Short Visit to Taiwan- Day 1

I did not really expect to visit another foreign country last year as I have already gone to Bangkok last July 2017 (I still need to blog this). Our Office has this project on setting up Fabrication Laboratories or Fablabs and to be able to implement this well, those in-charge of the project were given the opportunity to join the visit to Taiwan.  Our region, NIR do not have this project yet, but we were given a slot and our Regional Director recommended me to attend.  I was not so excited about the visit as the schedule is towards the end of the year and it still did not sink in that I am part of the group.

Anyway, several weeks before the schedule we were already advised to prepare our documents for application of Visa.  I was so confident that I already have a copy of my SECPA birth certificate but I did not realize that it has only a validity of six months!  It was a good thing I have a staff who was a former NSO employee so he facilitated that I can get the SECPA birth certificate within the day.  The following day I was able to send all the documents to the Regional Operations Group for group application of the Visa.  We were also advised to fill out the on-line application form.  I had problems with this as the form that I keep on filling out seem not saved in the system.  it was a good thing, the lady at the Taiwan Economic Office was able to help me by sending the filled our form so I can complete it.

Since I am also busy with other activities at the Office, I was not really able to prepare much for the trip.  I was able to search on line for a few information but this was not really enough to help us maximize our trip.  It was a stressfull (as always) day before we have to fly to Manila for the trip as our Travel Authority was not yet signed!  We were informed to get our domestic and international tickets as it is sure that the TAs will be signed.  Got my tickets at home at around past 9, able to get email from staff at ROG aroung 10pm and another one from the coordinator at past 12 midnight! Non stop working???

We arrived in manila in the afternoon, our flight is early morning at 7AM via Philippine Airlines.  We got our documents from Head Office and there was an advisory that the weather in Taipei will be a bit cold.  I have several coats and clothes for cold weather but since we were not informed earlier, I was not able to bring it…thus off we went to Glorietta to look for reasonably priced coats or cardigan.  it was a good thing cardigan are on sale at H & M..a piece at only P449!

We have to leave our hotel at 5am so that we will not be stressed during check-in and immigration procedures.

pal-predep

Pre-Departure Area NAIA 2 International Airport

our-meal

Meal is very ordinary, beefsteak with rice, pandesal with butter and I asked for orange juice.  But I was hungry so I ate this meal.

baggage-claim-area

Baggage claim area is so clean and not crowded.  We waited for everybody here before we headed to the immigration area.  Most of the group decided to change their dollars to NTD (New Taiwan Dollar).  I decided not to change my dollars but rather changed only P3,000, enough fow a few meals.

We were booked in a upscale area, Howard Hotel Taipei.  It took quite sometime for us to be checked in..as we have to pay individually for our hotel accommodations.  We were settled into our rooms and my roomate and other girls decided to look for food.  I am not really hungry so I decided to stay in the room, ate the pandesal and butter (from the plane) with the welcome fruits.

our-beds

 

 

nice-bathroom

We started our official trips at 2pm in the afternoon.

futureward-in-tatung-university

Futureward..a coworking space inside Tatung Univeristywith fablabs for different products.

fablab-taipei

Fablab Taipei located in an old area of a Stadium.  We were shown their on line video connections with  Fablabs in other parts of the world

In the evening we went to a famous Taiwanese Restaurant (Shin Yeh Taiwanese Cuisine restaurant) to try local cuisine.  The food a bit bland for my taste..it needs more condiment maybe I should have added more of the condiments given us. We started with appetizers, peanuts, tofu then followed by a huge plate of steamed octopus. the Servers were really fast as we have not yet finished they are already getting our small plates plus that big plate of octopus.  I think this was followed by the noodles with the crabs.

noodles-with-crab

Noodles with crabs!  The crabs are so fat but taste seem bland.

sea-cucumber

Sea cucumbers with brocolli. then we had shrimps, braised tofu and the final dish was chicken soup with black mushrooms (I cant remember all the food as I was not able to take pictures of all).  Finally dessert of mochi with rolled in powdered peanuts and bean & sago (like ginatan but with a bland taste)

chicken-soup-with-black-mushroom

Chicken soup with black mushrooms

dessert-beans

Beans and sago

After dinner, we browsed in the nearest Sogo Department Store.  It is a high end dept store though I was able to try very good pairs of shoes.  I really wanted one but was thinking of the price equivalent to more than P4,000.  But it was really of good quality and pure leather.  I really regretted not buying it as we did not have any more time the following day.  There was also a branch the the famous Taiwan nougant..sugar and spice.  We did not buy as I thought we can still find branches that will be selling at lower price.  How I wish again I bought the nougats.  I was forced to buy at the airport as I have no pasalubongs.

Advertisements

Goodbye 2016…Welcome 2017

New challenges were faced in 2016 with my reassignment to the DTI-Negros Occidental Provincial Office. I had mixed feeling regarding the new assignment as I was about to start a new challenge in Antique…transferring to a new Office space, launching of the first Negosyo Center, how our SFF projects will be implemented, how to be able to generated our KRAs. I became comfortable with my life there but I felt the two-hour travel affecting my lower back. The transfer to Negros Occidental was a blessing in disguise.

I faced new challenges in a new region, encountered problems with financial management as a result of the old administrations decisions which I need to solve and manage.  Working in a very dynamic province is quite easy aside from the fact that I was already assigned here in January 2005 till June 2008. We were able to accomplish what we have planned but I felt that we could have done better.  There are times I am tempted to do technical work but I have to restrain myself so I will be able to train my staff to do their work better and smarter.  I had mixed feeling sometimes when I felt we were left out from the activities in Region 6 but I am so thankful we have a very good RD for DTI NIR.  She pushes her provinces to deliver more but she also provided support not only on resources but by providing moral support and encouragement.  Thank you Lord for these blessings.  In all DTI Offices were I was assigned, I always worked for transfer to a new Office.  This also happened this year as our old location though very accessible, the building has become dilapidated and is not maintained.  It took quite sometime for use to look for a new space that can come up with our requirements at the budget we have.  We almost did not make it as there were delays in the construction and finishing of the area.  But again, Thank you Lord! We were able to transfer on Dec 1 despite that portion were not yet finished and we have to endure the dust and the heat.  We were able to launched our Negosyo Center on Dec. 6th.

Insert picture here. I was wondering why our PC can not access my iphone as I was doing it before.  Will try with the PC at the Office.

On the personal side, 2016 is a good year for me and my sons.  With God’s blessings, Mark was able to find a work that he enjoys at Reed Elsevier her in Iloilo City sometime in July after several attempt at working on-line. Our old internet was to slow for the requirements of most employers.  It was a good thing that our area in already fiber..we were able to shift to fiber connection with speed up to 50 MBPs.  The first few months we enjoined almost up to 100 as trial…it was quite expensive but it is worth it.  Thank you to PLDT Home Fiber. Mark adjusted well to his new work, though it is night shift the working hours is okay and his Office is very accessible from our place.  Jan on the other hand also adjusted well to his work at MV Britannia.  He was able to go to a lot of places and brought home lots of memories aside from lots of souvenirs. He really wanted that we buy a new car…and again I prayed hard if it is the right decision for us to get a brand new vehicle.  Both sons wants a pick up truck and it is quite expensive.  I am contented with an Avanza but they want a bigger one.  I was able to raise the amount for downpayment and we got our new Nissan NP300 Calibre in Savannah Orange.

nissan

My two sons getting our Nissan pick up.

There are trials and disappointments in 2016 but these are a breeze compared to what I have experienced before.  I never forget to thank the Lord for these blessings.

Praying that as we usher 2017, we will continue to get guidance from the Lord in every step that we take.  If its true that a good offer may be coming..maybe it is the right time for me to bid DTI goodbye.  But for the meantime, I am hopeful for 2017 that we will be able to accomplish again what we will be targeting.  I am praying that NIR will continue to exist and will have our own budget.

The Sunday Currently No. 27

Today is Christmas Day, the 7th year Sildo is not with us and the second year Jan is not spending Christmas with us.  It a good thing Mark, my eldest is here for good.

Reading – nothing at the moment though I have more than ten books waiting to be read.  I think I have started a few but I have a lot of other things to attend to that I have no time to read lately.  I lack sleep as I always spend a lot of time on Twitter and games.

Writing this blogpost

Listening to the sound of the on line  game my son is playing.

Thinking of a lot of things. How I can unclutter the house before New Year!

Smelling the Italian red that I just opened. It goes too well with the local Italian style cheeses I bought in Bacolod City at Casa del Formaggio.

img_35361

Wishing I have more time to sleep.

Hoping our pick up truck can be picked up from the service center tomorrow.  I had a hard time lugging all my things from the office to the terminal, from fastcraft to the bank and to the supermarket.

Wearing the same old clothes..sleevelss shirt and walking shorts.

Loving the flavor of the Caciotta Stagionatta cheese with black grapes, walnuts and Rosso Pulia.

Wanting to have a massage and just sleep.

Needing to do exercise and watch my diet due to high cholesterol and sugar.

Feeling my age huhuhu. My shoulders are painful and I can not move as fast as I used to be.  I easily tire now.

Clicking Market Manila website to look for recipe on fresh mozarrella.

The Sunday Currently No. 26

I was not able to update this blog for quite sometime though I have a lot of topics and pictures on file that needs to be blogged. Weekends are really busy times for me. This Sunday currently is written on a Monday!

Reading just finished reading Vince Flynn’s Act of Treason.  I like the way he writes but I do not like the killing that they do to get rid of the villain the story.  It is just so easy for CIA to kill the persons in question so they will not a hard time with the courts and other bureaucracies in order to try the guilty.  I know this is not reality (or maybe there is a grain of truth here) but I just do not enjoy books where in villains are just killed, eliminated, destroyed etc.  So I think this will be the last Vince Flynn book that I will read.

Writing my latest blogpost…Musings on turning sixty and of course this blog post.

Listening to the game my son is playing on his iphone.

Thinking of the trips on the second week of this month.  I am really hoping we can go the Garden Island City of Samal.

Smelling  the frozen durian that I have just eaten.  So yummy!!

Wishing that I can maintain my health so that I can do more of the things that I have been dreaming…foremost to travel.

Hoping that I have not gone overboard with my spending for this long weekend.

Wearing my usual attire at home.  Old tshirt and walking shorts.

Loving the cool climate these days.  I also love the cool weather in Salvador Benedicto where we have been last Thursday to conduct seminar for coffee growers.

Wanting more energy and time to fix the house,  I am slowly doing it!! The dilapidated cover of the cabinet under the sink has been repaired,

Needing to lower my blood and cholesterol levels.

Feeling the pain in my shoulder joints.  I need a good massage.

Clicking Twitter to get update regarding my idol Maine Mendoza.

Musings on Turning Sixty

2016 usher a new era in my life……Last September I turned sixty years old.  I felt the same except that the few aches I felt several months ago has intensified a bit.  My shoulder has been aching and I felt that the pain increases everytime I eat something that is high in uric acid.  I do not have this problem several years ago…but not its a reality.

No celebration on the exact date as I attended the opening of a Trade Fair wherein there was a special celebration with unique food prepared by renowned Chefs from Bacolod.  This included puto with KBL, dried batchoy and another one of bamboo shoots with cheese and other ingredients.  Not able to take any picture…I realized that I should have as those food are unique.  But sad to say, I did not enjoy any of the  three offering.  I enjoyed the cheese platter (made from local cheese) and assorted Ilonggo desserts.

I applied for a birthday leave on the Friday of my the week when I celebrated that special day. I applied for my senior Citizens Identification card at he local Office of Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) in our town.  I thought I can make it with only an ID but there are other requirements which thankfully I was able to comply.  A barangay clearance, facilitated by my sister. a cedula..a good thing I paid only P5 as I am already a senior citizen plus photocopy of my passport.

Enjoyed the benefits of being a senior citizen…discounted fastcraft tickets, P10 difference of my hypertension medicine and discounts in groceries and fastfood :-D.

But I can not ignore the constant pain in my shoulder joints, plus elevated cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Hopefully this will normalize as I started limiting consumption of my beloved CocaCola and other fatty food.

The Sunday Currently No. 25

This Sunday I have to wake up early to go to the Medical City Laboratory for blood extraction. I have not checked my blood chemistry for three years!  Since I have turned senior, I need a doctor’s medicine prescription to avail of a senior citizen’s discount.

When I looked out of the window it was so foggy!. As I walk to the jeepney terminal I feel the dampness and the cold.  It was creepy as I can not see several meters ahead of me.

fog

Took this picture while I was already riding a jeepney towards the city.  During normal days one can see the rice fields and what is beyond the trees.

Reading the Hit by David Baldacci. It is an exciting novel but started with the usual killing done by a hired assassin.  I also started reading the Act of Treason by Vince Flynn but I forgot bring the book back at home.  Now I just realized that I bought the same book a few weeks ago.  I should have continued reading it.

Writing this blogpost.

Listening to the music played by the iphone of my son.  He is outside in our garage while I am here in our sala where our PC is.

Thinking about a lot of things that I need to do but I seem not to have the time and energy to do all of it.

Smelling the vinegar we used to dip the grilled fish we had for dinner.

Wishing I can be more firm with my son as I am always paying for their bills.  Their income is not enough to pay for their bills through my credit card.

Hoping that I can slowly put the house in order.  I am getting there little by little.

Wearing the usual attire at home, old tshirt and shorts.

Loving Maine Mendoza.  The young lady is so versatile. I am always including her in my prayers that she will not be taken advantaged of by people in showbiz and that her management will take care of her and her career.

Wanting to sleep.

Needing time to do a lot of things I want and of course the money to finance it.  I also need a lot of time to update mu blog.  I have a lot of topics and pictures for blogging but I also have a lot of other important things to do.

Feeling cold as the electric fan is directly blowing in my direction and it is raining outside.

Clicking earlier FB (playing Criminal Case and Bejeweled Blitz) and of course Twitter.  Enjoying Twitter with friends I met there all fans of Maine.  Also enjoying answering to crazy ALDUB fans.

 

 

The Sunday Currently No. 24

It took several before I was able to go back to my blog.  My last post was last April!!! I have been too busy, and whenever I am home I am swamped with housework.  In addition, the second son arrived last July for vacation after 10 months aboard a cruise ship thus I have more clothes to wash, more plates to wash etc.

Reading – I have several [pocketbooks that I started reading but has not touch it for the past months.

Writing nothing…maybe just this blogpost.

Listening to a lot of sounds, a you tube cartoon, a game played by my nephew, the hum of the PC.  My son transferred the PC in our sala, beside it on a table was his laptop, and on the sofa my nieces playing with a celfone.

Thinking of our family day last Friday and Saturday.  Most of us were able to unwind the enjoy natures glory. I will blog it separately.

Smelling the food I cooked…pork with sprouted monggo, wild mushrooms, patola and pechay..favorite of my sons.

Wishing it will be a bit cooler.  It has not rained for several days and it is so hot!

Hoping that something can be done with the CESPES rating so that I can apply for appointment to a CESO rank and be one before I retire.

Wearing old clothes..thsirt and walking shorts.

Loving the friends I found in Twitter.  Maine Only Solid Fans :-D.

Wanting more time so I can clean and rid the house of a lot of clutter.  I have been wanting this for a long time but only got to clean one area of my cabinet.

Needing to go to a cooler place…its so hot!!!

Feeling happy and optimistic! I will be 60 soon…excited to get my senior citizens card.

Clicking Facebook and games I played..Criminal Case and Bejeweled Blitz plus some of the blogs I follow. Market Manila, Lia’s Food Journey and tales from the Heart.

 

Thanks to Siddathorton.

The Sunday Currently No. 23

Yesterday we had a get together with my former classmates in high school to celebrate the birthday of Rose. There are a lot of new restaurants in Iloilo and we oped to eat at a new Korean Restaurant, the Arirang.  The food is okay, not really spectacular…I think the our favorite fast food before serves tastier Korean food. It was another great bonding with friends.

Reading still the Royal Duty…wheh will I finish this.  In Bacolod City I started reading David Baldacci’s Deliver Us From Evil.  I have three books waiting to be read there and here at home I think there are four.

Writing earlier my blogpost for Sinaing na Tulingan.

Listening to the hum of the refrigerator and the PC.

Thinking that I should now buy a domain for my blog. I am not an expert in blogging though I attended several training.  This really shows that if you do not use what you have leaned it will just evaporate.  I started the blog when I attended the first blogging seminar, then another one on Social Media Marketing and another one on a program specifically for blogging. I can not even remember the title of the training!  I think it has also became obsolete as there are now a lot of platforms one can use in blogging…no need to learn that system.

Smelling the Sinaing na tulingan I ate for lunch and dinner!  I over ate again and drank lots of Coke! Stomach development again.

Wishing I can control my appetite and stick to my diet.,  I lost weight when I was in Antique as I really stuck to very little rice, almost no softdrink but now I a in Bacolod I am tempted to eat as yummy food is so accessible.

Hoping that it will be cooler soon.  We had rain earlier this afternoon but it was not heavy and it even made the atmosphere so humid. I hope the chicken  being raised by my nephew in law will not be affected.

Wearing the usual sleeveless top and shorts.

Loving the sinaing na tulingan I cooked this morning!  I shared it with my siblings here in the compound.  The remaining I am going to bring it to Bacolod so that my officemates can have a taste.

Wanting to devote my time to reading but I have a lot of other things to do.

Needing to take care of my plants.  I bought two succulents yesterday and I hope not will not die.

Feeling so hot.. I am so lazy to bring the electric fan here in our sala.

Clicking recipes for Banoffe…I have one big hand of lakatan banana.  Maybe I’ll prepare one on Tuesday evening.

Sinaing Na Tulingan or Tambacul

This is inspired by an FB post regarding Sinaing na Tuingan and how it is cooked.  I have fond memories about this Batangas dish.  I have not eaten this when I was studying at UPLB most probably because I do not ave a dorm mate from Batangas.  The first time I tasted this dish was during a lunch with the Office-mates of my late husband at the Soils Laboratory of the College of Agriculture Soils Department.  My husband was working there as a Research Assistant while I was taking up my Master’s Degree at the AIM.  One can’t help but eat a lot as everybody is using their hands and the fish is so yummy especially if paired with crushed tomatoes.  I tried creating the dish but it was not really a hit with y family who fears eating tulingan as it might cause allergy.

When I was accepted for a scholarship in Germany, we had a five month preparatory Course here in the Philippines mainly German language course and other short seminars.  I have two classmates from Batangas where again I tasted this dish.  Susie would bring the Sinaing na Tulingan cooked by her landlady who is also a Batanguena.  Gina would bring pina-igang baby pusit cooked by her Mom.  This is adobong baby pusit cooked until almost all the sauce has evaporated.

It is timely that it is the season for tulingan, aloy and similar fishes.

Fresh Tulingan (Panit in Ilonggo)

Fresh Tulingan (Panit in Ilonggo)

With ingredients: Kamias (Iba), Batwn, Finger Chili Pepper, Onion. native Garlic and Ginger

With ingredients: Kamias (Iba), Batwn, Finger Chili Pepper, Onion. native Garlic and Ginger

This is not the pure Batangas recipe as I added batwan which is an Ilonggo ingredient.

My Palayok is ready

My Palayok is ready

Added pork fat at the bottom of the palayok, then added the cleaned, flattened and salted fish (one kilogram is three pieces of this tulingan). Then added all the other ingredients. Then I cooked it in charcoal for about an hour.

Charcooal cooked

Then I transferred the palayok in the  gas range so I can control the heat and cooked it for another hour.

Cooked Tulingan...does not look good as the f ish is too soft

Cooked Tulingan…does not look good as the fish is so soft..but tastes so yummy

I should have wrapped the fish in banana leaves so that it will not disintegrate but I was too lazy to get the banana leaves. The fish is so yummy that I have to control the urge to eat a lot rice.

The Sunday Currently No. 22

A very uncomfortable weekend due to the heat.  Still now sign of rain…summer has just started and we still have a long way to go before the onset of rain.

Reading the Royal Duty..still halfway to go.  I can’t concentrate on reading because its too hot! There are a lot of insights on the lives of Royalty of the United Kingdom.

Writing this blogpost.

Listening to the children on the next house (my parents house where my sister now lives).  We are in one compound with three houses and the sari-sari store cum living area of my brother’s family.

Thinking of every Monday ordeal I have to go through.  I have to wake up at four o’clock, leave the house at 4:30 to catch the 6:00 Oceanjet going to Bacolod City.  I enjoy my job but its really a pain to wake up early, walk to the main road and take a jeepney to the City.  I have two vehicles at home both need repair.  If ever it is in running condition, I don’t drive and if ever I drive I can’t take the car to the city as I have to go to Bacolod.  Oh what a life….I also did this when I was assigned in Antique but most of the time my son takes me to the terminal every Monday and fetches me Friday evening.  Two more years and I will apply for retirement.

Smelling the ground beef torta I cooked for dinner.

Wishing…well at the moment I am not wishing anything.

Hoping that we will have a good meeting with our Regional Director this coming Friday.

Wearing as usual sleeveless shirt and printed walking shorts.

Loving kamonsil that I have eaten a lot …now my stomach is acting from too much eating this summer fruit.

Wanting to switch on the air-conditioner in my room!! ut I hate the feeling of sudden temperature changes whe you go out of the room…so no aircon…save on electricity bill.

Needing to sleep early……….

Feeling so tired because of the heat.

Clicking FB and chatting with my second son who working on a cruise ship now sailing towards Italy.  The other day they were in Barcelona.

Still not linking with Siddathorton as she has not updated her blog.