Saturday, October 30, 2004

and so I ate met banana....

We met through blogging and became friends. We have some things in common - filipina and living in S.Korea.

After a two hour drive to Seoul and a subway ride, I finally got to meet Anna! She is extremely nice and of course pretty :)

Her husband J is nice too and quiet like L.

Aren't we good looking couples :)

We meet her friends too. Everyone shared stories of their experiences in Korea, Philippines, Canada and the US, while we indulged ourselves in Anna's delicious foods..... kaldereta, chopsuey, lumpiang shanghai and pansit(oh how i missed all these). She's a good cook eh!

Buyeo is very far from Seoul, so as much as we would have liked to stay, we had to leave early. Although it was just a short time, we did have some fun!

Friday, October 29, 2004

The 10 Life Laws

If you have watched Oprah previously you know who Dr Phil is. I'm not a big fan but I had watched him then and seen a few of his own shows too. He is blunt, but he helps people and makes some good points. Albeit criticized by many, (not so good reviews) he can be reasonable enough to let people admit when they are wrong.

Here's The 10 Life Laws of Dr. Phil McGraw.

1. You either get it, or you don't.
Dr. Phil is telling us that we need to understand why we do things or don't do things. Only then can we decide what to change, how to change it and whether it is even worth changing.

This is the very underpinning of self-help. For instance, there are a thousand things any of us can do to become happier. Only by understanding what makes us act the way we do, can we determine how much effort it would take to make a particular change.

2. You create your own experience.
It is easy to blame others for our state of being, our position in society and for poor relationships. Dr. Phil is making it clear that we have the right and the power to take charge and make our life what we want it to be.

I believe that we control as much of our life as we want to. The choice is ours. Enough complaining about what makes us unhappy... we can do something to increase our happiness.

3. People Do What Works.
You have to create your own motivation, and it has to be strong enough to leave your comfort zone and make the changes you need.

For instance, how many people do you know who are stuck in a job they don't like or have simply outgrown? They want out but... What keeps them there? Simple. They are stuck in a comfort zone, and the payoff is that they don't have to worry about the risks of change.

4. You can't change what you don't acknowledge.
Perhaps the toughest of Dr. Phil's laws. It is tough because we often make excuses for our behaviors. We don't want to admit to others or to ourselves that we have a problem.

Whether it is an addiction, a bad habit, a character weakness or a fear that haunts you, the first step is to admit the problem. Acknowledge what is not working in your life.

That's why sometimes it helps to talk to our journal when expressing feeling out loud is too difficult.

5. Life rewards action.
So you've set a goal, you've made your plans, and you are all ready to taste success. Why is it not happening yet? Dr. Phil says it is because we left out the most important part - action!

This is the biggest weakness of the self-help movement. Lot's of pretty words, but precious little action. We need to move beyond motivation and prepare an individual action plans.

6. There is no reality, only perception.
This is a really hard to grasp, since our perceptions always seem so real.

Of course, there is a reality. The sun shines, whether we perceive it to be a wonderful, bright day or a dreadfully hot day. But our experience, our emotions, our results are determined by that filter of how we perceive the sun.

Perception is a choice, whether conscious or not. If there is one thing you can do for yourself, starting now, is to decide to perceive things positively. You will be amazed what a wonderful world this is when you become 100% committed to viewing it that way.

7. Life is managed, not cured.
Dr. Phil is telling us very directly that there is no cure for life. If you keep looking for one, you won't see what the good self-help books really have to offer: strategies for managing life.

Too many people look to self-help books to "cure" them of a fear or a depression or an addiction or whatever haunts them.

If, for instance, you were born or developed over-abundant energy, learn how to channel it to help others rather than annoy them. If you have a food addiction, learn techniques to turn your attention to the right foods. If you have a fear, learn how to overcome the fear (feel the fear and do it anyway) or how to keep away from what causes the fear.

In the end, what counts is your life. Some is good, some not. If you can manage it well, life will be much more pleasant than if you chase after some magic cure that simply does not exist.

8. We teach people how to treat us.
Have you ever taught a dog to obey a command? Dr. Phil McGraw is saying that humans are not that different. We respond to rewards and threats. When a result feels good, we are likely to repeat it. When it feels bad, we are less likely to repeat it.

Every time we react to what somebody else says or does, we are teaching her how to treat us. If you don't like how somebody is treating you, you can curse and blame...or you can retrain that person.

This is an area that might require professional help to explain what reactions you need to make in order to train the other person. But, just like with good dog obedience school, you will be training yourself at the same time.

Are you ready to train?

9. There is power in forgiveness.
We all carry with us baggage from everything we have experienced, including resentment or even anger. This is heavy baggage to bear, and Dr. Phil thinks we should unload it through forgiveness.

Forgiveness opens the way to reduced stress, better health, peace and, of course, much more happiness in life.

Perhaps you resent something your parents did or didn't do. You can do nothing to change what has happened. But you can forgive them. You can release the anger. You can release YOURSELF from the chains of anger.

Forgive and fly free.

10. You have to name it to claim it.
It is amazing what power language grants us. It language that allows us to formulate ideas and share them with others. Dr Phil tells us to put a specific label on what we want.

"I want to be happier" is not very specific. "I want to receive support from friends when I announce plans I have" is a much more specific goal. More specific still is "I want my friends to help me stick to my diet".

The more specific, the more likely you will succeed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Halloween Cometh

halloween countdown - 5 more days to go! even the dogs are ready to go trick or treating :)

While other countries such as the US and the Philippines are celebrating halloween, it's sad to say there's no such holiday here. Not a lot of korean are familiar with Halloween; young people who learn English may know about it.

In the US when October rolls around, the signs of the approach of Halloween are obvious everywhere; stores begin to carry halloween candies, costumes, and other paraphernalia. Stores and houses begin to decorate for the holiday with skeletons, ghosts and witches, black cats, bats, fake spider webs, gravemarkers, and jack o' lanterns. On October 31st millions of children and adults don costumes that range from the frightening to the fanciful and either take to the streets, go to a mall or other "safe" place to go for "Trick or treating", or they go to parties to celebrate the occasion. I remember last year, jokingly L said I could go trick or treating, since I'm short once wear the costume it won't be obvious :)

It may not be cool weather with colored leaves, but Halloween is celebrated in the Philippines too. Children can do some "trick or treating" in some residential areas where American expatriates live, who brought the practice there. Ofcourse during these times most Filipinos observe this holiday religiously, the All Saint's Day and All Soul's day, wherein we remember the dead. I grew up with the practice of lighting a candle in front our door at night and play with it, till it's melted. In the morning everyone goes to the cemetery to clean the graves, and decorate them with flowers, some people stay overnight. While the purpose is somber, the effect is a picnic, full of merrymaking and laughter. During these times I just stay at home and watch on tv how crowded cemeteries are, while I indulge in a delicious "biko" (rice cake) that ma, usually prepare for this season.

Saturday, October 23, 2004


Saturday! when we woke up it's almost time to meet L's student. They had planned to drive us to Gunsan and shop at the nearest mall. We went to E-Mart, seems to be like Wal-Mart, but more upscale. We're able to buy some stuff. I got hat, scarf and gloves - ready for winter!

After some shopping and exploring around, the couple invited us to dinner. They said we're going to a western style restaurant. On our way, I am already thinking of juicy steaks, tender chicken, yummy fries, and traditional, all-American burgers!

We went to a typical western style korean restaurant, Solneum. A beautiful restaurant, with a log house concept, very pretty from the outside and a relaxing ambience inside. It has a cool and lazy atmosphere, perfect setting for a nice dinner. The menu offers western and italian foods, which makes my mouth watery! The husband says, for L to order what he likes and no problem with the cost. What do you know, he ordered the most expensive king crab!

Well, we did enjoy the foods specially the waiter stood beside and help us with the crab the whole time. He pulled it apart, split it over into pieces and serve it leg by leg, how nice of him!

Our group picture is kinda blurry, but you can tell we all had a good time :)

Here's their son, he's cute and chubby :)

Friday, October 22, 2004

love hurts......

I just finished talking to a friend, she broke up with her long time boyfriend! I was astounded, never knew it would happen! Their relationship gone so far, infact, longer than my marriage with L. She was extremely broken hearted, torn-apart and feel like the world crumbling beneath her. I know there's no comforting words right now, the pain is so deep that she have trouble thinking of anything else. She feels like not matter to anyone and that there is no more hope. It hurts to hear her cry and I feel her pain, how I wish to be near and just hug her tight.

She was weeping really piteously and in between sobs, she asked me "how to mend a broken heart?" hmmm, been there, than that......

We all suffer from a broken heart at one time or another during the course of a lifetime. Some say a heartaches cannot, in all honesty, be completely mended, only sutured. I told her healing a broken heart will take time, but is not impossible, though it may feel that way at the time. It is never an easy process to go through, and it's perfectly normal to feel sad and cry. It's understandable if you grieve all your own, however it is healthy if you talk it out with friends, like we did. It will mend your heart quicker because you will release the thoughts and facts that are hurting you so much. Learn to forgive, to accept, and finally letting go and moving on.....

Ofcourse, I reminded her that love is a wonderful feeling (which she just experienced) and should not be generalized based from past experiences. Love may hurt at times, but it never hold grudges, infact, it's patient and kind.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

"daughters are angels"

The temperature's slowly dropping and it gets cooler everyday. I started to dig on my heavier clothes, when I came across this stuff toy. This was given by mother in-law before I leave from US. Actually I got other stuff toys from her but this is my favorite that I decided to bring it with me. She got it from crackerberrel gift shop, one day after the three of us (dad) had breakfast at the restaurant.

We look around the store and I figure she got some stuff for her students. We're heading out the door when she handed me a paper bag, I was astonished! Having no idea what it was, when I saw it was I was taken aback, was speechless, got misty-eyed, and all I did was hug each of them. There are no words to described how I felt at that very moment.

I also got these precious stones from them. Mom gave me love and strength from dad. It aches when I leave and said goodbye, because I know for sure I am going to miss them; and I did!

One thing I am thankful in life are my parent in-laws. Around them I don't feel being an outsider, not even the sensation of being an intruder into a family system, nor the need to act in a conventional manner.

They accepted me as a person, and as a daughter. Ofcourse they are not my family of origin, that I'm clear on how much to tease and whether or not to mention how much something cost, but I love them so much!

Dad is awesome, smart, considerate, funny, and generous father-in-law. Mom is thoughtful, entertaining, easy to talk and always ready to help to someone in need. I always tell hubby that he and his brother W are lucky to have such parents, and I guess I'm one extra blessed person to be part of their family.

The only drawback to having such a great parents-in-law is, that it's hard to repay them for all the wonderful things they does for me :)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

brain hiccups

deja vu, does it happens to you? an uncanny feeling of having experienced something but being unable to recall if exactly happened, or if a previous incident, you wonder when and where.

After my dental appointment we wandered around downtown and L end up with a nice jacket. On our way home I saw a fancy store, been meaning to get hair clips for my short hair so we stop by. I was heading down the counter when colorful dangled earrings on the wall attract my attention. It was kinda weird because these kinds of stuff never facinates me at all or much to try them. I don't know what gotten into me that I end up trying one, and as soon as I put on the trinket, swayed my head with adornment, right there and then it happened! was I been there before, does the same situation previously occurred or it was just a segments of my dreams, anyhow, it's strange, unexplainable....

I remember a couple of times L asked me if I ever experienced deja vu, because it happens to him for a few times. But I dont pay much attention to it, now I can say, been there, feel that. Anyway I buy the earrings, will keep it as a souvenir and a connotation for my first time ever deja vu.

As I search the net about deja vu, I found a whole lot of explanation here's one,

"friend who is a psychiatrist, as I once asked him his thoughts on Deja-Vu. He explained it to me as an electrical impulse misfire in our brain. Actually he used the term hiccup to dumb it down for me. He said he believes our brain "hiccups" and makes our current situation feel already played out in our brain. Thats the science excuse. Personally when I have deja-vu, I realize I am experiencing something I had already dreamed, similar to the theory given earlier."

I must've a brain hiccups when I swayed my head :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

for a reason....

Everything happens for a reason, or so I tell myself. That is the only explanation I have for where I am and what I feel today. I feel weird, I am bored. I am truly bored. *Sigh*

I know what I feel right now translates into worries and into depressions.

I guess I am just going through a very very weird time in my life. Something you want so badly it makes you think weird things in weird ways. And when things don't happen the way you want them to, you have no idea WHAT to think. And you're left figuring out where the step is...

I want some chages, I need to make some major changes, and soon. I just wish I knew where to begin.....*Sigh*

Saturday, October 09, 2004

I love weekends! L and I can do stuff together, walk around, dine and shop... basically we just enjoy the day. We usually make a trip to the nearby cities since there's not much around here in small town of Buyeo, except ofcourse for the many Cultural Heritages.

Anyway as we walk along the downtown of Daejeon, we heard a loud music coming from the corner of the street we're heading. Alas! this is what we found.

Girls with sexy outfit dancing and singing on the street. Here in Korea, this is one way of advertising a newly opened stores or chains. Naturally, a loud music with girls in skimpy attire would attract attentions. Most of the men accross the street are so amused watching them, including us :) while some are taking pictures or video through their cellphones, here's my share of the view. Hey it's not an easy job! It was down to 60F, people are wearing longsleeves & jacket, and they are wearing tiny clothes on a windly afternoon.

One of L's student from hogwan (english academy) drop by and personally delivered a couple of big octopuses. Apparently L mentioned something about craving for an octopus, so here's what he got :)

It looks yummy, can't stop myself from taking pictures :) I boiled it with salt and pepper for 5 min or until sure it's not gummy anymore. Then we indulged ourselves on it with red pepper sauce and kimchi, hot and spicy but yummy :)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

dentist appointment part 2

Apparently my last dental visits didn't work, (wherein the cavity had been filled) it still hurts like hell!!!! We went back the other day, and the dentist adviced me to start using straw on cold drinks for three weeks. If by that time I am still in pain, he'll do a root canal. fu#$*&%! sh*%$! 3 weeks of suffering! I can't even brush my teeth without feeling pain!

We decided to come back after 2 days, I can't wait anymore the pain is unbearable . The first part of the rooth canal procedure started today, there'll be four sessions for it to finish. Once everyhing is completed a new crown will be place on the tooth. This will cost some hundrend of thousands won, well, that can wait but not the pain I feel right now. Anyway, after 3 shots, drilling, grinding, filling, I'm done for the day. And yes, my right jaw feels heavy and numb!

dentist: what will be your lunch today? (in korean accent)
me: (having a hard time to talk, almost bitten my tongue cause of numbness) hm, maybe chicken salad.
dentist: do you know Seolleong-tang it's a beef soup, it's good have you tried it?
me: no (wondering...)
dentist: I'll treat you to lunch, we'll eat seolleong-tang. Is that fine? (looking at L)
L: oh sure that's fine (with wide smile)
me: ah.. er, I don't think I can eat right now (indicating my jaw)
dentist: oh yes you can it's just a soup (with wide smile too)

It took about 5 min drive to the seolleong-tang restaurant.

Funny but how many people in this world would encountered such, a dentist invited you to eat after the procedure, and he'll pay! the answer? it's because of L. Like I said before, for koreans meeting, being or talking to a foreigner is a novelty. Most of the people we meet here would like to treat or invite us to their houses. It's hard to tell if there's sincerity or it's just a gestures, but the fact that they are friendly is a nice thought for us :)

Sunday, October 03, 2004

"Ain't no mountain high
Ain't no valley low
Ain't no river wide enough"

We went hiking up the mountain today. I don't exactly know what it's called, but the mountain is just a few minutes walk from where we live. I was rather apprehensive about the whole plan because even if its sunny, too chilly to walk. The temperature might go down to 50F once we reach the top. But L is really motivated to go and been meaning to do it for a while now.

Far from what I expected, the walk was rather easy. There was a paved path that leads to the top, also a rocky trails for those who want more challenge and excitement.

This is what we've found on top of the mountain! A majestic pagoda hidden in the middle of the trees.

It was an expectacular view from up there. Our apartment complex nearby, the downtown, and the best of all, we captured the effect of sunset with our small lens.

amazingly beautiful!

more pictures here

Okay, now the hard part is going down.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

I haven't been posting lately because I was preoccupied monitoring my stocks, so business like eh! Well actually it's just a virtual stocks, by Blogshares. A simulated fantasy stock market for weblogs where players invest fictional money to buy stocks and bonds.

At first, I haven't had a faintest idea how it works. Tom, who apparently knows the in and out of the game, shows my way to it. For me it is fun and interesting! I can actually buy stocks, bonds and earn money! In a matter of time I will be able to sell my shares and earn more :D It helps pass the time.


Weekends, L is off and we're able to do stuff together, walk around downtown, dine-out and a little shopping. The highlights of the day, is at the bus with a drunked ajussi (man). The saying "looks can be deceiving" goes perfectly on him. At first he seems normal, he even gave L the usual curious korean look. After a while he started raising his hand and make some signs like he is a music conductor or in the middle of the traffic, uttering loudly and pointing finger to someone nearby. We are seated from his back so we actually see what's going on. He is drinking beer and eating pulutan (beer appetizer) in between acts! I would have taken his picture but I don't want to provoked him and take his attention to us. man! the way he was thrown from his seats when the driver make turns and whenever he dozed-off almost fall on his seat, so hilarious! Funny because it's been a while since I've encountered one. I told L (who was trying to hide his laughs) such guys are very common in pinas :) even my father do some antics like that when overly drunk - memory lane :)

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