Wednesday, February 14

Valentine's Day...

When I checked my emails this morning, I found few messages from friends greeting me happy valentine. I remember it is Valentine's Day today, the day when you are supposed to give kindness - if not love - to your friends and colleagues... even your neighbors... and everybody that you see on the streets. It reminded me to at least give something to my wife or maybe cook her one of her favorite dishes. You see, I believe that Valentine's Day is important even just for the sake of celebrating it, for it means that even for a day, people in this earth would think of kindness and compassion, friendship and love. We are beset with problems, violence here and there... pain and suffering... it is good to think that aside from Christmas, there is Valentine's Day where we could show to one another our humane nature... our empathy... our human spirit.

When you are in a foreign land, you tend to appreciate all these little things. It is good for me because I tend to be more sensitive on trivial matters and I get to appreciate everything life is giving me. Like the other important dates that came, this Valentine's Day is another reason to share my life's blessings to my friends, colleagues, and especially my family. It is another opportunity to give thanks to life's treasures - friends, colleagues, and family. It is a time to share my inner peace with those very dear to me - my kids and my wife. I guess I'll just send a text message or call my kids, they're very far from me right now... and I think they will understand. As for my wife, I have to think of something nice for us to celebrate Valentine before the day is over :)

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Tuesday, February 13


I love cooking. You may not believe it, but in our home, it is I who cook the food. Well, I wouldn't say my wife is a bad cook, in fact she cooks wonderful dishes, it's just that because I love cooking more, it had been that way for quite a while now in the house - I am cooking and she takes care of washing the dishes afterwards. I especially like to cook variants of stir fry, as well as vegetables with lots of soup - the kind that most pinoys prefer. Well, at least back in the Philippines, we like our food swimming in soup :D ... I think most husbands are like that especially those who also cook like me...

Anyway, I cooked a variant of stir fried the other night... one with a mix of chicken and beef strips with lots of broccoli, carrots, and string beans... my wife said it's wonderful (at least, she always appreciates the result :D). I put in there quite an amount of chopped ginger... I love the aroma of ginger in food while being cooked...and of course, the popular Mama Sita's oyster sauce... I would say that the dish was really good! One thing good about stir fried food is that it is very easy to prepare. You just prepare all the ingredients, make sure that the meat is quite tender and fried rarely, and then just mix all the vegetables to the meat and 'stir' them... the final taste will depend on you, so you can add other spices and ingredients as you like.

When our work ends at the early afternoon everyday, and we arrive at the flat, my usual routine is to check the fridge and look for ingredients for the meal to be prepared for dinner. Sometimes, we go out and buy some things that we need to prepare the meal at the small shops nearby. More often, everything is there. After some preparations, I'll start cooking the meal for dinner while my wife stretches either in the sala or in the bedroom. After the meal is finished, we eat while watching TV and talking about the happenings of the day.

Life is wonderful.

Sunday, February 4

Expanding Horizons

Last week, Alice and I got the chance to attend a 4-day seminar on e-learning... it was sort of an achievement for us, having been recommended to attend that seminar from among all the staff of the institution... the seminar was very informative, and new methods and techniques with regards the use of LMS (in this case, Moodle) in making the learning experience of the students more interesting were provided to us... e-learning, I believe, is very important in the current education setup. In this age of information technology, where students have an abundance of information within their reach, it is but fitting to explore on new strategies, and new ideas to make learning more interesting, fun and interactive for them... We are in an age where adults are usually beaten by kids in the 'technology track', and henceforth we have to adapt to the new forms of learning pedagogies as well...

Anyways, as I said, the time spent in the said seminar was worth it... it was kind of costly for us, I may say :-( having spent for transport and meals and other relative expenses during the seminar, but the experience gained and the knowledge acquired is more than worth the amount spent during the 4-day activity... we also managed to have a little bit of renewed bonding with our friends in the area where we stayed during the 4-day seminar... indeed, we are really very lucky that it happened for the both of us... as it is, the institution is planning for an echo seminar, and we are really enthusiastic to share what we have learned with our colleagues... it should really be inherent for the educator of today to be familiarised with these technologies... uploading lecture materials...doing quizzes online... including online interactive activities to form knowledge bases.. etc. I believe that this is the right step in educating the students of today...

I'll tell you more of these next time :-)