Saturday, December 30, 2006

what we've become...

Watching the president/leader of iraq executed, I wasn't quite sure how to feel. I guess its good that the people whose families were killed under his regime finally got justice and got some kind of closure. I know that if the same thing happened to my loved ones, I would want him punished too. On the other hand, is it really necessary that his execution be televised and his remains be shown to people all over the world? The whole thing seems to me too brutal. With these kinds of things you see on tv and the newspapers, it's no wonder there's so much hate in this world we live in.

Monday, December 25, 2006

love this song...

When Christmas Comes to Town

I'm wishing on a star
and trying to believe
that even though it's far
He'll find me Christmas Eve
I guess that Santa's busy
Cause he's never come around
I think of him
When Christmas comes to town

the best time of the year
when everyone comes home
with all this Christmas cheer
It's hard to be alone
Putting up the Christmas tree
with friends who come around
It's so much fun
when Christmas comes to town

Presents for the children
wrapped in red and green
all the things I've heard about
but never really seen
no one will be sleeping on the night of Christmas Eve
Hoping Santa's on his way

Whean Santa's sleigh bells ring
I listen all around
The herald angels sing
I never hear a sound
And all the dreams of children
once lost will all be found
that's all I want when Christmas comes to town

Saturday, December 16, 2006

what I miss about Christmas...

Only ten (10) more days before Christmas and I still don't feel like it's Christmas. Taiwan do not celebrate Christmas so I usually have to be at work during the holidays unless it falls on a Sunday. This year, Christmas falls on a Monday so I will be at work all day...not my idea of a perfect Christmas.

The way I've celebrated Christmas since I came to Taiwan five years ago is mailing gifts to my nieces and nephews in the Philippines and the U.S. I've also used the Internet for buying gifts for my family and friends to let them know that I'm thinking about them during the holidays. eCards comes in handy too...there's just no Christmas cards in Taiwan good enough to send to family. Myself, I can't even remember the last time I received one.

I really miss Pinoy Style Christmas. I miss all the lanterns (parol) and all the great food! There's nothing like the traditional Filipino rice cakes! Filipinos take Christmas seriously. During this time of the year, even the poorest of the poor celebrates Christmas by making sure that their children have new outfits to wear to midnight mass and will have at least a good Christmas meal (noche buena). The family usually come together and you get to meet distant relatives you never even met before. Another great thing about the way the Filipinos celebrate Christmas is the midnight mass--people usually attend the midnight mass held on Christmas eve wearing their brand new clothes. Finally, on Christmas morning, all the children kisses their parents hand (bless) and the parents give their children, not gifts, but money or aguinaldo.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

my heart...

Today, I had a wonderful chat with my wonderful niece, Victoria. She has given me so much...I would have had a worst time recovering from cancer if I didn't have her around.
Victoria was a wonderful baby who always had a ready smile for the people around her...she's only 8 years old but she can hold great conversations. Today, we talked about religion. She asked me if I go to church and told me about her Sunday School. I told her that although I'm a Catholic, I attended Sunday School from 8 years to my late teens and that everything I learned about God I learned from a Christian Sunday School.
She also told about her memory loss and that she couldn't seem to remember a lot of things. I told her she should eat more peanuts and then she said that her favorite food is "PB&J". I didn't know what that was until she told me that PB&J stands for Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich. Guess I'm behind the times...getting too old to know all these new slang and acronyms kids use nowadays.

Friday, December 01, 2006

when 3 months seems forever...

I guess luck is on my side this year because the Chinese Navy is sending my husband to Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California for his masters degree. We're going to stay there for two years! We're leaving in March next year...that's only three months from now, but I feel like it's taking forever! I really cannot wait to leave Taiwan, even just for a couple of years.

Monterey is a beatiful place...I lived and worked there once (1995-1997) and I loved it! The weather is a little cold for me but there were so many places in and around Monterey that I love so much that I hardly noticed the weather. Perhaps a place I really enjoyed is Pacific Grove--a quaint little place where I spend my Sundays, eating at a wonderful little cafe near the ocean. One of my favorite restaurant in Pacific Grove is the Thai Bistro. They serve authentic Thailand food..the place is small and always packed so you always have to wait, especially during lunch time. Another great place to eat, if you like seafood is Vivolo's Chowder House and the Old Fisherman Grotto. Great fish and chips!

I feel terrible leaving my students in the middle of the school year but I don't think I can stay any longer to finish the year. I feel I need to recharge.

Friday, November 10, 2006

remembering a great woman...

My husband's grandmother died at 82 this week, November 7, 2006 at 10:40 pm. She will be terribly missed. She bore nine children and lived her life in the Southern mountains in Pingtung, Taiwan. She could only speak her native language [Paywan] and the Japanese language that she picked up during the time when the Japanese occupied Taiwan.

My husband and I were never able to communicate with her. I remember the very first time I met her...we couldn't communicate so she sang me a song instead and gave me an Aboriginal name.

It doesn't seem fair for her to suffer with physical illness before she died because throughout her life, she only ate tofu and wild vegetables from the mountains where she lived. She didn't smoke or drink like the rest of the native population. She first had problems with her eyes and the doctors did a surgery. Before she even recovered from her eye surgery, she started having pains and the doctors found stones in her kidney, resulting in yet another surgery to take the stones out. Sadly, she never recovered from the kidney stone surgery and she was hospitalized for about a month and then went into a coma. She was in a coma for twelve days before she finally died. I just wished she didn't have to suffer so much pain.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

leaving Taiwan...

goodbye Taiwan...hellow US of A! Finally leaving this place after 5 years of sucking air pollution and fighting the traffic. I'd hate to leave my husband behind but I fear if I stayed here any longer I'll die!! Just waiting for the semester to end and Vegas, here I come!

Great experience teaching and met lots of good people (mostly students)--even tried some funny and funky foods but I don't think I'll miss it at all. Sadly, because my husband is Taiwanese, coming back is inevitable but not having a permanent address in country is enough for me--a holiday or two a year is enough for me.

I'm ready for some long drives going from state to state. I need a REAL hot dog sandwich and don't forget Taco Bell! Don't think I'll give that up for a stinky tofu. Maybe I'll miss 7-11...NOT!

Monday, April 24, 2006

rainy monday...

what a dreadful rainy monday in Taiwan. I can't seem to get motivated and I think my class can tell--they all seemed to have fallen asleep on me.

Teaching is not my forte but I can do it...there are days, however, when I just don't feel I can spend another minute in a classroom.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

i'm back...

I have been so busy with my classes and my numerous projects that I've neglected my blog. I've finished a whole semester and now begining a new one as well as traveled to the Philippines since my last entry.

Philippines was great! I had a great time visiting places I used to frequent when I was 6 years ago. One thing I made sure I did while there was to visit my favorite restaurants--wonderful Filipino food! I didn't realize how much I missed the food! I had so much fun, I even purchased land there! I'm planning on having a house built next year on my next visit so I can have sort of like a vacation home.

After more than three years living in Taiwan, I learned to really like the place--especially being so close to the Philippines making the airfare so cheap. The big plus is, it only takes 1 hour and 20 minutes to fly from Taiwan to Manila. The biggest reason why I seldom visit the Philippines is not because I didn't like it but because it takes two days flight from Florida! I really don't like long flights!