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Showing posts from July, 2008

People : City scenes

I took this photo of a man. I captured this look of him.

I am trying to decipher whether the man's look is :
peaceful,
blank,
sad,
or content.

What do you think?

Wooden Beetle Bug

Car enthusiast, Momir Bojic is the owner of this cool one of a kind oak wood covered Volkswagen beetle. How interesting that it took him about a year to coat his vehicle with this wood. He lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and drives the car between Celinac and Banja Luka. Interesting masterpiece if I may say so!

Going Away (Party)

For young Australians it is common to go overseas to live for about a year or so. The culture encourages independence at a very young age, and a lot of them by the time they reach the legal age of eighteen would start moving out of their parents’ homes.

Last week a close colleague had a going away party at her nice posh house (looked like a designer home). Her boyfriend has been living in London for 2 years, and has just extended his work contract so they decided it’s time for her to move to London to live together. She invited all her close work mates, including one mature lady who lived on her own with only the company of her beloved dog who ate only the best dog food available. She couldn’t make it though as she had to take her dog to the veterinarian that evening.

At my colleague’s house, we were greeted with so much food, wine and her adorable parents (who even cooked for us!). It was such a nice night spent with colleagues. Too bad she’s leaving. Although of course for her it mean…

P & O Earlybird Cruise Offer

Okay, for a good hour I got all excited about thinking of going on a cruise. Neither me nor hubby's been on a weekend overnight cruise. P & O Cruise has this earlybird offer, wherein we could do 2 nights Sydney - Brisbane or Vice versa, for about AUD 565 per person, for a 2 night cruise in a Room with Private Balcony, on the Pacific Dawn. This rate includes all meals (a la carte or buffet), and afternoon tea, access to various entertainment and activities.

I opted for this coz the price is reasonably cheap, all inclusive, and the fact that it was just for 2 nights would give us a feel of how cruising is like. For all we know we won't like it. So this won't be too bad, if ever. However, when I had a look at the itinerary, the cruise departed from Brisbane at 8PM on Day 1, and arrived into Sydney on Day 3 at 8AM. That's a bit of a rip off, as it would mean the time we board, settle into our cabin it would be night time! So we won't see the view much. And, we'l…

Games kids and adults play!

There was a time when boyfriend and I were so into Apple Mac games. We would take turns playing jewel quest 3 for mac, and other times we’d try some new game, but we’d still end up playing jewel quest again later on. He even went to surf the internet to find a good mac blog how obsessed is that? I think once in a while we still get these moments when we act like kids taking turns playing computer games, or sometimes watching while the other plays! It’s probably one of the ways we bond, among the many other childlike activities we do (we used to play Daytona, the car racing arcade game!). He sometimes made me win, which I did not appreciate, because I would have stood a chance in beating him in the game anyway! We all have our own bonding activities with our partners. No matter how silly, playful, lame it may be, it brings us closer. Thank God for moments like these. When we’re old we’d probably either laugh it off, or try playing the computer games again!

Planning a divorce? Read this, and think again.

--I've received this realllly heart melting story. If you are contemplating about cheating on your partner, planning a divorce, or you just feel you need to rekindle your love, read this. It is long, but really nice.---
When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.
Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.
She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why? I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Dew. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

Are you a bag, shoe or jewelry person?

I probably own about 30 pairs of shoes, more or less ( I think it is more though). I don’t know how it’s come up to that number, although I guess because I have shoes to suit different moods I am in. Just like my bags. I probably have about the same number of bags. They both come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. When I like something, for example shoes, I buy them in different colors of the same design, just to match the different bags as well.

Having said that though, I am not really much of a shopper. But, when I start, I really shop until I drop. Although I realize that I am not the best shopper particularly of baby presents. I find that each child is different and I don’t want to give the usual stuff that the baby may already have. I think a shop selling customized baby gifts would really be helpful during shopping dilemmas like these. Personalized gifts for baby would really be appreciated by the parents (also known as my friend/s) as they would feel that thought was given …

Sides to a Story

Came across a nice quote this evening, by Robert Evans :

"There are three sides to every story:
Your side, my side, and the truth.
And no one is lying.
Memories shared serve each differently."

So true. Sometimes we are so caught up with our own side of the story, that we forget to think about the other side. Truly there is another side.

The bond between babies and mums

I’ve seen a few of my friends with young babies wear Baby Slings. These slings come in different sizes, colours and designs, and I love them. It not only looks stylish but really, it makes one feel so close to one’s child. It looks so comfortable, both for the mother and the child as well. I guess that’s because the material used is cotton, something really soft and non irritating. If one thinks about it, the sling would have been part of our history. The tribes’ women used to carry their young children in these slings while working. It keeps the baby in place, and at the same time is a bonding experience for mom and child (literally and figuratively speaking). Today I spoke with my mom and she’s asked me the big question: whether I wanted to have a child! I said of course yes, and told her I am planning to have one within the next two years (after wedding). She was quite relieved to hear this. I come from a big family and so they do think that children are blessing, and not just a mo…

I have a confession to make..

.. Sometimes my memory is too good, I surprise myself!

I don't know when it started. I could have had it in me ever since (as if) but then I would have to say it is not in all areas. I am bad at trying to remember what I wore last week, or what I ate yesterday for breakfast, or that an old good friend had a mole in between her mouth and chin. Ordinarily I don't remember these details. There are a few funny stories about my memory lapse on these instances. I actually told that my friend (with the mole) that she had some dirt on her chin!!! I was embarrassed by this! Another instance I told my colleague she had dirt on her cheek! She said it was a permanent scar/scratch of some sort. I would say it so casually that I just forgot that I HAVE seen them (mole and scar) before!

But with travel, it is quite different. With airport and city codes and computer entries, and geography and maps, capital cities, etc. I have quite a good memory. I also am a bit quite good at memorising teleph…

The air we breathe

My family has tried a couple of air purifier machines at home. In Manila one would think this would work, but I am not sure if it really does. In Sydney, when I moved here, the family I lived with used air purifiers as well. One of the kids had asthma and the parents thought that by turning the machine on at night this would have the child avoid an asthma attack. The question are air cleaners safe really? It really depends on how one is convinced to use them at home, or whether the machines are used properly the way they are meant to be. For me, I think I don’t really mind not having it. I suppose it is all just about preference.

About Ballet Shoes, Tennis Balls, Swim Suits, Piano books, Life lessons and other things

As a young person, I was exposed to different activities that involved honing my then so-called talents. I suppose everyone in my family went through this. It is only my two youngest siblings that got away with doing what they wanted. That’s what I get for being the eldest. The guinea pig of it all. First born over pampering at times. Wanted to expose me to everything. Try this. Try that. Enrol in this and that. I have spent a few summers attending ballet classes. I loved wearing tutus and those pretty pink ballet shoes. I’ve even performed in a real recital at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines, commonly known as CCP.
Together with my siblings and cousins, I took piano lessons while doing ballet on the side. It was my mom’s ultimate goal for one of her children to be a pianist. I guess that wasn’t my long term plan. I took up piano lessons again later in my late elementary years but only to give me bad memories of my piano teacher flicking my fingers each time I made a mistake i…

Conversation with a Cabbie

I was on my way to the airport, on a freezing, gloomy early morning. I was in a bit of a rush and still half asleep. Cabbie was already wide awake after taking his strong coffee, which I saw him just finish as I approached the Cab stand.

It was meant to be a quick drive to the airport. Usually about 15-20 minutes. It turned out to be 45 minutes. Yup, everyone wanted to take the airport route on that cold day.

Very much into the traffic, cabbie made convo with me. He was Asian as well. For some reason we ended up talking about each other's background (nothing too personal, just basic stuff), where are you from, how long have you been in Sydney, have you been back home, politics back home, etc. Later on, he mentioned that both him and his wife had to work. He said he had 2 kids. He asked if I had any, I said none. It was expensive to have kids. I got an eye opening comment from him. He said kids are not expensive. Money is nothing. He said, children need parents' time. If you have…

Constantly changing themes

A few weeks ago I was just so confused with my web templates and all that. I was so dissatisfied with my previous template that I was up and about for quite a while looking for the perfect one. It was an endless search, and a few times I liked a couple or so designs. I’ve seen a number of really nice wordpress themes on topwpthemes.com and have settled on something that I like, for now, that is. I suppose it’s just my nature to seek change every once in a while. Who knows in a couple of months I would be searching for new themes again. I’ve realized that since I have a few blogs anyway, I would be able to rotate changing the designs in them, that way I don’t rattle myself up updating each site all at the same time!

Japanese and their Rice

I've read about Japanese and how they come up with art in their rice fields. Isn't it interesting to note that in a seemingly combination of modern and traditional society as Japan, they do know how to create art from something ordinary. I've come across 2 Japanese sites : here and here. They showcase the rice paddies artwork. It is in a town called Inkadate, in the Aomori prefecture. Interesting pieces!

You are what you learn

Everything in this world would either be something one has learned about in Noveau Riche University or some other university of life. Once in a while I think whether I was better off taking my degree in Politics, or pursued Travel early on in my life. Somehow, I still managed to get to where I am, because of perseverance and hard work. Not to mention countless (or endless) sleepless nights reading inches of text books and lecture notes. There were times when me and my other block mates just were hanging on the cliff and waiting to drop out of university. Questioning and trying to make logic out of our reason to continue with our chosen course. Most of us managed to get through after four or five long years of studying. Only one out of four of my university classmates are working in something related to Politics. I guess, really, we all are connected to Politics in some way. If only Politics in the Philippines was stable, then Tourism would be better! There you go. Travel and Politics.

World Youth Day in Sydney is Happening

Have you ever participated in a World Youth Day event? I have. If you have then you would know and understand the hype that comes with this celebration of World Youth Day in Sydney.

Did you know that until now, Manila still holds the record with 4 million WYD participants... I think Sydney now is just expecting about less than 200,000 delegates.
Nonetheless, living in the city hosting the event, one would feel the spirit coming alive. Well of course there are others who are protesting against this. Not everyone can be all pleased with this imperfect world we live in. Even the olympics, the dalai lama, G8 summit (etc) attracts protesters.
Anyway, I have been seeing a number of people in the streets, train station, malls, coffee shops who are obviously attending WYD (some have huge backpacker bags, uniform jackets with the logo, etc)... Some of them try to find their way around, some are just in awe with the city... One thing common in them is their glow. They have this sort of excitemen…

Jobs and Being a Nomad

Nomads don't have permanent homes. They never stay put. Well, that's in my words, at least. I may have been one of them in my past life.
This week I saw an ad about Singapore Airlines hiring this particular travel position that I've been wanting. During my younger days I've always wanted to work for an airline. I've tried to enter the industry by going for interviews with a number of airlines (well, about a handful). I was starting out then. No travel industry experience 8 years ago. They did not take me in. I suppose it was not meant to be.
Now, as much as I would love to experience working for an airline (nice real travel benefits!), they are not the most stable employers. A lot of airlines are continuously downsizing. I would need a bit of security and stability.
Talk about irony though, I was talking to hubby recently as well. And was asking him if I was to want to relocate to another city (or country) again, if he would come and follow me AGAIN. He didn't an…

Other tourist markets

Today’s world is teaching different industries to accept differences in race, gender, sexuality and background. This pertains to my industry as well, which is the travel industry. Studying Tourist Behaviour in one of my post graduate Tourism Management classes, I’ve learned a great deal about Gay Friendly Travel. There are hostels, hotels, resorts, tours that particularly cater to the gay and lesbian market. The services they require to be rendered are of equal standard just like any other market (such as solo traveler, or family travel). Just like any other traveler, they are after Gay Travel Deals. There are quite a number of travel deals, packages and stay pay deals available out there. A Gay and Lesbian Destination Planner is available as well, advising on the best season (or months) to travel. Information on city happenings, activities and celebrations are out there as well. Gay and Lesbian travelers would know that Sydney’s Mardi Gras happens around about early March of each yea…

A day in the life of a travel agent

I guess a typical day in a travel agent's life can be quite boring (?!)... Or maybe, it's just mine.
I wake up either 8am or 9am. Depending on what time my shift starts. I jump in the shower half asleep.
I sometimes try to wake up earlier so I can prepare (or grab) a very quick snack to take to work.
This can be a few loaves of bread, my can/s of tuna, ham croissant, or home-stirred iced tea.
I quickly grab my chocolate bar for '3:30-itis' (That time in the afternoon when me and the other girls get restless)
I run to the train station, walking through the park and for one second try to appreciate the birds chirping and the landscape people doing the grass. BUT, it's winter now so I just dash to the station. If I'm lucky the train is immediately there within a minute or two.
I take my 8 minute train ride, sometimes I see a few familiar faces who take the same train at about the same time. I pass by the station which overlooks the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. …

Sunnies for a holiday?

I don’t know about you, but I have this thing for nice sunglasses. It does not have to be expensive for it to appeal to me. Hubby bought one for himself last year, and I think it’s about time that I look for a new one as well. Something that will suit all my attire should I be going away on a holiday again anytime soon. I’ve read that zennioptical.com has got real nice and affordable fashionable sunnies. I would definitely check that out.

What would you do if you were the Richest Man in the world?

Just watched a special feature on BBC Channel on Bill Gates and his empire. It just blew me away. The segment feature Bill Gates and his beginnings, his interests, his young adult life, background and how his interest in computers and technology led him to create the mega company Microsoft. In the interview it was said that Gates made so much money and that if quantified, he’s been earning about $5 million a day, since 1975. That means he is worth more than about $68 billion dollars! I probably won’t even make $5 million in my lifetime, and here he is just doing that overnight! The interviewer mentioned that Bill Gates likes burgers, and that with his earnings, he could give each person on the planet (all 60 billion people) a hamburger (costing say a dollar each), and he would still have about $6 billion left as a change. The good thing though about Bill Gates, or at least what the interview made me believe, is that he is not a greedy person. Him and his wife, Melinda, have invested a…

Talk about information we know

I am probably one of those people who would need an auto insurance company to work out what exactly I need to cover my car, when I have my own car. I guess, having had my parents work out car stuff made me quite dependent on them regarding this aspect. Now that I don’t have a car yet in Sydney, I am not that knowledgeable yet about these things. But then again, it’s not that I have no interest in it, but I suppose it just really doesn’t apply to me now, just yet. One day maybe.

In life, I suppose, there are times when we sift through information and pick up those that just relate to us at that particular time. For example, when I haven’t had any plans on going to Mauritius, I had no idea about what Mauritius had to offer in terms of tourism. When I was accepted to go on that trip, though, all information about Mauritius interested me. I could relate to news pertaining to weather, tourist attractions in that city. I suppose I would still come across certain information on Mauritius, but…

Where my thoughts are at the moment

.. I was actually posting old photos from my Darwin trip late last year onto my other blog. Do check them out if you have the time... I went and did the Yellowater Billabong Cruise on Kakadu, and went through small towns, such as Adelaide River. We also had numerous other photos which I shared a few here.


Every once in a while

... I get this lonely feeling that I just want to pack my bags and head back to Manila. Crazy thought... After all the years that I've been working to get my residency here... It's true. I had a conversation once with a stranger on a bus, years ago, when I first got to Sydney. She said she had just got her residency, and she was still feeling empty. I couldn't understand her then. I thought to myself I just couldn't wait for the day I got my residency.
It's been more than 6 months since I got my PR (permanent residency), and I am really really thankful to God for this. But, I now understand the lady on the bus. She had her family back home as well, and so do I. And, life is just not as rich when you are in a foreign land alone. There are days when I see photos of my family (and friends) enjoying a good celebration and I just wish I was there to be with them. No amount of $$$ can buy that dream of wanting to be home. I'm sure anyone in the same boat will agree. …

It's that tax time of the year again

I received my group certificate from my HR yesterday. Upon receiving my envelope I quickly opened it and was just so appalled with my withheld tax amount. It was a huge one. Huge enough to get a Round The World Business class ticket (speaking in Travel Agents lingo). I know where my tax goes to, but sometimes you'd just wish it wasn't that high. Imagine 30 percent of my salary is TAX! Isn't that SO exciting!! Only if I was getting a big refund amount, but NO, last year and the year before I only got about AUD 200 back. Out of AUD xx,000 I got AUD 200 back. Couldn't believe it. I tried this tax refund calculator.Anyway, enough of ranting. I should continue onto my weekly things to be "thankful" for..............

That I have a job (Hard times and there are people who dont even have a job)
That things at work are getting better
Coca Cola! I am trying to cut down on this. So, every time I have it, I cherish the moment :D
The internet and other modern things that make…

My Badger Balm

Lately I haven't been able to sleep well, or sleep early. I have found a soothing companion during these restless nights. Badger Balm! :) I'm not sure where it can be bought in Sydney, as it was given to me. But it's helped me fall asleep (better).
The scent reminds me of my first trip to the US, for some reason. The faint smell of chamomile. And for some reason it really calms me, and lulls me to zzzz land.

I was looking whether they had a LoveAche Balm! That probably would be popular. It doesn't have to work. Sometimes it's all in the mind. (A thought ran across me now, what if you saw someone on the train or bus for example, carrying a Badger Balm LoveAche! :X hehe).

I guess we all have our remedies for aches or pains or whatever. Sometimes the mere thought that it 'could' work, actually makes us feel better.
P.S. The balm is really good cause it is not greasy at all!

Love and thoughts on the modern world

Some people go around meeting other people through the internet, using online dating services or even through the new speed dating formula. These kinds of meeting were unheard of a few decades ago, but now, every other person would know someone who’s done speed dating or is currently dating someone they met through a dating service. One good friend from Sydney has tried using the 5 star dating website. She’s told me that she noticed that people who go through those services hope to meet people that share a faith in Christianity, or believe in the same things, have the same background, etc. I couldn’t agree with her more. Since these services usually ask about one’s preferences, they usually eliminate a potential time waster who is not matched up to one’s standard or who does not belong to one’s type. Of course it is never guaranteed, and it is entirely up to your discretion just like in any dating scenario to discern if one is a possible mate. I have never done this type of meeting th…

Ever been trapped in the lift?

I have.
Tonight, it was on the news that about 11 people were stuck in the lift, in one of Sydney's Attractions. The people were inside the lift when it suddenly stopped midway between the restaurant and the ground level. It was said on tv that they were stuck for a few hours! Click on this link for a bit of information.
As for me, getting stuck in the lift, well that happened about in the year 2000. I lived in a building where my parent's unit was higher than level 20. The lift just stopped, lights were on though, but there was a sudden halt. It was quite hot inside, good thing it was not packed. Only about 5 persons including me. We got onto the guards on the emergency button. Soon after about 10 minutes the lift was working again. It was the longest 10 minutes ever. So many things ran through my head at that time. It's good I'm not SO claustrophobic. Otherwise I might have hyperventilated. It's good too that everyone in the lift I was with did not panic. Otherwise…

First and Last

I was tagged by Val ages ago, for some reason I only got around to doing this now! :) Better late than never!

Participants: 1. Me and Mine 2.Creative In Me 3.Little Peanut 4. Pea in a Pod 5. Sugar Magnolias 6. All Things Me 7. Because Life Is Fun 8. Mind Bubbles 9. Something Purple 10. Stripe at Yellow 11. Vanity Kit 12. Em's Detour 13. Big Eyed Gal 14. The Chronic Shopper 15. Vital Sighs 16. Coriander Dreams

First:
*First real job: Philippine Stock Exchange Employee
*First screen name: I honestly don't remember!!
*First funeral: my uncle's
*First pet: A fluffy white labrador
*First piercing: Ears
*First tattoo: I was never up for a tattoo. But I think I had a sticker one before......
*First credit card: My BPI credit card
*First kiss: ummmm.... a guy in grade school stole a kiss. Kissed me on the cheek!
*First enemy: A girl in pre-school who made fun of my pigtails! We never became friends. ;D

Last:
*Last car ride: Took a cab to work the other morning. I was running late....
*Last kiss…

Things I am thankful for...

... This week.
My job, my means of livelihood - no matter how stressful it can be at times, at least I have one.
My apartment - not the biggest, or the flashiest, but nonetheless it provides me shelter on winter days and nights
Chocolates and Ice Creams - I had quite a few of this this week
Quiet nights - Peaceful sound of silence
Television - Keeps me company at times
Family and Friends in Manila - I am missing them so much

Jamaica dreaming

I remember having to book someone to travel to the Caribbean early this year. Like anyone who’s on a budget, my client wanted options on all inclusive resorts at Negril, Jamaica. I have never been to the Caribbean but I have a couple of good friends who are working for a cruise company based in the Caribbean. They have been asking me to travel to the United States, and then visit them in the Caribbean. They were offering me quite a good bargain to take their cruise on their staff discount! I asked them whether most of their cruise offered adult vacations, as I did not really want to travel around with noisy kids screaming or having tantrums ( I am just being picky and difficult now!). I told my friends I am looking at traveling to America when I get my Aussie passport next year. Hopefully I get to visit them. Just thinking about this makes my mind wander off to warmer weather. Sydney has been so cold the past few days and I am just wanting to be anywhere tropical. Oh well, I can alway…