This post was completed approximately two years after I was asked to write it. I was complimented on my use of the semi-colon. Thrills.
If theres one thing Australia has failed to wean out of me, its my inability to be on time. Filipinos call this Filipino time; Aussies call it being late.
I try my best. My clocks and watches are set at least fifteen minutes ahead. I put things in my calendar half an hour before they start. But nothing has worked. My husband has resorted to scheduling activities an hour ahead, just to ensure Ill be ready on time.
My chronic lateness is a running joke with my Aussie friends. What they dont seem to understand is that I regard the clock, with its authoritarian precision and merciless advance, as a mere guide to life rather than its master. Continue reading
The Australian Filipina went on hiatus in late 2007 and was resurrected as an online magazine. I wrote this piece in 2007 and it was finally published early this year.
When I was pregnant with my first child, many women were quick to reassure me that labour will be just like a very bad stomach cramp. ‘And don’t worry,’ they said, ‘you’ll forget the pain soon after.’ I believed them. Three children later, I know for a fact that they lied. If there’s anything I’ve learned about having children, it’s that it hurts. A lot. Continue reading
This article is an analysis of the 2009 reader survey conducted by the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA). I tried to inject a bit of humour, but I’m not sure how well I did.
I spend a lot of time online, and most of my romance-reading friendships were made through blogs, Twitter and forums. Over the years, Ive got the impression that the average romance bookworm reads around 10 books a month and pre-orders the newest releases, collecting hundreds and hundreds of books in their vast libraries or ebook readers. So when I read the results of the Australian Romance Readers Survey that ARRA conducted in September, I was glad to know that Im closer to average than I thought.
… Almost half of us take up to 2 days to finish a romance novel. Around 10% take 6 or more days to finish. I envy their self-control. Probably so does my husband.
Read this article at the ARRA blog.
This article was first published in the December 2009 issue of the ARRA newsletter.
This article was part of a feature on blogging.
Forget hand-written letters, long-distance calls and e-mail. When it comes to keeping in touch with family and friends, you cant beat the convenience of blogging. A blog from the term Web log is basically an online journal. You write something new, which shows up at the top of a webpage so readers can easily find it. Depending on how youve set up your blog, people can respond to and comment on what youve written.
But what if youre someone who still struggles to program the video recorder? Dont worry setting up a blog is a piece of cake. Continue reading
This has been the most time-consuming article I’ve written thus far. I had to compile the list, research the bloggers’ bios, contact them for photos and verify all the links before the article went to print.
If youve spent any time at all on the Internet during the past few years, youve probably heard of the blogging phenomenon. Whether youre visiting an online news source or Lindsay Lohans website, theres a good chance youll stumble upon a blog or two along the way.
Blogs evolved from simple online journals on personal websites into political, social and marketing tools incorporating text, pictures, sound and video. Unlike traditional forms of media and journalism, blogs reflect peoples thoughts and opinions. Theyre also interactive, allowing readers to comment on whats been written and bloggers to respond and update their blog entries as needed. Technorati, arguably the most popular blog index on the Internet, estimates that a staggering 175,000 new blogs are created every day. With blogging platforms more accessible and easier to use than ever before, it seems that every woman and her cat has one—yes, even the cat. Continue reading
This is a revised version of Tales of the Travelling Tabo, which I adapted for the Australian Filipina, and it always gets people talking.
Source: Helga Weber
Theres one thing I never leave home without, and it’s not my American Express. On a recent trip to Melbourne, disaster struck. I stared at my open suitcase in horror. I looked at my husband. ‘Oh, my god!’ I panicked, ‘WHERE IS MY TABO?’ The prospect of cleaning my bum with nothing but a flimsy bit of paper leaves me
For many Filipino expats and travellers, the tabo is taboo—a secret tucked in the corner of the bathroom—but nevertheless essential. Worried about being caught out when youre away from home? Fear not. There are alternatives. Continue reading
See the photo? It was taken six years before the article was written—before we were married.
If theres anything worse that spending Valentines Day alone, its waking up the next day to the realisation that, well, you missed it. Welcome to marriage. Oh, it doesnt happen every year, but between paying off the mortgage, managing a household, and staying one step ahead of the kids, many couples find romance taking a backseat to everyday life. Continue reading
This filler was included in the Miss Saigon issue of the Australian Filipina, which coincided with the Sydney production of the musical. At the time, the magazine only profiled Filipinas, so I couldn’t do a feature on RJ.
RJ Rosales broke into the gruelling profession of musical theatre when he was cast in the 1996 Sydney production of Miss Saigon. Since then, this former bank employee from St Clair, NSW has carved a name for himself, performing the title role in Chang and Eng – The Musical to critical acclaim in Singapore, and appearing on ASAP as part of a two-year contract with ABS-CBN Philippines. RJ’s performance in the MMFF Best Movie for 2005, Blue Moon, earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination. The physical demands of his profession and jet setting lifestyle haven’t held RJ back. No longer just a local heartthrob, RJ was one of Cleo’s 50 Most Eligible Bachelors and Female’s 50 Most Gorgeous People in Singapore — and its not difficult to see why! RJ comes full circle when he returns home to perform the role of ‘Thuy’ in the 2007 Australian production of Miss Saigon.
This piece was first published in the February/March 2007 issue of the Australian Filipina. The photo was provided by RJ Rosales.
One of the greatest tragedies of my life.
Im part of a silent minority of Filipinos who bear a secret shame: I cant sing to save my life. From the age of six, Ive envied Lea Salonga. She has two things I desperately want—dimples and a singing voice. Someone once told me I looked like ‘a Kim’. Too bad my singing voice is worse than grim. By Filipino standards, I believe this makes me a mutant. Continue reading
This article was inspired by my parents’ first trip back to Manila, ten years after we migrated to Australia.
If theres one enduring symbol of Filipinos all over the world, its the balikbayan box. Whether were travelling home or merely sending presents to relatives, packing these nondescript brown boxes has become a Christmas tradition for many expats.
My Aussie friends, used to exploring entire continents carrying no more than a backpack, are aghast to learn that Filipinos travel with boxes. ‘What do you put in them?’ my friends ask. I shrug. ‘Pretty much anything you can think of.’ Continue reading