Having a ball in the Philippines



Since arriving in Manila, I have had a ball, in bed!  It’s only today that I have started recovering, thanks to the anti-allergy and Vitamin C tablets prescribed by the doctor!  It was the usual case of allergy against pollution and dust which is very common among balikbayans (homecoming overseas Filipinos) who come from clean-air environment such as the Americas and Europe. Hence, I advise everyone to start taking Vitamin C long before you fly home.   It enhances the body’s immune system and essential for defending it against pollution. (I told you, this thread covers all topics under the sun including Health and Medicine!)

Now for the real ball!  H is joining me in January and  I’ve been busy organising our itinerary for trips to Cebu, Bohol and Dumaguete.  We are both excited and looking forward to some snorkeling and eco-touring. We’ve been to Coron, Palawan before and the beauty of the islands and the people are forever etched in his memory!  I can’t wait for January and take note, he will bring our brand new Canon EOS40D of 10 megapixels, hurray! Move aside Nikon Coolpix 5700 (5mp)!  Finally our dream to upgrade our 5-year old hybrid camera has been realized!  The continuous shooting mode of the 40D would be perfect for the dolphin-watching in Bohol!

H adores the Philippines but not Manila.  He cannot stand the traffic, pollution and the crowd.  I chose Bohol, Cebu and Dumaguete because they are within short ferry rides to each other, and Dumaguete reminds me so much of Penang, Malaysia, a garden city by the sea.

Another reason why my homecoming is a ball. we had our grand reunion with my high school class/batchmates of X years ago!  If I was not homebound the past few days due to allergy, my face would have been a permanent feature in our high school website where photos of the daily gatherings are posted!  Add to that the invites of my ex-officemates and other friends to their Christmas parties.  The spirit is willing but the body can only take so much


Going home

It’s that time of the year again when I have to take my annual leave to spend the holiday season with my family.   Hopefully, amidst those most-eagerly awaited filipino delectables and the noise and excitement of being surrounded by family, i can still gather my thoughts and write some observations about the Philippines (as i did last year!)

and for my last post this year, from Europe, here are pics of Leicester:


clockwise from top right:
– the white paint next to the natural brick colour on this building tells of two separate terrace houses. terrace housing originated in England in the the late 17th century. here, a row of identical or mirror-image houses share side walls.
– the restaurant, Marquis Wellington, founded in 1907
– bay windows, typically English, are often associated with Victorian architecture. the main purpose is to let in more light into the building.
– what a mansion!


despite the absence of a cross, you can always tell a building if it was a church or not, . this one is now a day centre. the stained glass feature is perfect for waking up the artistic passions of the little tots!


I guess, december 1 in the UK is the start of every christmassy activity which is geared towards everyone digging deep into his/her pockets. here seen infront of the town hall are carollers singing for some charitable organisation


the cemetery grounds of the abandoned Gothic church next to us is now the refuge of squirrels. everytime we walk past, we see them scurrying around looking for food! this one is about a foot long and he actually stopped to pose for the camera!

Shopping in Nice

Nice is a beautiful city…it’s the second most visited city in France, after Paris.

When you visit, try going in July/August.  I know they are madly crowded months but it’s exactly the crowd you will enjoy watching – from the backpackers to the filthy rich, from the slobs (the tourists usually) to the most fashionable!  Also check the colorful markets and the many concerts and operas.

Take the train journey.  It’s the most awesome way to see the coastal landscape, the mountains and the medieval villages.


you can climb the hill on the left to see one of the most beautiful panoramas in the world





Limone, Italy

We’ve been to Limoné today! This italian skiing resort never ceases to pump our excitement level, not only the snow but even the food!  Even the simplest grilled aubergine, canneloni and lamb stew taste so perfect in the mouth! And the women are so fashionable.  Everything in Italy is so good!

Mariadams: Italy! oh my goodness!! I just love this country!  what are we doing in Leicester?
Hubby: to earn money so we can pay all these trips!


sipping coffee al fresco amidst the snow…i just love that!   

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it was 7degC but the sun was really shining!                                  snow all over the place

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fashionable mummy and fashionable baby..                             two fashionable babies..
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the ski map of limone and limonetto                                            a paticceria….

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scouting for a place to eat…                                                               that’s the holly tree in the foreground

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an iceberg in limoné!                                                                         winter plants for sale!…

respect nature…


this is what greeted us at the Italian side of the kilometer long French-Italian tunnel/border.
what we cannot fathom is…at the french side, it was all green, and not a single drop of snow!


thank goodness, it’s sunday today! the owner of this car didn’t have to drive to work !!

Lunch a la Provencal

We were in Provence but did not stay long because  it was pouring with rain all day long so we decided to drive to the Alpes Maritimes which is surprisingly dry but still cold.  We go to Limoné (Italy) tomorrow for our Sunday out and will look for that solid hot chocolat!

Here are photos of our provençal lunch today:


 dorade grillé (grilled dorade) courgette quiche, potatoes, tomato sauce with thyme and rosemary

my favorite dessert: nougat glacé (nougat ice cream)


my noisette (small coffee with nut-size of milk)