Thursday, February 16, 2012

Achtung! I Speak A Little German.

I have thought of learning a new language.  But I never really thought in my lifetime I'd get to learn one.

It happened in 2006.

I got a scholarship for a one year training in Germany regarding sustainable urban development.  Part of the training would be a 5-month course on the German language.

The one year training was scheduled from March 2006 to February 2007.  But due to some unavoidable circumstances, my visa was not processed on time.  Therefore, I will be able to leave for Germany only in April 2006.  So, to compensate for the time that I will not be able to attend the first month of the German language course in Germany, InWEnt (now GIZ) enrolled me in Goethe Institut in Manila for a 5-week intensive course on Basic German before I left for Germany.

I was in a class with three other Filipinos (all men) who also applied for the same training program.

Week one of the language course started with pronunciation of vowels and consonants.   And how to read German words.  So by the end of the week, we were already reading German write-ups though we don't yet understand most of it, hehehe...

I had difficulty in one particular pronunciation (zwei) as it seemed like a tongue twister to me.  My tongue just won't seemed to follow the instructions of my brain, hehehe... I was already about to cry on the day our teacher asked me to repeat pronouncing it over and over again.  But, eventually, I got the hang of it and finally was able to pronounced it.

Then, we kind of memorized the German articles, nouns, pronounce, verbs, etc.  We were given some conversational sentences.  Then the proper sentence constructions.   We have classes everyday.  With different lessons every day.   Methods of learning the language include reading comprehension to check on our understanding of the German words, listening skills training where we get to listen to audio recordings of German conversations and write down every thing we hear to check if we hear the words right.  We also have something like out-of-a-kindergarten lesson - matching the German words with the images.   We do short letter compositions.  Most of the time we do oral reading and make short conversations so we will be at ease saying the German sentences.  The most common exercise we do is ask and answer these questions :

(Image source :

Wie heisen Sie?  -  translated literally as "What are you called?" or in plain English "What is your name?"

Wo wohnen Sie?  -  Where do you live?

Sind Sie verheiratet?  -  Are you married?

Haben Sie Kinder?  -  Do you have children?

We also include in our conversations our age, where we go to work and our family.

It's a bit difficult learning a new language, but when you are with good classmates and good teachers, the learning process can be fun and you'd get to learn fast.  :-)

Thanks so much to our teachers Ms. Jocelyn Mariano and Ms. Fe Benavidez.  For their patience in teaching us the Basic German language in only 5-weeks which in regular course is scheduled for 15 weeks.  :-) 

I will be making a new series in my blog which I will call "Ich Spreche Ein Bisschen Deutsch." (I Speak a Little German.).  The posts I will write will be about the German language and my experiences while learning the language as well as my experiences with the German people.   

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Each Day is a Valentine

As Valentine's Day approaches, I took the time to prepare something for the love of my life, Pat.  Since we started going out in 2004, we have made memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.  Below is a video I made from the pictures of us taken by us or by friends and relatives during our trips to places in Iligan City, around the Philippines (Camiguin, Valencia City, Malaybalay City, Cebu City,  Panglao Island, Ozamis City, Tangub City, Zamboanga City, General Santos City, Davao, Marawi City, Bohol, Initao) and out of the country (Hongkong).   These are just some of the pictures though, hehehe.  :-)

The video has two background music.  And I chose these songs for personal reasons. 

Each Day With You by Martin Nievera.  This song simply defines what I feel each day I am with Pat.  Even when at times we are not physically together, we still seemed together and that is thanks to technology -  the text, the call, the emails, the chats.  :-)   

All My Life by America.   This song has always been one of my favorites even before I met Pat.  I told myself this is gonna be a song for the man I am going to marry in the future.  And yes!  Without a doubt, all my life I will give to my one and only love, Pat.   And he will only be my one and only love for all my life.  :-)

Today is Valentine's Day once again.  It's our 8th (year) Valentine's Day together.  But it seems like so many years already with all the happy memories we created. 

I love you Pat, my Gen.  :-)

My life's journey has been so great with you.  And I look forward to more Valentine's Day with you.  :-)

With you, each day of my life is a valentine.   :-D

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lake Apo: From Sunset to Sunrise

I've learned of Lake Apo from Lisa Marie of Pinay Travelista, Alex of Iligan Inquisitor and Arlene of Joys in Life who went there last October 2011.  In one of the meetings of the Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc., they told us of their experience and how nice the place is.   I have also seen their photos of the Lake Apo.  It really looked so nice, so calm.

From their stories, we also wanted to go there and see for ourselves.  As the Bible says, when two or more people ask for something, God will grant it.  Well, we sure had our wishes come true.

When we have finalized our trip to General Santos to attend the Blogfest Soccsksargen 2.0, I suggested we stay overnight at Lake Apo on our way back home to Iligan from Gensan.  When the group agreed, we made our itinerary and arrangements to Dr. Almer Alfonso, the owner of a resort in Lake Apo.  And we were glad the place was vacant on November 28-29, so we will be accommodated.  :-D

We arrived at the place on November 28 right before sunset.  So we got to see the sunset at Lake Apo.

Sunset with the floating cottage

Sunset Reflections
Picture of me taken by Pat

At the dawn of November 29, Pat woke me up so we can watch the sunrise together.  It was still dark outside, but they were already all awake and started taking pictures outside the house.  I was the only one missing, hehehe..

Sunrise with the sun still partly covered by the mountain
Sunrise with the sun fully visible
After taking pictures of the sunrise, the group had fun taking pictures of our shadows.  :-)

After eating breakfast, we went kayaking, swimming, modeling.  These will be in another post, hehehe...  :-)

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