Chapter two – got my degree and off to Europe

 I was 23 when I first left my country. The first time to be away from my family, the first time to travel to Europe, my adventure. I could still remember that day when they all took me to the airport, my parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends – quite disheartening, actually. I was sad to leave them, but at the same time, looking forward to my journey.

A week after I’ve arrived in Switzerland, it started snowing. I couldn’t believe my eyes; the whole world was blanketed in white! It was so incredibly gorgeous and perfect, no footsteps in it, just lumps and bumps where plants sat in the gardens and cars entirely covered in snow. I was mesmerised. As soon as I’ve felt its powdery texture, I thought to myself, “This was the White Christmas people were dreaming about.” I couldn’t imagine that just a week ago, from sweltering morning – traffic starting to build up in Manila. The noise of cars, taxis, motorcycles, vans and jeepneys beeping and honking, children going to school and adults to work, street vendors selling taho (soya) or peanuts. Such a difference! A normal hectic day in Manila compared to a peaceful, snowy one in Switzerland.

Geneva the city with its lake

The mountains and my independence

Flew my wings and here I was awake

The first time I drifted from home

Tried to settle while I roam

Composed myself for my sake

Rippling water I glided for my entrance

Geneva the city with its lake

Trial and error while building my nest

Met a guy who would have guessed

Fell in love, didn’t know he was a snake

Broke my heart for he was a menace

Flew my wings and here I was awake

And so I keep on learning

New job, new language, new friends

Learned to skate and bake a cake

Found a job that was stupendous

Geneva the city with its lake

The little town that’s so peaceful

Where I first saw snow

Near and far I have to take

For my sins I need penance

Flew my wings and here I was awake

The arc of life for my keepsake

Love Geneva for its essence

Geneva the city with its lake

Flew my wings and here I was awake*

*The Grá Reformata

A simple pattern of success
Spread on my wall all of these
Climb to the edge even with stress
Some photographs and memories

The path with stones and gravel
On the way there some tight squeeze
Low and humble but cheerful
Some photographs and memories

Trim the grass, spray some water
Good for the plants and all the trees
Tie some knots, the world is closer
Some photographs and memories**


I left the Philippines and have ventured in different things in different countries. I first went to Switzerland and became a Secretary to the Ambassador of Ethiopia. Then I did some laboratory training in BASF Company in Ludwigshafen, Germany. That’s where I met Him Indoors. I also worked in California, USA as a Cashier and in Nottingham, UK as an Assistant Statistician in their Research Department. I finished my Masters in the UK and now I’m a freelance Business English trainer in Munich. I love adventure – swimming, blogging, snorkelling, zip-lining, animal safari, horse riding and travelling to different countries.

Wouldn’t it be good if you’re here?
Holding my hand to give me cheer
Watch the world as they slowly pass
And on the table our wineglass by the pier

Wouldn’t it be suave if we dance?
The light of the moon, that’s romance
You look into my eyes and how
My heart is beating fast somehow, like I’m in trance

Wouldn’t it be nice if we talk?
Like there’s no one else on the block
We have the whole time to ourselves
Reading poetry from the shelves and stay ad hoc

Wouldn’t it be great if we stay?
Like this forever and a day
And the challenges we can take
And all the best that we can make, we both say aye

Photo by Sue Vincent

The glittery gem held all the secrets
Of the past, the future and of course, now
A mass of dawn clouds in gold and purple
Against the silhouette of winter trees
As treasurable as finely worked gold

Somehow, somewhere whenever two hearts meet
Against all odds and it wasn’t easy
Wherever you are I have to reach you
Behind the clouds and stars, across the seas

The enigma that is pulling me in
Trap in your web that’s also full of hope
And in this circle I’m happy to be

Together we sing and dance to music
Shimmering gem that held all the riddles***

*** Lannet

I see hope from afar
I can smell the roses
Cycling at the weekend
No fret no bother, too
Where I can pray and mend

I see hope from afar
And looping with the wind
Imagine to be free
Not swatting in the hole
Where I’ll be full of glee

I see hope from afar
The pink glow of sunset
Where trees sway and birds fly
Wife baking bread for kids
Dad brought sauce for the pie

I see hope from afar
Green fields where children play
Distant snow covered hills
Where winter is nearing
Christmas with all the frills****

**** Monchielle

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