Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I Am Officially A Student

Although the 14th of October is still a long way ahead, I already paid my semester fees, in short: I am officially a student and my Goethe Card would be released on 14th of October. I am torn with my feelings about this thing. First of all, I have to start with the DSH Vorbereitungskurs and pass the DSH exam on February. The result on the 28th of February would be my ticket to getting into a Bachelor's program. That thing excites me, I can't wait not to work on chemical formulas again. It's been years since I last read and worked on anything relating to Chemistry. But this DSH course makes me nervous. I was able only to finish B2.1 last year and after a year of hiatus, the result of my assessment exam is C1! I met my soon-to-be-classmates and they speak really good! The pressure is starting to pile up in my mind and my heart. I am afraid and at the same time, I am not sure whether I would be lucky enough to meet new friends, though up to this time, I already got one, a Vietnamese and is here with a student visa.

I wish I can survive this life as a student. My husband is so proud of me and he expects a lot for me. I am his key to a good life back in the Philippines and I do not want to disappoint him.

 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Confused

ACHTUNG! Women thing!


After my post about having a baby, here I am posting about something out of the ordinary. Anyway, I had my regular period last month, and when I say regular, it lasts for 6 days. Then this month, I was delayed, for about 5 days, my period came just yesterday but it is really so abnormal, it is more like spotting. What I find weird is, in between my last period until yesterday, my husband and I didn't do anything (except last Saturday when we were in Stuttgart). Anyway, that is what I find too confusing.

How can you have a regular period that lasts for 6 days with really strong flow and then pregnant. Is that ever possible to happen? Most that I find in the internet has more of like spotting than regular period.

It is so confusing being a woman... :(

 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Friday, September 13, 2013

On Having A Baby

It seems like every Friday would be a ay for me to rant. Last week was when I forgot the date and today is about how I hate being asked on when are we going to have a baby. It is one of Filipino culture that I honestly hate. I remember when I was 18, and they were all telling me not to have a boyfriend yet because I am still young, then fast forward to 25 years old and they are saying whether I wanted to end up an old maid. And now that I am married they are asking when are we going to have a kid! I really hate it how people love to meddle on my personal affairs. I know that 29 going 30 is not young at all and is best time to conceive a child BUT I am just being practical, and is also for my future child's welfare. I guess I am too westernized for my south eastern family and it is out of the ordinary to take time and enjoy each day.

I don't know how can I end all these questions without offending them with my "no, not yet."

Friday, September 6, 2013

Random Musings on a Friday Afternoon

Have you ever experienced in your life, when you felt like you missed a day of your life? Aside from those time differences when travelling from one side of the world to the other side of the world, those times when you do your everyday chores, talk to people with whom you regularly talk to, and yet a day had slipped your fingers just like that. I am into that moment now, and I just feel so bad. It seems like I have missed a lot of things! Here is how I came to realize it today:

<The phone rang. It was my husband.>Husband: Hallo, Schatz, wie geht's dir? (Hi darling, how are you?)Me: Mir geht's gut, Baby. (I'm fine, baby).Husband: Gut zu wissen. Du, ich mache gleich Feierabend und ich mache morgen frei. (Nice to know. I am going home soon and I won't go to work tomorrow.)Me: Warum? (Why?) <I mean here about not going to work tomorrow.>Husband: Ich brauche Pause. (I need a break.)Me: Aber vorgestern hattest du schon frei, weil ich krank war. Was wird Michael denn sagen? (But you already had free day a day before yesterday because I was sick. What would Michael (his boss, by the way) say then?)Husband: Er hat gesagt, wer wird am Samstag arbeiten kann freiwillig entscheiden, also ich bin nicht gezwungen, diesen Samstag zu arbeiten. (He said, whoever wants to work on Saturday is free to decide, so that means I am not forced to work this Saturday.)Me: Ja, Samstag ist klar, aber morgen machst du frei, dann am 20.September machst du auch frei wegen meiner Prüfung in der Uni, du hast so viel frei! (Yes, Saturday is clear, but you wanted also to have free day tomorrow, and on 20th of September you're also not going to work because of my exam in the university. You have lots of leaves!)Husband: Morgen ist Samstag, Schatz. (Tomorrow is Saturday, my dear.)Me: Echt? Nein, das ist nicht wahr. Moment... (Really? No, that can't be true! Wait a minute...) (then I checked on the date on my laptop...)       Mein Rechner steht auch Freitag, aber nein!!! (My computer also says Friday, but noooo!!!) (then checked the date on my tablet and phone)       Mein Tablet und Handy sagen auch es ist schon Freitag! (My tablet and phone says it's really Friday!)Husband (laughing): Guten Morgen! Ausgeschlafen? (Good morning! Enough sleep now?)Me: Habe ich den ganzen Tag geschlafen? Wie kann es sein? Ich dachte, es ist nur Donnerstag! (Did I sleep the whole day? How can it be? I thought, it's only Thursday?)Husband: Ja, du hast Mittwoch Abend geschlafen und bist nur heute aufgestanden. (Yes, you slept last Wednesday evening and woke up only today.)Me: Nein...

And that is the story how my day seemed to be destroyed now, I felt like I missed a lot of Thursday events. What happened to me? Why did I have that feeling that I really skipped a day?

 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Writer In Progress

I wanted to be proud to say that, I am working on it. I am working on two novels as of the moment, and starting to write poetry again. I am using ywriter 5 to help me organize my thoughts. Last month, I was so productive, but after finishing the first chapter of one of my novels, it started again: writer's block. Newly published author, Kristine Pierce (also iMommy Success Founder), told me to simply write. Never mind if it connects with your first work. But it felt so empty. So I decided to just go back for the meantime to blogging. Maybe, after blogging a bit, the creative juices would come out again.

I also applied to be a contributor to Worldette Blog, it is a blog for empowered women, travel and everything else related to women. This blog has been in their list for quite a while now and I thought of contributing to them, in order for me to be forced to write, besides, I like their themes! I just hope Marie would accept my application. :D

That's it for now. Please do visit my photo blog, I got new posts today too! ;)
 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Monday, July 22, 2013

Expat-Blog Post: FAQs Part II

This is supposed to be part two of my blog written last 23rd of February (see blog here), but honestly, the following questions are already randomly gathered from my Facebook and from Expat Blog Forum. There might me few questions already answered in part one, but I have to post again, because I have been receiving the same question again and again. Here it goes!

Q: What is the difference between Marriage Visa and Fiance Visa?
A: Nothing. These two visa are one and the same. It just so happened that in the Philippines (or maybe in other parts of the world too), we often hear people referring to it as fiance visa because for one, he is your fiance, and secondly, applying for US visa uses more of this term. But for Germany, they use the term marriage visa.

Q: Is it easier to get Marriage Visa than getting married in the Philippines?
A: It all depends on which city or state your fiance/e lives. Most of the people I know (my classmates in Goethe Institut Makati) waited for at least six months before they get their visa. But I know one who took only a month for her to get the fiance visa. It all depends, whether the background check is necessary for the place you would be migrating, and whether the agent who would conduct the background check does it fast and the lawyer signs it immediately. Just a tip: once you had your interview, follow up after three weeks or a month would not be harmful, in this case, your application remains on top of their priority. Your fiance can do the follow up through email, they do answer immediately.

Q: Which one did you apply?
A: We got married in the Philippines, so I applied for family reunion visa (Familienzusammenführung). For more information about this visa, I answered it already in part one of this FAQs.

Q: Is background check really necessary?
A: Yes. And it takes a while, especially when you lived in different cities from the time you are 18 years of age up to the present. My friend who got her fiance visa was not investigated prior to waiting for visa, but she was after their marriage here in Germany, that's why her residence permit took a bit of a time. There is no way out of this investigation. In my case, I was also not investigated (or maybe I was but I am not aware because no one told me or my family because my husband paid €200+ while processing his Ehefähigkeitszeugnis [Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage] and if they did, they did not send a copy of this investigation to the German Embassy in the Philippines for the reason I don't know) but the embassy asked me to submit an NBI clearance a week before they released my visa, because they said the Ausländersamt where my husband lives sent them an email that a background check is not necessary, and they do not have any legal records about my personality and history. Am I sounding clear on this part? Because I guess the Ausländersamt here are getting some pleas from German fiances or spouses asking them to scrape out the background check in order to get the visa as soon as possible. It is possible, but one must not force the government agencies deciding for the visa to do so because it is also for your own good. Imagine that you have met your fiance or spouse online, and spent only 3 months together every year, how sure are you that he/ she is a good person? That the intentions are clean, that they are not just after your money or after the citizenship? It is all for the security and records, nothing would be lost having this background check. I was glad that my visa took only a while, but also questioned why they did not conduct a background check on my part. They made my husband sign a document that he is capable of providing for me as his wife once I live here in Germany and I would never register in Arbeitsamt in order to get a monthly stipend from the government once I am here. Everything worked in my favor, but it was a bit unfair for my husband in a way, and I was thinking this background check would have been one way for me to repay my husband. But at least they asked for my NBI clearance. I guess, it was fair enough (sorry, my line of thoughts here is a bit complicated, but I hope you did get my point. ;) ).

Q: I have a kid from my past marriage/ ex boyfriend. How will I be able to bring him/ her with me to Germany?
A: I am afraid, I can only answer this question IF you are applying for family reunion visa. Your kid would also have family reunion visa. You may apply for it together with your visa application. Just make sure that his/ her name is also stated on the invitation letter of your husband/ wife. If he/ she is below 16 years old, he/ she does not need German language course. But once he/ she is 16 years of age, he/ she needs already language certificate, the kid must reach the level of C1 of language proficiency. If you are applying for fiance visa, I still haven't heard of anyone who got here to get married and travelled together with her kid. Logically speaking, it is still not possible to bring the kid, because the marriage has not yet taken place, and it can still happen, that the marriage would not happen at all. So for marriage visa application, it is only you on first application and once you got your residence permit, you may already apply a visa for your kid, via family reunion visa. It is however difficult to leave this visa application while you are in Germany, because they are strict against child trafficking or any related crimes. They would not process passport application with only a authorization letter, the mother must be there. If the kid do have a passport already, the guardian needs a special power of attorney to get the visa processing. The rest of the requirements of the kid can be found in the website, Family Reunion Visa requirements.

Q: We've heard a lot about marrying in Denmark and that the processing is easy. How true is that?
A: Yes, getting married there is relatively easy. From what I've heard, the German does not need his legal capacity to contract marriage to get married there. That is one reason why it is easy. If you have your Philippines documents with you during your tourist visa (birth certificate, CENOMAR, annullment certificate, in case married before, passport with visa), you can get married within a week! The problem lies AFTER the marriage. I have heard of some states and cities wherein the Pinay does not need to go back to the Philippines, then they are one lucky couple! But most states or cities require the Filipina to leave the country and apply for family reunion visa, which brings it all back to the difficult part: the report of marriage takes months before it gets available in NSO in the Philippines! And the need to have the A1 language certificate! So the waiting time you wanted to avoid is again there to stress you out. One acquaintance who got married in Hongkong told me that after their marriage, they brought the apostille immediately to the Philippines Embassy to process the report of marriage. She immediately got a copy of report of marriage and she applied for the family reunion visa with this report of marriage. Now, for the Philippines Embassy in Oslo, the embassy that is responsible for marriages in Denmark, I am not sure of their procedure. A friend recently got married there, but up to this time, they never received any copy of report of marriage. My friend brought the original copy of the signed apostille and applied for family reunion visa using this signed apostille and yes, she was entertained in the Embassy! As for CEMAR (certificate of marriage) from NSO, they did accept the CENOMAR since they are aware it takes months before the marriage would be registered in the Philippines. Before you get into this process, research first. Read more, and ask the Ausländersamt on what to do before and after marriage. Do not get into this process without complete information. The Ausländersamt is and will be our best friend government agency until we decide to get a German citizenship (which in my case, I will not!).

Q: I heard that before a migrant leaves the country, one must have this CFO sticker. What is that?
A: It is a new procedure. Some says it treats the migrants as milking cow. It is an agency that conducts pre-departure seminar. What is discussed in the seminar are basic things: what are the important documents you must have at hand once you step in the airport (things that one must know by heart, such as passport with visa, and copy of your invitation letter or work contract, simply all the documents you sent during the visa application), what are the things you are allowed to have on your baggage and on your hand carry luggages (which one can also read on the airline websites) and how much are the travel tax and the terminal fee. After these things are discussed, you are divided into groups, the US-bound groups, the Europe-bound groups and so on. In these groups, cultural differences are discussed and for fiance or spouses of foreign nationals, they show slide shows of some not-so-good-experiences of some Filipinos in the foreign land. It is sort of like unconsciously asking the group, "are you sure about this? Do you really know your spouse already?" Afterwards, they would ask you to sign a form, in this form, the contact details of your fiance or spouse must be filled in and the contact details of your family in the Philippines. If you already have your visa, you may get your sticker at the same day you attended the seminar, if not, you will be asked to keep the yellow certificate (this, by the way, is also needed for you to apply for change of surname on your passport if you are married to foreign nationals and would wanted to use his surname) and present this again to them once you got your visa. It all takes only one whole day to attend the seminar and get the sticker. Why are we milking cows? Because it is not for free, and you must pay for everything, the seminar, the booklet, the sticker and for what in return? For information that one can get online. But then, maybe because not everyone is patient enough to research online, hence, they need some guide. Mind you, if your passport does not have this sticker, you would NOT be allowed to leave the country, regardless if you have your flight itinerary and visa!  Stricter than the visa, right? For more information, visit: http://cfo.gov.ph. By the way, if your case is similar to my friend, who only got a signed apostille from Denmark and no report of marriage or anything, they do accept the apostille, just make sure you already have your visa once you get there. It would be processed like with normal immigrants, and not like with people with family reunion visa.

Q: I wanted to work in Germany, what is the best way to get there?
A: I have been receiving tons of this question after the agreement between Germany and Philippines on getting nurses and caregivers. If you are a licensed nurse, I suggest that you go to the POEA website (or personally at POEA office) to get more information on how to get here as a guest worker. Please take note, only POEA works on this and there are NO agencies, so beware of that. There may be agencies working with POEA about this agreement, but that is more on giving trainings and language courses for successful applicants, and it has nothing to do with the employer nor security of getting here fast. I would like to take this chance too to warn you of illegal recruiters and leaving you as illegal migrants here. Life as illegal migrants here in Germany is not an experience you would wanted to have (or maybe anywhere in the world). Isn't it nice to live in a country without fear of getting caught? So please, contact only POEA for details. If you are graduate of other courses, I am afraid I do not know any other way, unless of course, applying online on these company websites. Some websites I use to find jobs here are: http://www.jobscout24.de, and http://www.monster.de. If you get lucky to find an employer who's willing to make an interview through Skype or something, then, congratulations! You may apply for work visa once you get a legitimate contract with your new employer.

I guess I got to post most of the questions already. Will get back once I get new questions and gathered new information for all of you. (One reason why my husband told me that I can actually start my own office here as a consultant, I just need to take a certain exam to be a social worker, maybe I would think about that.)


 photo sig_zps35132240.png

On Writing

Surprise! I finally have something to blog about. I never thought that ironing would help me squeeze some juicy thoughts and finally be able to write something again, after such a long time. I should have left some more clothes to iron tomorrow to be able to write more often.

Well, my husband has always been supportive of my blogging, but sadly, I have disappointed him these past months. He told me, "just write. You do not need big events to report or something, just write about anything. Go out and take a walk, find something interesting in the village, kids playing, horses neighing, the little river that flows in front of our house, anything!" The problem is, I do not often go out. It is weird but I do not want other people to see me walking around the neighborhood. So when I take a walk, I see to it that no one is around. I am not sure why, the Lanzingers are actually nice to me. Once I took a walk and there were other dog walkers, and old people taking the morning walk. They smiled at me and greeted me enthusiastically and asked where I am living and how long have I been here in Germany. It is totally different from what my Facebook acquaiantances have as experiences. I never felt so left out here in our village. They all show me that I am welcomed here and I am part of the community. So you can scratch that thought out, that probably because I am afraid of racist comments or something, because the people here are one of the nicest Germans I have ever met. Except of few instances in the bus, when I was still attending the German language class. The kids are giving me those looks, but not sharp ones, just a look of curiosity. Maybe they are curious, why someone like me, who looks old enough to be their aunt or eldest sister, is sitting with them in this school bus (yes,  the time when my class ends is also the time the schools dismisses the kids in grade school and middle school, so the public transportation is converted to school bus).  That is why I sometimes let the time pass by by staying in the mall or having coffee or lunch with my classmates to make sure that I do not take the same bus the kids usually take. Never have I heard any racist comments from them when am sitted in the bus with them, just a sigh of frustration that one seat is taken by their aunt. Now, back to my topic, writing. I am not sure really how I can do this again regularly, just like the old times. It seems that happy life equates to lesser thought bubbles popping out anytime and anywhere. It is because writing has always been like a therapy for me, not just a hobby. One acquiantance, who used to be the editor in chief of our high school paper (I was still in sixth grade that time, so I understand when she could not 100% remember me, we were only together twice for an overnight leadership training and peer counselling training), gave me the same tip that my husband told me. She reminded me that it was taught to us way, way back in high school: write a sentence or two a day, regardless how idiot it may sound or if you are trying to write a book, regardless if those sentences still meets your story or theme, just write. The editing will happen only at the end, when you think you got a book done already. She told me this because I found out that she is already one of the known Amazon writers and published already her first book, in hard copy and ebook format. I sent her an email telling her how proud I am of her and that I am one of her fans since her high school days. That was the only time when I read editor's note in newspaper! I wanted to read a lot of works of her and I simply like her writing style. And I told her too, that I also dream of publishing at least one book. She was so supportive and told me that she can help me out once I am ready and she is willing to do the editing part for me!

You see, there are a lot of support group for my writing. The problem lies now in me. How will I be able to apply this tip in my life and be a published author too one day. I guess, that question would remain a question until I find a way one day, and ironing daily is not a good idea to start with (even if it helped me write today).


 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Just Passing By

It's been a while since I last posted something here. It is so sad that since I stopped working, I also got no new things to write. We went to different events in the past months, but nothing seemed to trigger my interest to write.

It's so frustrating and depressing not to be able to write anything, not even a Haiku. :(

 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Friday, April 26, 2013

Filipinos In Germany

Hello! I am back after a while. It is not that I have forgotten all about blogging, but basically because I just don't have any topic to write. Finally, winter is really over, though there are days that's rainy, but that's typical April weather here in Germany. As of the moment, I am still unemployed. I was able to pass the interview on becoming a freelance English trainer, BUT there's still no available class for me. Just as how my title goes, FREELANCE, so no classes, no money. But it's alright, am no longer so depressed like the past year. I met a few Filipinos here near me, and still weighing things whether I'd officially sign myself up to the Christkönig Gemeinschaft in Niedergründau. It's a fun community anyway, was there on their mass last 14th of April. I am just thinking twice of the responsibilities behind being a member of a certain community. It is also nice to know some families who are members of that community and live near me. At least when I am feeling alone, I already have some numbers to dial and to go to for coffee. They are all like my aunts and uncles and since I am the youngest, they treat me like their kid. ^_^

Anyway, in case you are new here and lives near Niedergründau, Hessen, feel free to visit the Gemeinschaft. They usually meet every second Sunday of the month (BUT THERE WILL BE NO MEETING ON THE MONTH OF MAY BECAUSE OF FLORES DE MAYO IN EITERFELD AND FRANKFURT AM MAIN WHERE THEY WILL BE TAKING PART OF) at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The community is not just for Filipinos, but for all catholics of different nationalities. They serve coffee and dinner after the mass. :)

And if you are Filipinos looking for contacts online, feel free to join our Facebook group page, Filipinos in Germany. The forum is totally new, and we wanted to make it big soon, please help us gather members! :)


 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Danke Schön

Today I feel a bit emotional. This week has been such a roller coaster ride and the week has not yet ended! However, I already feel so grateful and I guess I can express more of my thanks here in blog to my dear friend, Janine. Although we haven't met personally yet, I am so grateful to have an online friend who understands almost everything that happens in my life. And the biggest thing I wanted to thank her for is for all the motivation and optimism she unconsciously stilled in my heart (naks!) through her blog posts. She said I motivated her to start a personal blog, but she doesn't know that her personal blog did more to me than my blog to her.

If you are expats as well and feeling kind of already under the weather and would wanted to give up trying, I encourage you to visit her blog. I don't mind losing readers and let her gain more because honestly, her blog is really beautiful! The contents are so beautifully created and full of optimism. One writer that every expat should know.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Empty

I wanted to write something, but my thoughts are empty. I can't seem to find a new topic to write...

Okay, I'm lying! I just wanted to try my template if it's working. :-p

 photo sig_zps35132240.png



PS: Trying to put on this template on all my past posts but I feel so lazy tracking back everything. So I guess, I'd stop from editing na. :-p If you happen to backread all my posts and all of a sudden my signature is gone, that's the start of my laziness, anyway, it does not affect the content of my posts. :D

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Thank You, Fr. Deody Dawis, OSJ

I was four or five years when I first went for vacation in San Jose, Batangas. During that time, I was the only kid in the family, my two elder cousins were living in Baler, Aurora, hence all the attention of my uncles and aunts and grandparents are all in me. My two uncles were working in Saudi and I only know them through photos. One of my uncles have this trademark moustache and we do have same eyes, they say "Indian eyes". One Friday evening, a mass was held in our small chapel and I saw this parish priest for the first time. He had this same moustache that my uncle had and those similar eyes. In the middle of the mass, while he read the gospel, I shouted, "Tito Peter! (Uncle Peter)!" He stopped from reading and smiled at me. I was so innocent that time and I really thought he was my uncle. I asked my grandfather why they always tell me that my uncle is in Middle East when in fact, he is a priest. When I went back to Manila, I even told my classmates in the Kindergarten that my uncle is a priest! Everytime we go back home and we'd go to mass, I always tell my mother that I would only hear mass  when it is "Uncle Peter" who would preside the mass. They kept on correcting me that it was not my uncle, but it was Fr. Deody. I asked, why they look so alike, are they twins? I even asked my uncle that on the phone, when he also tried to explain to me that he is in Saudi and the priest is Fr. Deody. I told him, is he your twin? My family never get tired on explaining to me that the priest is not related to us by blood. However, no matter how hard they try, I still clinged on that belief, why? It is because he never made me feel wrong. After mass, I would run to him and call him Uncle Peter, he would give me his hand to kiss and then carry me on his arms. With these small gestures, I think every kid would really think he is your uncle. Then it was time for him to serve other parishes. I never saw him again. But with his absence, my real uncle came home. I never really felt empty.

Years passed and we met again. This time, I am already aware that he is Fr. Deody and not my uncle. I was so shy to come and greet him because I always have this memory in my mind when I would always call him out loud in the middle of his mass (sometimes even during the consecration!) and tell everybody in the church that he is my uncle. We met again in Marello Cup, a yearly event for all youth of the parishes being served by the Oblates of St. Joseph. I was an active member of the Joseph Marello Youth of San Jose, Batangas and I was usually part of the service committee (we prepared food for the athletes, we made sure what they need on all events are complete, when not, we go out and buy stuffs they need). During our lunch break, I was waiting with my other committee friends for our friend of ours who hosted the Battle of the Brains event, Fr. Deody approached us. As a sign of respect, we asked for his blessing. When it was my turn, he hugged me. I was surprised! Then he said, " you're all grown up now! You were just a kid when I last saw you! I am so happy that you are an active member of the youth organization." I was speechless at first. I never thought and never imagined that he could still remember me. I just remarked, "do you really still remember me Father? That little kid who called you uncle during your mass?" He answered, "Yes, I do. That's why I approached you guys here, I wanted to make sure that my eyes did not play trick on me. How's your uncle? How's your grandfather?" I told him my grandfather died more than a year ago (I was in fourth year high school that time we met, my grandfather died when I was in third year high school) and that my uncle already has 2 kids and decided to start a business instead of going back in the Middle East.

It occurred to me, that he was not just an uncle for me during the time my uncle was working in Saudi, he was also a son to my grandfather. During his service in San Jose, and when he presided mass in our place, he would visit my grandfather and kiss his hand. Mom also said that when my uncle come home, he do visit him and have a little drink with him, and they look really like brothers.

Few days ago, I shared Fr. Deody's nephew's status on my Facebook page. He told us the real health condition of Fr. Deody, which Fr. Deody had been battling for such a long time and would not tell even his own family. That was the time I started to be a bit nostalgic. Aside from the fact that he is little by little preparing his departure, our 25th Cenakulo (Passion of Christ theater play during Good Friday) in San Jose, Batangas would be celebrated this year. Coincidentally, he was the man behind the first theater play. He was the original manager of the theater group. He gave the youth of San Jose something to look forward to do every Holy Week, and for the whole parishioners to watch on Good Friday. He is indeed one great man of God. He changes people and places with his simple ways. 

Today, as I browse through my news feeds, I came upon Bro. Omi's posts and the reality he is trying to tell us, Fr. Deody Dawis has now joined the One Above. It was so heavy in the heart. Hence, I decided to blog and through this, express my sincerest condolences to his family and to the whole Oblates of Saint Joseph community. My mind and heart is so filled with tears, mixed with sadness because he passed away and I am so far away to be able to pay him my last respect and of childhood memories that I will forever be grateful for because he is in it.

Thank you, Fr. Deody Dawis, OSJ for the memories and the friendship. This is better because you are now healed and rejoicing with the One Above. It may be sad that you won't be able to see the 25th anniversary of Teatrong Kumot, the theater that you founded, but we are rest assured that you would be watching the kids and guide them from Above. You will always be my first favorite priest. You will always be my uncle. Thank you very much. You will be missed. You will always be in our hearts. Please send my love to my grandfather, I am 100% sure you'd meet him there and share stories, just like how you used to do when you were still our parish priest in San Jose.

Photo grabbed from. Bro. Omi Intia's Facebook wall.
 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tiny Little Steps

After more than a year of idleness, I am starting to keep myself busy, from what? From preparing my documents for the university. Apparently, all my application for apprenticeship are coming back to me, a friend told me that there is an age limit for that (this I still have to confirm, it was an information she got from her husband), so I guess, going back to the university is my remaining option to establish a career here. From time to time, I am wondering, whether it is really necessary for me to have a career here, my husband is earning well, and we have enough. We are just average people and we are not really wishing for anything extravagant in life. However, the thought (and plan) of settling in the Philippines in 16-20 years made me realize, I need to do something. At that time, I will be tagged as "old" in the Philippines to continue on my career that I left behind. I do not want to just rely on the retirement benefits my husband would be receiving, because nobody knows how the economy is by then. I need to make sure that I have a back-up plan. How can I do that? There is only one option: finish a Master's or doctorate degree. When one has this title, there are limitless opportunities to get to. In relation to my previous blog, I finally got an answer from my university classmate/ friend/ co-chemist. He told me that there are limitless opportunities, up to this time, he being a professor in UE, still receives notifications about supervisory positions on different companies, but unlike me, he finds joy in teaching. So I guess, going back to the university is not a bad plan at all. Therefore, I started on my next journey: University Life!

First of all, I did rigorous research in the internet how to get into University. There are information that I got from friends that I still have to send my documents to be acknowledged by the respective authority. But thorough reading on the site (thanks to my besseres Deutsch, I got to understand a bit of those posted on the site), told me to simply go to the university of my choice and inquire on the International Office what I need to do. My Brazilian friend from VHS told me I need to translate my documents and have them certified as true copies (she got the slot in a Studienkolleg in Darmstadt University). I wanted to go there too, but Darmstadt is a bit far from our home, and I still don't have a Führerschein (she already has, but we won't be sure if we'd get the same schedules so I cannot be 100% sure that I can always drive with her). So I decided to call on Frankfurt University and made an appointment (FYI: inquiries can be done through phone, but since I got lots of questions, and I wanted them to see my documents, I opted for a personal appointment, which, they told me that I don't need to make an appointment through the phone anymore, just go there during their Öffnungszeiten). I went there and got my questions answered, with the appropriate form to fill out. Here are a few questions I asked:

1.  Am I eligible to study here?
Yes. Based on anabin.kmk.org, all Filipinos who have Bachelor's degree from the Philippines are eligible to study at any Hochschule or University. I have visited this site long before I talked with them, but of course, I wanted to be 100% sure. When you got only to finish until high school in the Philippines, you have to go to the Studienkolleg or take the Feststellungsprüfung.

2. What documents do I need to submit?
Since I am already a B.S. degree holder from the Philippines, they asked for my transcript of records, diploma and my German language proficiency certificate. Also a copy of my passport (the page with my information) and a certain payment.

3. Should I still need to send my documents for translation or acknowledgement?
I inquired at Frankfurt University, and the answer is NO. Frankfurt University uses the services of uni-assist for processing student application. Since my documents are all in English, all I needed to do is to make copies of them (uni-assist accepts only copies because if you wanted to apply on different universities or colleges, not all are using uni-assist, and you'll need these documents) and then have them certified either in your local Rathaus or by a Notar. They do not accept Beglaubigung from clubs or the like.

4. How much should I pay?
For application, there is a fee of €68 payable to uni-assist, in order for them to start working on your papers.

5. I have heard of free education here in Germany, is it really free?
Again, I inquired at Frankfurt University, so it might be different in other region or university. For the DSH (Deutsch Sprachkurs für Hochschulgang), there is actually a fee of €550. Then during the studies, when you pass the DSH exam, there is a Gebühr of €350 (?) (I forgot it exactly but I just estimated it to this amount) every semester, inclusive of train and bus ticket around Rhein-Main.

So far, I already got my documents certified. On to the next step: sending my documents to uni-assist and then WAIT. For how long? I am not sure, when I get my documents sent, it will all depend on uni-assist and Frankfurt University. Wish me luck!


HINWEIS: I opted to repeat my Bachelor's degree rather than take the Master's degree immediately. Firstly, I do not want to take the risk, it's been years since I graduated and passed the PRC board exam. Secondly, since after board exam, I did not really work directly in the laboratory or the like, I am afraid that my years of experience would be not enough and they might ask me then to send my documents for acknowledgement or something. And lastly, there are moooore paper works to be done doing so, including recommendation letters from UST, which I do not have at the moment, I only have diploma and transcript of records with me, I do not even have my PRC ID with me because I just recently applied for change of name and renewal of it. I kinda hate paperworks, so I chose the lesser one. It's not that bad to repeat my Bachelor, I can at least "specialize" on a certain field of Chemistry.


  photo sig_zps35132240.png

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jobs for Doctorate Degree Holders in Industries

Eventhough I haven't started any step yet, I am already weighing down things. I have thought, if I am going back to the university here, well I might as well finish until the doctorate degree. However, I am not quite sure what kind of job would I get when we plan to go back to the Philippines. I mean, when my husband retires, he wanted to retire in the Philippines. That time, I am way too young to retire yet, so I am thinking that I would still work. But I have not yet heard of anyone in the industry with the doctor title on his name, who, instead of standing in front of scientists-to-be, is roaming around the production floor or is wearing a laboratory gown and safety gloves and goggles. I mean, working here in Germany with this title is not a problem, in fact, there are lots of opportunities for you, but when we get back to the Philippines, would I still be able to work in the industry or laboratory if I opt to earn the "ultimate" title of a professional?

I have nothing against academic jobs, because without my respected professors, I would not be who I am now. It is just that I think, and I feel, that teaching Chemistry entails a lot of responsibilities. I don't mind teaching languages, because there are always existing reference books to check on grammars and spellings, but for Chemistry, how can I teach bunch of students perfectly when I, myself, cannot solve certain problems all by myself. They sit there, looking up on you, admiring you for the degree that you have attached on your name, then you fail to answer one problem and poof! The title you worked hard for for years is lambasted in a matter of minutes. I am afraid of that time. Unlike in laboratory set up or manufacturing world, there are always room for efforts, that is why they are called the R&D team, research and development. Some researches may work, some may fail, but it is okay. Technologies change overtime, and every new technology suffers from the pain of giving birth to a first-born, but the scientists are not criticized harshly, instead, they are understood, and sometimes are even praised for such failures, because sometimes, new product ideas come from those failures.

That is what I love about working in the industry and not as an academician, the fun of performing tests and proving hypothesis in order to promote them into theories, and maybe, in the near future, into law.

So, as a conclusion, I just wanted to ask, are there non-academic jobs awaiting for Ph.D. in Chemistry title holders in the Philippines?


   photo sig_zps35132240.png

Monday, March 4, 2013

Where Are The Filipino Bloggers in Germany?

Out of boredom on a Sunday evening, I scrolled down the list of expat bloggers who are living in Germany. I am in search of Filipinos out there, but sadly, I only found 3 blogs: my blog, a medical student's and a mother. I am not sure if it is because the number of Filipino members in Expat-Blog is so small compared to those who came from US of A, or because there are really a small number of Filipino bloggers who are living in Germany.

If you are a Pinoy and is living in Germany, would you care to tell me which forum can I find you?  photo sig_zps35132240.png

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My Expat Life: From Pinas To Deutschland

I was browsing through my friend's new personal blog and we had a small chit chat about some of her articles and it occured to me: I have been blogging all these time (and even added this blog on www.expat-blog.com) about my life here in Germany, but I have not really blogged yet how I became an expat. Honestly, I have always wanted to write something about it, but either I laugh at my own words because they are so cheesy, or just lack the courage to publish it. But here I am for the nth time, trying my best to finish this story and post it successfully (you'll find tons of links here because I wanted you to go back with me, back to the posts I wrote during the course of my journey). Here it goes!

First Expat Experience
Year 2008 was the first time I set my feet on Germany grounds, that time, I was the kind of expat that most people think (at least that was what I used to think of before) when they hear the word "expat": a foreigner in a certain country for business purposes. I was here, together with a colleague, to attend a training about process gas analyzers (they are equipment usually used in process to monitor the concentration of gas in the chamber or process). Germany has always been my favorite country. I first heard of it when I was in third grade, when somebody from Köln (Cologne) was added in our roster. She is pure blooded Pinay but her mom is one of those nurses in the old times who became guest workers of Germany, hence they were born and raised in Köln. They decided to go back to the Philippines and settle there for good in the year 1992. She got lots of stories to tell about Germany: the food they eat, the use of fork and knife instead of spoon and fork, the castles, the weather and the language. She taught us basic phrases such as "Guten Tag" and "ich liebe dich". I have always been in love with fairy tales and her accounts about medieval churches and castles made me dream of visiting Germany someday. Then came high school years, and this time, a family friend's family also decided to leave Europe and settle back in the Philippines (yes, it's Ody's family!) and I came upclose and personal again with the German language. Although their family really came from Vienna, they do speak that language that I love. When Ody and I became good friends, my love for the German language grew deeper, that I asked her to translate my poems into German language. Then came university years. For the reason of being undecided until my last year in high school, I ended up enrolling in the B.S. Chemistry degree. Funny how other people avoids this degree, and I took it just because I wanted to study in University of Santo Tomas and I heard that this course have the least number of enrollees. Since I had fun on my high school chemistry class, I thought it won't be that bad. I never realized until now that everything's pre-determined by fate, more so, by the One Above. How is that so? It is because apart from Tourism and Music, only Chemistry students take the German language as a Foreign language requisite. While my classmates curse the subject due to these umlauts and diphthongs, I am loving it (for more funny moments in my college days, I'll leave that for other post). Then came the end of my college days and on to real life. I have worked with lots of companies either as a process engineer or as a chemist and I still try every once in a while to refresh my German. I have always included in my resume this beautiful line: Language/s spoken: English, Filipino and German, even when in reality, I can hardly construct a decent  German sentence. This part on my resume helped me land the job at Emerson in the year 2008. I was honestly okay at Hitachi that time (except for those holidays that I need to work), but since I was young and undergoing quarter-life crisis, I kept on forwarding resumes to all companies I found online. Then one day, they called. I went to an initial interview in February 2008, but was called for client/ final interview in May (which was also a bit memorable/ sad event for me, read here). June came when I finally got the result and the plans was already discussed with me. November of that same year when we went to Germany for training. It was short though because we had to go back before Christmas (with us having lots of gifts since the last day was also my birthday), but we went back in February 2009 for the continuation of the training. That month changed my life.

How My Life Changed
Finally, I was in Germany. I got to experience cold weather and snow, got to taste Sauerkraut, got to speak German. It was all dream come true for me. I saw a few castle, and even a witch tower in Gelnhausen (Hexenturm). I thought that time, my life is indeed beautiful! I got a nice job, considered to be really a high-paying job when you'd ask how much I was earning compared to others with the same position that I had. I never thought it was just the beginning of it all. I never thought that one day, I would be living in this land that I only dreamed of visiting.
We were introduced in the company by my manager  that time. Most people working in the production area (where I am assigned to be trained) are pure German speakers, save for two engineers who also do field service that's why they can speak English. Sitting beside my trainer is somebody who changed the story of my life. He was my colleague who became my boyfriend and now my husband. He hardly spoke with me! I always caught him staring at me, during buffet, at work, when am walking out the door and he must still work overtime, but he never spoke. There is a smile pasted on his face (which is already normal of him) but I never knew what was going on in his mind. In December, he finally spoke to me and I blogged here that time the line he said. (I never considered that as his first invitation to go out with him. I mean, who would think of that? I only knew him by name and he barely spoke with me. He told me lately how sad he was when I turned him down that time.) We came back to the Philippines to fulfill our jobs in the Philippines. He never failed to send me emails. I think, the ratio is from every 10 emails I receive everyday, half of it was from him. I recognized the effort on him to write in English, and in all fairness, it was improving everyday. I considered that only as emails between colleagues. The first message of him that made me think it was already something else was when I went for Christmas vacation for a total of 2 weeks, he told me it's going to be the longest weeks of his life. I did not give much attention to that. After my vacation, he told me that he heard about the change in dates of the second part of training and he felt sad that "he must wait for another month." I admit, there is already a bit of kilig in my part when he tells me those words, but I kept on ignoring and forcing myself not to give a damn because I hardly knew him and because he is 15 years older than I, he might be married and is only flirting. We came back in February and as a tradition, there is always a buffet on our first day. It so happened that somebody was also celebrating his nth year in the company, hence it was really a party (with beers!). That time, I got to speak with my trainer's wife and we got really close. Because of all the beers around, she told me stories of past company parties and named those who got really drunk, and one of them was he. I was surprised and I asked her what was his wife's reaction to that, that they had to drive him home because he's too drunk to drive alone. That incident paved the way for me to know he's single. It was as if Fate created that party for me to know more about him. Maybe I am a bit of a liberated one, because we are not that typical bf-gf who went through the process of courtship first. The next day, he tried to invite me out again. He did not put his expectations anymore, he said, he just tried his luck again. But because of what I have learned the day before, I said yes. I went out for dinner with him, simply to know him more. I finally came to know what Haxe is. After years of tears, I started to sing and write poems again, all because of him. He sent me sweet nothings each and every day (which I don't know if he really wrote or got it somewhere in the net). If I am not mistaken, it was on the 9th when I was so transparent that it was then mutual between us. We were actually like Juday and Ryan, no actual date to mention, we just took each day at a time, enjoyed each other's company as friends and lovers. 
Nobody wanted to believe on what we have. The Germans thought it was just a "fleeting moment" in our lives, that as soon as I get back to the Philippines, the feelings would die between us. They never believed that he could handle a long distance relationship. Back in the Philippines, they also thought it differently, due to the age difference and the culture difference. My only reason back then was, "my grandparents also have 15 years age difference and they made it till this time, even if grandpa is no longer with us, grandma still thinks of him." I never spoke to them of it anymore, except for my real friends who found our story to be so sweet. There was no formal engagement, maybe one reason why our wedding was kinda made in a rush. His way of asking my hand for marriage was also something sweet and funny. He didn't ask me directly, he asked my family. He simply said, he wanted to marry me and if my family would allow it. I was shocked, the same way my family was shocked. My aunt and my lesbian cousin were kilig when they realized that I also didn't know this plan of his. My family realized how kind he is and they saw how much he loves me during his short vacation, hence they agreed. That was the reason why my blogs in 2010 was only until June, I was busy planning his vacation and then after that, I was busy completing my documents. He came back in 2011 and we got married. In a matter of two years, he changed my life from dull, sad and hopeless one into a lively, happy and loving one.

Second Expat Experience
In October 2011, I came back here in Germany, together with my ex-colleagues, but not as a trainee anymore for gas analyzers. I came back in Germany to stay here for good, to join my husband, to be his wife. Contrary to my first expat experience, this time my career is different. I am no longer the gas analyzer expert (but from time to time, I still enjoy exchanging talks with my husband about what's new in this technology), rather I am a housewife. I work 24 hours a day. I finally learned how to cook. I used to be afraid of oil in a pan, hence I never cooked in the past in the Philippines (except for rice). I used to only clean my room, but now, I have to clean the entire apartment. I have NEVER cleaned a bathroom/ toilet, which I am already doing now. I used to only iron my hankies, but now, I have to iron everything, not only my clothes, but of course, my husband's. A lot of things changed. It was hard, but it was all worth it. I sometimes feel sad that I can no longer work as a professional like before, and I must admit, there are times when I thought of coming back to the Philippines, but at the end of the day, I realize, my life is totally different now. I have chosen to get married, hence my career now is a wife, no longer an engineer or chemist. For all the great things he had done for me, and continuously doing, these simple things are the only ways I can show him my gratitude for his unending love and understanding.

That was my journey. This is my journey. It hasn't ended yet. The story is continuously written. That's how I came to meet my husband and how I came to live in Germany. It is not a smooth ride, it is a roller coaster one, terrifying and exciting. You have read in my past posts how terrifying it is, how I one time wanted to give up. But when he agrees to stop for a while and assess everything, I tell him and myself, "Yes, life is a roller coaster, and I would never give up, rather, continue the ride until the end of time", and then I end up telling him what Simon said on this video:

Also, DRÜCK AUFS KNÖPFCHEN, MAX!
 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Mobile World Gone Crazy

I am not a fan of Apple, in fact, all my life, I only had this 4th gen iPod and that was only a prize won. I never really drooled over Apple products. Since the beginning of high-end phones, I usually buy Samsung, not just for its design, but because of its known quality. My SGH - D900i is up to this time functioning, and my Samsung Jet, though it did not meet its promise of  "giving you everything you want it to be" is still up and running after falling down. My new smartphone here in Germany is also from Samsung because I am truly satisfied with the quality products that they offer. However, this news might change every impression I have for Samsung. I am into qualitative products, but I am more into fair play. I find this move by Samsung unfair and selfish, at the same time, this judge does not deserve his title anymore. The symbol of justice is a blindfolded woman carrying a weight, and this judge does not clearly live up to this symbolism.

I just hope all these blah-blah in the mobile world would end. It's starting to go crazy.


 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Learn Filipino: Telling Time

I had found this contact person in the Expat Blog who is searching for a Tagalog trainer, so I immediately sent him my CV and told him I am interested to take on the challenge. Since it is a freelance job, I still have time to refresh on my language. Honestly speaking, even if it is my native language, there are basic information that I have already forgotten. Blame it maybe on the language that I use everyday here (which is German), plus the fact that I have always been writing in English since I was in high school. I only get to use my native language when I chat with my mom or my cousins. Another reason that I really need to refresh my Tagalog/ Filipino is that because I have used Taglish for such a long time, that I have forgotten the strict Filipino I have learned in grade school and high school. One obvious problem by me is TELLING TIME. I either use the English method (example: 2 o'clock or 3 o'clock in the afternoon) or the Spanish method (ala una or alas dos) when I speak. For such a long time I have made myself believe that is the only way of telling the time. Then I posted this as status on my Facebook wall asking for opinions, and voila! I suddenly remembered my grandparents and how they tell the time. So I guess, your first lesson with me is learning the numbers in Filipino and telling time, in PROPER FILIPINO way.

The Numbers:

1 - isa
2 - dalawa
3 - tatlo
4 - apat
5 - lima
6 - anim
7 - pito
8 - walo
9 - siyam
10 - sampu
11 - labing-isa
12 - labing-dalawa
20 - dalawampu
21 - dalawampu at isa (dalawampu't isa)
22 - dalawampu at dalawa (dalawampu't dalawa)
30 - tatlumpo
31 - tatlumpo at isa (tatlumpo't isa)
40 - apatnapo
50 - limampo
60 - animnapo
70 - pitumpo
80 - walumpo
90 - siyamnapo
100 - isangdaan
101 - isangdaan at isa
111 - isangdaan at labing-isa
200 - dalawangdaan
1,000 - isang libo
1,101 - isang libo't isangdaan at isa
1,111 - isang libo't isangdaan at labing-isa
1,000,000 - isang milyon
1,101,101 - isang milyon at isangdaan at isanglibo's isangdaan at isa
1,000,000 - isang bilyon


I know it is kind of complicated, I guess, I will save the discussion about telling numbers for the next days. And now, off to telling time!

Telling Time (the correct Filipino way):

It is best to teach telling time using pictures, but before that, here are the important terms to remember:

umaga - morning (12:01 am until 11:59 am)
tanghali - noon (12:00 nn)
hating gabi - midnight (12:00 am)
hapon - afternoon (1 o'clock pm until 5:59 pm)
gabi - evening (6 o'clock pm until 11:59 pm)
minuto - minute
oras - hour
segundo - second
bago - before
makalipas - past

So, first, how to tell exact time. Just add the word ika- and then the number and then tell which part of the day is it, is it morning, noon, afternoon or evening. The formula is: prefix "ika" + number + word "ng" + part of the day. Example:
Ika-dalawa ng umaga (2:00 am) or ika-dalawa ng hapon (2:00 pm)

I'd like to think/ compare that telling time in Filipino is a bit similar to UK or German way of telling time. Here are the reasons why:

Ika-dalawa at kalahati ng umaga (hapon) (Half past 2 in the morning/ afternoon; Zweiviertel zwei)

Labinglimang minuto bago  mag-ikatlo ng umaga/ hapon (Fifteen minutes before 3 in the morning/ afternoon; Fünfzehn vor drei)

Labinglimang minuto makalipa ang ika-dalawa ng umaga/ hapon (15 minutes past 2 in the morning/ afternoon; Fünfzehn nach 2)

And for other minutes, simply use this formula: prefix "ika" + number of hour + word "at" + number of minute/s + word "minuto" + word "ng" + part of the day. Example:


Ika-dalawa at dalawampung minuto ng umaga/ hapon (2 o'clock and 20 minutes in the morning/ afternoon)

Easy, isn't it? Well, fear not! Even if you tell time in English or Spanish, the native Filipinos will understand you. I just wanted to share the good old ways of telling time in Filipino. :)
 photo sig_zps35132240.png

The Price I Got To Pay

Hubby got me a new notebook yesterday. He said it's his post birthday/ post Christmas and post Valentine's day gift. But those are only his words, at the back of these words, here are the things he expects from me:

1. More blogging time instead of just playing around in Facebook.
2. I will start a book.
3. Should I get admitted at the University, that I'd have my work done better and without delay, especially when our internet is acting up, I can do my homeworks at the University library any time.

Truly, this notebook costs a lot because of these expectations I have to bring into reality.

Nevertheless, I am more than happy and he is still the sweetest and most romantic guy in the world! He makes normal days special.

I love you baby!  photo sig_zps35132240.png

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Expat-Blog Post: FAQs Part I

Being a member at www.expat-blog.com, I have been receiving some friend requests and private messages from my Kababayans. Hence, I thought about blogging the common questions I answer constantly, both as private messages and from the forum itself.

Q: Where is it easier to get married? In the Philippines or in Germany?
A: It all depends on you. The first steps are usually the same: NSO birth certificate, NSO CENOMAR, cedula and then sending them to your fiance to process his Ehefähigkeitszeugnis. Anyway, my friend described on her blog a more detailed procedure about marrying in the Philippines, it's best to read her posts for more information (please click here). We did exactly the same things that they did, but in shorter time. We just got really lucky to get our wedding preparation and our wedding itself done within the 21 days visa-free entry of my husband in the Philippines. It is safest to tell your fiance to apply for visa more than 21 days, at least a month or two maybe? And plan everything ahead, best would be that you start planning during his/her vacation/ engagement day. Never try what we did, we just got really lucky that there was a free venue, and our videographer is a family friend.


Q: What does one do when we opt to get married in Germany?
A: Please click here for the requirements that you need to accomplish. The link is from the German Embassy. Please check the embassy website from time to time, in case that there are changes.

Q: How about for family reunion visa?
A: Aside from my friend's blog, which I have already the link posted on the first question, please click here for the list from the German embassy.


Q: Does one really needs language certificate before applying for Marriage Visa or Family Reunion Visa?
A: Again, it all depends on your situation. I have learned from a friend, that when you already have a kid with your German spouse, you do not need the language certificate anymore if you are applying for family reunion visa. For marriage visa, I still have to ask further. However, you lose nothing from attending the language class and taking the exam, at least the Start Deutsch 1. Why? Because even if you opt for the exemption, the Ausländersbehörde in Germany would still require you to take the course anyway. Unless your husband is open to paying the fine for not taking the Integrationskurs. Hence, learning German in Germany would be easier for you, you won't be shocked from the language, because the learning environment in Germany is totally different from the what one may experience in Goethe Institut Manila. I guess, for beginners, it is really helpful when you can ask your classmates using your native language than asking in German.

Q: I have no time to attend the classes in Goethe due to my work. Can I do it on my own?
A: Absolutely! There are lots of websites to go to to learn the German language. Most helpful for me are the following websites:

  • http://www.german.about.com
  • http://www.busuu.com
  • http://www.livemocha.com
There are also lots of videos available in YouTube website for learning german, just use the search box. And of course the Goethe Institut website itself for the sample of Start Deutsch 1 exam. Just take note that only the exam from Goethe is accredited by the embassy, hence, you must only take the exam there and not from any other language schools.

Q: Is it difficult to find job in Germany?
A: If your German is conversational enough, there are lots of Nebenjobs waiting for you. If you want real jobs, you need a bit of patience, because I myself is still in the process of job hunting. Nebenjobs are fine, but in my case, I have to choose wisely which job to take due to my health conditions, I cannot apply in supermarket because I have scoliosis and I am not allowed to lift/ carry heavy boxes, hence, not all nebenjobs fit me.

So, that's it for now. Will post the part two as soon as I got to gather enough questions to answer. Please note that these questions are tailored for my fellow Filipinos. There might be other rules governing other country. It is advisable that you post your own questions in the forum or search for expats in Germany who are also from your country and ask them thru private messages.



 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Leave The Past To Memories

I tried to trace all my blogs in other blog site providers and I realized that I got LOTS of blogs forgotten in time. I planned to export the contents of these blogs and move them all here, but when I read them today, I realized, they just don't fit here. It's like, those were thoughts I had and were specially made for these sites and not here. Hence, I decided to leave them published on the sites they are now and visit them from time to time.

Just like in life. There are those events in the past that we usually wish to happen again. But if we look closely on where we are now, we see that it's just impossible to bring the past into the present. Not that they are ugly memories, but simply because they just no longer fit in. Hence, it is best to just leave them all in memories and visit them every once in a while.
 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Awakened

Yesterday, we had a small accident. We are not sure if it has to do with the slippery road due to a sudden change with the weather plus it was raining ice or because of our damp filter because, honestly, our car is already quite old. Thank God that nothing totally bad happened to us, only bruises on my legs because of the shopping bag that I was holding at that moment. Because as the woman driving behind us and witnessed everything, it was surprising that we're okay, because from outside, it was a very bad one. Imagine that our car swiveled to the right and we rolled on our side, our plate number was thrown out and the right side mirror was totally broken. We are so thankful for these angels along the road who helped us out yesterday.

Through this situation, I was awakened. I realized that life can really be too short, you never really know what might happen. We had our car freshly checked last Friday by our mechanic, and still, we had that accident. It is really important to always say thank you and I love you to the people around you. Only the One Above knows until when will you be with these people.

I am so thankful for this new chance of life given to us.

Anyway, to everyone reading my blog, always keep safe, especially if you are driving, especially during this winter season. God bless us always!

 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Scent of Life

When was the last time that I sat in front of the computer to blog, I cannot remember. I usually blog the last time either on my phone or on hubby's tablet. The last months, rather, years, were a roller coaster ride for me, that my mind is empty. But I guess, things would change this year. I am not sure how or when, but I can smell it in the air.

I woke up early today and sat for quite a while in front of the computer to play some games. Then I decided to start on my daily routine as a wife, but first, I needed the WC. I am not sure what it was, but as I came into the WC, I've noticed that my hubby left the window at the dining area wide open on a winter morning, I smelled something nostalgic. It came from outside, it was that scent that I smelled the first time I stepped my feet on Germany last 2008. I could not incorporate that scent on the melting snow, because when I first came here, that was a warm winter. I am not sure if it came from the Christmas trees, because there's not much of them at Gelnhausen nor in Frankfurt. It cannot be Glühwein or whatever Christmas drinks because I am the only one with open windows in our neighborhood. One thing I thought that could be, it is the Scent of Dreams Coming True. 

Germany is one of my dream country to visit. I first came to know about it in third grade when a newcomer from Cologne went into my school. She told me a lot of interesting stuffs about Germany that I started to dream about it, look at it on Encyclopedia or any other travel books in the library. I asked her to teach me a few German words. I fell in love with it even if I haven't seen it yet. For me, Germany is a Fairy Tale land, where real princesses and princes take a walk on the forests. Where snow is magical. Where fairy godmothers are real. Funny how the nature connived to fulfill this dream of mine. I went to the university as a Chemistry student, a course that I never really wanted but I just got no choice, I have to get into that university no matter what. Little did I know that this course would lead me to getting to Germany. We had German Language in our curriculum. Afterwards, I was hired by different international companies, but funny how Emerson keeps on showing up its ads on me on the newspaper and online. Then came the day that I finally gave in to one of these ads and I got myself in. The next thing I knew, I am walking along the streets of Frankfurt am Main on winter of 2008. In the year 2009, as I came back, I am already cuddling with the love of my life, along the Main river in Kahl. It was a dream come true for me to be in Germany. The One Above gave me even a bonus: to live in the country of my dream.

However, 2011 was a bit confusing for me. After 6 years of working, I experienced the longest unemployment of my life. It was depressing and tiring. I never thought that doing nothing can be more stressful than working. What kept me standing was the waiting for my visa. My hubby told me it won't take that long, I would be with him. I got my visa end of September and I was on my way back to Germany first week of October. It was also not that exciting, to be honest. After 27 years of my life, that would be the longest time I would be away from my family. I went into all crazy, difficult moments of my life from 2011 to 2012: adjustment to a married life, the differing culture between me and my hubby, the language barrier, unemployment, the cold days - not only on winter!, the food, the homesickness. Too much for me to feel, that I thought I am going to die. There were days when I decided to fly back to the Philippines, where employment is a bit easier for me to find. But my love was stronger and kept me stronger and be more patient. Thanks to my hubby who decided to take 2-months-long vacation in the Philippines, because he thinks, that would help me heal. Upon coming back here, I thought it has not changed, all those crazy thoughts are still lurking in my heart and mind. But it changed today. I am not sure what happened, but it just changed, just like that.

I spent my whole day yesterday sending out my resume to different companies. Even if my hubby told me to get back to the university and earn my master's and Ph.D., I've decided to apply at different companies yesterday. Studies is not bad, but with our status, I wanted to be of help. Job is what I need, what I wanted to have. I have this feeling that I am going to meet my new best friend here in Germany in the company I would be working soon. I am excited to meet her that I cannot wait anymore hence for the application. I haven't received any positive feedback yet, nor invitation for an interview. But this scent I smelled this morning, it was a sign, it awakened the hope in me. It brought me back to life. It gave me optimism and motivation. 

That scent that I would never forget because that scent made me believe that dreams do come true.
 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Random Finds: Of Having The Right Person

A very good read.
AM I WITH THE RIGHT PARTNER?
During a seminar, a woman asked," How do I know if I am with the right person?"
The author then noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so he said, "It depends. Is that your partner?" In all seriousness, she answered "How do you know?" Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it's weighing on your mind replied the author.
Here's the answer.
Every relationship has a cycle… In the beginning; you fall in love with your partner. You anticipate their calls, want their touch, and like their idiosyncrasies.Falling in love wasn't hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn't have to DO anything. That's why it's called "falling" in love.
People in love sometimes say, "I was swept of my feet."Picture the expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something happened TO YOU.
Falling in love is a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It's a natural cycle of EVERY relationship.
Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse's idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.
At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, "Am I with the right person?" And as you reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when relationships breakdown.
The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it's learning to love the person you found.
People blame their partners for their unhappiness and look outside for fulfillment. Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes.
Infidelity is the most common. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your relationship. It lies within it.
I'm not saying that you couldn't fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you'd feel better. But you'd be in the same situation a few years later.
Because (listen carefully to this):
The key to succeeding in a Relationship is not finding the right person; it's learning to love the Person you found.
SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. You have to work on it day in and day out. It takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it demands WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make it work. Make no mistake about it.
Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your partner), Just as there are physical laws Of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. If you know how to apply these laws, the results are predictable.
Love is therefore a "decision". Not just a feeling.
Remember this always: God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let GO..
 photo sig_zps35132240.png

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

First, my warmest greeting of HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my readers from the tropical islands of the Philippines!

We are again gifted a new year to live, a new year to be grateful of, a new year for us to continue fulfilling our dreams. This new year, here are a few of the things I would love to accomplish. I don't consider them as new year's resolutions, rather a set goal for me to look forward to everyday, and to motivate me to live each day. As the days go by, I will continue to add things and plans on this list. :)

1. Read at least 6 books this year.
2. Write more.
3. Get a job.
4. Be optimistic even though my life in Germany is not yet that stable.
5. Be more serious on learning the German language.



 photo sig_zps35132240.png