Monday 26 April 2010

What a Feast! Spring at its most Keukenhof, Holland

Capturing the splendour of a Dutch spring season in some photos
taken during my visit to Keukenhof this April.
Theme for this year: From Russia with Love

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Start of Art Cologne 2010 and not to forget Eyjafjallajoekull

"Art is still not where you think you're going to find it."...from
the French artist, Patrick Mimran. I was reading it our local
papers Koelner-Stadt-Anzeiger featuring the preparation for this
year's Art Cologne.
Stealing the limelight from this event is the eruption of
Eyjafjallajoekull vulcan in Iceland producing tons and tons of
ashes in the atmosphere which caused chaos in all European airports
and financial loses reaching more than 200 million dollars or
148 million Euro for airline companies per day.
I'm wondering what happens to all those expensive airflown
papayas and mangoes?

Friday 16 April 2010

Volcanic activities in Iceland affecting Germany

The weather this Friday is sunny but mostly cloudy.
Would like to attribute it to the reported gathering of ash
covering Western Europe caused by a vulcan eruption in Iceland.
I remember one news report mentioning that Pinatubo ashes were
reaching as far as Munich when it erupted in 1991.
Hmmmm, how many extinct volcanoes are there actually in
Germany, I wonder.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Celebrating Abitur

Was shortly at the city today and got attracted to these
colorfully clad girls munching bread in front of this
huge bakery in Cologne. They seemed to be preparing
for something and I waited. Soon they were spreading
their Isomatten/mats. Screaming and whistling followed.
I found out that they were candidates for Abitur, the
school-leaving examinations for high school in Germany.
To celebrate their graduation or finishing school, they
planned to hold a five-day impromptu performances on the
shopping streets of Cologne.
Today was Fitness for fun. Asking some of
them if they have especial message or why they are doing
the instant shows, the answer was simply they want to have
fun. School is over. University life starts soon.

Saturday 10 April 2010

Pasalubong Galore

Ordering pasalubongs is now easier...even the last minute
pasalubong order is possible with our access to internet and
texting possibilities. As hubby was doing a reportage during the
Easter week in Wow Country, I was pestering him this time
to bring me Pasalubong,
not the big travel souvenirs as dust collectors but just
heavenly tasting Ube Halaya,
a especialty of my elder sister, and the world famous
hopyas from Chinatown. It is my third order for hopyas
and no one as of writing has been successful in getting them.
I heard during my brief visit in Holland that bags are now rigidly
controlled, opened and even contents are thrown away which as
you could imagine cause so much heartaches for returning Pin@y
travellers. A returning Pinay lost the content of her delayed
suitcase which I learned later to be packs of tuyo (dried fish)
and maybe other intriguingly smelling goodies from the home
country. I wonder what happens to such confiscated goodies?
Thrown away, feed to the sniffing dogs or brought home
as doggie bags by Customs/airport officials and workers who know
by now that such smelling goodies could only enrich their
taste buds and culinary experience.

When the dear "kabiyak ng puso" returned recently from
a reportage travel in the Wow Country, he surprised me with
packs of Pasalubongs which I religiously reminded him
to bring back: my ube halaya (sweet violet yam jam), mangoes and
pandisal. There were small packets of dried, mini-mini anchovies,
(dilis) dried kamias, some pieces of Kalamansi (native citrus),
small heads of native garlic (hubby's most fav travel souvernir
in addition to his books), first home-grown papaya from
my elder sister who also did this labour of love in preparing
the Yam jam, small packets of sampaloc and other Phlippine spices.
What a especial treat from hubby who is learning to capitulate
to the texting and emailings of wifey for these treasures from the
Forecast this weekend is sunny and with these precious
Pasalubongs to enjoy, I would not care if it rains cats and
dogs again. Meanwhile, hubby is still sleeping, recuperating from
the heroic act as Pasalubong carrier.

In return for his consideration, I think I would let him indulge in
his passion for garlic and just bear the garlicky days ahead in our flat.
Nope, he also did not get the world famous hopyas from Chinatown.
Nabitin na talaga ang hopyas!

Sunday 4 April 2010

Happy Easter!

...there's a never ending refrain in the return of nature, once
reading it but could not remember the author but I sent the
greetings to nice friends and social networking contacts adding
that whatever beliefs you have, have a nice Easter.
As additional blog post, I'm pasting here a short info on what
Easter is all about. I thought the word must be lacking in
letter N when I was learning English some light years away. It
reminds me all the time of a Manang Ester we had, actually two
Manang Ester (Manang-older sister)and thought then they had
beautiful, meaningful names, Ester.
So here's the brief info I found in another sites
It is celebrated as the religious holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Easter is also the time of spring festivals.
But the celebrations of Easter have many aspects that are pagan in origin and not associated with Christianity. The name Easter is thought to come from the goddess of mythology "Eastre,". She is associated with spring and fertility. Her festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox. Traditions associated with her festival survive in the Easter Bunny, a symbol of fertility, and in colored easter eggs that were painted with bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring and given as gifts.
The Christian celebration of Easter encompasses a number of traditions with emphasis on the relation of Easter to the Jewish Passover. The early Christians, many of whom were of Jewish origin, were brought up in the Hebrew tradition and regarded Easter as a new feature of the Passover festival, a commemoration of the advent of the Savior as foretold by the prophets. Easter is observed on the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or following the spring equinox (March 21). So Easter became a feast which can occur as early as March 22 or as late as April 25. Easter is at the end of Lent. The Lent is a period of penitence in preparation for Easter. Lent ends with Easter Sunday, the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

My Easter Thoughts
Earl J. Prignitz
March 31, 2007
The Resurrection is the most important event in the life of the
Christian Church! Not the birth of Jesus, nor his ministry, nor his
crucifixion are as critical as his Resurrection from the grave.
Obviously the Resurrection could not have happened without the
previous phenomenons occuring. But without the Resurrection the
Church of Jesus Christ would not have survived these many years.
That is my conviction and I hold it strongly.
I have been convinced of this for many years.

After the crucifixion and burial of their master the disciples were
terrified and disconsolate men, hiding fearfully behind barred
doors in an upper room in Jerusalem. They trembled at every
knock on the door; they feared the same fate that had befallen Him.
But after they had been convinced--and they were not easily
assured, as the various Resurrection narratives make quite clear--
they were men transformed.
Fear was transformed into courage, uncertainty into a strong and
radiant faith. Immediatly they were out in the open streets of the
city that had dealt so brutally with their master, proclaiming with
passion and joy the great salvation that had been wrought through
this mighty vindication of His son by the almighty God.

The Resurrection has very little to do with spring, except that we
celebrate Easter then. There is some symbolism involved in those
Easter eggs, in the idea of new life emerging, in the budding of
trees and the appearance of flowers, and in the earth's recovering
from the death-grip of winter. But the Resurrection is so much more.

The Resurrection is the power of God which raised Jesus Christ
from death to life. Ephesians speaks of that power "which He
exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him
at His right hand in the heavenly realms..." (Eph 1:20, NIV).
That is the Resurrection! It transcends season, and it even
by-passes revered religious rites and rituals, because it is
centered in the dust and trauma, the blood, sweat, tears, hopes,
and dreams of all human existence.

Yes, the Resurrection is the Good News that there is life after death
and we can look forward to it with great anticipation. HAPPY EASTER!
I am a retired Friends pastor - 93 years of age and a dedicated
peace lover. I have been a pacifist for well over 70 years. I spent
39 years of my life in one form of ministry or another in
4 different states. I am now living in Friends Fellowship
Community and have been for over 9 years after suffering from
two strokes just prior to that. I am married for the second time to
a lovely woman named Rosalie.My first wife died in 1996 after
we were married for over 61 years.
Happy Easter whatever your beliefs are.