The Filipino Expat Magazine – Living in Europe

Posted on

Dheza Aguilar and I first met in Amsterdam, when I was attending a socio-religious event and she, as a journalist for a known local TV program back home, was on an assignment. She came to interview me, asking about my personal stand on the reproductive health bill, which was apparently a hot topic at that time in our home-country. “Oh boy, how strong-willed she was to get a scoop here to create an interesting build on the story,” I told myself. Well, it really should be the case and I liked it.

Dheza came for a visit together with her husband, Robin, in Geneva a few months back and from there we came to know more about each other. Over time I came to realize how much we have in common, given particularly our experiences living in Europe, outside the Philippines, being in an intercultural relationship, and our penchant for writing. Read more

10 Things I’m Loving Now – something that clicks

Posted on

I’m definitely a Polaroid camera girl. For me, what I’m really excited about is bringing back the artistry and the nature of Polaroid. – Lady Gaga

From life’s simple stuff to grandiose pleasures, bring it on!

1. Logan, my new compact digital camera

12.1 megapixels | 3″ screen | 28 – 392 mm (14×)

From dpreview.com

GPS-enabled 12MP compact superzoom with manual controls, 3 inch LCD and 14x(28-392) zoom lens. Users have the option to shoot Super Slow 340 x 240 movies at 240fps and 1080p24 Full HD video. There is also a Movie Digest mode that records a short video clip right before shooting a still image and then combines one day’s worth of clips into a VGA-resolution video. Canon offers an optional waterproof case for this model. Read more

So Swiss: Paléo Festival 2011

Posted on

I hope my memory serves me right. I think I told myself before that my presence at the UP Fair and at the Eraserheads reunion concert, which both occurred two years ago (in separate dates and venues, of course), would be the last straw for me to be sort of “teenspirited” and ignite the punk rock in me (despite the girly outfits I was wearing at those times).  But boy oh boy, was I wrong! Because just three months ago, I attended one of Europe’s most important musical events of the year.

It’s the Paléo Festival, baby.


Paléo 2011 – Clip de présentation par paleo

Just seeing this massive crowd makes me want to faint. Seriously. Read more

So Swiss: Eat Fondue & Raclette

Posted on

La fondue crée la bonne humeur.
Fondue isch guet und git e gueti Luune (figugegl).
‘fondue creates a good mood’
– a promotional slogan created for Swiss cheese fondue

Cheese fondue is more popular as a national dish of Switzerland. I’ve been here for more than a year so I would commit a crime only if I haven’t had a taste of it.  Yet fortunately enough, it’s also at this month last year when I enjoyed not only cheese fondue but also raclette, for the first time.

Fondue and raclette are both Swiss and French dishes. Nonetheless cheese fondue in particular, is claimed to be as a Swiss national food during the 1930s by the league of Swiss cheesemakers as a way to increase cheese consumption in the country. Read more

So Swiss: Genève et Moi, in Retrospect

Posted on

Wow. I didn’t imagine I would ever reach a year. I can still vividly remember the time I first came here. With me were thoughts of a global city. For one, Geneva is dubbed as an important financial district in Europe, next to London and Zurich. Also, Geneva hosts many international organizations; that includes headquarters of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. Geneva as one of the most expensive cities with the highest quality of life to boot, would I be blamed for expecting too much?

Unlike the more sophisticated airports of Hong Kong and of Heathrow in London, the arrival area in Geneva airport is an unwelcoming sight. It’s like a plain, boring waiting hall for visitors like me to see, c’est tout. I arrived on a Sunday and Geneva appeared to be a ghost town that day. I came across the train station (gare Cornavin) and met rather peculiar strangers along the way. It was an eerie, to the extent, disheartening experience for a first day. Read more

So Swiss: 10 Things I’m Loving About Switzerland Now

Posted on

How ironic it is for me that I haven’t written anything much in detail about my stay in Switzerland for the past 11 months since I arrived. Yes, few more days to go and it’s going to be my first year. There are supposed to be so many stories to tell, as a matter of fact, but then again, the daily run of my life couldn’t seem to accommodate this another new idea in mind.

Until one day, someone asked me this question, “Do you feel your Swissness growing in you?” I couldn’t say the magic word that I ended up replying, “Maybe I’m getting there.”

It could be nice to look back, reflect and write about the events and experiences so I can better appreciate the life I have here and assimilate well into the Swiss culture (before it’s too late?). Read more