Archiv für den Monat: Dezember 2009

Mount Pinatubo and again a little Christmas

This week was wonderful as usual. It started with a funny party on Thursday at the place of three German guys. And I can tell – it was a blast! I think the Germans definetely got rid of the cliche that they are stiff and cannot party! It was a fun night with really funny costumes. Thankd to our lovely German guys.
The next day there was the Christmas dinner of the International Office of our University and I have to tell thez reallz took care in doing the dinner. The food was quite good, they had nice decorations and I reallz enjoyed the little Christmas presentations of each country. Afterwards there were also some funny games. To be honest I didn’t expect the dinner to be that nice, but it really was and I am glad I attended.

The next morning or night, however you will call 2.30am, we met for going on a trip to Mount Pinatubo which is actually a volcano. We – that was a Filipino, some Germans, some Bask, an Austrian and one French girl.
Josef who was in charge of organizing the tour had reserved a van for our group to pick us up. But as usual at 2.30am Filipino time, which means: one hour later!
Finally the van came and this meant some relieving sleep for a few hours for us and then we arrived at our starting point for the trip.
We changed from the van into an offroad jeep and went one our through a beautiful wild landscape. Our trip took us though a huge untouched valley and then uo to the mountains. The jeep had a hard time going through little streams, over bumpy hills and rocks, sandy earth roads and so on. We arrived in the mountains at some cottages where some nice Filipinos were saying hello to us. From there we started our hiking trip to the crater lake of Mount Pinatubo.
As well as the landscape that we saw before on our way with the jeep, the landscape in the mountains was wild and beautiful. I was happy that it was cloudy during our hike, cos still one was sweating a lot.
Finally we arrived at the huge crater lake of Mt Pinatubo and I can tell – it’s beautiful! The crater lake has the color turquoise and the water is clear. The view from the hills down to the huge crater lake was really impressive.
We went swimming in the cool crater lake and it was so refreshing after our hike. And we were so lucky that the sun came out just right after our bath so that we had a sunbath then on the rocky lava beach.
After we came back from our hiking trip we had some Filipino dinner and then we made our way back home again, which meant finally some sleep again.

In the evening of that day there was a Chrsitmas party in one of the student houses. And although I was not in a party mood I really felt like Christmas cos a lot of people were wearing Christmas hats and dresses. There were homemade Christmas cookies and hot spiced wine (Gluehwein).

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Christmas in Katipunan

A Christmas Weekend

Last week I stayed exeptionally in Manila. But it was not too bad because I was trying to increase my Christmas feelings that are still a long time coming.

On Friday we went to (attention!) a German Christmas Market on campus. The market was organized by the Goetheinstitut and we were lucks cos it took place for the first time.
There were several boothes on the one hand informing about German history, culture and its Christmas traditions and on the other hand boothes with German food like Stollen, Plätzchen (Christmas cookies), Lebkuchenhäuser (gingerbread houses), kandierte Äpfel (candied apples) and so on.
So I bought a Stollen and with just some small help its almost finished by now.
Furthermore there was a German fairytale fashion show and also some fairytales were acted on stage.
In addition Filipino choirs were singing German Christmas songs and bands were playing as well. Sure it was not like an original German Christmas back home at least because it was the first time for me to sweat on a Christmas market, but still it was nice to have some traditonal things and food from home.

In the evening there was an event called ‘Under the stars’ where they had some entertainment on stage and later on they showed a movie open air on campus. We were having a picnic there together with some Filipino friends.

The next day the Christmas marathon went on. Some weeks ago we bought tickets for the ballet ‘The Nutcracker’. But as usual we had a hard time going to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) – in the Philippines everything depends on the traffic ;) But lately it was the worst traffic we experienced so far here in Manila and in the end it took us about two hours by taxi to get there. And this was the reason why we were late for more than half an hour.
But luckily the ballet was quite entertaining.

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Balut, Diving and many more…

To say it in Tim’s words: it’s crazy! One week after another I can tell that I probably had the nicest experience in the Philippines. And in fact – last week was crazy:

On Wednesday we went to a Filipino restaurant ( and we ate with our fingers – Filipino style), altogether more than twenty people. Actually we rented a whole jeepney for the bunch of exchange students and I can tell, it was till very crowded in there. They had a huge buffet there and I was eating as much Filipino food as I could – ans in fact I liked a lot of things we ate there. Even the chicken intestines!

The other day was a Girls Day – my buddy, some other Filipinas and Judi, Kathi, Yvonne and me went to Greenshills. And since the Ateneans are rich people we had our own driver to bring us there. Greenshills is a huge shopping area where one can find a mall as well as markets. And it is really unbelievable how cheap chEAP CHEAP it is. For instants you can buy shorts for Php 100 (~ 1,50€). Again we had Filipino food in a restaurant afterwards and I think I am really going to like it.

In the evening when we came back from Greenshills there was a party like almost everyday. But for me this night was a special one, not only because our Filipino buddies were joining us for the party.

I ate Balut Balut Balut! Yes, I did it. I ate the crazy half hatched duck egg (halbausgebrütetes Entenei) where you can already see the duck inside. But surprisingly it was not that bad, it actually looks worse than it tastes. And the party kept on being funny, I dunno why but the mood this last Thursday was really really good. And I found myself on a terrasse of a student’s house singing songs in the sunrise while Tim and Charly were playing the guitar – although I was about to leave for the Island of Mindoro six o’clock in the morning.

And here we go! Right after the party and only a quick shower we made our way to the Island of Mindoro to learn diving.

The Island of Mindoro is beautiful, especially its Peninsula Puerto Galera with White Beach and Palms trees all over. We arrived by boat right infront of our Diving Resort AB Wonderdive in Sabang on Puerto Galera. It is a beautiful place right at the beach and the staff is really really nice and friendly.

The seven of us – Josef, Kathi, Yvonne, Nina, Judi, Charly and me – shared a beautiful room with a great view right at the Sea. But in fact we didn’t spend much time there cos we were very busy with our diving course.

After some theoretical part on the first we made some diving exercise in the pool and went then to our first dive in the Sea! It was great. It was amazing. I thought diving would be more difficult to learn but it’s not. It is actually fun and when you are underwater you don’t even recognize the depth.

I saw so many beautiful things: colourful corals, lots of starfishes, sea snakes, sea urchins (Seeigel), sea cucumber, lots of different kinds of fish, shoals (Fischschwärme) and actually all ‘Finding Nemo’ fishes ;)

After this first diving course I am now officially a Scuba Diver. Some of us want to go back to that place in Sabang and upgrade our diving license to an Open Water License. This means that you are allowed to Dive in a Buddy Team without an instructor all over the world!

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