Well, we just got back from an extended vacation in the Philippines. We stayed there from the end of November to past the middle of March. It was supposed to be a business/pleasure trip that would get us away from the ravages of a Minnesota winter and hopefully accomplish a lot at the same time. Unfortunately, when we arrived back here on March 19th, it was 12 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of the day, -6 the next morning and we had six foot snow piles in our yard. Somebody forgot to tell old man winter that it was supposed to be spring by then.
The really bad news was that my optimistic plans to do business in the Philippines were quickly dampened after one disappointment following another occurred there. I might go into an extended explanation for what I consider to be a terrible business climate there despite all of the current hype to the contrary in a future blog but right now I really don’t feel like being that negative. I am just glad to be back home in one piece after a physically and mentally draining vacation?
After eleven days of suffering through what at one point I wondered might be a terminal case of jetlag, we both seem to be getting back a little energy but are still not totally out of the woods yet. My brother who flies a lot, told me that it usually takes about one day of recovery for each hour of time zone difference so hopefully one more day and we will be fine. For those of you who have never suffered from jetlag, let me just say this, jetlag is a B…H. If you are planning an overseas trip, you should make sure you don’t have a lot on your plate right after you get back.
There really were some bright spots that happened during our trip. I have been having severe dental deterioration over the last couple of years and needed extensive work that would have cost me from $10,000 to $20,000 here in the US. I wanted to wait till I got to the Philippines before I decided what I really wanted to have done and ended up getting all of my problems fixed there for about $900. I had seven teeth filled, six pulled and a partial upper and lower plate fitted and delivered.
The work was excellent and the dentist was the best I have ever gone to. The amount we saved on dentistry alone more than paid for the entire trip. She was a friend of my wife and she also ended up being our landlord for some brand new apartments that she and her husband were just finishing up while we were there. They are easily the nicest by far of any fully furnished apartments we looked at. The pictures here show what nice work they did. The outside shot was taken before the nice decorative railing was installed just before we left.
Carol, our dentist and landlord, treated us more like her own personal guests than clients. We were invited to multiple parties and dinners at her house and met many of their friends while there. She and her husband and their hospitality were by far the best part of our entire trip.
house for rent
Very spacious newly built fully furnished studio type apartments for rent in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte, Philippines for only 15,000 pesos a month. The building is located along the highway in Cabadbaran City. It is close to the bus and van terminals bound for Surigao and Butuan cities. It is also close to the grocery store and a wet market where you can find freshly caught fish & produce. Across from the apartments is a big house also for rent. Both the apartment building and the house are in a gated compound. It is a two storey house with four big bedrooms, ideal for a big family or a group of friends who are vacationing in the area. For more information, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Carol at +639198910000. More pictures can be found here.
* fully airconditioned
* cable TV
* hot & cold showers
* table & chairs
* beds (queen or king size)
We just celebrated my hubby’s first Christmas in the Philippines. It seemed like he enjoyed the holiday celebration even though we both got sick several times. My cousin and her kids from Guam were able to spend a few hours with us on Christmas day. We did not roast a pig on Christmas because we just had one the week before. My father threw a Thanksgiving party for us after my sister and her family arrived from Germany. Since we still had a lot of roasted pig left over at that time, my folks decided to butcher the only goat they had left. My cousin cooked some delicious goat recipes and one of them was goat afritada. Christmas is also my father’s birthday so it is always a dual celebration for our family.
A beautiful gown is measured not just by how the front side looks, but also how the backside appears. In the same way, a wedding’s success is measured up until its tiniest details, not just what immediately appears to the eyes. I have attended several weddings before. Some are beautiful, while others may pass a fair rating. But it was just recently, in a friend’s wedding, that I was totally wowed. This one is incomparable. The rest could never come close to this. Everything, when I say everything I mean everything, was beautiful and well-coordinated, even the wedding garter. Who would have thought that a wedding garter styled to your taste and well-matched to the wedding’s theme, can enormously add up to the entirety of the whole celebration. The best thing is that the bride gets to keep one of the Wedding garters! Could it get any better than this?
inside of the store
I and my younger brother, Bong, took charge of my mother’s mini store today. My hubby, my brother and I were left at home because my folks went to the city to pick up my sister, my brother in-law and my three year old niece who were arriving from Germany. They will get here to the village early this afternoon. The house will be packed with many people and at least two precocious toddlers. My three year old nephew from the city will also be staying with us over the holidays so he and his cousin will get to bond.
It is now my turn to sit in the store. It is around noon so it is not as busy as it was this morning. I picked the non busy store hours because I don’t know the prices of things yet. Usually if I don’t know the price of a certain product, I ask the customer. My mother doesn’t like me doing that because I could get ripped off by a dishonest customer. I am aware of the problem but sometimes I get tired of calling someone to ask for the prices, especially if they are in the back of the house.
Wedding flutes are must have celebratory accessories for your big day. When my hubby and I got married, we had wedding toasting flutes. The wedding flutes that we had were not personalized. The resort where our wedding took place provided them for us. Had I known that I could personalized wedding flutes with our names and wedding date etched, I would definitely have done that. Wedding flutes are probably one of the accessories on my wedding that I would like to spend money on because they were useful. When we renew our vows, I will definitely have personalized wedding flutes and will also pay close attention to other wedding details.
When my hubby and I got married seven years ago, we had small ceramic jewelry boxes as our wedding favors. There was a small picture of us on the inside and the outside was decorated with purple laces. I still have a few of our personalized wedding favors left over and I have been using them as my personal jewelry boxes.
Wedding favors are the little take-home tokens of appreciation commonly given to your guests. They can be decorative or practical, modest or elaborate; the choice is yours to make. Mine were on the practical side. I think the jewelry boxes were a great way to share our memories with our guests because they were useful and long lasting. There was nothing special about our wedding favors but they complimented my wedding style, simple yet elegant.