Fête de la Vigne

Posted by Analyse at 7:14 PM

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The still timid color-changing of the leaves at the park and around the area announces another season - the coming of autumn! September promises a festive ambiance in Côte d'Or - the harvest time where viticuleurs (wine growers) stick to their old tradition by harvesting their grapes manually!

What's remarkable in this region is the long coast of vineyards where Burgundy wines are extracted and aged to perfection. In fact, the autumn color of these vineyards reflects the name of the region: Côte d'Or. Côte which means Coast and Or which means Gold (the color of the grapevine during autumn). Some oldies even consider that the name came from the fact that this region is a haven, a gold mine for viticulteurs, which isn't faux after all. And who wouldn't? You could buy the best and the most expensive wine here.

The 1st day of September opens the much-awaited Fête de la Vigne (Wine Festival) in Côte d'Or. Every year, the region offers the biggest international cultural show. A batch of representatives from all over the world come to this region ready to showcase their folklore to bag a recognition. This year, representatives from Brazil will surely fire up the ambiance in the avenues of Dijon. Other delegations are from Italy, Serbie and Montenegro, Ukraine, Sakha Republic, Greece, Slovakia, India, Israel and Bulgaria.

Tracking back, Fidji Island made the Dijonnais scream with enthusiasm year 2003, Africa hit the road with powerful energy (and kilikili power!!) as they paraded last year. 2002 was my first Fête de la Vigne, and what's so special is that, we had a delegation from the Philippines. Honestly, at first, it was a lousy parade. While everybody was dancing in the streets, the Pinoys were walking leisurely while singing Bayan Ko accompanied by their guitars. And then, infront of the jury, they started singing Douce France. Oh well, I was thinking, f***, that's not even our folksong! But hey, after a while I started to hear everybody singing the same song...so who cares hehe..after all, we're karaoke champions, right?

That night, I invited frenchguy to watch the championship (participants are already preselected) and was surprised to learn that the Philippines were among the contestants...Ano pa nga ba? Of course, we got the first place and the audience's favorite category (sipsip, kumanta ba naman in french hehe)..laban ka?

This Saturday, the streets of Dijon will surely be busy with cultural delegations from France and all over the world. That would mean: FIESTA! Sunday promises a long queue of dégustation (wine tasting) of non other than the best wines of Burgundy (on the list are 1er Cru and Grand Cru!) and a parade of all the representative countries just before the show where the best among the bests will be selected. So if you haven't booked anything for this weekend, consider Dijon and remember, I'm just a click away.

On Aquagym and French Bureaucracy

Posted by Analyse at 3:10 PM

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Here's an excerpt of my discussion with my gynecologist G after my routine monthly check-up (last month):

G: Do you have any other questions or worries?
Actually, I start to worry about the upcoming delivery. I'm not at all sportive and I worry that I'll be having a hard time on the D Day. What prenatal exercises do you suggest?

If you're into water sports, aquagym is a good way to tone up abdominal muscles and to lessen back pains. I highly suggest that you try it.

Oh well, that effectively sounds like a good exercise.

(Preparing the ordonnance paper). Do you experience back pains?

Hmmm, no. Well, I
should say not yet.
It will be reimbursed by the Social Security if so.

Errr, ok, I have backaches then (grinning).

Here's the catch. My now Physical Therapist is none other than...tadan...my gynecologist' husband! Isn't that a great way to make the business turning?
Anyways, I've got no complains, I have aquagym courses for free, that's not negligible. I just found it funny how I got it no charge. Me, who wanted to get more out of what I give to the government ;). So once a week, I have a rendez-vous with my PT with other expectant mothers in a heated 32°C pool. Un, deux, trois...whew, kinda tonic, but I start to appreciate it a lot. Little simple gestures which compresses and decompresses my abdominal muscles, keeping my baby active inside at the same time...

Imagine expectant mothers floating with their bloating tummies..great site..get the picture hehe..

Another great bonus with each session is the 15 minute jet massage which soothes my back muscles. Last Tuesday was my 3rd session and I was more comfortable in the water, I had more equilibrium and moved with much ease..can't wait for the next session next week.

Inspite of that, tho, I still have occasional back pains..

The Four Aces

Posted by Analyse at 3:47 PM

Friday, August 26, 2005

Uso yata ang tagging ngayon...

Agring, here's my 4 aces, don't know if it's the winning lot, but if I were with my friends playing tong its, sigurado, makakapitik na naman ako ng ilong/tenga nito hehe...

1. Dr. Jose Rizal - sige nga, sino pa ang gustong magpabaril sa luneta?
2. Ninoy Aquino - kung hindi dahil sa kanya, malamang under martial law pa rin tayo, nanay ko po!
3. My Dad - sipag nyan, kung hindi dahil sa kanya, wala ako sa kinalalagyan ko ngayon.
4. My Mom - partner in crime ni daddy, sya yung wonderful lady behind every success of my dad and all of her kids.

1. My Dad - for obvious reasons
2. My Mom - for obvious reasons
3. Ate Clarice - my sis, kahit di ako ganun ka-showy, I guess she knows how i appreciate her a lot.
4. Ate Carmen - yung kapitbahay namin, she's just so real, a natural kind-hearted individual who gives without expecting anything in return. sana lahat ng tao tulad nya.

1. Palawan
2. Hundred Islands
3. Anilao
4. Puerto Galera

1. Bohol
2. Boracay
3. Ilocos
4. Cebu

1. My old pictures
2. Mango
3. Knorr Sinigang Mix
4. Kangkong

1. Pinakbet
2. Adobong Pusit
3. Paksiw na Tilapia or Bangus
4. Daing na Bangus for breakfast

1. Ngek, ano ibig sabihin nito?

1. Mga kanta ni Ely Buendia
2. Mga kanta ng Side A
3. Say that you love me by Martin Nievera
4. Mga kanta ng Freestyle

1. Mahal
2. Labs
3. Darleng (gamit kadalasan ng mga tindera sa palengke)
4. Jokla (hehe)

1. Laquindanum (ilokano yan hehe)
2. Moselina (di yan italiano, di rin espanyol, tagalog syempre hehe)
3. de la Cruz (lalo na kung ang pangalan ay Juan)
4. Susa (di Susi or Suso ha)

1. Luningning
2. Liwanag
3. Halina
4. Habagat

1. Langit Lupa
2. Jackstone
3. Shatong
4. Patintero

1. Big gap between the rich and the poor, too much imbalance
2. Almost everything is expensive, as if everything is based on the salary of the rich people and those working abroad
3. Too high cost of education and less employment opportunity after college
4. Payabangan palagi, puro naman utang

1. Andun lahat ng family and friends ko.
2. We could still smile inspite of all the problems surrounding us.
3. Temperature ng dagat, pwedeng dive kaagad, unlike dito.
4. Pwedeng magprito ng tuyo na walang maaasar na kapitbahay.

1. Patalsikin lahat ng nakaupo sa gobyerno at palitan ng mga blogfriends ko, hehe. of course yung mga conscientious at me malasakit talaga sa bayan at medyo me background sa economy.
2. Invite more investors to create jobs for the madlang people and at the same time, encourage job and profit generating businesses - something which will create value.
3. Clean the Philippines to incite local and foreign tourists in visiting our 7,001 islands. (from basura and terrorism - you want independence? go and get it bros and leave the other surviving filipinos alone! common tao na lang lagi ang biktima!)
4. Teka, iboto nyo muna kaya ako!

Sorry na lang, I'll keep my aces, aba, winning cards ko to, bat ko naman ipapasa hehe... makapitik na nga ng tenga..

The Evolution of Man: Explained!

Posted by Analyse at 1:44 PM

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Experiment #1: The Evolution of Man

1. Tadpole
2. Frog
3. Prince Charming
4. Royal Pain

Objective: A kikay blogfriend of mine, Bel requested yours truly to dissect this latest discovery about the somewhat evolution of man. The purpose of which is to better understand and justify their behaviour.

1. Up to stage 2, they followed a normal evolution.
2. Stage 3 shows an extraordinary transformation. After hours of research, it has been found that a princess was behind this drastic change. The poor frog catched the attention of a beautiful kind-hearted princess who decided to adopt him. According to legend, after an innocent kiss, the ugly frog became a stunning prince charming...
3. The legend was of course, dissected and redissected to be able to understand this amazing phenomenon. Here are some explainations:
3a. In modern days, the kiss was actually just a representation of the great efforts done by the princess to make her man palatable - a prince charming at that! Efforts include (the list was long, i just included a portion of it):
3ai. cooking for him
3aii. dressing him up (choosing the right colors, design, etc), this includes ironing too.
3aiii. doing the grocery for him
3aiv. encouraging him when he's down, teaching him to believe in himself
3av. teaching him good manners and right conduct
4. The evolution was almost perfect, except that at stage 4, an irreversible reaction to a certain virus has attacked the prince - he wanted to be the king of the world.

Conclusion: A frog is still a frog. (hehe, t'aime bébé).

Suggestion: When he reaches stage 4, find another frog .. or better yet, when you find a frog, make a good adobo out of it ... kokak!

Book Même

Posted by Analyse at 1:42 PM

I thought I could get away with this one, but Sweetie Bokski just tagged me. Okidoki, I'm a bit of a bookwork too anyway...

What's in a book?

When i was a kid, it's more of a fascination for me to find amazing discoveries thru a book. Now, it's more of a secret door for me to escape the real world and play different roles thru different personages.

Number of books on the shelves:

Not a lot. I normally pass my books on to my friends. Now that I read books written in French, I send some interesting lots to my mexican friend (former classmate in french language course)...the rests, I'm planning to sell them at the bookstore, or give them at the municipal library. I don't like keeping them on the shelves, aalikabukin lang.Those that I own or bought:
All the books on my shelf.

Last few books that I bought:

2 books by Dan Brown, 3 books by Robert Ludlum, 3 books by Tom Clancy and one by John Grisham.

Book that I'm reading now:

Nothing. I'm reading magazines about pregnancy, parenting, baby nurturing stuffs and the like...

Last few books read:

I just finished Le Secret Halidon by Robert Ludlum. Thinking about starting another one once on maternity leave.

Routine Visits atbp

Posted by Analyse at 6:45 PM

Monday, August 22, 2005

My wrist watch was silently ticking 12:05am, my baby was kicking me non stop, my head was aching hard, my hungry stomach was gurgling loud, frenchguy who was seated infront of me started to have his impatient nerves killing him. After almost 2 hours of long agonizing wait at my gynecologist waiting room with other expectant mothers, I finally had my routine check-up for my 6th month of pregnancy. If only I was there just to renew my pills prescription, I could have evaporated even before the first hour! Anyways...

In 6 weeks (from my last visit), I gained 3 kilos! How about that. Not that my gynecologist blatantly asked me to go on a diet, but she asked me to take careful attention on what I eat. Me, who always thought being reasonable on that aspect! My baby is now 1.2 kilos, hmm, still on the average. Tho if I were to base on the average gain per week based on statistics, my baby will be at 3.8 kilos on D Day! Kaya kaya ng powers ko yun?

If I continue with my exponential weight gain tendency, I will surely overpass my target! Uh-oh!

Aside from the usual prescription for urine and blood analysis, a glucose test will be equally done this month. 2 telephone numbers were given to us on the same occasion: one for the maternity clinic (to reserve the room and meet the anesthesiologist), another for the midwife (for the delivery preparation courses). Well, all that leads to one big thing: D Day is just around the corner! Lagot!

Oh well, the joys of being pregnant. I start to sleep really bad, back pains attacking the whole of me. I start to have scary dreams, or should I consider them as nightmares? I start to feel heavy, I have double chins and I can't even cross my legs anymore. Cutting my toenails was a real gymnastic adventure. You have to be pregnant to really experience that...endless difficulties and worries..but would you believe, just one big kick is just enough to erase all those difficulties, I'm probably just impatient to cuddle her.

Consider this as a consolation, but I found this parking space especially for me. Isn't that a brilliant idea?


Posted by Analyse at 1:32 PM

Friday, August 19, 2005

I was tagged by sweet Naomi...tho I find it too personal, sige na nga, here's a quick excerpt of my flat boring life, baka mabasa ng Maalaala Mo Kaya team at isapelikula hehe..

I was in Grade 2! What can I say? Life was so simple then. Loved hiding in one corner, away from my siblings to read my science books. My mom had a collection of science books which she got from teaching as a tutor inside the American base when she was younger - ya know, thick, hard-bounded books - I was proud of them!

1st year high school. Intrigued by the ever- famous terror math instructor in our school, I worked my way to affront her. I had the highest grade in Math and I wasn't even at the Top 10! Kalimutan daw ba ang ibang subjects hehe..

Transition phase. End of my 2nd year in college, the next semester was a promise of deadly majoring subjects. I was caught between pursuing Chemical Engineering (love it) or Computer Engineering (in demand)...and I don't have the means to waste my parent's money and my time, I wanted to finish early and be on my own as early as possible. Obviously, I continued with what really interested me and I have no regrets.

Official fiancée of frenchguy...tagal na pala..

Strived hard to bag a french post-grad diploma and it paid off! Entreprises Administration diploma holder from Institute à l'Administration des Entreprises at the Université de Bourgogne. Cute ng diploma nila dito, makulay, unlike sa Phils na sobrang seryoso!

Rehired by the same company I worked for in the Philippines and became a certified taxpayer! Accumulated a free round trip ticket Paris-Manila from my mileage as I was in the Philippines 4x due to work.

Lived the American dream for 2 weeks, all travel expenses free hehe..from our mileage of course!

Bought a townhouse in Sampaloc, Manila and a house here in Dijon at the same time (moved in our new house winter last year). Lublob sa utang till now!

Got pregnant, got a promotion and a salary increase...what more can I ask for?

Officially entered my 3rd and last trimester.

Bloghopped while Frenchguy was out...then heard his car, hurriedly went infront of the TV, lied on the sofa, and told him I was tired...the joy of being pregnant (naku, wag naman sanang mabasa to...shhh!)

..is Friday. Wasn't able to sleep well last night (nakarma yata ako kagad!)...just little work to do...and off for the weekend. Isn't life cool?

Call up my mom.

I'll be a momma! Hopefully a good one...I'll be inviting my parents summer next year for a month-long visit here in my hideaway..

Dreaming of having 2 kids, a stable job, more investments...a beachfront property in the Philippines..financial/career stability for my siblings..good health for everybody in the family...

Oppps, I forgot that I have to keep the meme going...so miniminimaynemo...


Aside from their everyday lives thru blog, I know so little of this francopinoys..kikitsismis lang..

House Blessing Part IV

Posted by Analyse at 10:37 AM

Thursday, August 18, 2005

We had the next batch of house blessing last Tuesday night, we invited another couple for dinner - Frenchguy's boss and his wife. As usual, a good bottle of Burgundy wine was given to frenchguy and a bouquet of flowers for me - straight from their very own garden. Isn't it lovely? How I wish I could offer the same - something nurtured with
tender loving care!

At midnight tho, I was discretely wishing that they bid goodbye and wish us à bientôt (see you soon)...well, à demain (see you tomorrow) for bosing. They were finally off at 1am, whew!

Yesterday after work, I started to put a little order in our house, washed the dishes, arranged the bottles, etc etc..and hey, didn't notice that the wine they offered was from Mercurey..reminded me of a new-found blogfriend!

Full Tank, Sir?

Posted by Analyse at 12:10 PM

Monday, August 15, 2005

My gasoline level indicator starts to blink red and the latest news about the price per barrel of petroleum products destabilizes and worries my tight-budgeted pocket. The nearest and luckily the cheapest gasoline station in our area announces 1.20€/liter for Unleaded 95 (my car) and 1.05€/liter for Diesel (frenchguy's car). Yep, that's $5.63/gallon or P313/liter for Unleaded 95 and $4.93/gallon or P274/liter for Diesel!

Like all other European countries, France is 100% pro-environment. That explains the astronomical prices being practiced here. Add to that the fact that they wanted to decrease their dependence on other countries on these products. In fact, 80% of the price I pay per liter of unleaded gasoline goes to taxes (~60% for tax on petroleum products + ~20% for VAT), imagine! All these just to dissuade the population from consuming...it's hard on the pocket, but could we really get by without it?

The soaring prices of petroleum products are due to 3 main factors: high demand of petroleum products worldwide, notably from China with their recent economic explosion, geopolitical tensions, and speculative buying from industrialized countries to constitute their stocks. With that, don't you think it's better to prepare ourselves for another exponential increase in the future?

In France, some agricultural fanatics and environmentalists start to deviate their solution to an environment-friendly solution by using vegetable oils (sunflower, colza, soya and olive oils) on their automobiles. They actually mix 30 - 50% of vegetable oils to gasoline, not a bad idea, that considerably decreases CO2 emission, mind you!

The only remarks is: Medyo amoy prito lang sa umpisa!

Extra Money Management

Posted by Analyse at 7:05 PM

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

With Francesca's queries on her new project, questions on investment have suddenly reverberated on my sleepy mind and my idly pocket. Am I doing the right thing? Am I investing my money wisely? Are there other fruitful ways on how to keep my money from dizzing off?

Let's talk business. Well, I don't have million euros to invest, let me assure you, just some extra euros (and I mean, just extra euros!). I'm a newbie in this game with just a coin in my pocket so if you have bright ideas in mind which won't require thousand euros on the table at once, I might give it a second thought.

First, here's how I manage to get by with my finances and how I invest, I might give pointers to other fellow bloggers (as if naman, ang galing kong mag budget...):

Investing on solid grounds: I'm hitting two birds in one stone here. I bought a townhouse in Manila at the same period when we bought our house here in Dijon late last year. Ambitious move. Utang po yun. But instead of buying the house in Manila in an installment basis, I preferred to pay it cash to escape from the high interest rate being practiced there. Imagine if I pay in an installment basis, my bank will be overly happy with the sending charge I'll be giving every month!

So where did I get the money? You don't expect a young engineer paying cash, right? Since we're buying a house in Dijon, frenchguy deblocked some of his stock options and part of it went for the payment of the Manila townhouse and the other, for the DP of the Dijon house. By so doing, I didn't pay any interest at all. Brillant?

So how do I pay frenchguy and the Dijon house? For the first 3 years, the monthly payment taken by the bank from my account is actually destined for the Manila townhouse (thus paying frenchguy), that gives me 30% ownership of the Dijon house. Fair deal, right?

FYI: We are paying a little over 3% fixed interest rate for our loan.

Investing on PEE (Plan Epargne Entreprise): Company stock options, that simple. It's one of the best ways to invest your money, well, if everything turns out well. There's always a risk in this game. The best way is not to keep all your savings in only one company.

I put a meagre amount monthly in our company since late last year and it has grown almost 50% eversince. Not bad, huh. Bad news is that it will be blocked for 5 years! Will it grow 50% at that time? Nobody knows.

FYI: When frenchguy deblocked his stocks, the gain was estimated at 250%!

Saving on Livret A: A safe and flexible way to keep money in the bank as it is always available and non-taxable. My bank offers 2% interest. It is limited to a certain amount tho..maximum savings shouldn's exceed 15,300€.

I put some extra money from time to time...I'm searching for a better deal, ya know, higher interest rate with no duration engagement ;)

Here are my two top of the list future dream buys:

- A small car with air conditionning plzzzzzzzzz... I start to be tired with my ever so lovely pawis-steering Peugeut 106. During a hot summer day, I have this impression of entering into an oven. I'm already overbaked! I don't dream big, a small one which I could park no-sweat will do just fine.

- A beachfront lot for our retirement. Opo, I'm dreaming of having a little family restaurant facing the sea with frenchguy as the chef. We will serve crêpes...reservation will open in the future..

Just curious on how my fellow kababayan bloggers deal with their money. Any pointers?

Summer Vacation Highlights

Posted by Analyse at 2:36 PM

Monday, August 08, 2005

Two weeks has passed..rapidly. Back to normal life. Unlike most frenchies who take 3 or more weeks during summer vacation, frenchguy and I decided to keep some vacation for later..when bébé arrives.

This summer vacation has been particularly calm. Yep, no more vagabonding with our tents trying to discover more of the French countrysides and some neighboring countries. Everything has been planned.

So to keep with my planning, here is how we devoured our vacation:

Appetizing! Just the right entrée to boost the appetite. The 11km hike was well worth it, just can't keep my camera from capturing the beauty of this island. I would voluntarily restart the hike if given another chance. The weather was great, just can't ask for more.

The island was 40 minutes away from the continent, standing proudly in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. We skirted the côte sauvage to have a good view of the ocean and the inviting bordering cliffs - a view which reminds me of Brittany, north of France.

Click the picture and visit the island with me.

Main Meal:
The castle hopping was equally interesting. Well, Chateau d'Ussé (known also as Castle of Sleeping Beauty - left photo) was effectively for kids hehe, aside from the fact that the author of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty was inspired by this castle to write his novel, nothing else really captured the curiousity in me. I should have waited for bébé before visiting.

Chateau de Chambord (right photo) on the other hand is a must-see. The architecture was superbe, no wonder it's one of the most visited castle in the region. The history behind every wall is equally interesting, showing every trace of King Francis I's reclamed supremacy. King at the age of 20, he wanted to show the world how powerful he was - this castle was just one of his signatures. In fact, the castle was constructed on a swamp in the middle of the forest (imagine the foundation!!), destined to lodge the King and his alalays during the hunting season.

Castle-hop with me. Click the pictures for more.


Reading lazily at the beach while licking my favorite ice cream, excitedly waiting for the sunset, ignoring the fact that I'll be nognog as ever, need I ask for more? Ok, how I wished the sea was hotter than it was, just can't push myself to swim, brrrr. Frenchguy and his niece and nephew were of course having fun juggling between playing beach badminton and having swimming competition while I watch them, imagining him as a future papa. Oh well, I guess he will be the most kulit papa on earth!

Another twist during the vacation, I just transformed myself into a shopaholic! Yep, shopping for the bébé. I guess my nesting urges are starting to surface, I was just as excited to end the vacation to prepare my bébé's room and arrange her closet.

Excited maman, as always!