Sunday, December 20, 2009

A special season's greeting for you all

Life goes on, friends come and go in our lives
We try to survive the challenges in our lives with or without friends
We would be lucky if we found a true friend who sticks with us no matter what

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I won't be home for Christmas

As I'm typing this post; I'm listening to 'Home', a beautiful song by Michael Bublé.

Another Christmas is coming and again I will miss going back home to celebrate Christmas with my family in my home country. I lost count on how many Christmas celebrations I have always been the only one missing. In fact, since I got married 10 years ago, only once I was able to join family Christmas celebration in Yogyakarta where all my family gathered for a simple Christmas dinner.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Counting my blessing

I’m trying to count how many times God’s blessing for me and my family followed us always. Just in 10 days of our holiday trip to Malaysia, God’s hands have played part in many ways of saving our lives where ever we go.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The land of typhoon

The land of typhoon, it's one of many names I gave to The Philippines as many typhoons land on the archipelago; at least 20 typhoons a year. Some are moderate and some are destructive typhoons like the two typhoons that have just battered this country: typhoon Ketsana (It's called Ondoy in Philippines) and typhoon Parma (it's Pepeng in Philippines).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mt. Makiling trip

This tree is called Mickey Mouse tree. Do you see why??...;)
After 4 months living in The Philippines, we are pretty much adjusted to the situation, the people, the culture, the weather, and the food. In fact, many times I kind of forget where I am. In my mind I was in my home country but then when the people started to speak to me, I got my feet back on the ground...:)

Friday, September 04, 2009

God's beautiful gift

Time flies really fast. Last week my daughter has celebrated her 1st birthday. She was very sick though at that time. She had high fever of 41 0 Celsius and rashes all over her body which turned out to be baby measles. She recovered in 3 days. Now she is up and about, one busy little girl.

It seemed only yesterday I just gave birth to her and posted her baby picture here. I even haven't had time to post any stories about her when she was a baby, and now she is growing up to be a cheeky girl. She can walk and talk. She is very girly and very talkative. She shows a very different personality compared to her big brother. I really enjoy taking care of her as much as I enjoy taking care of her brother.
I am very blessed to have her to complete my life. I have a handsome boy and a beautiful little girl. Both are very smart in their own way.

Unlike her big brother who shows interest in books, computer, and Math, my little princess shows more interest in language and all the girly things such as hair clips, dolls, and flowers. She loves to dance and she hums along with the song :)

She is also more independent than the big brother. By 1 year old, she is able to feed herself while her brother is still fed until now he is nearly 5 years old.
She insists on feeding herself with a spoon. Although the number of rice falling down to the floor is more than the ones go into her mouth, she is able to finish 1 whole bowl of rice with chicken soup faster than me! Oh, she loves to eat vegetables and chicken, by the way. She says "Checken!" for chicken :) and she eats vegetables like eating peanuts :) When she is full, she will show it to me by tapping her belly and refuse to be fed anything.

She is able to drink from a cup since she is 1 month old. I trained her to drink the breast milk from a cup whenever I didn't breastfeed her. So she is able to master drinking from the cup at a very young age. Up to present, she is still breastfed. That's the only milk she wants to drink.
My girl was very happy when she was able to drink using a straw just a week before her 1st birthday. She has been practicing since she was 2 months old.

My little girl is also able to brush her teeth by herself. She is very happy to brush her teeth while I brush her brother's teeth. She will happily show you her 8 pearly white teeth when you ask her to smile.

Unlike her brother who is very friendly and laughs easily, my little girl doesn't laugh so easily. She is more careful towards other people other than those who take care of her every day. She is also more careful in doing things such as climbing and playing. She pays attention more on people's facial expression. Oh, she is also a great imitator She will copy actions, words, and also facial expressions from people she think fascinate her. It's like having a Xerox machine

My daughter’s favorite hangout place is...Starbucks! Try asking her where she wants to have dinner. She would quickly answer you with "Starbucks!" then ask her what she wants to eat. She'll reply you "Checken!" and the problem is, Starbucks doesn't sell chicken

When I'm busy teaching her brother to do his homework or to prepare for exam, she will keep herself busy drawing on the floor or do body painting. She will draw all over her body though I have given her papers to draw. When I shower her, I can even find a picture on her head!

My maid loves to do my daughter's hair with many styles and put on cute hair pins on her head. My daughter is also happy to do it because she knows she will look even cuter.

She loves her big brother very much. She calls him "toto" instead of koko (big brother). She kisses him. She hugs him. She grins from ear to ear whenever she sees her brother. She also loves to draw on toto's legs. Her brother loves her very much too. They seldom fight for toys or for attention.

I can go on and on telling you about my daughter. She’s just so amazing. She’s such a lovely and beautiful little girl. Happy 1st birthday my little princess! Mommy never stops praying for you. Thank you God for this beautiful gift in my life.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Learning Tagalog

I have been having private tutoring sessions for Filipino language with my husband for nearly a month now and we are happy to say that we can understand a lot more words and can make more complete sentences in Tagalog.

We have fun learning the language together as my husband and I always try to compete with each other in understanding the language. Both of us have great passion in learning a new language. For us, it is important to be able to understand what the people talk about so that we can gain more knowledge about them, their culture, & their way of life so that we can interact with them and blend in easily.

My husband knows how to speak many languages very well. When I see him switching languages from one language to another, it's like choosing a language using a DVD remote control... :-)
For him, his knowledge of Spanish and Malay languages helps him in understanding Tagalog words. Many of Tagalog words are taken from the Spanish language as Philippines was occupied by Spanish for a very long time. Many Tagalog words are also similar with Malay language as Malaysian Malays were one of the first inhabitants of Philippines.

For me, though I don't speak Spanish, my knowledge of French and Indonesian languages help me to understand Tagalog words. In fact, some Tagalog words are the same as Javanese language (I found out from my tutor, the Indonesians were also one of many first inhabitants of Philippines) and I get the advantage of it as I can understand Indonesian Javanese dialect too. So, yeah, 50-50 for me and my husband. But when we did our 1st test, I scored better than my husband! That was because my brain is so empty…:D (My husband said if Albert Einstein heard this he would laugh at me because according to Einstein, he only used 5% of his brain when in fact he studied all the time. So, in a way I have admitted that I never study at all…:D).

Oh well, I think my brain has more space than my husband’s brain because I don't work at the office reporting to someone. So it is easier for me to remember things. Besides, I have studied well before we took the test and my husband had no time to study because he was very busy at work.

My husband has been practicing Tagalog with his colleagues and for me, I practice my Tagalog with my driver and my maid. I also get a chance to practice Tagalog when I go to the market and my maid and my driver always come to my rescue with no delay :D

It's great to be able to learn a new language especially with someone equally passionate about it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

No maid no gaining weight

I finally got a chance to weigh myself in the clinic today when I took my son to see a Pediatrician. I can't believe my eyes. I have lost 6kg in 2 months! I can feel that I am slimming down so much. I feel lighter and much more confidence in wearing my sexy cloths... :)

Thanks to the absence of a maid in my house. I am forced to do the housework and take care my children all by myself. I have learned to multitask, manage my time, and to work fast. I also have learned to skip my napping time and reduce my sleeping time at night. The stress of moving house and adapting to the new life in the new place also took part in reducing my weight.

Although I always cook good and nutritious food for the family, I don't have a lot of time to enjoy the food I cook because after cooking, I have to worry about feeding my children, preparing for my husband, then cleaning up the mess afterward. So, usually, I will have my meal together with the children while feeding them. So, whatever food they eat, I will eat a little bit part of it.
Though I only eat a little bit, I don't feel hungry because I don't have time to feel hungry... :)
This also contributes to my weight lost.

Another thing that contributes to my weight lost is the fact that now I live in a double storey house (for the past 10 years, I lived in a small apartment)... :)
Everyday, I have to go up and down the staircase while carrying my daughter who weighs 8.5kg for many times a day.
I just can't leave her alone upstairs or downstairs because she can climb up the staircase already. But she still doesn't know how to climb down. So, I have to constantly monitor her especially when I need to go up and down the staircase because if she sees or hears me going up to the second floor, she will quickly crawl up.
I first found out about this when I was upstairs with my son to get a book very quickly. I thought leaving her downstairs in a room would be safer because I would only be gone for less than a minute. But then, I was very shock, my heart nearly stopped pumping, to see her climbing up the staircase already half way up. I didn't know that she could open the door as well. Apparently the door wasn't closed properly.

Since I'm the only person that has to run around the house the whole day, I have lost my time to relax and munch as well...;) So, even though my husband bought me a 2kg chocolate ice cream and a long bar of chocolate in the fridge, I don't have time to even touch them! Many times I wish I could just do the swish and flick of my wand then the housework is completed... :)

No maid, really no gaining weight for me or I should say, no maid, no time to gain weight for me... :D

The bad news (for my weight lost program) is...
A new maid is coming to my house tomorrow!!
Here we go again... my battle of loosing weight! I hope I won't gain another 6kg in a month... :D

Thursday, June 11, 2009

About life in here and in Malaysia

It's nearly 11pm in my place. The internet has just been installed and I can go online now whenever I have time.

Usually at this hour when there was no internet yet, I would just fold the clean cloths and iron some until around midnight before I ended my very long day. Since I moved in to the new place, I have become an early bird. I wake up every morning at 5.30am. I was never an early bird before but in here, I have no choice because at 5.30am, the sun shines so brightly already since it rises at 5am. My bedroom has no thick curtain yet. So, my daughter will wake me up with her big smile exactly at 5.30am every morning.

Oh I miss waking up late. In Ipoh, at 7am it's still very dark. That is just one of many things I miss about my life in Ipoh, Malaysia.

I miss having a plate of char kuey tiao or a bowl of seafood noodle soup as my breakfast at the Greentown corner. It's cheap but very tasty and spicy. It would only cost me 4.5Ringgit per plate.
Here in my new place, I have to eat breakfast at home. To eat out, it will cost me at least 8ringgit per plate.

I also miss eating my duck egg crabs at Unique Seafood in Tambun.
Here in my new place, I haven't tried to eat seafood yet because I'm a bit scared of the total price I have to pay after enjoying my seafood.

Food is not the only thing more expensive here in my new place. Every thing else is also very expensive such as cost of making a phone call, especially to Indonesia. To call to Indonesia from Philippines using a PLDT phone card, it costs me 8ringgit for 5 minutes talk time while in Malaysia, I can use iTalk phone card which will cost me 30ringgit for 1.5 hour talk time!

My husband is fretting a lot about the price of gasoline because in Malaysia, the price of gasoline is a lot cheaper than in here.

Before I moved here, my husband has informed me that the living cost in The Philippines is a lot more expensive than in Malaysia. In addition, there is VAT of 12% to be paid for anything I purchase. So, now, we really have to tone down our lifestyle drastically.

But of course there are things in here that are cheaper than in Malaysia, such as fresh fruits. I'm just very happy that now I can eat grapes as much as my stomach can take because Crimson seedless grapes are very cheap. My children love the grapes too.

The cost of getting a maid is also a lot lower than in Malaysia. The price of cars is also lower than in Malaysia because there is no Proton and Perodua in here. The toll fee is also cheaper but the road is not as smooth as in Malaysia highways.

The most important thing is that we have to be able to adjust our spending habit and our lifestyle according to the place we live. There is no perfect place on Earth if you are not welcome to the changes and differences. We have to embrace the new life here and try our best to adapt with the situation as soon as possible. With God's help, every thing is possible.

Time for me to go to bed. I only have 5 hours to sleep. Tomorrow is Philippines Independence day so it's a 3 day weekend for my husband. For me, it's always the same day every day... :)

Friday, June 05, 2009

Story from the new place

Finally we are here in the new place after 1 week delay and many hiccups before we left Ipoh. It's coming to my 3rd week staying in my new place. My children and I are adjusting very well with the surrounding. Thanks to our 1st trip last January to this place. You can read the story here. The only thing hard to adjust is the fact that the sun rises at 5am here and there is no time difference with Ipoh, Malaysia. We get used to waking up late because in Ipoh, 7am is still very dark.

About the house: We rent a double storey house with a garden. Everyday, I have to go up & down many times while carrying my 9 months old daughter. It's really hard work to make sure that the children do not fall down the staircase. For my son, he has fun going up and down and run around the garden. This is the 1st time for my children to touch the ground and have interaction with many creepy crawlies that occupy our garden. As for me, the garden is the worst thing about the new place because I hate those living things in the garden, especially the creepy crawlies. Up to now, I haven't touched the garden yet. When we arrived 3 weeks ago, the grass is so tall. Luckily, I have a temporary driver who is willing to clean up the garden for me.

In the new place, we still do not have phone, internet connection & television. So the only way to entertain the children is to take them to the playground nearby or to internet cafe. Oh, I still do not have a maid yet... :) It's a blessing in disguise though because I am loosing my weight faster than going to the gym! My hubby has promised to get me a maid. It's quite cheap compared to in Malaysia. I can get 2 maids here with the same salary for 1 maid in Malaysia but I just want 1 maid mainly to help me to take care of the garden. More maids, more headache...:)

About the food: I have to cook everyday especially for my daughter. She doesn't eat instant food. My son loves the local food. Last time, it was always a constant battle to make him eat, but this time, I just take him to Razon's and he will sure eat the food there. By the way, Razon's sells good and cheap local food such as beef tapa (it's called tapsilog there), grilled fish (it's called bangus meal on the menu), and their specialty: halo halo dessert.
I eat out quite often too because our house is near food junction in which has so many good & famous restaurants.

So far my review about local food: best beef tapa @Razon. Best Bulalo soup @Leslie. Best grilled bangus @Razon. Best halo halo ice dessert @Max. Best green mango shake @Leslie. Best place to get fresh & cheap tropical fruits is along the road to Tagaytay. Come to Philippines & visit me!I'll take u to those best places to eat best local food!!

About the weather: When we arrived, for the 1st week, it was very hot and humid. We can't switch off the air cond and were forced to buy an air cooler.
Since last Monday, it has been raining and very windy. In fact, we experienced a typhoon 2 days ago. My driver is my news informer and weatherman... :)

I will need to have a driver until I am familiar with the roads and the left side driving. I drove on the left side before so I hope I can adjust quickly this time. We all need to learn the Tagalog as well so we can speak like the locals.

I end this post here before my daughter wakes up. Besides, I need to go to the CR (comfort room - this is how people here call toilet/restroom)...;) Hopefully I will be able to post more story when I have the maid and internet connection.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The perfect storm

How's everyone doing? We are still in Ipoh, by the way. We should have departed last Friday. I'm doing great after last week I was at the lowest period of my life. I have been trying my best to cope with the pressure of relocating overseas with the whole family.

But last week, I could not take the pressure anymore. It was the worst mother's day for me. I was down with a very bad bad sore throat and my body temperature was nearly 400C. I have not been having a good rest since my husband informed me that we had to ship the stuffs by Monday. I stayed awake as long as I could to do the packing and sorting all things we planned to ship. A mother can't be sick because when she's sick, everything at home will freeze. So, I was already very weak and was under medication but I fought the sleepiness so that I could finish the job on time. I was like a zombie. No one helped me. My husband was very busy with his work and was busy running errands too. Every time he came home at night only to do his own things. I tried my best to stay calm but unfortunately, my body & mind really could not take it. I was exhausted. So, last weekend, I begged my husband to help me to suck the air out of the vacuum bag to keep the big blankets & bedsheets flat. I think it was quite a simple thing to do but before my husband did it, he asked me 1001 silly & unimportant questions hoping I would change my mind of asking him to do the job. I blew up. I was like a volcano ready to erupt anytime and my husband was very pissed off with me for blowing up just because he asked questions. Oh man! If only he was a little bit sensitive to my feeling, he would have been able to feel how I was already depressed with the situation. Everything was just too much for me to handle alone. I needed his help at home just once and with his own way, he was successful to annoy me. I quickly pulled my self together because I would waste time getting angry and nothing would be accomplished.

At that night, I was about to end my day when suddenly I felt my baby's body temperature was very hot. I threw away the thermometer once I saw the number has passed 39.60C and it was still increasing. Panic, I grabbed my baby and my car key and drove her to the hospital. She was admitted right away and stayed in the hospital for 3 days. I was still very sick and obviously my baby got the virus from me. I had to stay with her in the hospital all the time. I haven't finished packing, the house was in a complete mess when I left, and the shipping company would come to collect our shipment in 10 hours. So, it was like a perfect storm. All I could do just pray and left everything to God to do the magic for me.

When the shipping company came, my husband had no choice. He had to stay in the hospital while I worked together with the shipping company to complete everything that day. My husband also called part time maid to help me to clean up the house. I finished whatever I had to do that day and quickly returned to the hospital to accompany my baby. We had no choice. We had to delay our departure. We certainly do not want to be quarantined when we land.

And today, my baby and I are recovering well. We still have many days to spend here in Ipoh and I do not have to pack anymore. At the moment, I'm just going to spend my time with the children as much as I can. I may have neglected them quite a bit when I was very busy doing the packing. I use this moment to take a rest as well. My work will continue in the new place; unpacking and unloading the stuffs. I believe God will do the magic (again) for me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I like it NOT moving moving...

Tomorrow will be the last working day for my maid who has been working with me for 3 years. She told me she'll miss Ipoh. Oh well, I believe she's not alone. I will miss Ipoh very much too. My maid will be sent home because I'm taking the whole family to move overseas and we can't take her along. The economic crisis has left us with no other options than to go to where we can find better opportunity to survive. This sudden news of relocation is the reason why I have not found some time to post stories in my blog. I knew it was coming but I was not expecting it to come so soon. I thought I would have to move by end of this year. So, since my return from Chinese New year vacation, I have been trying my best to get as much as information about the new place, to pack little by little and to prepare for our transition as smooth as possible especially with the children.

To tell you the truth, I'm very sick and tired of moving house because this time it will be my 6th time in 10 years. In all 6, not only do I have to move house to another country but I also have to move house across the ocean. Every time I was about to feel home and comfortable to the new surrounding, I'm plugged out of my comfort zone and moved somewhere else and become a stranger and have to start everything from zero again. I feel really tired. I want to settle down somewhere I feel most comfortable in but I guess now it isn't the right time yet.

As I have told you before, no one is immune to this economic downturn. Everyone will be affected one way or another and I can't afford to allow it to affect me and my family too much. I have to help my other half to fight this crisis so that our family can survive and our children get a chance to live a comfortable life. If I want to be selfish, I can just decide to stay back in Ipoh with the children but then I will deprive the children from their time to spend with their father. Besides, I don't really trust men... ;)

So, I have to keep my self calm and stay cool to face the complexity and complication of relocating the house with 2 young children. I take it one day at a time. I plan and schedule my days. I even have to send my 4-year old son to a day care so that I have time to do things at home while taking care of my 8-month old baby who has started to crawl and is learning to stand and walk.

With my maid's departure the day after tomorrow, I will have to do things around the house all by myself. The hardest thing is to pack with my baby crawling around. Many times I have to extract her from under the table or chairs. I also still have to breastfeed her as she is allergic to cow's milk and she can only eat food that I cook because I have to make sure that it doesn't contain cow's milk. Another thing I have to deal with my maid's departure is my son. My maid has helped me to take care of my son since he was 1-year old. Now, he will have no choice than to do things by himself as much as he can. I've been training him but since he knew that my maid is there to help him, he refuses to try. So, I think this is a blessing in disguise for me so that from now on, only my voice can be heard and only mommy is in charge... :D If you've read my previous post about my maid, you would know that I do have problem with the maid around. She does help me with the housework, but she has forgotten who should be in charge of the house.

Please wish me luck in the new place and I hope to post more stories as often as possible. If I could be granted a wish, I really wish NOT moving...moving... :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Earth Hour

I will vote The Earth. So, tomorrow at 8.30 - 9.30pm my local time, I'll switch off the electricity.

I hope I'll have my other half support because I think we can use this time 'to get to know' each other well with no computer and television on. I plan to spend this hour to do some family game like snake and ladder which my son loves the most. I'm sure he'll be happy when mommy and daddy sit down together with him trying to win the game.

Just to share again with you what I've done so far to help preserving our beloved planet, please read my post here.

Vote Earth with me! For more information regarding Earth Hour, please visit

Sunday, March 08, 2009

International Women's day 2009

Today is my day and before it ends, I would like to finish 1 post to talk about it.

I consider myself a very lucky woman because I get to experience many good things in life as woman. Things that many women are fighting to have. Sometimes the good things do come easy for me but many times I also have to fight for it.

I am grateful that I have my freedom to become what I want to be and what I want to do. I am grateful that my right as a woman is respected and I have my dignity as a woman. I am grateful that I was once a beauty queen, a model, a secretary, a flight attendant, a shopaholic, and even a waitress. I am grateful that now I am a wife and a proud mother of two beautiful children. Each title has allowed me to meet different kind of people from different part of the world. This experience has taught me to become who I am and what I am at the moment.

I praise the Lord that I live in a digital world where things are done in a touch of a button and where information is just a Google away. I praise the Lord that I have a chance to keep up with what's going on in the world yet still maintaining my role as a full time stay-at-home mom (who breastfeed) and a housewife. I praise the Lord that my life is never a lonely day for I can always keep in touch with my friends from all over the world.
I praise the Lord for giving me such wonderful people in my life who understands me as a woman (except the one whose rib I was once created from). I praise the Lord for I am quite a healthy woman (though a little bit overweight... :D).
And I praise the Lord that I can voice out my mind through my blog and there are people who care enough to read what I've written.

Yeap, I am proud to be a woman. I am happy to be me.

To all women in the world: Happy Women's day! This is your day!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

One day at a time

There is a thin line between life and death, happiness and sadness. One day you are so much alive and extremely happy, the next day you could be terribly sad and dying. As an ordinary human beings, we would never know what will happen in our life because life is full of surprises. Knowing this will teach us to stay 'alert' and always be prepared with what may come next.

My brother and his family are trying to cope with life surprises one day at a time. Just barely 2 months ago, my brother was extremely happy for his beloved wife has finally found a job she had dreamed for so long. This was a very good surprise as many people were losing their jobs in this economic downturn. And then, another great news came along when they found out that she was 10 weeks pregnant with their 3rd child. Everything was fine. They rejoiced God's gracious gifts for them everyday.

But then, just less than a week ago, their happy moment was cut short. My sis-in-law was admitted to the emergency room in Panti Rapih hospital for a very high fever. They suspected dengue caused the high fever because my sis-in-law developed rashes on her body. The blood test came out to confirm their suspicion. For 4 nights my sis-in-law had a high fever of 400C.
Her ob/gyn was very concerned about the development of the fetus inside her womb. The scan result showed that the fetus' growth was disturbed by this virus. The fetus didn't grow properly. The mother was trying her best to cope with all symptoms of dengue fever.

On the 5th day, her body temperature was normal. Her blood pressure was also normal. But then, she started to bleed everywhere because her thrombocyte count was very low. When the ob/gyn did the scan to see the fetus, they found out that the fetus has disappeared.
Up to present, she's still under observation in the hospital. I've been asking my brother to provide her with guava juice and guava leaves juice to help increasing her thrombocyte count.

I'm so far away from her and all I can do is praying and I would be grateful if you could pray with me for my sis-in-law's recovery.
Please do take good care of yourself and your family and keep your environment free from mosquitoes breeding ground everyday. This is one way of 'staying alert' and 'being prepared' for any life surprises one day at a time.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Giant Maze - my life philosophy

Playing games is still one of my favorite activities to keep me occupied since I was small. I used to play games in the computer but since I have a handphone, I love to play games in my handphone because I can just use 1 hand even 1 finger to play the game so I have my other hand free to do other stuff and it is very handy. But in this post, I'm not going to talk about the games on my handphone or my favorite computer games. I'm going to discuss about how I view my life as a game player.

I always picture my life like a giant cruel maze game with me as the game player. Not only the maze has so many branches that I can choose, it also has many surprising challenges along the way that I have to face on my mission to find my way out. I'll get points whenever I win the battles but the points are only given if I do good things, fight the battles according to the rules and don't cheat. I also have to beat my opponents to be able to get out alive with respect and dignity though I'll be bruised and full of scratches everywhere. At the end of the maze my points will be calculated and there'll be an award for me, it's called Heaven. There is no limited number of trials when I fail to fight the challenges or when I hit a dead end. The only one that can be my guidance is God the almighty who has created everything and the only way to ask for guidance is by praying.

Every time I reach an important milestone in my life, I have to find my way out of a new level of maze. This new level of maze will be more complicated, has more difficult challenges and there are more opponents along the way. But in this new level of maze, I may get a partner to help me fight my way out and may get gifts when I manage to fight certain challenges. When I am lucky, I can get a partner that can work together with me in everything. We complete each other and can't be separated. If I'm lucky, I can get a partner that will support me and boost my moral spirit when I'm down or when I feel like giving up. But then my partner may not have the same fighting spirit as me and can't work with me. My partner may be a quitter or a loser. My partner may be someone that likes to cheat or break the rules. All these will pose a different level of challenges in already complicated maze I am in.

As a person, I am not a quitter. I don't like to cheat. I don't give up so easily and I'm very competitive. But I also have my weaknesses. Along the way in the maze, I have break downs and confusions. I get tired and worn out. I fall down and I am disappointed. The worst of all, my partner think that the maze I am in is too complicated. He is thinking of quitting his partnership with me so that he can work his way out alone.

But then, because I always pray for His guidance, He gives me help and pull me up again. Just like playing the games in my handphone/my computer, I always want to win and get into the next level though I know things will be more complex and more difficult. But the reward I'm going to get when I finally find my way out boost my fighting spirit higher and higher. I determine to get it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Good morning, everyone! Selamat Pagi!

I'm back in Ipoh now from my 2-week vacation in The Philippines. But not too long, because tomorrow, I'll be heading north to Penang to celebrate Chinese New Year with my hubby's family.
It's time to pack again... :)

I really hope that Ipoh's weather will be clear today so that my cloths can dry on time. Otherwise I won't have enough cloths to bring to Penang. I brought so many dirty cloths from my 2-week vacation.

All in all, my trip to The Philippines would have been great if not because of 4-hour flight delay that I experienced on the way back to Ipoh. The worst thing, the passengers were not even informed in advance. So, my children and I had to wait for 3 hours before we found out that the flight departure time had been changed to 4 hours later.
Thank God we were travelling in business class so we had the invitation to the executive lounge. Thank God my children were behaving well while waiting for boarding.
After we landed in KLIA, we still had to continue our journey by land for another 3-hour drive to Ipoh. By the time we entered our house, it was 3.30am already. We were exhausted. My son had to skip school because he just could not wake up and he told me that his body ached.

We had 1 day to rest before we start our journey to Penang to join the exodus of Chinese New Year balik kampung. We will have to leave early from Ipoh because the traffic was already very bad on Friday.

I hope to be able to post more stories and photos for you when I return to Ipoh.

In the mean time, I would like to wish you Happy Chinese New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai! May the year of Ox will be a great year for you all.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Trip to Manila

Since the day I landed at Ninoy Aquino Airport, Manila, The Philippines, people always speak to me in Tagalog. They thought I am Filipino. I have expected this because I do look like the Filipinos... :) especially when I introduce my self with my full name. When I'm out of my country, Indonesia, people always think I come from The Philippines. I'm fine with that. I just have to inform my nationality to people when they start to speak in Tagalog to me. They will give me a big warm smile because they also understand that the Indonesians and the Filipinos look alike. :)

I thank God for giving me the opportunity to visit Manila. I think I'm just lucky to be able to spend a 2 week-vacation here with my 2 children. It's like hitting a jackpot especially during this economic downturn.

I was very surprise to find out that Manila looks exactly the same as Jakarta, Indonesia, in almost everything, such as: the traffic jam, the people, the way of life, the transportation (they have jeepney, we have microlet. They have motorbike trishaws, we have becak (trishaw)/ojek(motorbike taxi)). It's like going back home to me. The main difference is just the language we speak. But some of the people I know in Manila know how to speak bahasa Indonesia as well. So, when they speak bahasa Indonesia to me, honestly, I completely forget that I am in The Philippines.

On this trip I don't stay in the heart of the city but in the area called Alabang. Alabang is in the south of Manila. It's about 1 hour drive from Manila with traffic jam or about 30 minutes without the jam. I'm not accustomed anymore to the hectic situation in big city like Manila. I prefer to stay out side the city where things are more in order and cleaner.

So far I have visited Manila, Santa Rosa, and Tagaytay. I can only visit Manila on the weekend since there is less traffic on the weekend. I don't like to get trapped in the long traffic jam. It's a waste of time. I personally don't really fancy visiting Manila. I went there just to visit Manila Cathedral and St. Agustine Church in Intramuros. Going to Manila to me is like going back to Jakarta. Even when I go back to Jakarta, I seldom go out of the house because of the traffic jam everywhere.

I prefer Santa Rosa and Tagaytay. Santa Rosa is on the same direction as Tagaytay. The trip to Tagaytay reminds me of my trip to Puncak (near Jakarta). Along the way to Tagaytay, I saw many people selling tropical fruits such as pineapples, bananas, manggosteens, pandan coconut, jackfruits, etc. The fruits are fantastic! I love the pineapples and the pandan coconut very much. They sell the pineapples 100 Pesos (approximately 8 Ringgit Malaysia) for 6 pineapples and 10 Pesos for 1 coconut. I also saw people selling steamed corn on the roadside.

It's very cold at Tagaytay because it is higher up the mountain (volcano actually). The soil is also very fertile. I can see the pineapples, corn, and coconut plantations along the way. The view was fantastic. I could see a small volcano inside a volcano (Taal Volcano). Too bad I did not have a chance to visit People's Park at Tagaytay.

So far things have been great. The people I met are very helpful, polite and friendly. I hope to enjoy this trip as much as I can. If I have a chance, I'll post more story for you. In the meantime, you can view the slideshow of some photos I took here in The Phillipines.


Friday, January 09, 2009

Mabuhay! Welcome!

Happy New Year everyone! How are you? How's your new year party?

It's my 1st post for the new year and it's already the 9th day. How time flies!

Since my last post, I found it extremely hard to sit down and write a blog because I've been traveling so much with my 2 children on tow. In fact, at the moment, I'm writing this blog from my room of a beautiful hotel in Manila, The Philippines.
Magandang umaga (good morning - tagalog) to you all!

The year 2008 has been great for me. I had a new addition to my family. The 1st half of the year was about preparing for the coming of this new addition and the other half of the year was about taking good care of this beautiful addition to my family to make sure she would always be healthy and happy. The 2008 was also a year for me to adapt to my new title as a mother of two children. The year has gone by so fast because I was always busy and for the first time since I moved to Malaysia 4 years ago, I had friends to hang out with. So, in 2008, I didn't spend a lot of time sitting in front of my computer all the time and looks like in 2009 I will not have much time either as 2 children will need my attention more.

2 months after I gave birth in 2008, I already went back to my traveling habit... :)
I took my 2 children going back and forth to have vacation in Kuala Lumpur and Penang. We even celebrated New Year in Kuala Lumpur watching the mirror reflection of great fireworks display from Petronas Twin Tower in our hotel room. My children are too small to join the crowd.

For my 2 month old baby, her 1st vacation was in Penang. We stayed in Park Royal hotel. It was a wonderful trip because I had a chance to relax and to swim while my husband helped me to take care the children in the children playroom. We loved to stay in this hotel. The hotel has direct access to the famous and beautiful Ferringgi beach. It serves great buffet breakfast for the guests. No wonder this hotel enjoys a high occupancy rate during the holiday seasons.

Now, at 4 months old, my baby has had her 1st flight to Manila. She was very excited. It was a new experience to her. She didn't sleep a lot during the flight. She was busy cooing and screaming. I felt sorry for other passengers who seated near us. Fortunately, the flight was not too full so most empty seats were around our seats... :)

I would love to be able to post a story from Manila but unfortunately I have to get ready to have breakfast downstair before it finishes. So, hopefully I will be able to find sometime to sit down again and write you the story.

Though I have a brand new beautiful laptop now, it doesn't guarantee me of being able to use it. I love my new laptop by the way. It's Lenovo 3000 G230. My son uses my laptop more than I do. At 4 years old, he is very skillful in using a computer. He even knows how to go to youtube! He loves to watch fireworks shows and his favorite children shows in youtube. I always have to monitor him when he's in front of the computer.

I pray so that every one will have a great year this year. It will be a year full of hardwork and determination to survive this economic downturn. No one is immune to it.