Wednesday 16 December 2009

December 16...starts of Misa de Gallo, 9th day before Christmas

Still no sign of snow be neighbors' chimneys are all giving out
smoke signals. A friend sent message that they have snowflakes
this morning somewhere in Bonn. It seems everyone is just waiting
for the first snowfall.
In Copenhagen, another friend is sending invites to friends to join
the big demonstration for climate protection and appeal to the UN
Climate Change Conference participants to make Copenhagen
conference a big breakthrough in keeping their responsibilities
for protecting our planet.
First of the 9th day before Christmas...Paul McCartney performs
tonight in Cologne. Cross-posting here the most famous song in our
planet earth...Yesterday...

Still waiting for the snow...

Thursday 10 December 2009

December 10, Human Rights Day

"Recognition of human dignity of all people is the foundation of
justice and peace in the world."

I'm posting a copy of the open letter of the German Federation
of Journalists to the Ambassador of the Philippines to Germany
on the Ampatuan/Maguindanao massacre on November 23, 2009.

Letter of International Federation of Journalists (Germany)
to Philippine Ambassador
Today at 02:55
9 December 2009

RE: Massacre in the Philippines

Your Excellency,

The German Journalists Union (DJU in ver.di) respectfully requests
your cooperation in ensuring the Government of the Philippines is
aware of the global outrage about the massacre of a confirmed
59 people in Maguindanao Province, Mindanao, on November 23.

We urge you to use your authority and position to impress upon
your Government that the global community is demanding immediate and
credible action to ensure that all parties responsible for this atrocity
are held accountable to the full limit of the law.

We are informed by the International Federation of Journalists and its
affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines that
at least 30 journalists and media workers were among those murdered.
At the time of writing, another four media personnel are unaccounted for.

This is the worst mass killing of journalists and media workers ever

Journalists and the international media community are grieving and
distraught at the failure of the Government of the Philippines to
uphold its responsibility to protect our colleagues and to end
the long-running culture of impunity for the murders of journalists
in the Philippines.

During President Arroyo’s tenure, at least 75 journalists have been
killed in the Philippines. Almost all have been killed in relation
to their professional work. At last count, only four convictions had
been secured for these killings. Outside of Iraq, the Philippines has
become the most dangerous country for journalists this century.

The Government of the Philippines is obliged under United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1738 (2006) to actively protect
journalists and media workers reporting in conflict zones within
their national borders, in accordance with their status as
civilians under international law.

We call on you to ensure your Government and police and security
forces act on their responsibility to bring the perpetrators and
masterminds of the November 23 atrocity to account, without delay,
and to act now to end the culture of impunity that has plagued the
Philippines for so long.

Respectfully Yours,

Ulrike Maercks-Franzen
General Secretary of
German Journalists Union dju in ver.di

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Just looking for songs to define this emptiness within

Still feeling so empty and sad since this Nov. 23 Ampatuan
I started looking for songs and I found this link with
YouTube featuring this Italian song I heard when I was
in Italy this summer...domani. Tomorrow.

wondering if the site will accept the two posted sites.

Now the lyrics of the Italian song:

Originally Posted by bellacomeilsole

Tra le nuvole e i sassi passano i sogni di tutti
Between the clouds and the stones the dreams of everyone pass

passa il sole ogni giorno senza mai tardare. (Tiziano Ferro)
the sun passes every day without ever being late

Dove sarò domani? (Enrico Ruggeri)
Where will I be tomorrow?

Dove sarò? (Gianni Morandi)
Where will I be?

Tra le nuvole e il mare c’è una stazione di posta (Franco Battiato)
Between the clouds and the sea there is a coaching inn
(la stazione di posta is a place where wayfarers used to stop in
order to get some rest)

uno straccio di stella messa lì a consolare (Massimo Ranieri)
a tear of a star put there to comfort

sul sentiero infinito (Max Pezzali)
on the infinite path

del maestrale (Eugenio Finardi)
of the northwest wind

Day by day (Zucchero)
Day by day (Cesare Cremonini)
hold me shine on me. (Zucchero)
shine on me (Cesare Cremonini)
Day by day save me shine on me (Zucchero, Carmen Consoli,
Mauro Pagani, Cesare Cremonini, Eugenio Finardi)

Ma domani, domani, domani, lo so (Francesco Renga)
But tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, I know

Lo so che si passa il confine, (Roberto Vecchioni)
I know that it passes through the confines
(lit. I know that the borders will be passed)

E di nuovo la vita (Mauro Pagani)
and again life

sembra fatta per te (Giuliano Palma)
seems [to be] made for you

e comincia (Elio)
and it begins

domani (Elio e Le Storie Tese, Vittorio Cosma )

domani è già qui (Jovanotti)
tomorrow is already here

rap 1 Estraggo un foglio nella risma, nascosto scrivo e non
riesco forse perché il sisma m’ha scosso (Caparezza)
I pull out a piece in the ream, [being] hidden I write and
don't succeed maybe because the earthquake shocked me

rap 2 Ogni vita che salvi, ogni pietra che poggi, fa pensare
a domani ma puoi farlo solo oggi (Frankie Hi Energy)
Every life that you save, every stone that you place, it makes
you think about tomorrow but you can only do (it) today

e la vita la vita si fa grande così (Gianluca Grignani)
and life, life is made big like this

e comincia domani (Giuliano Sangiorgi)
and it begins tomorrow

Tra le nuvole e il mare si può fare e rifare (Claudio Baglioni)
Between the clouds and the sea you can make and repair

con un pò di fortuna (Ron)
with a little luck

si può dimenticare. (Luca Carboni)
you can forget

Dove sarò (Baustelle)
Where will I be?

domani? Dove sarò? (Samuele Bersani e Baustelle)
tomorrow, where will I be?

oh oh oh (coro: Carmen Consoli, Antonella Ruggiero, Alioscia,
Pacifico, Mango, Massimo Ranieri, Bluvertigo, Nek, Giuliano Palma,
Antonello Venditti, Roberto Vecchioni, Albano)

rap 3 Dove sarò domani che ne sarà dei miei sogni infranti,
dei miei piani
Dove sarò domani, tendimi le mani, tendimi le mani (Marracash)
Where will I be tomorrow, what will become of my shattered dreams,
of my plans. Where will I be tomorrow, stretch out your hands to me,
stretch out your hands to me

Tra le nuvole e il mare si può andare e andare (Laura Pausini)
Between the clouds and the sea you can go and go

sulla scia delle navi di là del temporale (Carmen Consoli)
in the wake of the ships beyond the storm

e qualche volta si vede (Nek)
and sometimes you see

domani (Antonello Venditti)

una luce di prua (Nek)
a light of the prow

e qualcuno grida: Domani (Antonello Venditti)
and someone yells: tomorrow

rap 4 Come l’aquila che vola
Like an eagle that flies

libera tra il cielo e i sassi, siamo sempre diversi e siamo
sempre gli stessi,
free among the sky and the stones we are always different and
we are always the same

hai fatto il massimo e il massimo non è bastato e non sapevi
piangere e adesso
you did the maximum (you did your best) and the maximum wasn't
enough and you didn't know how to cry and now

che hai imparato non bastano le lacrime ad impastare il calcestruzzo
that you learned the tears aren't enough to blend the concrete

eccoci qua cittadini d’Abruzzo
here are the citizens of Abruzzo

e aumentano d’intensità le lampadine una frazione di
the intensity of the lamps grows a fraction of

secondo prima della finee la tua mamma,
of a second before the end your mother

la tua patria da ricostruire,
your love of the land to reconstruct

comu le scole, le case e specialmente lu core
as well as the schools, the houses but especially the heart
e puru nu postu cu facimu l’amore
eppure un posto dove facciamo l'amore (guessing)-
and a place to make love
(Jovanotti, J Ax, Fabri Fibra e in chiusura Sud Sound System)

non siamo così soli (Giuliano Sangiorgi)
we are not so alone

a fare castelli in aria (J Ax e Fabri Fibra)
in building castles in the sky (air)

non siamo così soli (Giuliano Sangiorgi)
we are not alone

sulla stessa barca (J Ax , Fabri Fibra)
on the same ship

non siamo così soli (Giorgia)
we are not alone

a fare castelli in aria (J Ax e Fabri Fibra)
in building castles in the sky

non siamo così soli (Giorgia)
we are not alone

a stare bene in Italia (J Ax e Fabri Fibra)
in being well in Italy

sulla stessa barca (J Ax)
on the same ship

a immaginare un nuovo giorno in Italia (Giorgia,
Giusy Ferreri, Dolcenera, Mario Venuti, Jovanotti, J Ax, Fabri Fibra)
in imagining a new day in Italy

Tra le nuvole e il mare si può andare, andare
Sulla scia delle navi di là dal temporale (Piero Pelù)
Qualche volta si vede una luce di prua e qualcuno grida,
domani (Morgan)
Non siamo così soli (Giorgia, Mario Venuti, Giusy Ferreri, Dolcenera,
Giuliano Sangiorgi)
(tromba solo di Roy Paci)
Domani è già qui
Domani è già qui (Jovanotti, Marracash, FabriFibra, J Ax)
(Assolo violino Mauro Pagani)
Ma domani domani, domani lo so, lo so, che si passa il
confine (Gianna Nannini)
E di nuovo la vita sembra fatta per te e comincia (Elisa)
domani (Sud Sound System)
Tra le nuvole e il mare, si può fare e rifare
Con un pò di fortuna si può dimenticare (Manuel Agnelli Afterhours)
E di nuovo la vita, sembra fatta per te (Mango)
E comincia (Niccolò Fabi)
(coro finale)
E domani domani, domani lo so
Lo so che si passa il confine
E di nuovo la vita sembra fatta per te
E comincia domani

Wednesday 25 November 2009


(Photo: Liza Tripoli. FaceBook:Justice for Ampatuan Massacre Victims)

Statement of the Mindanao Commission on Women
24 November 2009

Mindanao women outraged over Maguindanao carnage

No words can describe the bestial acts perpetrated yesterday in
Maguindanao Against civilians, mostly women. Together with the
group were two sisters and the wife of Esmael Mangudadatu,
Vice Mayor of Buluan town, who were on their way to file his
certificate of candidacy as provincial governor of Maguindanao
when they were attacked in broad daylight. They were murdered in
cold blood and there were reports that some of the women were
also sexually violated, in a senseless massacre that will go down
in the annals of this country’s history as the worst election-related
If unarmed women,lawyers and journalists are not safe, who is safe?

From news reports, the Vice Mayor was quoted to have said that
he purposely sent his wife, sisters and female relatives to file
his candidacy without military escorts as he believed that they
would not be harmed being women and unarmed. But to his shock,
the perpetrators precisely took advantage of this position of
vulnerability and succeeded in committing those barbaric acts.

We, the Mindanao Commission on Women and the Mothers for
Peace, express our outrage at this new low in bestiality
perpetrated by men on civilians but most specially on women.
If the reports that the women were violated are found true,
we condemn it. Sexual violence is an issue
of power, domination and control wielded by men over women.
In times of conflict, it is used by men to ensure utter humiliation
of the enemy.This latest incident by men, who are widely-believed
to belong to a private army, makes us shudder at what will happen
in the days ahead if these criminals and their principals are
not brought to justice.

would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Mangudadatu
family. Eden Mangudadatu, sister of Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael
Mangudadatu, and a Vice Mayor herself had attended activities
of the Mindanao Commission on Women. It is ironic that early
this year Eden participated in discussions of our project,
“Women Healing Communities:Preventing and Reducing Rido
(clan feuds)”.
During the session, she shared her thoughts about rido and
how women played an important role in settling cases of clan

The barbaric and brutal massacre in Maguindanao shows the
total breakdown of security in parts of Mindanao
where many women and their families live in dehumanizing
poverty and violent conflict. We call on President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo – as President and as a woman - to do the right
thing:disband and disarm the private armies, bring down the full
force of the law on the perpetrators, and rid Maguindanao
and other parts of Mindanao of the scourge of warlordism.
We also call on our colleagues and partners in the development
community to stand unafraid to denounce this crime loud and clear.
Let us continue to work for the end of conflicts that divide us,
so that our children will grow up imbibing not anger, hatred and
violence, but love,justice and peace.

As Mothers for Peace, we commit to continue our work for peace
in the ways of peace.

Mindanao Commission on Women and Mothers for Peace Movement

121 University Avenue, Juna Subdivision, Matina, Davao City

Telefax: (082) 298-40-31

About MCW

The Mindanao Commission on Women was established in 2001 as
an NGO by Mindanao women leaders. Its mission is to influence
public policy and public opinion. It advocates for a Mindanao
peace and development agenda from a women’s perspective.
Area Core Groups across Mindanao give MCW the ability to
influence local, Mindanao and national issues.
The Mothers for Peace movement is its grassroots base.

Monday 23 November 2009


(Photo taken in Germany)
Iroquois Thanksgiving Prayer (adapted)
"We return thanks to our Mother, the Earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom is embodied all goodness, and Who directs all things for the good of Her children."
-- Iroquois Prayer, adapted Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace

"A Matter of Giving Thanks"

Sunday 15 November 2009

I hate boxing!

The first entry I saw this morning in my FB was the posting of my
niece about the winning of Manny Pacquiao alias Pac Man...another
honour for our suffering country, another entry in our history
book, she wrote with such a pride.
Wrote her, "thanks for the sharing but I'm not keen on
boxing. I believe this is one of those sports which should be
deleted from the world of sports..." Too much use of the same
words I realized later.
Sorry Pacquiao but I just hate that scene when people
are screaming and rejoicing for more punches, infliction of
pains. How could one enjoy this kind of entertainment?

In between posting,hubby called me asking me if I would
like to see the video of the fight as posted in the daily
inquirer. You bet, I did. They were talking about their
sizes...rather their heights. Cotto seems to be taller than
this raging Pinoy. Some punches here and there and after
those brief moments, I left hubby who waited for the
posted video to finish then asked me again to see another video
entry showing Hilary Clinton talking about civil society and
protection of human rights in the Philippines.

Civil Society and Boxing...
Pacquiao as our new hero
Blog: Manny Pacquiao wins WBO welterweight title fight

Pacquiao for President!

Monday 9 November 2009

Remembering the Fall of the Wall...20 years after

The Wall in the Mind
Easterners Still Feel like Second-Class Citizens
A new study confirms that Germans living in the former East Germany feel disadvantaged and resentful of the West. The study also finds higher levels of racism and Islamophobia in the East, while sexism remains stronger in the West.
Nearly twenty years after the fall of the Berlin wall, what Germans refer to as the "wall in the mind" remains in place.
The results of a long-term study released on Thursday by a team of 17 sociologists at the University of Bielefeld shows that resentments linger in part of the country that used to be communist East Germany. Some fear these resentments may drive rising levels of racism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia.

A new study shows that Germans living in the eastern part of the country resent the West.
Fully 64 percent of eastern Germans feel treated as second-class citizens, while almost 75 percent feel disadvantaged in comparison with Germans in the west. Some 77 percent of easterners feel they are treated less fairly than those in the west, and 59 percent believe that the two halves of Germany have not yet grown together into a common society.
Researchers worry these resentments bear a direct link to hostility towards minorities, which tends to be higher in the east and is rising in certain categories -- even as prejudice falls in the western part of the country.
Across Germany as a whole, according to the Bielefeld study, the prejudice indices that rose this year from last year were racism, hostility toward entrenched privilege, and hostility toward the unemployed. But measures of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and hostility toward the homeless all shot up in the East, while sinking in the West.
The only index of prejudice that was clearly higher in the west was sexism -- although a different study released last week showed higher levels of anti-Semitism in western states, especially in Bavaria.
"Prisoners of Their Own Self-Image"
Wolfgang Thierse, vice-president of the German parliament and a native of the eastern German state of Thuringia, warned in an interview with the Berlin-based daily Tageszeitung that the results of the study were complex and shouldn't be ascribed to simple demographics. He said Islamophobia was higher in eastern Germany, for instance, even though fewer Muslims live there than in the west. And homelessness is viewed with special bitterness in the east even though long-term unemployment would seem to be a more menacing problem.
"And here we always thought we east Germans were great ones for solidarity and justice!" Thierse joked. In his view, "socio-economic or socio-pyschological explanations" cannot fully account for the study's findings. "We also have to talk about the cultural, intellectual, and moral history of eastern Germany -- including the lingering impact of the GDR."
He suggested that eastern Germans "feel like second-class citizens because they are caught in a prison of their own self-image." Even when presented with data showing that reunification had been good for eastern Germany, Thierse said, many continue to nurse resentments. "This self-image cliché that 'we are second-class citizens,'" he said, is such a strong a mental crutch "that facts which might attenuate this feeling are no longer taken into account."
National Pride, Good or Bad?
One potentially encouraging sign of the report was that levels of national pride and identification with Germany were up across all regions of the country, suggesting that residents of the former GDR are increasingly comfortable associating themselves with the new unified state.
But Ulrich Wagner, a social psychologist who worked on the study, warned that growing affection for Germany could come at the cost of stoking xenophobia. Wagner told Tageszeitung "the rising identification with one's own country and the rising national pride also have negative consequences worth considering ... We should be cautious about all forms of national identification, if Germany and the Germans want to behave in a cosmopolitan way."
Thierse added that the ongoing financial crisis posed the greatest political and moral challenge, "not to permit tough economic conditions to brutalize human relations."
cpg -- with wire reports,1518,594656,00.html

Sunday 1 November 2009

Trick or Treat Guinatan

The other day, I was reading an entry in Facebook. It says
Halloween is fast approaching and if anyone could share something
about Aswangs in the Philippines. Aswangs? I prompted a short
response writing that these Aswangs
have nothing to do with this Americanized version of a tradition
we have in the Philippines...not that we have a tradition of
remembering the Aswangs
but what I meant was the celebration when we remember all
the saints and souls on the 1st and 2nd of November and we call
this tradition Undras.

Aswangs, Halloween, Undras and Guinatan.

This is also the time of the year when sticky delicacies like rice
cakes Kakanins, sumans and coconut
milk-based dessert, Guinatan are prepared as food for the
wandering souls but enjoyed of course by hungry mortals.
The sticky finger goodies are given to kids who come in the evening
singing "kaluluwa'y dumaratang, sa tapat
ng durungawan etc...
we are lost souls in front of your windows,
bells are ringing to wake you up, and if you want to give us alms,
please make it fast before the door of heaven closes on us."
I think a more dramatic interpretation than the globalized Trick or
Treat Halloween fun for kids.

But back to my original blog entry which is the recipe for this
typical Filipino merienda. Preparing guinatan has become one of
my keeping up with the tradition stuffs either to appease the
hungry spirits or my own cravings.


Sweet Potatoes
Ube (violet yams)
Shreds of Bottled Sweet Langka (Jackfruit)
Sticky rice Bilo-bilo
Coconut Milk ( I used three cans of 400 ml each)
Drizzle of salt
Pandan leaves for aromatic effect

(Violet yams while cooking in coconut milk with pandan leaves)

Place the yams, taro in a saucepan, pour in coconut
milk with the pandan leaves. Bring to boil and later add the
sliced bananas, langka, bilo-bilo and cook further for
ten minutes, adding sugar to your taste.
Note: You have to watch it while cooking. Mine
turned like a cream yellowish pumpkin soup but the taste
was sweet enough to cure my nostalgia.

I texted my sister to ask on the exact date the kids do this
She texted back that it is on the night of Nov. 1 to Nov. 2 but
it is no longer practised in our village...the cost of malagkit rice
has gone so expensive, around 80 Pesos per kilo. People could no
longer afford to give away Sumans
and sticky rice delicacies to keep up with the tradition.
Poor hungry, wandering souls.

Poor me, eating my guinatan alone. Hubby said when he saw
the bowl of guinatan for our brunch...
"hmmmmmmmmmm, you can have my share."

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Solidarity with the Philippines

During the Ecumenical Solidarity Conference on the Philippines,
participants in this gathering honoured Frau Dorothea Seeliger for
her untiring engagement for solidarity work for the Philippines.
She is one of the awardees of the Bundesverdienstkreuz this year
for her solidarity work for the Filipinos. Frau Dorothea Seeliger
has been one of the pillars in keeping up this yearly Ecumenical
Conference which started 25 years ago. This year's theme: Mission,
Entwicklung und Oekumene-Solidaritaet im Wandel der Zeit.
Mission, Entwicklung and Ecumenical Movement - Solidarity in
Changing Times.

Our best wishes to her!

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed
citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing
that ever has."

Sunday 18 October 2009

Conference in Amsterdam: Crisis and Migration

CRISIS AND MIGRATION - is Another Development Possible?
Conference Communique Amsterdam 16.18. October 2009

This conference expresses a desire to explore the
possibilities of continuing the dialogue and cooperation
between migrant organizations and networks established at
this conference. In particular we note that we consider:
- The context of the current global crisis as an opportunity
and a challenge to reclaim the agenda of migration,
development and human rights.

- We also identify the realities of repression of migrant
rights and the increasing criminalisation of migrants
in Fortress Europe.

- We recognize the need to make more visible migrant
communities and movements as transnational actors in
reclaiming the right to a people centered development.

Building on the positive experience of working together in
preparing the PGA 2009, we propose to further strengthen
our co-operation as a European Network.

The Convernors of this Conference undertake to explore
and initiate the possibilities of joint initiatives
or campaign towards the development of a Pan European
migrant network.
(draft Conference Communique Amsterdam 18. October 2009)

Thursday 15 October 2009

Pasalubong from America, The Beautiful

Last year, the same month almost the same date, I got the same
package of Pasalubong coming from friends who have immigrated
to the Land of Milk and Honey and are now travelling every now
and then the Olde World Europe.
Last year, Cora spoiled me with her packs of Babe Ruth and
this time upstaging his sister, Noel B. gave me a box
of this finger goodies plus his alternative popcorns.
What a treat after my fasting the last week.
America, the Beautiful...why your chocolates tease me
no end no matter how long I have been staying in Europe.
As one writer was saying...Patriotism is the memory of
food eaten during childhood.
Thanks Noel B. for the treat. May there will be
more opportunities for you to come over with these
treasures from the land of Mr. Obama.

Sunday 4 October 2009

Erntedankfest or Harvest Festival

While people in many devastated countries in SEA are imploring
mercy, German Christians celebrate tday Harvest Festival or
Erntedankfest for the blessings they have received.
I found one harvest prayer from another site,
and would like to share with you today.

Harvest Prayers
Prayer of praise and thanks

Leader Creator and sustainer of all, at this harvest season we gather as your
people to offer you our heartfelt thanks and praise.

Voice 1 We praise you for the bounty and variety of your creation,
the succession of the seasons,
the productiveness of the soil,
the harvest of land and sea.

Creating and sustaining God ....:

with wonder in our hearts, we thank you.

Voice 2 Thank you for allowing us to be co-creators with you,
developing new strains of plants and cross-breeding animals,
controlling pests and diseases,
carefully enhancing the fertility of the land,
growing flowers, fruit and vegetables in garden and allotment,
trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

Creating and sustaining God .....

with wonder in our hearts, we thank you.

Voice 3 We give thanks for all who play their part
in producing, harvesting, preparing and distributing
the varied and delicious food that we eat.

Creating and sustaining God ......

with wonder in our hearts, we thank you.

Leader We praise you for feeding us with spiritual as well as material food.
May we learn to live, not on bread alone, but on your every word.
May we be nurtured by Christ the Bread of Life,
and be fruitful branches of Christ the True Vine.
May we offer his lifegiving water to refresh your world.

Creating and sustaining God

recreate us in the image of your Son, our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.

©2000 Jenny Carpenter

Prayer for farming, forestry and fishing industry

For farmers, foresters and fishers , their families and communities
and all who depend on them ......
Versicle : Lord, in your mercy,

Response : hear our prayer.

For farmers who struggle to make a living, especially those who are tenants,
and those who have large amounts of debt to service ......

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For those who maintain high standards of animal husbandry, but are undercut
by unfair competition and have undergone great suffering over the past months,
for livestock hauliers and auctioneers, for vets and agricultural advisers ......

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For those who are seeking to use agro-chemicals responsibly
and adopt eco-friendly practices .......

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For farming families under stress,
for farm women, for the Women's Food and Farming Union and its work
in promoting locally produced food and opportunities for diversification..

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For support groups - Rural Stress Information Network, Farm Crisis Network
and Rural Minds, and for agricultural chaplains ......

Lord, in your mercy,hear our prayer.

For foresters, balancing long term investment and short term economic return,
for the development of sustainable woodland and increased use of coppicing products,
for the use of trees and hedges to improve the micro climate and bio-diversity ......

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For fishing communities adapting to massive change,
for an end to vicious rivalry within the European Community,
for wisdom in implementing policies that will sustain and renew fish stocks
while ensuring the viability of fishing businesses ......

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For restraint and fairness in the use of economic power,
for discernment and a long term view in policy and decision making,
for a love of creation and a high view of human stewardship

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.

Arthur Rank Centre
©2000 Jenny Carpenter

Harvest Dreams

Harvest hymns


If you want to arrange a service to celebrate harvest there are resources to help you.

Seasonal Worship: - resource book published March 2003 - and - British Food Fortnight

Friday 2 October 2009

Thought for the Day

You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters
that have passed away.
Job. 11:16

Photos are taken from forwarded emails and source is not
sure. (dpa?)

Sunday 27 September 2009

Great Floods in Manila

Philippines was in the news again this weekend in German media.
I heard about the overflooding of Manila on the radio but took
the news as one of the usually not pleasant reports about the
Then came more photos and videos showing the aftermath of
the tropical storm Ondoy overflooding Manila, the worst
floods to hit the capital city since 40 years.
The photos I am posting here are from the Philippine
Daily Inquirer but the daily misery is left with the victims
of this natural tragedy.

Monday 21 September 2009

September 21...Remembering the day...

It was in 1972, September 21 when the dictator Marcos declared
Martial Law in the Philippines.
I would not dare to write anything political about
this date...just a silent wish that such notorious
moment would not be repeated in the Philippines and in
other countries as well.
Well, I am just writing that I have finally connection
to our new Wifi...and it is working well, so far so good.
It costs us around 80Euro (no receipt) for an hour work otherwise
one has to pay value added tax, etc, etc. This is friendship
price so to say if one wants fast work extra food
to be served, no tea. Oh, he has worked well but too beating around the bush, just router
connection and commenting that I have a slow laptop!
What this is Vaio, I thought...a brand new at that.
Anyway, to make the story short, we are or I am
finally connected to the big cyberspace out there...
on this notorious day September 21. Something positive
to remember.
Tama Na, Sobra Na, Palitan I was telling our old
router. New connection, new speed,new internet life.
More later..

Thursday 10 September 2009

Counting the Essentials

„Anong ginagawa mo?“, my friend Emma called me up this afternoon.
We have not seen each other since I left for Italy last June.
“I’ m farming,” I answered, continuing my work with harvesting
the pineapples in the Kaingin ni Karlo. I was hitting the
180,000 coins with VIP title, and level 17 seemed to be so near.
I could finally expand my Farm.

“Okey, come to my place and I have pandisal for you,” she
hurriedly hung up.I finished my pineapple harvest and did plowing
for Christy, my neighbor in this Farm Town who actually resides in
faraway Padova together with the other distinguished Farmers.

Feeling secured to face her without a pasalubong but with
an over-due gift for her birthday last November,
I took the bus and went to Emma place, to her garden actually.
She had some guests: a Balikbayan couple from the Philippines,
Baby W. and her husband on a visit to Europe, another
Filipino-German couple and Emma’s husband, Ingo who seemed not
to be bothered with the wasps swarming on the table full of used
glasses, beer and liquer bottles. I just came right on time, I thought.
Her garden was in full bloom:
green grapes hanging on an arched gate leading to her collection of
flowering plants, bushes of all sorts, potted tomatoes,
a wide assortment of herbs, apple trees and crawling alugbatis and
a kiwi which according to her hubby has not decided if
it is a female or a male plant.

Emma wanted that I take some of the grilled stuffs but I told her
I just had my Wednesday Reibekuchen
and took two pieces of the famous
pandisals of Baby W. while chasing the wasps away from me.
Ingo commented that I should not bother, the wasps lived here
and they won’t do any harm.
In between chasing the wasps away, we managed to chat about
tidbits of topics from Durian fruits in Mindanao, ampalaya and its
cure-all benefits, to God and the World and about Benedetto.
How convenient in my Farmtown, no wasps, no heavy talks, I thought.
Then when I was about to leave, Emma gave me a bagful of pasalubong
which I photographed for a summery memory this year:

marmalade from her holunder fruits, pieces of really fiery
peperoncini, Basil and Parsley leaves, bunch of aromatic tomatoes
from Spain and a bunch of green grapes. There were pieces of grilled meat
and handmade pandisal.

I feel a bit humiliated, honestly, thinking of my Farm Town.
My digitalized Farm as compared to these real fruits of her sweat
and loving labor, a real-life hobby.

Tja, there is life beyond chatting and harvesting.
I envy her for not surrendering to the call of digitalized
friendship and farming.

But hey, the pineapples of Sudhiira are ready for harvest in two days!
I have to secure the contract to get the online coins.
Encomienda ni Pinay von Alemanya, here I come!

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Bella Italia...hearing the singing of the cicadas all day

Have a chance to do some postings in addition to this newly
found projet of Farming in this wide wide world of cyber hobby.
Sarah Jean invited me to this addiction forming hubby
and encouraged by friends in Padova a couple of weeks ago.
Yesterday, Belly, Ditche and I went by boat to
Le Cinque Terre which I have seen more than a decade ago
with my girlfriend Ulrike. How the villages have changed to
the comings and goings of tourists but the beauty of the
place has remained or I would like to think that way.
Some of the taken shots:

Monday 3 August 2009

Isang Party para sa Isang Debutante, Anne Ester S.

Some nieces are lucky, I think. They just don't get
"pasalubongs" or gifts from their aunties who work abroad.
They get literally pampered with good wishes and treats.
Anne Ester S. celebrated her 18th birthday in a historical
castle/villa near Padova with her relatives and closed
friends through the help of her aunties, Cecil and Laarni,
who, incidentally,are my closed friends in Europe.
I saw the last days of the stressy preparation for the
grand affair and when I saw how the aunties together
with the debutante's parents and other closed friends
work to make the celebration an unforgettable night
for Anne Ester, I thought how lucky she is to have
thoughtful women in her family. I was lucky, too, to have
been invited to the affair. Cecile even lent me evening
gown and matching shoes for the formal birthday celebration.
To remember that night, here are some photos...
Happy Birthday Tebet! May you be blessed with many
more beautiful years and many thoughtful aunties!

Friday 31 July 2009

Italian Sojourn Summer 2009


This is the third shower today...I mean no rain but taking
a shower.I am taking this chance to post some photos from
my summer stay in Italy...temperature maybe around 34.5 or so.
Time to just stay indoors and enjoy Siesta. Forget summer
sales. Tomorrow is another day but for now I just want to
have slices of cold watermelons in between taking showers
and postings.

Enjoy the photos!

Saturday 4 July 2009

News sharing from Rome

Italy adopts tough law vs illegal immigration
By Francoise Michel
Agence France-Presse First Posted 10:24:00 07/03/2009
ROME, Italy—Italy adopted a tough law against illegal immigration on Thursday, including a measure allowing citizens to mount their own patrols, despite fierce criticism from rights groups and the Vatican.
The European Commission announced it would examine the new measures to determine whether they comply with EU norms, warning that "automatic expulsion rules for entire categories are not acceptable."
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had made tougher immigration rules a cornerstone of the election campaign that saw him returned to power in May 2008.
The senate, Italy's upper parliamentary chamber, endorsed a vote by the lower house in May bringing the package of measures into full force with 157 in favor, 124 against, and three abstentions.
Under the new law, illegal immigration becomes a criminal offense; anyone caught housing an illegal immigrant could face jail; and parents registering a baby's birth have to present papers to show they are legal residents.
During its slow passage through parliament, the opposition denounced the measures as reminiscent of Italy's fascist era.
Perhaps the most controversial measure permits "citizens groups" to mount patrols on the lookout for public order offenses.
After objections that they would be little more than vigilante groups, the local authorities will monitor their activities.
The measure was particularly sought by the fiercely anti-immigration Northern League, part of Berlusconi's right-wing coalition government. The Northern League has a strong presence in the richer northern part of the country.
In parliament, the opposition put up a bitter fight against the bill.
Dario Franceschini, leader of the Democratic Party, compared it to the racial purity laws introduced by Benito Mussolini's fascist regime in the 1930s onwards.
Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, a senior figure in the League, dismissed the charge as "laughable."
The new law makes illegal immigration a criminal offense punishable by a fine of between 5,000 and 10,000 euros ($7,000 and $14,000) and immediate expulsion.
Berlusconi had originally intended to make it an imprisonable offense, but was forced to reconsider because of overcrowding in the prison system, which has reached record levels.
Parents will also have to present their passport or residency permit when they declare the birth of a child, which some critics have warned could lead to a generation of "invisible" children growing up outside the system.
The new law would "deprive children of their most basic rights," said Raffaele Salinari, the president of the Italian branch of Terre des Hommes, a campaign group dedicated to protecting the rights of children.
It also extends the period of detention for illegal immigrations to six months from the current two months to allow more time for them to be identified so they can be sent back to their home country.
Italian writers including Andrea Camilleri, Antonio Tabucchi, and Nobel prize winner Dario Fo signed a statement denouncing "discriminatory standards against immigrants, unknown in Europe since the era of racial laws."
An official with Catholic organization Sant'Egidio estimated the number of illegal immigrants in Italy at between 400,000 and 500,000 and said many are employed by families to care for the elderly or children. Among them are an estimated 13,000 Filipinos.
"With this law, we introduce the idea that being an immigrant and clandestine means being a delinquent," said Daniela Pompei.
While other European countries have not actually criminalized illegal immigration, several, including France and Greece, have adopted similar measures.

(source: philippine daily inquirer)

Tuesday 9 June 2009

King's Village Meets the New Kaiser's Supermarket

When they started tearing down this fast hundred year
old villa in my village in April 2008, I wanted to
know the owner and ask why would they sell out
an ancestral home with all the memories like maybe
the voices of the children playing in the gardens with
two giant trees of chestnuts and walnuts while pigeons
of all sorts were clustering in their branches especially
on sunny days reaching for the sunlight.
I have my own share of memory of this villa as I met
here a Pinoy named Dennis who told me that he has married
a German guy but they would move to Holland where he has
found a job. I have not seen Dennis since they moved out
of this villa.

The area where the villa used to stand so majestically
taken in January 2009 and by this time, people have
been talking about a future supermarket to rise in this
ground. Gone are the pigeons and the two giants trees.

Above is the new landmark in our village called
Koenigsdorf (King's Village)and today marks the grand
opening of this chain of German supermarket Kaiser which
attracts the local residents to flock to see, maybe shop
for the especial prices for the opening.
Hubby and I joined the local attraction by having our
brunch outside the supermarket amidst the coming
and going of shoppers with roses, pineapples on sale
potted plants, cherries and strawberries on especial sale.

Introducing the new search hobby of hubby in this new supermarket:

If you, dear reader, meet one Dennis who has moved to
Holland with his hubby, please tell him to visit and
see what has happened to the ancestral home...Well, now
the locals could step on the sacred ground used to be
reserved only for the residents of this fast hundred
year old villa. At least a consoling thought for the
loss of this grand landmark in our village.
We have Kaiser in our King's village. The value of
real property here gets one notch higher.

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Shoe Toss

(photo: Mar Lou)

Student acquitted for shoe toss at China's PM
Published: 2 Jun 09 20:54 CET
A German student who hurled a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was cleared Tuesday of committing a public order offence as he defended his protest as a symbolic act of defiance.
Cambridge University student Martin Jahnke told the court in eastern England that he was inspired by the notorious shoe attack on George W. Bush.

Finding him not guilty, Cambridge Magistrates' Court judge Ken Sheraton said there was insufficient evidence to prove that Jahnke had behaved as charged in a way likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Speaking publicly about the incident for the first time, the 27-year-old told the court he was not out to hurt Wen but to take a stand against his "regime."

"I am very pleased with the result," the pathology postgraduate student said after the two-day trial, in a statement read by a lawyer. "I would like to thank all those members of the public who have supported me, including the Chinese community. I hope now attention can move away from me to the real issue of human rights in China."

Sheraton told Jahnke that the verdict should not be seen as an indication that the court condoned his behaviour. The judge warned Jahnke about his future conduct.

Earlier in court, Jahnke said he wanted to protest about human rights in China, object to Cambridge University allowing Wen to speak, and show solidarity with the Chinese people.

Wen was giving a lecture in Cambridge on February 2, the last day of a European tour, when Jahnke blew a whistle, branded Wen a "dictator" then threw a trainer, missing hitting him by a few metres.

"It was a symbolic protest against the presence of the Chinese premier," Jahnke told the court. "My aim was to show solidarity with the Chinese people not represented."

Muntazer al-Zaidi, an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at then US president Bush in Baghdad in December, is currently serving a one-year jail sentence.

"I was inspired by the Iraqi shoe thrower," Jahnke said. "The idea that you could show protest in this way was in my mind. I think it really became symbolic throwing a shoe - a symbol of defiance against a regime or authority that is not accountable to anybody, a regime that uses violence. I didn't want to hit the premier personally."

He said it was meant to be was a symbolic protest.

"I didn't intend to hurt people - people sitting in front of me, people on the stage or the premier," said Jahnke.

The student, who had pleaded not guilty, said he did not think there was any chance of him hitting or injuring Wen.

"I think I aimed quite well onto that area of the stage in front of him," he said. "He was also standing on a podium, so there was no chance of the shoe hitting him in my opinion."

Jahnke said he presumed there would have been be a large-scale demonstration inside the lecture hall and he had merely planned to join in. But realising that no one else was starting a protest, he stood up towards the end of Wen's "propaganda speech."

"For me, it was terrifying to address an audience of that size," said Jahnke. "All I was wanting to do was to get out a coherent sentence and not make a complete fool of myself."

He said also Wen should be used to political protest.

"I wouldn't have expected he could be easily intimidated. He seemed a hardened character to force his way up the hierarchy and stay there for 20 years," he said. "I didn't expect him to be emotionally distressed. His regime is responsible for a number of human rights abuses."

If my girlfriend C.M. would one day show her protest by
throwing her shoe, I am pretty sure the recipient will
ask for the other intriguing, spiky pair.

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Poverty Line in Germany and Football God

I wanted to post this photo taken from our
local share with my friends
and ask themselves..."Poor ba ako sa Germany?"


Then this morning, this headline about this
super football star Mario Gomez whose transfer
to FC Bayern costs 30Million Euro greets me...
where do they get the money nowadays?
Poor, poor football fans!

Saturday 23 May 2009

Germany Celebrates 60 Years of Bundesrepublik Deutschland

(Photo Source:

Basic Rights

Article 1: Protection of human dignity
1. The dignity of man is inviolable. To respect and protect it is the duty of all state authority.
2. The German people therefore acknowledge inviolable and inalienable human rights as the basis of every community, of peace and of justice in the world.

Congratulations Germany! I am happy and thankful for being
a part of this community.

Let's get together with others, to dream and create
and conspire to build a better world.

(B. Ehrenreich)

Friday 15 May 2009

Permanent Stress in Germany: Housewives Mostly Affected

This Friday morning after our marital shopping
in this public market in our city, hubby read to
me this piece of German news which says
"Jeder Dritte Deutsche Leidet - Im Dauer Stress"
which roughly means Every Third German Suffers
Permanent Stress.

"Uh-um, that's good stuff for blogging," I told him and
when I make such comments, the dear
kabiyak ng puso
gets the message and tears the targeted
news off the dailies.

The news says: Every third German from ages 14 to
65 years old suffer permanent stress. For working
people the main factors for pressure are rat race,
too much work, financial worries, fear of losing
job, endless rush-hour traffic and too little time
for the family.

Housewives belong to the most stressed group
of people in Germany; 38% of them feel permanently
overstretched. Their daily routines are full of
surprises and are hardly organized. They function
as drivers for their children going to ballet
lessons and hockey trainings; they cook, clean
and wash, have never taken real time off and get no
praise for the job.

(Break for dinner)

This the result of a research done by a German
health insurance company, Techniker Krankenkasse (TK)
von Forsa and FAZ-Institut with 1,014 people
as respondents.

Summarizing the result, stress causes sickness
and absence from work. This costs alone
German companies about 20 Billion Euro every year.

It shows that stressed people suffer 4 times more
from depression than those who are less affected
by stresses and strains. Complaints are often
about backaches, burn-out, migraine, Angst,
insomnia, heart and stomach troubles.

Some pieces of advice to get out from this
"spiral of stress":
Go jogging, join a choral group, get early time-off
from work, reduce own personal demands and make
oneself unavailable.

(Source:KSTA:Koelnerstadtanzeige, 15.05.2009. Seite 1)

My Suggestion: Don't be a housewife, be a singing
jogger, meet friends after getting off early from
work, forget the Toscana villa dream and be away when
cleaning the terrace is in the marital agenda.

What's yours?

Sunday 10 May 2009

Happy Mother's Day


I saw this card in my other social networking. The special greeting
card has been prepared by Charles and Luis for their mommy Tracie
to greet her on this especial day, Mother's Day, which is celebrated
in many countries on the second Sunday of May.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, imaginary and real mothers.
Enjoy the day! Tomorrow you are all back to your role as
domestic goddesses, magicians, counsellors, referees,
cooks, cleaning women, teachers, accountants, budget or
floor managers, healers,partners and just about everything
which has to do with nurturing and caring.
Tough job!
Posted by Picasa

Monday 4 May 2009

Back to the German Nest

I miss this page but it has been such a hectic month, rather months
since March. Was out of the German nest to visit the Maderland,
work and leisure. Will be posting some photos to make up for
the long absence. Enjoy them!

Photos are taken in Pagudpud Beach. It took almost a day trip
from Laguna to Ilokos Norte to reach this white beach in the
northern part of the Philippines but the place was a real reward
for the long travel. See it the next time you visit the