Labor Day Tidbits

Posted by Analyse at 8:37 PM

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Our Labor Day weekend to Prague has finally come. Our itinerary includes a 6-hour walk tour, drinks and meals included for 32€/person. We don't normally bite such kind of tours because we're more of discovery and adventure buffs and we hate following bunches of people, but after reading feedbacks about Prague, our 3-day stay seemed to be bitin. This tour would be a sure way to get a good load of what Prague could offer - history overload guaranteed.

Thanks Haze for all the suggestions. Everything noted.


To mark history, this coming Labor Day marks my 3rd year as an official taxpayer here in France. Funny to start a job with a national holiday. Happy Labor Day everyone!


Speaking about work, I was trying to block June 12 on my calendar and mark Business Travel-Philippines. The French expat in the Philippines then reminded me by email that June 12 is Philippine Independence Day and it's a national holiday. He ended up the email with a Kalimutan already? Argggh.


I was checking on our shared calendar this afternoon and discovered that my boss will be in Bangkok at the same time as me. Darn.


Browsing through Mitsuru’s NY adventures, I’ve learned that Lea Salonga’s playing in Broadway. And yes, he’s got a picture with Lea in person. I’m so green with envy. I so love this Victor Hugo’s grand classique Les Miserables and would like to watch Lea’s version (I’ve seen the American movie starring Uma Thurman as Fantine (1998) and the French version starring Gérard Dépardieu as Jean Valjean (2000). Les Miserables is the first book I’ve read in French – that’s how I’m in-loved with this book. Watching it in a theatre, with a Filipino Fantine should be something else. Now I should really mix business with pleasure.


That is to say, I finally fixed all my schedules. Yes, I'm busy, but I'm organized.

Tax on OFW Remittances

Posted by Analyse at 2:54 PM

Sunday, April 22, 2007

An email which was forwarded to me last Friday has awakened me in my dormant status about Philippine news. I've read too much anger, hatred and some violent reactions about the news. Sino ba naman ang hindi?

Does the government help these OFWs financially during the process? No? So why the heck do they want to get their part of the cake?

Does the government evaluate the risks that our fellow kababayans take when they leave the country? They can't even eradicate all those illegal recruiters who not only go away with the hard-earned money but worst, the hopes and dreams of some kababayans.

And anyway, it's simply N O N S E N S E ! Why do we have to pay taxes on earnings from outside the Philippines? According to the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, an individual citizen of the Philippines who is working and deriving income from abroad as an overseas contract worker is taxable only on income from sources within the Philippines. That's logical. So why do we have to amend it and again, be the center of mockery of all the other nationals?

And by the way, don't they know that these OFWs already pay taxes in the country where they work? That's double taxation! Naman! If only we have a clean government, I won't think twice. If it's the way I could help the country out of poverty, why not. But you don't even know where you're money goes after taxation. Honestly, I've read the news, I probably missed some lines, I saw the taxation proposal and saw no exact program nor plan. Great!

Eto pa: The study suggested that these same remittance incomes pouring into the country had nurtured dependence, contributed indirectly to the contraction of industries and developed a culture of migration among Filipinos.

- had nurtured dependence : that's personal. It's their choice. I don't send monthly remittance to my family so I don't think I nurtured such dependency.. but well, I'm not an OFW. I'm just a concerned citizen who feel bad about the news.
- contributed indirectly to the contraction of industries. I don't think so. There are still a lot of Pinoys willing to work in the country. And besides, being an OFW is not for everybody. Not everybody has carabaos and a piece of land to sell just to move out of the country. .. and hello, if you listen to foreign investors, you could hear corruption, under-the-table business, government instability and terrorism as the main reasons, not the massive migration of the Filipinos.
- developed a culture of migration among Filipinos. Oh yes, if only the country could offer jobs to the Filipinos! A job which could offer him a decent living. A job which could help him send his kids to school.

How dare you blame the remittances for the above-mentioned reasons - the same remittances which kept the Philippine economy survive. Pinoy nga naman.


Here's to lighten up the atmosphere. Louna's Image of the Week. I left her with some apple slices and came back with this image. Picture-worthy.

Where did Spring go?

Posted by Analyse at 6:10 PM

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Our outdoor thermometer was displaying 30°C last weekend. Louna, clothed with a beautiful robe from Divisoria, already displays a very good tan at this time of the year. She's a real outdoor kid. With such temperature, we decided to move our garden table and chairs out from the cellar. We then had barbecue for lunch.

After lunch, we headed off to Genlis, a few kilometers out of Dijon, for Frenchguy's planned 10-km marathon which started at 4pm. When the second half of the participants arrive, they were complaining about the lack of water supply and residents were not even armed with bottles of water for the dehydrated participants. In fact, the organizers didn't anticipate such a hot weather at the month of April, thus the meager number of bottles available. Poor Frenchguy did it in 56.44 minutes and claims he could have done it better if not for the lack of water. Oui, c'est ça!

At the starting point.

Arriving at home, we were happy to find the comfort of our 80-year-old, 80-cm-thick-walled-house. Best to maintain cool inside temperature. After few minutes of marathon-centered discussion, I finally gave in to the urge of mixing my fave cocktail - long island ice tea - and squeezing a fresh orange juice for Louna. That was a refreshing drink - a killer!

Louna doze off after a shot of long island ice tea.. err, I mean orange juice. Moi went directly to the study to iron our clothes and watch Close to You from this site while ironing. I'm not really a fan of pinoy films but it feels good to have a doze of kilig moments pinoy style from time to time.

Frenchguy, despite being dehydrated, felt satisfied with his afternoon. Doped with a glass of long island, he took the hose and started watering the plants. Since we planted some flowering plants last month, we're obliged to water them correctly this year, before the authorities ban the whole community with the use of water for garden use (and others like car cleaning and pool filling).

I could sense a very hot summer coming. There was not much rain nor snow this year. It's already hot at the month of April. Global climate is changing. If you think you could do something, do it. Every little geste counts. Please help save the planet.

PS: Louna's 17 months old now. Check her new tricks here.

Faire ses études en France

Posted by Analyse at 11:01 AM

Saturday, April 14, 2007

With Mitch's question on one of my posts, an idea came to write about my university experience in France. I don't think I've talked about it here, so I don't even know how she knew that I have an entreprise administration diploma. Please explain hehe. Writing about it might give insights to some future student aspirants so they could prepare their documents before arriving here. This will surely be a long and boring post, but I'm just being helpful ;)

Warning: Like all the other admistrative stuffs here in France wherein procedures and requirements differ from one prefecture to another, the universities are not exemptions. They could ask you more or less papers, depending on their mood. I have studied 4 years ago so there's a big chance that informations I will list here are already obsolete.

Faire valider son Diplôme

School curriculum vary from one country to another. Here in France, they require foreign students to submit their credentials to the SRI* for evaluation. They then forward these papers to the Commissions Pédagogiques for final screening. Results are then sent by mail to the deserving candidates (you could follow the status by internet nowadays).

In my case, I submitted my CV, my diploma , my transcript of records with the descriptions of all the subjects (which I got from my school) and all my training and employment certificates. Not translated.

I included in the package my diplomas like DELF*, DALF*, CIEF* and another one from CCIP*.

Victime de Discrimination ??

While waiting for the result from SRI, I decided to ask for an application form from IAE so I could fill it out and submit at once (I was beating the deadline). I came wrong timing. The secretary, who was chatting with another secretary, cut me short by telling me that the delay for submission was long overdue. And when I asked if there's no other means to add one more application, she told me to wait until next year. What deception.

Frenchguy, equally disappointed, went to try his luck that same day. And guess what, he came home with an application form (which I used, of course)! Realizing that I might waste one year of my time if I wait for the verdict from SRI, we decided to get a rendez-vous with the IAE Director. After the interview, the Director left with all my credentials at hand. Whew!

PS 1 : Please don't ask me why the diploma validation and the application deadline aren't synchronized.
PS 2 : Though IAE is part of the Université de Bourgogne, aside from the Commissions Pédagogiques, they also have their own set of screening committee.

Le Chemin à la Réussite

After weeks of agonizing wait, I finally had an affirmative response from IAE, direct in my mailbox. But the calvaire didn't stop there. Along with the letter is a date for an entrance exam. I quickly went to the university to check the bulletin board and there, it listed the scope of the exam: regular stuffs and some questions about two management books. I quickly checked the library but the first book was already out so I was obliged to buy one.

PS: During those times, you could see me submerged with different management books and other stuffs I found in the library and FNAC. And yes, the university library became my home.

After the exam, I became a regular visitor of the bulletin board. A week later, I saw my name proudly listed among the other candidates. I passed. But at the bottom of the list, another date was written - panel interview.

PS : At this time, I was exhausted and was about to give up if not for Frenchguy's encouragement. You see, it's like I was restarting my life to zero. I'm not a rich girl but I had a good job and was financially independent back in the Philippines. And I left all that because of him. Hay buhay. Minsan, gusto ko syang kagatin pag naaalala ko kung paano ako naghirap dito hehe.

Aside from the standard questions they've asked to all the other candidates, I had a bonus question : Will you be able to follow the class? All the lessons will be in French blah blah. You're the only foreigner and don't expect that we slow down the rhythm because of you.

To which I replied It's been a year that I'm here in your country and all I did was to learn your language with the objective of entering the university this year. You have all my diplomas to prove my level of French. I never asked you to repeat any of your questions. I passed your exam. I think all that are proof enough that I understand your language fairly well to follow the lessons.

I was accepted.

PS : Yabang ko no? Sometimes, you need that little yabangto get where you want. It's just so easy for them to intimidate you.

On passe à l'Action

Then came the reality. My level of French wasn't enough to listen and take down notes at the same time. No to multi-tasking. I became a regular customer of the xerox machine. Thanks to my kind classmates.

Examinations are only at the end of the year so that was kinda cool (but tiring in the end because you have all the exams coming at the same time). Group works are a-bounty. An on-the-job training at the end of the school year is obligatory - which opened the door for me to where I work now.

La Récompense

A diploma, what else. DESS in Certificat d'Aptitude à l'administration des Entreprises. Analyse with a Masters Degree.

* SRI : Service Rélations Internationales
DELF : Diplômes d'Etudes en Langue Française
DALF: Diplômes Approfondis de Langue Française
CIEF : Centre International d'Etudes Françaises
CCIP : Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris
IAE : Institut à l'Administration des Entreprises
DESS : Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées

PS: Should you need more obsolete infos, just let me know.

Weekend de Pâques

Posted by Analyse at 9:30 PM

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

J'adore la France. This country is just so rich in diversity that we don't even need to cross its borders to breath new air. Its mountains, its seas, its architecture, its different regions, its different regional products... the list is endless.

La Petite France

This weekend, we had our stopover at the Alsace region. The picture above is just an appetizer. Let me serve you the rest of the menu.


Random pictures from Bergheim, Riquewihr, Kayselberg, Chateau de Haut Koenigsbourg, Ribeauvillé and Colmar.

As most of the European cities, the Alsace region should be visited by foot to really enjoy and feel the place. A lot of marvels are oftentimes hidden inside narrow streets and forgotten squares.

Mommy traveller as I am, of course I went there armed - comfy shoes and clothes, and most important of all, light but convenient baby stroller. Though Louna enjoys walking around the centre ville, it's still advisable to take the stroller in case she gets tired and wants to sleep.

Enjoy the colors of Alsace!

Easter Egg Hunter

Posted by Analyse at 6:33 PM

Friday, April 06, 2007

She's just finished collecting all the easter eggs in Dijon. A bit early, yes. But early bird catches the eggs. She's heading off to Strasbourg this weekend for another easter egg hunt. Happy Easter, folks!

I'm busy. I'm not.

Posted by Analyse at 5:22 PM

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I am feeling a little boredom infiltrating my office walls lately. It's stressing me out to know that I'm being paid to do nothing. Though I know that my work's nature is quite cyclic, depending on what project I work on, still the idea stresses me out. Just when I thought I should talk to my boss to ask for more short-term jobs (because I'll be busy on the second semester - in Dijon, fortunately), mental telepathy worked rather fast and saw him coming in with a contagious smile.


Ca va?
Ca va.

So there. After several exchanges of what's up and what's new, he asked me if I could assist our American plant on a week-long-or-longer job next month, probably mid-May.

Errr. I'm actually working on my schedule as I'm planning to go to Bangkok, then to Manila sometime end of May.

Conflict. Now I'm wondering if I really have a problem with time management or is it simply because schedules are quite unpredictable at work that I find schedules overlapping on my calendar at times. When I was in Bangkok end of last year, I was actually supposed to go to Milan at the same time. I asked another colleague to do the job instead. The Milan job, just like the upcoming US job, was a last-minute plan. And oh, boss just reminded me that I need to go to Milan before summer vacation starts (July-August).

It's either I stay put in Dijon, or I have to hop from one country to another, not even care about jetlag.

What makes the schedule more complicated is that there are a lot of long weekends in May and we already planned some getaways. Labor day will be Prague. Ascension day will be a birthday celebration of Frenchguy's childhood friend. In the menu are wild water activities mixed with a mountain hike and a via ferrata which I wanted to try. To top it all, Frenchguy just organized a wild-water-activity weekend on the first week of June.

Hmm. Do you still follow? Well, I know it's quite complicated and I'm afraid I have to sacrifice his friend's birthday to keep up with the schedule. Poor Frenchguy might not be able to ride his kayak because of me. Nobody to babysit Louna.

I'm in the process of negotiation and who knows, I could fit in all the schedules and sing 'We did it' in the end.


Princess and SassyMom, both of Pinoy Moms Network, tagged me to list 7 songs I'm addicted into at the moment. It's been long months I haven't received any même on this blog, and this one came wrong timing - simply because I'm not into music at the moment. It's spring and I feel like playing badminton all the time (Louna serves as the net. She loves staying in the middle). After the match (with Frenchguy), it's bath/play, dinner and bedtime for Louna. Then it's telly or blog/surf time for me. No time for music.

Well, ok. I'm not as boring as that. Here's my list:
- I'm the Map and We did it. Themesongs from Dora the Explorer. I'm repeating I'm the map in my head while writing this.
- My toes, my kness, my shoulder, my head. Repeat it 3x. With actions please.
- Tape tape petite main, vole vole petit oiseau, tourne tourne petit moulin, nage nage petit poisson. Again, with actions.
- Itsy bitsy spider during giggly playtime.
- I tune in to RFM on my 12 minute-drive to go to work so that gives me a list of non-mommy songs. You gave me something by James Morrison is one of my current faves.
- And finally, Gardien de Nuit by Francis Cabrel. It's just way too cool that I use it as my ringtone.

Whew. That tag was cool. I just forgot about my hectic schedule within 5 minutes!