Category Archives: my opinion

STAYING in QUEUE

If I would sum up all the hours I have spent in line, it would probably be months or even years. I do not mind standing in line and waiting for my turn as long as I have the time and I do not have any appointments or anything important to do. Otherwise, I prioritize.

My husband and 2 colleagues are going to Kaliningrad, Russia on the 22nd of April. I arranged for their stay and coordinated with a travel agency in Kaliningrad. After we got our visa support and hotel vouchers from Nocturne Travel, we went to the Russian consulate in Oslo yesterday. We were there at 11:00 am. There was a long queue and the processing of each applicant were not that fast so we were not able to get to the counter by 12:00nn. (Visa applications and claims are entertained only until 12:00nn). There was nothing to do but to go back today.

We decided to go to Oslo earlier today. We left Jessheim at 8:00 thinking that we would be able to get to the embassy by 9:00. Unfortunately, the traffic was very slow when we entered Oslo due to a bus that had some motor problems. Some people are just too impatient that they used the bus/taxi lane to get to their destination while others stay in line very patiently. We finally got to the embassy a little after 10:00. The line was longer than yesterday.

While waiting for our turn, we chatted with some people who were there and hoped that we would be able to get to the counter on time this time. There was this lady in front of us who kept on complaining all the time. She was there from 9:30am. She was complaining how slow the assessment was … that there should be a queue stub … and that there should be more counters.. that there should be a system…etc.etc. One guy had enough of her complaining and said that maybe she should go and visit the Norwegian embassy in Moscow and see how the Russians stay in line outside the embassy when it is -20 degrees Celsius. I agree with this guy.

There is a system at the Russian embassy. We are most welcome to see this wonderful country but we have to abide by their system. There is no use complaining. The smartest thing to do is to get to the embassy early enough to get ahead of the others.

Each embassy/consulate has there own system. I can tell you that the Norwegian embassy has their own system too. For example at the Norwegian Embassy Manila, one has to wait minimum of 4 weeks to get a tourist visa approval. And let me not talk about the visa application process at the US embassy in the Philippines!

Anyway, at 12:00nn when the counters were closing, they announced that those who are leaving tomorrow for Russia and those who wanted their visa (especially those leaving in the weekend) within 24 hours could stay on and would be served.

It was not that bad after all.

Home Depot and 3 Star Hotels in Manila

We visited Home Depot at The Fort at found a lot of interesting things both imported and locally made products. I found out that more and more filipinos are starting to be into home improvement.

I went to some stores selling kitchen furnitures. They were selling a 1set (14 cabinets) kitchen for 250 000pesos (almost 4000 euro).I sell almost the same type of kitchen in Norway at almost the same price. The same mechanisms – Blum drawers and door mechanism. Solid Wood Doors and fronts, and Laminte Carcass. There were about 2 or 3 shops selling kitchens but none of them were made in the Philippines. It would probably be cheaper if doors and the cutting of the laminate would be done in the Philippines. This is if there are no good quality laminate made in the Philippines. I am sure that there are enough wood and MDF (medium Density Fiberboard) in the Philippines to make the doors.
A middle class family would not be able to redecorate their kitchen if they would be spending that much amount of money. I hope that there would be a home improvement store that would cater not only to the rich but to also to the working class. The only solution would be using local resources.


Imported Products


Made in Denmark


I think this is by far the most beautiful marble I have ever seen in my life
From Italy
6000pesos per square meter.


More Italian Stones (granite)

Filipino Products

As importers, we are always scouting for products to be sold. We were very happy to find a lot of Philippine products that are of high quality and of excellent design. Support Filipino Industry!!!

Some of the places we stayed at:
Victoria Lodge (Las Pinas City)

2700 pesos (43 euro) per room per night
Room with Jaccuzzi
24 Hour Room Service
Try the Tuna Sandwich (Skip the fries- Ugh!)

Copacobana Apartment Hotel (Pasay City)

3300 pesos (53 euro) per room per night (with extra bed)
10-15 minutes from the Airport
Rooms with Kitchen and Receiving Area
Recommended for longer period of stay (they charge cheaper )

Good restaurant by the pool
Offers Swedish Massage for 700 pesos
Could use some room upgrading!

The room we had has a veranda overlooking some parts of Manila and Makati. We spent so many hours from the veranda watching the traffic flow —- VERY INTERESTING! As my husband says: There is a system in the chaos.

Eurotel Las Pinas


1900 pesos (30 euro) per room per night

Excellent Service, Friendly Staff
Modern Interior
Located right across SM Shopping Mall
24 hour Room Service
Newly Built – Grand opening was in October 2005
Tlf +632 805 0095 / +632 8067646

Ain’t No Place Like Manila

One of the highlights of my Philippine vacation was meeting some of my friends from Our Lady of Grace Academy (now St. Mary’s Academy). We have not seen each other for 20 years and I was really happy getting reacquainted with them. I still see the “Gracean” in them after all these years. (Our old school is a Catholic School for girls) Very well mannered, good conversationalists, very well poised (HAHA!). Thank Goodness we were raised well by the sisters of the Religious of the Virgin Mary :). See Annalyn Jusay’s post on our reunion here


Ervi Lacson – my very very good friend since the first grade.
Me (in the middle)
Cecille Ayubo (to the right)


Annalyn Jusay (in the middle) – Visit her blog : http://www.annalyn.net
Magnolia Domingo (Right)

Honestly, I was really surprised about how my friends look!!! They are more beautiful now than they were 2o years ago. It is a shame that I didn’t have so much time with them. I have such good friends during my Gracean days, I just couldn’t figure out why I did not get in touch with them after graduation. I am making up for it.

This is the place where the biggest Mall in Asia is being built

I grew up in the Philippine Metropolis, Metro Manila. It is consist of 17 cities and municipalities. The main language in Metro Manila is Pilipino which is based from the dialect, Tagalog. English is widely used. There is approximately 12 Million people living in Manila ( I do not think anyone knows how much people there are in Metro Manila— Hey but who’s counting!).

When I was in Romblon, I met a Danish man who said that Manila is not a nice place. Goodness knows what disease you might have when you are in Manila, he said. It is not the first time I heard someone makes a bad remark on Manila. I have to admit that some of the remarks I have heard are true and I think one has to live in it before one can trully appreciate it. I will not specify all these comments because I would end up defending and making excuses why Manila is what it is today.

I miss Manila. The heat. The excitement. The sound. The warm smiles. My husband and I has one good description of Metro Manila —- Boiling. I love Manila.

Glorietta (Makati City)

Shopping….

Greenhills Shopping Center

More shopping…

Greenhills Shopping Mall. A place where you can buy original Designer Clothes, Bags and Shoes but you can also buy all kinds of immitations- Breitling, Tag Heuer, Gucci Watches, LV bags, Shoes, shirts, pants, pirated Cd’s and Dvd’s and more

You can just guess what I had in my luggage.