Thursday 25 December 2014

Christmas Eve Celebration in Germany

Sending of Christmas greetings through social networkings. Merry Christmas from the Little Warrior.

Traditional Christmas Eve dinner is taken at the normal dinner  time unlike in some countries like the Philippines when they have Noche Buena in the middle of the night inviting friends and other clan members. In Germany, it is shared normally by the so-called nuclear family, the parents and their children. Other family or clan members can come for a visit on the first or second day of Christmas so with invited friends. For this dinner, it starts with hot and delicious pumpkin soup.

To eat goose, turkey or beef? To settle the question, the hostess decides for something wild-Rehragout, venison gulasch. Soft meat, a bit spicy, and one is comforted with the thought that the meat is not full of antibiotics. Well...

To go with the Rehragout, Spätzle is served. Spätzle is a soft egg noodle or dumpling popular in Southern Germany.

Salad is never lacking. As photo shows, it is tomato and rucola combination.

Pears in red wine accompany the wild meat.

Red cabbage with apples as side dish.

For dessert, the dear hostess surprises us with her perfect mousse au chocolat.

The tempting combination of dark and white chocolate served with raspberry.

Christmas Eve means for many kids "Bescherung." This is the handing out of Christmas presents from their parents to the kids and how many gifts are handed out for each child. Kids start to play doctor ready to treat patients with the toy First Aid Kit.

The little girl needs coaching to complete her Christmas song.
She is so fascinated by the first-aid kit present and willingly poses for a photo. How charming! 

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Visits to Christmas Markets

Weihnachtsmarkt-Domplatz in Köln

Weihnachtsmarkt - Osnabrück


Attaching here a short video clip of street musicians playing near the Weihnachtsmarkt in Münster just beside Lambertikirche (Lamberti church).

Wednesday 26 November 2014

November 25, Reclaim the Night 2014. Wir Fordern die Nacht Zurück!

As in every year, November 25, the International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women as declared by the United Nations is celebrated globally in various ways by different women's organizations and initiatives as the day to say Reclaim the Night. Women in different cities hold street parades to demand stop to violence against women: Dance and march, reclaim the night, because the night belongs to women, women be loud.
I found one piece of paper with interesting verses which I am retyping below. Author is not known.

"Hausarbeit verweigern, Männer putzt das Klo! Für den Feminismus sowieso!
Lasst es glitzern, lasst es krachen  - Macker ham heut nix zu lachen! HAHAHA
Gegen Sexismus in jeder Gestalt - keine Toleranz der Männergewalt!
However I dress, wherever I go, yes means yes, no means no!
Friedlich oder Militant - wichtig ist der Widerstand!
Bullen, Macker, Patriarchat - wir haben euch zum kotzen satt!
Tanzen, tanzen, tanzen - wir sind Emanzen!
Feuer und Flamme dem Patriarchat! Kampf dem Sexismus in Alltag und Staat!
Lesben, Inter, Trans und Frauen - können auf die Fresse hauen!
Mackertum, könnt ihr Euch schenken - gegen euer Rollendenken!
Zwingt die Macker in die Knie - Feminismus, Anarchie!
Kondome, Spirale - Linksradikale!
Mein Körper gehört mir! Mein Körper gehört mir! Mein Körper gehört mir!
Sexismus keine Chance geben - für ein selbstbestimmtes Leben!
We are here and we will fight! Abortion is a human right!"

(Author unknown)

Sunday 23 November 2014

Call for Justice for Maguindanao (Ampatuan) Massacre of November 23, 2009

The Philippine authorities are running out of time to ensure that their response to the Maguindanao massacre does not become a mockery of justice, Amnesty International said on the fifth anniversary of what is often called the world’s largest-ever single attack on journalists.

On 23 November 2009, 58 people, including 32 journalists and other media workers, were killed when an election convoy came under attack by more than 100 armed men, allegedly including members of the police and the military. The convoy had been travelling in the southern province of Maguindanao, through the territory of the powerful Ampatuan clan.

“Justice delayed is justice denied. Five years after the Maguindanao massacre, the cases are still inching through the Philippine court system and not a single person has been held to account,” said Hazel Galang-Folli, Amnesty International’s Philippines Researcher.

Almost half the 197 suspects for whom arrest warrants have been issued since the massacre remain at large. Meanwhile, no prosecution has been concluded, nor has any perpetrator been convicted.

Trials in the civil and criminal cases are ongoing at a Quezon City Regional Trial Court. However, there have been several delays and setbacks and most of the court proceedings have been bail hearings. The families of the victims have also called on the National Police Commission to dismiss police officers allegedly involved in the assault, but it remains to be seen how these demands will be dealt with.

Witnesses to the massacre and their families have faced attacks and killings since the massacre, highlighting a lack of government protection. Just this week yet another prospective witness was killed in an ambush in Maguindanao province. At least eight witnesses and their family members have been killed in such attacks since November 2009. No one is known to have been held accountable for these killings either.

“Each killing of a witness creates a fresh injustice while reducing the chances of justice being served for the families of the victims of this horrific massacre. This is particularly true in a country like the Philippines where court cases have traditionally relied heavily on witness testimony,” said Hazel Galang-Folli.

“The Philippine authorities must get their act together and ensure that accountability for this horrific massacre is given high priority and enough resources.”

Dennis Sakal and Butch Saudagal, both of whom were expected to testify against the primary suspects in the massacre were gunned down by unidentified men in Maguindanao on 18 November 2014, killing the former. 

Alijol Ampatuan, who according to prosecutors was willing to identify perpetrators, was shot at close range in February 2012. Esmail Amil Enog, who testified in court that he had been a driver for gunmen implicated in the massacre, was found chain-sawed into pieces after disappearing in May 2012.

Region Asia And The Pacific

For further information, contact International Press Office »

For more information please read: maguindanao massacre

Sunday 16 November 2014

Commemoration of the First Year of Haiyan (Yolanda)

Babaylan Germany launched Hope for the Philippines in November 2013

God of Life.
We thank you for the signs of your light in the midst of our darkness.
May we be signs of your compassion in the heart of your world. Amen.

A prayer through a song

Sharing of experiences of volunteers in the Philippines

Sharing updates on the situation and result of Hope for the Philippines fundraising campaign through UNICEF Germany and German Red Cross (DRK)

Photo op after the serious part of commemoration program

Monday 3 November 2014

Film Evening. Watching PRIDE

Director: Matthew Warchus. Writer: Stephen Beresford

When KnP (kabiyak ng puso) told me that we are watching a film that evening mentioning about the era of Thatcher, I just said yes without checking on the story. And what a revealation while watching it.
It is an entertaining but inspiring film based on the story of the miners in the Dulais Valley in South Wales during the longest strike in British history from 1984-1985 which get support in form of money donation for the miner's cause from the LGSM, Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners.

Storyline from

In 1984 20 year old closet gay Joe hesitantly arrives in London from Bromley for his first Gay Pride march and is taken under the collective wing of a group of gay men and Lesbian Steph, who meet at flamboyant Jonathan and his Welsh partner Gethin's Soho bookshop. Not only are gays being threatened by Thatcher but the miners are on strike in response to her pit closures and Northern Irish activist Mark Ashton believes gays and miners should show solidarity. Almost by accident a mini-bus full of gays find themselves in the Welsh village of Onllwyn in the Dulais valley and through their sincere fund raising and Jonathan's nifty disco moves persuade most of the community that they are on the same side. When a bigot tries to sabotage the partnership with a tabloid smear Mark turns it back on her with a hugely successful benefit concert to which most of the villagers, now thoroughly in tune with their gay friends, turn up. The miners are defeated and return to work but at the Pride march ..

From the German film leaflet. "So auch die außergewöhnliche Liason zweier Gruppen, die sich im Sommer 1984 in England gefunden haben: Bronski Beat trifft Gaelic Folk oder auch...eine ausgelassene Schwulen-und Lesbentruppe aus London trifft auf streikende Waliser Bergarbeirter. Irritationen beim ersten Aufeinandertreffen sind vorprogrammiert!...

It is a touching film showing that solidarity is possible despite Angst and difference. It is inspiring to be reminded of these courageous individuals who were demonstrating not  only for their immediate concerns but joining others' fight for equality and respect. Couldn't help but cry in some scenes while laughing my heart out, too. Go and see the film. It's a beautiful film. It makes you yearn to join the next demo.

Pinay von Alemanya

Friday 31 October 2014

Happy Hallowfeen!

Little Cute Witch telling you Treat or Trick? (Photo: Laurice Ylen Romero)

Philippine Delicacies.Kakanin.  Rice Cakes in Different Versions

Sinukmani, Biko, Kakanin. Mit Latik or coconut flakes

Biko. Dark Rice Cake with Ube Flavour and coconut flakes

Tupig. Wrapped sticky rice with coconut and then roasted

Suman. Rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed. 
It's the time of the year when kids in their favorite costumes especially in America will be saying Treat or Trick asking for candies or else celebrating Halloween. Back home, this westernized version has taken over the traditional merrymaking of children on the eve of All Saints' Day going from house to house asking for sweets especially for rice cakes or cash singing "We are hungry souls, please give us something to eat and make it fast please before the door of heaven closes on us."

Suman anyone? 

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Golden October

Youth is like Spring, an ever-praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season , and what we lose in flowers, we more than gain in fruits. Samuel Butler

There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots maybe lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.       Nathaniel Hawthorne

But I remember more dearly autumn afternoons in bottoms that lay intensely silent under old great trees. C. S. Lewis

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. George Eliot

All things on earth point home in old October: sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hound, the lover to the love he has forsaken. Thomas Wolfe