Enjoy Thy Youth!

youth

“Even youth shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted” -Isaiah 40:30

Lately, I so feel this…

Felt like I have just crossed that ‘line’, that ‘angle’, that ‘time frame’, and yes that age (if that’s what you’re waiting for to hear hahaha). Some folks may say that age is just but a number.. And that we may continue to be young at heart though our birth certificate says another. But I’ll say that ‘though my spirit is willing, yet my flesh is weak’! 🙂

I’ve recently traveled to the Philippines to work on some papers. This visit necessitated a lot of walking and commuting. There were occasions that I needed to walk my fastest in order to reach my destination on time or if I wanted to avoid the rush hour. Amusingly but true, can’t seem to define the difference between rush hour and non-rush hour anymore! It looks like a trend to be in a rush nowadays! I hope it is only due to the holidays’ season or good heavens can someone please invent the flying jeepneys! By the way, recently making the news was the available service of UberChopper in Manila. You can now travel in-style without being stuck in the road traffic. Minimum charges is around 50 to 70US$ I’ve heard. So if the demand for this service continues to rise, it maybe a good idea to include a helipad when building your home.

And so back to what I’m saying…

I’ve been missing the time when I used to have speed like an athlete (although I’m obviously exaggerating here but it was once true that I walk fast – I can find you some witnesses who can testify if you need me to)! Those were the days when long distance walking was never my issue.  You’re right, those were the days.  Just reminiscing…

We all had those days. When we fought against time because we didn’t wish to slow down. Where our mind and bodies were so prolific that we sometimes forget that our youth is temporary and has its limitations..I want to vouch on what King Solomon once wrote – “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”.

I am sure he had a real good thought about this subject; after all he was one of not only the wealthiest man that had ever lived in this planet, but also the wisest! King Solomon must have lived his life to the fullest and yet, still regarded all his accomplishments seemingly a ‘vanity under the sun’.. he sure had some pretty good reasons too on why he thought so.

He further wrote “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever”. This simply means that, hey you, take notice of your youth! Make sure that it won’t passes you by….

As for me, I may have some regrets and could have done some things differently. But the tons of amazing memories of my youth will last me a lifetime and those I’ll surely hold on to. And so I say to my youth …Au Revoir and I’ll miss you… I’ll never forget our precious times together, and I hope we really did spend it well… Thank you for the company.

And to you who still living your youth; ENJOY IT. It is God’s gift to you. Do not waste it nor ignore it. Spend more time with family and friends. Walk outside. Run. Play. Make memories.Value what really matters.

”Again I saw vanity under the sun; one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, ‘for whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?’… This also is vanity and an unhappy business”. – Ecclesiastes 4:7-8

Images from google

Chicken (Noodle) Soup – An apparent food for the soul

img_20160308_153941.jpg

I’ve just started a new category on this blog called D.I.Y. which stands for Do It Your-Style. In this page, I will be sharing with you anything that has been modified by us from its original version or perhaps some sort of reinventing stuff to suit our tastes, liking, and needs (what I meant by ‘us’ is a joint-effort together with my hubby, my daughter, and myself).  Living in a country far away from home, we sometimes refer on methods on how we traditionally prepare things, especially on food. It’s undeniably a fact that we are a family who loves to eat and enjoy a home-prepared meal together.  And not only that, this also applies to our homeschooling daughter who has recently been exploring on arts, crafts, and cooking where some of the materials/ingredients needed can be way out of our budget. So all the more we see the need to look for affordable alternatives and home-produced as much as possible and still be happy with the results.  This is a real challenge for me as I am not a very creative person but “it’s never too late to explore”, assures my daughter :).

So to begin with our first entry, just recently, all three of us were craving for a hot bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup. My husband often shares stories on how they used to prepare variety of noodle soups in his birthplace in Cambodia. How they garnished it with these spices and that herbs which sounds alien to me as most of them I have no idea about. But his enthusiasm while narrating makes me drool for the finished product most of the time haha!  We assumed that most of those ingredients might not even be available in the local store so we’ve decided to improvise and enjoy a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup, our style!

It’s not really a rocket-science formula in making any noodle soup but only varies on preference. For me, any type of noodles will do, any green, leafy vegetables can be added, and your own choice of chicken stock will justify the taste. Obviously this wasn’t the first time we’ve prepared this type of soup at home. The difference from the usual was that we’ve decided to use fresh noodles which we’ve just grabbed from a local supermarket and it made a big tasty difference! We picked up few type of veggies as well compared to how we stocked up our noodle soup with veg in the past. We also added up on flavor by boiling the stock with cinnamon stick and star anise. Result? Very satisfying!

I used to believe that the more ingredients you put in a soup, the tastier it will become. Being regarded as the ‘Food for the Soul’, it is said to be filling and comforting hence, a bowl should gratify. Until my hubby introduced me to the ‘science of cooking’! On how simple and affordable a dish can become without really populating it with so much elements. It also helps by familiarizing oneself with the ingredients and its effect on the taste especially when using different herbs and spices. Soup is all about the taste of the soup, so that’s where we systematically experimented. I must say, there’s indeed a science in cooking!

Till my next D.I.Y.

Meantime, keep discovering! 🙂 ♥

Weather vs Provision

FB_IMG_1460851069454

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Just my wishful thinking (not really singing a Christmas song) hahaha!

Has been experiencing the heat from the time we’ve arrived in the Philippines and yes, it’s the peak of the summer! The mild breeze hasn’t been making any attempt to ease even a bit of the 40(+ or -) degrees temperature except during the night, where a tiny dose of air brings a slight comfort. When you’re actually stuck in this kind of weather, it might help to meditate on thoughts that will temporarily snatched you, even mentally, from this agonizing heat by being creative in your imagination. Like for example, visualize that you’re soak in a big bucket of ice; swimming in a pool of cold water; or you’re in the movie Frozen, accompanying Anna in the snow-covered mountain searching for her sister, Elsa; or you’re just simply made of snow just like Olaf! Vivid but it does help, at least for me :).

In the middle of this ‘fat melting’ climate is the perk of bathing in cold water which is an all-year-round provision in the Philippines.  The first drop of cold water from the shower already guarantees a refreshing feel and the sure elimination of discomfort. It’s a total yes factor! If only I could stay under the shower the whole day! Of course depending on the water provision and availability, you may either go for quick baths of up to three times a day for an instant relief or a long, rejuvenating bath before retiring for bed! Just an important public reminder – do conserve water. I will leave the ingenuity to you to do so :)!

I’m a firm believer of motivating oneself to find something to be grateful for even in the middle of the most challenging of situations because whether we acknowledge them or not, they do exist. So, we might as well recognize them for good vibes instead of being disheartened while tackling the inevitable. Cold water bath is not a consistent option in the UAE where I am mostly based with my family, and where the water temperature normally coincides with the local weather so for me, having a cold water bath any time of the day especially during the summer is already a treat!

And so, as much as we want to enjoy the beach and hit the pool to alleviate the heat, we may need to postpone it for some other visits.  One of the main reasons why we’re here in the Philippines is to monitor the refurbishment of our house in Bulacan. But you know what, take it from me, never plan a house repair during this time of the year because boy oh boy, it’s torture unless you enjoy being in a sauna! You may ask, “Is there something I should be grateful for in the middle of this sweat-dripping task”? Oh yeah there is; the cement dries faster! 🙂 🙂

In the meantime, I will continue with my ‘mental diversion’ to somewhere more rewarding. Like ATM (at the moment) – visualizing a huge bowl of pomegranate-flavored ice cream!!

Happy Blogiversary, ExpatPinay!

2016-02-28-17.44.29.jpg.jpeg

Yay, congratulations, happy one year blogiversary! Seems like yesterday when you were just being conceived. I didn’t even know what to name you, or what to tell people about you. Not even a single clue on what your journey would be like. But one thing I’m sure of, is that you’re brave and I’m proud of you! ♥

Your first few months were tough. Just like a child on her first day at school; you were alone, confused, curious, fidgety, and unsure of what lies ahead. You gave it a shot anyway and you were in for a surprise. Through this blog you got to meet interesting people, new friends, expats just like you from different parts of the globe, and the most rewarding is getting acquainted with other homeschooling mums, who have certainly helped you a great deal in ‘filling in your homeschooling blanks’! Whew!

When you left the corporate world, you were suddenly a ‘full-timer’ of almost everything. Not that you are complaining of being such, but you long for a fresh challenge – like a new purpose for your being, something that will detach you from your daily norm, a space that you can call your corner, your ‘me-time’. And so, it’s blog time! Some people blog for the money (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – who doesn’t want an extra buck, I do!), but writing became therapeutic for you, an extension of your sanity. And you’re not even a writer! Hahaha! Regardless, I’m so glad you did!

My birthday wish for you? Just keep on writing, make more friends and acquaintances, enjoy your space, and most of all, have fun!

Did you know that your site had been so far visited by 37 different countries, as per your Flag Counter? And as a gesture of appreciation to all those wonderful people, who one way or the other viewed ExpatPinay for the past year, we extend our gratitude by saying THANK YOU in your own language. Some countries share a common or same languages/dialects, hence our thank you had just been combined. A special hug to a good friend, Ms S, who was a big help during the initiation of this blog – thanks for the love and.. , to my forbearing hubby who never complained even during those nights where light has to be on while he sleeps hahahha!

And so, ExpatPinay says thank you.

  • In Arabic              SHUKRAAN
  • In English             THANK YOU
  • In Filipino             SALAMAT
  • In Hindi                 DHANYAVAAD
  • In Urdu                  SHUKRIYA
  • In French             JE VOUS REMERCIE
  • In German          DANKE
  • In Russia              SPA-SEE-BA
  • In Afrikaans        DANKIE
  • In Chinese           XIE-XIE (Mandarin)
  • In Spanish           GRACIAS
  • In Dutch               DANK JE
  • In Taiwanese     TO-SIA / KAM-SIA
  • In Algerian          SAHA / TANEMIRT
  • In Icelandic         PAKKA PER
  • In Cantonese     DOJEH / MGHOI
  • In Irish                  GO RAIBH MAITH AGAT
  • In Italian               GRAZIE
  • In Khmer             ARKOUN
  • In Malay/Indo   TERIMA KASIH
  • In Mauritius        MERCI (BEAUCOUP)
  • In Swedish          TACK
  • In Burmese         KYAAYYUUTAINPARTAAL
  • In Congo              DE RIEN (Ethnic – Lingala)
  • In New Zealand WHAKAWHETAI KOE (Maori)
  • In Austria             MERCI VILMAL (Swiss-German)
  • In Turkish            TESEKKUR EDERIM

 

Let me leave you with a statement from one of my favorite authors, Rick Warren. I hope it will encourage you to pursue your goal, the same way it encouraged me. 🙂

God always operates in your life by faith. That’s why you need goals in your life, because a goal is a statement of faith. A goal says, “I believe God wants me to accomplish something by a certain date”. If you don’t have a date, it’s not a goal. It’s a wish. It’s a dream. It’s a desire. But wishes are a dime a dozen; they’re worthless. The only thing that will change your life is setting a goal. You’ve got to wake up from the dream and go to work!

Acknowledgement to: Google Dictionary for the translations and the image

Expat-Pinay was Nominated!

What!? Got an email from bab.la that this blog has been nominated for Top 100 International Exchange and Expats Blogs 2016 (IX16)! I’m so grateful that my humble blog has been noticed and even more, Expat-Pinay got nominated along with other great travel/community blogs! Wow. I didn’t even know how that happened :). Thanks @bab.la for the nomination.

I do not expect to win and just simply being nominated (for the first time) is already an accomplishment for me! However, one of my favorite rule of the thumbs is, “there’s no harm in trying”! So, I’m asking you all, wonderful people who (still) visit and read my blogs, this is your chance to show little more of your love and vote for Expat-Pinay! ♥

Here’s how:

Voting is easy: just point your cursor to EXPAT-PINAY blog (find it among the lists of nominees as they were arranged on a random order) and a voting button will appear. When you have voted a message will appear that your vote has been counted. VOTE HERE

Voting is possible until February 21st 2016 (23.59 CET). Every user will only be able to vote once: double votes will be removed in the final ranking.

In order to improve my chances of winning, you can of course ask your FB & Twitter friends to vote for EXPAT-PINAY by sharing this post (only if you want to – no pressure 🙂 ).

Thank you in advance everyone! Whether Expat-Pinay made it to this nomination or not, WE’RE ALL COOL, LOVED, AND BLESSED!

 

Countdown to Transition

Just like everyone else, I too, is hoping for a better year in 2016. Better opportunities, better relationships, better decisions to be made, and for my country the Philippines, better election process for 2016, and may the Filipinos vote for better leaders. The promise of a new year; fresh start, clean slate, new beginnings. Just like the excitement of a child when about to unwrap a gift, so as my excitement of what this New Year brings! I am sure a lot of us have already penned down new sets of New Year’s resolutions, faith goals, and some might have updated their bucket lists as well; anything that will pump up our enthusiasm to cheer for 2016! :).

I am so grateful for all the prayers that were answered this year and for those that are still unanswered, including those humbling experiences learned along the way. Unfortunately, this space won’t be enough to encapsulate all the highlights (and the fact that I may bore you 🙂 ). However, as I looked back from the beginning of 2015 till now, personally, I already made a choice on the things that I should hold on against the things that I should not; to keep the ‘healthy’ ones and let go of those that are ‘unhealthy’. The ‘healthy ones’ never fail to remind me that I can hope, I can dream, I can expect, I can desire, but I can’t control. I’m too limited so I should be aware of my place. Most of the challenges I encountered this year occurred when I do things beyond my capacity; when I criticized on things more than I encourage; when I complained more than I acknowledge; when I want to receive more than I want to give. Those were my ‘unhealthy ones’; I need to leave those behind.

better-future-ahead

And so, as we all prepare to welcome another year with a fresh mindset and outlook, I encourage you to pause, weigh, and decide wisely on what to ‘carry along’ with you as we transition from the old year to the new.  Time to segregate the healthy ones from the unhealthy. As we strive for a better 2016, let us also strive for a better ‘us’. Let us once again make an attempt!

Let me leave you with this wonderful reflection from the book of Ecclesiastes.

A wise man once said, “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven; a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. He has made everything beautiful in its time…”

From my family to yours, happy New Year!