Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Whew ! Previous month have been quite busy. Now, I am back and I have promised to update this blog once a month. I broke my promise but with a good cause. I was working ! Yes working outside. Have been out all the time to help a friend who just opened her business. My job is to take orders, serving dishes, arranging and cleaning tables, handling the payment by cards, cash or checks. Sometimes I also help her in the kitchen to cook the "plat du jour" (menu of the day). Honestly, I  was not trained for this (but I tried hard) not even have the specific qualifications to do the job so I was a little bit lost. My friend had taught me a lot how to do this correctly. Honestly, serving is not as simple as that. A job of a waiter/waitress goes's not just taking orders and cleaning after. To do this difficult task one must have a proper training. There are techniques and guidelines to follow. I never really imagine how hard this job could be. Someone must be quick on their feet and to have a good memory. 

Number one in the list : one must never forget to smile even you have had a bad hair day. Now matter how tiring your day is, it should not affect you do your work. Smile is contagious remember. Be Observant : this should mean you do not forget "food partners". Meaning if a client orders a French fries do not forget to serve him condiments (salt, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and the likes). This shows that you pay attention to your clients. Do not wait for them to ask you for something they need, propose instead. Most importantly, show them that you are a "menu expert". Having to know the restaurant menu is fundamental. It a good exercise that you explain what is the menu of the day and would be able to answer all their questions. Plus, a deft waiter should be able to make suggestions because client sometimes could be lost or undecided. 

The list could be so long, there are more techniques to follow and to put into practice. I guess, I should get a training for this because one time, I took all the glasses while clients were not done eating.. They've just finished the main menu, dessert is just coming up. The lady told me not to take the glasses yet. I was so embarrassed so I just excused myself. But, it's part of my learning as a temporary waitress. 
This is why I always give a tip when I go to restaurant but this also depends on the service of the waiter/waitress. It was quite an intense experience as I was able to go out from the ordinary life I have. 

photo taken from this site, thank you.

Friday, November 02, 2012

grow old with me

Almost all of us is familiar to this saying that "life begins at forty" but does it ? Aging is indeed a part of human life but growing old is an option as life starts at any age. It really depends on the's just a matter of numbers. Age doesn't represent maturity, it relies on how your mind works, how you see things. Personally, I don't consider growing old as becoming a grumpy old lady or being miserable because of wrinkles with tons of white hair or having a "poignées d'amour" (love handles) . Well, sometimes it's depressing to know & couldn't get out  the idea that I wouldn't be able to wear a two piece bikini at the beach anymore hahahaha. I know I am so narrow. But hey, why do I have to battle against the inevitable? I want to grow old gracefully....having to play like a child, stay up late night partying sometimes between girlfriends, buying the stuffs I like and one of them is Hello Kitty. Yes, I am proud to say that I have a Hello Kitty coin purse in my bag and to be honest my daughter wanted it but I didn't let her use it. That is the child in me ! The thought of holding hands with my husband, gazing at the sunset and staying up together like teenagers always thrills me.I am bromidic but that's me.

Take me seriously, there are a lot of things we develop and learn as we grow old. I consider growing old a wonderful gift and  PATIENCE is one of them. It is not something we are born with and I guess my patience have developed over the time. To inhale and exhale is one of my secrets, I tell you it really works. WISDOM, I remember in my early age my Mom used to tell me to grow up. I was very childish and ego centered amongst her kids and I knew that but I didn't regret because it helped me to become a better ME. At around 25 years old (maybe) I started to take things in hand besides it's never too late to change and to start over.

Oh well, I turned 40 this year! Remember, it's just a number despite of all the body pains and to have a bun in the oven. My compensation, I love when people ask me how old I am because when I tell them my age the reply I get is positive. They will most likely say that I am around 30 to 35, not kidding, it's quite a compliment ! Growing old does not suck, it's all about attitude.

Photo courtesy of Makis, thanks !

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Just a thought

I wonder why Philippines isn't competing whenever there is an Olympic game. According to what I have read because I am really curious about it, the Philippines first sent athletes for competition was in 1924. That made the first country to compete and won a medal in the Southeast Asia. Since then, they have joined every summer Olympic games and have also competed the winter Olympic games on three different events since 1972 until 1994. The Philippines was the first tropical country to ever participate in the Winter Olympic Games.  It's just so unfortunate we have good athletes and our government couldn't send them. Why ? Luck of funds ? Not so sure about it. I was thinking we are the only airport that pays terminal fee and it costs 550php/person for International flight and 200php/person for domestic flight, that would be a lot of money!  I wonder where it goes ?

According to  MIAA, General Manager Jose Angel Honrado, they will use the fund for the acquisition of sophisticated equipment, including new surveillance cameras, X-ray machines, body scanners, shoe detector machines, explosive detection system, among others. But since I went this April-May vacation back home I haven't seen any progress. When my husband backpack was stolen the police airport said that they will check it from  the surveillance camera CCTV we were confident about it. Yes, there are CCTV but they are not working. Tssk tsk tsk ! Sad to say, this is just one example of corruption.

Contemplating  as I watched the Olympic Games, and saw other Asian countries competed and was able to bag medals in many categories. How I wish Philippines is one of them !

Saturday, August 04, 2012

backpack turns into a nightmare

Fours years is quite long for me before going on a vacation to the Philippines. We normally go to the Philippines every two years because we want our children to adapt the Filipino life and experience their cultural heritage. The last time we went there was 2008. We're supposed to go back 2010 but  I gave birth and the baby was too small to travel so the trip pushed through for 2012. To update you,  we just recently went on a one month trip to the Philippines. One hour flight from Marseilles to Paris went okay. At Paris airport we have waited 2 hours only  before our flight to Beijing. Kids were happy to watch films during that long trip and they were able to sleep as well. Arriving Beijing we stayed 5 hours at the airport before our last destination. Husband was able to take a nap. I was unable to fall asleep over a long period of time... it's always the case anyway. Kids were full of energy so they have played all along at the airport. Beijing airport is clean, huge and comfortable. We have our 2 backpacks and my shoulder strap bag with me with all the important stuffs. Trip was exhausting for everyone. Good thing my little Chiara was so nice during that long trip. She never had tantrums or anything.

Final destination Philippines, home at last and we were all happy! It was 11:30 in the evening and everybody was tired plus we needed to take our luggages in the middle of that many crowd. Always a huge hassle in any kind of trips especially with three kids in tow. We need to get prepared for a crazy walk going out of the airport. Probably after half an hour or more of waiting we got our luggages with two caddies. I don't know but that night it was really strange I have never seen Manila Airport that busy and crowded. It was my 4th time to go back home since 2001 and I feel that arriving Manila airport is always a challenge. We were all exhausted and  weren't paying more attention. It is my country I should have had common sense and go with extreme precaution. I was so careless !

So careless, that one of our backpacks was stolen, I admit it was entirely my fault. I wanted to check on my siblings on the other side of the barrier where families, taxis, services are waiting to pick up the arriving people. I told husband that I will just check if my siblings are there already although he refused that I leave him with 3 kids and with 2 caddies full of luggages. Telling me that he wouldn't be able to look after them plus the caddies full of luggages in that crowded and disorganized airport. I had the backpack with me full of important stuffs, like his wallet (good thing there was no money in it) but with all his personal documents, his computer dive watch, diving lamp and most importantly the new bought underwater proof camera casing which I just put it in one of the airport caddies without telling him. The backpack was just beside my son who was in the caddy but the thief already spotted us big time! I still went away and took my baby with me and left them just like that! It was imprudent of me that I almost forget that Manila airport is the worst and chaotic place to be! It believe it's not only in Manila but everywhere in the world. Airports are the most stressful place to be. I'm so naive, I know that we are a potential PREY like most of the OFW's to the bystanders. Husband  told me that It's like I don't know my country and that I wasn't born there!

I wouldn't go through all the details as this post wouldn't be enough to tell you the whole misfortune of our vacation. Honestly, I was happy and excited to go back to my country and see my family, relatives, friends but because of what happened it's sad to say that our vacation was spoiled in this way. 

To you out there, always be on guard anytime when you check-in and check-out at the airport. Don't look lost when you arrived to any airports. Or don't be too much excited especially in your home port.  Do not take for granted of your belongings when you saunter around the very vigilant ! I hope through this post it could help you to be alarmed at all times. A little preparation is not bad to help us ensure that it's nice to travel but it should not turn into a complete nightmare and spoil the whole vacation.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

La soupe-au-lait

Booumm, blag, sprang, voilà le bruit j'ai entendu il n'y a pas longtemps que ça jusqu’à 23 heures le soir. Les enfants dormaient profondément.....heureusement ! J'ai cru mes voisin se disputaient mais j'ai un fort présentement que c'était contre nous. Le lendemain, j'ai fait exprès de les attendre car de tout façon je suis avec mes enfants en train de faire les devoirs dans le jardin.Mercredi, je le vois mon voisin arrivé ce jour là. Moi et les enfant ont lui dit bonjour mais il nous a complètement ignorer et même pas un regarde. J'ai trouvée ce-là étrange mais je me suis dit, ah il y a un problème. Donc, je lui dit a mon mari de voir le voisin et de lui demander si nous avons fait quelque chose. Pourquoi il s'est comporté comme ça avec nous surtout devant mes enfants. Si c'était que moi, je m'en fou ! C'est quand même hallucinant car au lieu de nous dire des choses en face on doit deviner ce qui se passe. C'est indéchiffrable!

Alors, mon mari est allé le voir si ça va... il lui a répondu, ça ne va pas!  Ils se sont parlé pendant 10 minutes et moi je suis allée vérifier et mon mari m'a appelé pour mettre tout ça sur la table. Je suis allée calmement et j'ai demandée qu'est ce que se passe ? Est ce qu'il y a un problème ? Il était énervé en me disant, "j'en sais pas si tu me cherches, ou tu ne me respect pas !!!" C'était son accueille quand nous avons commencé la dispute. Comportement  incompréhensible qui commencer a m'agacer on lui  répondant pourquoi je ferai ça ? Tu me dis des choses mais je ne sais même pas a quoi il s'agit ?  Je suis restée abasourdi et je trouvais ça un peu lourd. Il a complètement pété les plombs cet abruti ! Je me suis senti agressée!

Le Monsieur, me disait que ça fait de bruit chez moi surtout dans la salle de bain et ça le dérange le soir car le Monsieur dort a 22h le soir. Et moi j'ai répondu, nous avons déjà parler auparavant que si il y a le moindre de souci qu'il frappe a ma porte et on parlera. Mais au lieu de nous dire en face, qu'est ce qu'il nous a fait le soir.? Il faisait exprès de faire de bruit imaginable pour nous embêter ! GAMINERIE !!!! C'était pas un comportement d'adulte....c'est un butor qui se plaisent à malmener, rudoyer et surtout a nous intimider !!! En plus de ça , il nous a dit que Lundi soir mon mari faisait des travaux avec la perceuse. Et moi, je lui ai dit qu'il plaisant car mon mari joue au foot tout les lundis et il arrive entre 21h et 22h le soir. Comment il peut percer à la maison ? Et moi je ne sais même pas servir et puis nous faisons pas des travaux  le soir. Nous ne sommes pas fous! Si comme je faisais des bruits volontairement pour le nuire ! J'avoue dans leur côté il n'y a pas des bruits car ils sont que tout les deux. Mais si la situation était inverser ne nous plaignons pas parce qu'ils sont tous simplement dans leur maison. Chacun vit sa vie comme il le souhait en respectant d'autres personnes.     

Heureusement, mon mari à essayé d'apaiser la situation car je le connaît il essaye d'être diplomate a ces propos. Mais s'il commence a se comporter comme il a fait..... ah là ça ne va pas le faire ! Donc, pour finir puisque nous sommes nombreux et nous avons des enfants on a proposé que à partir de 21h30 personne ne prend la douche. C'est pour leur montre qu'on pourra s'adapter facilement. Vous imaginez nous devons regarder l'heure de se doucher dans notre propre maison ????!!!!! Ouuahh, je me demande où je suis ???? Mais ça on le sait qu'il ne faut pas faire un compromis car c'est notre maison, nous avons acheté cette maison pour être bien ! Bref, avoir un compromis c'est juste pour lui montre qu'on a plus de sagesse !

Saturday, June 16, 2012

On social network : the wonder that is me !

I have closed my Friendster account before it close. I am happy ! Now, I only have Facebook, no myspace & no twitter account or the likes thank goodness ! I have my Multiply but it's privately for photos only. Plus, I don't have many contacts from there only very very close people.

 It's really hard to manage many social websites and sometimes could be boring. I don't know with you but personally I find it uninteresting to post your bag collection, shoe collection just to show to the whole world you have all those branded stuffs. Or the worst what people has been doing and will post every minute. Sometimes even doing nothing is a status already. I have come across a status update that really sucks like busy, eating, watching tele etc ....

First off, it's tough to talk about yourself. But whenever I go through discussions I have this impression that the ratio of interest is becoming too low because of "showing off" ! For sure shouting what you possess doesn't mean you will gain more friends, that would be pathetic ! I don't think that social websites should be used to brag. Firstly, social websites are made to reconnect people. It also helps us to change how we interact to people like many employers use social websites to recrute, to discover many talents like photography, artwork, cuisines and more interesting information. 

Well, despite of all these I am still keeping my Facebook account only for one's easier to reconnect with my families and friends back home. To share and not to brag, those are completey different things.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

the city of romance

Philippines is known for its hospitality. I definitely agree not because I am a Filipina but because anywhere I go, whoever I meet people keep on telling me that. I have worked in the hotel industry for almost 7 years and clients tell me that we Filipinos are very warm and hospitable. This is a natural trait that we can be proud of although we are not the only country but I guess Asians are all alike.

It's been 11 years I've been living in France and I could really tell the difference between France and home. The service in France isn’t best known for its high level. I have may experiences during my first year in France most of them are good than bad probably because I live in the South or because I don't speak French yet, thanks to that. At least, I would not struggle to understand them. One more thing, perhaps I'm like a magnet that attracts nice & warm people so my experiences are mostly good. Honestly, I never lived anywhere else but in the South though I have been to many places in France, center, north, east, west. People in the south are much more different from those who lives in the capital Paris. I remember reacquiring my Filipino nationality, I asked a Monsieur where to find the way going to a place and he just answered me abruplty saying "I don"t know" I could compare it to " I don't care". Me, thinks that there is another way to speak to a missing stranger. It is very polite to excuse oneself's saying you're not from the place. That I would have understood. Locals in Paris are definitely unwelcoming & much more snobbish. Excuse me, even "some" Filipinos I met in Paris are far more different from those Filipinos who live in the South. Some Filipinos have lost their smile, maybe it's the steel grey sky in Paris why people are cold, serious and unfriendly. Though I am thankful that I have friends who live in Paris but they keep to be joyful and warm.

thanks to this site for the wonderful photo

In Marseille, when you are lost they would help you in anyway they can even if their English is bad. They would explain to you how to get to the place speaking in English with a French accent, I find it cute. In Marseille, I feel I am HOME. Speaking English is an effort for the locals. When you go to restaurants waiters and servers are warm, friendly and smiling people. They even joke with clients. I just don't know in Paris though been to restaurants in Paris (but it was a Chinese & Japanese restaurants) was not speaking French at that time so wasn't aware how they treat their clients. Went to a French restaurant with husband so I let him do the talking. In Marseille, when you take a public transportations (metros and buses) they will generously help you especially if they see you traveling with toddlers on strollers. While in Paris they don't really care as they are too busy in the day to day life this is according to many friends I have talked to.

Once husband had an offer to work in their office in Paris but he definitely said NO ! Telling me, Paris is a very nice city, one of the most visited city in the world. PARIS is magic but he wouldn't live there. If he finds himself in Paris it is because the office sent him there or we are invited by friends. We are contented and so lucky to have the calanques, the sun, the seas, the mountains and woudln't gamble it away against the city of romance. I'm with him 100% !

Sunday, February 05, 2012

paint the town white

Snow is very rare in the South of France. Husband told me his first snow experience was on February 1987. And in my 11 years in Marseille, mine was January 2008 wherein the city got paralyzed because locals are not used to it. That year was really a heavy snow as hubby went to the office which is one and one half hour drive and this blanket of frigid powder has started to enveloped the city. He passed thru the tunnel and get trapped for 6 hours, while me and the kids went out to make a snowman and enjoying the powdery stuff. Some teenagers went to the hills to try snowboarding, it was just fantastic! Although snow is beautiful but it could be catastrophic at some point especially when you need to go to work, school or do errands and cannot go back home because you are stuck somewhere, that really sucks !

It's been two consecutive nights snowing in the South of France. Here we go again a very rare vision of my city under a big white blanket. Snow is like magic and as I watched my Chiara gaze at a dusting snowy white makes her definitely excited. As you could see the snow is not particularly thick as it started to gradually disappear especially today with the sun helping us out to clear the way. Good thing, I wouldn't get to shovel them off the ground. I hope it will stop snowing because tomorrow is Monday so almost everybody needs to go out working, schooling, errands and because I don't know how drive in the snow...the fear !

macro shot of laurel plant

My laurel tree

My garden

the football field just behind the house

the other side of the football field view from my bathroom

entrance gate

My frozen Yuka plant

Saturday, January 21, 2012

new year ends

I normally post during Christmas and New Year but since I'm really really inactive on the blog sphere I haven't greeted anyone here. So I am greeting everyone a very belated Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year (anyway it's Chinese New Year so am not yet late for some lol) . Let's therefore brace 2012 with lots of hopes, a happy heart and more positivity.

Our new year was a bit of a disaster. How about you ? No fireworks, no good food only sick people. We were supposed to spend the new year with friends in the French Alps and expected to return home January 2. Unluckily, our three kids were sick all at the same time. You heard me right! We urgently needed to go home 31st of January as we didn't want to contaminate everyone. Home at 8 o'clock in the evening and we all bid farewell to 2011 tired but at least it was only gastro and not something worse sad. We all went to bed at 10 o'clock exhausted. Me, contemplating that whatever happened last year good or bad I still consider them great experiences as I often learn from it. I consider learning is always "good" because it signifies wisdom. Keeping in mind that I need to expand my awareness and perspective, make a new track and change what is necessary, and be more patient.

And what about 2012 ? Well, I don't want to be anxious about what 2012 has in store for us. As I as often do, I live each day, stay optimistic & spontaneous, and be the master of my life !