just celebrate as a family. Perhaps we will just eat out. We'll see. Then come Saturday, 3rd of March, we will have a small gathering here at home to celebrate her birthday with our Filipino friends. My little girl is already very excited for her birthday to arrive. I can tell why... She is anticipating the gifts and the cake and how she would be the center of attention on that day. Maybe I will get her bouquets of decorative cookies instead of baking a cake for a change. That is if I don't have time anymore to bake a cake.

My mind is actually in a tangle, with lots of "things to do" all clamoring for my attention! And I just wish that I will have enough time to make my little girl's 4th birthday a memorable and happy one. My constant prayer: that God will bless her with good health and that she will grow knowing that she is loved.

"Soon, it will be your HAPPY BIRTHDAY my little one. We hope you will enjoy it. We love you!"

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Games I Loved As A Kid

Playstation, XBox, Ipad games, Computer Games... these were unknown when I was still a child. Playing then was more interactive and involved a lot of socializing and moving around. We take advantage of the vacant lot in the neighborhood or the light provided by the full moon. We used indigenous materials then too, like wooden sticks, water, bamboo shoots or our own strength and speed in playing games and lots of creativity and imagination, since most of the games we played were invented and can be revised depending on the present need.

I remember playing shatong, a stick flinging game, with my sisters and cousins and how I would easily lose since I cannot hold my breath long enough to reach the base while shouting "shaaattttooooonnnnggggg!!". Then there is luksong tinik, when we would have to jump as high as we can in order for the team to win. The hurdle that we would need to go through: feet and hands stacked one of top of the other as in the photo below:

I remember the days when the yoyo became so popular... when we would excitedly wait for my father to come home from work so he could  give us the yoyo's he promised to get us. These days, yoyo's are still thankfully known to children. The designs are varied to suit the taste of today's youth, dark magic yoyo designs for example. I remember learning how to make a star or walk the dog trick but never really got around to making it right! :D

Then there is tumbang preso where we would try to make the empty milk can of Alaska Condensada from a distance using our rubber slippers. Oh, what fun it was! And of course, the langit lupa game, where the taya would need to chase the other players who are standing on the ground (thus the word lupa) and how those who participate in the game would frantically search for high ground (thus the word langit) before they are caught by the taya.

While playing these games, we had lots of fun. We shouted, we laughed, we shrieked with glee. And although we may be opponents in the game, we still end up feeling happy at the end, knowing that the friendship is strengthened. Indeed, those childhood games helped to foster sportsmanship and camaraderie. And what's better, the snacks that we get to share afterwards, which is composed usually of maruya (deep fried bananas with sugar coating) and calamansi juice.

One of these days, I will introduce these games to my daughter. So that she too, will be able to enjoy the games we used to play as children. So she will also realize that fun need not be expensive.

I Am a Freelancer

Living in a foreign country is not really that easy, especially if you don't know the language very well. Getting a job takes some time since you need first to hurdle the language barrier. While trying to improve my German, I am currently doing some online freelance jobs, most of them in the field of administrative assistance. Little did I know that an opportunity to improve my German and work in a realy technical environment at the same time will come way.

October 2010. It was initially an invitation to propose for a job, letting the client know what I could do and what my qualifications were. Since I didn't hear from them since then, I thought the job is no longer available.

January 2012. I got an email from the client, asking me if I was still interested. I called them up and got an appointment for an interview.

February 2012. I got the job and would only need to secure my work permit so I can start working with them as soon as possible.

I will not reveal yet which company it is since I didn't get my work permit yet but the business is basically all about pumps and dosing systems. I guess I will be learning more about many different kinds of pumps, coolant pumps included, when I begin working.

Who would have thought that it is possible to get such a job while doing freelance work? It really is not bad being a freelancer. You can decide how long you want to work and when you want to work. The pay may not be so big and not so stable compared to a full-time job but it is perfect for my situation. And who knows? Other good opportunities are yet to come. It just takes patience and diligence. Maybe I just got lucky? Still, I am very thankful!

My Little Ballerina Wannabe

My little girl really enjoys dancing... She loves ballet the most and would tiptoe and turn and pirouette whenever she gets the chance. She hasn't taken any formal ballet lessons yet but I can see that she is graceful and has the potential. She learned the moves while watching the cartoon series, Angelina Ballerina, a fifteen-minute cartoon series about a feisty, little mouseling who dreams of becoming a famous prima ballerina someday.

When they had their dance presentation for this year's Sinulog Festival in Rottenburg, she freely danced her own ballet steps to the tune of Mamang Sorbetero. I really thought it was very entertaining.... That or I am one big PROUD STAGE MAMA. Lol!

Below is the video I took while they were performing. She is the one wearing a gray tutu and white long-sleeved shirt. I apologize for the shaky and not so clear video.

Since she is almost four, she can actually start going to ballet school. All I need to do is look for a ballet school that offers courses for kids her age. I know there is a handful of ballet schools here in Stuttgart, since Stuttgart is also the home of the world-famous Stuttgart Ballet and I believe there are many young children who also wish to dance like them.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Just Move and Groove!

During the cold months, people have the tendency to move lesser and to succumb to being couch potatoes. They prefer to sit in the couch, in front of the TV watching sappy old movie (or maybe not!), munching popcorn and sipping hot milk chocolate to keep themselves warm. Now, isn't that picture very familiar as I am among those guilty! :)

Because it is cold, the more we need to move to keep our metabolism up and so that our body will also sweat. Sweating, no matter how much many of us don't like it, is as important as breathing since it is our body's cooling mechanism. It doesn't matter which physical activity, as long as you sweat it out. Ideal for the cold weather is dancing, yoga exercises (don't forget to get yourself a yoga mat though!), zumba exercises, badminton, and other sports that is conveniently done indoors.

I haven't really done much exercise at all, but the daily walks that I need to take to bring my daughter to the kindergarten and the times when I needed to rush, which means I need to RUN!, in order to arrive on time for a meeting or appointment has helped me to sweat it out and consequently, shed a couple of kilos. :) It is not much but it is a start. Plus, the threadmill is just in the corner, waiting....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Liven Up Your Living Room With Wall Tattoos

I will always love the color white... When it comes to choosing an apartment, one of the first things that I consider is the color of the walls. If it is white, then the probability that we will take it is higher. But sometimes, it can be boring to just have white walls, especially when you don't have any paintings or huge prints that you can hang on it. Since we are only renting, it also makes it difficult for us to just bore a hole and hang whenever and however we please.

I invited some friends last over to our house for a small gathering. We took some photos and when I checked the photos, I noticed that the walls were sooo bare! I planned on buying framed paintings at the art gallery or large prints at home stores but they are just too expensive (or maybe I am just a cheapskate! ;D). Anothe option for me is to paint myself but I just don't have the time just yet...


Then came wall tattoos or decorative stickers. Here in Germany, they are called "Wandtattoos", "Wandtapeten" or "Wandstickers"... They don't just add color to your room, they also bring to it personality and the much needed homey atmosphere and ambience. If you have bare white walls, the possibilities are just endless. Maybe I will venture into wall tattoos one of these days. When I find the time...

The search for wall tattoos will soon begin...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Platinum Wedding Bands for Him

The year is now 2012 and platinum wedding bands aren’t just for her anymore. In the past the push for pure white metals was seen more for her ring. A solitary setting looks the best in platinum. The king of all metals platinum has a great reputation for being pure and rare. The best part of these being pure is that platinum will never fade. It is like a good analogy for your love. Pure and long lasting, it won’t chip and fall off. There are so many positive attributes of platinum.

If you can’t quite afford to go with a platinum wedding band there are other options out there. Recently sites have started offering a wide selection of alternative white metals. Cobalt chrome being the newest white metal to hit the markets. A good alternative from the platinum metals group are palladium wedding bands. You will get the same look and almost the same feel as platinum but at a fraction of the cost. There really isn’t a right or wrong answer to what metal to choose but at least now there are options.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

So Many Things To Do, So Little Time

It has been a while since I posted in this blog. There are just so many things happening that I just couldn't find the time to sit down and, well, blog. Even my social life is affected. I have three final presentations next week at the university, two on Solid Waste Treatment Plant Design and one on Emissions Reduction at Selected Industrial Proceses. My final exams are coming up, one I think on Friday for my Japanese class and another one on the 13th for Biowaste Air Purification. I haven't gotten around to any serious studying yet and I am running out of time. I am frantic, desperate to gain more time, like someone who is in desperate need for prescription drug abuse addiction so that things will fall into place.

But I do believe that things will just fall into place... That I need not worry too much because somehow, things really do just fall into place, with a little bit of luck, hardwork and lots of prayers and faith. I am not alone. I have the support of my family. No matter how tough things get, I am somehow able to get by.

I have so many things to do and I have so little time. I have even taken some things foregranted at home... the laundry is piling up, the trash is still waiting to be taken out, and I haven't even put the Christmas decors away. I could really use two of me right now, one who will do the studying and the academic stuff, the other one who will take care of the house and the family. Since there is only one of me, the least I can do is manage my time. I do hope I can manage all the things that I need to do. So heaven help me.

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