Sunday, April 26, 2015

Kathmandu, Some Photos Before and After the Earthquake

I am very sad to see the huge destruction in Kathmandu and other places in Nepal after the magnitude 7.9 earthquake yesterday. I am glad that all my Nepalese friends there were safe, but they were not exactly fine. They could not go home yesterday and have to stay in open areas, in case a round of strong after shocks would shake the ground again.

Below are some before-after photos of Durbar Square, Kathmandu. These two photos were posted and reshared by some friends in fb, and were also used by a NYT article today.


Upper photo from my camera, lower photo from Bigyan Prajapati; not my friend but his photos were shared by some friends in fb. My good friend Charu Chadha of Media 9, which publishes Business 360 and World of Women (WOW) magazines, toured me for half day after I came back from Pokhara.


Below, same photo sources as above, From my camera,  upper photo, and from Bigyan, lower  photo.


My lone solo photo that day. Charu insisted that I should have at least one.

See also my previous articles about Kathmandu and Nepal in this blog:

January 2015: Shangrila Hotel Pokhara, Kathmandu to Pokhara by plane, My great friend Charu, Media 9 People in KTM, Tribhuvan Airport, Grand Hotel KTM.

February 2015: Durbar Square, Swayambhu Temple, Kathmandu from the Air.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Elle and Bien have Moved Up

Finally and officially, Elle Marie has finished Grade 3 and Bien Mary has finished Kinder 1. Going to Grade 4 and Kinder 2 this coming June. Yeheyy! Congrats mga anak.School Directress Cherry Fernandez with School President Audie Gemora giving the  certificates.


From my camera phone, low tech. The bigger, Cannon camera that I  borrowed was not working initially. Other co-parents took photos of Bien and Elle on stage, will make a follow blog post in a few days.


After the Moving Up ceremony, it was time for the arts show of the kids. Elle performed a brief piano number, then her second performance was accompanied by her piano teacher.


The various classes (Nursery, Kinder 1, Kinder 2, Grade schoolers) made various presentations. Elle's class made 2 dance numbers.


The pictorials.




Bien's turn.

Teachers LJ and Fran; piano teacher Ems Alcantara.


Elle, Bien and Mama. Bien's teacher Aika.


The teachers and school officials.


Thank you TSAA. Thank you Teachers LJ, Fran and Aika. Thank you Cherry, other teachers, admin staff, manong guard.

Will post a follow up article soon...
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See also:

TSAA's Family Day, September 13, 2014

Elle Marie and Bien Mary in Christmas 2014, January 04, 2015

Elle and Bien's Moving Up Ceremony Tomorrow, March 26, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bien and Elle's 2 Cats and 2 Puppies

We have four new "members" of the family -- two young cats and two puppies. All from our farm caretakers in Bugallon, Pangasinan. The two kittens were given by Nong Endring while  the two  puppies were from our previous dog Jenny, who was taken cared of by Danny. The kittens have been  with us for about six weeks now, the  puppies for nearly one month now.

Bien sometimes enjoys the antics and plays of the two cats.



But most of the time, she's scared that the cats might accidentally scratch her, so she seldom holds the two felines.


The cats are somehow trained already not to scratch people, or even playful biting.


The two puppies, both black females. Elle Marie is very proud of the two dogs, here taken  two  days ago outside her school. I brought the two dogs so Elle can  show  them once again to  her classmates.


We give the dogs a bath once a week. Elle cuddles the dogs after a bath, covering them with a towel as the dogs still shiver in cold.


She likes holding  the one with partly white feet. She calls her "Sever", I don't know where she got that name.


The puppies playing with Elle, pulling her hair. See Elle's tickled happy face. I love it.


She asks me if she can retain  the two  dogs until they grow big. We've had several pairs of puppies before, about two batches already, but when the puppies grow bigger, they become more noisy and bark louder. So I brought them to  the farm and help guard my treehouse there.


So this time, Elle wants assurance that the two puppies will not go to the farm when  they grow big. Still a question  mark for me. :-)
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See also:

Elle Marie and Bien Mary in Christmas 2014, January 04, 2015

Elle and Bien's Moving Up Ceremony Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Elle Marie will finally and officially complete her Grade 3 schooling. And Bien Mary will also complete her Kinder 1 schooling. Meaning by June this year, Elle will go to Grade 4 and Bien will go to Kinder 2, and Grade 1 the next year.

Time has wings, and  I am  happy that the two girls are growing taller, bigger, prettier and smarter. Below are the portfolio of the two girls in their school, The School for Academics and Arts (TSAA), given last week during the once a sem Parents-Teachers Conference (PTC). Bien's portfolio was made by her sister while Elle's, she did it by herself. All artworks :-)


Some photos of Bien in her portfolio, prepared by her Teacher Aika Johnson, a young, pretty and dedicated teacher.



And this is what Teacher Aika Johnaon can  say about Bien. First page of her 3-pages narrative report-assessment. "This active little girl can deal with Math concepts just as easily deciding colors and materials for her artworks." Wow. That's my cute little girl.


For Elle Marie, her two sisters made a good note in their Final Narrative Report, that she is a "budding writer and visual artist in the class." Nice Elle. But we need to  help her further in her readings.


Some of the artworks of Elle. Her photos were taken and pasted here by her two teachers.


Elle loves drawing, painting, designing. She says that among  her ambitions someday, is to become a fashion designer, or a painter.




Elle wrote her ambition here...


Sige lang mga anak, kakayod tayo to give you a good future.
Meanwhile, me and  your Mama are very excited for your Moving Up Ceremony and arts performance tomorrow, along  with your classmates.
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See also:
The School of Academics and Arts, July 07, 2014

TSAA's Family Day, September 13, 2014

Elle Marie's 8th Birthday Party, October 10, 2014

Bien Mary's 4th Birthday Party, October 10, 2014

Bien's Halloween Party at Kids Playlab Preschool, October 26, 2014

Elle Marie and Bien Mary in Christmas 2014, January 04, 2015

Jeju Island, S. Korea

Almost two years ago, I attended the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, a 2 1/2 days conference in  the southern island of Jeju, South Korea. That was around May 29-31, 2013. Thanks to EFN Asia for that opportunity.

A day after the conference, June 01, 2013, the conference sponsors organized a free half-day tour of the island. Jeju may look small  on the map  but it is a big island, with many mountains, hills, meadows, flat lands, long coastal areas. We went to this area, the Yongnuni Oreum.


A guide explained to us the landmarks, some history of the place.


There are several hills to climb. The trail is not hard because there are mats that control or prevent soil erosion and degradation of the footpath.


In areas that are more steep, the mats are thicker. I like the wooden barriers here.


Many parts of the island are rocky. So the construction of rock walls is common in some parts of the road, or as fence and dividers among houses.


Overlooking a hill, then a valley, then another hill.


The hills are simply covered by grasses, not trees. I think trees cannot thrive naturally on those hills because they are rocky and have thin topsoil. Like the summit area of Mt. Apo in Davao and Mt. Pulag in Benguet, Philippines.


Trees thrive in gulleys and the lowlands, where there is thicker topsoil and can support the needs of thick and elaborate roots of the trees.


It is also good that trees do not thrive on the hills, otherwise they will block the view of the surrounding areas. Trees in the lowland  is great and perfect.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Marriage is a Sentence. A Life Sentence

That's one of the marriage jokes that have been around since time immemorial. And more:

(1) On the first year of marriage, the man talks, the woman listens.
On the second year, the woman talks, the man  listens.
On the third year, they both talk, the neighbors listen.

(2) On the first year of marriage, magkasama kumain sa isang plato.
On the second year, magkahiwalay na kumain sa kanilang plato.
On the third year, batohan na ng plato.
Yan ang tinatawag na "platonik love".

(3) Man sitting at home drinking cold beer with his wife beside him, says "I love you."
Wife: Is that you or the beer talking?
Man: No, it's me talking to the beer.


(4) Husband: Honey, you are the music of my life.
Wife: Really, why do you say that?
Husband: Because you have a Flat head and a Sharp tongue.


(5) A man was throwing knives at his wife's picture, and all were missing target. Suddenly he received a call from his wife who asked him what he was doing. He replied, "Just missing you."

(6) Husband: Hello, what are you doing, my darling?
Wife: I'm dying.
H: (jumping with joy) How can I live without you?
W: You idiot! I'm dying my hair!


(7) Man 1: Pare, tinatakot ako ng misis ko, humihingi ng sustento.
Man 2: Di ba matagal na kayong hiwalay?
Man 1: Yun nga eh. Pag di daw ako magbigay, babalik daw sya sa akin!


(8) Mrs.: Honey, bago mo ko naging asawa, ilan ang chicks mo?
Mr.: Seselos ka lang, hwag na.
Mrs.: Sige na!
Mr.: Kulit mo ah. O sige. There was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ikaw, then 7, 8,...


(9) Anak: Nay, tutoo ba yong kasabihang "first love never dies"?
Nanay: Aba oo. Tingnan mo yang tatay mo, hanggang ngayon buhay pa ang animal.

(10) Dok: May taning na ang buhay mo.
Patient: Wala na bang pag-asa dok? Ano pa pwede ko gawin?
Dok: Meron pa. Mag asawa ka ng pangit at bungangera.
Patient: Gagaling po ba ako don?
Dok: Hindi, pero mas gugustuhin mo pang mamatay kesa mabuhay.


hehehe.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Hong Kong from the Air

I have been flying to Hong Kong almost yearly since 2007, mainly to attend conferences and/or meetings. But I have not taken photos of the city from the air. Either I fly out at night, or it's cloudy, or I forgot to bring out my camera.

Last January 15, 2015, on my connecting flight going home (Kathmandu-Hong Kong-Manila), I readied my camera. I sat on the left side of the plane, away from the wings. Below, this could be Kowloon side, facing HK island.


The seaport at the lower portion, below.


Close up of the seaport. Thousands of containers come in and go daily here.



Hong Kong islaand, the main commercial area.



I cannot recognize where the IFC tower is. Could be somewhere to the left or right of this mountain.


That long stretch of land, could be the old airport. The new airport at Lantau island has been used more than  a decade ago.


Could be in the Tung Chau area.


And the outer islands and islets. Towards the South China Sea.


See also:

Harbour Grand Hong Kong, Part 3, November 03, 2014

The Link's Fresh Market, Hong Kong, November 16, 2014