Category Archives: home

Extreme Makeover

Keeping a house means work. Keeping 2 houses means??? having a full time job?
My husband’s danish relatives came over at the last week of July and borrowed our summer house (which I rather refer to as weekend cabin, we use the cabin in the winter too.). Last winter, we knew that we should renovate it this summer but because of the going in and out of the hospital, we never really got the time to do it until the last minute. 9 days before our guests arrive, we renovated the summer house with the help of our carpenters.

Thanks to Ignas and Remi, I do not think that we were able to lend away the cabin on time. We still need to do a lot of finishing touches but they will have to wait.

Photos taken with Nokia N70

On Philippine National Independence Day.


I was not able to celebrate our Independence Day together with other Filipinos last Sunday. Not that I do not want or not because I did not believe in it but there were some responsibilities that I needed to attend to.

Here is a brief history of the Philippines as I understood it.

The oldest fossil found in the Philippines is 22000 years old but it is believed that the islands has been inhabited 30000 years ago. The first settlers were the Negritos, Malayans and later Indos. Even before the first century, there was social and political structure in the islands. There was a group of people in the same area called Barangay and they have a chieftain called Datu.

10th Century. Regular trade with the Chinese and welcomed Chinese settlers
14th Century. Arabs introduced Islam to the South.
1521. First western visitor came, Ferdinand Magellan, who by the way fought with a Datu called Lapu-Lapu.
1543. Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, a Spanish navigator named the islands “Las Islas Felipinas” in honor of Philip II of Spain.
1569. More agressive attacks by the Spaniards.
The Spanish ruled the islands until 1898. There was a brief interruption of the rule from 1762-1764. The Philippines was under the British for 2 years. There were small revolution going around for a long time. It was in the late 19th century when the filipino rebels became more organized.
12 June 1898. The flag of the Philippines was unveiled. Under the leadership of an american appointed president, Emilio Aguinaldo, declared the Philippine independence from Spain. Spain turned over the Philippines to America for 20 million dollars.
1899. Emilio Aguinaldo led the revolt against American Occupation. (And we thought they were helping!) The Filipino-American war lasted for more than 10 years. More than 600,000 filipinos died.
1942. The Japanese occuppied the Philippines until 1945.
04 June 1946. The United States granted our independence WITH STRINGS ATTACHED. They never really left.
1946-1961. The filipinos were celebrating independence day on 4th of July.
1962. President Diosdado Macapagal moved the Philippine Independence day to 12th of June.
4th of July was re-named Philippine-American friendship day.
1965. Ferdinand Marcos became president.
1986. Marcos was impeached and fled to the US. He stayed in Hawaii until he died. (please get the hint – Marcos has always been an american ally)
16 September 1991. Philippine Senate refused extension of lease to US Military & naval bases.

Honestly, I have never celebrated June 12 the way that I should as a filipino. During my younger days, you would see me on the streets with a group of people demonstrating on the 12th of June.

I am not anti-spanish, anti-japanese or anti-american. History is the way it is. But if you ask me, the philippines was independent on the 16th of September 1991, UNFORTUNATELY, not free from corrupt politicians.

Update: This is the comment of my friend, Gigi Samson on my post :

i think i have my own interpretation of philippine history, as any filipino would. some data would actually not concur with yours (case in point: every president who stepped in power has the backing of the white house, and ferdinand was just unfortunate to have been deserted by the latter in favor of cory when he was getting unpopular. )
some would even contest that philippine independence should be celebrated on july 4 instead of june 12. and yes, is the philippines ever free? a lot of questions. đŸ™‚

of course, when i say “own interpretation,” what i meant was we tend to highlight parts of our history that we feel are relevant. i guess our ultimate responsibility as citizens is to update ourselves — history is evolving — and go back to it from time to time. our nation’s mistakes stem from the fact that most of us forget our history.

I agree with her completely when she said that every president who stepped in power has the backing of the white house and it is not only Marcos who was. I made Marcos as an example because he is the most popular of all our presidents, I assume, and also was under US protection when he fled from the Philippines. Thus, a very good example to show that we were never really free from US.

Easter Break

For the first time, my eldest daughter, Angelika Jane, went on a trip alone. Not very far away, though, just Denmark. Although, she was going to my husband’s family, I could not help but be worried. Even if she is 15 years old, in my eyes, she is still my baby. I guess, all parents never really get pass the point where kids grow up. Or is it just me?

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The right photo is Oslo Gardermoen Airport’s ATC tower. It is considered one of the most advanced in the world. I call the left photo – the star of Gardermoen. Hehe. If you happen to see this star as you drive by E6, you are about 2 minutes away by car to my home.

Let me tell you one thing about norwegians, they are renovation maniacs! LOL. Norwegians spend so much money on their homes. And I think I got this disease. Instead of doing something during the easter break, I decided to paint the bedroom, for now. We are intending to do something more later on.

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The room is about around 23 square meters with a wall making 2 separate small rooms inside the bedroom. I painted 10 walls. You can just imagine why I do not want to see another paint brush for awhile. It used to be yellow and I painted it Cafe Late (between brown and creme) this time. For those who know me, it would probably be a surprise since I usually choose lively colors. Maybe, I’d change my mind later.

On Easter Sunday, my daughter, Tatyana, and I went to St. Magnus Catholic Church in Lillestrøm. I like this church very much. The size of it gives me a feeling of belonging to the community. It is a small church. The simple and modern architecture and interior design of the church gives me the feeling of serenity.
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After the mass, we went to Shiela’s home, a fellow filipino, for Easter Dinner. We were served Pancit, Reindeer Steak, Embotido among others.

Minnesund Bridge
The view from Shiela’s Kitchen window. Mjøsa River. Minnesund Bridge