Update from Alabang, Muntinlupa, Philippines with Love

Finding time to write down my thoughts has been a luxury since moving continents and countries, hence, the limited update on the blog. Writing will always be a top, personal luxury. In the midst of heavy traffic and noise in Metro Manila, I’d recall that peaceful time spent in Ghent wherein I’d wake up, prepare and have breakfast with Yoyo, clean and organize the flat a bit, sit down, browse through the internet, open my website, start writing, have a coffee/wine break, publish post, and then take a bus to the small vegetable shop in Vrijdagmarkt to prepare for dinner. The entirety without much sound unless I put my earphones on, which I hardly do because I fell hard, head over heels for silence. Such thoughts make me warm and fuzzy with gratitude. But I am also not forgetting the constant cold weather and I snap back to tropical glory.

Moving back to my home country, Philippines, one might readily assume I easily adjusted. I did. It’s more so the fact that I am living in Muntinlupa, south of Manila, that initially bothered me. It doesn’t bother me anymore. Almost four months since I arrived from France, the only major obstacle I face here, only because it happens on a daily basis, is the noisy, lingering neighbors’s maids that happen to congregate just outside our apartment because there is a small shop (sari-sari store) right in front of us. The leader of the pack is the always provocatively dressed transsexual maid who is in-charge of the sari-sari store, who calls everybody baby and curses everyone a whole lot just the same. Her sidekick is a middle-aged woman who wears tight and skimpy shorts, carrying an aggrieved facial expression even while smoking and she smokes all the time. Both are quite a hefty source of hyena laughs. With all due respect to hyenas, I can’t accustom myself to hyena laughter just yet. The third neighboring maid is a girl in her early 20s who blasts the radio as soon as her employer leaves for work in the morning. If the intent is for everyone in the neighborhood to hear her type of sappy radio music, she hits that goal every single day.

Other than these daily nuisances, it’s good to be home. Speaking the local language seals the deal for me. I have long missed being able to overhear and understand people’s random and odd conversations in public places. Some are downright hilarious, like an apparently gay guy supposedly talking to his yaya over the phone while we were inside the uber-crowded PNR from Alabang to Makati. He was giving instructions to his yaya to call a certain “attorney” and to tell Maricel to fetch him in a particular PNR station. How the guy was repeatedly saying the word “yaya” with a certain accent sounded so telenovela-ish, thus, particularly hilarious to me.

Unexpectedly and fortunately, the internet at home is very agreeable that we could’t feel the speed difference between this and the one we had back in Belgium. This one is almost half the price, too! I was able to download the full season two of House of Cards without trouble in a day, which is happiness if you ask me.

Speaking of happiness, I’ve been trying out so many new things and each is making me happy. A classmate back in graduate school and I would’ve had a more thrilling conversation over Phantasmagoria had I known the great feeling of trying out something new each time.

I baked baguette for the first time yesterday and french Yoyo approves of the taste and texture. I also did my discovery SCUBA dive last weekend with the best-vibed people ever. I tried surfing in Boracay last month and that was a bomb because I was able to balance my way through the water with the board more than a few times. And more importantly, I now know how to make an almost-perfect chocolate cake! But I’ve yet to learn how to swim and do a regular workout/sport activity. Bring it all on, life! Yes, including an eardrum-busting, Aegis song slayer maid to the Azkals in my background as I write. More of this, less writing. Don’t say you haven’t been warned, life!

Surfing 101 at bora (with a paddle board still counts!).

Surfing 101 at bora (with a paddle board still counts!).

bora beach

Boracay beach.

gyros at bora

Le bakasyunista!


Diving spot; Bauan, Batangas, Philippines.

baguette 2

Homemade baguette!

baguette 1

Plus homemade jam!

chocolate cake

Is not equal to gateau chocolat.


Great things come from a cozy workplace, our living room!


Embracing my new city, Muntinlupa, Philippines.

Noise, maids, blasted radios, beach. Welcome to the Philippines!