One Day at the Gaia Zoo 2014

Gaia 2014

We are going to start our walk around Gaia Zoo.  This is my second time here. The first time was last year on 2013.

I was still too young to understand that, I think.

A photo from May, last year, Oma was with us…

Gaia 2014

I was a bit tired at the beginning.  Long drive. 

This is me now.  Mama said I am growing up too fast!

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First stop:  The birds!

Gaia 2014

Oh-hoe says the owl!

Gaia 2014

I never knew that rabbits can be so huge!

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The lynx.. It was actually really staring at me.

Gaia 2014

I would have loved to touch the giant pigs again, but Papa won’t let me any more than one touch!

Gaia 2014

Boooo say the cows!

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Hee-haw say the Donkeys!

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The guinea pigs…

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The mice..

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The chicken..

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And that giant tarantula that my Papa is so scared of!

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I loved my T-Rex ride!

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And the sheep – my favorite! Baaaaaaa says they!

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And it is time for my lunch!  I had fries and some snacks!

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And then it was time to continue (after I got my bum changed!)

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I really wanted to touch the Cheetah, but Mama and Papa both said “NO!”

(I even thought it likes me back!  It was following me around from inside the glass wall).

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Zebras..

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The deer..

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The Giraffes! I love them, too!

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And the Monkeys! (Last year, Mama said that the big gorillas were out of their cage when we came.  Now, only the small ones.)

I still got the chance to be with them though.  Sadly, no photos..

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This something that surely is a rodent..

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Flamingos!

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My favorite Ducks! Quack, quack, quack!!

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And the Beavers! They have 2 huge front teeth!

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Oh, and did I say I also love Fishes??!!

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If Mama take the pictures, they are just amazing..

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Here was Papa and I from last year..

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Poor Mama always has no choice but to let Papa take our photos for us..

(Mama says she already knows what she wants for Christmas!)

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Mama says she is too fat.  My Papa complains that Mama always complains.

Here was Mama and I from last year..

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And the best part of all for my Mama –

Her finding Hedwig! Harry Potter’s snow owl!

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It was just over the top!

I so love the zoo!

– Super Z

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Gaia Zoo Address:

Dentgenbachweg 105, 6468 PG Kerkrade
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Utang na Loob – That Never Ending Feeling of Gratitude?

I have so much in my thoughts.

How do you ever pay that feeling of indebtedness to somebody?  To a family member?  To a friend?

(That feeling that is not yours but of the other party).

Would you ever be able to pay it?

To afford it?

How would you know you are already paid?

You have already done so much.  You are paid – or so you thought.

(Of course, you would always be grateful.  That is granted).

Taken.

But a shadow from the past comes back.  And reminds you:

You are indebted.  You have not paid.

Could you ever repay this?  Back?

Why do we even have this kind of culture.  Filipinos?

From whom did we get this?  From the Spaniards?

Those.Spanish.Conquerors!

They gave us a lot of things.  Sold us to the Americans. And went back to their country.

(I love Spanish people, don’t worry.  I love my Spanish friends.)

I am indebted to them.

(There I go again).

I hope this just stop.  And let people be.

Just be happy that once, you were able to help.

You cannot please everybody.

That is the fact.

Utang na Loob – that never ending feeling of gratitude?

This is something that is keeping somebody from being completely happy with what that somebody has now.

Somebody’s own feeling of bondage.

I think.

Sad.  It is sad.  It is not fair.

Walang Utang na Loob

Too Much To Do, Too Little Time?

Do you also have this problem?

I mean, parents and non-parents alike, this is something that is actually there but we do not know why, or how, or worst – how to be able to do everything that should be done.

For working mothers with a child or children, this is really something that is happening in the now.

I asked for a week extension to my forced 3-week leave (that I have used to go to the Philippines, alone, to bid my grandmother farewell) to rest, recharge and rethink.  Last week, while I was eagerly awaiting for this week to arrive, I was already silently laying out the things that I could do for this week:

1.  Finally start (and finish!!!) our wedding album.  Yes, we still do not have a concrete wedding album that we can just flip the pages to reminisce this very special moment.  Everything is still in the hard drive of my laptop.  (I need a back-up fast!)

2.  Finish (or start all over again!!!) our wedding video.  Yes, this trying hard software-oriented oriental girl would want to definitely have a wedding video like those others who really paid too much for their wedding.

3.  Start placing all the 300 or so printed family photos to the albums that were bought a year ago.

I know you would agree that in this digital world of smart phones, mobile devices, tablets, digital cameras – we take a lot of pictures and swamp our memory cards and hard drives.

I, like some others, print them. 

And forget.

4.  Lay down the details of my supposed-to-be book, or novel, or whatever.

5.  Start with Z’s scrapbook.  Funny, because I was able to finish the scrapbook for my husband (with a LOT of help from my sister – actually, she did 90% of the job).

6.  Start fixing and putting together Z’s birth, baptismal and birthday cards in one folder.

7.  Start fixing and putting together our wedding cards.

8.  Start posting the photos that I have taken via my iphone on facebook as my family is waiting for them.

9.  Start fixing and going over all the stuff in the closet by the hall (before we move!!)

10. Start reading the books that I have accumulated all these years here in the Netherlands!  80% have never been opened! Please.  Or forever listen to my husband moaning that I did not like the books he gave me!

11. Finish the book online that I was supposed to give as a gift, but was not able to.

12. Finish this blog.  And continue blogging.

And now that it is already Wednesday, and I still was not able to do any of these (except perhaps trying to finish this blog in between watching Ajax playing against Paris Saint Germain) – I AM STARTING TO PANIC!

Although, come to think of it, I think I can commend myself that, after a long time, and after my heavy trip to the Philippines, I was able to fix and sip into Z’s gazillion books and toys!  (Though as I can see it, I have to re-do it again in a few weeks time).

This are just but some of the small stuffs that we want to do but are not doing.  Maybe because we have more important things to do like cooking and ironing, cleaning and doing the vacuum cleaning, doing the laundry or learning how tbake.

Or sleeping.  Oh yes, that much needed rest.

Maybe I can skip my siestas if I am at home and start doing some of this things?

Even just an hour of my every weekend.  Right?

September 1 Caught Me in the Philippines

If everything would have been good, I should have been in the Netherlands today celebrating my 2 more weeks before our family’s vacation to the Philippines.  If it had been okay, then I am sure that I would have started counting backwards 2 or 3 hours from now. 

But instead, I am sitting here, typing my way in my laptop and listening to one of our neighbor’s radio blasting Christmas Carols since 6am (12 midnight CET). 

I miss my Lola Cion.  And because of this 40 days tradition after her 9th day of death, I would not be able to go and visit her, or offer her flowers at the cemetery before I leave.

But I am always praying for her. 

The Christmas Song that I am listening to right now sends a warm nostalgia to my inner being:  I was brought back to the days when I was still a little girl. 

Back then, celebrating December 24’s with only my Lola Cion and I were ones of the happiest that I had ever experienced.  She would let me watch movies in the television until I cannot stand being awake no more.  She would ask me to go and check the sock (I used my father’s military sock back then to make sure that I get a lot from Santa!!) and see if Santa Claus already passed by while I was watching television at the living room.  (The sock was dutifully placed at the kitchen as she said that Santa would not fit at the Living Room door.)  We do not have chimneys in the Philippines.

I used to be my grandmother’s pet grandchild.  I was the eldest (as I have also already started in my Eulogy, previous post).

I have worked double the hard because of my Lola Cion.  I never wanted to fail her.  She and Lolo Mario.  They were my everything.  And my sister of course.  I had to leave and work miles away to support them, and at the end, support myself.  Through the years, and through all this time, I have gained this complex thinking that I can do more, that I can be more, and that I have the power to change myself, and the world surrounding me.

When my flight landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on August 20 midnight, I was in tears:  I was happy that, finally, Philippines again;  I was sad, because, I left my small family back in the Netherlands; I was lonely, because, my grandmother was gone; I was glad, because, I will see my baby sister who I was not with for a long time. 

If everything should have been normal, then in a couple of hours time, I would have started counting backwards to our family’s grand vacation to the Philippines. 

I am still counting backwards now.  Counting the days until I see my Armand and our Princess Zoë again. 

I can just pray that my sister Angeline be as independent, reliable, smart and strong – as always.#

Aug. 30 at La Vista del Mar

Aug. 30 at La Vista del Mar