Thursday 31 May 2007

Japanese Karinderia in Alemanya


This is one of those joys of networking with other groups;
one discovers good eating places while talking about planning
and sharing the latest jokes. Filipinas talk about serious things
while chewing, never forget that.

My favorite things in this Japanese eatery in Duesseldorf.

a) Their white and blue set of ceramics. Too tempting, (ehem
for my hobby) they compete with the taste of their
b) fingergoodies Gyosas or dumplings
c) Odon, noodle soup

Hai! Oshiiiiiiiiiii yo! Total Cost of the set of
lunch for comparison: One plate of dumplings, one bowl
of noodle soup and one serving of green tea cost 11.00Euro.
(You multiply that with the peso rate...roughly around
600 plus pesos for one person. Right?) Takai desu ka?

This/these picture(s) is/are for Mila F. who did not come
to our meeting. Maglaway ka sa inggit!
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Monday 28 May 2007

Celebrating Antonia Marikit's Birthday

Antonia with her grandma Mamang

Ducky getting invited to join the grill party

Strawberries with Champagne...and you call this kiddie's birthday party?

Birthday Hula Hooping

Friday 25 May 2007

The Octopus Story: Episode 1

We normally get our share of fresh Frutti di Mare
every Friday in our weekly market sold by a team
of Dutch fish vendors. They are Protestant in
their religious preference, I should say but they
help me keep my Catholic upbringing by buying fresh
tuna, dorade, shrimps, sardines, salmon, mussels,
clams, squids and octopus and thus make me vegetarian
at least every Friday and not only on Holy Friday.
Not that I buy all the above Frutti di Mare in their
stall every Friday but at least I have enough seafood
supply without having to live near the sea.
In short, I am a Suki, or I consider them my fish Suki
and I can proudly say that I have invested a bit in making
their fish business flourish.
After one sojourn in Padova where I tasted this freshly
prepared Pulpo or Octopus salad in a market stand in the
city center, I have always wished making my own fresh
octopus salad. So returning one day to my favorite fish
vendor, I eagerly got me one fresh Octopus...well fresh
in the sense, it was freshly lying on a mount of crushed ice.

Home with my prized Octopus, I prepared a potful of
water with cut onions, pieces of garlic, black peppers and
salt and put the whole octopus to cook while I looked for
the phone to start another hobby. In between calls, I wanted
to check the stuff when I saw a chicken-like structure floating
out of the pot. Madonna! The octopus had doubled in size and
was about to jump out of the boiling broth. Where did I see
such film, I was wondering...tentacles or what? Our late lunch
was delayed more by my excitement as I called back the phone
mate to narrate my first Pulpo cooking experience. Are
they also doping octopus nowadays?
Taste of the warm octopus salad: A bit "gummy" but the olive
oil imported from an Italian supermarket saved the late lunch.

To be continued: Abangan ang susunod na kabanata!

Wednesday 23 May 2007

Happy Birthday Antonia Marikit


Today she is turning seven
Antonia Marikit
Wish you all the beautiful
Happy Birthday!

Many returns of lovely years!

Maligayang Bati!
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Tuesday 22 May 2007

Of Knut, Gorilla Bokito and Beary Brownie

"Will polar bear Knut become dangerous like Gorilla Bokito?"
flashed in many German sensational dailies today after the Dutch zoo director in Rotterdam City blamed his
colleagues in Berlin for spoiling Gorilla Bokito. A transfer from
Berlin Zoo to Rotterdam Zoo Blijdorp (Happy Village)to help in
getting new "recruits" from three female gorillas in Rotterdam Zoo,
Bokito attracted media attention not only through his successful
mission but also through his aggression; the gorilla was said to be
behaving like a "macho" before it started attacking zoo visitors last week.
It was a case of wrong 'upbringing,' said the Dutch zoo director.
Bokito was given feeding-bottles, was going out and eating
pizzas with his caretakers and on top of it, he was a star in Germany.

Will this cute and lovely new star of the Berlin Zoo, Knut the
Polar Bear, end up like Bokito, the Macho Gorilla?
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Good thing that we have our own source of domestic delight and
bear hug through our unspoiled Beary Brownie. It is more than
a decade since this 'huggable' creature has joined our household,
and it does not need anything except fresh batteries for singing.
And those eyes, just look at those eyes.
Who needs Knut and Bokito?

Note: Photos of Knut and Gorilla are taken from the Nachrichten

Sunday 20 May 2007

Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry Fields Forever

Let me take you down
'cause I'm going
to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real and
Nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields Forever.

Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It's getting hard to be someone
But it all works out
It doesn't matter much to me.

No one, I think, is in my tree
I mean, it must be high or low
That is, you can't you know,
tune in, but its alright
That is, I think it's not too bad.

Let me take you down
'cause I'm going to
Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real
and nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields Forever.
The Beatles

Harvest, Cash and Carry in Strawberry Fields


"Let me take you down 'cause I'm going to Strawberry fields
Nothing is real and nothing is getting to hung about,"
but this was something; it was real one and half hour looking
for the ripe, deliciously looking and tempting fruitlets and
of course, munching in between which is the attractive bonus of
this kind of harvest your own fruits sales practised in German
farms or fields offering seasonal fruits like cherries and
strawberries. It was a multi-tasking effort: taking photos,
searching for ripe berries,nibbling,listening to Russian, or
Polish? and Turkish languages swirling between rows
of Fragaria vesca or European strawberries.

I paid 9Euro for 5 kilos of self-harvested strawberries and did
a brief interview with the woman who is managing this small
harvest and cash strawberry fields near my village. Nothing of
those questions how much does she earn (not yet though) but she
gladly answered my strawberry related questions: she comes from
Romania,and they normally replant the fields after three years,
and they would sell the berries until end of June. Aha, enough
time to ask her relevant strawberry-related questions and start
a Filipina-Romanian suki relationship in these German strawberry

Tip: Do bring a compact to check trace of exaggerated
sampling before you present the basket of your labour. Good that
they have not thought of weighing people before and after
entering the fields...

Pinay von Strawberrymania
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Thursday 17 May 2007

Father's Day in Alemanya

To be a successful father, there is one absolute rule:
'when you have a kid, don't look at it for the first two years'.

Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday 16 May 2007

I Really Don't Want to Blog Today Day

Tja, after getting up nearing eleven this morning, I
resolved that I won't come near my notebook today.
Basta! Enough of these sleepless nights searching for
interesting pages, Pinay bloggers in diaspora and
trying to understand what RSS Feed means. I can't even
post my photo in my profile so why should I bother
to learn about XML Format and trackbacks.
Reality Check: I will just read emails from dear friends
who loyally send me chain of letters, jokes and spiritual
reminders. Why, at least, these senders I know are made
of blood and flesh with mind and heart and not just email
addresses, and we will soon be sitting together for a dinner
or discuss themes in which we all believe in i.e. women
empowerment, development, migration and integration. Believe
in the sense that it will also appeal to our funders and our
network members. Harinawa!

And so I opened this email from Lina G. with a warning that she
is forwarding it to me for the sake of fun. There he is, this
David Copperfield (have you received your forward?)teasing
me to pick a card and just look at his eyes. Let me see, I
was telling myself and waited either for a trick or treat after
rolling down the whole page.
And wow! Fantastic, simply unbelievable and I am really
amazed how it ended.
If you get this as forward, let me know if Copperfield's
hynoptic eyes have no effect in you. If you cheated, let
me know your trick, please, please!

Actually, today is I really don't want to blog today.

Tuesday 15 May 2007

If it's Monday, it is Aldi Day! and Nice Neighbors

I bumped into one of my nice woman neighbors yesterday afternoon
after doing my Monday grocery in this now famous 'if it's Monday
or Thursday, then it is Aldi Day' supermarket where one buys not
only canned goods and computers but also books tours or holidays
to USA, Africa or anywhere in Asia. I still have to check if the
supermarket in my village beats the Ethnic tariffs offered by many
tour and travel agencies to full or half-blooded Filipinas and Filipinos
and their partners and children. I did not buy any holiday tour package
but bought a universal homeware which unifies all Aldi shoppers,
rich or poor, employed or unemployed, sports car owners or joggers,
and with this ware, I mean the ever helpful rolls of toilet papers.
Well, come to think of it, it is indeed, a very unifying factor,
an egalitarian domestic ware which is found now in all sizes and
shapes of German-made bathrooms including the johns, naturally.
Ooops, I forgot one globalization issue here. Many stuffs are no
longer produced in expensive Germany but imports from different
"cheap" production zones either in Europe or China.

But back to my Nice Neighbor...
I said nice neighbor because she is, indeed, a nice in
nice person and married to another nice husband. All the niceties
one could wish for when you are living in an apartment complex.
Why am I writing this piece? Well, she gave me two bottles of really
exquisite tasting barrique aged redwine after this spontaneous
meeting in front of our apartment. Talking of ideal, nice neighborhood.

They also showed me yesterday their newly purchased Mac notebook;
my heart sank with envy...the other man's grass is always greener
syndrome momentarily overwhelmed me, that piece of Apple I wanted
so much since I've learned how to use the mouse.

So after the small talks and reassuring them that I would not
attempt to ride freely in their newly installed Wilan connection,
I invited them to visit my blogs. So now you could imagine
why the sudden love your neighbor as you love yourself posting

Now, I am thinking of getting a new without my
dear nice neighbors knowing about their equally nice
Pinay Kapitbahay

Pinay von Alemanya

Sunday 13 May 2007

Women Rule the World

EuroVision Song Contest

This is the English version of the
German entry to this year's Eurovision
Singing Competition which was held in Helsinki
last May 12, the eve before Mother's Day
in Germany.We have one woman chancellor but
the song placed only 19th. Lugi daw ang Alemanya
according to the local headlines the next day.

Frauen Regier'n Die Welt
Women Rule the World

Even in school the other boys would laugh
But it didn't matter to me a bit
She was so sweet and her legs were so long
I went to her ballet class for almost a year

When I found out she wanted to save the environment
I sewed "No thanks"on my parka
Back then she didn't care about any of that
But since then I know who rules the world

The way they talk and the way they stand
And how they look at you
Your wallet and your heart open right up
And then you buy a ring and a mink
All it takes is a sexy glance
To make you change your politics
It's not a boss of an action hero
A country or Mafia money
It's women who rule the world

They pull out all they stops,
from flirtatious to naive
As babies, they've already got their father
under control
They give you everything when they want something
And you bang your head against the wall when they pout

You make a fool of yourself and take abuse,
Just so the chicks of glance your way one time
They build up Beckham and topple Clinton
Without even starting a political party

The way they talk and the way they stand...

Comment ko: I really did not stay at home to watch
this yearly spectacular in May but rather went to see
a film. But I had seen this singer performing
in a German television last IWD, International Women's
Day this entry song. Instant Comment: Ay Sos!
Nangaya na naman ang mga Aleman. Talo 'to tiyak, I
instantly thought. So talo nga si Swinging Cicero.
I saw the semi-finals (in tv of course) and I was for
Hungary, Serbia and the song with the dancing Turkish women
impressed me. I really go for ethnic stuffs, they show
somehow a distinctive culture and not only copies
of clips we normally see in N-TV. It gets boring somehow.
Some entries, I thought they must be in the wrong stage; this
is a singing competition and not a search for the biggest
skupltured breasts and best swinging Hospitality Girls!
Well, for German Cicero...he could pass for a model for Persil
washing powder.

And the Winner is....from Serbia, and I think she really has
a voice sans swinging and décolletage.

Marija Serifovic
Song: Molitva

I'm wide awake
An empty bed drives my dreams away
Life melts like ice
Disappears in the twinkling of an eye

I'm losing my mind
Pushing reality out of sight
Our lips are touching softly
You're the one I believe blindly

I walk around like crazy
Falling in love frightens me
Days are like wounds
Countless and hard to get through

It burns my sore lips like a fire
Thy name is something I admire
Heavens knows just as well as I do
So many times I have cried over you
Heaven knows just as well as I do
I pray and live only for you

I can't lie to God
as I kneel down and pray
You're the love of my life
That's the only thing I can say

A Mother Within Us


Network of the Imaginary Mother

Blessed be my brain
that I may conceive of my own power.
Blessed be my breast
that I may give sustenance to those I love.
Blessed be my womb
that I may create what I choose to create.
Blessed be my knees
that I may bend so as not to break.
Blessed be my feet
that I may walk in the path of my highest will.

Robin Morgan

As a special feature for the celebration of Mother's Day, today
May 13, second Sunday in May,I am posting these photos
of Matryoshki (Nesting Dolls)a souvenir but definitely
no dust collectors from our travel to St. Petersburg.

Happy Mother's Day!
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Thursday 10 May 2007

Fit than Fat!

The Culprits!

Finally, when the rain came, Germans were not talking anymore
about the weather. Now, there is the new threat facing the whole
future of this society...fat children, fat men, fat women.
Dicke Deutsche! Fat Germans! Although the fatty years with the
social benefits are gone, the unwanted fat covering about 2/3
of men and 53% of women in Germany remains. That is another
translation from the news taken from the
Hey, it says men and women from Germany, so it could mean you
and me and not only the ...where did I read that definition...
fat, ugly, beefy...Gs.

Another article claims that in Europe about
20% of all school kids are overweight. Who is the culprit?
TV commercials are to be blamed for this development according
to this pro-heart advocacy group. About 20 ads of food and other
tempting goodies with high fat and sugar contents are being
flashed per hour, and therefore, children should be protected
from such commercials.

Fitt statt Fett is the Five-Point Plan
of the duo Ulla Schmidt(SPD), Minister for Health and
Horst Seehofer(CSU) Minister for Consumption and Agriculture
(I refuse to make the association fat pigs produce fat Germans?)
to improve Germans' eating habits and physical exercises until
the year 2020 and simultaneously stop children's tendency
to become overweight.

So calling all mothers, blogging or not, single parents or what,
how do I keep my kids cute, fit than fat, healthy looking with
my/our own weakness for dougnuts, white wine and chips while
watching TV,chatting or googling my favorite recipes for
brownies, buco pies and salads?

Wednesday 9 May 2007

What is a Philippine Election?

Cross Posting from Balita-USA

What is a Philippine election?
It all begins when the country's brightest, most highly qualified
inhabitants, the young dynamic professionals, citizens who
have the potential to make good leaders get together and
examine the country's problems, the state of politics and
the long-term national prospects.

What happens next?
They decide to emigrate.

And after that?
Another group of bright people get together.

What do they do?
They also emigrate.

And then?
And so on and so forth.

What does any of this have to do with a Philippine election?

When talented, smart and highly qualified potential leaders
leave the country all the time, who are you left with?
Retired basketball players? Toilet comedians? Bad actors
and actresses? Spoiled vicious rich kids?
Ageing and debauched hermaphrodites? You're ready to hold
a Philippine election.

How important are elected officials to the Philippines?
Nobody's been able to figure out an answer to that one.

What's at stake in a Philippine election?

Prizes and surprises! Millions in cash! Dream houses!
The vacations of your choice! Fun for the entire family!
That's from the politician's point of view.

How many positions are waiting to be filled in the
coming elections?

About 17,000 public offices and a still undetermined
number of graves.

So it's like a lotto?

Sort of, except that when you lose you could lose your life.

Who are qualified to run?
Anyone at all! Generally, any person of any citizenship
who's alive, of a certain age, good character and able
to summon a mob huge enough to intimidate the Supreme Court.

What kind of candidates have the most chances of winning?
ARTISTS who have the CONFIDENCE of the people.

You mean a con artist, don't you?
You said it, we didn't.

Who are qualified to vote?
Those willing to be bussed around and go a hard day's work
visiting a lot of precints during election day.

Talk about parties in the Philippines.
Everybody loves going to parties in the Philippines.

No, Political parties.
Oh! Well, in the past there used to be only two parties,
the Liberalistas and the Nacionalistas. Now there are
several dozens, but they still all fall under two main
parties: the Sosyalites and the Opportunitas.

What's the difference between the two parties?
Sosyalites love parties. Opportunitas will join any.

Explain what this year's presidential elections is all about?

Did you hear the one about the murderer, the thief, the
incompetent and the idiot?

No, is that a joke?
That's the presidential election.

You're a cynical bastard, aren't you?
No, no, no, we're not running for office.

Why are there so many international observers who come to
a Philippine election?

They're fascinated by all the strange phenomena which
accompany it.

What are you talking about?

Miracles are a dime dozen during election here. Vicious
criminals suddenly become saintly leaders. Voters fly.
The dead cast their ballots. Morons become national

Why is the Church so closely involved in elections?
They're also interested in studying the miracles. Also,
priests are needed to administer the last sacraments
to all the people who're killed.

Philippine elections sound like they're really violent
and bloody.

Not really. Not more than several dozen die on the average.
Why that's only a teensy fraction of the population! And
everything blows over after election day, so the country
can bet back to its usual kidnapping, wholesale graft,
hostage taking and coup attempts.

How clean are Philippine elections?
Let us put it this way: If Philippine elections were your
house, you wouldn't want to live in it.

What are guns, goons and gold?
Three traditional important elements of a successful election.
There's a new one: film credits.

How come this pamphlet doesn't include a question that goes
why can't all candidates just jump in the lake?

That question looks like it was just gratuitously put into
this article for every naughty purposes. We decline to answer it.

How can you tell an election outcome is suspicious?
Power failures in very specific rooms where the counting is
taking place. Numbers that start losing zeroes as the days go by.

Can't the candidates, out of the goodness of their hearts, put
a stop to crooked election?

You are really ARE from another planet, aren't you?

---Shared by Col. Romy Monteyro

Posting is taken from BALITA-USA

Tuesday 8 May 2007

For Birthday Celebrants 8th of May

...this marvelous moment for women, they should
remember that one of the gifts they have is that they
remained so very close to the personal life, and that the
qualities that were discovered in the personal life,
the value of human life, the value of tenderness,
attentiveness to others' moods, the need for compassion
and pity and understanding, the things that women
practice everyday in their daily lives, in their
small kingdoms, are enormously important.
Anais Nin

Happy Birthday, Dear Hermie, Dear Edith,
Wish you many returns of lovely years!
Cheers! Baci!

Saturday 5 May 2007

Ligawan (Courting) Ala Aleman with a Maibaum

Yes, there is such thing as ligawan in Germany
even if we hear many interesting things about
the 'unromantic' Teutonics, but I would add some
German guys to avoid massive protests from
Pinay friends who would delare their boyfriends,
partners or husbands are exceptions to the rule...
ooops cliché.

Was doing a mini powerwalk this morning when I passed by my
neighbor's house and saw this huge decorated Maibaum out of
a birch tree standing in front of their so-called Reihenhaus.
Reihenhaus means residences or houses built in a row.

Pausing to look at the Maibaum, I realized that
my neigbor's teen-aged daughter must have now a suitor
who wishes to declare his love through this Maibaum or maypole
decorated with colorful paper bands which reminded
me of decorative papers back home we called 'papel
de Japon'. I wonder how these papers are now named. Papel
de China? Papel de Globalization?

Or she must have a boyfriend as I can not imagine that
young guy ordering this huge birch tree taking all that
trouble without a secured collateral. Or is this Maibaum
a joint project of her admirers to share costing?

If this would be a tradition back home, I could imagine
that in the courting time of my older sister, she would have
had a forestry in front of our house. And during the
wooing tradition time of my grandmother, her best suitor
would have had enough trees to chop for his 'paninilbihan' or
courting service before the wedding.

But don't you get wild imagination that German Romeos
would personally chop, fetch and put a Maibaum
in front of the house of their 'inamorata.' Tree chopping
is naturally verboten, and maypoles like many other
commodities could be ordered in all sizes for fast
delivery and well, for lack of the right verb...
erection on the eve of May 1.

Note: Maibaum photo with a woman is taken
from website of WDR.

Friday 4 May 2007

Pinoys' 'Award-itis"

I found this email in one of my egroups and would like to cross
post here in this blog.

Pinoy's severe case of 'award-itis'(and our perpetual
search for Mr. and Miss Pancit, Pinakbet, Bangus, Tinapa USA
World and Universe).

Filipino communities in various parts of the world, especially
in the US, love to give awards to each other in addition
to staging dinner dances that also feature the search
for Miss Tinapa of Los Angeles or Mrs. Mabalahibo of
San Francisco.

We are guilty of these maladies, 'beauty pageant-itis'and
'award-itis.' On virtually any weekend, a Filipino
community somewhere in America is honoring, for example,
the most outstanding Filipino-American water filter salesman
of the year or Mr. Balikbayan Box Salesman of the Year USA.

I have attended an event where folks gave each other awards.
These people basically took turns standing up and presenting
each other with a plaque until everyone had one. I did not
know whether to laugh or to cry about the absurdity of the

The plus side of these awards and beauty pageants is that
supposedly they raise funds for worthy causes. Magpapatayo
ng million dollars community center daw. Sana nga but most
of the time they only earn about close to a thousand dollars
at best. This means they will have to do a lot more of
this absurd events. See the vicious cycle perpetuated here?

Yes, there are several awards that are prestigious, given
by people with impeccable credentials. However, these awards
by respectable organizations are outnumbered by recognition
events staged by organizations of dubious integrity or by
personalities out to seek glory for themselves.

The glut of these awards events and beauty contests has
reached ridiculous proportions. As a result, a lot of
people, especially in the Fil-Am community, don't take
these occasions seriously. Except the people who are
busy giving awards to each other.

Ruben Napales
Freelance Writer
National Inquiry

I was emailing back Ms. Anita not to get so upset
with such postings. What I find disturbing is
the indifference of many OFS or migrants on the situation
back home. Hay naku, many would say, talagang wala nang
magagawa dyan sa Pilipinas and they would start with
the litany of corruption, abuses, high prices and all
the other "Hiobsbotschaft" bad news coming from the
home country. It makes you really so sad and so
angry. But we know that we do not stop in just
being angry.
I told Ms. Anita that as long as Ms. Tinapa
and Mr. Bagoong and the organizers of such events
share a part of their earnings to any good cause
back home, I would not mind them having fun. We just
have to be critical as to how they spend our donations.
Transparency and decency should be kept alive together
with other Filipino values which are so many that
if every Filipino would keep them, we would be
awarded with the most saintly living citizens the
world has known. In the meantime, I am running out
of convincing excuses when my in-laws ask me why is this
going on in your country?

Pina von Alemania

Tuesday 1 May 2007

Reminiscing in May

Maikäfer ...My Avatar in May

Summer Holiday
Manga at Suman
Siniguelas at Sabong sa Ilokos Sur
May duhat pa at bagoong
Flores de Mayo
Tabang Mayo
Salagubang ng kuya ko
Second Sunday - Mother's Day
May 8 - Liberation Day
May Day! May Day!
May you be blessed with abundance in life
Labor Day
Kilusang Mayo Uno
When Bee Gees
were singing
when I was small, and Christmas trees were tall
do do do do do do do do do
May 06 - Birthday of my bayaw
will have some wine
May 8 birthday ni Edith, ni Hermie
They will cook pansit
partnered with chicken sandwich
May 17 Ascension Day
May 13 birthday ni Noor
May 23 ni Antonia Marikit
First rain in May
No showers in April
No flowers in May
so sweet nakakalasing
Santacruzan, Reyna Elena
is the daughter of the town mayor
who is running for
May 14 Philippine election
if he wins
he will give away free beer
for one month plus the
hand of his "lovely" son
turned daughter
In May my favorite poem
The Rhodora
by Ralp Waldo Emerson
"In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals, fallen in the pool
Made the black water with their beauty gay;
Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool
And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being:
Why thou wert there, o rival of the rose!
I never thought to ask, I never knew:
But, in my simple ignorance, suppose
The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.

May and soon
follows June.

Pinay wishing her name is Rhodora Maria von Alemania