Thursday, November 15, 2012

I belong where again?

Being a first generation migrant, I've taken it that I would never fully belong to my adopted country. However, having said that part of me feels I no longer fully belong to my home country either. I wonder if this is a normal feeling among migrants.

In June, hubby and I decided that we would go back and live in Manila some time next year. We were deadset on it for a few months - winter months - and now that summer is supposed to be kicking in we are having second thoughts. And it's not just him this time, I am too.

We still think that little B is best surrounded by family and close friends while she is growing up (at least experience that for a year or two). That was the main reason for wanting to temporarily move back home. But then as the weather became warmer, so did our plans. Reality kicked in. If we would move for a year or so, then we would have to dispose of a lot of our items, aline our finances, ensure we have a livelihood to go to, and come up with back up plans, plans for when we return back to Oz after X years, all that among other things.

Slowly the reality of what is waiting for us in Manila's literal climate, political environment, financial situation became a shady topic. The bright future, steady and orderly lifestyle in Sydney looked a bit more pleasant and bearable. Then again, thinking about spending time with family and friends tug that corner of my heart. For little B.

As much as I still have a part of me that yearns to go home, another part of me is holding me back to stay put. I needed my family "fix" which I got when the winter spell was broken by my parents' week long visit. That revived me. I know we need family visits more frequently. Maybe that is the answer?

Somehow the thought of going home touched me deeply with memories of my younger days at "home". But everyone back home has moved on now. It is no longer how I remember it. There may be familiar places, familiar faces, but all these are no longer the same. We've all moved on. And along the way I have adopted a lifestyle that suits where I live now, which is quite far off from what my home country can offer. It even feels like a harder decision to move back to Manila than it was for me to migrate to Sydney.

I wish I can say I am "home" if we do stay put here now, but I can't. But then I wish that going back home to Manila is as easy a decision to make. I feel like I have my Manila home in a bubble, a special jar of memories which I know existed once and at some point I had in my life. But Manila now has changed the same way I have after a decade of being away. Time can really do this to a person, to a city once called home, a new city now called home.

Recharge. I think my family and I just need to have a long visit home to Manila, only to appreciate again our adopted home. I really just wish I can take all my family and bring them here with me - all for my little B.

Photo from Linda Yvonne (flickr)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Distracted about wedding decorations

As I am planning a kid's party I stumble upon lovely wedding decorations! But I must focus and keep planning little B's party. I am still leaning towards the cartoon themed party - although I am stuck in coming up with a nice cake which I could bake myself. I am now thinking of just having cupcakes instead and purchase edible cartoon toppings. Times like this make me wish I had enrolled in a cake baking class, particularly on fondant cake making! I guess there is always next year to do that!

Follow that sign!

Such a big sign in a hard to spot location. I often miss the obvious that is already in front of me. I exert more effort in concentrating than the average motorist when I'm behind the wheel. 

Researching beach wedding favors and beach birthdays

I have just found out that one of my high school best friends is engaged!! Another wedding is happening early next year and it is now back to researching beach wedding favors! The couple is very much into the beach - I don't think I can remember them telling me a time when they went on a holiday in the mountains I told her as much as I would like to help out in planning this now, I have my little girl's party in 7 weeks time. I now even am thinking of a beach themed kid's party - after all we have just bought two huge sacks full of sand!

My personalized napkins

I can't believe in less than two months my little girl is turning three! Where did time go?? This sudden realisation and thought made me panic! I need to start planning her birthday party! Now that we have our own place I am thinking of having it in the backyard. With lots of balloons, personalized napkins, streamers, etc. I don't have a theme yet finalised but she's been watching this cartoons for ages and I might have it cartoon themed. My parents might be here at that time and so it will make it even more special - their first time to be here on little B's birthday!


I find plants have the ability to grow in the most unlikely of places. Survival is just so basic in every living thing.

Have $2?

Would you really put $2 in a machine that will only provide your kid with a few seconds of joy going up and down on a kiddie ride? 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What do you think about wine wedding favors

I know that I would appreciate getting wine wedding favors from any wedding I attend (but I know hubby would not!). I guess really if the couple is a big wine lover, I could expect this to be given out to the wedding guests. I also expect the food at the reception to be excellent when the couple is known to be gourmet food lovers. I was particularly interested in my sisters' menu for the reception as she has the best taste in food from my family - too bad for me that I could not attend her wedding (although I did have a peek at her menu!).

On wedding garters

When my best friend and her long time boyfriend got married last week, we did not get to see the part where they were taking out the wedding garters! I guess since we had my little girl with us we could not stay for too long - and to add that the reception venue was located nearly 50 kilometres away from our house. At ten o'clock in the evening we had to start heading home. Good thing that there were photos of that part of the program, that way I still know who caught the flower and which lucky man caught the garter!

Thinking of Disposable wedding cameras

My hubby and I are both into photography, especially when we were both single and had more time back then. Every weekend we would find a park (or nature reserve), a festival, an event or simply hang out in the garden to take photos of each other, or of the floral or fauna around us. Sometimes I wish we have that luxury again to take as much photos as we please. Now, our photos are mostly of each other and each milestone our little girl encounters, particularly the most recent wedding where she was a little flower girl (glad that we all had Disposable wedding cameras on the table as we forgot to bring our digital camera!).

Loving Wedding favors

I just love Wedding favors, and get amazed at how special and creative some of them can be! Although I do know of some plain and simple ones as well, I just love those that are given away and you know a lot of thought has gone into planning them. The most recent weddings that I have attended showcased small pieces of chocolate that had the couple's photo on them! While the other one had personally made jams and put them in cute little jars. They even handmade the little note that came with it. How cute and thoughtful! I know a lot of the couple's personality (or maybe the bride's!) come out in this giveaways!

Creative wedding guest book

I have been to a few weddings the past couple of months that had extremely creative styles of wedding guest book types. One had polaroid photos taken with a message to be written on it by the guests (with the guests' photos) and one had the wedding guest book write their names and messages on pieces of paper and then these get hung on a wedding tree. I have a few other ideas in my head in case I would renew our wedding vows - perhaps I should take note of all these for that day! Or maybe I should come up with a list and make a blog entry about this!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Artsy or Sporty?

My little girl is growing up so fast! My husband and I talk about how we can't believe she is turning 3 in a couple of months! They say that around this time of a child's development they show their natural tendencies whether they lean toward being athletic (and possibly be part of the sheffield baseball club) or be more of a budding artist (and love paints, easel, clay, dancing or music). Well, so far I think she is still exploring her interests as she has a whole spectrum of activities that we engage her in a weekly basis. Although, one thing that I am really wanting to enrol her in would be a music class and ballet lessons. As a child I played the piano and danced ballet. My little girl now has been doing both at home whenever she can, sometimes at the same time (singing and dancing). I have read in the children's magazine that our community has that there are a number of ballet classes available in our area. I wish I could personally take her to these lessons, unfortunately I cannot physically do this. I am still trying to convince my husband to take her, and hopefully this will happen next term! By then, when she has turned 3 years old she wouldn't need a parent to dance ballet with her as she can go to class alone!

Oh log!

How I would love to be a kid again and run on logs pretending I'm up high on a very narrow bridge.

Finding an event management software

Having been to my best friend's wedding yesterday I have a renewed appreciation for people who work in the events industry. There was this lady at the wedding who coordinated every single thing down from the hen's night, the church rehearsal, the church ceremony, the reception, suppliers and all that - and she kept a smile on her face the entire time!! I cannot believe how she managed to smile when some of the things were turning too painful to watch unfold (like the cake smashing on the floor!). She was telling me at the reception that she's just started her career in the events industry and learned everything through an event management software. I couldn't have guessed it, because she was such a natural! I commended her for the great job and told her I thought she is fantastic!

Too close spider!

It's easy to not take notice of the small things. When I was a kid I loved looking at small insects with a magnifying glass. Now I'm glad not only can I look at them up close, but capture them in an image with a camera as well.

Monday, November 05, 2012

On wedding decorations and picture perfect moments

Tomorrow is my friends wedding day!! I am so excited and have taken the day off to celebrate with her. I am looking forward to seeing her walk down the aisle, and of course check out her wedding decorations! As much as the wedding is about celebrating with family and friends this joyful occasion it is about wearing pretty dresses and coats, sharing happy picture perfect moments, food and everything else in between! If only I could capture it all on photo and video then I could wrap this up in a nice after-wedding present! It is too early, but looking forward.... I can't wait to see their little babies too! Haha!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Needing an overhaul

I am currently brainstorming about my blog theme, set up and layout! Somehow I wish I took up IT or computer web design in uni.. even just one course! Maybe that would save me a good five hours on this project that I am undertaking! Oh well, oh well. I guess I just have to self-teach.. just like the other things that I have taught myself on .. fondant making, sabre GDS, sewing, etc!

photo from

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Life is a blur

I seldom get out of the house at night, much less take my camera with me. On this one occasion I'm glad I did.

Start thinking about Christmas pressies

I cannot believe how much my daughter is into popcorn nowadays! She seems to always want this to snack on. I know it should be healthy, and since it is not fried then maybe it is not such a bad idea after all. I usually buy low salt popcorn in a bag from the supermarket. Sometimes if she is lucky, I will choose buttered popcorn, or when she's even more lucky ... a caramel multi-coloured popcorn bag! (Which I obviously like too!).

What I miss though from Manila is the savoury flavoured popcorn. I remember eating popcorn in a bucket at the cinema that had either sour cream and chives, or cheese flavour. My sister used to really like the chicken flavour so we would end up with two bucket full of yummy goodness! Now that I know that my little girl likes this treat, I should invest in popcorn machines and start looking at products to view. I saw which is a site I think would be a good starting point for me. Perhaps I should look at getting this for Christmas! The holiday season is just around the corner and so I better start looking around at malls for good bargains on looking at these machines. Maybe if I am lucky enough, there will be a super sale and matching coupon or cash back deals out there.

I am running out of time now before I head off to work, so I will need to make a note about this in my diary. I can't wait to see my daughter's eyes light up when she opens the box with her very own popcorn machine! And maybe I should keep it a surprise from my dear hubby as well. Surely he will like to make popcorn from home too!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Oh Chris

So funny the other day, instead of working my way through on the city bus (a good hour bus ride), I ended up watching Chris Martin (again!) interviews again - on my super small iphone screen! Yes, this is obsessive now! I am crushing on the British accent lately - and Chris Martin fits perfectly into the picture. Oh and Jude Law too.......... Now off to watch Jude. 

Unsecured business loans in life

We are off to the pop up markets tomorrow, just at our local area - the council is setting one up for our community. For the past three weeks now our family has been going to weekend markets, fairs and festivals. What's on there are jumping castles for kids, great and yummy food, and small businesses showcasing their products or services. Makes me think whether the small businesses have unsecured business loans when they started running the show - I should probably have a chat to one of the stall holders tomorrow. I'm sure I will pick up handy tips which I could use for my own business.

New black bag

On Friday my new black bag purchase from Ebay arrived! And as much as I was excited making the purchase - it failed to deliver. It was too small for my taste (I love huge bags!), the quality wasn't as good as I expected. I have used it yesterday - I loved the feel of having a new bag (It has been a while) but I probably won't use it as much as I want to. I'm still on a hunt again ..for that big black bag!

The unsecured business funding "business"

The other week I received an anonymous phone call from my so called bank who was wanting to offer me unsecured business funding for my sole trading business. With all these prank calls and messages that is circulating I could not believe the offer they were making to me over the phone. That was despite the caller introducing himself properly and going through the usual checks. I told the caller that I would just pop into my local branch to confirm the offer. I'm not sure whether he gets the commission for this but I could not afford to accept a big offer like that just over the phone. I am off to the bank now!

Lovely Purple

I am trying to look for these Allium Giganteum flowers which I saw on display last year with my mum but I cannot seem to find them anywhere! Now I know since I've researched on it that they are out in the winter -early spring time only. But then, although we are nearly just one month and a bit away from summer, it is still cold! So I am still hoping to find one somewhere..... On a hunt for it! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Creating wedding decorations

I'm a big fan of wedding decorators. I admire their creativity above everything they do. They have that ability to give a wedding that feeling of happiness and serenity and gives it a very positive start. The lack of it doesn't necessarily take all those away, but there's nothing wrong with making something beautiful even more so. When it comes to flowers there's practically limitless choices of colours, arrangements, number, and whatnot. They give so much life. From flowers to candles and down to the smallest wedding decorations and details, these decorators really piece it together. Every wedding should use one. They just give weddings a very positive vibe.

Cool wedding cake toppers

It's amusing what some couples choose for their wedding cake toppers. I saw some random wedding on TV one day and I saw on top of their cake a bride and groom figurine not in the traditional manner of standing side by side, but as a couple riding an elephant on a safari trip. Now the idea alone isn't amusing but the level of detail that went in it. Seeing as those were not just made of plastic but real edible ingredients I realised there was a good amount of detail that was required making them. I thought baking only involved taste and a bit of flare, but it involves fine craftsmanship as well. I'm truly amazed.

Loving Rainbows

I am loving rainbows and missing this view from our old apartment. *Sigh* My hubby though doesn't miss our old place as much as I am. For some reason he seems to be able to let go of these things quickly. Well to me, three years at that place, staring at that view - we had lots of good memories there....

A happy sand ceremony

I just recently found out about this new "in" thing at weddings: sand. Well, it's not new anymore apparently, but it is to me and I think it's wonderful. It is symbolic of course and it comes with a very deep meaning. I thought sand was only good for construction and playing with on the beach, but in fact can give a good meaning to sand ceremony. Well some genius thought of giving 2 separate heaps of sand colour and in a symbolic gesture mix them up to symbolise unity in a wedding. Of course it's impossible to separate them once they've been mixed up just as couples that go into a union should be. It is after all a lifetime commitment.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Still rambling about unsecured business loans

I love taking photos. I've been doing so since I picked up my uncle's old SLR camera that he left behind when he migrated overseas. I still remember the brand. That was about 20 years ago. I never really took it seriously until I was well into adulthood. When I say serious I mean taking notice of the tools I used. At first it was just accessories to a simple, no-frills digital camera. Now, it's professional gear. I thought to myself I love taking photos so much, why not use it to make a living? The only major holdback was capital. I need to expand the tools I already had into a basic set that will get me going. The cost is no joke. So since I don't have that kind of money lying around I'm making a trip to my local bank to discuss unsecured business loans. This will not be an easy endeavour, but at least I'm sure it will be a fulfilling one.

Something about personalized napkins

There is something about personalized napkins that get to me - in a good way. Somehow it livens up an entire party table with it's uniqueness. The best ones are the ones that stand out and complement the rest of the party decor. There was once my husband and I attended a wedding party wherein the napkin was given a lot of attention by party guests. It was creatively done embossed with flower shapes and had both the couple's names printed on it. What was great about it was although it was oddly shaped it did not lose it's practical use.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Red roses

Roses are red, and so are my hubby's cheeks when I brought these home one evening. They were actually given as a present by one of my clients for the job I've managed to complete for her when she didn't think it was possible.. But I've learned my lesson. Flowers as such must be left at work! No if's, No buts. No exception.

My thoughts exactly on unsecured business loans

There are a lot of things said about unsecured business loans that lenders think is "common" knowledge. Sometimes it isn't enough to just read and research about the theoretical information. Sometimes one must speak to an expert to gain a better understanding of this binding contract or agreement that is spelled with four letters. For one, I function better when I discuss the theories I know of, with someone knowledgeable or authorised. If only there is such a thing as a computer brain to process all these information in an instant. I will quickly head to the nearest shopping centre to buy this!

Take me there!

I just was surfing around and came across a photo of this oasis! My beach sanctuary! I can imagine the breeze blowing by, and can almost hear the waves crashing down. The only missing thing on this picture is me - sipping my pina coladas! I believe this photo is at a resort somewhere down Mexico!

Furniture retail software versus actual shopping

I digress from my research about furniture retail software as I imagine doing retail therapy by shopping for furnitures for our home. I'm in awe every time I go to large furniture stores. It's like going to an amusement park. A huge area the size of a soccer field filled with sofas, couches, tables, chairs, display units and everything furniture-related. It's not just the sheer number in display, it's the way they are neatly arranged, too. Living room displays next to dining room displays - it's like jumping from one house to another in just a few steps. Unfortunately, alongside the feeling of amazement I also get confused. It's not so much having a hard time deciding which, say, couch to get, but beside that couch is beautiful coffee table. And not far from that coffee table is an entertainment unit and so on. I start thinking to myself "gee, those would look great in my living room..". So what should have been a straightforward decision to buy just one piece of furniture becomes a struggle between need versus want over an entire showcase. Enough about that, it's time to go back to researching on specialised softwares.

The secret about wedding decorations

Last month my little family of three attended a wedding in the city. The groom who was a long time family friend, was a very hands on groom. He took care of most things up until the wedding reception. Little did he know there was a wedding decorations disaster that was covered up as they were on their way to the reception venue. The wedding cake collided with one of the table centrepieces and had to be re-shaped by the chef just before guests poured in. On seeing the cake, I can't help but wish the groom would not notice!

Gowns and Diet

Gown shopping is super fun, but sometimes it is hard to decide which one to take when you like them all!

Just wondering which one will bring out the "slimmer" me or which would flatter my body type. I guess it's not about the gown sometimes, I should really stick to my diet! My best friend's wedding is exactly a month from today!

Monday, October 08, 2012

A couple of small business loans

I wonder whether it is possible to take out a couple of small business loans? I currently have a few things going on for me, and I would definitely benefit from perhaps two loans. I should really check with my personal banker (or friend) whether it is best to take out just one loan for a higher amount. I suppose it does not make sense to take out two loans when really I am a sole trader doing two businesses. More research for me to do tonight, or I will sleep it off and call my bank first thing tomorrow morning!

Having a sand ceremony

I might be a bit more traditional and prefer to have a church wedding as opposed to a sand ceremony, but I would have to admit I still appreciate nicely executed wedding celebrations by the beach. It would take great courage to pull something off such as this, since weather cannot always be on your side. I've been to a lovely wedding by the beach where they had intricate artworks made on the shore. The intimate wedding took place on a perfect afternoon, and it was the third day of the week long island trip. Our small group were so bonded by that time our photos by the beach ended up like a magazine pictorial! Truly, beach weddings are quite fun!

Taking out unsecured small business loans

Once in while I feel like whinging about the repetitiveness of a 9 to 5 job. You let the alarm wake you up at least 2 hours before work day starts, get dressed, have breakfast then head off to work. When you get to work you do the same things as the day before. Wait impatiently for the clock to strike 5 then walk out the office door to head on home. Then do it all over again the next day for 5 days. It's not at all bad, but I can't help but wish sometimes I could do something else and take a hold of my own time. A friend suggested that I start a business and research about unsecured small business loans. I do love baking. I will have to take out a loan, but I'm fairly confident I have what it takes to make it work. I just need to do my research and get the right attitude.

Dental practice for sale

It's been a while since my last visit to the dentist. It's not that I'm afraid of some professional poking around inside my mouth looking for a tooth to pull out. Well, a little. But mainly because they are just a tad expensive where I live and there are no dental practice for sale here which means business must be good all the time. I caught up with a dentist friend recently and we got into comparing the cost of going to the dentist in our local areas. Suffice to say I could get return flights to where he is, have a holiday and still have enough money to have my teeth checked for the amount I would have to cough up here. Then he said, "maybe I should take my practice there". I said "great, you already have a patient! Do I get a discount?". He just laughs.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Ever thought about dental practice valuation

My cousin in law is a dentist who never worked outside her own practice. I have a friend who on the other hand has had the opportunity to be able to have her own practice and work for a corporate practice. When it comes to finding out which has advantage - I guess I wouldn't know. The best thing is to request for a dental practice valuation which considers components such as : location, client base, technology, etc. My guess now is as good as yours, and would be interesting to note if a private dental practice wins out over a much larger dental practice!

Beautiful commute

Taken from Milson's Point
If only each day everyday this is the commute.... No traffic,  Great Views, and under 10 minutes travel time (I wish!)....

I know how effective personal word of mouth marketing can be

There are a million ways to make a business work. I know the most effective of it is by personal word of mouth marketing, or through referrals. A lot of my current maintained clients have been with me for a while now through referrals from friends. Some of these referred clients have even referred more clients to me - how heartwarming and pocket enriching at the same time. This has cost me nothing but my devoted time in servicing the original client or my friend. The rest of the process gradually unfolds itself magically! It is definitely worth investing in impeccable service.

Such a teddy

No background story - yet
My sister and I have launched our online baby store a month ago, and have been on the look out for the perfect teddy to incorporate with our gift basket. I had the idea to find a teddy which had some meaning to the story of its creation. When little B was born she was given a knitted Teddy from Royal North Shore Hospital. The story behind those teddies they give out at that hospital was that old people would knit them in the aged care centres and give them to the hospital to give out to newborn, or sick children at the hospital. I think that is a good story. Now if only we can source this in the Philippines or tap someone there who has this sort of background to that plush toy. In the attempt to be a perfect business partner, I was scouting for a teddy - but at the mall! So much for having a meaningful background - but well, we had a deadline!

Should we take out a couple of Midland Texas auto loans

In a couple of months we are re-registering our car again, taking out car insurance again, renewing other licenses and insurances again. December seems to be when this is all happening. This out of pocket expense is on top of all the expenses that normally comes with the festive month! Yesterday hubby and I were out and about in the city with little B and we were discussing how to approach this. One thing that crossed our conversation is the possibility of applying for an auto loan or speak to someone about Midland Texas auto loans. Perhaps we should put applications in if we want this approved before December!

Craving Taho

Oh dear me, it's 8AM and I am craving Taho so early in the morning!! How I wish! I just remembered how the street vendor in Manila used to shout "tahooooooooooo-o!" and we would rush to the garage door to buy some.

Best friend's wedding decorations

Exactly one month and one day from today my very good friend is getting married! I loved helping her plan out every bit of this wedding and how we would exchange a million emails a day (she is overseas at the moment on an assignment) with wedding concepts, gown ideas, guest duties and responsibilities and everything in between. What I really liked about what they have decided on is that they are going rustic all the way. They are celebrating at a gorgeous farm an hour's drive from the city. They will have all their decorations in pale, light colours!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Every parent knows

... how to make their son/daughter eat heartily!

Ever since I saw this plate by Fred (Ms Food Face), at Myer, I could not help but rummage my mind about creating meal time fun. My mum is really good at this and has given me some stuff to try on little B. I have a bread toast shape maker, rice shapes, etc. I wish I could come up with more ideas so that the little girl would eat better. Her food repertoire is not very extensive, and veggies are a constant struggle to make her eat. Hopefully I could get her this Ms Face plate and it would encourage her to be "friends" with her food (and eat it!).

Ms Food Face by Fred
What are your other ideas to make your little one eat? I can think of many ways I have dressed up pancakes, hiding veggies in spaghetti (and other soup), but have not experimented with a whole lot. I know I should really try harder to come up with interesting food.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

My Chris Martin secret

Many years ago hubby and I watched our first concert together - and it was by Coldplay.

I so love, love, love Chris Martin. His voice makes me blush *hehe* And this is a secret.

One time, I actually watched his hour-long interview on youtube - until the wee hours. I guess we all have our crushes, I just didn't think I'd stay up late for it. Haha!

Now if only I could secure tickets to their concert in November!! Wishful thinking is free.

Coldplay Mylo Xyloto Tour

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cross the road

Every day we are faced with cross roads. Whether these are high ways or alley ways, they are inevitable and one must pass through these to get to the destination - the goal.

Sometimes it feels great to pass through familiar territories, giving a sense of comfort knowing you've been there and have done that - at least once before. However, most of the time we are faced with unknown circumstances. As much as we'd like to move on with a straight face and armed confidence, we can't. We wish we could, but there are more risks when one's got other people involved. Calculated risks + the great freeway = Perfectly calculated destination and goal. If only it was that simple equation.

Taken on a winter morning - St Pat Churchill Sydney
How does one discern about the future? How does one plan for the future? All I can do now is plan in the best way possible I am able, and pray, then leave the rest to Him up there.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Blending In

Do you think it is a good thing to blend in, or does it take away something special from you?

I guess depending on the situation, it can really be a good thing.

For one, it can mean being comfortable with the environment, the people, the situation.

Blending in can mean you are standing out and shining at some of life's moments.

Is it easier to blend in or shine on your own?

Really, it's neither good or bad. It just how life is.
Sometimes you're one of them, and sometimes you bask in unique glory.
After all the best people that stand out are really the chameleons.
C'est la vie.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

For a good cause

My company affiliation gives us one full day or money to give to a charity of our choice - annually. I have decided how to use this year's credits. I am thinking to find a charity that helps children in some way. There are lots of organisations that care for children, and I can name a few in a blink. Perhaps a charity that addresses children and hunger - so many starving children out there. Or maybe, one on children, vaccination and health. One thing that I could give to as well, would be towards children in the orphanage back in the Philippines. Surely these organisations in the Philippines are not well funded and need all the support they can get when possible. When I was still living there a decade ago, I remember visiting an orphanage for children of young and unwed mothers. The kids were very much excited about having visitors there, and they were longing to be given attention to and cared for. These children are the ones who need our help the most since they have no choice in the situation they were brought into in this world. The stage of life that they are in as well makes it very crucial - as it could set the pace for their lives well into adulthood. Being a parent has made me think this way and appreciate my own family circumstance - and try to give back to those who are in need the most. On another note, I've read about a New York non profit organization that touches people's lives through their art. I am sure which ever charity I choose to give my time or money to would appreciate this gesture.

Isn't it nice that our company gives back to the community and encourages it's employees and affiliates to do the same?

To cruise, or not to cruise

Ever since I can remember, I've been wanting to sail on the Voyager of the Seas!! They've got the Dreamworks experience - for the little girl and the big boy! When I went on the Radiance of the Seas cruise inspection (docked at Circular Quay) late last year we were told that the Voyager would be in Sydney for a season starting this November 2012.

"Radiance of the Seas" docked at Circular Quay
There is an overnight cruise Sampler on the 23rd of November and I am thinking whether we should splurge and go on it. Or, not! Especially since we are looking at heading back to Manila soon, we might be better of just keeping the moolah and spending it more wisely elsewhere. Having said that though, I am so very tempted!! I guess if there is a good travel agent rate then I won't resist!

The masterchef in me

This year I am a fan again, following the reality tv show contest nearly every day. If I cannot watch it then, I see to it that I've got it recorded to watch the following evening (to my daughter's excitement - she watches too).

This year, as was last year, and the year before that - has been a tough one. Literally quite draining physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. Thus, our impending homecoming (hopefully soon) would bring a much needed rest for my small family. Admittedly, amidst all the challenges we faced as a family, my relationship with my husband has hit a plateau. There were days or weeks when we would just be too tired to relate to each other in a loving way. We didn't necessarily have to fight - but rather we'd just be simply exhausted. Having no one to rely on for that occasional breather, we just had to take turns 'breathing' or doing nothing. Some days required more effort than other days, and we have had to just wing it mostly. I'd say we are overdue to spend some real quality time together as a couple and just re-connect on a different level. At this point, we would rather relax at one or two cheap hotels in Medford for a few weekends than have to deal with household chores and the like. It would be really nice to not have to think about what to prepare for lunch and dinner, who would clean up the dishes, who would do the laundry and fold the clothes after. I can already feel my body tensing up just as I think about these chores.

Going back to my train of thought earlier about my following the reality tv show contest. I could just relate to what the contestant felt about wanting to win the running title of the show. At this very moment, and for the past couple of months, I'm just focused on getting to our goal as a family to move back to the Philippines for a year. Aside from the obvious comfort it will bring, we would get to spend time with our parents. Both sets of grandparents are just eager to spend more time with our daughter. My siblings and their kids are likewise looking forward to play dates and party celebrations which we could be a part of once again. There are just so much advantages for us. Thinking of this just makes me so much more focused on that goal. I would do whatever and everything I could possibly do to get there. I know I will, and I claim this to happen soon.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The travel destination of the year

Hawaii is booming again for the Australian tourist, and the local travel agents are feeling it! An airline is increasing its flights by adding more services from one of the Australian cities. Also, I for one, have been researching maui activities and booking my clients to Hawaii that I’ve got at least 15 clients visiting that state in the next 6 months. My guess is that amidst all the new destinations tourists are exploring, there is that time or market that just wants to visit a place within their comfort zone, safe haven – a tried and tested destination where millions of visitors have gone and left with happy memories no matter how cliché that is.

I am probably due a Hawaii visit soon. It has been ten years since I’ve set foot in paradise, and so the need to go back now. Coincidentally, I saw a film set in Hawaii last week. It showcased the gorgeous islands and ignited that traveller in me to book my next trip there.

The old thinking that it is an expensive place for honeymooners and rich people is old news. There are a range of hotels and resorts that cater to different markets nowadays. There are also a range of Hawaii activities that does not have to be expensive. In my opinion, Hawaii has a lot to offer different types of tourists. Tourists who want the luxury to cruise on a yacht through the islands, or the ones who came to enjoy free access to beach and laze around for weeks. I know what I would find myself doing there .. nothing! Truly, a seascape such as what they have, must be captured by doing nothing and enjoy doing nothing. It is paradise in all its glory – sea, mountains, good food, good fun, good beach. That is life!

Let's go home

So again, I am dreaming and thinking if we'd be spending Christmas with the whole family in Manila this year. And next year. And the year after. Yes. Really...

It's been years and years that hubby and I have been talking about in circles whether we should head home. Finally, we've decided we will. But whether that will happen soon as in by end of the year, we'll see. It could be next year. The good thing is that we've agreed that it is best. At least to live in Manila for a year or two. Just like an expat on an assignment.

We've been pushing our numbers and drafting a plan, and we should really go full speed mode if we want to have a tropical Christmas.

There were lots of considerations for us in coming up with a decision to move back. Money was one of them, and family relationships a big factor too. We've come across stories from our friends and acquaintance (and even strangers) moving back to the Philippines for a number of reasons, and one compelling reason being family.

With the global migration happening in all cities of the world, families are torn apart. Relationships stagnate at some point of the family life. Lucky for the ones who form new adopted "families" in their new communities. However, not everyone experiences that, or in the right depth/level to fill the void.

With our impending move, as much as we are keeping our options open, we are also still wanting to keep the ties we have here - somehow. After all, we could find ourselves moving back to Sydney at some point. Or not. At the moment, anything is possible.

For now, I am Manila dreaming. Hopefully to set foot home soon!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The beach and the theme park

Having been so busy working lately, and with the winter chill looming, I’ve been wanting so much to head to the beach. Somewhere warm like the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach hotel, this is right smack on the beach. Dreaming of warm weather, sunshine and sand on my feet which is surely something my little family could use right now. We are freezing in Sydney and with a much needed quality time away, a getaway would be perfect.

The other day I dream of my good friend who lives in sunny Florida, and what better time to be able to visit this Fort Lauderdale beachhotel. If only we could. Perhaps head off on a couple of nights cruising in the Caribbean would be good too!! I am currently working on a quote for a family doing the Bahamas and the Caribbean for 7 magical nights. I am so jealous now!!

Being the weekend that it is now, I am tempted to just wake hubby and the little girl and invite them to go on a long joy ride up to the beach. However, since it is winter, it might not be a great idea. What good is it to have freezing breeze on your face? Especially with this crazy winter snap. The only consolation would be the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Hmm. Perhaps we should just have a lazy day in? Oh no!!

I should probably just go back dreaming about our Florida getaway. Perhaps that would attract warm weather vibes (I can dream). I am also getting ahead of myself now and thinking about everything else we could do down there – Disney World, Kennedy Space Shuttle, visit my other friend at West Palm Beach, laze around Miami beach. I think Disney World would be quite nice and enjoyable for my 2 year old and my 33 year old. The last time I was at Disney World with my siblings was more than 10 years ago. I think it is about time to head back and re-live that moment and be a kid again. Which now gives me another idea lurking – I want to go visit a theme park now (again with the idea of warm weather strolling around the park)! 

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Love and many Brochures

I love travel brochures. Hard copy brochures, and not e-brochures.
For some reason I end up with a lot of them each time I pass by a brochure wall. Whether I need them or not - I want them!! Hehehe! (Hoarder alert). Over the years I've managed to keep the best ones, one of a kind ones, from everywhere. And whenever I have to part with one ( involuntarily), I do so with a heavy heart - no joke!

So looking at this wall makes me itchy to plan a tour, getaway, trip somewhere. And what better way to pass time now that my dear good friend and her family are visiting my family in Sydney - in July!! (They don't have visas yet, but I am praying!)

"Love and many brochures" Photo taken by me - Holiday Inn Surfers Paradise
So, that brings me to planning a getaway! I am so excited, I can think of a number of places to take our first time Oz visitors! I should post about my must-sees in Sydney!! I can't believe I haven't collated a list yet here (silly me).

A new chapter..

Somehow change is good. It keeps me on my toes. It's been quite a long while that I've kept within my comfort zone, somehow. Now, it's back to the grind. Strict routine, day in and day out. Not bad, I'd say. Just a far cry from what I've gotten used to.

Sometimes the situation will force change upon you, and sometimes it's a result of voluntary efforts. Either way, what can possibly make you stronger ... will make you stronger. So there it is! Bring it on, change!!

How do you cope with change? I've been asked this a few times in the past couple of months.. and I say I handle it pretty well. After all, I've been through so many changes in my life. I've moved and changed my lifestyle when I migrated to Australia. I've adjusted and changed my lifestyle when I started a family and had a baby. Life is constantly presenting opportunities to change what one has been used to.

Posting a crab photo from my camera - taken at Moreton Island, QLD - just because I want to post a photo :) 
C'est la vie.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


We all leave footprints
In each others' lives
Some footprints linger on
Some get washed away
By the rain
Footprints etched
In your heart
"Hearts" - Taken at Moreton Island, QLD
Stay forever.

The big 4-0

Turning 40 soon has had me thinking about a few things lately. One, major one is whether to have another baby. Hmm. I guess this is partly n...