Christmas in Philippines

Being at a place for a longer period, makes you get to know the culture better and more intensive. When I first came to the Philippines, I thought I figured it all out. By just looking around I thought I knew the Filipinos as well. Of course this is not true and luckily enough, the country enrich me still every day. Be it positively or negatively, I keep on learning! :)

It is Christmas time and in the Philippines, with around 80% of the inhabitants being religious, Christmas is something very special. So to prolong this period, they start with perking up Manila around September. Christmas lights are being nicely put in the exotic trees, the trunks of the palm trees become red, and Christmas trees arise in all shopping areas. I suddenly do realize that I haven’t seen Santa Claus though. So even though it’s really Americanized here, Santa Claus has no time to pay Philippines a visit I guess.

Everyone is really in Christmas (sharing) mood, and many people get better from it. Cab drivers get an extra tip, kids in the street are being multiplied suddenly and hoping to earn a bit more, etc etc. Also, completely rare to me, its being celebrated like we in Europe celebrate a new year. People send text messages to each other, call your dearest when the clock hits twelve, and fireworks all over the place. As where in Europe we eat… drink and then sleep! :)

Being in a foreign country, with leaving behind friends and family in other places, makes someone a stranger during such a time where family is important. People go home to celebrate and reunite with long lost families far away. Yet, I was invited to multiple families to celebrate with them. In the end I choose to celebrate with some friends that had nowhere to go as well and made it a great time. Surprisingly there were quite a lot of people invited for dinner. It turned out to be Family from the staff, not having a broad income, and happy and thankful to share the dinner with us.

Thank you Philippines for a special Christmas holiday!

We don’t fix – we patch up!

Yes, I know, I do live in a 3rd world country, but we all have common sense and logic one would argue – no matter where! In Manila it is called: creativity.

I live in a pretty nice area and in a good building. ‘Condominium’, as they call it here. A building with service, guards, pools, tennis court, garden, and lots more you would want to do, but just don’t have time for. Good thing about a building like this, is that all is standardized, so it would be easy for the maintenance to fix things.

Nevertheless, upon the time when entering the apartment, I found myself with leaking taps. Happens over time of course. Rubbers get old! As being in the position of having maintenance, I asked them to fix it (have the experts do it). The guy (expert) walks in, and indeed concludes the tap is leaking! So far so good, as I already told them in advance my tap was leaking, so we at least agree on this. “Be right back, need to get my tools”. Ok, makes sense, who wants to walk around with a toolbox anyway?! Unless… You are maintenance maybe!? The expert gets back and opens the tap, as curious I was, I wanted to see how bad the rubber ring was… And believe me, it was pretty bad: there was no rubber ring! THAT EXPLAINS! Ok, let’s get the rubber ring in and done! Oh wait, expert needs to check for a solution (rubber ring I suppose), he will be right back.

Finally, after 2 hours he gets back (lunch time in between). He brought some tape… a lot of tape I should say. No rubbers, but the tape will perfectly hold as rubber he explains. he wraps the tape in the spot where the rubber should be, and closes the tap. Patched and not leaking!

Last week, I bought my own tools and rubber rings, replaced all rubber rings, including the tap with tape solution, as it was leaking again.


Don’t know where to start after such a hectic period. Then why writing? Well, it is good to put your mind on something else sometimes and to flash back in time a little. And “yes, I know”, looking forward is even more important, but running without knowing where to go.. ain’t wise either! :)

So, back to the post, I am in Manila! Well, have been for 3 months already! No, I did not get married, or am in Prison here. I am here out of free will! Well, so far I am….

Hong Kong

It’s becoming an habit, writing in my blog once a year. I guess I just don’t have so much to share anymore with the world around me. Or perhaps I don’s see the necessity to do so. Whatever the reason might be, I am writing again. And this time from Hong Kong. It crossed my mind to write about the differences in Asian and Western countries. But that has been done many times already. So why share clichés? And f you are really interest, move yourself. So I am back to old school blogging. Writing about things that just amazes me, struck me, made me happy, sad or just plain nonsense.

But.. right now, no time to write! ;)

Spring is on its way :)

Meiwan saluting while waiting for her…uhm.. her horse…?

When in the winter the dark days predominates, all one would want to do is bring a little light into your life. Those pictures were therefor taken with only natural light from the window. To show and accentuate the shapes better, the pictures were changed into black and white. You can see some more @ Meiwan.

But as of this week, no black and white is needed anymore. Spring is finally there! Even though the temperature is just starting to increase slightly – I optimistically bought my first Pistache ice cream of this year, last weekend. And, surprise surprise, it appears Dutch just LOVE having icecream when it is just around 10 degrees celcius :)

I love SPAM :)

It got crazy lately… So instead of fighting against it, I decided to join the forces!

Dear Sir / Madame,

Thank you so much for your mail. You have no idea how much it means to me you are actively sending those messages to me.

You see, I am a psychopath and lately it has become quite difficult to exercise my job, as the society of today do no understand the need of torturing people slowly but surely to their deaths. But after receiving numerous emails from you, I finally understand I have found my equally self in you. In a way we are not so much different at all. You like to torture people as well and eventually bore them to death with your highly sophisticated emails. Although I have to say your way of killing people lacks a bit of creativity and in my opinion you are to rigorous. But I guess we all have our own way of practicing what we do best.

So, my point – I was kind of hoping that you are man enough to provide me with your address and name, so we could exchange our experiences in the near future on this subject with a glass of whiskey and some cigars. Although I have to warn you that I am kind of jealous on your effective way of boring people to death, and as I can’t stand competition, I might end our conversation in my own rigorous way. But as said before, we psychopaths are all alike, so I do hope you can forgive me this.

With kind regards

Tune into online Television & Radio!

Once again I have proven to be more lazy than ever. For years I have this little plan on creating this website with TV/Radio, reviews etc. etc. It all made sense and it would be an investment of time, as I could do all the programming myself. And, I did not wanted to be one of those persons waiting with some great idea, until someone else finally epxloited this idea and become rich with it. No, I would do it myself and start early so I would be the first one the market. Yeah.. Well this was back in the year 2000 or something. And even now… I did not launched the idea I wanted, but just something small. Have a look @ tuneNow and let me know or there is room for improvements…

Studio work…

Model: Yeesia

Of course, after one year of owning and trying the digital camera, it became time to rent a little studio and invite some of my friends. Some even more enthusiastic than I even was – we all started to work in our own field of profession. Indah and me reading about lighting, and poses. And Yeesia about make-up and styling. It were two great days, with a steep learning curve, as unfortunately a lot went wrong. But hey, that’s life! :)

For a little impression of this day, have a look @ the Dutchgrapes scrapbook.