Wednesday 24 December 2008

Oh Holy Night! Have a Wonderful Christmas!

(Photo: ML)

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Have a wonderful Christmas!
Easy now on the sweets and spirits!

Tuesday 23 December 2008

On the Second Day Before Christmas...Stress, Stress, Stress

Cross Posting

Yes, I am feeling like a do all man was here
yesterday (he dared to comment about my Christmas tree saying,
Obscene!)...when hubby was just about to enjoy his piece of
yummy chocolate cake...his computer did not work and so
back to his old Mother Board and to his blues!
Did not sleep the whole night...have to do last documentation
reporting for Finanzamt for the Verein and am I still on the
job of copying published activities. Called up Finanzamt
and no one was answering. Who is working anyway at this
time of the season...the news featured Germans on the buying
spree. Everyone wants to buy gifts, and I have not even
bought our supply of milk for the holidays.
Then our newly repaired Espresso machine (the repair costs
almost a new machine)is not really that functioning...
cold coffee, drops of brownish morsels are coming out
of the mini how do you call Help! Mood of
hubby is now getting really all-time low. No computer,
no Espresso. Managgia! (is the spelling right?)
Even the chocolate cake does not seem to work magic anymore.

So, in between, have to unleash my frustrations and post
this blog I promised to complete before
the eve of, before Christmas Day.
Saw some emails...aha, some warring women are now sending
sweet Christmas wishes to each other. Must be in the air...
forgiving for the season and backbiting again next year?
Ah women!

The doorbell I hope the parcel is for me
and I am not again a recipient of mailed gifts for my neighbors.

So back to sorting out paperwork and heating meals.
Domestic Goddess!

Tags: alltags, domestic, friendship, greetings, life, list, wish


Thursday 18 December 2008

December 18, International Migrants' Day Cross-posting Balikbayang Sinta


Iiwan mo lahat ng iyong minamahal; ito ang palaso na unang
Ipinawawalan ng busog ng pagkatapon…
…Dante Alighieri

Lumipad ka na patungong Roma at London
Balisang nakalingon sa ulap lulan ng naglaboy na panaginip
Lubog sa alaala ng kinabukasang unti-unting nalulunod

Lumipad ka na patungong Riyadh at Qatar
Sa pagkamulat kukurap-kurap sa pagtulog puso’y nagsisikip
Binabagabag ng sumpang naligaw sa salawahang paglalakbay

Lumipad ka na patungong Toronto at New York
Tinutugis ang biyayang mailap nabulusok sa patibong ng banyaga
Sa ulilang pugad anong maamong pag-asa ang nabulabog

Lumipad ka na patungong Chicago at San Francisco
Kumakaway ka pa tiwalang may katuparang babati ng “Mabuhay!”
Alinlangang luha’y naglambitin sa bahag-hari ng bawat yapos

Lumipad ka na patungong Hongkong at Tokyo
“Di kita malilimot” – pumaimbulog ang tukso ng nabitiwang paalam
Nabakling pakpak usok sa bagwis inalagwang talulot ng bituing nasunog

Lumipad ka na patungong Sydney at Taipeh
Ay naku, anong panganib ng gayumang sa pangarap nagkupkop
Ibon kang nagpumiglas alay mo’y talim ng paglayang nilalangit

Lumipad ka O sintang mahal, ngunit saang kandugan ka lalapag?

Bumabalik sa dalampasigang hulog ng iyong hinasang pagtitiis
Aking kaluluwang hiniwa`t ikinalat sa bawat sulok ng daigdig.

Piniling mga Tula ni
E. San Juan, Jr.


Monday 24 November 2008

10th Anniversary of Tatort-Straßen der Welt e.V.

Cologne based Tatort-Straßen der Welt e.V. celebrated its 10th
anniversary last November 23 at the Alten Wartesaal with about
300 invited guests and sponsors.

Dietmar Bär with ML

Fr. Shay Cullen with Lino

Guets of Honor included Fr. Shay Cullen, of PREDA
an organization which focusses primarily on children's rights and
rehabilitation of abused and traumatized children. He is a recipient
of many peace awards for his engagement for the cause of children.
His new book "Kein Kind ist Verloren" (No Child is Lost) was
launched in this celebratory evening.

Klaus J. Behrendt with ML

The 10th Year celebration program presented a short review of
the film Tatort Manila from the year 1998 which shows the story of
a young Filipino child victimized by a German paedophile.
Other documentation film included the visit of Tatort team
with Fr. Shay Cullen to children imprisoned in a Philippine
jail and a short visit to a mango farm interviewing farmers
whose produce are sold in Germany by Dwp Fairhandelshaus or
the so called Third-World shops.
Moderation of the evening program was done by Bettina Böttinger.

Ulrike Thoenniges, coordinator for the Verein.

Sunday 26 October 2008

Cross Posting:Time to Change i.e...sige tulog ka pa!

(Source of photo:

Have you adjusted your watches before you went to bed last night?
I did and did not.

I did because hubby wanted to have a wake-up call early this
morning and so had to adjust one alarm clock one hour later for
the year's winter time which started this early morning at 3 am.

I did not because of my habit of not adjusting it for the simple
reason of wanting to have that feeling that I have one more hour
to go back to bed and snooze a bit more. Mag-inin pa...even hubby
knows this term and uses it when he is not in the mood
to get up despite the screaming alarm.

I don't know the term for adjustment of time to the normal summer we call it Day-light saving time, right? Or is
it only a term in Da Philippines? How about in winter? Do we call
it Night-light saving time or Night-Life Saving Time?

Minsan, naalala ko pa in my early years in Alemanya...we were told
by our language teachers to adjust our watches one hour ahead so
as not to miss our final language examination in German. I did not
only adjust my watch on Saturday night but also did not sleep at all
on Sunday night due to my anxiety of getting up late and not
making it to the final examination. Stressy time talaga sa Alemanya.
Despite the warnings, there were a couple of North African
students who came in panting for breath just in time to get the
exam papers. Stressy life for foreigners in Germany.

Minsan, naalala ko pa din that we (hubby and I) were running like
crazy couple to the train station and missed our connection. Aha,
sisihan walang katapusan. We were blaming each other no end like
thespians in an open air theater at the platform of this train station
until we saw that our watches were on summer time module. Aha...
we realized both our over reaction and moments later, our marital
inter-communication was smoothly repaired.

I still have three other watches to adjust...will do it one watch
everyday until my system gets adjusted to what it is called winter
time...time to hibernate, time to make In-in, Winterschlaf and get
ready for Spring and Summertime. Uhuummmm...idlip pa.

If you have some interesting anecdotes about time adjustment, do
share with us. Kung may naalala kayong karanasan tungkol sa
pagpapalit ng oras sa Europa, paki share lang.

Pinay von Alemania

Thursday 23 October 2008

Reunion in Frankfurt with Chocolates from the Big Apple

Her email surprised me one morning as I have not received anything
from her since decades so I did not even know who the sender was.
She got my email add through her brother who forwards me all
sorts of information from health tips to activities of his
fraternity brothers who have attended this state university
some light years away. How my email landed in his loop is another
matter but I am beginning to enjoy the exchange of the mails in
that particular men's Egroup.
Cora resides in New York since the late 70s and works as a medical
technologist. She wrote that she would be joining a tour group
which will visit Central Europe passing through Frankfurt,
Berlin, Weimar, Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Vienna and Munich
including the romantic area of Rothenburg ob der Tauber and
definitely a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian
Alps of Germany, a two-week tour with folklore shows and
cultural programs to be paid extra.
Oh a fine time to come to Europe, I teased her in my
email, when everyone seems to be getting scared of a looming
recession in America.
We had lunch in this German restaurant Sachsenhäuser Warte
which she saw when she arrived in Frankfurt a day before
but thought it was a church and did not dare to look for
food in there. So in between servings of
squash cream soup which my New Yorker friend found so
delicious and main dish of German meat with potatoes,
we exchanged stories and anecdotes from life in the
province to living abroad.
Asking her again on her travel plan despite the present
financial crisis, Cora answered that she had long planned
her second travel to Europe and that is she....well
happily divorced. Our next rounds of laughters followed
just before we ordered our dessert of Apfelstrudel mit
vanilla sauce.

The best part of this reunion with my friend from the
Big Apple is the Pasalubong she brought for me, all the
cherished chocolates of my childhood, and she
even paid for our lunch. Thank you Cora!

In return, I could only tell her that sorry, you could not
bring some foodstuffs from here to the Land of Milk and Honey
except goodies from the Duty Free Shop.

Tuesday 14 October 2008

Golden Cologne Autumn 2008

Source: Photo: Schawaiger, Koeln express
Just updating but photos are not from my own camera but
chanced upon photos. Despite the depressing news on financial
melt-down coming from Wall Street and about a looming
possibility of world recession, nature has given us some
golden moments to reflect:
...on the status of our savings!
Gold or bust
property vs liquidity
friendship vs cash generating time
family vs personal need
work vs engagement
work vs voluntary activities
giving vs expecting
stocks vs savings
and so on.
Enjoy the photos:

(photo: Zik taken from koeln express)

Friday 3 October 2008

News Sharing: "Tag der offenen Moschee"

(photo taken from internet: bacolod mosque, philippines)

Holiday today in Germany, celebrating Re-unification Day. When
East Germany merges with West Germany... no more walls.
Now we share many things in common...taxes to pay, for example.

Today is also the traditional day of Open House for mosques
in Germany. Information about Moslem religion and other
programs regarding beliefs of our Moslem sisters and brothers
are part of this yearly celebration in Germany in postering
religious tolerance and understanding.

See the posted info taken from another site regarding this
"Tag der offenen Moschee"

Islam-Verbände laden zum Tag der offenen Moschee am 3. Oktober

Evangelischer Pressedienst 26 September 2008

Köln. Die Moscheegemeinden in Deutschland öffnen am Tag der
deutschen Einheit wieder ihre Türen. Der diesjährige "Tag
der offenen Moschee" am 3. Oktober steht unter dem Motto
"Moscheen - Orte der Besinnung und des Feierns", wie der
Koordinationsrat der Muslime am Donnerstag in Köln ankündigte.
Islamische Gemeinden und Verbände laden seit 1997 zum Tag
der offenen Moschee ein.
Der Koordinationsrat mit seinen Mitgliedsverbänden DITIB,
Islamrat, Verband Islamischer Kulturzentren und Zentralrat
der Muslime ist zum zweiten Mal der Veranstalter.

Der Tag der Begegnung schaffe eine Plattform für den
interreligiösen Dialog und biete Moscheebesuchern die
Möglichkeit, den Islam und die Moscheen kennenzulernen, hieß es.
Zum Programm gehören Moscheeführungen, Podiumsdiskussionen
und Ausstellungen. Die Internetplattform ""
listet rund 1.270 eingetragene Moscheen in Deutschland auf.

Bei einer Auftaktveranstaltung am Montag erhält der
Koordinationsrat auch einen neuen Sprecher. Der Vorsitz
wechselt alle sechs Monate.
Am Montag geht er turnusgemäß von Ali Kizilkaya vom Islamrat
auf den Verband der Islamischen Kulturzentren über (see
the article below.)

Posted September 26th, 2008 by hd

October 3, want to greet a very nice and beautiful friend of mine
who is celebrating her birthday today. Luzviminda, the reunification
of many beautiful things in that three islands...Have a wonderful
birthday and treat us next time to ice cream and your legendary
chocolate cake.

Thursday 25 September 2008

Photokina in Cologne World of Imaging 23-28.September 2008

Photo taken from:

German Information taken from

Die Messe
photokina 2008

Weltweit einzigartig und erfolgreich!

Innovations- und Trendforum, globale Business- und
Kommunikationsplattform der gesamten Imaging-Branche,
das ist die photokina!

Als internationale Leitmesse der Branche stellt sie das Bild in
den Mittelpunkt und zeigt, wie grenzüberschreitende Vernetzung
verschiedener Produkte und Technologien die Dynamik und das
Wachstum dieses Marktes bestimmen. Bilder sowie
Bildtechnologien entscheiden heute über die Qualität der
modernen Kommunikation,ohne sie ist eine aktuelle und
zukünftige Technologie nicht vorstellbar.

Die photokina ist die weltweit einzige Veranstaltung, die alle
Bildmedien, Bildtechniken und Bildmärkte so umfassend und in
ihrer ganzen Vielfalt darstellt – für Professionals und Consumer.
Damit verfügt Sie über eine einmalige Kompetenz, die ihr den
Status als „Total Solution Provider“ für alle Bildanwender verleiht.

Sunday 21 September 2008

One day in a demo...

Verdamp lang has been such a long long time sings BAP
in the local Kolsch dialect. The rock band from Cologne City
performed with other artists and musicians in this weekend
of opposition to the scheduled international conference of
Pro-Koeln. The conference was declared to be Verboten-illegal
due to the massive protests and blockades to the site
of the conference of the ultra-right groups. The weekend
protest was organized by several groups,labour unions,political
parties, religious groups and institutions with the theme
Arsch Huh 2008,
Koeln stellt sich quer.
(Rough translate: Ass up, Cologne opposes!)
A demo-concert by concerned rock bands, artists and
social activists accompanied the weekend protest movement while
other more daring oppositionists have been blockading
roads and routes of the ultra-right groupings.

Today, we remember the notorious day when Marcos
declared Martial Law in the Philippines....36 years ago.
As a small reminder of that notorious day, I am
posting here a short video of this concert demo of
Arsch Huh 2008, Cologne City Says No!
No to intolerance, no to racism!
Yes to a multi-cultural society!
Yes to freedom of religion!

To join a demo in Germany is really a treat, I should say.
But don't come in total black with sunglasses and hood...
you are making yourself a target for the secret cameras
of the staff of Germany is looking for the super stars of
demo...get it?

Here's the video with music from BAP, Verdamp Lang her.
Enjoy it and imagine yourself living in
a multi-cultural here, temple,
mosque,synagogue, Wats, sanctuary and beer gardens.

Saturday 20 September 2008

"Arsch huh 2008 Köln stellt sich quer"

A gathering of anti-racism organizations and institutions
against Pro-Koeln conference in Cologne.
Konzert-Demo with BAP, Brings, Hoehnern u.a.

Mit BAP, Gentleman, Brings, Klee, Höhnern und allen anderen
Köln stellt sich quer: Das Programm "Arsch huh 2008"

Der sogenannte "Anti-Islamisierungs-Kongress" europäischer
Rechtspopulisten trifft in Köln auf breiten Widerstand.
40.000 Gegendemonstranten werden erwartet. Wie beim ersten
"Arsch-Huh-"Konzert mobilisieren
jetzt auch wieder Kölns Musiker gegen Rechts. Hier das Programm
für den kommenden Samstag.

09.00 Uhr Versammeln sich die Demonstranten auf dem Roncalli Platz

09:30 Uhr Auftritt Tommy Engel Band mit Lammers und Steffen
und als Zugabe Das Trio Otta, Schlimbach, Schiffer

10:05 Uhr Kundgebung mit politischen Redebeiträgen -
Zwischenmoderation Heinrich Pachl

11:00 Uhr Umzug der Demonstranten zum Bühnenstandort
Gürzenichstraße - Quatermarkt

11:30 Uhr Höhner
ökomenisches Friedensgebet
Zeltinger Band
Wilfried Schmickler
Köster, Hocker & Friends
Anke Schweitzer & Rolf Lammers
Arsch Huh - Alle zusammen

Sunday 14 September 2008

September 14 and the Mooncake

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival or Happy Mooncake Festival!
This is not a posting on how to make these calorie bombs or
mooncakes but the photographed pinyin or yue bing
(moon biscuit) cake is prepared to be eaten
during our brunch this Sunday morning.
Well, not really prepared but as our original plan
to eat out turned into eating in, I have to look for
something eatable to go with our Espresso Casa Gusto
Cremoso meaning, Espresso if I see spilled milk
inside the fridge (placing milk carton is always a tricky
business in my kitchen) or Cappuccino if we could
splurge on this breakfast item.
Meanwhile, the mooncake is waiting on the breakfast
table as hubby gets back to bed while I check
my emails and found greetings sent by Chinese women
in one of my egroups:


Could you guess the meaning?

In case you wish to know more about this mooncake
eating festival and Mid-summer's
a short info taken from

The Moon festival (also called the Mooncake or
Mid-Autumn festival)falls on September 14th in the year 2008.
What is the Moon festival?
Every year on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar
calendar,when the moon is at its maximum brightness for the
entire year,the Chinese celebrate "zhong qiu jie." Children are told
the story of the moon fairy living in a crystal palace, who comes
out to dance on the moon's shadowed surface. The legend
surrounding the "lady living in the moon" dates back to ancient
times, to a day when ten suns appeared at once in the sky.
The Emperor ordered a famous archer to shoot down the nine
extra suns. Once the task was accomplished, Goddess of Western
Heaven rewarded the archer with a pill that would make him immortal.
However, his wife found the pill, took it, and was banished
to the moon as a result. Legend says that her beauty is greatest
on the day of the Moon festival.

Hey, I just want to eat a mooncake!


Friday 29 August 2008

Back to Alemania and Mamma Mia!

The week of returning to the nest and Mamma Mia!
What I did the first thing in the morning was to
check the weighing scale and NO, would not, couldn't
say how much I am weighing now. Bad news for those women
who have been impressed by how fast I have lost weight just
by one week of Heilfasten. No... in the land of first and second
plates every meal, Heilfasten is not working at all! But honestly
I have been enjoying every serving during and after our
camping, been noting all the recipes on how to do simple pastas
by just having simple olive oil to top pastas and green leaves,
Sapori as Glen said everytime we had our plates of Italian
pastas in all sizes and names.

Will make a flashback of my sinful days in Bella Italia but
first explanation on the photo above with Meryl Streep
and Pierce Brosnan. This is my first film
this month of August this year after more than two months
of sojourn in Italia teaching or rather trying to teach
Filipino kids the national language of their roots and some values
and traditions like they should obey me as their camping teacher
without questioning my declared authority. It did not work!

Back to the photo from this musical film Mamma Mia...well, hubby
was ready for anything that night so I dared him to join me in this
film, and what a delightful evening we had or at least I had while
humming the winner takes it all. Imagine the scene where the cool
Agent 007 hangs Chinese lanterns and feeling totally helpless in
the presence of a singing ex-girlfriend, Donna (Meryl Streep).
Hubby was enjoying a musical film for the first time!
Anyway, I told him that I would come back to see the film
with my what you called in German "Gleichgesinnten" meaning
like-minded,kindred spirit but not necessarily sharing my
post Bella Italia sojourn, Mamma Mia!...obesity, ugh!
Here's the Tartufo Queen after days of Italian pasti
and tiramisi...I don't know if there's such a word.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday 28 August 2008

How to Grind without Getting Cramps

Here's a good piece of entertainment for you.
To get the most benefit from watching it, get
yourself ready for real moving. Enjoy it!

Hmmmmm! After one and half hour of waiting for youtube
to finish my download, the video is again choppy!
Are there millions of youtubers out there uploading
videos or my modem needs replacement.

Will have to re-upload the video.

In the meantime, I'm getting cramps waiting for signal
from youtube.

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Updates No. 2

Hey! Have to do a redo of the video posting.
I have no idea why it gets so choppy.
Wait please for the next posting. Sorry
about this.

Updates, Ngayon at Kailan Man

I am back and ready to spend sleepless nights to do postings
after more than two months of summery hibernation in the
land of fattening pastas and deliriously delicious ice creams.
Meanwhile, let me share this impromptu rendition of
Ngayon at Kailanman from the winner of the Sobre
La Habanera y La Musica Tradicional competition held
in Spain, the University of the East Chorale Group.
Enjoy it!
This is the reloaded video. Hope it works now.

Friday 13 June 2008

June Ramblings from Independence Day to Paraskevidekatriaphobia

June 12 - Philippine Independence Day, celebration of our declaration
of independence from Spain in 1898.
I declared to be free from some of my blackheads and enjoy the
promised Facial Treatment and Massage birthday gift of Sol on my
8th day of Fasting.But she has condition. We should go for
a power walk first at nine in the morning in the woods near her
residence. No problem I thought as this would just be fitting
for my fasting ritual. I could need some extra burning of
calories as my heavy weight won't declare independence from me.

June 12 this year is one of those so called Schafskälte days
when instead of basking in the sun, people would wear winter
clothes because of the sudden fall in temperature. This
weather phenomenon happens between 10 and 20 of June in Middle
Europe. (Source:

Like a meek lamb, I was trying my best to keep up with
the Olympic tempo of Sol and her other walkathon partner who
must be a bit frustrated with me as she had to break her
fast walking. It rained a bit, too.

Finally back to her place, she immediately made me comfortable
(with servings of tea and water) and started her magic.
Soothing music, soft blanket and my self in total surrender.
Wow! This is pure indulgence. Tell you, women get in touch
with her for your next appointment and feel like a newly reborn
after this exclusive facial treatment with massage.
Lunch served (not included in her treatment unless you are
willing to partake of this luxury)rice with Italian Bagoong
tomatoes, Japanese nori. I did not eat but just enjoyed
watching her consume her favorite meal. So this must be the
secret of her radiance was thinking to myself while taking
my cup of vegetable broth nearer to me. Sigh!
Home to my hubby in the evening who was not working
on manuscripts but of course match Germany

Friday, 13, day of blogging and my first Aufbautag.
Well, fastbreaking roughly translated in English.
While waiting for the supermarket to open and get fresh
apples as fastbreaker (I need only one piece steamed
apple)I find myself in front of the computer and started to
check emails and new postings and I stumbled upon this
word: paraskevidekatriaphobia
meaning fear of Friday-13th.
Oh, fitting day. It is the day after the match, and Germany
lost to Croatia but no cause for despair, the fans have
been assured, there will be another match to show their
might.Meanwhile, I wonder if many Dutch and French fans
are suffering from Paraskevidekatriaphobia for the match
tonight. So with Italian and Romanian fans.

Now, have to do a short break to get my fresh apples to
break my fasting. Hallo Italian Bagoong, here I come!

Monday 9 June 2008

Dreaming a Pinay Team for the Cup


After my posting in my other blog of the future Pinoy team to play
in the World Cup,I am now creating this all Pinay Football team.
Let's see which team will make it to the semi-finals.

Pinay Matamisin Football Club

1. Macapuno, Alice
2. Cutsinta, Irma
3. Leche, Flavia
4. Bibingka, Flor
5. Pinipig, Rowena
6. Cassava, Bingbing
7. Akay-akay, Elda
8. Budbud, Edna
9. Budin, Nelly
10.Biko, Debbie
11.Guinatan, Gina
1. Sago, Marilou
2. Sapin-Sapin, Hermie
3. Jaleang, Violeta
4. Suman, Angela
5. Calamay, Claire
6. Panderetas, Marilyn
7. Reyna, Blanca
8. Puto, Thelma
9. Turron, Yvonne
10.Piyaya de Hopia, Pia
11.Gulaman, Victoria
Goalkeeper Extra
Palitao, Solita

If you know any Pinay with these delicious names, please
get in touch with me. Will invite her to a merienda in
my nest. No Joke!

Sunday 1 June 2008


Here comes June, named after the Roman goddess Juno,
wife of Jupiter and the equivalent to the Greek goddess
Hera (source
June is the traditional month for opening
classes in the Philippines.
June means month of marriage and other tags below:
June Bride
June 12 - Philippine Independence Day
June 24 - Foundation Day of Manila? (it was existing
years before the Spaniards colonized it.)
June 24 - St. John the Baptist, araw ng basaan sa San Juan
piyesta sa bayan ni Rizal sa Calamba, Laguna
Let me share this poem about June

In Fountain Court
by Arthur Symons

The fountain murmuring of sleep,
A drowsy tune;
The flickering green of leaves that keep
The light of June;
Peace, through a slumbering afternoon,
The peace of June.

A waiting ghost, in the blue sky,
The white curved moon;
June, hushed and breathless, waits, and I
Wait too, with June;
Come, through the lingering afternoon,
Soon, love, come soon.


The first email I got for this month is from Pinky who comes
from New York. Would like to share with you this start the month of June.

JUNE is "REBUILD your LIFE" Month

I Wanted To Change The World
Unknown monk

When I was a young man,
I wanted to change the world.

I found it was difficult to change the world,
so I tried to change my nation.

When I found I couldn't change the nation,
I began to focus on my town.

I couldn't change the town.

As an older man, I tried to change my family.

Now, as an old man,
I realize the only thing
I can change is myself.

And suddenly I realize that,
if long ago I had changed myself,
I could have made an impact on my family.

My family and I could have made an impact on our town.

Our impact could have changed the nation
and I could indeed have changed the world.


--- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) ---

Monday 19 May 2008

Our Own Search for a New Singing Star

We had a small gathering in the residence of Marilyn H.
to surprise a dear Pinoy friend Dong who celebrated his birthday
last May 14.
One of the guests, Cecile Centeno, a budding Pinay
singing talent gave an impromptu performance. I am posting
here one of her songs with our best wishes for her luck
in her career. Here's the video of her song:

Monday 5 May 2008

Exhibition: Schlusspunkt. Ausstellung gegen Maennergewalt!

Ausstellung gegen Männergewalt!

From May 5, 2008
Amtsgericht Koblenz
Karmeliterstrasse 14

This is a roaming exhibition of the women`s group
Notruf für vergewaltigte und von sexueller Gewalt
bedrohte Frauen und Mädchen e.V.

Please see detailed information regarding the
project and information exhibition entitled
Schlusspunkt.Ausstellung gegen Männergewalt!
My rough translation of the title of the
exhibition: End of the Line: Exhibition Against Violence of Men!
German information, please see details in:

Tuesday 29 April 2008

From Schafen to Suendenboecken

I chanced on this video and instantly thought of Mr. Mehdorn
and his present dilemma with his trains: Privatization,
looming strikes,demand for higher loan and now strayed
sheeps on the tracks.
Poor poor sheeps! From strayed sheeps to scapegoats!
Enjoy the video:

While investigation is still going on, another
train rammed into a herd of cattle near Dresden today.

I can just imagine that Mr. Mehdorn, the big boss of
the German train company is having bad
dreams lately...meeh, meeh, mehhhhhh.

Thursday 24 April 2008

Girls' Day in Germany, April 24

Girls'Day - Future Prospects for Girls

On the 24th of April 2008 technical enterprises, enterprises with technical departments and technical training facilities, universities and research centres are invited to organise an open day for girls - the Girls'Day.

Through a great variety of events young women are able to gain an insight into working life and get in touch with Human Resources Managers and personnel responsible for traineeships. For this purpose, the participating institutions open their laboratories, workshops and offices to give concrete examples that show girls how interesting and exciting this work can be. Employees are often personally available for discussions.

The Girls'Day opens up extensive future prospects to a generation of qualified young women. With the objective of establishing contacts and drawing attention of industries and the public to girls' strengths.

Pilot projects and campaigns have been launched for about 20 years to change girls' and young women's behaviour patterns with regard to their choice of career and to expand their spectrum of career options. Nevertheless, the number of girls choosing "typically female" careers or subjects of study is disproportionately high. In doing so, they do not fully exhaust their career opportunities. This is in opposition to trade and industry complains about an increasing lack of qualified junior staff in the technical field. Companies that have successfully organised specific Girls'Days are reporting about an increasing number of young women in technical and technically oriented occupations.

The Girls'Day - 'Future Prospects for Girls' initiated a large campaign in which experience made so far has been used and a wide range of professions and activities have been presented to girls in the age of class 5 to 10. By actively taking part in the Girls'Day, girls shall be particularly motivated and encouraged to seize their career options and to decide in favour of a qualified vocational training or degree. Subsequently, they choose an occupation even in professional fields that are presently not typically female. Being a nationwide event that takes place at a uniform date, the Girls'Day shall also in future combine regionally limited initiatives to achieve far-reaching effects unprecedented so far.

The girls who take part in the Girls'Day should be ideally supported by all instances playing an important role in their career choice. So for the Girls'Day encourage the surroundings of the young women - i.e. families, school, media and employers - to participate in the campaign.


Tuesday 22 April 2008

Earth Day, April 22, remembering the Live Earth Pledge

by Jane Yolen

I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass,
Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud,
And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle,
Skin and bone.
And just as I
Need every bit
Of me to make
My body fit,
So Earth needs
Grass and stone and tree
And things that grow here
That's why we
Celebrate this day.
That's why across
The world we say:
As long as life,
As dear, as free,
I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.

Just to remind myself of the pledge I made last year
during the Live Earth celebration around the world,
I am posting again Live Earth Pledge plus my own
simple pledge for Mother Earth:
The Live Earth Pledge reads:


To demand that my country join an international treaty within
the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in
developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for
the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;

To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing
my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to
become “carbon neutral;”

To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new
generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely
trap and store the CO2;

To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my
home,workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;

To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable
energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;

To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and
protecting forests; and,

To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my
commitment to solving the climate crisis and building
a sustainable,just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.

Gore delivered his welcome address from a studio overlooking the
Capitol Building in Washington, DC, where he will be presiding over
Live Earth’s special broadcast event at the Smithsonian’s National
Museum of the American Indian featuring Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.

Following Gore’s remarks, Australian radio announcer Robbie
Buck took the stage and introduced the first band to play Live Earth:
the Melbourne-based blues/roots band Blue King Brown
My own pledge:
* I will continue sorting out my basura or better avoid basura at all.
* I will bring always my pair of chopsticks when eating at this sushi
bar and will remind the other sushi aficionadas to bring theirs, too.
* I will remind my Japanese friend not to use so much wrappings
for gifts and not to use too many toothpicks!
* Will stop using strong bulbs...switch on to more candles for ambiente.
* Will never use disposables for picnics, gatherings and meetings.
* Will never stop to make kulits to relatives back home to plant
trees,sort out basuras, love their rivers and lakes
and walk than just wait for the next tricycle and ex-communicate
people who throw basuras out of cars,buses and jeepneys.

What about you energy saving bloggers?

Thursday 17 April 2008

Oh so....low in Oslo!

Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel attended
the opening ceremony of Opera in Oslo and
caused a nation-wide discussion about her
How low can she go?
Is this beautiful?
Does she not have the right to decide what fits her?
Why do women politicians get this kind of media attention...
either they look so boring in their blue or black suits
or so suddenly daring in their looks.
Any Comment?

Source of Photo:
Nr. 88 Dienstag (Tuesday) 15. April 2008
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Tuesday 15 April 2008

Wednesday 9 April 2008

Hey of those nights when one can not sleep

April 9, Fall of Bataan
My mood is also falling this mid-night so I am Youtubing
and have found this old song. I remember that we had
one weekend of meditation years back and used this
song for reflection. Was it an empowerment weekend
or a retreat?
How do you find the song?


Hey lady
You lady
Cursin' at your life
You're a discontented mother
And a regimented wife
I've no doubt you dream about
The things you never do
But I wish someone had a talked to me
Like I wanna talk to you

Ooh, I've been to Georgia and California and
Anywhere I could run
Took the hand of a preacher man and we
Made love in the sun
But I ran out of places and friendly faces
Because I had to be free
I've been to paradise
But I've never been to me

Please lady, please lady
Don't just walk away
Cause I have this need to tell you
Why I'm all alone today
I can see so much of me still living in your eyes
Won't you share a part?
Of a weary heart
That has lived a million lives?

Ooh, I've been to Nice and the isle of Greece
While I sipped champagne on a yacht
I moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo
And showed 'em what I've got
I've been undressed by kings
And I've seen some things that a woman ain't s'posed to see
I've been to paradise
But I've never been to me

Hey, you know what paradise is?
It's a lie
A fantasy we created about people and places
As we like them to be
But you know what truth is?
It's that little baby you're holding
And it's that man you fought with this morning
The same one you are gonna make love to tonight
That's truth
That's love

Sometimes I've been to crying for unborn children
That might have made me complete
But I, I took the sweet life
I never knew I'd be bitter from the sweet
I spent my life exploring
The subtle whoring
That costs too much to be free
Hey lady, I've been to paradise
But I've never been to me, ooh

(I've been to paradise)
Never been to me
(I've been to paradise)
Never been to me

(Sigh, Huhuhuhu, Ngitngit,Sayang,Why?,Baket?
So what, eh ano?)
Choose your mood.

Friday 4 April 2008

Konzert zum Nowrooz und Osterfest


An Invitation to a Concert
in Celebration of Iranian Nowrooz and Easter
Date: Friday, April 11, 2008, 7 pm
Place: Internationales Zentrum
Stolzestr. 1a
Cologne City
Tel:0221.560 460
Entrance Fee: 4.50Euro
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Monday 31 March 2008

Cross-Border Weekend

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One of those perks in living in Europe is a smooth and care-free
travelling around with European trains. That is if they are not
on strike or repairing some tracks on weekends. One can either
book tickets directly per internet with especial discounts for
holders of special discount for frequent travellers or the so-called
Bahncard which gives 25% to 50% cut on the regular fares, or for
bookers for holiday tariffs as advertised by almost all European
German trains offer as low as 19Euro
for one-way ticket to Amsterdam or even as low as 39Euro to
some European capital cities like Paris, Milano and Copenhagen.
I have a return ticket to Amsterdam which would
expire this last weekend of March and so despite the
not so encouraging weather forecast for Holland and the
return text of my girlfriend Herms who is, in turn,
spending her weekend in Belgium, I took the early ICE
train to this land of tulips and cheese with a bit
of frustration though as I found out that this super
fast train would be rerouted and definitely would
be encountering delays as good, industrious
Dutch railway technicians or other guest workers are repairing
Dutch tracks this weekend.
Reaching the main station of Utrecht, I have never fail to
do the first act of my visiting rites...go to the nearest
French fries (should be Dutch fries right?) and get myself
a normal serving with peanut and mayonnaise dressing. Yes,
even for breakfast! If I would get my good share of my
bad cholesterol, then it should come from a genuine
source and not the copied fries in Germany.
The rest of the short day would be spent in window shopping
checking the latest fashion worn by these mannequins. It always
amuses me to see that in Holland, the boundary of fashion
between let us say grandmas and their teenage granddaughters is
just also a cross-generation dressing. Wear anything as long as
you enjoy wearing it or simply anything goes seems to be the
fashion dictate in this land of Gouda cheese, Delft porcelain and
herring eaters.

Even for a rainy weekend, the flower market is worth
a visit to complement a day tour of the market taking
photos of how these honey waffle cookies are made or just
feasting one's eyes on all all sizes and shapes and colors
of fish, cheese, nuts,candies leather bags, skirts and shawls,
fruits and locks, screws, bolts and toys for cats
and dogs.

On my way back, the ICE train would be again rerouted
but this time, I have a bagful of giant-sized pindas
(peanuts), cashew nuts, crab salad, honey waffle cookies,
and cheeeeeeeeeese! A real Dutch treat, right?

Monday 24 March 2008

Happy Easter Monday!


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
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Thursday 20 March 2008

East Meets West: Equinox, Newroz, Easter and 5th Year Iraq War

"And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins."
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We received today an email from our Iranian friend and his
family greeting us for the coming Easter and at the same time
sharing with us his wish for peace just in time for
the celebration of the traditional Iranian new year
holiday of Newroz.
Newroz is celebrated throughout the countries of the Middle
East and Central Asia as in Iran, Azerbaijian, Afghanistan,
Pakistan and Turkey.In Kurdish legend, the holiday
celebrates the deliverance of the Kurds from a tyrant, and
it is seen as another way of demonstrating support for the
Kurdish cause. The celebration is commonly transliterated
Newroz by the Kurds and coincides with the spring equinox
which falls mainly on 21st March. See the complete text
in wikipedia
This morning, I received also an sms from my sister:
"May All Good Things Come Ur Way as D Sun Rises.
Have a Meaningful Holy Week. God Bless!"

While all the greetings are about new start and new
beginning with the official start of Spring 2008,
media has been covering about the recent protests
in Tibet and the 5th year of War in Iraq.
What a waste of human resources!

I am posting here for this especial day of
"Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in
the minds of men that the defences of peace must
be constructed."
Unesco, Constitution, adopted 16.Nov.1945

No to War!
Happy Easter!

Without the light and the fire of Love
Without the Designer and the power of Creator,
We are not able to reach Union.
(Light is for us and dark is the night)
This fire massing and washing the Heart,
My heart claim after it.
And here come Newroz, and the New Year,
When a such light is rising.
from Melaye Ciziri (1570-1640)
Source: Wikipedia

Monday 10 March 2008

Cross Posting: IWD 2008 Internationalerfrauentag

Photo: Peter Rakocyz

Talente und Potenziale liegen brach

VON CLAUDIA HAUSER, 09.03.08, 20:55h
Beim Internationalen Frauentag informierten im Rathaus
unterschiedliche Gruppen vor allem über Themen,
die Migrantinnen betreffen.

Elisabeth ist 15, kommt aus dem Kongo und hat einen einfachen,
mädchenhaften Wunsch: "Ich möchte mit 20 heiraten!" Das Foto,
das die Künstlerin Jane Dunker von ihr für die Ausstellung
"Innenwelten Außenwelten" machte, zeigt Elisabeth deshalb im
Brautkleid vor einer Fototapete mit Strand und Palmen. "Falls ich
nicht heirate,habe ich wenigstens ein Foto von mir im Brautkleid",
steht neben dem Bild. 17 Mädchen, die regelmäßig den
interkulturellen Treff "Lobby für Mädchen" in Mülheim besuchen,
zeigen über Bilder und Collagen,was sie sich wünschen, wovor sie
Angst haben und was sie berührt.

Die großformatigen Fotos waren beim Empfang zum
Internationalen Frauentag im Rathaus zu sehen, zu dem die Stadt
unter dem Motto "Frauen International - Dialog der Kulturen.
Wir feiern - Wir fordern" eingeladen hatte. "Niemand darf Frauen
daran hindern, sich frei zu entfalten und zu bilden", sagte
Bürgermeisterin Elfi Scho-Antwerpes in ihrer Eröffnungsrede.
Vor allem um die Förderung von Mädchen und Frauen mit
Migrationshintergrund sollte es in den einzelnen Foren gehen. So
referierte Faize Berger über die Stärkung von multikulturellen
Unternehmerinnen, die Psychologin Azra Pourgholam-Ernst stellte das Gesundheitserleben von Migrantinnen in den Fokus,
außerdem wurde die Chancengleichheit in Ausbildung, Bildung und
Beruf diskutiert. Die Ergebnisse der einzelnen Foren sollen in
das Integrationskonzept der Stadt einfließen.
"In Köln leben 159 000 Frauen mit Migrationshintergrund", sagte
Petra Engel, stellvertretende Leiterin des Amtes für Gleichstellung
von Frauen und Männern. "Es wird dringend Zeit,sie mehr ins
Blickfeld zu rücken." Engel findet es bedenklich, dass einerseits die
Erwerbsquote von Migrantinnen wesentlich geringer sei als bei
deutschen Frauen; die Beschäftigung der Frauen in privaten
Haushalten als Reinigungskraft oder Pflegerin aber deutlich
zunehme. "Die Talente und Potenziale dieser oft sehr gut
ausgebildeten Frauen liegen brach", ergänzte Scho-Antwerpes.

Köln hat als erste deutsche Stadt 1982 eine Gleichstellungsstelle eingerichtet - auch
dieses Jubiläum sollte im Rathaus gefeiert werden.

See original report in Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger Nr. 59 Montag 10.03.2008

Sunday 9 March 2008

IWD Cologne 2008

In a society where the rights and
potential of women are constrained,
no man can be truly free.
He may have power,
but he will not have freedom.
Mary Robinson, President of Ireland

You are the architect of your personal experience.
Shirley Maclaine

Be critical. Women have the right to say: "This is
surface, this falsifies reality, this degrades".
Tillie Olsen

Women are always being tested...but ultimately, each of
us has to define who we are individually and then do the
very best job we can to grow into that.
Hillary Rodham Clinton

Never retract, never explain, never apologize...get
the thing done and let them howl.
Nellie McClery

I only want to lose to bathroom scales.
MarLou Baylanes

Yesterday is a cancelled check
Tomorrow is a promisory note
Today is cash in hand; spend it wisely.

Happy International Women's Day 2008!

Monday 3 March 2008

International Literature Festival in Cologne


"Das achte Mal"
Internationales Literaturfest
29.02. - 9.3. 2008

As my small contribution to the celebration of
the 8th International Literature Festival in the city
of Cologne, I would be posting some of my favorite
pieces of poetry, book info and just about your and my
favorite hobby...reading.
But as in German expression Vorab or roughly to begin
with, or in Pilipino Bago ang's
the meaning of literature:
"Literature is the one place in any society where
within the secrecy of our own heads, we can hear voices
talking about everything in every possible way."
Salman Rushdie

For detailed information and program, see
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