Thursday, January 31, 2008

Because I am married to a foreigner

Before leaving for the second time to the Philippines I remember having a conversation with a Filipina (married to a Filipino) asking me "Hindi ka ba natatakot umuwi sa Pilipinas na kasama mga anak mo ?" (Are you not afraid to go back to the Philippines with your kids?). I surprisingly answered her question with a question "Bakit naman Ate ?" (Why is that Ate?). She initially had qualms bout bringing her kids there. For the following reasons, it's too hot for them, or mosquitoes will bite them, that her children are afraid of flying cockroaches, and the worse because of the traffic and pollution. I myself was indeed flabbergasted… I must admit her reaction annoyed me a lot. First off, I didn't expect to hear from her who apparently grew up in the province (this does not imply that a person who lives in the province is less privileged). I am proud to say that I grew up in the province and participated planting rice together with the workers of my grandparents to fell how it was. I even fed all sorts of animals like carabaos, cows, chickens, dogs’ cats and pigs. I am sure she is used to mosquito bites, flying insects, traffic and everything despite of the uncertainties she has. I frostily answered her that I am not afraid if my kids will experience such. Somehow it will be a good familiarity for them. To get used of my which it is part of them. To know half of their origin ! First rule I am not ashamed where I came from….I STOP PRETENDING to be someone that I am not. After all mosquitoes, traffic, pollution and everything do exist in every corner of the world. Let's just be vigilant about those.

It's funny to think how people transform in this short period of time. Are they afraid to go back to their origin because they live in a new environment in which life is more comfortable? Or earning dollars or euros made them change? Or is it something about having a new nationality that made those abrupt changes? Perplexing isn’t it? Come on I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth neither she is! It’s like she had anesthesia, a person with complete numbness not noticing that I was irritated. Now follows another question! She asked me if my husband isn’t afraid for them. I just told her that my husband is not afraid so why should I? He even wishes to live there one day when we get our retirement. Secondly, we teach our children to adapt in all sorts of situations and places. Although Philippines is a poor country and economically unstable it will always be home for me. Honestly, I am frightened....afraid but not from the insects and mosquito bites, traffic or pollution those are just minor things and that could be avoided and resolve. I am tremendously anxious on individuals' personal impressions of us.

Being married to a foreigner some people look at me differently as if I am well-off. Some would even dare to ask me money to buy a boat for fishing (she’s not even my family). Some would tell me “Hindi ka na maabot, yaman mo na” I could not reach you because you’re rich. Or “Yayaman ka lalo dahil kuripot ka”. I will become richer because I am frugal. Those blistering words I encountered when I went back to the Philippines last 2005 not from my own family but those from bystanders who does not have a tiny bit idea of who I really am.
Regardless of how many intimidating questions I just cannot let go from them. Questions follow me like shadows. I thought Filipinos living abroad would be more open-minded. Sadly, some are brilliants but with narrow-opinions. I have had loads of questions from people and generally being obnoxious, I swear they are not worth my time. And as to why I am married to a foreigner people see me that I am after my husband’s money or position, or I was picked up somewhere from one of the bars in Manila, or I am simply a mail order bride. Pathetic! Filipinas who are married to foreigner are being stereo-type, what an injustice! Now that some people know me in my place, they would snoop out on me. Still interested what kind of questions I’ve encountered? Okay these are worth sharing anyway so question and answer portion is on!

1. Where did you meet? (very common)

2. Does your husband give you money? (intriguing)

3. How am I able to aid family back home since I don’t work? (as if I married honey for money. I would have married a 4 MMMM’s Matandang Mayaman Madaling Mamatay ; an old rich man dying sorry for being morbid)

4. If I shop, do I get the things that I want? (This pertains if I can buy expensive things of course)

5. Does my husband allows me to go out ? (I’m not a prisoner)

6. Who pays the ticket when you invite your family to come ? (obviously I don’t work)

7. Does hubby complains if we often go to the Philippines? (of course plane tickets are expensive but he's not )

8. Are your in-laws nice to you ? (if not where’s the problem of course they are)

9. If you want to work does your husband allows you to work as a domestic helper ? (ok will not explain why ? )

10. Do you live in a villa ? (who cares)

I still have loads of them but will stop until here. Anyway, a lot could relate some are not. Others would find this post irritating but your reaction will always be your right. I am maybe married to a foreigner but that doesn’t give them the right to judge how I live my life !

Monday, January 28, 2008

Asian Beauties

Upon searching from you tube I stumbled on this video of beauty search. Miss World 2007/08 Asian Contestants. I haven't been really up to date in terms of beauty pageant since I left home but I love watching these beautiful ladies and I always have my favorite (s) and most of time the the one I prefer wins :D ! I have seen all the Asian contestants and I think that India is the most beautiful but according to the Judges..the beauty of CHINA WINS, so she went as far and crowned to be Miss World 2007! Congratulations to her ! Oh probably she made it to the question and answer portion we should not forget this. Beauty and brains should come together. And you, who do you think should win ?

Zhang Zi Lin

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chèr Basti,

Nous étions très heureux quand tu es venu au monde
De t'avoir a nos cotés est un bel espoir, notre histoire d'amour
Ton sourire, ton regard nous fait chatoyer nos yeux
Notre fils aimé, innocent et si doux !

Aujourd'hui, c'est ton anniversaire
Tellement dorloté par amour ainsi très fier
Tu es un de plus beaux cadeaux

Qui fait de notre vie un vrai joyau !

Parfois la vie n'est pas facile, il y aura des chagrins,
Mais nous serons toujours là pour te guider sur le chemin
Mais n'oublie pas, là joie, le soleil de notre merveille
Dans nos coeur ne pourra jamais cesser de t'aimer
Aussi precieux notre CHER BASTI !


Nous t'embrassons bien fort ,

Maman, Papa et Mimi

My son's birthday was last January 17, he turned 5 years old but I posted this the day after his birthday because I am looking after him. Sadly he started to get ill on the day of his birthday. So I thought and tried to make a little poem to express how much I love him.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Shadow

Tonight when I was giving a bath to Sébastien, Mayumi went to see us in the bathroom and she was running, afraid and trying to telling me something but I can't understand her because of the running water from the bathroom. Now here's the scene : (translation in red color)

Mayumi : Maman, regarde! (a bit crying and afraid)

(Mama look!)

Me : Quest ce qu'il y a Mimi ?
(What do you have Mimi ?)

Mayumi : J'ai peur ! (she was pointing out on the floor).
(I'm afraid! )

I didn 't get it right away but when she insisted that she's afraid I understood.

Me : Ah d'accord n'aie pas peur. C'est ton ombre bébé ! It's your shadow (talking to her in english)

Ah ok don't be afraid. It's your shadow baby !

Mayumi : Non, j'ai peur! Il me laisse pas tranquil...(still trying to run behind my back to escape out from her shadow)
(I'm afraid ! He won't leave me alone...)

I tried to solace her but she kept on changing position many times and still seeing her shadow following her. I controlled myself to giggle because I didn't want her to cry.

Sébastien : Mais Mimi c'est ton ombre, il faut pas avoir peur !
(But Mimi it's your shadow, you don't need to be afraid !)

She went away running in her room and kept saying NON and when she was in the room I heard nothing. I then finished bathing Sébastien we went to their room to put on his jammies. In the bathroom we have two kinds of lighting, one on the ceiling and one which is attached to the medicine cabinet with mirror. When I went to the room I talked to Mayumi and tried to explain and comfort her that it's her shadow and no one else. It's true that there different effects on the light where we can see more of our their room it's not the case the shadow it's on the body level. Then I started to tell her that she doesn't have the reason to be afraid of her shadow.

Me : Regarde Mimi c'est ton ombre.
(Look Mimi it's your shadow)

Mimi : Où ? Il n'est pas là (since the light is on the ceiling the shadow is not that visible)
(Where ? He is not here)

Me : Il est juste là derrière toi mais tu ne le vois pas.
(He is just behind you but you cannot see him.)

Mayumi : (insisting) Mais no Maman il n'est pas là !
(But no Mama, he is not here !)

Me : A ton avis il est où ?
(In your opinion where is he?)

Mimi : Beh, il est dans la salle de bain ?

(Beh, he is in the bathroom!)

Now that made me burst out in laughter !

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Quiet and white

A very Happy New Year and new beginnings to everyone! Finally, I'm out from hibernation in the cold environment of Alps after the holidays. Now will start to tell how it went for us. Normally we go to the North of France to spend Christmas with my husband's relatives or simply stay in Marseille and party with close Filipino friends or with my parents in law. This time was very simple and quiet because husband was on duty during the Noche Buena so we were not able to go out of town. Good thing he went home earlier than expected. We spent Christmas at home between us for the first time. I just made a simple dinner and we let the kids ate earlier knowing that they will not resist until midnight, I was right Mayumi fell asleep but Sébastien tried to fight his sleepiness because of excitement in opening one of his gifts. As of us, champagne and foie gras were an element of the dinner. We have eaten around 8:30 PM and ended at 10 PM. We let Sébastien opened one of his gifts before he went to bed and Mimi was far asleep and dreaming. She had gastro 3 days before the D day albeit she was feeling much better that night I guess she was really trying to recuperate from her sleepless nights. Before the holiday honey once told me that he will get a one week vacation because he hasn’t taken since August and he got them. Two days before Christmas his best friend called him proposing their apartment in the Alps to ski. Timing was good enough, one week free stay and spending white New Year why not ? It’s actually…PERFECT! I started packing on the 26th to get ready on our Friday trip….direction Orcière Merlette one of the nearest ski station from the South of France. It was a 2 ½ hours trip not bad, of course I didn’t forget to take my medicine otherwise going up in the Alps would be a total nightmare….zigzag highway isn’t my cup of tea. We arrived there Friday at and we started cleaning the apartment. The flat has not been occupied for quite a long time so you can imagine how was the cleaning started and ended! Drained and famished I cooked pasta with ground beef, tomato sauce with basil the easiest dinner to make after that strenuous journey.

Saturday we received 2 friends including the owner of the flat. We woke up early to get ready for the day. The sun was in full participation. We went to ESF (Ecole du Ski Français) for Sébastien’s ski lesson for one week. We inquired how much would be the tariffs in renting the ski sets, rackets and ledge. And what are the easiest stations for racketeering since Mayumi will be carried by honey from a backpack ! The winter sports started that day. We went to an uncomplicated station for racketeering all together and did pick nicking up in the mountains. The weather was good, we had sun, great views, and the kids enjoyed walking and playing in the snow.

Sunday, Honey and Thierry (the owner) went skiing for the whole afternoon. Whilst me, I brought Sébastien to his ski lessons. For Rémi (other friend) who has a back problem and cannot ski we just went for a stroll. In fact we planned of going to the pool altogether but Mayumi fell asleep. It was hopeless to go swimming so then I went back to the flat carrying a big back pack and bringing Mayumi all the way down to the apartment….it was an early exercise! Rémi went swimming alone. The day was over. They had fun. Our two friends left at 5PM to go back to Marseille for the New Year celebration. That night we have feasted the Media Noche between us once again and since it was an exhausting day for everyone Honey and kids went to bed as early as 8:30 PM while I stayed up until 11PM, unfortunately I couldn’t resist the fatigue. I tried to sleep but when the clock strikes at 12 Midnight thinking that this would be a calm and quiet New Year, oh boy I was wrong! I can tell you that in the mountains people are crazier! They went out from the apartment with a loud cry, singing “La Bonne Année….” honking, whistling and with firecrackers too ! I didn’t know it could be this jubilant…young and old people were ecstatic of the approaching New Year!

Moreover, we were afraid that kids would wake up because of the noise but it didn’t work they were sleeping like an angels. If in case the sound would wake them up it will be okay it’s New Year anyway! I was telling this because it was in fact our first time to spend the New Year in the Alps and it’s somehow exciting. The rest of the week was spent into skiing, swimming, sledding and strolling between us while waiting for another friend to come overnight. He arrived on the 1st of January around 8:30 PM and to welcome him I cooked chicken curry for dinner to recharge energy and get ready for tomorrow’s activity. Next morning, Honey and Sylvain went skiing the whole afternoon while me and kids went sledding before I bring Sébastien to his ski lesson at 2 PM. To save time I brought food for picnic then they could take advantage of their ski journey. Come 5 in the afternoon Sylvain went to the flat contented and happy to have skied and ready to go back to Marseille and get back to work the next day ! That night everybody were tried and kids just watched the DVD's on honey's laptop. The next 2 days were spent for strolling and swimming because it was snowing and windy. Friday we just went to see Sébastien on his ski lessons. I saw my son skiing very well ! I was really proud and happy to see him on his ski sets and his ski combination, it's like he did skiing eversince. This is to announce with pride that he passed the test and he got the L'Ourson medal this time after getting the Piou-Piou last year! Next time he needs to pass the Flocon which is more difficult then he could ski by himself or with his Papa ! Saturday we bid goodbye to the Alps and to the snowy mountains and hello to it's raining !