Friday, March 31, 2006

So, here it is!

Yep, my new blog is up! And many of my friends have already visited it even before I could announce it to the world. Well, glad to know that ...

I know I've said before that I'm gonna have the new blog in a new home. I tried to search for other blog hosts, and tried this one, thinking that it could help me materialize what I have in mind. Sad to say, I couldn't figure out some things that I wanted to do. Oh, well, too late to find out that it's not user-friendly for a blog newbie like me.

So, back to my the old house. Blogger may not have all the features I wanted, but still, it is friendliest host I've ever known. Wow! Blogger should reward me for this! hehehe In the meantime, side by side with my Jap learning, I'll try to figure out some things that I'd like to include in my blog.

Now, you have three sites to visit everyday. ;)

Friday, March 24, 2006


One time, out of curiousity, I made an internet search about my blogname GANDA, and try to see if it will appear in the list (if not on the top). To my surprise, it didn't, despite the more than a hundred thousand sites found by Google Search.

What is more surprising, though, is that the word GANDA has other meanings. Here are some important things I've discovered:

1. GANDA is a computer virus discovered sometime in 2003. Technically called W32.Ganda.A@mm, it is a mass-mailing worm which is believed to have originated in Sweden. The threat is low, so don't worry if you'll ever come across this virus. Read here for more info.

2. GANDA is the largest among the 43 majority ethnic groups in the country of Uganda. Ganda is interchangeably referred to the society and its language. The society is characterized by having a distinc kingdom called Buganda, the people living there are called Baganda (Muganda, singular), and their language is officially Luganda. Everything is ganda, isn't it? What more, this place is mainly agricultural where banana is the staple food, and owning a cattle is a sign of wealth. Click here and here, if you're interested to know more about this society. And oh, if you think you have a ganda ancestry, and want to know your ancestors, or even build your ganda family tree, this site will help you go through it.

3. Ganda Consultants, Ltd. is composed of consultants from New Zealand who boast of 35 years of experience in IT and investment property management More details about the company and the services offered here.

4. This is what I like most -- a Ganda Ham from Belgium. This salted ham is stored for 9 months starting on the winter season, and ripened at spring time. It is proud to contain only pork and sea salt, prepared without any artificial flavorings or colorings. It is ripened in the most natural and traditional process, thus making it not only tasty, but healthy as well. Visit Ganda Ham for some yummy recipes, too!

5. Lastly, I learned from an Indonesian guy (who is now in Japan) that ganda is a Bahasa word for "double." Coincidentally, my sign is gemini, which depicts duality. And I am known to be mabait yet mataray, malambing yet masungit, magastos yet kuripot. ;)

What else would surprise me? ;)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Happy me! ;)

Just wanna say, "Hey, my sitemeter strikes at 1,111!" Wow! it's too big to believe. It's even too great to be real. But, it's real, so I have to believe! ;)

THANKS to all of you -- to my regular visitors who patiently wait for a new post each day; to my friends who visit here once in a while, whenever their time permits it; and to some unknown readers who have come across this page either by mistakenly clicking the mouse or thru bloghopping.

MORE THANKS to those who are generous to leave a commment or two, or even a tag. Ya know, I always feel excited to have new posts. But, what makes me more excited is to see what my friends/readers/visitors have to say about my posts. I always feel delighted to read those ideas in response to what I have posted.

To those who are still hesitant, I urge you to take away your shyness...speak up, and let me know if my posts have ever made you happy, angry, doubtful, sad, irritated, or whatever. It matters to me ... coz this blog is both for me and you, my dear readers. ;)

Here's hoping to hear from you soon...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

New blog?

Hmm, I am contemplating on opening up a new blog account which will feature mostly about Japan -- the place where we are now -- based on my personal experiences, with an added general info and helpful links on the topic/subject at hand. Who knows, one might begin to get interested in this place they call the land of the rising sun; or be moved to push through with his/her initial plans of coming over and have a taste of a delightful life here. Well, that's really my purpose -- to see Japan as a peaceful, unique and lovable place to stay (temporarily) or live in (for life) ... as I experience it myself.

You might be thinking that I love Japan more than my own country. On the contrary, no big, greener, modern, techie place will ever replace my country I call HOME. No matter where I go, I shall always go back to where my heart (and roots) is. (super drama!)

So, what's keeping me from getting started? Ahh, I'm actually more than excited to have my first post BUT I'm still in the process of locating where to host my blog. Oops, sorry for Blogger! I need a fresh template where I can work on, and have features (that B doesn't offer at the moment) that I'd like to include in my page. Besides, I already have three B accounts (though one is inactive).

So, watch out for the red-carpet opening of the JAPAN: A TASTE OF LIFE! ;)

Friday, March 17, 2006

A letter for Mama

Dear Mama,

I could not sleep last night. Maybe an insomiac effect of a cup of coffee I drank for my midnight snack. Or, maybe, because I was thinking of you. You see, although you left this world to join your Creator, you still are very much with me. I see you in many of my dreams, and you are very much alive in those dreams.

As I tried to close my eyes, my mind wandered in the past. I remembered how you took care of me especially when I was sick. Yeah, I was sickly when I was in my primary school days. I was in and out of the hospital, not knowing exactly what could've caused my stomach pain. You took me to several faith healers too, hoping I get well. One time, you were feeding me rice porridge while lying on the bed. I was too weak to eat. Then suddenly, I closed my eyes making you jump in panic, carrying me outside while shouting for help. You thought I was already leaving you then. Ater a few minutes, I opened my eyes and I saw you crying, some of your tears falling on my face. You embraced me assuring yourself that I am still alive. Felt relieved, you told me, "wag mo ng gagawin yun ah!" As a mother, I know how you felt, as I am, too, a mother now having similar worries when my son is a bit sick.

Mama, do you still remember when I helped you sell bangus in the wet market? It was my first job, and I think I did well. People cramped in front of me and joyfully bought my bangus. Selling bangus was your way to get us through our daily needs. You woke up early in the morning and traveled to the next city to get the freshiest bangus, scooping bunches of cold ice with your bare hands. You would arrive home in the evening, wet and dirty, and tired but still needed to count your day's earnings. We usually say, "wow, dami pera ni mama." You would reply outright, "pera ito ng bangus." Then we'd sweepingly utter, "buti pa ang bangus, dami pera pero kami wala." You did this each day, rain or shine. Your only day off, I think, was when you get to watch an FPJ movie.

Then, my reminisce took me to a more difficult time, in my teenage days. It is still vivid in my mind how your right hand traversed in the air sending a hard lap on me rendering my cheek red from the pain, and wet from the bunch of tears that kept on falling from my weary eyes. You burst in anger, because of something I uttered in anger about your own mom. You did what a loving daughter should do. You defended your mom, even against your own daughter. A relative nearby watched me crying hard while washing my school uniform.

I also remembered how you and papa tried your very best to raise us up in good way and give us the precious education we need to have a good future. You have always told us to study hard, for in your time, education was a no-no because of the petty world war. And you were right. Education has brought us where and how we are now. I'm pretty sure you are very proud of all your four children.

I woke up this morning, my mind still set in the past. I can't take it off my mind, even if I got busy with my daily chores. So, I guess I'll write you a letter to tell you how much I miss you, without even knowing how will this get to you. Maybe, the Lord will do some magic, as the post office here could not do this for me.

Did you know that it was you who taught me to be prayerful, to lean on God for help and guidance? I could still remember when I was a bit better from my illness that we went to Manaoag church to pray to God and ask Him to take away my illness. You told me every word I needed to tell God. The Lord indeed heard my prayer coz I got well after a couple of weeks.

Then I went to college, and so my siblings, leaving you and papa alone in the house. I remember how homesickness was killing me on my first few months away from home. I think I would go home once a month till I got adjusted to my independent life. Years had passed and you asked me, "kelan ka gaga-graduate?" I graduated, and started working. After a few years of working, you asked me, "kelan ka mag-aasawa?" Then, I settled down, and after a few years, you asked me, "kelan ka magkakaanak?"

Mama, I already have a baby now and he turned one year a few weeks ago. How I'd wish you see him grow, and also the rest of your grandchildren. You may not know it, but you already have eight apos -- two from ate, four from kuya, one each from me and bunso.

I am sorry that I wasn't at your side at the time of your leaving. I was at the church then, crying the whole time, earnestly praying to God to take away your pain. I prayed the way you taught me to pray when I wanted to get rid of my illness.
I also prayed for the whole family to be strong in that trying time of our life. Little did I know that, at that time, you were already leaving, that the Lord was already answering my prayer.

I rushed home to see you for the last time. Things looked the same way when I left a few days before that. Only one thing had changed. You were already breathless. I was afraid to touch you. I was afraid to look at you. I didn't say a word. I didn't even cry at that moment. I just kept silent while seating beside your bed.

That was almost four years ago. We've moved on, Mama. In doing so, we keep with us those memories of you... memories that remind us that once in our life, we had a loving, patient and wonderful mother. And I want to have all your motherly traits so that I'd be able to raise my son in the good way you did to us.

I miss you and I love you, Mama. See you in the next life.

I miss my mom

It's mama's birthday today. If she's still here with us, she'd probaby enjoy this day with her favorite spaghetti and coke. But she had already left us almost fours years ago. I am pretty sure that wherever she is right now, she's enjoying her unending days with her Creator.

Mama did not see me advance into motherhood. How I wish she did. She'd probably feel happy and proud for us at how our family has grown. She now has eight grandchildren, but she was able to hug only three of them. She also didn't get to see our new house. She had always dreamed before of making rounds of vacation among us her children. I also intended to ask her (and papa) to stay with us then, but our house was built too late for that.

I miss Mama so much. At times when I'm faced with so many problems and don't know what to do anymore, how I'd wish I could count on her advice. When taking care of my little boy becomes difficult, how I'd wish she'd tell me what to do best. I also miss her stories. Everytime I go home to visit them in the province, she'd tell me some tsismis.

Funny side of her was everytime I asked her if she had some money, she always answered "no" so I would give her some. Mama (and papa too) brought us up with the attitude to save for the future. And I imbibe that to the fullest. Any extras go directly to the savings account. I (together with my husband) intend to pass on this good attitude to my son. In fact, we have already gotten him a savings account of his own. All monetary gifts are kept safe in that account.

Mama, wherever you are now, I know you are happy for all of us. Time will come when we will see each other again. See you then...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Nothing much

Hmm, guess I run out of things to say so I just tried to do something on my page's layout and background. I want it to look lively and colorful so your eyes won't get tired from reading my posts.

Do you like it? I hope you do. I could have done something more beautiful and unique than this, but my knowledge of this e-thing limits me to actualise what I have in mind. Nevertheless, I am happy with it -- at least for now.

My mind is not really in the mood for working. GTG.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Blah, blah, blah!

The snow, as forecasted the other day, did not show up in this part of Japan. I was a bit frustrated to wake up yesterday morning seeing only a cloudy sky with no falling white objects from above. It was very cold though, and I had to breeze through this, armed with only my 3-layer clothing, when I went out.


I was running late for my 10am appointment yesterday, so I took the bus to get me to the train station faster. Contrary to what I had expected, the bus arrived late. No matter how fast I ran (from the bus terminal to the train station), I didn't make it to the 8:58am train. To make the long story short, I arrived at the job counselling office 10:06. Add to this my lack of sense of direction for inadvertently getting on the wrong train, taking me to the opposite direction I was supposed to go. *sigh*

It wasn't the first time anyway. I mean, taking the wrong train. It happened to me many times before. Countless times, I guess. And nothing I could do but bear the consequences.


I never imagined how painful it is to take care of my toddler. Yes, painful is the right word, coz I'm referring to his bites and pulling of my hair. He furiously bites me with his seven white teeth, anytime, anywhere, anyhow. His fave spot is my entire face, especially my lips. He lovingly kisses me only to give me a painful bite in the end. He does this with giggle, giving me that witty-spunky look whenever I scream in pain. Sometimes, he bites like a hungry lion, and I'm telling you, this is more tormenting than giving birth.

He pulls my hair too, with all his might, until he's able to uproot a few strands. Ouch! That's really unbearable! If I have a very good camera, I would take a shot at those hair strands struggling to get loose from his tight grip. Just this morning, while I was still sleeping, he pulled my hair again, after watching me sleep for a few minutes (according to hubby). That's his way of waking me up. Probably, that's also his way of saying, "hey, mami, I think it's time you need a good hair cut." Oh, what a painful reminder.


Ok, that's all for now. Till next time. ;)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Wazz up?

Hi there! Did you miss me? Rather my posts? Sorry for being silent for a week. Got busy with so many things, aside of course from my usual job of taking care of my little boy, who is now sooooooooo kulit and likot. Anyway, here are a few things I wanna share with you.

Bazaar mania

Last Saturday, I went to a bazaar in Bunkyu-ku, and mind you, I looked like a "tindera sa palengke" when I got out, with a couple of bulging chintzy plastic bags on both hands. I planned to buy only small toys for my little boy, but, as it turned out, I bought not only toys, but some kitchen gadgets/accessories that I plan to collect as souvenirs (weird??).

Unlike me, who is still an amateur in this department, my friends who were pretty ready for this event brought along a really huge classy bag it could contain thrice what I had bought. Others, we saw in the area, brought a traveling bag as if going somewhere or just came out of the airport. Hmm, that gave me a good idea next time I go bazaar shopping, huh. ;)

Job hunting continues

Just a few minutes ago, I emailed my application to a prospective employer, and I already received a reply. Whew! That was fast huh! I hope to have good results too!

So, my job hunting has intensified, eh. More emails, more interviews, hope to have more choices too!

Snow tomorrow?

Weather forecast today says that it will snow in most parts of Japan. I thought it will never snow again, after that one-day snow delight we had before. Oh, can't wait for tomorrow!

On the rough side of it, I have an appointment tomorrow so I have to go out and oddly fight the cold weather with sniffing nostrils. Oops, no slipping, eh!

Ey, why don't I take a peek at the window to see if there are already white balls falling from the sky. I'll get back to you then ...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Me, forgetful???

Oh my, oh my! Here I am again making fun of my already funny mistakes...

I think it's my "signature" to have some bloopers in any big event in my life. On my wedding day, for instance, I had lots of 'em. My favorite story is when I almost forgot to wear my wedding shoes, wearing my house slippers instead ;) I got sidetracked with the pictorials (before leaving the house) that I was already in the car when I realised that, hey, I was still wearing my slippers!

That was almost 8 years ago. Fast forward to my son's first birthday party. During the Saturday party, I forgot to serve our guests with my proudly home-made gelatin which I especially prepared for our Jap friends. Hubby reminded me about this shortly after the last batch of guests left our house. *sigh*

Before this, I also forgot to offer drinks to our guests. Imagine just eating solids without the padulas. Hay... why do I keep on forgetting some things? I was busy thinking of ways how to finish all the foods in the table.

At the Sunday party, I made sure to serve the gelatin. All foods were almost finished. I was calmly smiling when suddenly I remembered that I forgot to do two things: to have our guests sign in our guestposter, and give Luke's thank-you gift to his kid-guests. *sigh* *sigh*

Is this a sign of *** ***?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Party pics

Hey guys! Glad to announce that I have already posted a bunch of pictures of the weekend party for Luke's first birthday at his blogsite. Just click on any image (below the header) and it will redirect you to Luke's flickr account where you will see all the photos there. For optimized and easy viewing, click on the link "view as slideshow" found at the right side of the page.

I am also emailing the same set of photos (organized as a powerpoint show) to some of our friends . So, if you would like to see this, please feel free to email me, and I'll gladly give in to your request.