Frantaglais blah-blah...

Why Frantaglais? Well, I came up with this title as my posts, from time to time, will be en français (in French), en anglais (in English), and/or en Tagalog, my mother tongue. In any case, you find my writing weak, just bear with me please or leave. This is my blog after all. No one forces you to read it.

vendredi, octobre 14, 2005

You're Beautiful...

Yow byutofowl..., that's how our Clémentine manages to pronounce it. She's nuts over this song, been singing it non-stop and even asked her papa to buy her a CD today. Last night, she startled us when she yelled out, "Maman! Papa! voilà!, c'est 'yow byutofowl'!". The vidéo clip was on TV and that was the first time I and GGiant saw it. Well, I just find it cute, that at her age, she already appreciates songs like this one...

My life is brilliant...
My life is brilliant,
My love is pure.
I saw an angel.
Of that I'm sure.
She smiled at me on the subway.
She was with another man.
But I won't lose no sleep on that,
'Cause I've got a plan.

You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.

Yeah, she caught my eye,
As we walked on by.
She could see from my face that I was,
Flying high,
And I don't think that I'll see her again,
But we shared a moment that will last till the end.

You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.

You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
There must be an angel with a smile on her face,
When she thought up that I should be with you.
But it's time to face the truth,
I will never be with you.

James Blunt

dimanche, octobre 09, 2005

Ma maudite migraine

I've been suffering from migraine for a long time now. It started, I remember it clearly, when I spent months of anguish 16 years ago. That was when I found myself 'carrying a life on my hands' and facing the 'problem' alone. Some say, the exact cause of migraine is unknown, others believe that it's a neurological disease and my grandmother said it's hereditary. I don't know, for me, it's caused by psychological factors. Because I know, this famous event in my life that made me stressed and depressed to the nth degree, provoked this megrim, the mother of all headaches.

Being born and brought up in a family that highly favors values and traditional views, with very strict and conservative parents, my getting pregnant out of wedlock was a 'disgrace'. It was like the end of the world not only for me but also for everyone and I was sort of 'mentally tortured' because of this. I felt so down and helpless at the time. I'm ashamed to admit that I even thought of terminating my pregnancy. But I thought better of it and considered an innocent's feelings -- the pain I would be putting him through. And I didn't know if I would be able to get over the guilt of having it. So I decided not to have one, after all it was all my fault and not his. For months, I couldn't function properly at work, all I could do was cry. I couldn't stop thinking, "What does the future hold for me and my son?", "What lies ahead?", "Will someone just wake me up from this nightmare?". Every night I would fervidly pray, and would silently cry myself to sleep.

And as though my brain was 'drained'.

Ever since, every so often, I get migraines. Now I always find myself locked up in our bedroom with blinds closed, in total darkness, so as to appease the pain or until it runs its course: having no choice but to spend most of the day in a dark room feeling awful. I hate the fact that I couldn't do anything, couldn't go out, nothing. When it attacks, it's usually very strong, I could hardly move and it's not a nice feeling when my vision goes blurry. Due to excruciating pain, I could become nauseated and eventually throw up -- which sometimes seemed to be a relief because soon afterwards I would fall asleep and when I wake up, the pain would be less. But it could be sometimes worse because each time I do it, the throbbing pain intensifies to the point as though my head will explode.

There are a lot of things this killjoy Big Mama headache prevents me from doing. Yesterday was supposed to be my third motorcycle driving lesson but I had to cancel it at the last minute. One of my Driving School rules: if one is unable to make it to his/her driving appointment, cancellation should be done 24 hours in advance. But since I did it at the last minute, I'm obliged to pay for it. Et voilà!, that's 80 Euros, out the window! Then last weekend, GGiant's ultra gorgeous aunt celebrated her 40th birthday, but unfortunately, I wasn't in the mood to party. I had la maudite migraine that day and had to take painkillers. Not just because these medicines have an effect on reaction time or level of awareness that makes me unfit to drive, it's the noise: it's inevitable. The cacophony of children's and adults' voices, music, etc., would only aggravate the pain. So I just decided to stay home and just sent her (GGiant's aunt) my b-day message thru a poem (posted below, w/ her permission of course) that I wrote for her days before her birthday. But I'm sorry my non-French speaking friends, it's in French!

I've been getting between two to four migraine attacks per month and I am already tired of it. And as I write this, I could feel the throbbing pain that slowly starts on the left side of my head. And I know this will again hang around for a day or so. Believe me, you have to be a migraine sufferer like me to understand how it feels.


mardi, septembre 27, 2005

L'esclave de la mode

I could hear a key being slid into the door's keyhole. Koko, with his short, spikey, heavily gelled hair emerged from the front door. He was wearing a pair of trendy denim jeans, a red sweatshirt over a white, slick, short-sleeved tee-shirt and a pair of red rubber shoes that he obviously put on to match his top. He was holding a cell phone in his left hand and wraparound sunglasses with his right; wearing his heavy, bulky backpack over both shoulders.

He just arrived from school.

I was still in bed when he left for school this morning, I had a sleepless night and was only able to doze off at around 5 a.m. so, I was half asleep when he gave me a kiss and didn't see exactly how he was dressed today.


He's growing up way too fast and It is quite noticeable that he has learned to be more careful about his looks. He spends half an hour in front of the mirror every morning. And that's ok, I just find it normal. Problem is, he's also becoming obsessed with designer labels. He's definitely not a spoiled kid but he would sometimes pester me to buy him branded clothes. He has a tendency to wear nothing but branded ones, and this is what I noticed when he arrived today from school. And this is not good.

It is apparent that most kids these days are esclaves de la mode ("fashion victims" or if I'd translate it literally, "slaves of fashion") and I'm afraid that my son is in the process of being one, unfortunately. He's only in secondary school and most of his peers are the same, I can't help but notice the way they're dressed, there's even one who looks like David Beckham, with his trendy hairstyle, earrings and all.

Like any other parents, my husband and I, from time to time, love to see our children in fashionable clothes. So, every once in a while we purchase them signature ones, especially Koko, when he makes good grades in school. But to break the bank or make serious sacrifices in order to meet their capricious demands is a definite no-no. My son and I have been having a repetitive scenario at home lately: his "Please..." and my "No, you don't need it, money doesn't grow on trees, if you really want it then save up for it.".

As for the cell phone, I don't mind him having one as it lets us stay in touch with him at almost all times. He's responsible enough to have one and I need the security of knowing his whereabouts at any given time.

There are lots of things I never had as a child or things I feel I had been denied in my teen years but that doesn't mean I'd let my kids expect instant gratification for their slightest caprice or whim. No. Like most things it's just a question of balance. Although I sometimes feel guilty when I said 'no' to him, I know I just want him to grow up as a reasonable person who understands the value of money and just giving him the confidence to be proud of who he is rather than to be proud of what he has.

mercredi, septembre 14, 2005


It's been a while since my last update. It's because my Mac broke down (?). It won't turn on. I don't know ... it just slipped into a coma and showed unwillingness to be awaken from its unconscious mode. I just got it 9 months ago. My husband gave it to me as a Christmas present. Sheesh! If only he could understand every word I say, he'd protest. "Yeah of course,' a x-mas' present, you bet!", I can almost hear him saying that. Ok, a "forced" x-mas present. I told him I wanted to blog and I needed a computer. Euh, please don't think that I was acting like a capricious, materialistic brat. No, far from it, not my style. It's just that he's got a desktop but it wasn't and still not always evident for me to use it as his job requires long hours in front of his computer screen. His computer actually spends its time calculating illustrations and he only shuts it down, almost always, after midnight. So I got 'sick' of waiting till he's through with it before I could use it. Since I'm not difficult to please, I told him that I could go for a small-time brand, an el cheapo laptop would do. So after several "I beg yous" and "You won't regrets...", boy I was surprised when I got up on Christmas morning to come upon a sleek, smooth, white, 14-inch portable computer with its apple logo on the cover, in my undies drawer. Eh oui, of all places....

Since the damned laptop is still under warranty, it's now being fixed, having the defective part replaced, without charge (I hope).

But It's been ten days! I'm starting to feel the boredom creep in.

There's one thing that bothers me a little. I have a friend who's a computer technician. He repairs PC's. But according to him, laptops aren't supposed to be fixed by technicians as they're very nasty to repair ... and very costly! So if a laptop needs fixing, a technician is not allowed to open it because laptops are generally built with proprietary hardware specific to the manufacturer so it should only be done by the place where it was purchased. My husband brought it back where he bought it because it's still under warranty. But what if it's no longer under warranty, how much will it cost us? I'm also afraid of what-would-be the result, dismantling a nine month-old laptop could be sooo bad. Now I can see and feel the inconvenience of having one of those state-of-the-art machines.

As I write this, hubby's on the phone talking to the person responsible for the reparation, the man's informing us that they're still waiting for the mainboard or motherboard (whatever, I have no idea what that thing is) they ordered from the US. Phew! Isn't that great?

No wonder mp3 players, ipods, or up-to-the-minute digital cameras don't interest me, not at all. I don't even own a cell phone...

dimanche, août 28, 2005

A day au Parc Astérix

Summer vacation is almost over. Most of the schools in France are already open and some of the kids are now back to school. For Koko and Cléms the new school year will start on the 2nd of September. So, time for homeworks and early mornings again! Whew, at least I did enjoy the luxury of late nights and lie-ins during their vacation. What irritates me is that the month of August will be over in a few days and it's only now that the temperature rises, now that the holidays come to an end! We really didn't have a single day that we can consider a 'hot summer day'. Normally, in the north of France, the temperatures in the summer especially in August average about 28° C but since the beginning of the month, the only average temperature's been about 15° C and we're most of the times obliged to put a sweatshirt on when going out. Last Friday, exceptionally, the temperature rised to 22° C, and we decided at the last minute: took this chance to spend the day at Parc Astérix.

Parc Astérix is a large theme park based on the adventures of the popular French comic book hero, Astérix the Gaul. Have you heard of it? Well, to tell you the truth, if it were not for GGiant's grand collection of Astérix hardbound comic books, I wouldn't know that "he" has been as popular as Lucky Luke and Tintin. Prior to this, I had never heard of it. Strange ... I used to spend hours hanging out at the National Bookstore when I was still in high school but I never came across any Astérix books. Ohh, maybe it's because I didn't go to any section other than Romance in this bookstore. In fact, I was a secret Mills and Boon addict. It's just that books like these weren't allowed in the house or my mother would confiscate them (tsk, tsk, there wasn't much going on in those books really, some heavy pettings at the most).

Oh, where was I? Ah, yes ... Astérix. For those who haven't heard of this comic book character, let me enlighten you a little about "him". Ok, Astérix the Gaul is the inspired creation of Renè Goscinny (he's also the renowned author of Lucky Luke and Iznogood) in collaboration with Albert Uderzo, his illustrator. Together in 1959 they set out to create a humorous character set in Roman Times. The Gauls, of course, were the people that inhabited France before the Roman invasion. Astérix, a defiant Gaul, for whom, surrender to the Romans was out of the question, no way! So, he would always ask Panoramix, the village's druid, to brew a magic potion that draws supernatural strength with which he can defeat the Romans, at times defying Julius Caesar. So, with the help of the magic potion, the village where Astérix lived wasn't conquered by the Romans. The story sounds simple but the realization of Goscinny and Uderzo was quite outstanding. It's not just a mere comic book am telling you, Astérix, together with his best friend Obélix will make your belly ache with laughter. From what I last heard, less than two hundred million copies of Astérix comic books had been sold. There were also several feature length films that had been made, remember Gérard Depardieu as Obélix?

Parc Astérix opened its doors in 1989. It is very French in nature and you can see features/aspects of French history and culture depicted throughout the park. It is located just off the A1 Autoroute, about 35 kms. north of Paris in the middle of a protected forest. The best thing is, it's only 10 minutes drive from where we live, cool, eh? There are around 30 rides to suit all ages, from gentle kids rides to a wooden gigantic roller coaster called Tonnerre de Zeus, it's about 30 meters high reaching a speed of up to 80 kilometers per hour, that makes it onto most lists of the best theme park rides in the world - absolutely not for the fainthearted! Definitely not for me, I almost threw up just after trying the Oxygenarium, a spinning 'rapids' ride in a large circular liferaft. It is one of the water rides and there are actually lots of them, that's why it is ideal to visit the park during not-so-cold days as getting soaking wet is also part of the fun and is also the reason why the park is open only from April to October, unlike the Disneyland which is open all year round. And if you want a break from the rides, there are also plenty of shows. Cléms favorite was the Dolphin show, well I don't know exactly what dolphins had to do with Astérix except that we had fun watching them! One day is not really enough to see and experience all these attractions and rides.
L'entrée de Parc Astérix

Le Vieux (The old) Paris


Menhir Express

Les Chaises Volantes (The Flying Chairs)

Une maison Gauloise (A Gallic house)

Astérix, Clémentix et Obélix

Tired as we were, despite aching feet, we were happy at the end of the day. Le Parc Astérix was a thrill every minute with Gallic wit and charms, offering the ultimate fun-filled day out for everyone!

mardi, août 23, 2005

Memes: encore et encore...

The Book Club Tag
Major Tom of Citizen on Mars tagged me for this book meme.

What's in a book?

Webster defines book as, "A copy of a written work or composition that has been published (printed on pages bound together)". Ok, then what's in it?
Well, it depends. In it could be something that has the power to dispel my worries, has the ability to allow my mind to wander - transporting me to exhilarating places, or ... could be something a bit of a snoozer.

Number of books on the shelves:

I don't have much here with me as I, usually, after having read them, bring them myself or send them to my sisters in Manila. But there are also ones that I love enough to let them go -- I love re-reading them -- and they're here to stay.

Those that I own or bought:

I used to be a subscriber of English Book Club. Unfortunately, I had to stop the subscription a year ago for I got a bit tired of receiving bills for books I didn't order/purchase, etc. Almost all of the books I have now, I bought them from EBC.

I've lost track some of them for I don't mind lending too, there are books that I own (or shall I say, owned) that now vanished into thin air.

Here's a list of some of the books I have pour le moment:

Michael Connelly's
A Darkness More Than Night
Blood Work
Lost Light
The Narrows
The Poet
Chasing the Dimes
City of Bones
Patricia Cornwell's
Point Of origin
The Last Precinct
Cruel and Unusual
From Potter's Field
JRR Tolkien's
The Lord Of The Rings
The Hobbit
Bilbo's Last Song
Stephen King's
James Patterson's
Violets Are Blue
JKRowling's HP series of course, I told you...

Last few books that I bought:
Well, the latest one was HP and the Half Blood Prince.

Book that I'm reading now:
I am re-reading Michael Connelly's City of Bones.

Last few books read:
The book my husband bought for me - HP and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book in Harry Potter series. I've finished reading it and I hope the 7th or the last book won't take two years or longer to finish.

Analyse, Kayla and Bart. Tag, you're it!

Past, Present and Future

Analyse tagged me for this one. Although I, like her, find this meme way too personal, I accepted as I don't want to disappoint her. Anyway I'm not a politician nor a big time showbiz personality who has an image to protect. So, that's fine.

Without knowing it, my fault of course (I should have bloghopped first before posting this entry), Major Tom tagged me too. Thanks, Major!

1985. Freshly graduated from college with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Landed a dream job, my first job in my chosen field, in one of those prestigious establishments along Makati Avenue. I still remember, I took my family to dinner after receiving my very first paycheck. What a great feeling, it was such a relief - no more exams, no more never-ending homeworks, no more terror professors, just applying what I learned and made a living at the same time. Though I was living paycheck to paycheck at the time I still could afford to splurge on small luxuries every once in a while. That was the beginning of a new life, the beginning of my independence.

1990. I was still with the same job, same responsibilities, just a different title. This time I wised up - I was able to lay away money every paycheck without fail. It was worth it and gave me a great deal of peace of mind when I found out that I was about to meet great expenses. There had been things that had been very painful, and it happened this year. Maturity struck me forcibly. My then beau, who, at the time was to be petitioned by his parent living in the US, had to choose between "marriage and get stuck in the Philippines" or "migration and savor the good life". He chose the latter. Problem was, I was not alone when he left me.

1995. I considered this year a new phase of my life. My son, already 5 years old, growing up as a wonderful marvelous creature. Same job ok, but this time in a different place and unusual entourage. I met my now husband, GGiant, at a friend's birthday dinner. He invited me to go out and that was the last time that I felt butterflies in my stomach.

2000. I still clearly remember, I was fetching my son from school the moment I told him, that finally, he was going to have a baby sister or a baby brother. He was so happy that he returned back to his classroom and told his teacher about it.

2002. Our daughter turned one. Made the most of her special day with the family and some close friends.

2004. September of last year, an event that will eventually lead Clémentine into the wider world - her first step in education.

We were at Nounou's (GGiant's ex-nanny) place. We stayed for the weekend actually. I was totally bloated after eating up greedily Nounou's tossed green & cucumber with mint-basil vinaigrette, boeuf Bourguignon with mashed potatoes, Munster cheese with homebaked baguette and rhubarb tart, all washed down with Badoit rouge.

Sipping hot delicious goodnight tea while watching a documentary about Paul Loup Sulitzer, one of France's best-selling novelists.

Nounou's vegetable garden grows tomatoes, green beans, lettuce and some herbs. So, after a light lunch we picked some of these veggies and brought them home.

I'll probably go to IKEA and look for a curtain that suits with the now light olive-green living room walls.

Sell this apartment and buy a house. Well, hopefully.

Ten years from now, hopefully my son has already finished his studies and be happy with his chosen field. My daughter, hope she'll do well in school like her brother. My husband, remains as my husband and continue bringing home the bacon, haha! And me, well aside from being 10 years older, to stay fit for my husband and my children. For our family, I'm wishing for good health, wealth, success and happiness.

Hope these ladies wouldn't mind if I tag them, but hey, if you don't feel like doing it, that's ok, it's your choice, no problem. ;)


mardi, août 16, 2005

Why Is Sex Good For The Health

GGiant brought home a copy of this month's issue of ça M'intéresse magazine ("That interests me", if translated literally). Well, the name speaks for itself, it covers everything from science, technology, culture, arts ... to many more: anything that could attract the reader's attention. GGiant works for several magazines, this is one of them, so no need for a subscription: I could have my copy of each of these magazines for free, la chance, eh? This month's cover caption reads: "Pourquoi le sexe est bon pour la santé", "Why is sex good for the health". I wasn't at all convinced and found the caption title a bit ridiculous till I read the article.

Well, I thought "Why not share it with you?". Ohh, now I can almost hear you saying, "And now she talks about sex!" Ok, can we not talk about it without snickering or blushing, without twisting the mouth in a disgusted grimace or even if I can't see it I know, I know -- shooting nervous, suspicious glances at my avatar, hehe. Hey, this is the 21th century and I don't have a 10-year old blogger on my links list.

So here are the reasons why sex is good for the health. Oh, but I have to remind you that my translation ability/competence and my knowledge of medical terminologies are quite limited. So this is how I managed to translate them, as far as my ability allowed.

It increases life expectancy. Swedish , American and Scottish studies calculated it: making love three times a week could increase the life expectancy by 10 years. How? By making the heart work! During the act, heart beats 100 - 180 times per minute, eliminating greases and toxins: an excellent way of preventing cardiovascular problems and diabetes.

It protects against certain cancers.
The male orgasm could prevent the cancer of the prostate. The risk to develop this cancer decreases by 30 % at a rate of five orgasms in a week, onanism included. Explanation of the researchers: the small jolts which accompany ejaculation drain the body of cancerogenic substances. Among women, not only orgasm, but also the caressing of the breasts, cause the release of oxytocin, a hormone which would preserve breast cancer by eliminating the free radicals.

It makes us more intelligent. If love makes us blind, the orgasm makes us more intelligent, on the condition of having regular sexual relations. The production of adrenalin and cortisol increases during lovemaking. However, by activating processes that brings energy to the brain, these two substances are natural stimulants of the gray matter.

It calms the pain. "Not tonight, I have a migraine!", don't say it anymore. The "sport" in the room and its cascade of hormones, particularly the endorphins, increase the resistance to the pain-- thanks to their antalgic property. Studies carried out on rodents, indicating that the effect of an orgasm would be comparable with the taking of two aspirins.

It fights against insomnia. There's nothing such as snuggling and cuddling under the quilt and falling into the arms of Morpheus afterwards. The pleasure and most of all, the orgasm, release endorphins from the brain. Under their effect, the body and the mind are relaxed, the stress evaporates and a deep sleep gains. The hormones we produce at orgasm can lead to the desire to lay back in the afterglow, and that sense of physical peace often leads to sleep. First, le monsieur as drowsiness and fatigue overcome men more rapidly (than women).

It embellishes women. Lovemaking makes a woman feel and look beautiful. It provokes the synthesis of oestrogens by the ovary. These hormones facilitate the irrigation of the skin and the production of natural collagen: contributing to skin's elasticity and flexibility.

It carves our body. Sexual activity is a form of physical exercise. The muscles demanded for this act are the abdominal ones, then those of the buttocks and the thighs. With the proviso that you got to do it regularly, it can model a silhouette. Moreover, the waves of muscular contraction in the intestines facilitates bowel transit.

It makes us lose weight. "Consumed" intensely, this" thing" burns as many calories (300) as an endurance sport could do. Attention: too fast lovemaking and/or skipping foreplay burns only 50.

It reinforces our defenses. The kiss is not just a sensual pleasure. In fact, during the intimate contact, the couple exchange a multitude of micro-organisms and other pathogenic agents and these stimulate their immune system by confronting it with a new source of infection. The oxytocin released by the kiss and the sex act reinforce or strengthen the immune system.

Need I say more?
Merci et à bientôt! ^_^ eXTReMe Tracker